Photographer profiles local musicians
Posted April 6, 2010
WRAL photojournalist Greg Hutchinson has a passion for music, especially the local music scene. He profiles talented musicians in his "Hear it from Hutch" blog on WRAL.com. I asked Hutch to tell us how he chooses the bands, why he loves local music so much and how up-and-coming bands can contact him. Enjoy!
Q: How did the "Hear it from Hutch" blog come about?
A: I LOVE to go to live shows. There is something about seeing a band perform live that just brings out an extra layer to the art they create. And SO many times I would be watching a band and think… what could I do to get more involved in the music scene?
Then one day I sat down with Gary Poole, former drummer for the T’s. We threw some ideas back and forth and eventually I came up with making Nat Pkg’s (natural sound packages) featuring some Triangle musicians. I wanted to post the interviews in their entirety, but Gary pointed out that it wouldn’t always be the best thing for a band’s image, which makes sense. So I created a TON more work for myself. :)
I then had to pitch the idea to the web (WRAL.com), and was surprised when they told me yes. Jodi Glusco (WRAL.com’s managing editor) even asked if I would be able to sustain it. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface!
I don’t think a lot of people realize how amazing the music scene is here. There is literally something for everybody. There are so many great venues and things happening on every night of the week, it’s impossible to get bored. Hear it from Hutch is just another way for people to learn more about what the area has to offer. It also gives insight into the life of the band… I don’t know too many other sources that combine hearing a band and learning about them into 2 to 3 minutes, and is also so easily accessible.
Q: How do you choose the musicians you feature, and can bands/singers contact you?
A: Since I don’t get paid to do these, I try to pick bands I would listen to. But I’m pretty open-minded. I’ve had several bands contact me and to be honest I wasn’t sure about them. And then after meeting them and diving a little more into their music, I can’t imagine NOT listening to them!
But so far the blog has snowballed and one band would recommend another and then another and so on. Reid Johnson from Schooner has been instrumental in helping me track bands down and to compile a list of potential bands to interview. I’d never heard of Schooner until Chas from Grey Young told me they were one of his favorite bands.
I encourage bands to contact me. It lets me know they are interested and really makes my life easier! They can just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check them out!
But another way I've found bands is just by approaching them after their shows. I'm always shocked at how nice and receptive they are. I Was Totally Destroying it is quoted in their blog feature saying they love it when people say hi to them at their shows, which is exactly how I met them. They were playing Local band Local Beers at Tir na Nog... I walked up and told them about this new idea, and they were all over it. I think it helps too to be able to drop WRAL as the source, though.
Q: Do you make videos for the bands?
A: I don’t make videos for the bands, but I’d like to. Cassis Orange was the closest I’ve come to making a video. But that was a unique circumstance. But in a way each project is like a video for them. I usually have to shorten the songs and weave in their interviews… but if you think about it, it makes a great marketing tool for them. And I’m happy to help! But actual videos are much more involved, and I haven't been able to secure any concepts or find the time and right band to make that happen.
Q: Are you a musician or in a band?
A: I used to play bass in a garage band in high school. We were called World Ruckus and had a pretty popular song called Piece of Wood. But I never really took playing the bass seriously. I also played the violin when I was in grade school.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: I just think it’s imperative that people support local music, especially in an age where file sharing has made it tough for bands to prosper. It’s important to buy their merchandise and to drop a few bucks for a cover… that way they continue to make the art we enjoy so much.
People always ask me what my favorite type of music is, and my answer is always the same. “Something I’ve never heard before.” And I think that is a good way to approach the blog. How can I introduce people to something they have never heard before and do it in a way that caters to short attention spans?
Thanks for featuring me! It was fun to answer the questions and to think about why it is that I actually do this! Ha! It’s a blast, that’s why!