Ricky Garvey

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Everything Rad Podcast #4 – Zach Miller of Casual Friday

Casual Friday Band

Everything Rad Podcast Episode #4: Zach Miller of Casual Friday

Casual Friday on Facebook

Casual Friday on Instagram

Casual Friday on Twitter

Zach Miller, lead singer and guitarist of Casual Friday, Skypes in a call with me to discuss what it was like growing up in Corona, CA. We also talk about the difficulties of trying to be a part of a specific music scene.

I’ve known Zach for quite a few years know and it’s been cool to see him get involved in the underground punk scene that’s developed over the last few years. I’ve seen him get super into bands like Touche Amore, Title Fight, and Balance and Composure and turn these influences into a unique sound for his bands Karoshi Boy and Casual Friday.

We discuss the punk rock taboo word of “networking” as well as our time playing Magic the Gathering and D&D on weekends.

We talk about the pop punk / power pop scene that seems to be taking over Southern California as a whole. To see how Casual Friday functions live, check out the following video of their performance at VHLS in Pomona, CA last Summer.

Check out the episode and let me know what you think of our conversation.

What The X-Files Reboot Taught Me About Music Marketing

After 14 years of being off the air, The X-Files has returned with a 6 episode mini-season. With the revival came a whole lot of buzz, especially since long-time fans were finally looking to get some questions answered. Questions we’ve had for over a decade!

The X-Files

But I’m not here to talk about the plot of The X-Files. Or what my thoughts were on the new season (especially that finale, am I right!?).

I want to talk about a few lessons you can take away from the reboot – be it the tools they used to create conversation, interviews with cast, or the episodes themselves – that can be applied to your music marketing.

Sound like a stretch? Maybe. But I definitely saw some of the tools they used and immediately thought of the potential for bands to take some key points and apply to their marketing efforts.

Right Place. Right Message. Right Time.

I was attending the Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles a couple of weeks back. While I was there with my currently employer, I was able to sneak off into a music marketing seminar since the panel held some very fascinating people. The panel discussed the future of music marketing and what artists need to do to stand out. That alone deserves a whole other blog post, and maybe I’ll get to that for the next post.

Brian Harris Frank, co-creator of Beats Music, Executive at Warner Bros. Records, and President of Interlude Music, had this to say:

It’s all about “getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time.”

THIS is what’s missing from music marketing today. In 2016. With all of the avenues we have with interacting with our fans. Such a simple, yet powerful comment.

So how did I come to this from watching The X-Files reboot?

Even before the announcement of the reboot, there seemed to be a resurgence of love for The X-Files. Kumail Nanjiani hosted The X-Files Files, a podcast where he discusses each and every episode, long before he could even dream of a new season. Gillian Anderson was a guest on The Nerdist Podcast and host Chris Hardwick pried into her about the possibility of a new season. From this episode ALONE, #XFiles2015 started trending like crazy on Twitter.

They had the right audience. The right consumer. The right time. All they had to do was deliver the right message. And Chris Carter and his staff of writers and actors did just that with the premier of Season 10 in January 2016.

Just take a look at Google Trends and their stats showing how “The X-Files” trended over the last 2 years. NOW was the time to take action.

The X-Files Google Trends

Know Your Audience

The act of “knowing your customer” is one that we hear all the time. But we usually use it to make sure we’re attracting the right customers and understanding their needs. This is all fantastic. But I want to know my customer in terms of understanding where they interact.

I’ve “live-tweeted” a few events in my life. Concerts. The Grammys. Political Debates. So of course I tweeted about the new season and live-tweeted the show as it was happening. (I also live-texted almost every episode with my buddy Adam Baxter. What’s up Adam!) The X-Files and Fox understand that their fans are ecstatic about the new season. They didn’t disappoint when it came to their interaction with fans on Twitter.

The X-Files Twitter Account

Look at that. Look at that in all of its glory. THAT is how you interact with fans. They knew their audience.

How are you interacting with your fans? Do you know which platform they engage with most frequently? Are they on Twitter talking about the latest hip show in LA? Can you find a way to engage with potential new listeners that way?

