We caught up with Pat Buhler who along with his business partner Nicky von Koller has started up myrockout.com a new website which aims to connect musicians and industry professionals across the globe.

M: Why did you decide to start the website?

P: Well I had the idea itself for quite some time simply because as a promoter myself organising gigs, I always thought it was too tricky to find new bands in the sense that you have to go on different websites, you have to go through all sorts of different articles or news reports or Soundcloud you have to Google, you go all over the place to find new bands and I always thought Jesus  there has to be a simpler way where you can just go  on there and you can click or filter out the area your looking for and new stuff not necessarily for a gig you want to do but anything just so you filter out your area to see what is around maybe  a new band is just sitting next door and you don’t even know it  because you never heard them.

 So filtering this out and having the profile and all the information there about this band or the venue and promoter, with what you have today with Facebook Soundcloud whatever, you can just click on it and its basically an easier and more efficient way to come across new stuff out there. 

 I had been carrying the idea around for quite some time and never really found anybody who was really interested because I can’t do the technical side of it, I haven’t got a clue, and so when I met Nikki and I explained to her what my idea is, she said she’d definitely be up for giving me a hand with that. She’s awesome at coding and so the whole thing started off and obviously there’s still a lot of work to do with it, but for now what is online I think is absolutely smashing and the people who do get the principle of the website are fantastic when they work with it and others still I still have to explain what it is about.

M: How much have interest in the website have you gained so far, in terms of bands venues promoters?

P: Well I mean it’s still obviously new to the world and it takes time to get it where we want it to be which is obviously to fill it with thousands of bands and promoters, you never know, that’s the thing with these sites they come and go and it’s up to you and how clever you are in marketing these things to see if it stays and make an impression on people so they go an use it. At the moment I would say as it stands right now it’s definitely moving forwards but not fast enough the way I want it the reason being, I guess from speaking to people I think it comes to a bit of laziness because there is already a lot of social networking sites out there so people haven’t quite understood that they can take everything that already exists around their band or venue or whatever, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud and whatever. Pin it to this one profile in this archive and that’s why we also kept it as simple as possible so it’s not cluttered with anything, it doesn’t actually I’ve the user the option to set it up like a Facebook page we never wanted that we simply wanted it to be a stepping stone to go to all of these things to get to all of this information about the artist.

M: Have you come across any barriers starting the website?

P:  The main thing always was obviously to lay it out and to see how to make it appealing for people so that’s it’s easy to use and not too cluttered with things flashing all over the place and the layout itself the design to make it interesting to the eye, these were the main issues at the beginning how to go about it. A few things have been changed already since the beginning like the logo was different at the beginning, the old logo is still on the Facebook but the new one is the big one behind it. So these were the main issues and then it went online and  I think the next big issues to be tackled was to spread the word and get the first few people on there,  which took some time because obviously people didn’t quite understand and they weren’t quite sure of what it was about.  Some people thought they had to do us a favour to get on there and I had to explain  to people ‘you know you’re not doing this really for us it’s for your own benefit’ which is still an issue today.  It hasn’t changed much in that respect, it has gotten slightly better and more people understand but it’s still lacking in the sense that even though you explain to people what’s going on and what it is and they’ll say ‘yeh it’s a great thing and we’ll definitely use it’. But let’s say from every ten people who will say that there are two maybe three max who actually work with it and go and create a profile,  which is better than nothing but it could be  way better than that considering what it is and what it can do.  I expected a lot more people to be excited about it.  Once it’s grown to a size where you have a choice all over the world of new bands and new venues and promoters I think the tool itself will be absolutely incredible to make it way easier and much more efficient for anybody involved in the music industry.

 It takes time and the continuous promoting, talking about it and rubbing it into people’s faces,  as annoying as it might be sometimes for people who are around me who have to hear about it over and over again.  But I guess that’s what it is with a business in that sense, you have to keep at it and you have to spread the word.  I mean, understanding how quickly people’s attention spans go with these things you’ve got maybe two to three seconds to tell people what it’s about if they’re not hooked by that then you’ve lost them.  Even though they say in that moment ‘this is awesome’ that doesn’t mean the next day it still is, so you have to tell them again and that is basically the aim at the moment, to get people on there and talking about it. I suppose this has come down to starting promoting again in the sense of promoting gigs, what I try to do is set up gigs under My Rock Out, mainly up in Scotland because I’m based here and the bands who want to play or are trying to put on a gig with us we tell them why don’t you make a profile on the site and link it all up and then through that I can advertise for the gig and you will be playing and that seems to work.   Obviously there’s only so many gigs I can put on  by myself both financially,  personally  I would love to do it every day but that’s not how it works.

 I’m spreading the word in other countries  as well, my background is in Switzerland and I’m speaking with promoters back home about putting  on gigs there under myrockout.com it hasn’t happened just yet it’s still in discussion. Again it’s a matter of pushing people because it can be forgotten quite quickly.  We’ve done the site in German as well now, there’s a German button there so now its in two languages which is spreading us out even further. 

If it goes well and it makes sense to continue investing money because that’s another fact I mean how much money  do you keep investing before you say ok this is enough leave it as it is let’s see what happens or if it comes to you know what this is not working lets break it up.

Right now I think we’re at a point where we just leave it as it is, although obviously there are many things that need to be changed and many things that need to be added. Maybe there are certain people that would like to have some things different, but right now as it stands from a financial point of view, we’ll just leave it right and wait and work with what we’ve got. The people who are on there and do use it are happy with it, they think it is an amazing tool they don’t see anything wrong with it simply because it is easy to use it is simple it is straight forward.

M: What do you hope for the website in the future?

P: For the future like I said obviously it would be grand if it would take off in the sense that the world press and people know automatically what myrockout.com is. That it would a music archive where you can easily go on there and browse around, filter out by countries, genres or even cities to find what you’re looking for.  Bands can go on if they’re going on tour and go on check it out and see if we have any venues, or the other way around promoters looking for a good band can go on the website, you can go on there and find anything you need through it. That is the goal right now,  I’m not saying it’s the end goal but for now this is the goal,  once that has been reached then we can look  further into it and see if there’s any money to be made but right now that’s not the point for us.

M: Why do you think there’s such a lack of platforms and websites on the internet that serve both the musicians and industry professionals?

P: I don’t think there’s a lack of sites which artist or promoters can use, I just think everyone wants to do their own thing and therefore there’s a lot of them out there. It just makes it harder to go and look for stuff because it’s spread out all over the place.  People don’t know all the sites,  I mean one band might be signed up with Bandcamp the other one  might prefer ReverbNation another one might just have a Youtube channel, so you never really  know where to look.  If you just go on Reverb Nation and have a look around there you’ll find awesome stuff no doubt about it, but again maybe the band you need for a gig might not be on there they might be on a completely different site so you’ll never actually find them. So  that’s where  myrockout.com comes in because were not trying to work against any of these sites,  for us it’s not about taking any business away  its quite the opposite.  We’re trying to combine all of them so that people who have all these social network sites when they sign up they can take them all and pin them to myrock out.com.  That way, whoever goes on there has all the information and click on every single one.  None of these bands or venues of promoters have to give up any of their already existing sites to be a part of myrockout.com it can automatically continue and just be added to it without any issue.