Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Bell Tower Falls rises


Emmanuel Costa uses Facebook to promote his band, Bell Tower Falls (BTF). His recent wall posts ask for help finding a seven-passenger van his band may use in order to go on tour. This local FAU band has just recently begun recording an album for Hoot/Wisdom Recordings and started planning their first summer tour, but it was only a year ago they were cramming practices and recording in a dorm room at Heritage Park Towers.

FAU’s recording label, Hoot/Wisdom Recordings, signed BTF in Sept. 2009, and their first album is debuting around March or April.

The album will be available on iTunes when it is released. Iota, a company that digitally distributes music all over the world, will distribute the album to many sellers, including iTunes. The album will not, however, be released in CD format because of the major expense involved.

The title for the album is still a subject of debate for the band, but they do know it will have eight songs.

Their tour in July and August will cover five states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“The whole tour itself is in the works, and we’re trying to call people up in different states, trying to see where we can get a show to play or whatnot. Right now, I’m trying to find the best route for us that we can take. … So far, another primary concern is transportation; we only have two cars. It’s kinda hard, you know,” said Costa, a sophomore mechanical engineering major at Miami Dade College.

So far, the band has not booked any shows for the tour yet but is hoping to finalize their plans by the beginning of February.

“We want to tour after this album is released, [and] we want to help support and promote the album. It’s all been just one gigantic push this year,” said Seth Bailen, a junior commercial music major and BTF’s drummer. 

According to the band, the tour will not interfere with their schoolwork. “Some of us are going to take summer A courses, so it will be good with the timing, and we’ll be back in time for fall to start again,” said Costa.

BTF started recording their debut album on Jan. 31, but guitarist John Kiernan explained there are some pressures with being signed by Hoot/Wisdom Recordings.

“When you’re first a local band, it’s getting everything together, what kind of sound you want [and] finding people. It’s a very big step for us; either we can own up to the challenge of being signed, or we can still just be another local band,” said Kiernan, a junior commercial music major.

Bailen admitted that getting signed hasn’t automatically caused people to recognize them more, but BTF hopes the release of their album will change this.

“After the album is released on Hoot/Wisdom Recordings, I think [people will] recognize the label and us more,” said Bailen.

According to the band, working with Hoot/Wisdom Recordings was a learning experience that has given them the necessary skills to make it in the music business.

“You’re not [going to] go anywhere without working on it yourself,” said Bailen.

BTF has been together since 2006, and, in many ways, the band has remained the same since the signing, having stuck to the strengths that have brought it to where it is today.

“Nothing about our sound or anything that we do creatively has really changed because the record label is not controlling that aspect of what we do, and we’re very grateful for that. [They] give us our creative free reign in that aspect,” said Bailen.

Although getting signed is a major step in BTF’s career, Emmanuel Costa sees this opportunity as a welcome challenge but doesn’t think it will change the band’s future very much on its own.

 “Everything that we’ve done is for ourselves. We’re putting our name out there, we’re getting out new music, [and] we’re playing shows. We’re hustling, taking it day by day,” said Costa.

To hear their music, check out www.myspace.com/belltowerfalls or become their fan on Facebook. A single entitled “Space Shuttle to the Head” is available for a free download on their MySpace page. Their next live show will be at Revolution in Fort Lauderdale at the Battle of the Bands on Feb. 27.

To find out how far Bell Tower Falls has come in a year, see the first story the UP did on the band at: www.tr.im/NEto.


Owl Music
Hoot/Wisdom Recordings helps students and faculty members get recording deals through FAU

Hoot/Wisdom Recordings began in 2002 as a part of the Commercial Music Program. Students in this major take a class called the Commercial Music Forum, which enables them to learn the business, legal, creative and financial aspects of the recording industry.
The class coordinates all the activities of Hoot/Wisdom Recordings. When an artist attempts to get signed, he/she submits a demo to the Commercial Music Forum class, and the class votes and chooses which artist gets signed. The knowledge gained from the class is used to help Hoot/Wisdom artists with their marketing, recording and promotion.

Hoot/Wisdom currently has 15 artists signed. Hoot/Wisdom allows artists to use the label as a learning experience, and if an artist gets offered an outside record deal, Hoot/Wisdom will transfer the rights to that label.

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