New Classic Rock band Ivory Tower Project

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INTERVIEW:

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 to date?
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 U.S."

How and where can music fans get a copy of "Red Hot"?
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 Hot"?
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 Novarro.

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 must!

How important is it for bands to have their songs copyrighted?
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 Press Kit?
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 website?
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 to.

Do you think an official website can be a good promotional tool?
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 All!

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