Bob Ezrin GEMS speech

Video 6 – transcription

[Note: If you like to improve your english, you can watch the video on the right and read along simultaneously. If you're German, you may want to check out the German translation. Von dieser Rede gibt es eine deutsche Übersetzung.]

Male audience member: What's your favorite former amateur, what's your favorite song of now.

Bob Ezrin: Right now, right this exact minute, The Decemberists and 'All Hail the Infanta'. And I don't know why, it's one of the wackiest records on the air, it's just … it's insane, but …. Does anybody know that band? Has anybody even heard of them, The Decemberists? Yeah, you know who they are, right? And this one song, it's like, “What?! What are they talking about?” and it really is a song about the Infanta, you know, the Virgin Princess. And it's very medieval and kind of crazy. That's a great song.

Male audience member: What's your second favorite? [laughter]

Bob Ezrin: Well, I love … I mean, it's kind of a little old news right now, but I love 'Finding Out That True Love Is Blind,' the Louis the XIV song. Do you guys like that song? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Male audience member: No.

Bob Ezrin: No...

Male audience member: How about 'Rock Around The Clock'?

Bob Ezrin: What's that?

Male audience member: How about 'Rock Around The Clock'?

Bob Ezrin: No, you said, but, of today, right now. I love 'Rock Around The Clock.'

Male audience member: [unclear] weirdness?

Bob Ezrin: Ah, well, I make it, you know, I make it my business to listen and find … go out and, you know, check … here's a place to go, , which is the new repository of cool. Forget Rolling Stone, forget MTV, any of that junk. They're all corporate, and it's bullshit. But Pitchforkmedia is by amateurs, lovers of the form, and they're great. And I go to HHDX, you know Hip Hop DX, and … I mean I go everywhere. I just go, sort of, all the underground kinda cool sites. And just … I mean, I don't sit there for hours and hours and hours, it's just at the beginning of the day do a quick walk through, you know, what's cool right now. And also, do you guys all use … do you use Google, or Yahoo, or any of these other things? You can get news alerts, right, that you can put keywords into. So, I do put key words into, like you know, some of the cool names and some of the cool indie labels, just to sort of keep abreast of what they are doing.

Male audience member: [unclear] Mephistopheles? [unclear]

Bob Ezrin: Ah, very funny. Haha. Humor, yes.

Female audience member: What are your favorite cool indie labels?

Bob Ezrin: My favorite cool indie label?

Female audience member: Yeah.

Bob Ezrin: Um, well I gotta say right now, because of … I'll tell you my favorite band, but not necessarily my favorite song, where the guy was asking my favorite song right now, is 'Arcade Fire.' And my favorite label is Merge because of that, just now. But there's lots them. There's lots of very cool … Kill Rock Stars is a great label, there's just lots of really cool little labels that are, you know … and they are amateurs. If you talk to these people, they really are … they're just passionate about music, they live above the store, they're selling records out of the back seat of their cars and stuff. These are the kinds of people that I love.

Male audience member: You should look at Acefu, also.

Male audience member: What is it?

Male audience member: Acefu.

Bob Ezrin: Yeah.

Male audience member: They do

Male audience member: Ace who?

Female audience member: A-C-E-F-U.

Male audience member:

Male audience member: They do, they do Pinback, I guess. And then they do band [unclear]

Bob Ezrin: Somebody back there, yes?

Female audience member: Yes, hi, my name is Valerie.

Bob Ezrin: Hi Valerie.

Valerie: And thank you for being here. I just wondered if you had any information or statistics about the number of people, I guess in our country, who still do not yet have access to online technology, that you know, they're not able to download music yet? Do you have any knowledge of that at all … ?

Bob Ezrin: Well, I mean, you probably already know that the predominance of high speed connection is in the affluent white community in this country, right? And that … but there are cities that, for example, the city of Philadelphia is going to wire itself, on it's own expense … create wireless, rather. It's going to, yeah, it's going to wifi itself, the whole city …

Male audience member: It's free.

Bob Ezrin:… at it's own expense. No, it's like …

Male audience member: It's free, though, right?

Bob Ezrin: It's subsidized, it's not free, but it's cheap. It's like $10 a month, or something like that, and I believe that if you're below a certain income level, you don't have to pay, you can just use it. And I think that's going to start a new trend. But, there is a divide, there's a digital divide, there's a socio-economic divide, in everything. It's not just about about, you know, it's not just about digital technology or downloading, the whole education system is skewed to the wealthy. Skewed to the wealthy, skewed to the middle class and the wealthy. What's happening in our inner city schools is unconscionable. No Child Left Behind … sorry, excuse me, Every Child Left Behind. Yes? [applause]

Female audience member: [unclear]

Bob Ezrin: Political music?

