Rockhal helps musicians navigate the music industry
(MSS) A new generation of musicians are making a mark on the music industry in Luxembourg, where few known artists have emerged from previously. It takes hard work and entrepreneurship, says Sam Reinard from Rockhal's Music and Resource centre.
If you like going to gigs, concerts and open mics, you'll probably have noticed how a growing number of bars and cultural venues have popped up in Luxembourg over the past years and how the range of musical offers has grown accordingly.
When Rockhal opened its doors in 2005, so did its Music and Resources centre, where musicians can find professional help to gain the knowledge needed to pave the way into the tough music industry.
“The Resource centre is not a music school or producers looking to produce CDs - our main mission is to inform, assist, support and help local musicians,” said Sam who works with the bands on a daily basis.
In a small country like Luxembourg, where the music business isn't as strong, Sam believes it is necessary to provoke certain things by establishing centres like Rockhal's.
Increasing professionalism among artists
Marco Battistella, who's responsible for the Cultural Ministry's “Service Musical” department and the government funds to the project, explained how the rock and pop scene in Luxembourg seemed to be invisible some years ago, although bands have always existed.
“They were somehow ignored. It wasn't on purpose – it just wasn't a subject,” he said.
But since then, things have changed, and Battistella is happy to see the increasing professionalism amongst the artists and that they benefit from the Rockhal's services.
The local rock band Tuys formed in 2007 when they were just 10 years old and were initially introduced to the centre's services when they won the newcomer festival Screaming Fields, where the prize was coaching hours at the Rockhal.
Tun Biever, guitarist and backing vocalist, believes this helped them become what they are now.
“They know the right people in Luxembourg and how to get things moving,” he said.
Help by asking “the right questions”
Part of the resource centre's yearly programme is organising the festival Screaming Fields, where amateur school bands get an opportunity to try what it's like to play a real concert with a big audience.
In the run up to the show the Music and Resource team will practice with the bands and ask “the right questions” to help the musicians evolve and reach their personal goals. They then simulate the day of the festival.
“They have to be on time – if they're not, we cut their set time. That's important to know if you're once going to play at a big festival, but no one has ever told them so, so we have to,” Sam said.
“We are like the fifth band member, who's a little older and a little wiser,” he said and gave examples of ways they guide the musicians, who often need help with the technical aspects of playing music.
“We ask the bands questions like 'why are you starting with this song?' and 'are the strings okay?'. There's a lot of details to playing a good concert that they haven't considered, and we are here to help them with that and paint the big picture,” Sam said.
Although Sam and the rest of the team work with the artists to help them become better, there's one area of the process they never touch.
“They try to never influence your creative work – that is left up to us,” explains Tun.
Renting one of the Rockhal's rooms for rehearsals of four hours will cost you 20 euros or less per session. A card worth five rehearsals costs 100 euros, a 15 rehearsal card 300 euros and 400 euros for 20 sessions.
For more information about the services offered at Rockhal, visit www.mr.rockhal.lu.