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Interviews Reviews

Interview With Notedead

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Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready for this? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Switching Styles has the answers you need with this interview with Notedead.

Introductions All Around!

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. The band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, despite the hardships. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning. The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since.

Q&A Between Switching Styles and Notedead!

In an interview with switching styles, they’ve opened up about their band, their process, and their goals. Read below to get to know Notedead even better!

What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

 Music emits emotion. I long to feel what the artist felt when they wrote the song and kind of experience it together. Music is also everywhere, from malls to elevators. And rhythm is in footsteps and your heartbeat, it’s everything.

 The emotions a song can put you through makes me feel alive

How did Notedead start and how did the Covid 19 Pandemic impact your band?

 Early on in Covid times when everything stopped and when we couldn’t jam with our bands Trymer started writing his own stuff and asked Max to write drums along with it. We both quickly realized that our writing for our respective instruments clicked together.

We started ripping out songs super-fast, so we decided to continue writing under our own band together which is Notedead.

How is being an Edmonton-based band impacted Notedead?

 It’s funny because only half of the band (Max) is Edmonton based and the other half (Trymer) is from Lacombe so it’s almost a long-distance type band relationship.

 The local music scene in Edmonton has a great group of people who support and encourage us, and we are forever grateful.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?

Trymer:

 Before I got into my own music I listened to my dad’s classic rock/metal, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, ZZ Top, etc. Anyways but I’m in grade 5 I had some project to do at school and there was another classmate who did his project, but his was on Sum 41 and it caught my eye, so I got the CD “all killer no filler” at a Walmart in Manitoba, and that cd changed me.

From there I adopted my first taste of music away from my parents and it inspired me to want to play guitar, the ball started rolling from there!

Max:

Rock band. I loved the game because I was able to some of jam along to my favorite songs while simultaneously learning a basic version of the drums. I got very good at that game, and it made my transition into real drums very easy.

My music teacher in junior high band class then asked if anybody knew how and I volunteered to learn some percussion. The rest is history, between drum lessons, drumming for my high school jazz band & winning jazz artist of the year, it’s safe to say I’m a real drummer now

What bands or genres inspire your sound?

 Counterparts, Napoleon, Dance Gavin Dance, to name a few… but it’s really so hard to say what inspires our sound, so many bands growing up shaped us into the musicians we are and what our preferences are as well.

We also use it a lot! Of dead notes haha

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

 We both write our music on Guitar Pro. being as we are far away from each other, and we both enjoy the punctualness we can read. Trymer usually comes up with the first riff and then sends it to Max and Max writes the drums and then we work together from there, writing the song section by section.

Sometimes there will be a pre-discussed idea before we start on our next track, but we always write song by song and never add too much to our plates.

What’s your favorite venue for performing? Why?

 We don’t play shows as we are only a 2 man band writing songs to share with people, but if we could Trymer would want to play the St. Andrews United Church in Lacombe as he used to play local punk shows there growing up (it’s kind of odd I know, but it was so much fun!) and Max wishes we could play at Polar Park Brewery in Edmonton but it unfortunately just closed down.

What are some of your current projects?

 Currently, we have some new music in the bank but nothing to confirm aside from our new album “Separate Paths”. However, Max is in 2 other bands, Withered Days and Sol Runner.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting?

 Listen to music as often as you can. Find something that you wish you could make your own and take that drive to make your own with your inspiration and feelings

 Don’t give up, you’re going to suck at times, but music is a lifelong partner if you let it be.

Is there anything you wanted to mention that I didn’t ask about?

 Yes, our new album ‘Separate Paths’ is out September 9th

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Reviews

Guide To Hold Music for Your Business

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Hold music for your business is vital. Hold music, also known as MOH, Music-On-Hold, or Phone Hold Music is a vital aspect to have for any business.

It may seem like something trivial, but it has a huge impact on customer relations especially if a business is often done over the phone. Not only does it improve business relationships with their customers through phone calls but boosts the customer’s opinion of the brand.

Private Phone Call Taken by Fouquier

Why Is Hold Music Important?

Music is amazing for its ability to elevate a moment. Music improves brand perception. A study from Mood Media and Sacem explains that music improves overall business if done right.

