In Part I of this article, Examiner spoke with Tim Tournier of Fret12.com. We discussed how Fret12.com got started, and a bit about how “Artist Connect” works. In this final segment, we’ll talk a about other exclusive content offered by Fret12 and some of the exciting new programs they have planned for this year.
Examiner: Can you talk about some of the other exclusive offerings on Fret12? Shows such as The Shredcast, Blues & Beyond, and the always entertaining, “Guitarings,” with Kyle Gass and John Konesky from Tenacious D , seem to really be catching on. It’s definitely a bit different than what you get with some other typical guitar sites.
Tournier: Absolutely. The Shredcast is a lot of fun…basically just 3 guys hangin’ out and talking guitars, music and whatnot. They’ll answer questions from Fret12 fans and just give their honest thoughts about whatever is on their mind. “Blues & Beyond” is, of course, a program focused on blues guitar. Being based in Chicago, we’d be crazy not to take advantage of the phenominal blues scene that comes with the territory here. Dave Specter is the host and a great performer in his own right. You’ll see interviews with local players and full-blown legends along with tours of historical landmarks, gear manufacturers, blues record labels…all sorts of things.
Examiner: How did you end up getting together with Tenacious D to do “Guitarings”?
Tournier: It had originally started as an interview with Kyle and John about their side project and it turned out being so funny that one of our guys just said, “We should get a regular show together with these guys”. We eventually were able to reach out to JB as well and have had him involved for some of the episodes when his schedule would allow for it. Those guys are all hilarious. There’s some great footage from their tour dates with the Foo Fighters and some NAMM show highlights. There’s also some videos on the site of John showing folks how to play some of the licks from Tenacious D songs and other things.
Examiner: Are there any other shows or web features in the works?
Tournier: Right now, we’re planning our next major project which is going to be a “band development” type of show.
Tournier: Yeah….basically, the idea kinda came from some of the discussion we’d have on The Shredcast. The idea is that artists/bands typically have a lot of lame excuses for why they are not successful, for example: “labels don’t sign musicians my age” … “I don’t have the right gear” or, “labels sign crappy music and my music doesn’t fit what they are looking for…” etc, etc. So, Fret12 will be taking submissions from bands that can convince us that they are not only good musically, but willing to work hard and stand behind what they are doing no matter what.
Examiner: So….you will choose certain bands, and then what happens?
Tournier: Once we pick bands that we want to work with, we will create a monthly compilation “album” with one tune from each of the bands we like. We’ll push those songs through Fret12.com for a month and see what songs are most popular with the public and our community. We’ll pick the band that comes out on top and start working with them more closely on developing their “brand”….maybe start helping them with merchandise at first, then moving on to other things…. The whole time we’ll be documenting what’s being done on video to post on the site so people can get a sense of what really happens behind the scenes when trying to be in a successful band and how much work really goes into it.
Examiner: In effect, you guys are sort of acting like a traditional record label for these bands then?
Tournier: Yeah, kinda. Labels often act like banks loaning money/resources to artists. These days the bigger labels don’t provide as much value as they did in the past,
since artists don’t need a label to make a good recording or even distribute their music because of the advances in technology and the internet. We’re hoping to take a more
active role in helping these bands focus on what they need to do to truly be successful…a more “active” role in their activities, so to speak. Anything from marketing to improving their live show, booking shows, etc.
Examiner: When will this show debut, and does it have a name yet?
Tournier: The show will be called “Fret12 Records – Artist Development” and will likely debut sometime in late spring. We’re going to test the waters with my band, Man the Mighty. I actually began working at Fret12 a year or so after they had already taken an interest in the band, so they have been working with MTM for awhile filming our shows, rehearsals and album recording sessions. Our album is due out in the Spring and the release of the show will likely coincide with that.
Examiner: Any trends you are seeing in the guitar community? What are Fret12 Forums buzzing about these days?
Tournier: It seems like players are into chops and actually be able to play again. Soloing and shred is very popular and people want to know more about technique and theory.
It’s cool to know how to play your guitar now!
Examiner: Thanks for taking the time to talk and good luck with everything!
Tournier: No problem!
Check out www.Fret12.com to see what all the buzz is about!