SLAM and HOWIE and the Reserve Men at LesAmis, Berne – Interview

chriguBlog, News

Lt-Slam LesAmis

Lt. Slam is a professional musician based in Berne, Switzerland. He is constantly touring Europe wide and plays about 80 concerts a year in Swiss clubs. chrigu from starfrosch talked with him before a concert he gave at LesAmis, Berne.

starfrosch: when we started to include journalism, my first question usually was: how do you use the internet? – is it useful or rather an unfilling promise?

sandro: in general its a working progress i think. for the last years the most important tool for us was facebook.
it even replaced our hompage – exept for the organisation of concerts. with facebook the communication possibilities are quite the best.
the second important use of the internet for us is the CD market. physical selling is still more counting, but the virtual store takes more and more place within.

starfrosch: we originally offered free music tracks on our feeds. could you still imagine this for your band, or do you even offer free samples on your channels?

sandro: on our webpage we don’t offer any music. we have a webshop and the online buying runs on itunes.
in general we prefer working with Bandcamp, a much more independent web service for musicians.
there you can put the prices yourself, and you get more money per transaction. just the volume of the market is not as big as on itunes, of course. our ratio is now about 1:10 for online sellings.

starfrosch: your physically sold discs – are they put on market mostly by yourself?

sandro: we have our own labels. 80% of the CDs are sold at live concerts. also the merchandising takes its
part in the income.

starfrosch: is the cd market still decreasing in your perception?

sandro: we published our fifth disc last year. but we didn’t sell more CDs – although our reputation grows constantly. so i sould conclude that the CD market in our sector is still decreasing.

starfrosch: so the itunes flow increased on the other side?

sandro: yes, definately. but this is not so important for us because of the physical/virtual ratio in our output.
generally the changing CD-market is not a primary concern for us…

starfrosch: instead of complaining about these changes you just built up your own business that is working fine…

sandro: yes, but this did not happened fully consciently.
we just tried to move and let behind all the prejudices about the musical style with the big “C”. most of the people shut down when the word Country is spelled…

starfrosch: whithout being aware of the fact that in America the country scene is developing as always…

sandro: yes, but the difference is still big between Europe and the US – such as anywhere.
with a lot of work it is possible to let become more well known all the different variations of ‘country’ music.
it’s quite the same as with Blues music.

starfrosch: how would you describe your style of music now?

sandro: on the beginning it always was ‘bastard speed country’. now it’s more like Rock’n’Roll, Americana or Rockabilly.
the problem is the perception of the audience. in switzerland the use of the word Country is working well now. in other countries we sometimes change the names a bit to not let the clichรฉ machine start in peoples minds…

: what about ‘kraut country?’…

sandro: there are many ways…

starfrosch: and, what about the possibility of living of your own music?

sandro: since 7 years i do! the liberty is f… great! you just have to modify your lifestyle, but most of that is even lifting your quality of life principally. ‘less tune, more life’ – in a way.