Just ahead of their soundcheck prior to the rocking set (shown above) they gave at last night’s opening night party for Mediabistro Circus, we got to squeeze our patented ‘Four Questions For…’ in with Kathleen Grace and Thom Woodley, creators of Internet rock band The All-For-Nots. Here’s what they had to say…
1) You’re portraying a indie-rock-pop-punk-Americana band in a ‘scripted web docu-comedy.’ That’s a lot of hyphens. Break down exactly what media pros should know about the show.
Thom: It is a scripted comedy shot realistically about a band slowly becoming real.
Kathleen: The concept originally was to create a Web and live following, including — if the band was any good — an album. The All-For-Nots are a band for the interactive media/MySpace generation. They’re kind of like a hybrid of Spinal Tap and The Monkees. The music is real, the band is real, the stories are fake — though some of them are based on real tour experiences [she and Thom snicker ruefully, prompting us to wonder how those inevitable band-on-the-road dramas factor in].
2) Judging from the different conferences you’ve appeared at — SXSWi earlier this year, Mediabistro Circus today — what are the most exciting things to you about where new media is headed?
Thom: It’s exciting to us in terms of what I think of as the eventual removal of the lowest common denominator in entertainment.
Kathleen: It’s the niche programming idea — taking the cable idea even further, with the eventual elimination of the difference between TV and the Internet. Because of that, there’ll be different lengths of content, and different ways in which to come to it.
3) Has the show spawned any imitators?
Thom: I don’t think we’ve seen that yet.
Kathleen: But, there’s something in the zeitgeist that’s into the idea of a band within a show — you’ve got The Naked Brothers Band on Nickelodeon; there’s also Chieftown, an online show about a band Bebo is going to launch next year.
4) What kind of relationships have you formed with users over the life of the Web series?
Kathleen: We’d done a Web series before called The Burg, and at first people wanted [The All-For-Nots] to be The Burg plus music. For first-time fans seeing the band live, they might be a little confused. They wanted to see the band perform and interact, they wanted more narrative.
Thom: We’re still trying to figure that part out. For people interested in the band from a music perspective… we’re purportedly an indie band, and of course there’s the whole credibility issue at work in indie rock. We’re produced by Michael Eisner’s production company, so there’s what I’d call a reluctant fandom from the music side.
Kathleen: But, from the video side of the fans… there’s a need for the [performative/acting aspect of the series] making its way into the live shows in a way we didn’t necessarily expect.