Saturday, December 1, 2012

Facebook's EdgeRank system sucks and is bad for your band

Well, I knew I didn't like the Facebook changes that have been forced upon everyone but I knew eventually we'd all get over it. Remember the force over to timeline? Oh man - that thing is awful. But we manage, right? We move forward and we try to make the best out of it. To be fair, it's given us a bit more creativeness with the whole "top picture" thing. That's always fun, right? Right!

These changes, no matter how frustrating, usually do not affect the user outside of forcing us to figure out how to use the damn thing. Unfortunately, Facebook eventually makes changes that really really fuck us over as musicians. Ladies and Gentlemen... I would like to introduce to you; Facebook's EdgeRank!

Here's how it works; When you post something on your band (or product) page - Facebook's EdgeRank automatically kicks in. It looks at your post and makes a decision based on a random algorithm. Is this post going to interest the hundreds or thousands of fans that have liked your page?  What about relevancy? Does this post have anything to do with what all of your fans are talking about? Is it selling a product?

All of these things are factored in to a magical math machine that may decide that it's only going to test the waters to 10% of your likes. As of today, we have a little over 600 likes on our Facebook page (we need more, damnit!) so when we post something along the lines of "Come out to our next show and RSVP on this event page!" EdgeRank decides that because everyone is passing around the chain letter about copyrighting personal pages, our post to get more people to our live show isn't relevant enough. 75 people will see that post and maybe two of them will like it. None of them will RSVP. From now on, when we post about a show, very little people will see it.

What's an even worse scenario? Asking for your fans to purchase your product.

We are in the middle of writing a full-length album. That costs money! As much as we like to pretend that we're a big ol' fancy Post-Apocalyptic Rock and Roll band - we all have day jobs and all of our funding comes from out of our own pockets. Unless we sell some merch at our shows! We rely on at least some of our funding to come from what you good people buy from us. We have all of our music available for purchase on all corners of the internet. We offer merch through pay-pal off our website. We try to sell as many CDs and stickers and stuff as we can at live shows. We pimp ourselves out a lot because when it comes time to hit that big red "record" button - we would like some help.

The minute we post on Facebook that we have tracks for sale, new merch on the way, links to where you can purchase our EP or anything having to do with selling a product - Facebook's EdgeRank automatically hides it from the fans.

Why would this be? Why would Facebook go out of it's way to make things hard for your band? I'm glad you asked! It's very simple.


If EdgeRank determines that you are offering a product it will automatically hide the post from most of your fans that you've worked so hard to get. There is a way, however, to get every single one of your likes to not only see your posts, but to have their family and friends see it too.

It's called "Promote" and it's a crock of shit.

Every single post that you make on your page can now be promoted. Depending on how many likes you have, you pay different amounts of money to show it to specific amounts of people. For example:
For just $10 - EdgeRank will lift all restrictions on our 600+ likes and let all of them see it, plus MAYBE an estimated 400 extra people.

Not enough for you? EdgeRank has you covered.
For just $15 dollars they will not only show your post to all of your likes, but also an estimated extra 1000 people!

Still not enough for your post? Don't worry - they have a premium option.
For just $20 dollars, EdgeRank will show your post to almost 5000 people! Who cares if they're not interested in your product or are your grandmothers who don't have a taste for metal! We'll show it to them, damnit!

What started out as a way to help remove some of the clutter from your Facebook wall (we don't all care about your ugly kids, damnit) has turns into another way for Facebook to make a quick dollar. For a company that claims that they'll never charge you to use their services, it's a pretty shady move to charge you to reach out to your own fans.

Who knows - maybe they really are just trying to limit the clutter on our walls. Maybe they're not a bunch of greedy bastards who want to make easy money.

I've mentioned before that the music scene (especially locally here in Southern California) has lost a lot of what made it a mecca for music. However, I didn't expect Facebook to turn into a complicated version of the seedy pay-to-play clubs we have all come to hate.

Thanks, Facebook. I never thought I would say it... but you're making the New Myspace look pretty damn promising right now.

Check out out website at - nothing is hidden from you there!

Also a quick note; Help us pay for our album! Purchase our tracks from our BandCamp page. $5 for The Break Out EP - 8 awesome songs for the price of a cup of coffee. Thanks to everyone who has already helped out. New album out next year! See you on the road, travelers.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Album delay, recording time and a big ol' party!

Hey there AHTCK Squad!

