Pomplamoose On Making A Career While Making Music They Like

from the nicely-done dept

We've written a few times about the band Pomplamoose, who has become something of an internet sensation, but the bigger part to us (not surprisingly) was the fact that they had turned their success (mainly on YouTube) into a sustainable business model as well. Hypebot points us to a fun video interview with Jack Conte and Natalie Dawn, who make up the band, going into a bit more detail and noting that their goal is to have a sustainable business for as long as possible while making music they love without others telling them what they "have" to do:
It's difficult to think of a better, more succinct summary of what's so great about what technology allows in the music industry today. The old gatekeepers are no longer gatekeepers, and the real opportunity is in the platforms that enable others to avoid the gatekeepers, who would have kept them out in the past. Pomplamoose is a perfect example of this... even if they admit in the video that they have no hardline internet connection where they live and do all of their internet work with a 3G wireless setup (though, I do wonder how they get around the typical 5gig/month limits on most 3G connections).


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  1.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:40am

    Very charming people.

    Very insightful folks.

    They made me feel much better and more confident about my own fledgling musical endeavors.

    I wish them well.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 4:54am

    They almost make the mistake of admitting that the art is second place, they joke about it, but they really are just trying to keep a job that they like, rather than having to 9 to 5 it. It isn't music for the sake of music, it's music for the sake of not having to work hard.

    In a lot of ways they remind me of Kevin Smith, media whores first, business people second, and artists a distant third.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Where are the people saying other are not making money giving away their products for free?

     

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  4.  
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    AR (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    Their Hyundai Christmas commercials were on TV for most of December where Im at. At the time it did peak my curiosity so I did a search to see who they were. I guess that was part their plan all along. It works.

     

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  5.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Re:

    It isn't music for the sake of music...

    Yeah, Like Britney Spears or...

    Oh, wait.

     

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  6.  
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    Jason, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    You haven't watched or listened to even 3 seconds of their music, have you? They may enjoy what they do, but your suggestion that they don't work hard...is a flaming pile of poo.

    You do know they write their own arrangments for covers, write their own songs, record each instrument raw(sometimes a dozen or more in one song) and record each vocal raw, right?

    "I guess I kinda don't like how there's such a pedestal for music culture and especially for band culture, it just feels fake; it feels like smoke and mirrors. I feel like music doesn't have to be like that. It can be something that's very normal and very accessible." óJack Conte

    Media whores? Whatever.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re:

    For someone who likes music, music in and of itself is not hard work. What is hard work is making music to someone else's expectations other than your own.

    Their goal is to avoid hard work and to make a living at it. They enjoy the process, more power to them. More importantly, the goal is to make a living, not to make the greatest music ever. That's okay, they are a great example of modern times.

    More power to them,let's just hope the whole music world doesn't turn into this.

     

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  8.  
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    teka (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    in other words,"Yes, but these are not Real musicians, so any success they have does not count"

    This one goes right up there on the wall next to "This only works for small bands" and "this only works for large bands".

    I also enjoy the back-handed compliments of..
    "For someone who likes music, music in and of itself is not hard work."

    "That's okay, they are a great example of modern times."

    "More power to them,let's just hope the whole music world doesn't turn into this.".

    It is like a condescending head-pat from some great authority figure before waggling their finger from on high.

     

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  9.  
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    James, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Pomp.

    What is interesting is how cover song bands are big on youtube.com.

    This band's original music is not very good.

    Do they have to pay big star artists a fee to cover their songs?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You got that wrong. They are real musicians, and they are really talented. But their goal isn't to be great musicians, their goal is to make a living. They aren't there specifically for the art and the money will follow, they are there for the money and the art will follow.

    If anything, it is everything that people here try to pin on the label system.

    As for backhanded compliments, you got that all wrong too. For people who love music, music isn't hard work. All the hours put in is for something they love, not something they hate. They aren't filling in TPS forms and arguing with a printer than never works right, they are doing what they love, what they would choose to do with they were entirely free of any responsiblity in life. It may appear as a lot of work, but if they really love music, it isn't work at all.

