Band shares 'free love' with fans
GRANT Walmsley and the Agents of Peace want you to download their new album for free.
The band is giving away 10,000 copies of the album – appropriately called Free Love - via the Ten Thousand Tunes Project website. It’s trialling a new distribution model for independent bands where exposure is valued over financial gain.
“Why not a free album?” ex-Screaming Jets Walmsley told Pulse from his Newcastle base.
“We’re all fans of the modern concept of ‘free offerings’ from bands to entice new fans, but we wanted to do more.”
Walmsley’s involvement in the Australian music industry stretches back decades. In 1989, the guitarist/songwriter founded The Screaming Jets and stayed until 2007. But fed up with the system, Walmsley left to do something different.
“About 0.1 per cent of new Australian music is heard on Australian commercial radio,” he says. “That’s appalling. I hope the project can put more power back in the hands of the fans and artists. I hope the masses pass great music on.”
Grant Walmsley and the Agents of Peace, formed with TAFE music teachers Ammeil Warner and Allon Silove, claim the tag of Newcastle’s first free independent recorders. Consequently, everything connected with the Free Love project was created with ‘zero dollars in mind’. Recorded almost entirely live in keyboardist Warner’s home, an old church, Free Love is roots rock in its rawest, most powerful form.
“We set everything up in two nights then recorded the album in two days. The studio set up looks like Abbey Road,” Walmsley says.
Like-minded film, photography and design teams documented the album’s recording and created a video for Ride like a Demon from footage of the recordings.
A digital album booklet with messages from the band and some spectacular in-studio photography was compiled.
It was all done for free.
“It was inspiring. What we accomplished here is something we believe will stand up on a global scale,” Walmsley says.
Grant Walmsley and the Agents of Peace is a unique rock band: there is no drummer. Walmsley plays guitar, vocals, kick and stomp box. A double bass, some vintage amps and organs and a second guitarist (Huw Jones) fill out the sonic palette.
“I don’t think people realise there’s no drummer. You have to look twice,” he says. “Between the double bass and my gig, we cover all the traditional drumming rhythms and grooves. It allows us so much freedom.”
After three months, 1000 people had taken up the offer and downloaded Free Love. Now, the band needs your help to get to 10,000. Get your free copy at www.tenthousandtunesproject.com.
Grant Walmsley and the Agents of Peace play The Brewery in Byron Bay this Saturday. Doors open at 8:30pm. Free gig.