Published on September 30 2008

This London-based five-piece invokes spirituality, philosophy and psychology as part of the elaboration of its sophisticated vein of rock. Just days before they release their debut album, Jamendo breaks things down for you.

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Switzerland
“Four of us went to high school in Switzerland. Between 2002 and 2004, we all moved to London to study philosophy and psychology and met another like-minded musician with whom we decided to form a band”, explains Sebastian, one of the band's guitarists.

Ego
“We all shared a vision of a progressive form of music that was to reflect ideas we had encountered before and during the course of our studies. Central to our discussions was the concept of two selves – the 'ego', a mental construction that we strongly identify with, and the true underlying self, undifferentiated being which connects us with everybody and everything. This focus on 'self' eventually gave rise to our name, 'Of The I'.”

Of The I

Free
The band started making a name for itself by distributing the demos recorded in their small London flat for free on the web. The “overwhelming positive response received on sites like Jamendo” inspired them to record a full length album.

Sound
They strive to nothing less than to create “a new kind of sound that invokes elements derived from spirituality, philosophy, psychology, each member’s personal experiences, as well as the music that has inspired them”. They describe their music as progressive, melodic, experimental rock, which places them not too far from the likes of Tool, At The Drive In and Quicksand.

Of The I

Personal
“We've conceived this album to be one continuous journey. The physical copy contains transitions which connect all the songs, inviting the listener to experience it in one sitting. These transitions are all snippets of our lives – a stream in a Swiss forest I grew up next to, a recording I made outside a Buddhist temple in Vietnam, one of our grandmother's harmonium, a storm we experienced together, a tube that passes by under our flat... This album is very personal to all of us.”

Release
Balance Instars will be released on 6 October. “It started off as a few ideas and finally turned into our 1-hour debut album.” Of The I being the kind of band that “personally manages every aspect of [their] music”, it will be for sale on the band's own website, ofthei.com. In the meantime, three songs from it are available for free download on Jamendo.

Of The I

 

 

Published on September 25 2008

With two albums, a tour in the U.S. and a former deal with Warner under their collective belt, Fruhstuck is among Poland's finest when it comes to sensible, emotional rock. If U2 had formed in Wroclaw instead of Dublin, they might have sounded just like this.

It's not just us: Fruhstuck's Dutch singer Martijn Krale, who's been living in Poland for over ten years, is the one who brought up the comparison with the creators of Joshua Tree, War and Achtung Baby. He not only lists U2 as one of the band's main influences (along with Radiohead, King's X, Talking Heads, Bob Dylan and even Frank Sinatra), he also adds that for the release their third album, they have decided to wait until next spring, after U2's new album is out, “because we don't want to make it hard on them".  How's that for respect for your mentors...

Fruhstuck ('breakfast' in German) started out in 1997 and, in spite of everything you just read, they reckon they are “generally more into American rock than UK rock”. Anyway, the band has toured extensively in Poland, all of Europe and, in 2005, they even embarked on an American tour. They also released two albums “ that were received very positively by press and the public” over the three years they were signed to a Polish label distributed by Warner. In other words, they went pretty far professionally. Nevertheless, when their record deal ended, they “decided that [they] would prefer to enjoy the freedom of being independent for a while”. Which is when they turned to jamendo.

Fruhstuck

The band made made several EPs, two of which are posted on jamendo, here and here. “We liked the idea of distributing some of our songs in this way. For us, music is a way to communicate, and through sites like jamendo, we have a chance to reach a broader audience. There is something beautiful about proactively sharing your music instead of it being stolen.”

Next, after the new album is out (and U2 is left raging they didn't come up with such brilliant tunes themselves), Fruhstuck is planning to “be more present on Polish radio and on rock festivals”, and generally to “play the maximum amount of concerts we can handle”. That might include another U.S. tour, as well as “joining a befriended band on a Japanese tour.” Way to go!

Published on September 23 2008

Through the years, this band has become a staple of French indie rock. Their new album Bâtard will be released on 29 September. While you listen to a couple of tracks from it here (a Jamendo exclusive), read their story below.

