This is Not Here
An interview with bassist Brett Fasullo and guitarist Richard Marr
by Scott Hefflon
They got here by a different route: The information superhighway. Rather than running the same club circuit in hopes of running a larger club/arena circuit, This is Not Here chose the Internet as a stage on which to play. Brett Fasullo, bassist, and Richard Marr, lead guitar, are more than performers; they’re pioneers. They’re taking their music to places that can’t be reached through traditional methods. This is their story.
Richard: I got on America Online and was reading all the bulletin boards. I discovered news groups on the Usenet, so I started posting info on the band. As people are going down the screen, they see Drastic Plastic – that was the name I used – and they open it up. I put in “Boston-based band, This is Not Here, on Surreal Records” and information about the band. It had “Attention: D.J.s, press reviews, distributors” and mentioned our new 7″ out. I put in my email address and suddenly my mailbox was getting jammed. D.J.s from all over, mostly in-state, said they were interested and to send the 7″ to them.
Brett: The downside of that is: While you want to get the word out everywhere, you don’t post where you’re not really supposed to be. There’s a technical term for that – they’re called spammers. So it really comes down to focus – find the news groups that might dig your stuff.
Richard: There are also hundreds of online ‘zines. We started to get mail from writers and Editors and sent our 7″ out all over the place.
Brett: To put this in perspective; I used to pick up the phone and solicit, like everyone else. I mailed stuff out and the response was really bad. This way, we’re putting something out there, and the people who want to know more respond. For one of the online reviews we had, we sent our 7″ down to Texas and now 60 million people can view that review.
Richard: A lot of the ‘zines are printed (on paper) in their area, but then they’re put on the Internet and anyone in the world can access it.
Brett: We sent our music to another ‘zine that’s CMJ affiliated. When they post it on CMJ, all the other affiliates read it and they can follow up on it, too. Then they post it, and the effect builds. And the main thing is – we haven’t left Boston. On top of playing whatever local gigs, we get out there nationally. The exposure is unreal. That’s where the next step comes in: Surreal Records.
Richard: On the World Wide Web, the graphical environment, you can get both photos and music to download. It’s an international record store.
Brett: Without going into the business plan: We’re going to pound the region, because it’s fun, it’s affordable and we don’t have to leave Boston to be an international success. With 60 million people online, 100,000 people a day accessing, and we’re one of 500 bands on there – I’d say we have a good shot at a lot of people seeing us. And of those lots of people, some of them will download our file with photo, logo, and 30 second sample. We’ve got two full songs on there. Attached is an order form so they can order direct from us. Radio stations can download the clips and follow up for the full-length. It’s better than being swamped with demos. It’s just cleaner, easier, and a hell of a lot bigger than any other method.