Free Downloads:Facedown/Blood & Ink Samplers

A whole lotta hardcore going on today! Facedown Records and Blood & Ink Records have been the voices of faith-based hardcore and metal for over over a decade now. Many of the bands that they sign shape the very scene that is happening today. Lucky for you good people, you get some free stuff from both!

blood and ink spring sampler 2011
First up is Blood & Ink’s Spring Sampler. This one is mainly composed of hardcore bands, and some of the songs are from upcoming releases! That means that some of the songs are unreleased as of right now, so be one of the first to hear them!
4.Thirtyseven-Everyday (Demo Version)
6.Thin Ice-You Were There

Download the Blood & Ink Records Spring Sampler

facedown fest sampler 2011
Next up is healthy helping of the bands that will appearing at this years Facedown Fest in California. Every year, Facedown puts this festival on to celebrate their roster and bring the whole Facedown/Strikefirst family together. This year you get to celebrate as well!
2. Your Memorial-Surface
3. My Epic-Lower Still
4. Hope for the Dying-Transcend
5. For Today-Devastator
6. Messengers-Anthems
7. Onward To Olympas-The War Within Us
8. War Of Ages-Collapse
9. A Hope For Home-The Overman
10. Call To Preserve-Empty Promises
11. Hands-Resistance
12. Overcome-Alone in a Crowd
13. A Plea For Purging-And Weep
14. Take It Back-Defamator
15. In The Midst Of Lions-The Machine
16. The Burial-Demons Never Sleep
17. Saving Grace-All, But The Archer

Download the Facedown Fest 2011 sampler

Interview With Thin Ice Posted

Blood & Ink Records newcomers Thin Ice were had an interview with HXC Christian posted this week.  In the interview they discuss how the band got started, and how their recent singing to Blood & Ink went down.  Check it out!

Read Thin Ice interview

Voices Of The Underground Pt.5


Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us.

Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1- What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2- What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3- What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?

This week we will be exploring the specific impact that the digital age of music has had on the music industry. Last week’s discussion was mainly centered around the way the industry is run, but this week we are talking about a movement in entertainment. The 80s saw the rise of CDs and recordable tapes, and in a short fifteen years, carrying around a hundred CDs in your car and making mixtapes was common place.  Then came not only the ability to store music in you home computer, but also the rise in the “pay for what you want” MP3 store revolution.  The industry is still trying to handle this shift in the industry, and artists are adapting, some better than others. Also included in this digital age is how artists promote themselves. Gone are the days of MTV controlling who got national exposure, with social networking sites like Myspace givings artists a free place to use as an all encompassing website, and Youtube making DIY music videos a mainstay.  Things are changing, quickly.  This week we also have Dustin from Blood & Ink Record’s ska-core band Send Out Scuds joining the fold.

What impact has the digital age of music had on the industry?

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
A great one and a terrible one. It killed record sales which is what the industry is based on. Now that no one buys records, the industry is on quicksand.
That said it gave artists starting out an awesome opportunity to show their music to the biggest audience in the world. The internet. This makes it easy to get started and hard to make it. That’s why most people on Mypsace are so fed up with bands. haha. It’s so easy to start on that everyone has one.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                              Dominic Balli
Everything. Five years ago, there was no way that someone in another State, much less another country could hear or buy you album unless you were on a Label that had national and international distribution. Itunes is the world’s largest music distributor now and Amazon Mp3 is following close behind. And you don’t need a label to get distribution to those retailers. You just need and album. All the sudden, Brazil is bumpin’ your record in the streets. It’s crazy. However, in Brazil, they don’t actually buy albums, they jack ‘em from places like Limewire.

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
Downloading is killing bands, that has changed a lot. But yet CD’s are still 12 bucks on average. DVD’s are out and Blueray is in, so they have dropped the price of DVD’s and there is always a bin for cheap DVD’s. But for CD’s? And legal downloads? No. Major labels are frantic. They are investing in indie labels. And even some contracts coming out of those are taking a percentage of bands tour money. Which is how most bands survive. It’s a very weird industry. That’s all I’ll say.

