GRINDER INTERVIEW - JD McGibney
1.Introduce yourself and your band and tell us why we should listen to you.
Howdy! My name is JD McGibney, and I am in the bands Angels on the Battlefield and Altayon! And I assume you’d listen to either band if you like dragons or like doing long division while listening to your music.
2.What do you classify your sound as, Who do you tell people you sound like?
I normally just tell people that Angels on the Battlefield is epic dragon metal, and Altayon is the god of all existence… and his doom metal band.
3.With digital music in today's world would you vote to keep or eliminate physical media?
The majority of people are consuming music digitally because of how easy it is. Though, there ARE some fans of bands and artists that like collecting CDs or vinyls because they add to the EXPERIENCE of a band’s brand. I would vote to keep physical media for those collectors, but I do not put much weight behind them being a major contribution to music consumption.
4.What is the reason you decided to be a musician and has that reason paid off?
I picked up guitar in high school and found that it helped me work through my struggles with anxiety. Music ended up being my meditation to keep myself grounded. Eventually I discovered heavy metal. Not only did the expression of the musicians connect with me emotionally, but I fell in love with the community. Turning music into a career ended up being one of the most fulfilling things I ever did for myself. I love being able to give back to others that feeling of serenity and companionship that helped me work through so much in the past, and still to this day.
5.How do you feel about females in metal getting special attention? Do you feel it is fair?
I believe that everyone deserves the recognition the deserve and build for themselves through their overall message. I do not think anyone, man or woman, deserves any special attention based on their gender.
6.In the world climate with hatred being at an all time high and metal being an “ angry” music, Do you think your music contributes to anger and hatred?
I think people all over the world deal with anger in some way or another throughout there lives. It is something that we as a people have struggled with forever. I like to think that any musical venture I participate in helps people focus any negative emotions they might have. Hopefully in a way that allows them to analyze why they feel the way they do, and then react in a calm and peaceful manner. Lead by example, as they say.
7.Are you opposed to religious beliefs or politics being used in music?
I believe that music, like ANY art form, is free terrain for an artist to say, do, and create ANYTHING they wish. Music is a canvas for us to make sense of the world around us, and the worlds within us. Putting a limit on that is the same as putting a limit on the way people think, or saying they are not allowed to FEEL the way the feel. Everyone has an equal right to FEEL how they do.
8.We dove into some pretty deep issues here. Do you think your music sends a message and if so what is it?
When I write for Angels on the Battlefield, my intentions are ultimately to remind people that regardless of what they are feeling or going through, they are never alone. Everyone has the ability to conquer any struggles they face as long as they believe in themselves.
9.The market has changed and many bands believe that record labels are a thing of the past, with many labels now charging bands to “sign” how do you think a band can make it in todays scene?
First, any label that charges a band money up front to be signed to them is ripping off those bands. A record label makes their money back by taking a percentage of revenue earned by sales and royalties.
Second, Any band can become successful as long as they focus on building their overall brand. A professional band is a business, and should be run as such. A band’s brand is TOTALLY separate from their music. The brand is what the band itself stands for and the message they are sharing. Music is just a small part of the overall machine.
10.Why with the thousands of options including netflix , sporting events everything on demand, Why do you think people should take the time to listen to what you have to say in your music?
They should take the time to listen if they feel inclined to.
11.How do you feel about pay to play? Do you think it is fair for a band to have to pay money to play?
Payton play is illegal. Yes, a LOT of venues/promoters follow this method. They get away with it because bands are not aware that it is illegal. Any venue/promoter that requires your band to give them money to perform should be reported to the Better Business Bureau. Don’t let anyone take advantage of your business or your person.
12.It is fact that you are the talent and the entertainment explain what you think is the most important key to success?
Talent and skill have NOTHING to do with achieving success. If that were the case pop music would be full of Freddie Mercurys and not cookie cutter copies of copies. The key to success is learning that your MUSIC is not related to your success; your ability to run your self/band like a business is. Create a brand/message that people can emotionally connect with, and you will have the freedom to LITERALLY write ANY kind of music you want and feel proud of.
13.In country music and even in some cases rock music is written and performed by different people would your band perform a song written by someone else?
I believe that working together with other people helps the entire industry achieve success. Something that has bothered me in the metal and rock scene is that there is a sense of having to do EVERYTHING on one’s own. The reality is that success is not an isolated thing: it takes a team to succeed.
There is a song on the Angels on the Battlefield EP “Over Darkened Skies” called “Beauty in a Body Bag.” That song was co-written with a very good friend of mine. I believe that music comes out in many different ways. When a song comes together through the team work of multiple people, it can be a beautiful thing.
14.If you are pro female in music are you pro using sex to sell your music?
I am pro people in music. I believe that anyway should have the artistic freedom to express themselves n any way they feel they need to.
15.What is your view on the lawsuits against people saying lewd or unprofessional things to women or men and how does that affect an art described as sex drugs and rock n roll ?
I believe that art should be a safe space for people to say and express themselves in any way they feel they need to. Having that freedom allows people’s emotions to come out without having the added frustration of feeling surpassed.
However, I also believe that there is one main rule in life: “Don’t Be a Dick.” No one should intentionally try to physically or emotionally hurt another person. We should respect and support one another.
16. Ok lets lighten up a bit. What is your favorite band of all time and why?
Oh, that’s a tough question. There are so many wonderful bands! Bands that inspired me musically: In Flames, Killswitch Engage, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Between the Buried and Me. Bands that have inspired me as a PERSON because everyone is just amazing human beings: Alton, Orphaned Land, Psychostick, Pain, Seven Kingdoms, Butcher Babies, Voodoo Kungfu, and a hole bunch more!
17.What would you be doing if you were not in a band?
Probably be going crazy not knowing what to do with myself lol
18. Do you have a favorite sports team?
I never really got into sports, but I come from a LONG line of Yankee fans. My grandfather lived and breathed the Yankees and baseball. I’m pretty sure his blood was actually Yankee Blue.
19.If you could get on stage with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
That’s another tough question lol! Just for the fun aspect of it, I’d have to say Randy Rhoads because he is my guitar icon, and Bob Marley because he is my business icon.
20.This is your shot to let loose, Throw down your biggest complaint about the music biz
My biggest complaint is that there are not enough people, especially in the beginning stages, that are willing to work together for EVERYONE to find success. I think this is a lesson that would benefit everyone if more people that are higher up on their careers would share this little bit more often.