Lack of knowledge and awareness are some of the biggest obstacles that one encounters while pursuing her/his dream. Quite a lot of music aspirants come across the nitty gritties of the business when they actually go on to work in the industry.
Epic Proportions Tour’s founder, Gabe Kubanda realizes the importance of educating young kids about music business and has now teamed up with Hercules to initiate a conversation amongst kids about the art and everything that goes in creating it.
This autumn, the Epic Proportions Tour and Hercules will bring three hard-hitting but teen-friendly acts to high schools and venues across the U.S., in a mix of hands-on educational programs and lit sets. This year’s tour features heartfelt, catchy pop-rock from People Who Could Fly, DJ Teffler, and EPT’s founder, Gabe Kubanda.
“The Epic Proportions Tour is about getting young people engaged and helping them see the arts and music as a valid outlet for their passion, as well as a very real career path,” explains Kubanda. “We try to convey the discipline, critical thinking, and sheer hard work involved, while talking about music making and inspiring teens to get serious about music.”
Fuzzable talked to Gabe about his journey and his collaboration with Hercules for their educational program. Check out the complete interview below:
Hi Gabe! Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself and Epic Proportions Tour.
Hi, I’m Gabe Kubanda, and I’m a singer/songwriter/artist and the owner of Epic Proportions Tour. That just means I wear all the hats! lol. We started this crazy tour with the hopes of not only providing an on-the-ground platform for myself and other bands to reach new fans at universities, high schools, and military bases, but also to inspire and challenge the youth to continue their music education, and to find careers that they truly enjoy and are passionate about.
How did the idea to educate kids and teens about music come about?
We saw the need for a “boost” in modern music education because so many music programs were being cut from schools, and many music teachers (including my own band teacher back in school) didn’t really know about all the career options and opportunities in this multi-billion dollar industry. There’s room for everyone, and we need awesome new people coming into all these roles, whether it be production, touring, artisans, session work, lighting, video, animation, etc. We feel that if kids understood that their passion could be turned into a great job early, it might get them on the right track sooner.
This year, you will be collaborating with Hercules for the program? We would love to know the story behind the collaboration.
We bumped into one of their reps at a music conference, and it seemed like a great fit from the start. We’re so glad to be working closely with Hercules, they have a great team that is passionate about providing quality DJ equipment that is also affordable for DJs, and students who are curious about it all. Their new line of consoles actually helps teach beginners to really understand DJ’ing, beats, and tempos, without doing it all for them, so that they actually learn the right way.
What can students expect from this program?
It’s a little bit of everything: It’s a rock concert, its a Q&A and instruction time, we challenge students to take the next step, and get a jump on their musical careers early, we let kids try out the equipment and show them how to start mixing songs, or playing basic instruments, it’s really a blast. Last week, we taught a room full of beginning music students how to play the Ed Sheeran song “Shape Of You” riffs on marimbas and pianos, and they caught on quickly. it was so dope.
Even though we see a lot of artists making it big in the industry and people who pursue music and music-related subjects professionally, parents still don’t look at music as a sustainable profession.
How do you think can we broaden people’s outlook towards the arts?
That’s exactly what we’re tackling here; the common mentality has always been “Play music as a hobby, but you can’t make a living off of it, so don’t even try.” And that’s because the education angle has always been focused on how to “play” your instrument and “learn” your music theory, but never what to do with it after that. So the big impact that we’re able to come in with, is to say: “Hey, you’ve been learning to play saxophone and guitar, etc… let’s show you what you can do with those skills out in the real world! And what other skills you’ll need to combine that with, to have a rewarding career as a musician, etc…”.
Musicians quickly realize they have to be their own boss, manage their own finances, learn to be a good networker, an evangelist of their craft, hone their social media game, and much more, to really make it in the industry.
A lot of students learn about the workings of the industry or even the most followed business cycle much later in their lives, when they are actually pursuing music as their career. Additionally, not many people have the luxury of guidance to educate themselves. Do you think that schools should include subjects like music business in their curriculum to offer some insights to the aspiring students?
I wholeheartedly agree. In addition, I think schools should include personal and business finance classes in addition to math, etc. So that they can avoid some of the pitfalls we all had to make, as we stumbled along learning as we went! 🙂
Would you like to share with us an update for the program or details for your future endeavors?
We’ve seen such a huge success in our US and Australia tours that we’ve now just launched in Europe! (I’m writing this from my hotel in Denmark on my off day, before the next round of tour dates). So we’re playing for 6 weeks in Europe, before flying home and continuing our US Fall Tour there. 2019 will see some big changes that we can’t wait to announce, and we should be expanding to more countries in the near future.
Schools and venues can email us at info@epicproportionstour. comI’m to be included in our routing, and bands can submit to our tour via EpicProportionsTour.com/bands. I’m also very excited to release a bunch of new music I’ve been working on in 2019 as well! My music videos can be found at Youtube.com/GabeKubanda