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
MySpace and digital sales have done wonders with giving otherwise unknown artists a chance to pursue their dreams without the backing of a label. Unfortunately, so many people take advantage of the accessibility and don’t have a problem “stealing” music from their friends’ burned CDs.

sendoutyourscudsdanielmulletDustin (trumpet player for Blood & Ink ska-core band Send Out Scuds) Send Out Scuds
Well, everyone who isn’t signed likes to talk about the Myspace revolution and the pro-tools revolution like they are done deals. But no one seems to realize that a revolution isn’t really possible when the regime you oppose embraces the cornerstone of your revolution. The music industry is run by very, very smart businessmen. They’ve weathered the death of vinyl, the death of tape, the birth of digital production, etc. If anything, this digital age of music will help the industry leaders! Think about it: with today’s production capabilities you can make gold out of crud. All a label needs to do is take someone who is extremely marketable, produce an album for them, have a team of internet technicians use myspace and MP3 stores and other digital outlets to garner huge interest, and then sit back and make money. People buy what they believe is good. If you convince someone that something is good, then they will buy it. As Aristotle would have said: A is A. This digital age of music will help those who already have capital to use toward it.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
I can only speak for myself, but it definitely opened the doors for me to stop catering to people that didn’t see the vision God put on my heart and just make music and give it to the people! That’s all I want to do anyway. Perceive it, flesh it out, create it and give it to the people.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                        Chris Taylor
I think there are a few craters to say the least. I just know I love jogging and listening to sermons and a few songs. So simple, sound isn’t as good, but simple.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
It’s probably been a double-edged sword for us. On the one hand, illegal downloading probably eats into our ability to make a profit on our record. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine our record getting made at all without the advent of digital technology that can be used by folks at home, as well as listened to by people without the aid of a major label. So for us, maybe it’s a wash. I’m not sure.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
It’s huge obviously and I’m not sure what the next move the industry will make but I would like to think there will always be a need for a hard copy of music the feel of holding a CD and opening up. I think is something that will always be around. Or at least I hope so.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                  Amy Courts
More than anything, it makes it possible for Independent Artists to write, sell, and truly own their art without having to sell themselves off, piece by piece. More importantly, it’s helped raise the bar of excellence. Now that buyers are able to purchase single songs, artists can no longer get by with two or three “hit singles” tucked in between an album of “filler” songs, and know that the album will sell. Instead, if we want an album to sell, we have to write 10 or 12 great songs that make an entire album worth owning. Which means we have to continually hone and refine our skills to make the offering worth owning.

heathstripsinirons Heath (bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)                 In Irons
I think it has definitely had an effect on the more mainstream bands that actually make a living off of the music they play. It seems like they wouldn’t be making near as much money as they used to due to all the downloading.

echocastbandwb8David ( singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                      Echocast
I think the digital age of music has made it a lot easier for smaller bands to reach a broader audience, but at the same time, its a lot more difficult to make a living playing music…

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland) Hyland
It’s allowed bands like mine to exist. It’s an amazing way to get the word out about shows, create fans and drive business. If we were still recording and selling music on Vinyls the major labels in the industry would still have all the control.
The only real issue I see with the digital age is supply and demand. There is just SO much music out there that people have to wade through to find anything good… Everyone and their little brother can create a band, record something on garage band, and post it on Myspace and add people. It’s almost too easy.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
It’s cut the number of people who actually buy CD’s down by such a large margin that the major labels are dying off.

xcess Xcess (solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
Obviously the internet and filesharing has changed the landscape of everything which helps connects nobodies to listeners all around the world. You can be playing garage shows in your middle of nowhere town somewhere in Illinois and thanks to Myspace you have fans from Cali to England and so on.