“We just won a huge battle of the bands called ‘Gimme the Gig,’” says soulful world-rocker Hargo, whose self-named band scored a music video and recording session with celeb producer Don Was as part of a TV pilot taping.
Sponsored by the Ford car company, Gimme the Gig initially taped entrants performing (Hargo’s set was in Del Mar) and solicited online votes to narrow down a dozen contestants, who then competed in front of Was. “We were allowed to play two songs, ‘Forget Everything’ and ‘Regeneration X.’” After being asked to repeat the latter tune (from their full-length Out of Mankind), “Don Was came up to us and said, ‘Man, that was beautiful, the beginning almost has a Krishna Das kind of gospel chant, and then it really rocks!’”
After the 12 bands competed, “We all lined up in front of a Ford Focus, which had been outfitted with a recording console by Mad Mike from Pimp My Ride, and Don announced, ‘I’d like Hargo to stick around for the next day to record and shoot the video.’ It took a second to sink in. We were thinking, Wait, he wants us to come back tomorrow? So, that means we just won?”
Their song “Regeneration X” and the accompanying video were taped on the same day last month, with the audio portion recorded by Was from the Focus dashboard. “The console that was built into the car was really cool, and they outfitted it with a couple of Distressor compressors and some mic preamps, all analog, to give it that real vibe. I have to say I was kind of skeptical at first, but it actually worked very well. We tracked the song live with the rhythm section, overdubbed some guitars and vocals, and now it’s being mixed [by Grammy-winning engineer Krish Sharma].” The TV-show tapings are airing this month on KTLA, with plans to market them as a network or cable pilot.
Hargo estimates, “To shoot a video like the one we did for Gimme the Gig would have cost $100,000, and we own a hundred percent of both audio and video. Ford is working with iTunes and some other outlets to really push the track we recorded, and we get all the royalties.
“They’re acting almost like a label back in the day, but without stealing your publishing.”