It was a rather brief Kafe this month, something about Nick being busy and work on an album or something like that, but there was plenty of time to discuss the AMFAR appearance, the album and even TV Mania, and there was much to be gleaned from the discussion.
NICK’S BIRTHDAY: he didn’t really have plans this year, but then again he didn’t have plans last year until his fellow bandmates came up with the wonderful “art gallery” party for him. Nick mentioned that he’s always up for a party (not a surprise), and that he supposes that you only get one chance to really celebrate some of these milestone birthdays “Well, at least until we get that genetic thing sorted properly.” I had to laugh – and I’d appreciate it we could get that sorted soon. Please.
AMFAR: They were pleased to be involved with such a wonderful event. AMFAR raises money for AIDS research, and on that one night 25 million dollars was raised. That’s a huge amount of money for one evening! Interestingly, Simon, John & Dom offered themselves up for an acoustic set to be played in someone’s home anywhere in the world, and according to Nick, the offering went for close to a million dollars (I believe it was $776k). Katy asked if Nick knew who had won, and he did not know, but “they were very generous.” Not a bad way to spend a million dollars, in my opinion…on one hand, you’d be making a positive difference in the world, and on the other? Those three guys in my living room? That would work. I have room. I’d MAKE room!
ALBUM: Katy wanted a scoop. I kind of think we’ve got some news to work with here…there are about ten songs now. 3 or 4 of them actually have titles, although Nick was not ready to share those yet. One of those songs is virtually finished. (We have a finished song, ladies and gentlemen!) Nick made sure to say that it is different from the last album. I appreciate that each member continues to pull the party line and say that it’s different – but what I’d really love is some further explanation of HOW it is different. Nick used the words “groovy” and “energy” to describe the music. It is just so difficult to pull much of anything from the descriptions they’re using. I’ve heard it described as a sort of Duran Duran meets Radiohead style, groovy, energy, and very different from the last album. I can’t even imagine what it all must be like yet. As for the album’s timeline, Nick said that they’ve tried to set themselves a goal that the album will be released in late Spring of next year, which means they would need to be finished with it by the end of this year. He knows better than to promise that though (smart man)…but he did say that they are farther along in the process this time than they were with the last album. So we do have hope. Katy asked if they were looking at working with a label this time or how they might look at releasing the album, and Nick said that naturally they will utilize iTunes and other digital marketplaces (Amazon, etc.), but that they were still thinking about what to do with regard to the label. He felt that AYNIN was successful in some ways, but not successful in others – which is understandable – and so they would obviously be looking to improve. There are real pros and cons to working with a label: on one hand they would be getting a much needed hand of help with regard to worldwide promotion, but on the other – working with a label is like dragging a big clunky machine behind you. The flexibility to change things on the fly is lost, and they wouldn’t be nearly as light on their feet. As a fan, I can certainly understand the reasoning on both counts. So at least Nick is considering the option of going with a major distribution deal on a label…we will see in the coming months ahead!
TV MANIA: Did you know that you too can be a TV Mania franchisee? It is true, my friends! Let’s pretend that you live in Outer Mongolia, well – you can register to become TV Mania Outer Mongolia. What does that do for you? The whole point is that you can create your own beautiful works of sound and video and upload them to the TV Mania website – thereby creating content for the rest of the world to listen, view and admire. TV Mania has a manifesto (rules that they work with) as well as a toolkit available to franchise owners that contains music samples, but it sounded to me as though there was room to be creative well beyond the framework that they’ve tried to create. If you’re at all inclined to create music and video in the vein of TV Mania – this would be an excellent opportunity to get your work out there for all to see. The cost for being a franchise holder? FREE. That’s right, it’s free. This is purely for artistic purposes. TV Mania will even issue you rights to use their logo in conjunction with your name (so that barcode would read TV Mania Outer Mongolia)…and it really sounds like a great creative platform for anyone interested. One caveat: if you are going to be sampling music – you’ll need to get those samples CLEARED. (meaning you’d better ask permission from the artist you’re sampling from!) This is one way to share the music without TV Mania touring or doing appearances, which makes sense due to the unusual aspects of the project.
SECOND LIFE: Nick loves Second Life. Katy even called it “Nick Rhodesian”, to which Nick replied “Good grief”. The TV Mania family even has their own home in Second Life, and Nick jokingly said that he thinks a sitcom is coming next. Truthfully, I had given up on Second Life – it just seemed much more difficult to navigate than I’d hoped, and this was back several years ago when they first announced the plans for a Duran Duran world. In the past few months though, I’ve seen more and more taking place there – and even Nick commented that he sees Second Life “growing and growing into something more unusual.” So am I Tempted?? (See what I did there?? And you people think I’ve no love for RCM…) I really am…maybe this summer I’ll find time to wander over there again. Maybe.
So it seems that our fearless controller never stays still for long, as he was off as quick as he arrived at the Kafe. I think we had a fair amount of news, and I applaud Katy for asking more questions about the album and even the whole debacle of labels…it’s of interest to all of us and we appreciate that she took the time to ask!