Female audience member: There was a market for it 10 years ago, but now …

Bob Ezrin: Well, let's not talk about market. Why do we care about a market?

Female audience member: Well, I'm just saying …

Bob Ezrin: You know, but are there people …

Female audience member: but now [unclear]

Bob Ezrin: Sure, and I think that you have a great technology at your disposal to help you to disseminate that, you know. And the best thing, as I was saying before, get your friends, and have them get their friends, and get their friends, and the next thing you know …. I mean, have you ever started like a chain letter? It can just go like wildfire! So why not start a chain song, you know. “Here.”

Female audience member: … send it through emails …

Bob Ezrin: No kidding. Make a song, stick it out there. Am I done, am I out of time?

Female audience member: Five minutes.

Bob Ezrin: Five minutes. Yes?

Male audience member: Speaking of chain mail, [unclear] like Myspace or [unclear] people who interact with their environment and share music …

Bob Ezrin: Yeah.

Male audience member: [unclear]

Bob Ezrin: Can everybody hear that, what he's saying?

Audience members: [chorus] No.

Bob Ezrin: Okay, he's talking about Myspace … and other shared spaces on … communities, online communities. Which are places where people go and they share things, and they … those are great places to go and share your music. And I think if you go into Google, or any of those other things, and you input keywords, you know, 'share' 'community' 'online', you'll find all kinds of interesting and great stuff. And if you're not into the digital side of the world, there's still a dirt world out there, believe it or not. And you can just go to your local mom and pop … like, here's what I want to do.

I was going to take over this little independent company, and … it didn't happen, but I will at some point in the very near future either create or take over an independent music company. I want to do a music company, I don't want a record company. I want a company that's in the music world. I don't even want anything that's in the music business, I want it to be in the music universe. So … I don't even like the word company, but you sort of have to be that for tax purposes. But, anyway, I'm going to get a little music organization that's going to be about development and dissemination of good music, and one of the things that I was going to do was do a tour … I'm going to do it in Canada, by the way … and I was going to do a tour … Canadian? Yeah! OK! So I was going to do a tour of every university town, and go to the … every university town has the cool record store, just off campus. You can bank on it. Every town in America, and that doesn't matter what socio-economic stratum you're talking about, if there's a school where there's a lot of kids, right next door there's a cool record store.

And that's where they go to find out about new things going on and stuff, so that's where you go if you want to just be in the dirt world. You go there, and you become friendly with those people. And you get them to know you, and you offer to play there. Say, “Look, I'll play for nothing,” you know, “let me show up on a Thursday night, and do a couple of numbers here. If you like it, I'll keep coming back. And in the meanwhile, all I ask of you is just to let me hand out my card,” or whatever. These are other ways of getting other people to hear your things. Yes?

Male audience member: I am going exist in this society, right? I'm going to wake up tomorrow in America. And I am going to make music that's good and great, and compete with my friends, and fight to make music, and keep battling with myself until I one day I come up with something and I'm like, “Damn, that was good....”

Bob Ezrin: Right.

Male audience member: So why not take advantage of all the new media that is there in the industry, and why not take advantage of the industry, and put what I have out into it, as opposed to just, like, doing what you said … like keep doing what I'm doing, and passing it to my friends. I feel like there's …..

Bob Ezrin: No no, that's not keep … that's the beginning. That's how you begin. You pass it to your friends, who pass it to their friends, and you develop what's called fans. And it's amazing, when you have fans, what starts to happen. They will find you. They will find you, the people that you're talking about. And you will have fans and people behind you. You'll have like your own little army. What's your name?

Male audience member: Jay [unclear]

Bob Ezrin: It'll be the J-Army. [laughter] People standing … you'll be standing there like this, “Yeah, motherfucker? Me and my posse here want to know exactly what you'd like of me, and what you're willing to give me for this stuff that you've discovered that I've done on my own.” Do you understand what I'm saying?

Male audience member: I understand exactly what you're saying.

Bob Ezrin: So, it's about the music, and it's about getting people to love it. It will find it's way into a free market. Yes, you're in America. Thank God. That's why you've got a shot. Right?

Male audience member: Yeah.
Male audience member: Amen.

Bob Ezrin: Okay, that's it.

Male audience member: By the way, what you just said about XM and everything where people might be going, you said [indecipherable]

Bob Ezrin: Oh, great. Yeah. [laughter] See, the next session is on-demand, and I set it up perfectly. Thank you very much.
[End of the speech.]

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Keep on rockin'! Buttrock

Sign Nils
Berlin, 03 August 2009