    Finally, "More power to them,let's just hope the whole music world doesn't turn into this.". is my personal opinion. I hope the music industry doesn't degrade down to this level, because their music isn't seemingly as important as their too cool for school 3G lifeverse and quest for a paycheck from it.

     

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  11.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    For someone who likes music, music in and of itself is not hard work. What is hard work is making music to someone else's expectations other than your own.†
    [... snip ..]
    More power to them,let's just hope the whole music world doesn't turn into this.

    holy crap, but that's prolly the funniest thing i've ever read on here. †it's like you're praying that art goes away to be replaced by corporate jingles.

    seriously. †i almost blew coffee out my nose laughing when i read that.

    m3mnoch.

    p.s. †tears! †i'm laughing at you so hard i have TEARS!!!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Degrade? Too late.

     

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  13.  
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    bob, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Pomp.

    Royalties? Perhaps they do. But I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. That would be uncool.

     

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  14.  
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    JeffR, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Pomp.

    Counter-examples to your assertion that their original music is "not very good":

    -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il-OFaFzHQM
    -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uolz7V12evc
    -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9KMgg7T_sg

    See also Gulf by Jack, without Natalie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBUUOJpFg9Y

     

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  15.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But their goal isn't to be great musicians, their goal is to make a living. They aren't there specifically for the art and the money will follow, they are there for the money and the art will follow."

    Wow...please tell me you aren't one of those people who attacks CC-licensed musicians as "amateurs" and lionizes "professional content" instead? Because if so, that would make you a pretty serious hypocrite.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nope, I judge musicians by their musicianship and to some extent why they are doing it. I like the dedicated ones, the ones who are doing it because they love music first, and everything else second. Think of someone like a Bruce Springsteen who loves the music so much you almost have to pry him off stage, he enjoys that part so much.

    These two may or may not be talented musicians, they are obviously capable of playing many instruments, which makes them talented in that way, I guess. But it would appear that they are allowing the money angle drive their art, making decisions based on making a living rather than the art itself.

    Making money doesn't make them great musicians, it makes them perhaps business people who play instruments.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, considering they are doing it for the money, are they not really the jingle players?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Pomp.

    Having gotten a deeper understanding of them, I can say they a pretentious "artistes" with plenty of technical talent but not really much going on. I cannot imagine people wanting to listen to this stuff for very long. It is self indulgent to the point of being self-defeating.

     

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  19.  
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    Michael, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Pomplamoose ... Now known in Australia ... by this Techdirt Article

    & we think Pomplamoose is great, but is it Australia or me that is the last to know?

     

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  20.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Worst band ever?

    Ha ha, the first time I heard of this band is when I read a bunch of posts on Facebook from people who violently hated their Christmas commercials.

    Many of my friends didn't even think they were a real band. They thought some suit from marketing had visited Portland once, and hired whoever he saw on the street to act like musicians.

    They've been called "hipsters," but they're not even up to that. Hipsters, at least, are over-the-top annoying, so you can laugh at them (think Ear Pwr). Pomplamoose is aggressively mediocre. Their music is as vacuous as the singer's deer-in-the-headlights stare.

    ...Of course, they're not any worse than the Top 40 "musicians" they cover. Plus, if they can make money from music, anyone can.

    Okay, rant over. Time to get back to work.

     

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  21.  
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    MadderMak (profile), Jan 30th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Pomplamoose ... Now known in Australia ... by this Techdirt Article

    Just you - sorry

     

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  22.  
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    Williston, N.D., Mar 18th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    Sarah Blasko

    Just heard them for the first time a few minutes ago. The vocalist sounds reminiscent of Sarah Basko, the famous Australian singer over there, but even better. Wonder how the song 'Dont U Eva' would work out, or 'Planet New Year'. The two outfits might even make a good song together sometime.

    The best of luck.

     

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