Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Pittsburgh DIY Hip-Hop Group Grand Buffet

I recently had the honor of chatting with one of the members of one of my favorite indie hip-hop groups, Grand Buffet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jarrod Weeks, aka Lord Grunge hit me back with an insight to the behind the scenes promotion madness of this Fighting Records group.

Riding off the success of two Fighting Releases The Haunted Fucking Gazebo and Five Years of Fireworks these 2 are making their way to the Backbooth in Orlando, FL as part of Florida promotional leg. Make it out to the Backbooth this Saturday July 28th. Doors are early at 8pm, and you do not wan to miss this show!

For more information on Grand Buffet and to check out tour dates and all that good stuff visit or the grand Buffet Myspace Page.

Without further delay check out what Grunge had to say about Myspace, YouTube, and how we still need physical products and record stores.

G-Ro-Does Grand Buffet have a plan online? Or does your label, Fighting Records handle most of your online planning/organization?

Grunge-We’re working on an online store. We had one going for a grip, but we’re going to come correct with a new one before the next tour. Fighting definitely does a good job of selling merch online, though, and it’s cool to be able to just link to that.

G-Ro-I have been in touch with you guys through myspace, so obviously you guys read your messages and reply and all that good stuff. What does having that connection with fans, other artists, venues, etc create for you as a group?

Grunge-Myspace is a double-edged sword. I mean, myspace is cool, but it seems to me that a few dickheads fuck it up for everyone else. Kind of like America, na mean? Naw, scratch that. Myspace isn’t nearly as cool as America. But they do share that trait, a few miserable pieces of shit make it suck for everyone else. Except, in America, the people that fuck it up for everyone have to devote years of their life to studying in Secret Societies, mastering numerous arts of deception, reading Karl Marx, and/or working Government jobs whereas on myspace any piece of shit with access to the internet can start fucking everything up.

G-Ro-Do you utilize other websites outside of myspace that have greatly made a difference in your career?

Grunge-Orbitz is cool for this travel shit, 1800flowers is also hot, when I’m trying to lasso this romance from this pussy. I’ve also got to say that the Cato Institute’s website is outta sight, I ought to read it every morning.

G-Ro-King Vision will be dropping in the fall, is there a goal for the cd? Obviously, you guys will hit the road but is there anything special you have going off for this album? Bonus download tracks, video, contests, etc?

Grunge-It’s hard to say. Maybe if the label comes up with some idea, they might set it up. But I’m going to guess that no, there probably won’t be anything like that. I’ve never been into the concept of trying to trick people into liking our shit. Which is not to say that all forms of marketing are trickery. But fuck that shit.
Come to think of it, I can’t front. I tried some shit like that once, like ten years ago. I offered to buy dinner for anyone and everyone who bought our CD in Pittsburgh. It didn’t pop off well. Lesson learned.

G-Ro-What is your view of digital downloads? Do you take advantage of it? If so what outlets are you using-iTunes, SnoCap, etc? If not, is there a reason?

Grunge-I’m not against any of that shit. BUT, I am against the concept of NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY CASH FOR MUSIC..

Naw, fuck this. This is some loaded shit, I’m starting to bug out over it. Sorry. If anyone wants to build on the dangers of a cashless society more, email me.

Bottom line, I buy a shit-ton of music, it’s pretty much all I buy, and the thought of not being able to roll into a store and just pay cash for that shit is some cock. I’m talking like, if there were NO MORE stores that sold these CDs and vinyl, you HAD to do itunes or something. I wouldn’t be down. As long as I’ve got the option, I’m straight.

As far as downloads, I don’t mind people downloading our shit. If they like it and can support in some other way, that's cool. No sweat. If not, no sweat.

Since you asked, though, I think it has contributed to the overwhelmingly smug, scumbag air of entitlement that everyone under the age of 30 has today. When you think about it, it’s by and large all mother fuckers who can afford to own computers, pay for internet access, buy iPods – basically people who can afford to actually PAY for the shit. They’re the cats who are scheming on it. the truly poor people still have to shell out dough for bootlegs on CD-Rs and tapes. So this whole generation of wannabe egalitarian, mealy-mouthed assholes who think that paying for music is passé can suck my dirty dick. And of course, the real blame lies with their parents, right? Right?

G-Ro-Your view on podcasts, internet radio, etc? Has it made any impact? Do you think it will, if it hasn’t?

Grunge-I think that shit’s all good. I fully support anything that circumvents the FCC. I had a podcast going on Liberated Syndication (pittsburgh-based company, good folks) but I fell off. I'll get it going again this fall, though. is where it's at.

G-Ro-You guys are in the middle of a Florida leg of shows, how do you handle promotion of those shows personally? Do you hit the myspace, email lists, etc or take another approach?

Grunge-Definitely, we hit up these myspace bulletins. Our email list got the shits from Outlook Express. Fuck that software, it broke my brain. Years of hard work down the shitter.

G-Ro-What are some advantages Grand Buffet has had for being a mostly DIY indie?

Grunge-We get to scream DIY TILL DEATH all goddamned day and hold it over the heads of other artists who have better careers.

G-Ro-How do the two of you split duties returning emails, comments, etc? Is there one of you who handles that aspect better than the other or is it a balance and first comes first answers?

Grunge-I normally do the business stuff for the band, and I suppose internet duties fall under that umbrella in my mind. Jackson’s got his own, separate myspace page, for solo shit, and HE LOVES IT. He really takes it to that place that most myspace fans only dream of. Comments on your birthday, long, spell-checked responses to messages, blogs out the ass – some real Billy Corgan shit. I’d let him handle all the online stuff, but he’d get first crack and scam on all this myspace pussy. I can’t have that, now can I?

G-Ro-Lastly, the whole youtube thing. What can we find on Grand Buffet in youtube land and videos in general?

Grunge-A bunch of bullshit that might’ve been funny if you’d actually seen it at a show but is really unfunny and boring when you watch it on Youtube.

Thanks Grunge, through your humor and words you gave a great picture of the indie scene and the progression of online marketing and promotion.

Indie bands and artists, here’s what you can take from this interview:

-Microsoft Outlook=bad for mailing lists. G-Ro’s suggestion is to use an outside source such as You can see their interface on this blog in the top right corner (and you can sign-up to my list while your at it). Tell them Greg from Rollett Marketing sent you and you will get some extra free stuff.

-Downloads are good for exposure but they still can’t replace getting the cd/record in person. I’ve gotten this from every hip-hop artist I have talked to so far. Keep that in mind when you are thinking of digital only albums!

-Podcasts are becoming more and more popular and you might want to think of starting a weekly or even bi-weekly Podcast on your website. Hold interviews with your fans, other artists or just talk about your week in the band, etc and play some of your new tracks or rare music.

-Let your music do the talking! You can have all the gimmicks in the world to sell your music, but if your music is garbage no one will want the extras to go along with it. I’m personally a big fan of extras, bonuses and deals, but I always make sure my main focus is on the center project that is being sold/pushed. It has to be solid before the bonus, otherwise start selling your bonuses!

-Grand Buffet will be f’in awesome live! If you can’t tell from this interview then get out of the studio and off the computer and see a show with dedicated artists who are making DIY work! Go to for more info on the show!

-Hip-Hop 4 Hunger is next Thursday-get your tickets now to see the AB’s, X-144 and SPS, Caveman Theory, Greyscalemusic and Minstrel’s Company live while becoming aware of the problems in our community and contribute to the changes to make it better.


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