Listen to the new song from An Orchestra of Fools – Funk dA System
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
We hail from the small crowded city known as McAllen which is located in the deep south part of Texas. There are a lot of great local bands around our town which makes it easier for anyone living here to be exposed to several different genres.
We started out in our own separate worlds of music. Santana Rodriguez (the drummer) was a hard rocker, Danny Diaz (the bassist) was experimenting with jazz, and myself (TJ the guitarist) was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pantera, and pretty much anything that sounded different and amusing. When we all met up in school and decided to form a group, it felt like a prophecy was just fulfilled. We became an instrumental trio with music that was a mixture of all genres we have heard growing up.
We got booked for our first show and began playing gigs every Saturday for 3 months. More exposure from online radio stations and several shows out of our city led to us create a new wave of music that isn’t really played. All this led to the present day, we are stronger than ever and our music has gone a long way. Now we have confidence, aggression, and passion towards our playing. We truly enjoy making new music and showcasing it to new audiences, plus it doesn’t hurt to get bread on the table.
What do you have coming up? What are some of the new projects we can expect to see?
We recently recorded our first EP entitled Pandemic which has 5 of our new songs that gives off the essence of all the genres we love and are inspired by. Just by hearing the first song you will hear the varying emotions we endured and how we interpret it into our note selection.
Everyone will be able to purchase a hard copy via PayPal just by messaging us on any of our social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation), you will also be able to find us on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon. This EP will be released in May 2013. We will be releasing a new single near the end of 2013 and we are beginning the writing process for our second EP. More details coming soon, you can get all upcoming updates through our social media websites.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
The song Funk dA System is a song we created while being in an angry mood. We all did not like the fact that we had horrible sleeping patterns due to work, plus we were really unhappy with how difficult it was to get through school instead of relaxing. Of course school is important, but it had taken its toll on us and we were exhausted.
This song is our way of saying when you have aggression built up just take a deep breath and find your outlet. There are so many different forms of activities that can be an outlet for a person, playing our music just happens to be ours. We reuse our aggression to fuel our note choice and performing this song is our stress relief. Just by hearing this song we believe many listeners will be able to relate to it.
How does your music separate yourself from other artists and bands out there?
Our music has quite a different sound but it isn’t too out there with any abstract qualities to it. However, it is hard to replicate our sound since it is our voice and it has to do with our influences that we have accumulated from our childhood to present day. For example, thanks to jazz studies, An Orchestra of Fools consist of a drummer, bassist, and guitarist that have learned to improv over a wide range of genres such as metal, rock, funk, and psychedelic.
With this great ability we create instrumental music that is refreshing that absorbs several colors of notes and we pass it on to the listeners. When it comes to recording songs most bands tend to make albums sound so perfect yet when performed live it sounds completely different. The great thing about us is that when we recorded our EP it was a live session. This really makes a difference since you can hear the hard work that was put into performing and how passionate certain songs sound.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
One of the hardest challenges we had to face was time, time for practice and shows. We were all working night and early morning shifts plus college, so it was very difficult to have this band and especially to progress forward. As I, (TJ), would be dismissed at 3am from work the drummer (Santana) would just be clocking in to his job while the bassist (Danny) would be about to get up for work at 6am. Now pile on three to four days of school and you have very tiring and incompatible schedules.
The way we got through this hard challenge was setting aside one day on the weekend to dedicate to having a show, which is exactly what we did. Every Saturday night we had a gig, no practice just jamming out in front of new people and our friends. We made it our own form of practice and it helped us gain the confidence we needed and people enjoyed every second of it.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
A set back we endured was around the time I, (TJ), quit my job and Danny joined me in the “bum life” and we started just focusing on school and creating new tunes for the band. On the other hand, Santana was still working and he ended up with more hours than ever before. With work and school combined it took a toll on our drummer Santana. Just to get enough rest and still be able to come use a double pedal was difficult for him to accomplish.
This led to us taking a break and it wasn’t until a few months later that Santana left his job and we became active again. As soon as he was well rested we made time to have a couple of practices. We booked bigger shows and got back on track with our music. After a month we contacted The Sound of Rain Studios and we had the privilege of working with an amazing sound engineer, Charlie Vela, who did a great job on our EP.
We decided to do a live studio session and the recording process was completed in one week. The reason for it being such a fairly quick process was because we now had the time to practice and in the end it all worked out for the best and we are grateful.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Many things can happen very quickly, one thing to remember is why you started this art project and never forget it. Artists change their style to please others and some end up becoming lost and play music for the wrong reasons. Artists need to be careful of how they develop not only musicians but as a person. A group of friends that make a band for a time to relax and have fun should not be sold out by an acclaimed leader just to obtain more bread.
Every artist has the potential to make it big in this industry, you just have to be stay true and/or passionate and the crowds will come. People enjoy hearing honest music that they can relate to, it helps calm stress from the real world. Another thing to be careful about is how you book shows out of your city limits. The price of travel can be a dreadful thing to encounter so it is always nice to know you will gain compensation for traveling expenses.
Do not create shows with people through email conversations, we have driven many miles to find out the promoter didn’t show up and the venue was unaware of our band being on the set. We were lucky enough to end up getting money to survive in Austin, Texas and still put on a solid performance. However, this was all luck not all venues would go ahead and allow a band to perform and get paid for it without a promoter present and responsible for paying.
So just be careful out there, the music industry is tough for not only musicians but for promoters and venues too. Make sure to talk to the promoter on the phone and meet him/her before the show begins to clarify compensation for traveling expenses. Another thing is to always look out for possible outcomes that may happen when traveling, it is a great idea to take backup equipment for every member. Things can go wrong in an instant and you can end up with no show, which means no pay and you are hundreds of miles away from your home.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
We suggest other artists should continue what they started and never let negativity come in between the dreams of being successful in this tough industry. It can take time but if you truly enjoy the art of making something from scratch and presenting it in a way that inspires others to do the same, then you will always have a feeling of success.
To all the artists out there, those that are trying to bring new or old music out to the ears of listeners, continue it and keep pushing the limits of yourself and the band. Don’t get discouraged by the size of the crowd, one night the crowd might consist of 10 friends but eventually the word will get around and it will double or triple next time around. By the time you know it there will be people contacting you on a job well done and asking when is the next show.
Also new promoters will find out about your existence and new opportunities will present themselves just by hearing your passionate playing. When it all comes together and things begin to pick up it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. So keep on thriving for success and most importantly stay true, enjoy your art and fans will too.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
The way we promote our music is by performing at as many events as possible. Just by going out there and playing in front of any audience will get you new fans. We also benefit from all the social media websites we are on; we have gained international recognition just by having our music available on these sites.
It’s not difficult to promote your music, simply use those websites and go let everyone know what you love to do. Aside from using the websites, we enjoy just going out to a new venue and performing for a crowd with as much confidence, aggression, and passion as possible. By doing this people will continue to attend your shows and they end up telling others to join, it is always beneficial.
So when it comes to promoting music these Fools go out and give a high performance and we let the people talk about us, plus it’s good to have the websites for shows, song releases, and important messages.
Where can people visit you?
You can visit us at the following:
MTV Page: www.mtv.com/artists/an-
Or come on down to McAllen, Texas and catch one of our local shows!