Wake Up Call For Those Who Said It Couldn’t Be Done: Fisher Proves
by Debbie Sealge
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internet music community, as it struggles through its infancy and develops
into its adolescence, has seen its share of controversy and continues to
struggle for a respected place in the music industry. The fact remains
that the cyber world - the Rocknworld – is growing and changing as it opens
up doors to bring music lovers (and purchasers) closer to music makers.
Unlike print publications, when you read about a new band, or even a classic
favorite on the internet, you can also hear the music, see the musicians
and interact with them and your fellow fans. So, when I heard about
the Fisher success story, it was no surprise to me. It just
confirmed what I already knew about the power of the Rocknworld and the
perseverance and dedication of talented musicians. Its an unbeatable
Fisher is, perhaps, the first band
to gain a fan base and get radio air play solely based on their presence
on the internet. Without even having a record deal, or a full length
CD, this hard working duo of Kathy Fisher and Ron Wasserman got wise to
the opportunities on the internet and put it to work for them. Placing
songs on MP3’s website, their song “I Will Love You,” a classic piano love
ballad, became the most downloaded song on the site with over 2 million
downloads. It caught the attention of an afternoon drive DJ in Southern
California, who downloaded the song and played it one afternoon on a hunch.
The result was amazing. The radio station was flooded with questions
about the song and requests for more air play. That was a turning
point for Fisher, an artistic pop band who’s style is sexy and soulful.
There were fans clamoring for a CD, but there was none. Enter Farmclub/Interscope,
who recognized the star potential behind this act and inked a deal for
their first major label CD, “True North.” Due out originally
in the beginning of 2001, the production was stepped up and the CD was
released in November of 2000 to meet the tremendous
demand. Presto, the first recorded internet music success story!
Sounds easy, huh? Not so! Don’t you know that nothing in the
music business is that easy? I knew you would want the inside scoop
on this victory we can all take a little pride in, so I arranged to meet
up with Fisher after their appearance at a holiday charity concert. I think
you’ll enjoy the insight into this musical couple’s journeys on the road
to your attention . . .
(Debbie Seagle for)
One of the things that Rocknworld really was founded on was the premise
that more people need to be able to discover new talent and new bands.
So while we do cover some really established bands and do interview with
them, what we really like doing is introducing our viewers to new talent.
Kathy Fisher: God bless ya!
But, a lot of times we have a problem covering acts as a dotcom, because
a lot of times record labels or radio stations will just say “No dotcoms,
only print publications.”
Ron Wasserman: “We don’t want
any more advertising! Don’t help us!”
KF: “Don’t help us promote
our act! Go away!”
RW: Well we run into some
amazing barriers ourselves. I’ll give you one quick example.
Kathy did the commercials for Verizon (wireless phone service). To
the point of where so many called in, because the commercial ran for, like
a year, that they had to hand out little scripts to 8,000 service reps.
Which we didn’t believe, so we tried it, cause I’m on Verizon. So
I dial “611” and I say “That girl who’s in your commercials . . .”
and they say (in a very rehearsed tone) “Why, that is Kathy Fisher
and you can get more . . .” and they give the web site. Yet, we tried
to contact Verizon and said can we please put up the 30 second spot of
the song? Its written by Felix Cavalera . . . “People Everywhere
Just Want To Be Free.” And we said can we please just put the song
up and we’ll say it’s from the Verizon commercial cause people want to
download it. “NO.” We get 200,000 hits a month. “NO.”
So you just shake your head.
Photos by Debbie Seagle.
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