  • 76 percent of customers felt that their service wait times passed faster when music was playing.
  • The perception of a business as “premium” increased by 20 points, from 36 percent to 56 percent when the business played music.
  • 93 percent of employees preferred music versus no music at work.
  • The majority of customers, particularly in banking, felt more comfortable having confidential, private conversations when music was playing to somewhat mask their conversations from others.

“This conclusive study reinforces that correctly designed music can improve the ambience ambiance and Customer Experience in a variety of business environments, even in those industries not part of traditional retail. Every business that welcomes on-site customers and clients into their space has a legitimate reason to incorporate music – not only because it is an integral part of people’s daily lives, but because music is as important to the Customer Experience as lighting, store layout or other key element design features,” said Valentina Candeloro, International Marketing Director at Mood Media.

 

Tips For Choosing the Right Hold Music.

This can be a hard thing to choose as music is very subjective both to the business and to the customer. Picking the right music means enhancing the customer’s experience with your company. Don’t underestimate a customer’s experience even if it’s just on the phone.

 

Match The Music to Your Brand

Matching the music to the feel and image of your brand ensures a great experience for the customer as well as enhancing your brand’s image.

Over 70 percent of customers had a more positive view of a business’ image when the site was playing music. Moreover, 65 percent of customers agreed that on-site music helped to differentiate the business from its competition.

If your company is for a live music venue in downtown Edmonton, upbeat and contemporary music would be the best. However, if your company is a senior assisted living facility maybe something with a childish Gambino flair is a bad idea.

Don’t Let It the Music Stagnate

Update your music regularly and frequently. This keeps your brand perception new and trendy. That aspect is important when competing against others in the same industry.

Nobody wants to listen to the same hold music every single time they make a reservation or an appointment. This is highly important if making a phone call is a regular activity for your clients, such as a doctor’s office or a retail location with a wide service area.

 

Chose Your Hold Music Wisely

If you have multiple different lines for different departments, consider having different hold music tailored for the caller’s reason to call.

In the study by Mood Media and Sacem, when more traditionally serious sectors such as banking & pharmacy were silent, only 33 percent of customers initially thought adding music would feel appropriate in those establishments. However, once music was introduced, 76 percent of customers agreed the music was compatible and complementary to the business.

 

Ensure High Quality

Although hold music can suck simply because it’s not good quality music but typically It’s the phone system that’s used instead of the music.

If the music sounds like a cassette player in a tin can being used as a pinata, don’t blame the musician. It’s probably a tech issue as phone systems are made and designed for human voices which have a different range than music. Quality is key and it doesn’t mean just the music. Nothing is worse than hold music that sounds like it’s coming from inside a tin can. check your phone system’s

 

Where do you find Hold music?

As a small business or freelancer, obtaining music may seem like a daunting task. If you don’t have access to a musician on hand, or the finances to pay for the media outright, your options seem limited. But there are other options available.

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com

Commissioning Hold Music

This is one avenue to find music by commissioning hold music from various artists throughout your community. Consider who you’d want to create your hold music and what style would fit with your business. Once those are figured out, reach out to the music community explaining what you need and what you’re able to offer.

Where to reach out for music commissions

  • Reach out to local community choirs, music schools, theatres
  • Search online for bartering sites like Fiverr, or Simbi
  • Connect to musicians on social media or forums like Facebook or Reddit
  • Share a contract position job for the creation of your hold music.

Here are some artists that commission holds music and highlight their work.

If none of these tickle your hold music fancy, check out directories such as Yeg Music, Music Folders, MusicXS, among others to find a musician with a sound you like and reach out to them.

 

Royalty-Free Hold Music

Royalty-free music is music that you’re able to use without having to pay royalties. The reason for this is that the artist has put the work into a public domain or has given up the rights to them. These can also be works of music that have aged long enough to be naturally in the public domain.

Here are some various places to find royalty-free hold music.

 

Which MOH was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Citations

Droit-Volet S, Ramos D, Bueno JL, Bigand E. (2013) Music, emotion, and time perception: the influence of subjective emotional valence and arousal? Front Psychol; 4:417. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00417.

On Hold 32, 2019. Survey results > on hold. OnHold 32. Available at: https://www.onhold32.com/about/survey-results [Accessed September 1, 2021].

