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Brook Follows New Direction

Brook Follows New Direction



Who: Brook Thompson
Where: SJ's on Beaumont
When: Wednesday April 19, 2000

NEWCASTLE-born guitarist BROOK THOMPSON has experienced a surge of interest in his WARPED CD since the Melbourne-based musician released the disc on the world wide web.

Like the world's largest media company TIME WARNER and the world's largest Internet service provider AMERICA ONLINE, Thompson has realised the enormous potential of new technologies for the music industry.

The AOL/WARNERS merger means that all of the music on Warner (in Australia that includes REGURGITATOR, ALEX LLOYD and THE WHITLAMS) will soon be available to buy from home on your PC.

You'll be able to have a disc sent, or you will be able to buy individual tracks that will live on your hard drive until you're ready to burn your own compilation CD.

Thompson's disc, which he launched in Newcastle 12 months ago, can be purchased from Australian online retailer CHAOS MUSIC, which is linked to Thompson's website at http://home.primus.com.au/brookt

In turn, Thompson's web site is linked to a host of specialist on-line music publications worldwide, which attract readers who would be interested in Thompson's particular musical genre.

Thompson's guitar/metal/rock genre, which is in the same vein as JOE SATRIANI and STEVE VAI, was popular enough with the editors of an Italian 'on-line zine' GUITAR CHEF for the publication to make Thompson their cover story recently.

Readers of the magazine were able to link through to Thompson's website, download a preview of Thompson's material in the MP3 format, and decide whether they wanted to buy the CD.

Readers liked what they heard and proceeded through to the ChaosMusic site who were able to process the order via a credit card, and send a hard copy of the CD to the readers of Guitar Chef.

Thompson offers all of the songs from Warped as free MP3 downloads, which don't take long to arrive on your computer from his website.

You can even burn the lot to CD if you're willing to fork out between $500 and $800 for a CD burner and $2 for a blank disc.

The fact that this technology exists, and millions of music lovers are embracing it, suggests that CD burners will become as cheap and common as VCRs over the next 10 years.

Not only can you 'burn' copies of the files you download from the web, but you can burn CDs you buy from shops as well as the DVDs that your video shop rents out (not that we'd recommend that - it's still against the law!)

Thompson, launching his web site in Newcastle on Wednesday, April 19, at SJ's Hotel, has sold 300 copies of his independently-produced CD in the past three months from his website. If he opted to make his tracks available on 'secure' formats such as Liquid Audio (he doesn't yet), then he would be able to sell the tracks for $2 each (and he'd take about $1.20 a track after the distributor's cut).

'I can reach many more fans of guitar music on the Internet than I could through live shows, and my music is available 24 hours a day on the net,' he said.

Copies of Warped have been shipped to Chile, England, Brazil and the United States, where online retailer GUITARNINE is also selling the disc.

Understandably Thompson is enthusiastic about the Internet and music.

'It's the most democratic medium ever known to mankind,' he gushes.

The only problem he says is that with so many artists on-line 'how do you stand out from the crowd?' I'm not sure yet, but I'm working on it.'

One thing's for sure. The worldwide web will never replace live music.

Next week's live show will feature Thompson with the Newcastle musicians featured on Warped, bass player DAVID CHRISTENSON, drummer DARREN BURTOFT, and vocalist MAT SHAW. The group will be performing material from Warped and new compositions.

Maybe Thompson will hand out business cards at his next CD launch containing only his web address and fans will download his next album from home?

Who knows. In 10 years we may be downloading Thompson's latest track in the ad breaks via our interactive-web-TVs.



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