Are they tweeting during your set? Can you respond like The X-Files did and create something your fans will never forget?

It’s Ok To NOT Take Yourself So Seriously

Season 10 – Episode 3. Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster. Written by Darin Morgan. Darin wrote some of the most classic X-File episodes – Humbug. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space.’

Filled with tons of Easter Eggs – both sincere and hilarious – ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ is a classic Darin Morgan episode filled with The X-Files humor we’ve all grown to love.

One scene that sticks out to me is when Mulder is sitting against a grave stone and his phone rings. It just so happens to be the theme to the show! I laughed and couldn’t believe they were actually doing that. A show that is known for such seriousness was making fun of themselves and having a laugh. I felt connected even more because of this silly moment.

And I got to thinking. No matter how serious your band is and how serious its theme may be, there’s always room for personality and humor. So don’t be afraid to show this in your online presence.

Have some fun behind-the-scenes video of you in the studio? You’re not too serious to avoid putting this up. Showing your personality helps build the connection.


4 Lies You Tell Yourself About Reading Books

Reading books is easily one of the best investments you can make in yourself. I spent last year increasing the amount of books I read as one of my goals for the year. 

I sometimes get asked for book recommendations, but I hear some common statements about the “difficulties” of reading thrown at me.

Reading Books - Stack of Books

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde

Some of these statements are outright silly. I want to address some of these misconceptions and myths about reading to hopefully encourage you to start making the investment in yourself.

Reading Books Is Too Time Consuming

This is probably the most common statement I hear. “I don’t have the time, Ricky. How do you find the time?”

Spending MORE time reading is something I’m focusing on in 2016. Just for perspective, I read over 25 books in 2015. Which isn’t a whole lot. But to make my point, I only spent about 10-20 minutes each day reading. Not a lot of time at all.

Do you ride the train to work? Read. Have a 10 minute morning break at your job? Read. Take your lunch in the office? Read.

And let’s be real. Use the bathroom and usually spend it browsing Instagram? Read instead.

It’s Expensive

The infamous marketer and author Ryan Holiday is big on reading. And he discusses the need for millennials to read a lot more. He’s one of the reasons I upped my reading game.

He talks about the need to purchase books whenever you get the chance. And he’s discussed that checking out books from the library is not effective.

But he’s wrong. Yes. Ryan Holiday is wrong.

You can still get a ton from reading even if you can only afford to check out books from your local library. Don’t let the stress of buying books hold you back from the investment in yourself.

With that in mind, you can still order books on Amazon for a dollar or two per book. Extremely inexpensive. So your excuse is invalid no matter how you view it.

It’s Boring

What? No. No, it’s not.

It’s Not Necessary

I come across some people who simply feel that reading is not necessary. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s easily one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your future.

Learn the art of critical thinking. Learn about US history and how some leaders in the past overcame certain obstacles. Learn about philosophy and ask yourself some of life’s most intriguing questions. Learn how to improve your performance at work.

The list goes on. And on. And on.

My challenge for you is to find one book that you’ve been meaning to read. And set aside 15 minutes each day to make it happen. And then when you finish that, do it all over again. You won’t regret it.

And when you’re finally convinced that reading isn’t optional and is worthwhile, tweet me to let me know what you’re reading and what you’re learning.

Now get out there and read a book. You have no excuse.


Coldplay Cover – Fun | Little Climbers Living Room Sessions

There’s not much more I love than getting together with extremely talented people on a weekday evening to play some tunes. And covering a Coldplay song at that. I got together a few weeks back with Debi Baxter and Josh Bandy (Little Climbers) to cover Coldplay’s latest single Fun.

Speaking of new Coldplay, I guess I’ll take this opportunity to admit that the new Coldplay is frickin’ fantastic. It took weeks to grow on me, but I’m glad I toughed it out. Have you had any issues getting into this album? If you have, just trust me – tough it out. Give it 3 thorough listens and you’ll fall in love just like I did. I’m really excited for where this band is headed. Most of you probably know what a huge impact Jonny Buckland was on my guitar playing.

