Jamie Ketchum/Cadence PR - Sound In The Signals Interview

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For those who aren’t familiar with KTC Publicity could you let our readers know what your company does and kind of what your goal is?

KTC is just me at the moment doing publicity work for bands that aren’t yet in the label race but are quickly approaching. Too many smaller artists out there don’t get the crucial press coverage they need in order to be recognized by the right people and to gain more listeners. I love working with smaller acts and helping them grow from the ground up. If I can be instrumental in helping them gain a leg up then I’ve done my job. Basically, if you come to me you’ll be getting as much media exposure as I can possibly work. My goal is to help the underdog in an industry that seems to only be looking for the next big thing. There is so much quality music out there that is just not being heard.

How do you choose the artists or companies that you are going to work with?

Some have been acts that I’ve had to chase down myself and others have been old friends or referrals. Bands I’ve worked with such as A Sequence of Ghosts and I Am Alpha and Omega have been amazing in referring my work to their friends. Some things I look for are organization, drive and personality. I’m a pretty laid back guy and I want to be able to talk with my artists frankly. Don’t get me wrong, this is a business, but its just nice to be able to get to know the artists as well, that way you can be at an advantage when it comes to marketing them. I would hope that the artist is serious about getting their name out there and therefore can work with me on what game plan is best for them. The acts I have worked with that were already friends or people I had worked with in the past are obviously my favorite. Also, I have to be a fan of the music. In my opinion, its really rough working with a band you’re not into because ultimately you won’t be putting in 100% and you won’t fully get their vision which you need to be able to convey to media outlets and potential labels.

To anyone interested in working with KTC Publicity what would be the best way for them to get you interested in their band?

Send me a good old fashion friendly email (KTCPublicity@gmail.com) and just say what’s up, shoot me a few songs or a download link and let me know what you’re looking for and what kind of budget you’re working with. I’m very flexible on payment when it’s a band I really truly believe in and think can do well.

You are also do some stuff for Hopecore Magazine, which is a really great magazine. How did your involvement with Hopecore come about and what types of stuff do you do for the magazine?

Thanks for asking! I’m the editor at Hopecore.com and I do a lot of interviews and reviews. Hopecore.com started a few years back as an online radio station. Jeremy Seick started it while we both attended college in Oregon. We became friends around the time he was starting up the station and we always talked about music and how much I loved to write about it. I was in school studying English Literature but spending most of my time going to shows, working with a local band and doing work with non profits like To Write Love On Her Arms and Faceless International. In the Spring of 2009 I moved to Boise, Idaho to join Seick to start up the magazine portion of Hopecore.com. I really love interviewing artists and getting to know the industry better through this outlet. Its also a great way to get better at publicity work, knowing what an outlet is looking for and how to deal with the back and forth communication.

You work with a lot of artists. What kind of advice would you give to new bands that are looking for exposure and trying to make it in the industry?

Besides hiring me? Ha ha. Well, its harder than ever to get exposure. Before worrying about what magazines you’ll get into, worry about your music. Too many acts today are getting everything finished before actually writing decent music or getting good recordings done. Don’t start to think about approaching labels or press when all you have is a MySpace and some rough demos. Sad to say, but people do not and will not take the time to listen to demos or poorly recorded tracks. Get as much done and as professionally as possible before you begin that process. Focus on perfecting your songs before all else.

As a publicist as well as your work with magazines you’ve gotten to work with a lot of cool people. What is one of your favorite projects you’ve been involved with and why?

It’d be really hard to choose one so I’ll mention a few. As far as press work goes, Bradley Hathaway’s EP this summer which was entitled A Thousand Angry Panthers, was by far one of my favorite projects because of who Bradley is. He’s one of the most laid back people you’ll ever talk to but behind that is some of the most soulful and painful lyrics you’ll ever hear. He’s become a friend and I’m very privileged to work for him. Its also been a huge blessing to work with my childhood punk rock hero, Mike Herrera of MxPx.

As far as interviews go, there have been a lot of memorable ones. Any time I get to interview people I’ve known for awhile or friends, that’s of course always a big plus, even though I tend to get more nervous with them. There’s a few people that I have the utmost respect for like the August Burns Red guys and Showbread, that I’ll cover and do anything to help out probably for the rest of their careers. One interview I did recently for Substream Music Press was with Saves the Day’s Chris Conley. Chris is a guy I’ve looked up to for years and it was great to just sit and chat with him. He’s one of the few truly honest songwriters still left out there. He’s always done things his way and I think that’s respectable.

I know you work with a lot of bands that are affiliated with Come&Live! I was reading on the ap.net forum the other day about a Come&Live! band trying to raise funds to record their album. Some of the forum members said Come&Live! was probably a scam and there was no way to prove where the money went. I was wondering if you could kind of let those people who are questioning Come&Live! know what that label is about as far as what you’ve experienced in dealing with them?

Come and Live! is definitely not a scam. It can be confusing to understand at first but having seen the hearts behind the organization, I can honestly say it’s a one of a kind thing. Chad Johnson, who started C&L! is responsible for discovering or developing most of the big names in alternative music today. In a nutshell, C&L’s bands are missionaries who work to release their art for free (www.comeandlive.com). You can download so many good artists there for whatever price you choose! All of my dealings with Chad and other C&L bands has been nothing but pleasant. I recently did press work for one of their newest additions, Abel. Its great helping out and seeing it grow. I recall meeting Chad for the first time in late 2008 just as he was in the beginning stages of Come and Live! Its amazing seeing how far its come and continuing to watch it grow into a great ministry. Some C&L bands have to raise funds using Kickstarter in order to record their next record. Kickstarter has really turned the process on its ear. Its essentially the band saying to their fans “Okay, you’ve supported us so far by buying merch and coming to shows. If you really want us to continue then you’ll help us out now”. Its truly made by the fans.

What is one thing you really like in the music industry right now? What is one thing you don’t like and why?

Something I really like? Wow, that’s actually pretty tough. I like that a lot of musicians are just going DIY. Labels are becoming less and less necessary to some acts and I think that’s awesome. I get tired of hearing the horror stories of how a label didn’t deliver what they promised or just that they aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be. Bands that just hit the road, have good music, make enough scratch to make it to the next venue, that’s what I like. I’m not saying all labels are awful but they have to do something to step up their game or else bands will begin to form a united front to do things on their own terms.

I don’t like that there seems to be an influx of mediocre bands getting signed. It makes me feel like labels are getting a little lazy (as stated above) and they are just signing based on the look or live show and not really thinking long term and quality. I work with a band out of Portland called Fallstar and they are by far one of best kept secrets in heavy music right now.

I guess that about wraps it up man. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have any closing comments you’d like to make?

Thank you for being interested. Its an amazing blessing to be able to do this job and be able to provide (hopefully) influential words to fans and help to the bands I love. God bless.

Email me KTCPublicity@gmail.com for all press inquiries.

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