Video may have killed the radio star, but the Internet has killed the rock star.
At least that’s what Matt MacDonald thinks. MacDonald, the lead singer of The Classic Crime, which plays Denver’s Marquis Theater on Thursday, April 1, swears that the Internet has been a blessing for his Seattle-based band.
“The rock star is dead because you have to humble yourself and mingle with fans,” MacDonald said. “As artists we use the Internet to interact with people, through Facebook, Twitter,” MacDonald said. “We use it as a tool to keep connected with our fans. The music industry is so highly over-saturated right now and everyone has ADD, so you have to keep their attention.
“We are one of those bands that hangs out and mingles. We are able to maintain our fan base and grow our fan base because of the Internet.”
One way the band is staying connected is by staging a video contest for their new song, “Solar Powered Life.” The contest offers the winner a $1,000 Apple store gift card.
But more important, MacDonald and the band are keeping fans aware of the needs of the victims of the devastating January earthquake in Haiti by donating money from the presale of their latest CD, “Vagabonds,” to a nonprofit organization.
The band’s mission in Haiti began in a roundabout way with a trip to India. MacDonald and drummer Paul “Skip” Erickson visited India to learn how they could help third-world countries.
“We wanted to be a band that impacted lives; we wanted to do more than music,” MacDonald said. “Instead of serving ourselves, we wanted to serve a greater good. And then all these things fell into place for a trip to Haiti last November.
“Some of the band members weren’t really interested in going to a fourth-world country, but we all fell in love with it after the trip.”
While in Haiti the band members met Tom Osbeck, the executive director of Jesus in Haiti Ministries.
“Tom is an American mission director who runs a feeding center, an orphanage, a school, church and he’s adopted 20 children himself,” MacDonald said.
“He teaches people to be leaders in their communities, to give back to the people. And these are people who want to stay in Haiti.”
MacDonald and the band are using the ministry as their way of giving back.
“I’m not a preacher,” he explained. “I’m an artist, first and foremost. I really believe that I was put here on this earth to create and through my art influence others, and this is our way, because I never sermonize a song.”
MacDonald and his mates picked the band’s name, The Classic Crime, to stay away from genre-specific monikers.
“We wanted a name that would make people say, ‘I wonder what they sound like?’” MacDonald explained. “There’s this negative connotation that goes with Christian rock, and we wanted people to give our music a shot.”
And what kind of band is The Class Crime? “Schizo,” MacDonald said. “Rock, pop, folk, and we try to do everything the best we can.”
So, if you’re up for helping out a cause while experiencing an eclectic night of music, give The Crime a shot.