Fandalism homepage features performance videos from musicians in such disparate places as New Zealand, Sweden and Connecticut. (screen shot)
If you're a musician, or you want to keep track of up-and-coming and unknown musicians, you should register at a new social network for musicians called Fandalism. The site was created by Phillip Kaplan, co-founder of online advertising network AdBrite, social media site Blippy and the notorious dot-com obituary page Fucked Company.
Kaplan says he created Fandalism so musicians would have a place to check out other musicians. He says Craigslist is no good for finding musicians and YouTube doesn't let you search by location, genre or instrument. Kaplan, who alone built and maintains Fandalsim, wants the site to become the world's largest database of musicians. "I hope that one day every great musician on the planet has a Fandalism profile."
Fandalism is different from most music sites because it focuses on individual artists rather than bands. "Take Eddie Van Halen," says Kaplan. "He's amazing and influenced me to become a musician. But when he became famous he also had an amazing singer, band, songs, management, label, and fans. Yet in the middle of nowhere in a country you've barely heard of, there's a kid who plays guitar better than Eddie Van Halen. He doesn't have a great band or songs. He doesn't have management. He barely has an instrument that works. But he's unbelievably talented."
Fandalism, which launched in late January, has quietly amassed over 425,000 members -- 93.5% of them identify themselves as musicians - and has had over 1 million visitors in the last 30 days, says Kaplan. Member pages have biographical information (name, location, genres, influences) and YouTube videos of their performances. Many of the members are unknown musicians, but the site has some well-known musicians, too: Alice Cooper guitartist Dick Wagner, HammerFall bass player Magnus Rosen http://fandalism.com/magnusrosen and Glenn Five from Anvil. The site is also open to non-musicians.
Registrations usually require an invitation, but Kaplan has extended open invitations to Billboard readers. Just follow this link http://fandalism.com/vip/billboard for an invitation.
Kaplan has high hopes for the site. He wants to keep the site "super simple" and wants to monetize the site in ways that don't make it any less fun for artists. One good is a recent promotion with Interscope Records for the new Van Halen record that asked members to play covers of "Tattoo," the first single from the band's new album. The winner received a Van Halen Wolfgang custom guitar worth $3,500.
Holly Kirsten's Fandalism page is one the site's top 20 based on likes (called "props" here), comments and numbers of followers. (Screenshot)
Want to know who's getting the most attention on Fandalism? Kaplan has exclusively shared a list of the top 25 musicians based on likes (called "props" here), comments and numbers of followers.
1. Holly Kirsten Vocals, Guitar Chandler, Arizona
2. Mandy Drummer Drums Hollywood, California
3. Marianne Sveen Guitar Oslo, Norway
4. Eric Calderone Guitar Los Angeles, California
5. Lena Mashkina Guitar Syktyvkar, Russia
6. Maria del Mar Vocals, Guitar Bogota, Columbia
7. Andrew Kasab Harp Guitar Raleigh, North Carolina
8. Julia Orwell Vocals Kharkiv, Ukraine
9. Alice Rebekah Hickman Vocals, Guitar Wigston Magna, United Kingdom
10. Alfredo Landa Chapman Stick Mexico City, Mexico
11. Catherine Boucher Vocals, Guitar Montreal, Canada
12. Rica Santhiago Guitar Piracicaba, Brazil
13. Tom Hemby Guitar Brentwood, Tennessee
14. Melanie DiLorenzo Drums Jacksonville Beach, Florida
15. David Saglia Drums Vercelli, Italy
16. Carrie Haber Vocals, Piano London, United Kingdom
17. Bree Manning Vocals Nashville, Tennessee
18. Kane Addison Drums Sydney, Australia
19. Emily Morris Vocals, Guitar Incline Village, Nevada
20. Joe Gande Vocals, Guitar New York, New York
21. Amber Ruthe Vocals, Ukulele Rockford, Illinois
22. Raphael Messi Bass Six-Fours, France
23. Kristi Clanton Vocals, Steel Gtr. Lubbock, Texas
24. Bernie Torme Guitar Hell, United Kingdom
25. John Bowden Guitar Stevenson Ranch, California