There is so much awesomeness on the table right now with the album, some photoshoots we're getting ready for and the big "end of the world party" coming up in December, that we decided to sit down and figure out exactly where we stand with the new songs that we are ready to record.

Turns out - we aren't anywhere NEAR ready! Oops...

The new songs, ideas and concepts that we're building around the new album are still forming and coming together very nicely - unfortunately we had to cancel our first studio run at the end of this month because we kind of got wrapped up in the whole Wasteland Weekend thing.

That being said! We are already WAY behind our original release date of December 21st - the same day as our party at Industry Theater in Lancaster CA.

On that note - we will still be playing a show on that day, and we will be handing out certificates to anyone who comes - the certificates will be free and, assuming you survive the apocalypse and there is still internet connections post-December 21st, will grant you access to a special page on our website where you will get a FREE copy of the album! Our gift to you - free music. Because we suck at planning more than one thing at a time.

Keep your eyes on the sky and ears to the static - more updates to come soon! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Post-Wasteland Weekend Blues

You know, it's always hard to come back to the real world after spending over a week out in the Southern California desert and lending a hand to the fine people who put together the 4-day long festival. From driving in and only seeing about a dozen other people ready to get to work, to the sight of those same dozen people in my rear view mirror as I drive off into the dusty sunset, I'm always really sad for a good month or so after the events have ended.

Over the last 6 months, my friends Brian and Rob and I have spent many many days with the build crew, creating things like the Atomic Cafe, the Wasteland Gates, the Info Tire and the Stage. After putting all this work into the event that we've come to love so much, it was beautiful to finally watch everything come together.

Mike Darling over at Mike Darling Photography put together this awesome time-lapse of our build crew putting up the Wasteland Weekend gates. Many thanks to the entire build team for lending a hand and putting this together.

Our tribe "The AHTCK Squad" grew in population almost 3 times as much as last year. Our members stretch from all over the country - from Los Angeles to New York - we have a pretty nice mix of friends and family members.

But our friends and family don't stop inside our camp - we shared camp space this year with Captain Walkers Scrounge Lounge and Road Rash - both Northern California Tribes - both of them fucking insane! (In the best way!) We had a lot of fun this year - Rivet brought "Happy" out again - it's a strange, apple-like drink (mead?) that tastes super awesome (smoooooth) but gets you super messed up - really quickly. It's our favorite part about Wasteland Weekend!

Once Saturday night rolled around, it was time for us to take the stage - All Hail The Crimson King not only put on a bad-ass show, but in the middle of the madness, I proposed to my long-time girlfriend - I even got the crowd to shout back "I HOPE THAT SHE SAYS YES!" instead of the usual call back of "THEY DROPPED THE BOMB ON US!"

Well, if you're wondering what her answer was (and how the rest of the show went)... watch this:

We wrapped up the weekend with lots of wine (what I'm drinking in the video) and beer (what I'm ALSO drinking in the video) and lots of new friends and new family members. Like I mentioned before, Wasteland Weekend is always the highlight of my year and I'm glad I get to share it with so many friends and buddies while out in the middle of nowhere.

Wasteland Weekend is meant to be a celebration of life and survival. Once a year, we all come together to celebrate the survival of another year - one more year in the real world, surrounded by the comforts of society. This year was a defining moment in my life - the celebration of life and freedom and happiness - and now, love. I'm super excited to marry this gal and I can't wait to see what future Wasteland Weekends hold in store for us.

Now... time to tackle the album! Headed into the studio at the end of the month to churn out - The Ascension! See you in the wastelands!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wasteland Weekend and the End of the World!

Last year, the band went out into the desert for a few days and came back completely changed. We had the time of our lives and met some of the greatest people and made friends to last a lifetime. We went to Wasteland Weekend in California City. It's a 4-day long Post Apocalyptic party in the desert that's completely themed and full of awesome.

There was a bunch of flaming sword fights, music that went into all hours of the night, a mini Thunderdome (I called it the Rumble Bubble), Jugger matches (Think... football/soccer/rugby played with a dog skull), a post apocalyptic sermon, an "Atomic Cafe" replica from the 3rd Mad Max film that was stocked to the sky with booze and so much more that I can't remember... probably due to the Atomic Cafe.

Anyways, moving on! We are proud to announce that we will be performing this year! If you want to purchase tickets to Wasteland Weekend to see us (and all the other cool shit going on that you really don't want to miss...) then head on over to - ticket sales go up as the event gets closer! Check out the website for more information and to purchase tickets or volunteer if you're too cheap! See you in the Wastelands!

