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The man making the right noise! An Interview with David Koch " Music promoter and Band manager

Posted On :: Monday 12th June 2017
“Why do you (people) think you can watch a concert for free? If you were a singer or actor, would you perform for nothing?” " David Koch
“Why do you (people) think you can watch a concert for free? If you were a singer or actor, would you perform for nothing?” " David Koch
By: G Plus News

David Koch is well known and familiar name in the music scenario of the entire region. To his credit, he has been managing several bands and is an organizer of concerts in Guwahati. He talked to G Plus about the scene and what goes behind arranging concerts. 
 
A little about the man himself
 
I was born and brought up in Dibrugarh. That’s where I started to organise rock gigs; I was in the 9th standard then. After that, I left for Delhi in 1999 to pursue a career in the Indian Army. But things did not materialise in Delhi. So, I got back to Guwahati and started Rockarolla Cafe/Events. Under this banner, I organized FIREBALL in 2008. That was the beginning of my career as a music promoter.
 
I was passionate about joining the Indian Army, but now I am totally into adventure sports and of course, rock and roll.
 
Tell us something about your big projects?
 
Till now, Rockarolla has brought many international acts to Guwahati. To name a few, there were Eric Martin (Mr Big), Guthrie Govan, Jeff Lomis (Arch Enemy), Suidakra (Germany), Gilby Clark (GnR), Nervo Choas (Brazil), Dawn Demise (Denmark) and Cypher 16 (London).
 
Apart from these, I also had the honour of hosting the India audition of Wacken Open Air, which is the biggest Metal fest in the world, held in Germany.
 
There are some other plans in the bag too. We are getting Benighted from France, accompanied by the Rockarolla Music Awards, and also Fireball 2017.

What exactly goes behind getting big bands to perform in small cities?
 
It takes a lot of planning and patience in getting big acts to come to smaller cities. Along with the financial support of sponsors and investors, its takes a lot of hard work too. Of course, without audience support, things cannot fall into place. So audience support is an added necessity. 
 
Tell us something about the finances involved and sponsors?
 
When it comes to rock music in India, it is a tough job to find sponsors and investors. I have been dealing with this hardship for the last ten years and it’s not gotten any easier.
 
Are audiences willing to pay good money in cities like Guwahati (or neighbouring cities) for a concert?
 
That would be a big no. Though people are interested in rock gigs, they are reluctant to buy the tickets. Great live music costs money: travel, accommodation, sound and lighting systems, transport, hiring the venue, marketing, phone calls and so on. Experiencing a concert is itself worth paying for. 
 
There is a huge demand for the music concerts but there is a large section of people who don’t want to buy tickets. In the past five years, I have been constantly dealing with requests from people to give them free entry. People would go to the venue and demand free tickets claiming to be the guest of someone; they even hate to pay a meagre entry fee of Rs. 200.
  
Why do you think you can get in for free? If you were a singer or actor, would you perform for nothing?  A lot of hard work goes into organizing a show. People need to understand that the tickets are contributing to promote the music scene, without which it would be impossible.
 
You can't have music for free; if bands would perform for nothing, then you wouldn't need a promoter. If you want bands to play, you have to pay! I am trying to raise a point that I will do everything that is in my power to let music happen, but people need to support the practice of buying tickets.

You have mostly tried getting International artists; is getting them more lucrative than Bollywood artists? 
 
Not at all; my main motive is to promote the Indian rock scene. I actually want to see an Indian band making it really big in the International circuit.
 
What are the major challenges in arranging for shows?
 
One of the major challenges that I mostly face is getting appropriate investors and sponsors.
 
Tell us the good side of this endeavour? What's in it for you?
 
I am living my passion. I have been fighting for the last 10 years to change the Indian rock scene. It will give me immense satisfaction and happiness if I can take the rock music scene to a next level, where the deserving Indian bands can get a chance to perform and be seen at large festivals across the globe.
 

 

 
 
 
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