Artist Name:  Fifth Lucky Dragon

 

Song Title:  Phosphorus

 

Website

 

Facebook

 

Instagram

 

Spotify

 

Bandcamp

 

iTunes

 

 

Explain how to overcome a writer’s block.

I try to focus on something other than writing, such as a movie, book, TV show, video game, or just anything to take my mind away from the pressure to write something.

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Tell us the tricks behind making a hit song.

Well, we haven’t done that yet, so I don’t exactly know. It seems it’s some formula of skill, money, luck, and friends who share your music with their friends.

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Tell us how you get feedback for your demo before working on it.

I just send it to one or two friends who I know have good taste in music and who I know will tell me when something is off.

 

For me, it always comes back to if I like the song as a listener. So, I must take myself out of the “creator” role and just try to listen as if I were listening to someone else’s music. And when I’m able to do that, I can easily determine what the song needs or if it is done just by how much I like or dislike it.

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Explain your recording experience in the studio.

The studio for us pretty much exclusively consists of our bedrooms and basements. Occasionally a friend will drop us a favor and get us into a real studio, but for the most part, we’re all working in our own houses. A lot of times it is more comfortable to work in your own space. The difficulty comes when it’s time to go to bed and your bed is a few feet away from your computer and there’s no separation between “work” and anything else.

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Tell us how you compose.

It happens in several different ways. Lots of times the instrumental track is in some stage of existence when I stumble upon some poetry, I think might go well with it, and then I start to gel the words and music together.

 

And then sometimes I think of a melody with lyrics in the shower and then the race is on for me to finish my shower and get to the piano before I forget the ideas.

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Tell us if you add effects to your vocals to sound better.

Yes.

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Tell us the best streaming platform to get new fans.

Presumably, it’s Spotify. But we’re still figuring that out.

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Tell us your opinion on music education.

It is important to make sure resources are available for kids to learn to express themselves musically (and in other creative ways), so music education is extremely important.

 

Without experts to teach and encourage kids (and everyone) to get better at music, try new things, and improve their crafts, music would not progress.

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Discuss the shooting of a commercial music video for a song.

We haven’t exactly done a “commercial” music video (I’m assuming that means it makes money). But we did do a music video for a song called “Gleaner” where we hung our instruments via string attached to hooks that we drilled into the basement ceiling in a college house that was fun to make. It took quite a while to get the instruments to stay suspended though.

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Tell us how you interact with other artists.

We just try to keep in mind that we’re all sort of in the same boat, trying to give people a reason to care about what we create. So, I think being supportive of most artists you meet is important. Occasionally you’ll cross some people who are in it for the wrong reasons and then it’s probably best to steer clear.

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Tell us if you can collaborate with an artist of a different genre.

Maybe. It depends on the genre. But I think being open to trying that stuff is probably good, even if just for a mental exercise.

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Explain how to finance a music project.

Create a vocal booth exactly the way you used to make blanket forts when you were a kid. Record your vocals in your blanket fort vocal booth, they’ll probably sound decent if you do it right. Basically, the only way we’ve done it is to figure out how to tackle it on our own, without paying people we don’t know how to pretend to care about what we’re trying to make. Not to say we don’t have a few others helping in the process, but they are all people we would be friends with if none of us did anything with music, so the relationship is more organic than if we were hiring producers.

 

Plus, if you learn to record/produce music on your own, you get to create exactly how you want to.

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Explain how to copyright a musical work.

I think (in the US at least) once you have a physical manifestation of creative work, it is copyrighted. So, a demo, a note with your lyrics, etc. all function as a physical manifestation/proof of creation. And most importantly, have strong and intimidating friends ready to pounce on any infringers.

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Tell us how to generate income from a musical work.

Spotify pays $0.004 per stream, so it is certainly tough to make any money from this and I can’t say we’ve figured it out yet. It seems like shows and merch are more lucrative but who knows how COVID19 will change all of this.

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List the name of organizations you know can be helpful to new artists.

YouTube. You can learn anything you want.

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Send a message to your fans.

Hello Mom, thanks for sharing the music with your friends.

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Explain the process involved in recording a vocal.

First, you need a blanket fort. Or just any material up around the microphone to absorb sonic reflections from the source (voice, in this case). Then, obviously a decent microphone is needed – however, there are some great sounding mics that you can get for under $200.

 

And then a pop filter is probably best (I actually use two because my P’s, B’s, and S’s are sometimes pretty harsh. From there, it’s really all about the performance. If you deliver a good performance, chances are it’ll come through in the recording.

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Elaborate on the song.

In small quantities, phosphorus is essential for plant growth. But at higher levels, it becomes a toxin to them. Phosphorus explores internet use, and more broadly, heightened connectivity by using the dynamic of needing a certain dose of something to survive while trying to avoid a potentially fatal higher dose.

 

“Phosphorus” has two drastically different sections. The verses are driven and energetic while the choruses strip down around a James Bond-esque melody and chord progression.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.

In March of 1954, a Japanese fishing vessel set out on the Pacific Ocean. The story turned from routine to tragic when the vessel encountered the nuclear fallout of a U.S. hydrogen-bomb test, reportedly more powerful than the U.S. anticipated.

 

Soon after returning to shore, the crew began to suffer irreparably and, in some cases, fatal effects of radiation poisoning. But not before they unknowingly sold the contaminated fish to people who would consequently suffer similar fates.

 

Louis Imperiale came across this incident when his high school concert band played a piece called “Eternal Memoir – Saga of the Lucky Dragon.” The piece caught his ear due to its drastic dynamics and sonic intensity, and upon looking into its background, he found the incident particularly compelling because it manifests the potential collateral impact of our decisions and actions. In this case, the effects were significantly more widespread and long-lasting than anticipated.

 

The name of the fishing vessel was Daigo Fukuryu Maru (No. 5 Lucky Dragon) which is where the band name “Fifth Lucky Dragon” comes from. It is intended to serve as a reminder of the story and the lessons it offers for each of us.
An interesting side note: Very few people have heard of the incident, and not a single person Louis has talked to recalls hearing anything of it in school.

 

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