Former Austin musician, Nick Garza (of former Austin band Damesviolet), has created a vital tool for local/independant artists and musicians called www.eye-rock.com. Nick Garza explains in a recent interview.
Austin Music Examiner: What’s the history behind Eye-Rock?
Nick Garza: I was in a band called Damesviolet for about 4 years. We toured extensively through Texas, and also through all the towns from Austin to Los Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York City and back. Every town we would play a show, and try to sell merch, more specifically albums. We would always have several people that would ask if they could buy our album for $4, or $5. We had an independent record label that we owed money to, and could only sell the album for strictly $10. This resulted in losing an album sale, and possibly a fan. I kept thinking that it would be nice if there was a way to sell them individual songs or singles from the album. In that situation the fan could still go home with some music, and we wouldn’t have lost a sale or album. This is somewhat how the idea for Eye-Rock began. I started working on it in April 2007, and finally had everything completed in September of 2008.
Austin Music Examiner: Explain a little bit about the concept behind Eye-Rock, and how it’s designed to help both local, indie bands/artists and their fans at the same time.
Nick Garza: The concept of Eye-Rock is for fans to be able to find, listen, and purchase music from some of their favorite artists or to redeem a download card that they obtained from an artist. The concept for Artists, bands and record labels is to have another promotional tool and outlet to sell their product online or offline. Bands, artists and record labels can sell their music online with their own eye-rock.com profile, mp3 store and URL. They can set their own prices for songs and albums. They can create andpurchase custom download cards to sell their music at shows or use as promotion. We are currently working on updating www.eye-rock.com to include more features for artists labels and fans. Some of these will include, easier log in with facebook connectivity, user rating, comments, download reporting and tracking for artists.
Austin Music Examiner: Eye-Rock offers two kinds of cards: Album cards and single-song cards. What are these, and how does one obtain one of these cards?
Nick Garza: The download cards are an alternative to purchasing music on a cd. They are the size of a regular business card, so that they fit in your purse, wallet or pocket easily. Both types of download cards have the artists name, download code and instructions to redeem the card and download music off of eye-rock.com. Artists and labels purchase the download cards through their online account on eye-rock.com. It is somewhat like getting a cd pressed, just cheaper. They can use them to sell at their shows or use as promotion. The Album cards come with the album title, artist name, artwork, download code for the full length album and instructions to redeem the code. The Single Song Cards are valid for one song in the artists catalog. They have one line of custom text that can be used as a flyer for an upcoming show or included in a cd as a secret song that’s not on the cd. Right now fans can only get download cards from bands that use them. Even if they don’t use the download cards, they might be on eye-rock.com. Occasionally we pass out free download cards at big events around town, or leave some in local stores and clubs. Feel free to take some if you see them around town.
Austin Music Examiner: How are these cards and the site connected with being environmentally friendly? Being environmentally responsible has always been important to me personally.
Nick Garza: For Eye Rock Inc. we currently use a hosting company called Pair networks that has a zero carbon footprint. More info can be found about Pair networks here. www.pair.com/environmental_policy/
Previously we used a company here in Austin called Onramp, and their servers were powered with green renewable energy.
At Eye Rock Inc, we try and use as many recycled products as possible, as well as recycling ink cartridges, and scraps from cutting out the download cards.
Our Download cards are made of biodegradable and recyclable materials. Some of them are made from a 100% post consumer recycled card stock that was produced in a factory powered by windmill power.
Austin Music Examiner: What styles of music and bands can be found on eye-rock? Are they solely local, Austin acts?
Nick Garza: On eye-rock.com you can find numerous styles of music. We have mostly rock music, singer songwriter, alternative country some hip hop and even some kids music. Right now most of the bands are from Austin, some from California, New York, and Nashville. One of our updates will be to add more genres for artists to classify their music. Hopefully www.eye-rock.com will keep growing, and have more artists, labels, music and fans.
You can find Austin artists such as Alpha Rev, The Soldier Thread, Mothers Anthem, former bands Damesviolet and The Ars Supernova, Sounds Under Radio, Johnny Goudie and the Little Champions, and Love at War on Eye-Rock. If you would like to visit this site, and check out these bands and more, head on over to www.eye-rock.com and support the local Austin music scene.