Youtube views of over 500 million are usually associated with the world's biggest bands or grainy home footage of cats that sound like they're saying "old long Johnson." However Florida-based band of brothers Boyce Avenue - Alejandro (vocals/ guitar), Fabian (guitar/ vocals) and Daniel Manzano (bass/ percussion) - have amassed just such numbers for their Youtube channel since putting their music online in 2007. With a self-released debut album All We Have Left out now, as we exclusively premiere the video for their new single Broken Angel (watch above), we asked the trio to explain how they they're converting online attention into real world success.
You've had massive success on Youtube, what's your secret to getting noticed?
Daniel Manzano: "Hard work. Passion. Consistency. We love music and we love what we do, and I think it shows. People can sense when something comes from a deep and honest place. The gimmicky acts on YouTube are fun for a bit, but then people leave and don't come back. We're ok not being that viral band with 100 million views for one video. We'd rather be the band with five million views for every single video we do. That means people are coming back. That means we've made a lot of friends, not acquaintances. We want every video we do to be the best video we've ever done."
Do you feel under any pressure to rack up the hits count again?
Fabian Manzano: "Not really. There was a time when we thought that a hit single was the answer for us. But we got burned by the big label thing back when we signed to Universal Republic, and since we've been independent again, things have been better than ever in every regard. So, for now our main focus is to keep putting out great music directly to our fans and to keep playing bigger and bigger shows. We're confident that someday radio and TV will be a part of our story. But we no longer sit around stressing about that. Our fans have been patient with the fact that we're doing everything independently and on our own."
When you make a video now, where do you envisage it being seen?
Alejandro Manzano: "Online, always online. That's where we get the most intense connection and interaction with the fans. It's direct. The comments are right there. The feedback is instant, and we love that."
How has things like posting videos online changed the game for new or unsigned acts like yourselves?
Daniel Manzano: "It feels like yesterday that we posted our first YouTube video, and since then, we've headlined shows all over the world. It's crazy. I used to practice law chained to a desk! And now I am doing what I love to do. And it's the same for the boys. I am confident we would have found a way to share our message with the world even in the absence of YouTube, Facebook and such, but in our case, it's been a game changer. We're doing everything on our own right now as an independent band, with no label, and essentially no radio play and no TV. And everything we do is fuelled online and by word of mouth. It's a very exciting time to be an independent band."
Tell us about the Broken Angel video, which we're streaming. What inspired that video and who made it?
Alejandro Manzano: "From the get-go, we knew this was a big video for us, for a big song. So we took our ideas straight to our friend and director Mark Staubach, who we've worked with several times, and who has done videos for acts like Bruno Mars, Travis McCoy and Lupe Fiasco. I wrote Broken Angel about one of my best friends. She had a strained relationship with her father growing-up, but it was beautiful to see her take all those negative experiences and turn them into positives by helping others that have gone through similar hardships. And through Broken Angel we hope to inspire and empower others to do the same. So the idea for the video was to carry that further."
10:00 AM | 16/04/2012
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