Wideband Network catches iTunes’ attentionWritten by Amy Biolchini | | ABiolchini@toledofreepress.com
In the past seven years, the electronic pop duo Wideband Network has met in person twice.
With three albums and five singles, Casey Clark of Toledo and Caesar Filori of Seattle, Wash., have their creative process down to a musical “Mad Libs” collaborative system. Tracks are created as Clark and Filori send bits and pieces of their recordings via MP3 files back and forth online.
“I’ll send him an idea. He’ll come up with his concept of the music and his interpretation of what I give him. I’ll send him vocals, he’ll send me his interpretation again,” Clark said, explaining how he works with Filori.
“I’ve got hundreds of hundreds of demos I’ve sent him,” said Clark. “They’ve got to really strike both of us on an emotional level for us to really dig in and make an investment in those songs.”
The rerelease of Wideband Network’s third album, “Oxygen and Atmosphere,” as a special edition in July garnered the duo a spot on the “New & Noteworthy” section of iTunes’ Dance page, landing at No. 34 out of the top 200 artists.
“I’m excited. I’m really excited,” Clark said with a wide smile. “We were up there with some of the big names in electronic.”
Clark and Filori met in 2003 on a fan website for one of their mutual influences, BT, an internationally acclaimed recording artist and producer for stars like Sting, Britney Spears and Madonna. After Filori posted a song remix he had done, Clark checked it out and was “blown away.”
Although initial progress was slowed by dial-up Internet connections, they began sharing files and came up with their first song, “World of the Living.” Clark said although he gets tired of listening to the same songs on the radio every day, he uses bits and pieces as inspiration for demos he sends to Filori.
“A lot of songs are drawn from the influences of other artists that we’ve been brought up with over the years and then twisted and turned and made into our own sound,” Clark said.
“If you take Michael Jackson, Savage Garden and BT, put them in a blender, mix it up and sprinkle some Madonna on top, you’ve got yourself a Wideband Network smoothie,” Clark said.
Clark manages many of Wideband Network’s operations, from the album artwork and the website to making the music videos. Sharing and tweaking tracks to a synchronous groove, songs take from two weeks to a month to create. It’s almost impossible for Clark and Filori to work together in the same room; Clark said they tried once but it “didn’t feel right.” The duo thrives on doing their work individually, in their own space on their own time outside of their day jobs.
“This year is very interesting because Caesar just got married and just had a baby, so our whole dynamic has completely changed,” Clark said.
Wideband Network released its first two albums, “Universe” and “Ten Thousand Seconds” under Utah-based label A Different Drum and its third album, “Oxygen and Atmosphere” with New York-based label System Recordings.
Forgoing its label affiliations, Wideband Network’s next move stays true to its digital heritage. The band plans to release and sell their new music as extended plays (EPs) in groups of four to five songs on its website so it is distributed directly to its fans, Clark said.
“We’re going to go the other route and see what we can do,” Clark said. “It’s very easy for independent artists to use different sites online.”
Wideband Network earns $0.16 off each $0.99 song sold on iTunes since it doesn’t have a manager to pay, Clark said. Online exposure and music sharing has fueled the majority of its album sales, since Wideband Network doesn’t tour or play live.
“I’m probably more famous outside of Toledo than I am in Toledo,” Clark said.
Clark is opening a recording studio on the fifth floor of the Secor Building on Jefferson Street at the end of August, where he hopes to help solo artists and local bands take their production to the next level.
“People ask me, ‘Why aren’t you in California? Why aren’t you in New York?’” Clark said. “I’ve been doing more work from Toledo than I would probably be able to do from these other places that have a lot of really talented people.”