Chimp took in the Pixies show at the Halifax Metro Centre last Saturday (April 9). They're one of our favourite bands and the show was fantastic. Opening act Imaginary Cities was a nice surprise too. Here are some photos from the show, and the cover from The Coast with a Pixies cover story. LA-La-Love Them.
In November of 2009, Rob MacDonald and I self-released a 12-song CD called Thundercrack! under our band name Chimp. Jason Rogerson helped with the production, my father, who is an artist, created a logo for us, and graphic designer Laura O'Brien designed the CD's artwork. Rob and I created this website (it hasn't been updated in months) and a Twitter account (ditto) and joined several online music sites. We held a launch at Baba's Lounge featuring a variety of musicians, each doing a couple of tracks from the album, and promoted the launch via posters, e-blasts and online forums, press releases (various media outlets printed them) and a radio interview with Matt Rainnie on Main Street. We sent CDs to college and university radio stations and to Canadian music publications, and sought the advice of a producer we know in the industry in Montreal. We put together a video for one of the tracks called The Living End and posted it on Youtube and other online video sites. We placed the CD in local music shops on consignment and offered it online via Amazon, iTunes and other online retail sites. We sent a copy of the CD to the Sloan guys and I delivered a couple of copies to Debbie Harry of Blondie. We then posted a video for a second track called Poot and I even sent mp3s and a link to Butt Magazine!
My expectation: If we could get the CD to the right person, maybe someone would be interested in recording one of our songs.
The actual result: Not much.
We've sold less than 50 copies, and managed to get one online review from an Amazon customer in the US. Giving us 3 out of 5 stars he writes: "Not a bad album for what it is, but to avoid confusion and possible disappointment: this is NOT the Chimp from Brighton, UK, who released albums title "Lowfer" and "Can't Stop On Fire. This Chimp is a duo of punk rockers from Prince Edwards Island, Canada...not that there's anything wrong with that, obviously, but don't be expecting the low key, multi-textured melodies and thoughtful lyrics of the UK Chimp."
I'll take that. We also got lots of positive feedback about the tunes from mostly other Islanders who've checked out our videos online. I'll take that too.
So what have I learned from my Thundercrack! experience? Nothing that I didn't already know: There are thousands of aspiring musicians out there self-releasing CDs in the hope of some sort of recognition or "next step", and very few of us ever receive it.
I'm happy that some of the tracks in particular are terrific ponk songs (a phrase Rob coined to describe the music as a cross between pop and punk), and I'm proud of the songwriting. So with no sour grapes and with a big thanks to Rob, I consider the recording and release of the CD as mission accomplished. Part of me though, still likes to think that at some point someone will stumble upon a copy of Thundercrack! by Chimp and decide that it'd be a great idea to re-record Pillow Talk or Boy Likes Girl. Afterall: Get on your knees / Burn all the trees / Screw who we please / We're Killer Bees!