i didn't think I could get more pumped about tomorrow's show, but i am after reading this. this is mexcellent Grayson!
Scout, why all the hate? Hammer is and always has been about the music. If you listen to their songs closely, you'll see why they get frustrated about the comparisons to early 90s rock. It's not that they're dissing that genre of music, they're dissing the critics who have failed to pay any attention to Hammer's music. Hammer's not asking you to like their music, they're simply asking you to listen to it with an open mind.
Also, they never once criticized Churchkey, they were simply trying to get on a label with more resources and connections, and if they happened to land on one, Kyle and Steve would be the first to congratulate them. Check out Grayson's article from a few years back where he writes:
"Another part of the plan was finding a label. Kyle Miller, who co-owns the local imprint Churchkey Records, helped Hammer with that aspect. After the imprint that released the band's first EP in 2007 folded, Miller offered the band a list of several dozen labels it should approach with its next record. Suddenly, Miller realized he wanted the band on his roster. Together, he figured, they could grow. They were three young musicians starving to hit the road full-time. His was a small label taking its time to aim for national attention. Miller hired a strong promotional team—print publicity, online marketing, radio promotions—and the band, as promised, crammed into the CR-V."
People are equating what a mere fan was asking about the label's participation in promoting the new record with Hammer hates Churchkey. This is ridiculous. Go back and read the actual quotes in the DTH and in this article and show me where Hammer said anything negative about Churchkey.
If you look at Hammer's tour schedule, you'll see that they're not sitting back, waiting for a break. They're going at it by touring, going overseas, developing an online presence, making connections with other bands, and exploring other avenues of getting their music out there. Churchkey has not been a hindrance and at no point have they ever said that, yet people seem to assume this just because they tried to shop a record that deserves a wider audience than a hobby can afford. Despite their above average musicianship, songwriting, and live shows, they're still not landing sweet opening slots for The Flaming Lips or Broken Social Scene despite their relentless touring, while other bands of similar talent, (but often less road tested) on more recognizable labels or with reputable booking agents are.
However, they have been able to create a very respectable following through relentless touring and have self-booked much better gigs than have. I give credit to Churchkey and Power Team Records for stepping up and putting their own money behind promoting the first three releases, but Grayson should not be so quick as to paint Hammer as naive or "ignoramous" or imply that they are being lazy by not exploring new avenues to success. If anything, they are guilty of trying too hard, and perhaps they are just hoping for a label that is able to match their enthusiasm.
The article points out some important truths about the music industry and how many bands are still clinging to old notions, but I am pretty sure that Hammer No More the Fingers is not one of them.
the indy let the cat out of the bag. it is a fine cat.
I agree with the others, this is a great story. For every grassroots success story, there's probably 10,000 of these. My guess is that they'll all go off and do their own thing for a while and as the emotional scars slowly disappear, they'll start talking about the good ole days and what might have been, and eventually, they'll bury the hatchet and come back together.
This is outstanding! Great insight into a great band that was all too short lived.
my top 10 of 2010:
Hammer No More the Fingers
Lost in the Trees
Mount Weather (please cut a record)
The Love Language
Megafaun (please make a live album)
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