Our album has a spectacular review written up on the blog Beach Sloth. Have a read, won't you?
Austin and Rob's new noise band Spagyric will be playing a show this Saturday the 23rd at Kismet Creative Center (3409 Iowa, Cherokee Creative District, St. Louis, MO, 631118) with Brad's solo project Night Grinder. Our friend David Bell's synthy glitchrap band Zero Control will be playing, as well as John Beabout. Come on down!
David Bell (our pal and fellow experimental musician) is featured in an amazing article in
St. Louis Magazine. We are all very proud and excited for him!
Laura Nowlin is a great friend of ours whose book This Song Is (Not) For You has been officially released today! The band and characters in the book are more than a little bit based on The Icebergs. It's available at all major retailers and can be ordered online.
Our album is being featured on Caliper Music: an experimental music blog! Go listen and then listen to the other great acts featured on the site!
Our dear friend David Bell of Jaded Evil Lambs has put up a new episode for his podcast Paradoxal Pterodactyl featuring 3 songs from our album and a lovely write up for us. Check it out and then check out more of his podcast episodes!
My name is Brad and I was a member of The Icebergs. In Laura Nowlin's book This Song is (Not) for You, I partially inspired the character Tom. I have ideological rants, and my artistic impulses sometimes publicly expressed themselves.
The Icebergs was a trio: Austin Case, Rob Rosener, and me. Austin and I met playing music together at a mutual friend's dorm room. Austin introduced me to Rob and Laura a few years ago and eventually The Icebergs happened, with Laura as our fan-club. I was simultaneously performing solo as Night Grinder so I set up a few of our shows in St. Louis.
Most of our songs have a creative leader with the other two having to do a lot of experimenting before finding something that complimented the other's ego. For me the experience has been tremendously inspiring and joyfully challenging - qualities that make for a positive band experience. I owe much of my adulthood to what I learned from regularly playing live music. Here is some advice to help if you happen to find yourself in a similar situation.
- Find a scene and be a part of it. When I moved to St. Louis I spent time at The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, a DIY music venue that exposed me to countless musicians that were creating music I didn't think was humanly possible. They also provided classes on music theory, cybernetics, socioeconomics, and commutations theory. It was an uncanny resource. Not only was this a scene where I could find shows to play and other musicians to collaborate with but I found educated critics who acted as a sounding board for my musical ideas.
- Don't under-listen. If you're making music you probably already have a pretty broad music collection but always be digging deeper. Discover who inspired your idols. Even the most creative artists are simply rearranging previously-heard musical ideas. Have show-and-tell listening parties with your music nerd friends - these are great filters for new music acquisition. Also, great new musical ideas aren't found on FM radio and the chances of its discovery through Spotify-like streaming services are slim.
- Go beyond music. The effect of music on the brain is a very powerful and complicated thing. Study the works and writings of the philosophers and academics who apply or have applied abstract concepts to music. Even if you're not creating high-brow music, you'll be learning concepts and tools that empower you. With the right techniques you'll have the audience liking your music for reasons they cannot explain.
- Don't be led by music technology. What I mean is, develop your creativity in a way that doesn't completely pivot around a particular piece of equipment. One of the biggest short-comings of EDM is that most of the stuff is constrained by one or two pieces of technology that are used to create it, and therefore a lot of it sounds the same. Music tech is hard to avoid but don't have it do the composing for you. That said...
- Be a real composer. Literally get a pencil and paper and draw out your music. Make up your own collection of symbols to represent sounds and processes. Drills are good too: get an egg timer and see how good of a :30 second song you can make. Once you're able to visually draw your music, write music that's beyond your ability and practice until it isn't. Adding a visual element to your creative process allows you to work on your music when musical instruments aren't available to you.
- Make sacrifices. If you're going to do this music thing then you have to allocate resources. Give your time to develop your craft. If you have some extra money, spend it on fliers for shows, quality instrumentation, and the like. No artist succeeds who doesn't spend time working and being productive.
- Don't take your audience for granted. Expect a tough crowd. Expect a distracted crowd! Then do all that you can to win their attention. This goes first and foremost for the people in the room where you're performing. No matter how broadly you cast your music across the internet, cater to the show-goer.
- Don't rely on mysticism. While it's fine to surround your work with some fantastical story or contrived facade, your music needs to be at least as good as its concept. If it isn't, then you'd better be good at performance art or theater. I have no advice to give about those two things.
- Record. There is a great free recording magazine called Tape Op and the editor has this quote the rings true: there's never a good reason to not record.
Thanks for reading - I hope it's valuable to you. Love and thanks to Laura for representing. Props.