In our Special Interview this month we feature one of the most well known and influential personalities in the Second Life live music business. Canipanic Maslow is the man behind the legendary O Lounge where so many of the current crop of Second Life performers cut their teeth, and also the wonderful Music Hall Of Fame.
Michael: Hi Canipanic - thank you soo much for taking time out to do this interview with Toggle For Music.
Michael: First up -Could you tell me something about your background and how you got involved in the crazy world of Second Life?
Canipanic: I saw a story about Second Life in 2006 and it sounded intriguing. I had never been involved in chat rooms, virtual worlds or Internet gaming. So I thought I'd check it out.
Michael: In your early SL days did you plan - or even envisage - getting so involved with the live music industry here ?
Canipanic: When I first started SL, I was hanging around a girl who hosted karaoke in real life so that was the spark... back in those days voice wasn't in SL so I gave up the idea of having karaoke in SL.
Michael: So how did it happen?
Canipanic: When voice came into SL it revived my interest in karaoke,and I tried several ways to do that, having no success synchronizing voice, music and lyrics, so I gave it up again. Then one day a girl I was talking with (Mittzy Snickerdoodle) told me to mute my mic and she played a song over her speakers and sang and she was in sync... that was the day Karaoke in SL was born.
Michael: So here you are now - so tell me all about the famous ~O~ Lounge please.
Canipanic: t was like a line from a movie, "If you build it they will come". Because no one had done live karaoke in voice before, people were curious as to how it was possible. We had a great turnout for our grand opening and people came back. We started with once a week for 3 hours then, due to popular demand, we added other days and longer hours and still they wanted more. Elvera Lerner soon joined me in running the ~O~ Lounge and, once we were going for 6 days a week for over 8 hours each day, we decided to leave it open 24/7 and still they came. Initially we sang on voice, then as people started using streams, we provided a house stream for them to use. People can still use either, as they choose.
Michael: Was the Music Hall of Fame a follow on from that ?
Canipanic: No it wasn't and it's a separate entity. A very popular promoter of the music scene, Bringiton Paine, started the group then became ill and asked if someone would be interested in assuming the group. Elvera Lerner and I accepted her request and became owners of that group. Because it is the Music Hall of Fame group, we established more support for venues and performers rather than just being able to post notices. We have a resource center set up with resources for performers and venues at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Terriergate/236/111/28. Top performers in the MHOF group are listed in an artist search board for Venues to easily find performers to hire as well as other resources..
Michael: Have there been high points and low points on the way ?
Canipanic: The only low points have been with trolls and griefers from time to time, no different than any other venue.
Michael: You know the Second Life live music industry inside out by now. Do you feel it is in a healthy state at this moment in time ? If you could do one thing to improve it - what would it be?
Canipanic: I've seen many changes and some performers are doing better these days than other types of performers. DJ's and people singing to backing tracks are doing much better than instrumentalists and singer/songwriters doing originals. I do what I can with my small world of influence; there is no magic bullet to improve the music scene in SL.
Michael: Conversely what would you say irks you the most ? (aside from annoying interviewers)
Canipanic: I don't like to get involved with peoples conflicts (drama), and it irks me when they darken the atmosphere in the ~O~ Lounge with their issues.
Michael: Finally is there anything else you would like to add ?
Canipanic: I support all open mic/karaoke places in SL. So many have come and gone with unreasonable expectations. The ~O~ Lounge started out slowly and was the first and has become very popular and well known (that was our advantage). Some people don't take into consideration the work we do behind the scene with wonderful Officers and give up on their open mic venues too soon.