troy2PART TWO: In your opinion, what was the best and worst concert you ever attended?
The best concert I ever went to was the King’s X concert I wrote about above. The best part was 1) it was all access, anywhere I wanted to go and I had been a fan of these guys since I was a teenager.

The worst concert I ever saw was Iron Maiden on the Somewhere in Time tour at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. At the time I wasn’t even a Maiden fan so I don’t know why I even went…oh yeah it was live music. The sound was horrible and the Eddie robot theatrics were embarrassing. Oh, for the record, I like Iron Maiden now.

Let’s say you were crowned king of the music industry.  What would be your first course of action, and why?
This is a tough one… but if I was king of music, I would get rid of all major labels and contracts. I would put the music in the hands of the artist, have them own all rights to their music and let the bands reap the royalties from it.

It sounds like fantasy land, but if all indie music labels stuck together and worked at the same level, the music industry would flourish because they wouldn’t have to compete with the major label market. Major labels waste so much time, money and effort looking for the next big thing and there is so much great music out there they are missing.

Secondly I want CDs and vinyl. Actual records I can pick up and hole in my hand, Record sleeves I can smell, art work I can look at. CDs and vinyl in indie record stores and nothing else. No more retro cassettes or any shit like that. You have two forms of great music right here, past and present. In addition, no CD or record should cost over 7-10 bucks.

Finally, though there are so many topics I could go over, but finally all musicians should be allowed affordable health insurance like a regular person at a regular job. It is sad and unfair just because you are an artist that you can’t get proper health care. I am so sick and tired of seeing my music friends dying or needing benefits just to stay alive in a world where people loved their work

People HAVE to support independent, local music. Go see a show or actually buy a CD or record it means the world to a lot of people.

If we were to steal your iPod, what would we find you currently listening to?
Well, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Veruica Salt and King’s X are prime staples for listening. But as far as new stuff goes, there is a new band called Star & Dagger featuring former White Zombie bassist Sean Yseult and former Cycle Sluts From Hell guitarist Dava She Wolf that I am really into. I also really like the new Judson Claiborne if you are into that Americana rock thing, Stone Gossard has a new solo album out called Moonlander which is fabulous. Oh and Chino Moreno of the Deftones has a new side band called Palms with the guys from ISIS, their cd is amazing.  And right now I am deeply in love with the new Sam Phillips record called Push Any Button.

You’re stranded on a desert island and only have the company of 10 records.  What are they?
I am just going with studio albums, not live or greatest hits releases.

Veruca Salt – Eight Arms to Hold You
Soul Asylum – Grave Dancer’s Union
Prince – Purple Rain Soundtrack
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Playback (Box Set)
Pearl Jam – 20 (Box Set)
Led Zepplin – Remasters (Box Set)
King’s X – Faith, Hope, Love
Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting
Johnny Cash – Def American (Box Set)
Jeff Buckley – Grace (Box Set)

You’re seating at a café and across from you are two rock stars, one living and one dead.  Who are they?
Living: Eddie Vedder – He seems like an interesting deep thinker and I’d love to talk about the Chicago Cubs with him. The funny thing is I doubt we’d really talk about Pearl Jam.
Dead: Johnny Cash – He’s my hero, enough said.

If music is the universal language, then what are our current musical artists trying to tell us?
They are saying “look at me, look at me; I am a needy fuck who needs to see his/her photo on the cover of shitty magazines.”

Let’s be honest, it isn’t about the music with the majority of these mainstream wanna-bes who would sell their soul for a Lexus car and mansion.

Remember when the music mattered? There are still bands out there like that which make life-changing music with a purpose; you just have to look for it.

As a music connoisseur, what are your honest thoughts regarding today’s musicians, songwriters, and musically oriented magazines/websites?
At 42, I guess I could be considered old school, it seems today everything comes too easy for all the above. Social media is fantastic. It has helped in promotion of Innocent Words tremendously. We built this magazine on word of mouth so I can’t complain. But there’s also the downside… There is so much social media it’s hard to keep up, in addition anyone with a guitar and computer can put out music and think they are the next Bob Dylan or Tom Petty.  Which is far far far from the truth, trust me.

I will probably catch hell for this, but I don’t mean any harm believe me. The music industry has become more robotic than ever. There is absolutely no personal interaction whatsoever. When we started Innocent Words, we would get promo CDs, actual CDs with press photos, gifts like coffee mugs, candy, shot glasses, guitar picks, shirts and stickers. Now, it’s an email with a paint by numbers press release and a digital download to a new album. Now interaction, no please or thank you nothing. And to be honest, I FUCKING HATE IT. Its lead me to consider to change Innocent Words just for that reason.

I mean labels and press companies used to call regularly and I made great friends that way, now I am lucky to get a call once every month from them. As magazines, online or otherwise, we are still doing a lot of the same stuff we did 10 years ago getting the word out about this band or that band, but we get absolutely nothing in return. I don’t mean to come off bitter or poor little us, but it all comes back to respect plain and simple.

What makes your baby, Innocent Words, so irresistible?
We do it because we love the music plain and simple.

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