I also have to admit I love dog-sitting and Joaquin – the French Bulldog with a cleft lip – was no exception. He had to get in on the action.

For more information on Josh and my (is that the proper grammatical structure?), check out Little Climbers on Facebook. We try to play out about once a month – be it just me and him or full band.

Also, if you’re into cover videos, videos of what’s going on with new music by Little Climbers, or just need another YouTube channel to subscribe to, check out Little Climbers on YouTube.


Everything Rad Podcast #3 – Nathan Ray

Everything Rad Episode #3 - Nathan Ray Music

For episode #3 of Everything Rad Podcast, I got to Skype in a conversation with one of my favorite musicians – Nathan Ray (Truth be told, I know him as Nate Penland, but I get it!).

We talked about his move to LA a few years back and what’s being happened since then. We discuss his experience performing on the streets of Santa Monica, meeting one of his favorite musicians – Mikey from Incubus, and getting spit on in the face while performing.

Take a listen to Episode #3 with Nathan Ray below:

Nathan Ray and I go back about a decade. We used to perform in a band called WestSideStory, based out of Corona, CA. It was some of the funnest years of my life and I’ll always think back to those years and smile. Smile at how determined we were and how little we knew of the industry.

To see how young and silly we were, you gotta watch this video below.

It was awesome to catch up with Nathan and see what he’s been up to since these wild days.

For more information on what Nathan Ray is up to, you can check him out at www.IAmNathanRay.com or follow him on Instagram @NathanRayMusic.

Ambient Music EP | All The Hard Ways

One of my goals for 2015 was to create an ambient music EP with a few noisy tunes created in my home studio. Home studio is just another fancy way of saying my second bedroom where my wife lets me store my music equipment and iMac. But I’ve been lucky enough to record some really cool projects in this studio, even if my wife was cooking dinner 10 feet on the other side of the wall.

So with that being said, I’m announcing that the very EP I recorded and finished by the end of the year (and I cut it close. Masters were sent back to me on New Years Eve) is finished and you can purchase it for $2.

But I want to give back to everyone who has supported me.

If you use the coupon code “makenoise” you will receive this EP for FREE. All I ask is that you share the fact that this is essentially free with a friend that’s into ambient music like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, or Godspeed!.

It’s simple too. Just send them to this link: https://gumroad.com/l/allthehardways

You can even copy/paste that link into your social media feed for extra points!

I also thought it would be cool to give a bit of background on each tune and how I got some of the noisy effects. So here’s a bit of background.

All The Hard Ways - Ambient Music EP Album Cover Art

All The Hard Ways EP

Trust Me, I’m Lying – I rediscovered the Line 6 M9 earlier this year after having it sit on my shelf collecting dust. I love its reverbs and delays, but I would typically only use it for that. It took up quite a bit of space on my pedalboard, so in my early 2014 pedalboard update, it was taken off and set on a shelf, where it ultimately sat untouched for too long. I’ve talked about the way this song is structured, but it’s fun to note that the first layer sat recorded on my Line 6 M9 for a few days before I decided to come back to it.

All The Hard Ways – I spent the later half of 2014 playing a few dates with an artist named Tyrone Wells. We played Craps and that’s where the phrase “all the hard ways” comes from. Flash forward to the later half of 2015. I’m at a bachelor party in Vegas with some good friends. I come home and decide to do some final mixes of this song (EQ. Fades. Simple stuff). Had to come up with a title and had to go with this.

Somewhere Between Here & There – This is the actual recording that you’ll hear in the live looping on my YouTube Channel. I turned my amp off, left the room, but left my Line 6 M9 on…. just in case. I’m glad I did. What planned to be simple live looping session for my YouTube Channel turned into a song on this EP. I manipulated the original loop by utilizing the reverse and half speed feature to give it some cool sounds coming into the song and going out.

28 – I love Back to the Future. I’m also a fan of using movie quotes in my songs. It’s something I’ve done for years. I just turned 28 and that can be a scary thing. This was the final recording I did on my two week vacation from work in late December. I used a lap steel guitar to get this sound running into my pedalboard. No looping. 2 tracks.



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