Craig Rice has been a musician his whole life. After an early retirement, he moved with his family down to Sunrise Beach and began further pursuit of his musical passion.
Craig Rice has been a musician his whole life. After an early retirement, he moved with his family down to Sunrise Beach and began further pursuit of his musical passion. He wanted to find a few friends to gather and jam with on a regular basis. He searched online and eventually found the band members that would go on to comprise his current project the Craig Allen Rice Internet Band, a band that has never met face to face.
The band goes a step further than simply pulling a group of musicians in a room and jamming. Rice says he’s gone that traditional method before and it ends in conflicting views and struggles in an expensive studio. The members of The Craig Allen Rice Internet Band live all around the world. With members in the US, England, and even Paraguay, the musicians work through a digital format to mix and master each song.
“There’s no drama,” Rice says. “In the old days, we’d go into the studio and spend three to four thousand dollars and fight for a few days.”
Rice set up a small studio space in his lake home and created a method to record parts of a song by himself. With a number of pedals and record software, he is able to track his guitar work and save it on an SD card. After this portion of the track is finished, he sends it via email to Mike Nikou in London where a number of tweaks and musical overlays are completed to round out the track. Nikou plays guitar, drums, and even mixes the sound. Rice says that they even video-chat online and work on different sounds instantly.
“I can turn on my computer and they can get the jist of what I’m trying to play,” Rice said. “That’s the beauty of it, because with the internet, we can talk internationally for free.”
The band has even gone international with graphic design and managing, through their members Wakko Warner in Paraguay. Rice is in constant contact with each represented member and says, even though they’ve never met in person, each of them feel like a close friend that he can rely on.
In order to spread the music they’ve created, the band has to go different routes than a traditional band that might solely play shows. Rice says that the band has to utilize an online and social media presence in order to show what they’ve created. This comes in the form of YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes. Rice explained that the band splits all download and streaming revenue between any contributing musician on each track.
Though he has stepped away from performing much of his music live, Rice says that it would be possible to make their music work in the setting. With speaker fed background instrumentation and vocals, he says that he would be able to use the contributing sounds and play a show on his own.
Rice hopes to one day be picked up by a major label. He says that he would love for a major artist to pick up the rights and pay for one of his tracks that would later be used in the mainstream circuit. For now, he says he wants to continue exploring the personal subjects that he has already interwoven within his music and continue to make songs that people will enjoy.
“There’s a million guys my age who are now able to retire and start playing the songs they’ve had stuck in their heads for years,” Rice said.