RockStar Motel recruits Paul Pirner to help with new social networking site for bands
RockStar Motel has the light on for weary bands trying to make their way in the music world and are struggling with promotion, not to mention their friends and fans frustrated about getting word out about artists they love beyond their network of friends.
A revolutionary new music social website, RockStar Motel shows promise as a music industry game-changer. RockStar Motel connects bands with fans in interactive ways. Seattle CEO/Founder Luca Sacchetti, a former Ondine musician, experienced frustration and disillusionment over a 15-year struggle: "daily trying to gain fans, build tours and get a record label contract." Like him, so many artists try to find ways to get more recognition, yet have no money, access or time for promo. One morning Saccetti was inspired to create RSM as a way to turn his anger -- and the music industry -- around.
RockStar Motel differs from other band promo sites such as Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and Spotify. "Most sites are streaming, are different packages with the same idea. They still have no effect on artists. They keep fans at bay, only listening," noted Sacchetti. The fan and the artists are able to engage in real ways on RockStar Motel. Similar to foursquare, where you gain "mayorships" and acquire badges, the fan levels up from "Intern," to "A&R Representative," to "Mogul."
Sacchetti added Minneapolis musician Paul Pirner (the 757s, currently Darla and more) to RockStar Motel as the local advisory board member. Pirner's known Sacchetti since the '90s. "Ondine were going to make a second record but had all their recordings stolen. They never recovered from the loss," says Sacchetti. He revealed his plan to Pirner several months ago, returning with this beautifully fluid, user-friendly website and fanzine.
"RockStar Motel is giving voice and power to the fans," says Pirner. "Turning the hierarchy upside down. We like to be the first person to tell somebody about a great band, champion the great band. It makes you feel great to do that, too! RockStar Motel hammers on that. Someone like you or me, who is really into a band, can create this record label, put this promo pack together quickly and send it around to all our friends, and various people on RSM about this band. Not only do I get the prestige of being able to say on paper I was the first one, but I get lots of points that will be turned into rewards and be identified as going up in the system as fans, then superfans. People who have more points will be the more influential people in this community, the people who really do find great bands and really do love the bands, doing what they can to help the band. A band can only do so much to self-promote."
The band aspect of RockStar Motel fascinates Pirner. "Something we had a tough time with in the 757s was touring. You have to find your own gigs, your own venues, partners. With RockStar Motel, you'll be able to find similar bands with similar makeup. And it uses the suggestion thing: "people who like this band will like your band." You can match it up by city finding the fans there, and write them you're going to be there. Sound familiar? RockStar Motel is built by Martin White, a database person who built Amazon.com.
But, RockStar Motel is not in it for the money. "The monetization is only for the functionality. The artists will be able to sell their music for substantially more than any other online music sales source, " stresses Sacchetti. Pirner notes, "Bands tend have mistrust. They might think this is one more thing I have to do so you can make money off me. But I trust Luca entirely, I trust his vision and his integrity. He's turned down angel funding because he doesn't want to give away that control. He doesn't want to turn it from being that good thing into that money-making thing."
RockStar Motel collects data for artists, helping them find labels (who will have pages on RSM), set up tours by building and communicating with a fanbase before setting foot in those cities.
"I think it will help really obscure bands find supporters," says Pirner. "The promotion aspect, getting people behind your band is a lot of work. "What I hope it will do is turn true music-lovers into more activists. There's no outlet. There are so many who didn't have access. It's all about the fans and all about the musicians and getting a clear path between the two to rise each other up."
"Like" Gimme Noise on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @gimme_noise.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.