Well Not All “Time Sucks” Are Bad
“With that being said, passion and drive are key.”
What a great idea, creating an online music magazine that is tailored to an individuals interests. Groovebug is enabling music lovers to connect with their favorite bands, on one simple platform. Jeremiah Seraphine, CEO & Co-Founder of Groovebug, shared his thoughts with us about the marriage between technology & music, his time spent at Northwestern, and why Jello Biafra changed punk-rock.
In today’s world there is quite a marriage between technology and music. What brought these elements to the table and how is Groovebug impacting those elements?
Wow, that is quite a question. I could write a Master’s thesis on that and still not hit all the points. Well, technology and music are intertwined for many reasons. Music progresses as technology progresses, because instruments and capturing sound both rely on technology. Breakthrough in music are often the result of either a new technology or an artist redefining how that technology can be used.
Advances in technology have made music accessible to more and more people. It is easier than ever before to play, record, and distribute music, as well as create and distribute content about music. Take a friend of mine, Bryan Ford, for example. He is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist. He recorded an entire album from start to finish in his home studio, playing every instrument himself. He recorded, arranged and mastered the project with Pro Tools and other software. He uploaded the album to The Orchard, who will then distribute the music to hundreds of digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon. He will then use a service like AheadPR to distribute his music to thousands of bloggers, radio DJs and nightclub DJs around the world. Those people create blog posts, tweets, podcasts, mixes on platforms like Soundcloud and more. Technology has made it possible for millions of artists to do what Bryan is doing.
Groovebug is designed to make it effortless for music lovers to dive into the vast ocean of music and music related content that now exists. We take advantage of technology to personalize the experience.
The iPod was the biggest innovation in the music industry during the last decade. It completely changed the way we acquired and consumed music. How do you perceive that Groovebug will change the game over the next ten years?
Well, we are part of giant shift in the music business. The trend is to bring the artist and fan closer together, cutting out any middlemen who aren’t able to add value.
We all know the stories about the guys that dropped out of college to start multi-billion dollar technology companies. In the previous generation, it was guys dropping out of high school and going on to build multi-million dollar brick and mortar businesses. Your team of advisors and investors have quite impressive resumes. Do you believe that anyone with an idea and a passion can build a thriving business?
Well, sort of, but I have to say that we owe a huge part of our success to Northwestern University. We learned the lean start-up framework in NUvention Web. Many of our advisors and investors are connected to the University. The Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications program in which I am studying for my Master’s degree taught me great frameworks for marketing strategy, qualitative research, and marketing analytics. My team and I haven’t dropped out of the program, but we’re taking extremely light loads so we can finish our degrees eventually. With that being said, passion and drive are key.
Pictured Left to Right: Jere McCallister (Engineer), Neal Ehardt (CTO and co-founder),
Jeremiah Seraphine (CEO and co-founder), Brad Awodu (Engineer)
I find the internet to be overwhelming. Is Groovebug going to help me save time by consolidating things, or add another site to the list of everyday time sucks like Facebook? It’s a bit of trick question, but we really want to know the reasons behind such a brilliant idea like Groovebug.
Hmm. Well not all “time sucks” are bad. It comes down to how you want to spend your time. We are looking to eliminate the tedious parts of music exploration so the user can focus on what is captivating, inspiring, and fun. There is no reason to spend time searching thousands of sites for something you like. It should come to you and it should be fun to browse through it all.
If you could sit down for a drink with any artist living or dead who would it be and why?
Just one? Maybe Fela. He is such an interesting character. He essentially created a new genre of music, fought corruption in Nigeria by starting his own country within the borders, and had kids that went on to become icons. It would be an interesting conversation.
Neil Young said, “Back then people closed their eyes and listened to music. Today there’s a lot of images that go with the music. A lot of music is crap and it’s all commercial and the images are all trying to sell the record.” Do you think people are still closing their eyes and listening to music or is there just too much media going along with the music that bombards the consumer while listening?
There is certainly tons of crap out there, but I choose not to listen to it. There is more great music available than ever before. I’m not exactly sure to which “back then” Neil Young is referring. I mean, music has always been tied to more senses than just hearing. Dancing is both visual and tactile and has been around since the first beat of a drum. My favorite music experiences are all consuming. Look at what Pink Floyd does.
What is your favorite Dead Kennedy’s album and how important do you think Jello Biafra’s contribution is to punk?
I fell in love with the Dead Kennedy’s in junior high. Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death is my favorite by far. Police Truck, Holiday in Cambodia, California Uber Alles, and I Fought the Law are such great songs! I thought Jello Biafra really brought thoughtfulness to punk. His messages resonated with me. I was into other punk back then, but the DKs just seemed smarter than the rest.