Q&A With Almark
Musician of Electronic/Abstract music, audio engineer, RPG lover.
Founder of WEATNU
We Are The New Underground
Q. Hi Almark, when did it all begin for WEATNU?
A. Hey there, well it started long before it began. The idea was put into effect Late July, mid August 2014.
Q. What made you want to start the WEATNU movement?
A. I started releasing my music to the Internet in 2010. During that time I noticed how extremely difficult it was for musicians to be heard. This was mostly true for people who write the type of electronic I do. Abstract Electronic which isn't even a genre, it's just a mode I put myself in. There are many artists who come from a niche genre, or not popular, not trendy. They needed to be heard. During 2014 it seemed as if all you ever heard of was EDM everything, and electronic is so much more than 3 letters. There were different groups during that time helping indie artists but nothing was really creating an impact and letting them be heard daily around the clock. I wanted to make something that would create waves. Something that would put all these groups together to form a network of indie supporters. Affliates joining #WEATNU etc. Artists deserve to be heard, this is good music and they work hard to find new fans, I starting noticing this in 2012 from a lot of electronic artists I would met through twitter. WEATNU helps them with that.
Q. WEATNU has branched out in to all different formats, would you like to tell us about them?
A. radio, label and magazine. You mean the styles of music? There are so many, first off we have the electronic avant-garde styles, mainly on WEATNU [OUR] Online Underground Radio. These include everything from synthwave to post-punk, ambient, experimental, DnB, IDM, glitch, electronica, electropop, dreampop and so on. [OUR] is parked at an even atmosphere while the other stations, EchoStation [formed on NYE 2015] is mainly underground dance music, deep house, electronica and so on. Then you have Transmission Nova our shoegaze station, which plays indie rock, indie pop, brit noise rock, psychedelic rock and so on. WEATNU takes in all the underground electronic styles it seems. We even play vaporwave.
Q. How many artists do you have on the WEATNU record label and where can their music be purchased?
A. Roughly.. the last time I looked around 80+ at one time I had over 100 but a lot of them melted from sight – laughs. Check here. Check our massive 'name your price' album 'WEATNU Records Year One' - WEATNU Artists - all can be found on WEATNU Bandcamp and links below
Q. How does an artist get recognized by WEATNU?
A. They come to us, I use to scout for them but when you have a beacon shining from a distance, people notice its light. So they contact our twitter account or send email via weatnu.com 'join' which leads to firstname.lastname@example.org From there we talk and they tell me they need a place to join to get their music heard, I then evaluate the music and we go from there. The process is getting the music up to [OUR] or one of our 3 stations. It's pretty easy after that. The artist is then announced via WEATNU twitter #WEATNU New artist: artist name and their music etc. Then I click month they joined in list on twitter and add them to the official WEATNU artist list. https://twitter.com/weatnu/lists/weatnu-official-list/membersc
Q. A lot of the releases by WEATNU are on digital download, do you plan to release on other formats or has that process already began?
A. We started releasing CDs in April and have so far released three artists on CD, Jazzykat and Belial Pelegrim, the latest being the new album 'Tipping Point' by Vague Notion. (click the artwork below to purchase). Later I plan to do USB, Tape, and finally with the funds Vinyl. For now it's all short runs.
Q. How is WEATNU funded?
A. From the beginning people have donated and those donations help keep WEATNU running. They pay for website server, radio service, mixlr, bandcamp for labels (in the past) and anything else that WEATNU needs to grow. The artists and fans send donations per month. Lately i've made it easier by giving them mobile payment through paypal. Instead of click a link to get to said paypal account. It is here. https://www.paypal.me/WEATNU/
Q. Is it true you run this whole project yourself, if so, you must have 48 hours in a day because it must take up your whole day?
A. It is true, when you do something this important you have to rely on yourself, and it use to be much more difficult when I was building up the hype and all of WEATNU during 2014 and 2015. Now it's just backlog of stuff that didn't get done in 2015. I no longer have to push the idea of #WEATNU to people, they tell others by word of mouth about us. In fact blogs who support our artists are speaking about WEATNU Records, and I'm sure that is helping. Once you get past all the backlog and demands it's pretty easy. But now I have responsibilies to send actual music to fans when they buy by mail. Sales have been decent in that regard. Thankfully during 2015 we had Roofy who was a star promoter of WEATNU including CJ, now DJ CJ does her Radio Coolio and that helps bring attention to artists.
Q. You are also a musician as well being the founder of WEATNU, how do you find time to write music?
A. About my music, just lately I have finally had time to fully devote to the next album. It was good timing if you think about the latest EP that is leading up to the album 'The Scheme of Things' was released about 5 months ago. I didn't have an ounce of time in 2015 to work on music. Just ask some people who are close to me in WEATNU, they will tell you I wasn't very fun to be around at times, musicians need to write music or we get cranky – laughs.
Q. Would you like to tell us about any of your current releases or future plans?
A. At this time I'm working on releasing a new single called 'Aura' which is part of 'The Scheme of Things' I'm looking forward to getting it out there, but it takes time, trying to balance all the backlog. Not to metion I'm consolidating a bunch of my old data into blu-rays. Trying to get everything organized. I'm working to release a video to 'Aura' and A-Test. -ATD- the last album from 2014 will be re-released to CD this year. Also 'The Scheme of Things' will be on CD as well. My final plans are to get some of my music on vinyl.
Q. WEATNU promotes the underground electronic scene but I've read you plan to bring in other genres?
A. Yes, I've been thinking of an idea to bring in the underground hip-hop arena. You have to be careful because if you do you bring in things that would cripple, not help the movement. My idea is to seek out soulful, jazz-related or oldschool styles. Think (DJ Shadow) DJ beat scenes. Raw and pure stuff, stuff that makes you feel good. We already promote instrumental hip-hop, one such artist is Robot Speaker , and he's from Japan. Also with WEATNU Records.
Q. What frustrates you about the music industry for independant artists?
A. They don't bother to look for new fresh artists. It seems as if they are in a rut and discovery of something new is out of the question. Indie has lost its meaning. If you send music to one outlet, they ignore you and go for the 'trendy' artist instead. Niche music for the most part is ignored... Bloggers are especially at fault. If it isn't ear friendly to the masses, it is dismissed. Think Pitchfolk..
Q. How do music listeners become involved with WEATNU?
A. Simply by listening to our radio, come to our twitter page and look around. Check out our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/weatnu/ It's like a record store with words. Twitter.com/weatnu is how you begin. Look for weatnu records artists on bandcamp and weatnu.com
Q. As you know Revival Synth supports all your efforts as much as it can and you support ours and I appreciate that. Do you like me, sometimes feel you are banging your head against a wall?
A. Yes, I have given up a million times. WEATNU is undead :D
Thanks Almark and I wish you the best of luck with everything you do with WEATNU and also everything in your personal life. Would you like to add anything?
A.Thank you Andy, for the most part be the musician that you are and don't let anyone change you. Music is your life, you deserve to be heard, even if the music isn't amazing sounding to others, it is to you.
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