Arts, Culture & Media

Global hit

Here's an update on a Scottish band we've been following for a few years.

They're called "Amplifico".

The band's been trying to put out a debut album for a while now.

Along the way, they've relied on their internet-based fans to fund the album and help shape its sound.

The World's Clark Boyd says the album's finally ready.

It's called "See Heart... See Muscle" ....

and it's a far cry from when the band recorded tracks in a bedroom and released their CDs wrapped in brown paper.

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"Rough as a badger's bum."

That's how Amplifico described some of their early efforts.

The band's never shied away from just letting the tape roll, and throwing up the results on the internet.
One Amplifico track that started out like that was "The Comedy Stops Here."

The version that's made it onto "See Heart, See Muscle" is anything but rough.

The studio polish took time and money.

Time, Amplifico had.

Money, they did not.

So, without major label backing, Amplifico tapped into the power of the internet.

They raised money on-line to pay for studio time.

And even then, the past year has had its ups and downs.

I'll let the band's piano player and lead vocalist Donna Maciocia take the story from here.

Donna: "We ended up parting ways with our bassist, which was unfortunate -- so we had to redo all the bass. When we finished recording the album, we did all the album artwork and got this great photographer but then the entire photoshoot got stolen out of the back of his van. So we just kept hitting these stumbling blocks as we went.

At the moment, like the record industry is up in the air, and artists are having to go around completely different ways of making a living and getting exposure. We started reviewing all the different ways to release a record. Should we take it to a major label? Should we take it to an indie label, should we do it ourselves? We felt quite passionately about the fact that we'd started this from a grassroots level, we'd had people get involved, so let's see this through on our own.

We know that we're not this sort of one hit wonder...well, we haven't had a hit yet. And I think when we held the album in our hands, I designed all the artwork, and I'd hand drawn the whole thing, when it came back from the pressing plant, we all welled up with tears...and the fact that we'd done it ourselves made it even more special".

Amplifico's new album already has good buzz in Britain.

And the band is hoping to line up some gigs in Europe this summer.

But Donna Maciocia says what the band really wants...is to bring its live show over here.

Donna: When we look at the google statistics, analytics, most of our site hits are from the US, and lots of people who donated money to the album are from the states as well. So it might be a case that I come out on my own first, and do a little networking tour, because obviously it costs a lot of money...but I've been building up contacts, and I think I have places to stay now in Seattle, New York, Philadelphia and LA...so there you go.

Maciocia says the band also has enough new material to start work on a second album.

Here's hoping the next one doesn't take 2 1/2 years to finish.

For the World, this is Clark Boyd.

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