Rock Royalty

Local entrepreneur John-Scott Dixon has the artillery to win the free music wars

NT: I got this e-mail the other day telling me I was going to be prosecuted for downloading music, even though I never have. Is someone from the Music Police going to show up at my house with handcuffs?

Dixon: It's just spam. But [RateOurBand.com] is an answer to that, because it allows you to discover new music, and download it for free with the permission of the artist.

NT: Wouldn't it be better to entice clients with talented, proven artists? Because I visited the site today, and some of these bands are just plain lousy. I mean, it was like a graveyard of Star Search rejects.

Dixon: Right. But there's some good stuff, too. And it's providing exposure to artists who need it, and they're getting paid for it.

NT: I'll venture to guess they're not seeing any money from it yet.

Dixon: Not yet. But in the meantime, the process is giving them exposure to some of the larger record labels.

NT: My fave contender was Fifi LaRue, doing "Gothic Killer Clown." But do we really need another heavy metal band from Hendersonville, North Carolina?

Dixon: We may. But what I'm telling you is that your iPod is hungry for new music, and it's expensive to fill it up if you're paying for established artists. Discovering new talent is more fun. The year I was born, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles was the number one song. Who knows how many artists were just as good or better than the Beatles that year?

NT: I do. And the answer is "None." Hey, I noticed that some of the bands have these little pop-up warnings on your site.

Dixon: That's got to be there if we're going to sell the idea to corporate America. I'll give you an example, and I'm going to use a word that's pretty horrible. You okay?

NT: I'm bracing myself.

Dixon: We had a band sign up called Cuntgrinder. And there was a picture that looked like chopped-up female components. And if people were to come to the site and had their kid on their lap, it wouldn't be appropriate. I started out saying, "We're not going to do censorship." But we had a few things that got us to thinking about not getting rid of the band but slapping that warning thing on. We had to do that for corporate America.

NT: I guess so. But that's the weird thing about your whole concept, and its presentation on your Web site -- it's very corporate. Which seems kind of the antithesis of rock 'n' roll.

Dixon: I know. But I'm telling you, this is the future of music. And RateOurBand.com is the mother ship.

E-mail robrt.pela@newtimes.com

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1 comments
Paul
Paul

I'm the guy behind Dead Kid Harvester, "the worst stuff on the planet", and I love this article. It's sadly amusing that Dead Kid Harvester is still going, and yet RateOurBand.com is not. I only started work on my debut album in 2008, but when it's finally done I'll be attempting to send John-Scott Dixon a free CD!

 
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