Los Angeles, CA The phenomenal online fame achieved by deep underground Los Angeles rock band VELVET CHAIN and its ultra-sultry lead singer ERIKA AMATO is a stunning example of the Internet's true power in today's music business. Initially, the band was thrust into national prominence through its appearance on the cult-hit television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As a logical extension of that television exposure, thousands of devoted Buffy fans found their way to VELVET CHAIN's web site. Consequently, those fans discovered VELVET CHAIN's inherent musical appeal, spread the word to their friends and the band now has an established fan base of thousands around the world.
Due in large measure to the band's Internet savvy, VELVET CHAIN is now in the enviable position of being featured on two different nationally released Buffy CDs, both expected to be hot ticket items in retail stores right through the meat of the holiday shopping season; this, despite not being signed to any record deal.
The first CD is The Buffy EP, written, recorded and independently produced by VELVET CHAIN with a title track called Buffy featuring Seth Green on guitar, one of the show's most popular stars. This release has already been registering substantial sales on the band's web site since last February. The second CD is the official Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack album, currently scheduled for mid-fall release by major label TVT Records. This album prominently features VELVET CHAIN's song Strong as the third track, immediately following the mega-band Garbage.
"The Internet is like word of mouth in overdrive," explains VELVET CHAIN's successful composer, producer and acclaimed bassist JEFF STACY. Along with the powerfully sensuous and exquisitely talented vocalist ERIKA AMATO, it is STACY's artistic vision and acute industry awareness powering the heartbeat of VELVET CHAIN. "One fan tells two friends, who each tell two more, etc., just like word of mouth has always been but it happens much faster online and on a global scale. If you are a band people are going to like, any kind of exposure becomes fifty times more potent now."
VELVET CHAIN has also proven how independent bands can utilize the Net in creative and inventive ways. A classic example is VELVET CHAIN's song "Buffy", the band's original salute to the show. When STACY and AMATO decided to do a "Buffy" song, they logged onto the Buffy Posting Board and asked "Buffy" fans to email ideas about what they thought the song should say. The fans responded with great enthusiasm, providing insights about how the show connects with them personally. At the same time, they became aware VELVET CHAIN was writing a new "Buffy" song and once again, word began its geometric multiplication via the Net, vigorously promoting the song before it was even written.
With all the synergy between the "Buffy" show, its fans and VELVET CHAIN, one may understandably wonder about the relationship between the band and the show. "There's no formal relationship between us," explains JEFF STACY, "but we seem to have a very positive informal one. We were one of the first bands on the show, early in the first season, and something clicked. Doing the show was a great experience, and everybody was extremely cool. They were genuine, and really appreciated our music; we must have sold 40 CD's on the set that day. Then, we ended up getting major, full-frontal screen time, because the look and vibe of the band was so compatible with the show, and they loved the shots. Later on, we were asked to play the Buffy season wrap party and the annual Buffy Posting Board Party."
Velvet Chain will reunite with the "Buffy" cast, crew, producers, and hundreds of fans at the upcoming Buffy Posting Board Party, set for February 19, 2000 at Hollywood's historic El Rey Theater. This event in itself is an astonishing product of the Internet, and is attended by Buffy fans from all over the world who know each other only from the online Buffy Posting Board.
In addition to the title track, "The Buffy EP" contains both of the Velvet Chain songs performed on the show, "Strong" and "Treason," as well as a second version of "Strong," added as an unnumbered, "hidden track." Among other tracks are a sneak preview from the band's upcoming album and an extended remix of the band's popular club track, "Frenchie," (previously available on vinyl only).
VELVET CHAIN is currently focusing their creative talents on a new full-length album, "Moody Groove Music," scheduled for release next spring. The band will be performing at a special release party for "The Buffy EP" on November 12, 1999, at their favorite venue, the Key Club, in Hollywood, CA. VELVET CHAIN music and video samples, band biographies, feature articles, music reviews, photos, band merchandise and performance schedules are available by visiting the VELVET CHAIN web site at www.velvetchain.com.
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