WANT TO TAKE A MUSIC LESSON FROM YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST/MUSICIAN? PERIPHERY’S MATT HALPERN MAKES YOUR DREAM A REALITY WITH BANDHAPPY.COM!
If you’re into what’s happening in the modern music world and especially the modern metal scene then you’re no doubt already familiar with the band Periphery. To say they are carrying one of the biggest buzzes in the industry right now is an understatement. While you may have heard of them, and even be a huge fan of their music, what you may not know is that they are continually focused on giving music lessons and teaching any and all up-and-coming musicians who want to learn. Giving lessons has become a standard part of just about every tour they do and in a time where other bands find they are struggling to stay afloat on the road, Periphery uses this approach to not only bring in some invaluable extra money while on tour but also to enrich the next generation of musicians and create a stronger bond with their fans.
Periphery’s drummer Matt Halpern has gone way above and beyond with Bandhappy.com, a forthcoming website that has been many years in the making. Once a musician creates an account on Bandhappy they are then able to pay for and take LIVE, online or on tour music lessons from a plethora of musicians and teachers from all over the world. If one would like to teach, anyone can apply, and once approved, all teachers gain access to an online profile where they can set their schedules, rates, and teach either online or on tour, anytime from anywhere – it’s easy to use and gives complete control to the teacher, enabling them to provide a truly personal learning experience. Perhaps the most awesome feature of Bandhappy is that it provides a great opportunity for students to take LIVE and personal lessons from some of the top names in the industry. Something like that can be a complete dream come true and is something that’s never be made available before. I certainly couldn’t imagine myself when I was 16 being able to take a guitar lesson from Adam Jones-my mind would have exploded!
Matt was kind enough to give me all the details on Bandhappy and more in the following interview.
You guys have been giving lessons on tour for many years now. In a time when bands are struggling to earn income on the road this is something that can provide that extra income that can either make or break a tour for you. Is this something that you think is going to become more prevalent amongst all bands as a way to get extra income or do you think it’s only limited to “techie music nerd” bands?
Matt: I think this is something that spans all genres. It doesn’t matter what type of music you like or play, if you’re a musician then you have something great to offer. Over the past two years, I’ve booked lessons for a slew of awesome musicians – some in the metal world, some in other genres, but without fail, we’ve helped these musicians earn some extra coin, and have helped provide an undoubtably memorable experience for music fans who want to learn from their favorite musicians. The Bandhappy service provides a new, unique, and personal connection between bands and fans, and is definitely not limited to any genre or instrument – this is for everyone.
Tell me a little about Bandhappy. Where did the idea come from and what is your mission statement?
Matt: Our mission is to create and provide products that help improve the lives of musicians. I started teaching on tour a bunch of years back to support myself. I would teach in all the cities I went to, then would work with the same students when I got home through live video chat. Other musicians I was touring with began asking about my lessons, and after a short period of time I was booking for them. I started promoting guys in Periphery, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and many more as music teachers, and the requests for lessons were pouring in. This was great for these musicians, but was really tough for me from a booking standpoint – it was too much to handle alone. I was using one platform for the live lesson video chats, Facebook and twitter to promote the teachers and converse with fans to schedule the lessons, and was using PayPal to get everyone paid – it was all a very disjointed and an extremely cumbersome experience. It was because of this that I decided to create Bandhappy – an all-in-one, education-based online market place where musicians and fans can manage, schedule, promote, communicate, and participate in LIVE lessons, with any musician, without geographic limitations of any kind. Bandhappy provides a seamless booking and communication system, promotional and educational tools for both teachers and students, and a completely custom live video chat interface for the best music lesson experience possible.
As someone that’s been close to you as a friend and as a professional for many years I can attest to the fact that you’ve had the idea for this website for at least 3-4 years. You’ve been plagued with setback after setback in that time and while it has to be a wonderful feeling to finally see this come to fruition I know there has to be some frustration there because in the time since you first had the idea other sites have popped up offering what seems to be a similar product. As I’m sure you know, if there’s anyone out there that can feel for you on this one it’s me. Can you tell me a little bit about your feelings on this pertaining to your own situation?
Matt: This has been a great learning experience for me. Yes, it’s been tough to figure this all out, but nothing good comes easy or without hard work. I’ve learned so much from this and feel that despite any struggles, that we are truly right where we are supposed to be. You can’t get discouraged by hurdles or competitors in this type of business. You just have to do the best you can for your customers and that’s my focus.
For a musician that’s trying to decide between which instructional website he wants to join what would you to him now to sell him on why Bandhappy is the best option to go with? What does Bandhappy offer that NONE of these other sites do?
Matt: To be honest, there really aren’t any other sites offering the same service as Bandhappy. Students can visit Bandhappy and request lessons with any musician in the world – we’ll make that lesson happen. We have an ever-growing list of the best and most requested artists and teachers, we have extremely simple and easy to use functionality, and we provide the absolute best platform for connecting musicians and fans LIVE! Bandhappy will pre-launch with a limited selection of teachers and students in late October, followed by a full commercial launch later in 2011. We’ll be announcing the first group of teachers and selecting our first group of students shortly, but for now, log on to www.bandhappy.com and tell us, if you could take a music lesson with any musician, who would it be?
Awesome-it’s truly an amazing product you’re offering. Well, thanks for taking the time to do this interview dude-good luck with the rest of the tour!
Matt: You’re welcome man, thanks for wanting to do it.
You’re welcome! anything you want to say to everyone before we wrap this up?
Matt: Right now, we’re running a campaign where we’re asking musicians “if you could take a lesson from any musician, who would it be?” … We’ve been compiling a list of artists from the responses, and these are the guys who are going to be teaching on the site. Fans and students tell us who they want to learn from and we go get em’ … It’s a really exciting list so far, and we want it to keep growing, so if you’re a music fan or musician, please go to bandhappy.com and tell us who you want to learn from. After that all you have to do is just stay tuned and keep checking the forums-we’ll be announcing the first group of teachers shortly!