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Interviews

Live Music Venues in Edmonton

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Edmonton is known more for hockey than it is for music. Music may not be Edmonton’s main industry, but it doesn’t mean that music in the prairies is dead. Geographically and music-wise, Alberta is far from the music hub of Toronto. Edmonton is 3,475.2 km away from Toronto.

Of all presenting artistic shows throughout Canada, the vast majority is music 94% while theatre (72%), young audience/family shows (71%), dance (66%), comedy/humour (64%), and school audiences (K-12) (61%) make up the rest of Canada’s performing arts.

Sourced from CAPOCOA’s Vitality and Impact report.

“The Edmonton music scene doesn’t have a huge reputation,” Michelle Langevin, co-owner and general manager of Yeg Music explains, “and certainly is not on par with cities like Toronto or Montreal. And that’s mainly due to venues”.

Within Edmonton, there are over 280 venues that facilitate live music venues. As you can see from the map below, there seems to be a lot of music venues scattered around. (Google Map Link)

To compare, Toronto has 60 while Montreal has 110 live music venues. These include performance halls that are primarily for music. Less than 20 of Edmonton’s music venues are just music venues which account for less than 10% of all Edmonton’s live music venues.

Source From World City Culture Forum

Venues are able to be a range of types and aren’t limited to the traditional concert hall. These can include cafes, clubs, halls, listening rooms, restaurants, and bars. This is fairly common across Canada.

Source: Presenters’ Vitality and Impact Survey, CAPACOA, 2018

As far as Edmonton specifically, Bars and Restaurants also make up 21% while Community Centers (8.9%), Outdoor (4.6%), Places of Worship (2.4%), Schools or universities (1%), Nightclub (0.8%), Cafes (1.9%), Performing Arts Venues (3.2%) Theatre (4/9%) lag behind each less than 10%.

“Musicians-wise, talent-wise, Edmonton has a pretty good grip on that. I don’t think that’s our issue. It’s just kind of the spacing of our city, and there are different things that play into it. We’re getting really close to that level of Montreal or Toronto.” Langevin said,

One kind of venue that seems to be overlooked is places where minors can attend and perform. Not many venues cater to minors. Many live music venues are 18+. Of Edmonton’s live music venues, 80 (21.9%) are open to minors leaving 284 venues where minors are prohibited.

“I find it can be quite discouraging when you see a venue and think ‘I want to play there’ and ah it’s 18+,” Admits Veronica Pineapples a young Edmonton musician, “It’s hard to find venues that are all ages.”

Veronica Pineapples has been performing music in Edmonton since she was a young girl. The limitations of all-ages venues limited her ability not only to enjoy music but to perform it as well. (Google Map Link)

“All ages shows are really really important. They are important for the lifestyle of its fans. We need to be growing our fans, we need to encourage young people to interact with live music,” Benjamin describes.

Benjamin’s sentiments are backed up by statistics. A report from culture Days found that 57% of participants said they attended more arts events and cultural activities throughout the year because of previous participation. https://culturedays.ca/ab

Music venues have a benefit more than just entertainment. Live music venues are venues that facilitate musicians by having a place for solo artists and bands to perform but also for the audience to interact. The importance of these venues, in particular, is not only for the music industry but for the quality of life for each and every citizen. The vast majority of Canadians (77%), agree that art helps them interact and connect with their community.

“The live music industry should be regarded as such. As an industry with the ability to create jobs and generate significant economic impact and draw tourists to the province.” describes Benjamin, “Live music venues are critically important to the quality of life of every city and town from coast to coast”.

 

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Local Music Venues: Naked Cyber Cafe & Espresso Bar

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Edmonton has a vibrant music community, especially in the downtown core. Though not many people are aware of live music venues beyond the huge stadiums that host well known and famous musicians like Marilyn Manson, Marianas Trench, Snoop Dog, Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks and so on. But there is so much more that Edmonton has to offer. This photo essay is looking at one live music venue in particular; Naked Cyber Café and Espresso Bar.

If you’re looking for a music venue, you may find Naked Cyber Cafe and Espresso Bar. Though you’ll have to know where to look. The venue itself is a bit of a hidden gem just off of 104th and a bit away from the sidewalk.