Speaking of post-apocalyptic...

With all the hoopla surrounding the whole "End of the World!" thing, we decided to hop on the band-wagon and bring you something TRULY post-apocalyptic.

We are proud to announce that we are halfway through the writing process of a new, full-length album from your favorite post-apocarock band!

Titles are tentative right now, but we are going to tell you a great story about a world that has moved on, a world that has torn itself in two and the story behind the band, the Crimson King and the False Prophet.

Divided into four cycles, the story will arc across the following segments:

Cycle I - Pestilence - The Birth of Captain Tripps
Cycle II - The Requiem - The Death of the American Dream
Cycle III - The Apostate - The Loss of Faith
Cycle IV - Redemption - The Rise of a New Nation

Each segment will tie in together and will bring to fruition the story behind "The Break Out EP" and the new album. From the beginning of the end, to the rise of a new nation. Get ready! The AHTCK has begun and it's ready to come full circle to smack you in the face, take your pants and run away giggling like a little girl! Keep an eye on the sky and ears on the radio - AHTCK Squad Transmission is incoming...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breaking News!

Comminication devices have finally reached a strong enough signal to send out this emergency AHTCK Squad update;

A couple of weeks ago, we were on our weekly trip to the city to collect supplies and replenish our non-radiated water. Shortly after our supply run had begun, we were unfortunately attacked by zombies. Though we are all excellent zombie fighters, they did take us by surprise. They came out of nowhere and immediately began to rock our heavily armored vehicle as we barrelled down the dirt roads towards the city. Soon enough, they had managed to drive us off the road where the vehicle flipped and we all lost conciuosness.

Upon waking up, our vehicle was gone, our weapons delpleated and hundreds, if not, THOUSANDS of re-dead zombies were sprawled all around us. On my forhead, a hand written note;

Thanks for everything. I've had a lot of fun and I'll never forget the times we had. Unfortunately I need to return to my home planet of TedNugentia X. Cats are going crazy. Might have some kind of fever. I'll stay in touch. Love, Cody

Okay but honestly, Cody has decieded to go his own way - there are no hard feelings here and we all wish the best to Cody in all of his future endevours. Thanks so much for being part of the first official completed leg of AHTCK - You helped shape this band into the awesome hard rock power house that it has become. Thanks for all the laughs and all the great memories. Don't catch that cat scratch fever on TedNugentia X.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Larry Katz - Our Drummer

Now... before I dive headfirst into this next post, I need to first outline something very important for you. We love our drummer, Larry. Very much so. In a distant, hands-off sort of way. Therefore, this post is dedicated to him and his awesomeness.


I hate Larry. He drives me insane when it comes to super important things. I can't even begin to guess the number of emails, text messages and important questions that have been directed to him that go unanswered. What happens when you corner him and encourage him to play along with everyone else? He usually makes a joke about your sexual preference, length of your hair and/or your reproductive organs and their various locations around your body.


An example of a conversation...
Me: Larry, did you see that final artwork I sent you for that really neat thing we are making?
Larry: Why are you always yelling at me? You must have a vagina.
Me: No, I just need to make sure you're okay with it... I'd hate to print this and have you hate it.
Larry: Yeah, yeah, boobs boobs boobs, you love men.

This is a daily conversation that goes on with this guy. No, really - I can't even begin to make this stuff up. I'm pretty sure he's fucking insane. Once in a while, I'll get a phone call from him, usually between 10:30pm and 12:30am, where he almost has a lucid moment where he stops calling me a homosexual and has important things to tell me. It's almost like there is a daily 2 hour window where Larry's little hamster in his brain stops playing videogames and watching porn to run in the wheel for a little bit.

Shut up, Tim. I'm BUSY!

We've found measures to counteract his actions and words, some to no avail and some have been successful. For example, when we send emails, we can no longer write big, huge wall-of-text emails. We've found out that Larry is either lazy or has the attention span (and possibly reading level) of a 2nd grader. The following email, though edited down, is an actual email sent to the band from me.

From Tim
To: Everyone

Subject: 2012

Hey guys,
Just an update of our plans for this year.
(LARRY - Scroll to the bottom for the edited version.)

[Contents of email]


Larry - Here are the points I made for you to ignore;
2012 > 2011.
Practicing in town once a month.
More shows. Better shows. Cool stage stuff.
Weekend Touring?
Recording new songs - new album this year.
We need more merch.
Physical Marketing ideas.
You're gay.
That's what all of that up there said.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why Larry drives me (and the rest of the band) freaking nuts. Why, you may ask, would it drive us crazy when he will obviously get the same basic information from reading that blurb?

