Interview with Matt Rowles of IndieATL

[ 0 ] December 20, 2012 |

By Jhoni Jackson

IndieATL, the Georgia State University arm that simultaneously schools students on video-making and supports the city’s independent music scene, has more than a few reasons to celebrate. Tonight at 529, Baby Baby, El Fossil and other local acts will aid the web only live music series in high-fiving the holiday season—but that’s not the only cause for cheer. They’ve just inked a deal with Comcast to replace the Bands on Demand series.

“It’s been a year-and-a-half of back and forth between Georgia State’s lawyers and Comcast’s lawyers,” says IndieATL head honcho Matt Rowles.

At last, they’re moving forward. What to expect? For one, the same fine quality filming and sound found in the more than 100 available IndieATL videos. Bands like Gringo Star, Carnivores, O’Brother, Royal Thunder, the Coathangers and Death on Two Wheels have all gotten the IndieATL treatment. For the On Demand offerings, however, an interview component will be added.

“But we’re not going to do it where I’m on camera. We’re going to ask [the bands] questions then all we’re going to cut to is their answers. Because I don’t want to be on camera,” Rowles laughs.

Unlike its predecessor, IndieATL’s take on Bands on Demand will be filmed at various locations. Tonight, for example, they’ll be interviewing the bands at the holiday shindig. So not only will the show push local music, it’ll also highlight some of the city’s best venues and most beloved watering holes.

And while IndieATL often snags national acts rolling through town for sessions—they’ve had Delta Spirit and Fiery Furnaces, among others—the Comcast series probably won’t feature them.

“It will mostly be focused on Atlanta and promoting Atlanta bands and Atlanta’s music scene,” he clarifies.

In 2008, when I first spoke to Rowles about IndieATL, it was very much a fledgling project. Not anymore. When Rowles polled the Facebook fan page for a wish list of 2013 sessions, responses ran upwards of 10,000.

“It was like the most interaction we’ve ever had on any of our pages whatsoever, so that’s awesome,” he elates. “And there were some really good suggestions. So we’ll probably base the [upcoming] season somewhat on audience demand.”

If that’s not an indication of how much bigger and better IndieATL’s gotten, the series’ stats surely are.

“The other thing that happened in 2012 is we crossed the million-view mark on YouTube,” adds Rowles. “It’s not Justin Bieber numbers, but that’s pretty good for Atlanta indie rock!”

Check out the Coathangers’ “Sicker” and Baby Baby’s “Can’t Spell Conch without the ‘Ch’” below. For more sessions, visit the YouTube channel.

Baby Baby, El Fossil, Del Vinicci and TV Dinner play the IndieATL holiday show tonight at 529. Entry is free.  

Category: Gigs

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