Naked Cyber Cafe & Espresso bar sits away from the sidewalk, almost hidden from view

This hidden gem is a place for Edmonton musicians to jam, perform and get their names out there. Local musicians have amazing talent and local live music venues are where they perform. Naked Cyber Cafe And Espresso Bar is one example.

Naked Cyber Cafe and Espresso Bar is one of Edmonton’s live music Venues right in the downtown core

The cafe is a cozy little cafe filled to the brim with art. When you first walk in there’s a wall of cute colourful drawings, complementing the badass paintings hung up behind the stage. A black and white cut out of Elvis Presley is illuminated by a red neon sign reading ‘Naked’. Jalapeno lights frame the stage, lighting up the faces of the musicians. This venue is decorated as rather ascetic, which is a tribute to the range of artistry within their walls.

Neon lights illuminate a black and white cutout of Elvis Presley providing an artistic aesthetic.

Thursdays are their open mic night where anyone can come in and perform. They have a fully equipped stage, complete with sound equipment, lighting, and, of course, instruments. This Thursday it ranged from classical piano recitals to acoustic covers, to electronic music.

Here is a photo essay finished for a school project at MacEwan University. These photos were taken during the open mic this last Thursday showing the venue and the amazing artists that performed.

Open mic night allows a range of musicians to perform their music their way

There’s certainly more to come from Naked Cyber Cafe and Espresso Bar. Keep tuned for future articles on the venue and the artists that perform there.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!!

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Interviews

Meet the #YEG Metal Band – Misplaced Intentions

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Misplaced Intentions, is an Edmonton based heavy-rock band that is aiming for the stars. They have a few cover songs but are aiming for more original songs in the future. The band is made up of Matthew Lindholm (vocals and guitar), Tyler Baker (lead guitar), Landon Berezanski (bass), and Keilan Thompson (drums).

The band has a way of defying expectations, says Berezanski, “Whatever the populace’s intentions were for us, we’ve kind of got our own. And it’s kind of misplaced from what they think.”

Berezanski and Alex Fedorouk started the band in 2013 when they were at Backbeat, a music school on Whyte Avenue, which they attended for 2 1/2 years. Berezanski says Backbeat taught them everything they needed to know about being in a band, beyond the music. Backbeat helps bands cultivate their style, appearance, sound, and even gets them experience putting on gigs.

Originally, the band was called Grim Bishop. That was later changed to Misplaced Intentions (Grim Bishop seemed too Christian rock-esque). A single musical genre does not easily define their sound. Berezanski describes it as “’90s nostalgic new wave hard rock.”

The band has been influenced by such similar but distinct groups as Rise Against, Monster Truck, and Iron Maiden

Baker explains: “It’s kind of a mix between Billy Talent and Metallica. It kind of blurs the lines between hard rock and metal.”

Lindholm adds: “We’re hard rock but not as hard as Avenged Sevenfold.”

As far as the band’s new name, there isn’t an epiphany origin story, Berezanski says.

“I’m pretty sure it was my idea, but I can’t tell you where it came from. We were sitting around thinking of a band name, might have been drinking. And it just kind of popped up.”

However, the name encompasses the idea of the band “not being held to what people would expect us to sound like, not being held to maybe what’s hip and in right now, not being afraid to tackle those sounds.”

Berezanski and Fedorouk were, “the first generation,” Baker says. Lindholm and Baker soon followed. Fedorouk left Misplaced Intentions to join a different band, FKB, leaving room for the band to grow and shift, and add Thompson as their drummer in February 2017.

“It didn’t really take long for Keilan to fit in with the rest of us,” Berezanski says. “Where it may have taken a little longer to get him up to par with our music because we don’t really have anything recorded, the friendship of the band really didn’t take that long at all.”

Michelle Langevin, co-owner and general manager of Yeg Music, has promoted Misplaced Intentions for over a year. She says she has noticed that shifting around the members hasn’t negatively impacted the band or its music.

“It’s collective, and the band works together. But it does seem like Landon holds the shit together, in a good way.”

Berezanski, she adds, is the decision-maker.

A long-time friend of the band, Madlyn Lung describes Misplaced Intentions as “a group of friends who use the band as an outlet for a good time. You can tell they really enjoy their gigs and are proud of their music. And that makes them a joy to watch.”

