Johnny Jace Interview
Published in: Space Junkies Magazine [Canada]
Interview By: Wednesday Elektra
Wednesday: How long have you been a band?
ITP: We officially started Ivory Tower Project in 1989, so it's been 14
years, but Mark and I have been writing together much longer.
Have you been a part of any other bands?
We originally named the band "North Wind" then later changed
it to Ivory Tower. When it came time to register our band name we found
Ivory Tower was already taken, so in order to claim our own unique identity
we decided on Ivory Tower Project also known as: ITP.
How do you do it?
It ain't easy but it's necessary. To quote a successful rock artist and
friend Pamme Haven (Haven), "Post your music on as many sites as
possible and eventually you'll get noticed." We use the same formula
to promote our music to magazines, radio stations and labels around the
world. My collaborator & leader of the group, Mark Regula and myself
do the bulk of the work. If you don't care enough to promote your music
yourself, you can't expect anyone else to.
Do you have any tips for other musicians?
Any new artist or band can achieve what they want to in this business
if they are willing to take the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach. As long
as your music sounds good to others and you find the right market. Unfortunately
the days of just being a musician and/or songwriter and hoping one day
you'll be discovered are long gone. With all the fierce competition out
there you've got to fight for attention. It's no different than starting
your own home business, you either sink or swim.
What has been the band's greatest accomplishment
I would have to say the fact that our latest EP "Red Hot" has
been receiving a lot of attention from radio stations, on and off-line
magazines and music web sites here in the States, Canada, Germany, Great
Britain, Italy, The Netherlands and Japan. It's a dream come true!
What are the band's goals for the future?
Well we're looking forward to establishing strong relations with the media
here and abroad, so when our full length debut is finished, the radio
stations, publications, record labels and other sources will be willing
& eager to help promote our music.
For music fans not familiar with your new release
"Red Hot" how would you describe it?
Red Hot is a limited edition EP of original AOR/Melodic Rock songs, written
by Mark & myself. It's an advanced copy of edited for radio tracks
from our forthcoming debut entitled "How Much More."
How have others described it?
Our music has been compared to Styx, Foreigner, Arc Angel, Journey, LeRoux,
Genesis, Bowie & Supertramp among other contemporary classic artists.
How has the response been to "Red Hot"
on the International market?
Just great! What we didn't know when we started mailing our CD overseas
was that most countries, with the exception of the United States, love
our style of music. To quote Jeff Cannata of Arc Angel "In the genre
of AOR/Melodic Rock, a term coined in the European market, meaning songs
with engaging melodies & power chord guitar/synth driven rock, Ivory
Tower Project do just that and continue to carry the torch here in the
How and where can music fans get a copy of "Red
Simple, log onto www.IvoryTowerProject.com and click on the "Store"
button, located near the top right of the page. (Fans can also download
"Free" 1 minute audio samples as well, before ordering a copy
at the discount price of $5.99 plus S&H.).
What is your favorite track off of "Red
That's hard to say, honestly. As the co-writer (with the exception of
"Way Too Late" written by Mark), they're all special to me in
one way or another. If I had to make one choice it would have to be "Burning"
Lyrically, it's one of the best songs I ever wrote and musically, Mark
really outdid himself with the music & the co-production with Tony
What does ASCAP stand for and what is it exactly?
A.S.C.A.P. stands for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
It's purpose as a performing rights organization, run by and for Artists,
is to license original music, report and collect moneys generated from
radio airplay to copyright owners.
Is it important for bands to go through the
hassle of getting a barcode?
If you want to have official data on the number of CD sales on record,
to prove to record labels you have a marketable product the answer is
definitely! We purchased barcode stickers for "Red Hot" to keep
track of sales through Backstage Commerce and CDBaby and later found out
that as long as we supplied them with the code itself, it was unnecessary
to place stickers on each CD. Their system tracks purchases automatically.
As far as in-store sales and selling your CDs at shows a barcode is a
How important is it for bands to have their
That's the very first thing a songwriter or band should do, immediately
after they finish writing a song. This ensures the writers clear ownership
to their work. In the event a dispute arises somewhere down the road,
the writer(s) are supplied a music attorney "Free of Charge"
by The Library Of Congress. A less expensive way of copyrighting our songs
that Mark and I have done is to register multiple songs as a songbook.
So rather than paying $45 (the current registration fee) for 1 song -
you can register an entire album of songs under a general title and list
the individual songs as sub-titles.
How important do you think other Artists and
people in the Media's opinions of your music are, that make up a bands
Very important! The more established the Artist or particular Media
is in the music business, helps to validate the band as one to be taken
seriously. No one in this industry will endorse a band that doesn't have
what it takes to make it in this business!
Why do you think your music appeals to such
a wide audience?
I think it's because we write our songs to please ourselves instead of
other people. Mark and I grew up together listening to classic pop and
rock music from Aerosmith to Zepplin and everything in-between. We have
a genuine love of music and I think that comes across in our songs. Lyrically
I try not to be too specific, so listeners can relate our songs to their
own personal experiences.
Do you think it's important to establish a personal
connection with the Media as well as a business relationship?
Naturally, people who work in the Media are music fans too. They're
either going to like your music or not. This is a people business and
the more they believe in you and your music, the better your chances are
they will help you out. Of course you have to approach the right market
to sell yourself effectively. You can't be in a Rock band and try to make
connections in the Country or Easy Listening genres. Treat the people
in the Media the same way you expect to be treated. And remember to thank
them for their help!
What are some of your musical influences?
Wow, where do I start? To begin with both Mark and I are big Beatles fans.
I love a lot of the classic rock music from the late 60's and 70's, certain
bands from the 80's like Tears For Fears, Mr. Mister, Squeeze and the
harder stuff that was just coming out. The 90's were pretty disappointing
with a few exceptions but today's music is getting better. I hear a lot
more variety and new bands getting back to basics. There isn't any particular
band that has influenced me or my writing, only great songs. I love to
pick them apart and see what makes them tick, hehe.
What made I.T.P. decide it was time for an official
That's just it, now that we know there's a huge market for our
music we need a site we can call home. We wanted to make sure before we
wasted our time and money on something no one would pay any attention
Do you think an official website can be a good
Definitely! Both music fans and the business take a band more seriously
once they have enough
confidence in themselves to establish their presence on the internet.
Like I said earlier, it's just like having an on-line home business. Having
your own official website can also draw attention from old and new fans
alike. How many times have you surfed the net looking for new music and
chose to check out a band’s official website, rather than scour
MP3.com, IUMA, JavaMusic or hundreds of other sites that host literally
thousands of bands? Think about it.
How can fans contact the Ivory Tower Project?
We try to make ourselves as accessible as possible but with the
overwhelming response to "Red Hot" we've been extremely busy.
If you live in the States send us an email to Guerrillaco@hotmail.com
and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Any websites you would recommend checking out?
Yeah ours, hahahaha. Our official site will be up soon and can
be found at www.IvoryTowerProject.com net but for now you can stop by
our MP3 site at www.mp3.com/theivorytowerproject For "Free"
samples from "Red Hot" go to www.cdstreet.com/artists/guerrillarecords
You'll be glad you did! That's it for now.
How did you originally find Aid For Bands?
Surfing the net for places that would help promote our band. We
just started with the A's. Hehehe
What benefits would you like to see AFBPromotions
provide in the future for Ivory Tower Project, along with the other artists
you share our roster with?
Hmmm, good question. Have to get back to you on that. This interview
has wiped me out, I can't think anymore. Ahhhhh.....
Any other comments you have to offer?
Just one. Buy our EP, it's only $5.99 at CDBaby.com. We Love You
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