Play It Safe
In 2020, the year of the pandemic when things got complicated, the live music industry had to radically rethink and look for pandemic-conform performance opportunities. The battery-powered and therefore mobile PA system EON ONE Compact by JBL Professional enables new, creative live concepts. We raffled it off at gigmit. The gigmit community had lots of very good ideas about how they would use the PA. The competition and with it the JBL EON ONE Compact and a €1,000 production budget were finally won by a rock band in a van.
DAILY THOMPSON from Germany is a great live band from the Berlin indie label Noisolution. A three-piece that has already become a steady companion in the alternative guitar rock scene by being constantly on tour. They took the mobile PA, put it in their van and started playing. Check out the result here:
Unboxing the JBL EON ONE Compact
DAILY THOMPSON – River of A Ghost (Acoustic)
Interview With DAILY THOMPSON Bassist Mercedes
gigmit: Hey Mercedes, how was the shooting?
Mercedes: Hey, it was nice and frosty! Our concept is “Jam in our Van”. Luckily we were mobile. Initially, we wanted to drive to the Canyon in Lengerich and shoot there. The current COVID-19 situation then ruined our plans at short notice. Other locations, such as the harbour and the slag heap here in Dortmund, were also closed off. No chance! But no problemo: we finally snuck into a kind of “industrial garden”. A bit of “Pott Flair” is authentic and always nice.
How did you find out about the initiative?
Via the gigmit newsletter. I’ve been registered with gigmit for years and think it’s a great thing to have an extra database of clubs and festivals. When we got the winning notification, I announced the news after a rehearsal for a cup of schnapps. Matze and Danny were really excited too. Since we make music full-time, we are all just under-sounded. So any project is more than welcome!
Is the JBL EON ONE Compact powered by JBL Professional now part of the band?
The JBL EON ONE Compact is definitely the coolest PA I’ve ever played with or held in my hands. It’s amazing what you can do these days. The sound is really good, even though it’s portable and only weighs 8 kg. Of course, we played our acoustic song on it. If we had used our normal sound, it would have been difficult to play it with one speaker. But firstly, it’s not designed for that and secondly, if you actually got several, it would be possible.
Another really good thing is that you can also use it as a monitor. In addition, we were able to mix and record the song via the PA and the mixing console, so it’s actually like a mini studio!
So I would say it’s just nestling into the fabric. We’re really looking forward to the summer season, i.e. the festival season. Because in the backstage or on the campsite, everyone always listens to live music. Even when you visit friends and sit around the campfire in the garden: you can plug in your instruments and just play until the neighbours get really excited. Wonderful! Of course, we’re talking about the “normal” times here.
You are a band that does not want to be slowed down by COVID. How do you get through the pandemic?
The whole COVID thing hit us in the face really hard. We had just finished recording the new album “Oumuamua” in spring and wanted to tour Italy and Spain in April. In May we would have had a support tour through Europe plus some really good festival slots that we had been playing towards for a few years. It went really well! But then we had to cancel over 50 shows in total. We still released our album at the end of August via Noisolution. Special thanks to the label. We were signed without any hesitation despite the risk situation. We were able to play about four live shows, one livestream. We shot some videos and now we’re going to do some live performance videos.
It’s not the same, but at least something is happening. Hiding now is not an option! We also have new songs in the pipeline which we will record in spring. Without the live gigs, we are even ahead of our time. If I had to give advice, I would tell everyone: Keep going! Use the time that is there! Rehearse, write, play and work on your songs as much as possible!
Do you feel like the work of creators is being sufficiently appreciated right now?
We’ve been in lockdown for 10 months and get almost no help. And that will probably go on for a while. I’m not going to start with the car or plane lobby… but I’d like to sensitise people out there. When you’re listening to music, watching TV or reading a book in lockdown or quarantine: think of those who created this!
Danny and I also work as merchers for other artists and big festivals. We know the lighting technicians, roadies, promoters, clubs, stand builders and all areas of this scene. Some of our friends who have been working there for more than 20 years are now construction workers or in the warehouse of a drinks supplier.
When people tell you, “Well, you should have learned something real”, it makes me sick. In the music business, there is no 9 to 5. We sometimes work 18 hours a day to open up the club in the morning, drive to the next gig etc… For everyone else it’s free time, for us it’s our life!
What will you do in the future?
Play lots and lots of live shows. We have postponed all the shows from this year. Besides, one or the other member of the band might have something else in the pipeline that will be released in 2021.
Thank you for the interview, Mercedes.
Get A Portable PA Too!
It’s your next chance: we run another competition. Apply with your concept to your “Play It Safe – powered by JBL Professional” gig until Easter 2021 and win
Active 2-Way Battery-Powered JBL EON ONE Compact PA Speaker
+ 2 Channel Mixer “Soundcraft Signature 12MTK”
+ 2x Dynamic Vocal Microphone “AKG D5”
+ €1,000 production budget
+ the video shoot with BEAR FILM from Berlin.
How to Win
Just tell us your idea to use your new mobile PA system in a creative pandemic-conform way for your gig on 1 May 2021 – in the mountains, on a shop roof, on a boat, in the forest or by bike? Get some inspiration here: How to take live gigs out of normal venues.
And this is how it works:
- You need a gigmit profile. If you don’t have one, register here simply and free of charge.
- Your gigmit Artist Page should be up-to-date and present a professional impression like this.
- You participate by logging in and applying for the gig “Play It Safe – powered by JBL Professional”.
- You have read the terms and conditions of participation, so fill in the application and answer the three questions. Most important is question #1 – the one about your concept. Ideally, questions #2 and #3 should simply be answered with “YES”.
- You click “Send Application”.
- You receive a notification by email if you have won.
- You perform your Play It Safe gig on 1st May 2021 and get a €1,000 production budget, the mixer, the microphones and the EON ONE Compact from JBL. Yes, of course, you can keep the equipment after the gig.
- Berlin-based video production company BEAR FILM is shooting your gig for free.
- You and your gig get featured by JBL Professional and gigmit (= free promo).
Best of luck, and we can’t wait to see your ideas!