It’s more than friendship. It’s more than music. Being in a band is more than just being able to say, ‘I’m in a band,’ Berezanski says.

“It has opened my eyes to the sort of world I want to be surrounded in. It has open my eyes to the possibility for a dream that seemed like it was a little out of reach for a few years there. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for joining Backbeat, and joining what would become Misplaced Intentions, I don’t think I would have ever found that ambition that I have for it now.”

Lindholm adds: “Music, for most people, is kind of like a catalyst. It’s definitely impacted me for the better. Being able to play on stage is an experience that maybe not a lot of people get to do. But, for me, it’s really not comparable as a feeling. Well, maybe one thing is more comparable, but I’ll leave the romantic sappy crap for another day.”

The Edmonton music scene doesn’t have a huge reputation, Langevin says, and certainly is not on a par with cities like Toronto or Montreal. And that’s mainly due to venues. Live music venues are spread out in Edmonton; they aren’t focused in the downtown core.

“Musicians-wise, talent-wise, Edmonton has a pretty good grip on that. I don’t think that’s our issue. It’s just kind of the spacing of our city, and there are different things that play into it. We’re getting really close to that level of Montreal or Toronto. We just need a little bit more support from the city, and then we can get more venues up and running.”

Berezanski says, “It was getting a little spooky for a bit there. In the past two or three years. I started to notice a lot of the local spots, that were bringing in local bands to try and grow that local scene, were starting to sell their businesses,”

However, the scene is improving, “with companies like Yeg Music and festivals like the Folk Music Festival.”

Yeg Music is an artist-development company with 55 bands and solo artists. It promotes local bands and provides the bands with access to graphic designers, photographers, and, most important, gigs. Misplaced Intentions is not a direct part of Yeg Music for the time being, but the organization still promotes the group and books them for gigs.

The band is striving to get gigs in addition to the ones Yeg Music sets up for it. It’s a way for the band to get more work and different types of work. It’s also a way to scope out the venues to see firsthand their type and size, as well as their audience and management style.

“We can wait for Yeg to give us a show,” Thompson says. “But it would be nice if we could go and find our own. You kind of build it yourself, I guess, which is a very punk ethos.”

The members of Misplaced Intentions want to grow as a band, and that involves writing new songs and getting a larger fan base. “Solitary solution” is the one demo they’ve released, but more original songs are on the horizon.

Since joining, Thompson hasn’t written any songs for the band, and he says he’s wanting to do just that.

Berezanski says he wants to see the band “progressing to a harder sound and picking up the pace for a lot of our songs.”

Thompson agrees: “Landon wants to go faster, which I’m totally OK with because I usually like punk music.”

But it’s a long process, A song can take days, even months, to develop.

With more music, the band can build a larger fan base. Currently, it’s fairly localized with a small following, Baker says.

“It’s mostly just friends and people that we invite to the show that show up and that’s pretty much the only people that know us right now.”

Berezanski says “Back in the ’80s, if you were in the underground music scene, you would pass around a demo cassette you made. It would pass from peer to per. It’s completely changed nowadays, and we got to take advantage of that.

“With everyone on the Internet as much as they are, getting into all of those social media platforms is a big way to promote ourselves.”

The band members say they hope to continue making music and improving as a band.

Thompson admits that “we can continue coasting in the way that we have been, or we could try and do more.”

Regarding the future of the band, Lung says: “Many bands don’t last, but Misplaced Intentions has been through many trials and tribulations and still continues to improve over time. Every time I go to one of their shows I notice how much they have improved since their last gig.

“I’m not quite sure where time will bring them but I’m sure no matter that they will continue to make music even if it’s just for fun, and I will gladly listen to them.”

Baker adds: “Ideally, we’ll be touring the country, playing to sold-out crowds or whatever. And selling a lot of records. Realistically, it’s hard to say how far we’ll actually go. Pretty much wherever it goes, we’ll follow it.”

“I don’t look at this band as a stepping stone,” Berezanski says. “I look at it as the ship that I will sink with if it does go down that way. This is the band that I want to be in.”

Here are a few photos I took of the band, feel free to check out the rest of them here.

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