The Man Behind the Monitor:
Today, we’re speaking with C.W. Ross about IndieMusicStop.com, and where digital music is headed in the future. C.W. has an interesting perspective on the digital world. As a self-proclaimed “Old Jalopy” he came up in a world without the computer being commonplace in every home. So, how does he compete for readers in the new frontier of entertainment, well, let’s let him explain…
Trevor: What is the purpose behind Indie Music Stop?
C.W.: Our site has one simple purpose, to help spread the word about Indie Music. I want it to be a place where Indie music gets a fair shake. Everyone that writes for our site, I tell the same thing- be honest but if you don’t like someone’s music, write that, but don’t turn it into a personal attack on the artists themselves.
T: You mentioned before you aren’t to hip to the digital scene, so what got you into doing Indie Music Stop?
C.W.: I’ve always had a love for music. I played in my school band. The writing about music part also got started many years ago. I use to have a typewriter and I would type up pages of music reviews and take them to a local copy shop where I would get the pages copied. Then I would mail them out to different people who had answered ads that I ran for the newsletter.
That is back before computers were affordable for everyone. A simple computer that people would laugh at these days would run for thousands of dollars, and served basically as a glorified word processor.
When the price of computers finally did come down it really made things both much easier and a whole lot less expensive. I’ve had various music related sites on the Internet since around the early 90’s. Indie Music Stop has been around for one year now.
T: You’ve started to expand IMS over the Internet, with a blog page, newsletter – so maybe your not such an old jalopy after all, where else can we find it?
C.W.: Believe me I’m an old jalopy both in real age and technology. I don’t own an mp3 player other then the one that’s built into my DVD player, I don’t own a cell phone, and get ready to gasp- I’m still on a dial-up Internet connection! With me the whole emphasis is on the music itself and not on the technology that delivers it.
T: What would your advice be to a novice trying to break into online publishing?
C.W.: Either have a lot of money to hire people to do the work or be prepared to spend a lot of long work hours. When I first got started I was doing everything from all of the website coding and writing to answering all of the e-mails. In the beginning I was spending 40-60 hours on it, which can be rough when you’re not making any money and have to work other jobs to pay the bills. You have to really have a dream in your heart and be willing to sacrifice other things to achieve that dream.
T: Why do you think it is important for musicians to support the digital realm?
C.W.: If you don’t embrace the new technology you’ll be out of luck. The music loving masses are moving on to digital technology to get their music. I’m sure that there will always be an underground cult for music the traditional ways like on CDs etc… They haven’t been able to totally kill off vinyl yet and they still even have some new releases out on cassette tape.
T: Where do you see music on the Internet going in the next few years?
C.W.: I think that unless the major record labels start making big changes they are going to be going the way of the dinosaurs. The Internet has really opened up the door for the Indie artist. There are now so many different ways to sell you music online that band’s no longer really need the mass promotion machine that record labels use to be able to supply band to get their music heard.
T: What do you plan to do to keep up?
C.W.: Our site is really at a crossroad now and I’m not really sure what direction it will take. The site has grown to the point that to go any further it will need to become a profession instead of a labor of love. Now, it’s getting to be all about the masses amounts of bandwidth needed to run any kind of music related site. People now not only want to have access to audio but also music related video on a site. I’ve been hesitant to go in that direction because, this is just my personal opinion, but I feel that when you add money into any mix it can really muddy up the waters and change even the purest of intentions.
I know that I’ve rambled on but if you’ll give me a minute I would like to thank both you (Trevor) and Ariel for all of the help that you have given Indie Music Stop over our first year. It’s very much appreciated.