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Articles Home » Interviews » Bonrud, Paul - 2004 Interview 03
Bonrud, Paul - 2004 Interview 03

INTERVIEW: Paul Bonrud - Part Three (Sept 2004)

Previously from Part Two.. 'I have quite a few guitars so I often use those to change my sound from song to song. I typically use my PRS Custom 22 but I also have a '78 Les Paul Deluxe, a couple Stratocasters, a custom made guitar with EMG humbuckers, and a really nice G&L ASAT Classic Telecaster that Keith gave me. The Tele is really cool because it was signed by Leo Fender and it sounds amazing. This was one of Keith's favourite studio guitars at his Goodnight LA Studio. I use effects in the studio since it's easier to control the overall sound. I have dbx compressors, Lexicon reverbs, and TC Electonic effects. The Line 6 stuff is pretty good too. I really like their Echo Pro rack unit. As you can tell from my list of guitars, I'm primarily a humbucker guy but the single coils do have their place. My first guitar was my black '87 American Standard Stratocaster which has been outfitted with a Seymour Duncan Little'59 humbucker in the bridge position.'

I've asked this question of many US based artists, and I'll ask Paul as well. What the hell is going on with US radio at the moment? Has the Clear Channel completely sabotaged the airwaves? And if so, what chance of the latest hard rock being played on radio? 'Radio is totally controlled and homogenized now' says Paul. 'There is no diversity on the airwaves in the US and we only hear what Clear Channel is paid to play. The record companies can't afford to promote all of their acts. I've heard that it takes between $250,000 to $400,000 to get a single promoted and played on all of the popular radio stations. Almost any song can be turned into a hit if there's enough money behind it.'

What about the smaller stations then? College Radio perhaps. Where do they fit in? 'There are independent promoters who will push your stuff to small independent radio stations in small niche markets but they simply don't have the impact that the Clear Channel stations have. It's dangerously close to being a monopoly. I swear that I can hear virtually the same morning show format in Seattle that I can hear in Texas. The DJ's names are different but the song selection is the same and many of the ads are produced the same. The Internet is the only hope for small artists like me to be heard though radio in Europe and Japan seems to be much better. My song 'Date With Destiny' just went to #11 in Japan and I'm being played on 15 stations in Germany. This past Tuesday I was featured for a whole hour on a radio station in Denmark and tomorrow night I will be featured on a radio station in Belgium. I also have lots of radio shows to tape next week. I'm very grateful that radio in Europe and Japan are giving me a chance to be heard' he says optimistically.

I suppose the other bug-bear for many artists at the moment is the issue of distribution, which ultimately leads to piracy. Seems to me that many Internet Citizens think that anything that is 'MP3' is a free-licence. You'll no doubt have an opinion on that too Paul? 'Do I ever!' he says. 'I financed the whole CD myself so I have a lot riding on the commercial success of my album. Some people seem to think that downloading MP3's only hurts big record companies. That couldn't be further from the truth. Nobody gets hurt worse than the artist. I just read a great quote from Aldo Nova who said that the artist is the first to get screwed and the last to get paid' and that is very true. I have risked everything making this CD and I need all of the support I can get from the music fans.'

I guess though, that there is no magic bullet, or blue/red pill.. for both the record label or the artist. Because if there was, someone would be doing well out of it? 'I truly am a very small artist and I'm just praying to break even which is actually very hard to do in this industry. Fans of the melodic rock genre really need to support the artists that produce this style of music if they want to hear new melodic rock in the future. This is a small, niche market and we don't sell millions of CD's. Very few artists will even sell 100,000 CD's. The fact is, most melodic rock artists sell less than 10,000 CD's these days and it's really hard for us to make a living much less break even. So every CD sale is a victory for a small independent artist.'

And on piracy? 'While piracy is a negative aspect of the Internet, I still think the Internet is a vastly positive tool for independent artists. It's a fantastic way to market music world-wide and keep fans up to date. It's also a great way for the artist to let people hear song SAMPLES (not full songs) so that people know what they sound like and can decide if they want to buy the CD. These are very positive aspects of the Internet. I would have a much harder time selling my music without the Internet so I'm grateful for the technology.'

What is the arrangement you have with Frontiers Paul? 'Frontiers has signed me for two CD's for Europe, Russia, and Asia. They worked a sub-licensing deal with Marquee Avalon in Japan. I paid for the production of the CD myself and they signed me on the basis of those recordings. I will have to pay for the production of the next CD myself as well. Frontiers handles the promotion, pressing, and distribution of my CD's in those territories. The rest of the world is open to me for selling the CD's independently through my website at Honestly, selling CD's directly through my web site benefits me the most so I hope many of your readers will go there to buy the CD directly. We'll have them for sale by the end of the month and will have them priced very reasonably.'

I suppose it's too late in the season now, but would you have considered playing live outside of the immediate P.Nthwst area? Even further afield if the opportunities came up? 'We'd love to do a small tour of Japan or Europe and I have discussed it with the guys. Keith thinks it's a great idea and is encouraging me to do so but it all boils down to how well the CD sells. If it sells well enough to make a tour financially viable, we'll do it. I would love to be able to get out there and play some live shows overseas. I've never been to Europe or Japan and I can't think of a better reason to go there than to rock for the fans!'

By the time this installment of Paul's interview is published, the album will already be on the market. Apart from GLORY-DAZE, there are a heap of other sites promoting the album which is great to see.. all saying great things too I might add. 'So far the reviews, radio, and magazine promotion have been great. I'm thrilled to say I have a #11 single in Japan right now so I am hopeful that the CD will sell well. I have great plans for the next CD but my music career all hinges on how well this first CD does. I really hope that many of the melodic rock fans will support me by buying my CD.'

I understand you already have a couple of tunes written ahead for a new album. How about any co-writes or collaborations with other like-minded artists? I'm sure you're association with Frontiers could open doors for you in Europe perhaps? 'I have quite a few songs that are currently in the writing phase. I'm hoping to be able to go into the studio by the end of the year and start laying down the basic tracks on four new songs in particular. Right now I'm so busy doing promotional work though that I've been neglecting my guitar. I've also been hired to play guitar on a couple other people's CDs and that will be happening over the next couple of months as well. It's always fun adapting to other people's musical styles. It's a great artistic challenge! In regard to co-writing, so far I'm writing these songs by myself but I have indeed thought about the possibility of collaborating with a few other artists that Frontiers has signed. Many of these people are idols from my youth so that would be quite an experience! For now though, I'm content to blaze my own artistic trail.'

Ok Paul, I think thats about it from me. Lovely to see you on the hard rock scene. We at GLORY-DAZE along with our readers wish you all the best with the impending album release, and your musical career beyond that. Regards.. George. 'Thanks again for taking the time to interview me George. I'd also like to thank all of the fans who are supporting my musical endeavors. You are the ones that make it possible for me to live my dreams! I can't thank you all enough!'

Interview written by: Glory Daze Editor Gdazegod, Sept 2004.

Related Articles:
Paul Bonrud - 2004 Interview 1
Paul Bonrud - 2004 Interview 2
Paul Bonrud - 2004 Interview 3
Bonrud - 2004 Bonrud

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