By Nicky Baldrian
Los Angeles based Hard Rockers NETWERK9 (previously known as ARTICA), have just isued a brand spanking new three track demo which as we speak is under consideration by some of the major record labels. As Artica, the band issued a much praised debut album in 1995 called "As It Should Be" which won the hearts of many a writer and music fan, butunfortunatley a name change was in order to enable the band to continue playing. I caught up with the band as they embark on a new chapter in their career.......
Nicky:- Why did you decide to change the name from ARTICA to NETWERK9? Was it because of something to do with your previous record label?
Robby:- It was mostly to update
the look and the logo of the band, to get to the 2000s with the
band, and we have been told about the Italian heavy metal gothic
band called Artica, who we want to make sure we are separated
from, which I'm sure you can understand!!
Nicky:- Yes sure, but what about the fans who bought "As It Should Be"? Everybody remembers the name Artica and they may not realise who you guys are and pass you by, how do you feel about this?
Robby:- Even though the name of the band is going to be different, the album name remains the same. We feel this is one good way we can let the people who already like the band know who we are. But our eyes are more focused on the bigger future than what has already passed, so we feel confident that we will be able to reach more people now, with the new name and new vibe.
Nicky:- "As it should be" created quite a buzz for the band, were you pleased with the level of success it achieved? I remember all the magazine's going nuts about it!!
Robby:- We never saw any success as far as money, but we were pleased with the response of the media Empire Records went out of business so we never saw an accounting of what we sold.
Nicky:- So your now back with a new name and a new demo, what are your plans for NETWERK9?
Robby:- Well. first things first is to secure a recording contract to put out our new stuff, and we have 3 albums of material!!! We are ready for something to happen!!
Nicky:- Three albums worth of material! WOW! You have been busy, can you reveal any details about which style and direction the music on these albums head towards?
Robby:- We have always striven to do this: keep one eye on what we have done, what we are, what we know we sound like, and the other eye on what is out there now, and in the future and get a balance of all of these things, past, present and future. So basically what you get out of that is music with our core writing style blended with the sound that people are familiar with, now.
Nicky:- What actually happened with your old label?
Robby:- We don't know!! Like we said before, we don't even know how many records were actually sold so, we are at a total loss.
Nicky:- Man, that must be fustrating, Tell me about the new songs on the demo, Robby?
Robby:- All of these songs are
about the real exchanges we have with people in our daily lives.
There is nothing new in the fact that you have got to take hold
of your life and make what's good of it work for you, and the
people around you, especially your loved ones. It's time to pushtaking
hold of life and making it all work out-realizing
that its you that makes it workfor us, through music, and knowing the right thing to do, even though some may do wrong.
Nicky:- And what are your musical influences?
Robby:- Well. for John, we'll
say BOSTON, JOURNEY, QUEENSRYCHE, for Mark, SANTANA, ROBIN
TROWER, early JOURNEY, and JIMI HENDRIX and Roger and I kind of
fall under the same place of ELP, YES, GENESIS and lots of jazz
Nicky:- A lot of bands these days like MILLENIUM, JADED HEART etc, seem to be covering songs by the bands that influenced them, to help boost their careers, have you thought of doing this?
Robby:- That's funny you ask
this, because John and I have had this conversation just
recently. Yes, we would be really open to doing a cover of a
song, if we could just pick the right one. I'll tell you one
thing, though, it won't be
from a band that influenced us. It will more likely be from a band that you would never think of us doing, but done in a way that would amaze the listener. That's the only way to do a cover, taking something and making it YOU.
Nicky:- Did you do any live shows to support "As It Should Be"?
Robby:- Absolutely!! All here in
Los Angeles, though, so none of you over there would have gotten
to see us. We played sold out shows in all the big clubs here and
in Hollywood, outdoor festivals, etc. Unfortunately, Empire or
Zero couldn't get us over in your area. We would have loved to
play in Europe where the cd was actually being played and sold!!
Nicky:- So what is next for NETWERK9?
Robby:- Well, at this point we
continue to write and record in the studio. We are also trying to
ezpand our base of knowledge and our equipment so that we can
become completely self-sufficient in the recording process. That
really is becoming the new way of doing things in the business
and we want to be right on top of it. Of course our main goal is
to secure a record/distribution contract and then to conquer the
Nicky:-If you could describe NETWERK9's music as a part of a woman's body, which part would you choose?
Robby:- This one took very
little thought, but especially with our resident boob expert-Mark
Adrian. The answer would definitely have to be breasts. Why?
Well, they are up front and in your face, sometimes soft and
hard. We want to be large and successful, so they should be the same, right?(LAUGHS)
Nicky:- Finally is there anything that you would like to say to your fans here in Europe and the UK?
Robby:- You know, we have to
totally thank you for doing this interview especially on this
question because it gives us a chance to say a big Thank You for
the support we have received from all the fans in Europe. You
are great and we wish more than anything that when we did the first outing of "As It Should Be" we could have toured to support the record and really get out to play live for all of you. Because of stuff beyond our control,
we didn't get over there, but we would still love to if we can get a record company behind us who will make it work to play for you all live. We have received some great fan letters from people in Europe and they have been a
great inspiration to us to keep on going and to keep putting out the music that we know our fans dig on--RockOn
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