On their way: Pernikoff Brothers aim to take music to new levelWritten by Mike Bauman | | email@example.com
Since they were teens, music has influenced the direction of the Pernikoff Brothers’ lives. Now, the two hope they can influence the direction of music with their brainchild, Tunespeak.
The Pernikoff Brothers, who will be playing at Frankie’s Inner City July 15 as part of their summer tour to support their debut album “On My Way,” have made their record exclusively available through Tunespeak.com, a social media website unlike anything else.
Tom Pernikoff described Tunespeak as an “online, incentivized, peer-to-peer marketing distribution service.” If a fan spreads the word about “On My Way” through either Facebook or Twitter and gets three other people to buy it, then the Pernikoff Brothers will give that fan one third of the profits from those purchases.
“We’re giving away part of the profits right now because it’s immediately tangible to a fan,” Pernikoff said to Toledo Free Press Star. “As we get bigger and add other bands [to Tunespeak], it’d be awesome to give away more invaluables—signed merchandise, backstage passes, meet-n-greets—anything exclusive from the band that really has a greater value than the value of a CD.”
Music has been central to Tom and Rick Pernikoff since they were growing up in St. Louis, Mo. When they went off to college in the Boston area—Tom to Brandeis to study economics and Rick to MIT for computer science—both of them still studied and played music, eventually meeting Dan Germain, who studied at Berklee College of Music.
After college, Tom and Rick were getting their feet wet working in technology startup in Silicon Valley, continuing to write songs and play music together. The idea for Tunespeak came from the Pernikoff Brothers wanting to find a supplement to the conventional path of being musicians, yet also an innovative way to get their music out there once they had enough material for a full album.
“My whole approach is I’m willing to try anything, and the band feels that way as long as it’s built around the music,” Pernikoff said. “If the music’s great, I’m kind of a firm believer the cream will rise to the top. For us, it’s kind of like, ‘Well, what else can we do to kind of ensure we get there? What else can we do to ensure that our music gets heard?’”
In Sept. of 2009, the Pernikoff Brothers left Silicon Valley and returned to St. Louis to focus on writing “On My Way.” Prior to recording the album in Nashville with producer/engineer Ben Fowler, Tom (guitar/vocals) and Rick (bass/vocals) enlisted Germain (drums/vocals) in the band and the record released on April 26, 2011.
“We’ve been musicians all our lives, obviously, and ironically being [in Silicon Valley] was the thing that made us want to come back to the music,” Pernikoff said. “We learned a lot. It was a great experience. Silicon Valley’s a really interesting place. There’s a lot to learn, but it kind of showed us that music was really what we wanted to do and our passion.”
The Pernikoff Brothers have already gotten some high praise for “On My Way,” drawing comparisons to Dave Matthews Band and The Beatles.
“I’m really proud of the album from a musical standpoint, but probably the thing that I’m most proud of is the fact that it’s real,” Pernikoff said. “All of the songs are real. The story’s real. It’s us. I just feel like it’s really honest, and I think that kind of fed the music, and that’s what made us want to make the music so good and work so hard on the album.”
As far as Tunespeak is concerned, Pernikoff wants it to motivate bands to record full albums and not just focus on singles.
“That’s what I think is really important and that’s what I think Tunespeak can help, too, because I think once you create that full album there’s no need to devalue it,” Pernikoff said. “It will be worth something, and people will feel the worth and want to pay for it. I think Tunespeak could have a serious impact on how artists record music and how consumers consume it.”
On July 15, the Pernikoff Brothers and Mark Truna will perform at Frankie’s, located at 308 Main St. in Toledo. Tickets are $5 for people 21 and older and $7 for those under 21. Doors are at 9 p.m. and all ages are welcome. For more information, call 419-693-5300 or visit http://www.frankiesinnercity.com. To check out Pernikoff Brothers and learn more about Tunespeak, visit www.tunespeak.com.