They've been around since 1995, and Bâtard is their fourth album. Although they've recently joined Jamendo, the guys from MacZde Carpate are hardly beginners. In fact, their name is firmly established in the French independent scene, and beyond. The band has always been keen to reach out outside of its country's borders, as Maël, who plays guitar, explains: “Whenever possible, we always seized any occasion to go and play abroad. It's some kind of ideal, to be able to travel with your music and confront it to audiences outside of the French context.”

Maczde Carpate

The band tours regularly in Eastern Europe, especially in former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia), where strong ties with the local indie scenes have been established. “We also recently made a common creation with a band from Hungary, Kampec Dolores, a pillar of the alternative scene in Budapest for over 20 years, and we played it with them in Romania, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia.”

When they started out, in the French Alps city of Grenoble, MacZde Carpate were influenced by post-grunge mainstays like Kyuss, Tool and Primus for the harsh guitars and sophisticated song structures. They combined that with a will to sing in French (unlike the majority of Gallic indie bands), taking after models such as Alain Bashung and Noir Désir, both artistically well-respected and at the same time popular artists. “We came together with a desire to 'create our own style', like all young bands, to make sure each song was different and unheard, and we've since then more or less followed that line.”

A couple of tracks from their previous album Tue-Tête, released in 2006, are available on Jamendo here. The new one, Bâtard, is a double album, both live and studio. Regardless of fame and money, Maël already sees it as a success. “A year ago, it wasn't sure we'd even make another record, we were so fed up with each other after putting so much in the band for so long. But we came to terms with what we'd expected from the music business, and realized that we'd already fulfilled our ambitions, really: to be a band acknowledged for its originality and its intensity on stage, travel thanks to our music, work with other musicians, build an audience...That realization freed us from this insidious pressure in the studio we always felt before. In a way, we don't expect anything from this record. We like it, the rest will all just be a bonus.”

Maczde Carpate

Bâtard will be available for purchase on iTunes and other major online stores...

 

 

 

Published on September 19 2008

Angus Young made this one a legend - now it's your turn to make it yours!

In order to win this Gibson SG3 Special Faded WE, all you have to do is write a private message on Jamendo to the user "thomann_rocks" with the answer to this very tricky question:

How many strings does the Gibson SG3 Special Faded WE have?

The winner will be drawn from all the private messages sent until Tuesday 30th September 2008 (00:00 CET). He or she will be duly informed by mail and/or private message, just like all other participants.

Good Luck!

Can't write a Private Message? The time has come for you to sign up.

Read the rules

Published on September 17 2008

He's a favorite on Jamendo, having managed to build up a strong international following using only the web. Canadian one-man-band Brad Sucks just published his second album, a new step on a certain path to great things...

With his cheeky, disillusioned, home studio-recorded folky yet rocky songs, Brad, a 31-year-old musician from Ottawa, inevitably gets compared to Beck quite often. As much as it can be a compliment, no artist likes to be told they sound like another; but by now Brad has gotten to terms with the parallel. “It used to bother me, I took it as 'hey you're a crappy Beck impersonator with no ideas of your own!' But other musicians told me they get compared to Beck all the time also. So maybe it's the musical equivalent of 'tastes like chicken'. The guy's done so much in many different styles it's easy to compare nearly anything to something in his catalog.”

Brad Sucks

On the other hand, getting compared implies getting heard. Brad started posting demos on the internet a few years ago, then released his first album, I Don't Know What I'm Doing, at the beginning of 2007, which started getting him some attention pretty far away from home. That's even how he got around to exotic places like Jamendo: “I started selling a bunch of albums to Europeans and got some emails suggesting I put my stuff on Jamendo. After I got enough, I finally checked it out and it looked like an interesting crowd of people. Lately I've been digging Professor Kliq a lot, for example.”

Eventually, his music circulated in ways he wouldn't have imagined, ending up in ads for cars and condoms, or with “heroes of mine saying they like my music” and “artists doing well these days citing me as an inspiration. That feels awesome.”

So now would probably be a good time to take things to the next level professionally. Brad has been considering getting help with press and booking gigs. But in the meantime, he's managing everything alone, while hoping that the new album, Out Of It, makes his music income go up (he's also into web design). “I'd like to do a bit of touring in the new year but I've got to figure out if it makes sense money-wise. Other than that, I've got a lot of music I'm working on, as well as some stories and a few other things that I'm excited to get to.”