Here is the follow up email he sent me... 2 weeks later.

From: Larry
To: Tim

Yeah yeah whatever,
Eat a dick,
God damnit.

What it has basically come down to is his wonderful wife for sitting down and taking the time out of her days to read all of our emails for him, to remind him about shows, important dates, what time practice is (It's 10. 10:00PM every single Thursday. Why do you need a reminder!?), when he needs to be at the shows... He's nuts. When she doesn't join him for shows, music video shoots, photoshoots, etc... he is late! Hell, we even had to secretly move the practice time! We told him it was at 9:30 for about a month before he realized it was really at 10. Shit, he at least showed up on time for that month!

Do you see what's missing from this kit? A drummer!

Now, honestly, Larry pulls his own weight around the band. He's building us an amazing website, he's helped pitch in to cover costs when the rest of us were broke as hell, he's givin everyone "the talk" before and he's honestly a very good drummer. He did HOLYSHITZOMBIES in ONE FUCKING TAKE. He's the perfect fit for AHTCK and we are super glad to have him. We really do love Larry with all of our distant, hands-off sort of way hearts. This leads us to one very important question (and contest)...

Who wants to guess on how long it will take him to read an entire blog post about himself?

Whoever guesses correctly wins a free copy of The Break Out EP - Zombie Edition!

(available on iTunes...

Thanks to LARRY for this blog post idea!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunrise after the Sunset Massacre

Anyone who has talked to any member of this band during the last few years knows one thing - we don't like to play Sunset Blvd and all the silly little clubs lined up & down the strip. It might be a little snotty, but we take pride in the comment made by, claiming we were "a big cut above the pay-for-play musical poodles of Sunset Boulevard..."
That comment was constantly rolling back and forth through my head as we loaded our gear on to the world famous Whiskey A Go-Go stage on Sunset Blvd last week. It was 10:00pm on a Sunday, there were a few people in the club and I was having a cigarette before hoppin' on stage to bring the rock... The security guard was watching a few handfuls of people coming from the Viper Room, Key Club, etc. and would stop each of them and say; "Hey, I know it's Sunday, you're probably headed home, but we got one more band going on and they're really cool - want to come in and watch 'em? Maybe have a beer?" It was a strange sight to see on the un-famous Sunset Blvd... let alone the Whiskey. The guard stamped their hands and let in (for FREE), each small group of friends eager to catch a few new tunes before making the trek back to their overpriced studio apartments. Cool, right?

Now, I'm not naive. I completely understand that this guy couldn't have given less of a shit about us. It's just to get a few more people inside and selling a few more beers. Luckily for us, we ended up with just a few more people standing around than we would've had before.

Now, a quick side note; I love my friends. I love my friends and family and the people who support us 100%. That being said, I don't give a hoot how many people were there or not - we had a few of our very good and very close friends come out and support us and that's all I cared about. The amount of people who come to see us play in Hollywood on a Sunday at 10:00pm will never be important.

Now, here is the interesting part - About 5 years back when I WAS running up and down Sunset Blvd, hitting every single club thinking that a record deal would pop out from underneath the next bar stool, I quickly came to understand how the Sunset Strip works. There are no record executive reps sitting around frantically seeking a new band to give piles of cash to. There are no club managers just waiting for that next band that will play every Friday night for piles of cash. There are no more good reasons to play on Sunset anymore, until you don't have any issues selling a ton of tickets and getting heads through the door to drink that beer.

But now... The wind is slightly starting to change. Over the last few years I've noticed a LOT of bands refusing to play the strip. Some of them couldn't afford it, while others, kind of like us, refused to play because we didn't want to fork over a bunch of money just to have our gear kicked onto the curb at the end of the show. Where is the fun in that?

But then we got this little offer... play a show on a Sunday night for $10 tickets... gotta sell 20 of them. We figured; we each have 4 friends. That's simple enough. Plus, we have only played locally for the last 6 months... Might as well hit another show, right? Right. So we ponied up, sold every last ticket and got a couple people to drive out last minute.

I had a good time. It wasn't as stressful as playing at home where people tend to show up, it wasn't a huge rush to play and leave since we were the last band and... oh... wait...

No, you're right.

They still throw your shit on the curb when you're done. Wanna stay and have a beer? Not tonight, kids.

Maybe we'll hit up the House of Blues next time!