ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Tallman: a virtual success
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Tallman: a virtual success
By Myles DeRosse
Gazette File Photo
It's no secret the current "nu-metal" scene is watered down with carbon copy mediocre bands and, similarly, record companies are out to capitalize on the new fad by making "heavy" bands marketable.
Tallman, a Toronto metal outfit, is making sure they don't fall into that trap.
"We've always ran things independently. We've now started a production [and] record company," says frontman Jay Toner. "We create the best music we can do when left to our own resources."
Just because Tallman use their own resources doesn't mean they are a low budget Indie band.
Their powerful sound and energetic live show led the band to producer Sylvia Massy Shivy (Tool, Deftones). "Sylvia took our project because she liked the tunes," Toner explains. "It's cool we attracted those ears."
Tallman's new album,
Mechanism, is set to be released in the new year and is almost guaranteed a good reception. In the last few years, Tallman has generated a huge underground fanbase across North America by means of the Internet.
"We've done it by keeping in touch with people on the Internet that's important," Toner says.
Tallman frequently sends out newsletters to fans and with the buzz surrounding the band, they managed to have two songs climb to number one on Mp3.com.
In the post-Napster era where a great divide exists throughout the music industry over the morality of digital music Tallman takes the side of the fans.
"I think [the Internet] is great, I love the Internet for checking out new bands. It gives you a chance to see bands and check out their [web]site," Toner says. "As a music fan, if I hear something on the net and like two or more songs, I'll go buy the record."
Toner also thinks the Internet is forcing music to progress by creating a level playing field for all bands, where the fans can choose exactly what they want. "It's a test of artists, its going to force artists to put out better whole albums, not just have one or two songs," Toner explains.
"The Internet puts everybody in the same pool. It puts Indie bands in the same pool as multi-million dollar record company projects." Toner continues. "A band can just put out good music and get popular the old-fashioned way when big bands were actually talented.
"Tool and Nine Inch Nails are the frontrunners of [talent-based] music and they still have their integrity intact and still regard music as an art form." he says. "If you are going to look for bands to inspire you, its best to look at the top."
When asked about the pressure of being compared to such great bands, he downplays any similarities. "I think when a band first comes out, everybody is looking to compare them to someone they are familiar with, but we don't strive to be them. We strive to be our own band and write our own songs," he says.
"We create songs we like to listen to. It's fun doing it and pulling it off. At the end of the day, when we are done, it's great to have something you can sit back and look at and think 'Wow, I really enjoy that,'" he says.
"Then it's just crossing your fingers and hoping other people feel the same way."