Simplified’s new album, “Brighter Days,” dropped April 2011. This is the band’s fourth studio album without a label backing. Chris Sheridan stopped by to talk about the band, the album and what it is like being an unsigned band.
Real quick, why the name Simplified?
When Clee and I were thinking of names for a band we got “Simplified” as a suggestion from a fan. We felt it was a memorable name and it described our sound well at the time.
How would you describe the band’s music for those who have yet to discover you?
Acoustic driven rock with reggae, funk, and roots undertones.
Your new album, “Brighter Days,” was released last April 2011 without a label behind it. This is your fourth studio album without a label backing. What are the advantages and disadvantages of not being signed to a record label?
The advantages to being signed to a major label are the amount of money they can put into marketing and promotion, the connections they have, and the tours they can get you on. The advantages to being independent are you have more creative freedom, you aren’t locked into a nasty deal, and you keep a larger percentage of your sales.
I had a chance to listen to the new album. It’s like classic rock with a twist of 3 Doors Down. When the band writes and records music is there a certain process you follow?
Usually one of us will have an idea: A lick, a riff, or a melody with some chords. Then we will explore it and if we think it is worth putting time into we will pursue it.
How has the internet helped or hurt Simplified as a band in terms of marketing and getting your name out there?
The internet has been a great advantage for us. Being an independent band we rely in “word of mouth” advertising. As far as spreading the music and building awareness platforms like Pandora Radio are really helping get us out there. And best of all social media is free (somewhat) and Facebook/Myspace/Twitter are all excellent ways to promote and get the word out for artists.
How does this album differ from the previous ones?
This album is more mature in the songwriting and production. We made some good decisions and brought Jerry DePizzo (O.A.R.) in to produce the record. His experience and work ethic really drove us to work hard on making the songs the best they could be. We trashed the tunes that weren’t working and went with the strongest material we have.
Will there be a corresponding tour with the album? If so, when?
Our management and agency is working hard on getting us on a tour. It’s really hard these days without a major deal because everyone sends support acts out with the touring acts that are on their roster. We are really fighting hard to make our way. For now we are still performing a lot of local and some regional shows. But the only way we will really get the word out about Simplified and “Brighter Days” is if we can take it out on the road and really market it. Tough business.
Thank you for taking the time. Is there anything you wanted to add?
We appreciate you taking a listen to the record and your interest in us!