Interview with Bob Koenig
by Nomad Parx
I sat down with Bob Koenig a musician who uses Second Life to spread his music under the SL name Bobkoe Nirvana. He has two albums ‘Prose & Icons’ and ‘Abbylane’. For more information on Bob Koenig please go to www.bobkoenigmusic.com
And you can visit his Levitown Museum at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Madhupak/47/180/92
Nomad Parx: So tell me a little bit about you and your music.
Bobkoe Nirvana: My music? well, when I started playing guitar in the mid 1970’s, I didn’t know I would get up to the point of writing my own music later on. Mostly, I started because some other friends played and we started a band that played in my friends attic. He left for college, I stayed at home, but met others and just kept on going. My style, when I started, mostly copied the 1960’s bands I enjoyed, like the Beatles but i also enjoyed power pop music like Cheap trick. However, I also had a liking to Country and folk styles. So, my music tended to mix a bit. Fy first kind of ‘pro’ band was in 1980. But I didn’t start performing in clubs until 1983. Also started professionally recording then.
Nomad Parx: Sounds like you have a very good taste in music.
Bobkoe Nirvana: Again, it always fluxuates. everyone has a top ten list? I really can’t say i do, as it always changes.
Nomad Parx: How did you began of recording?
Bobkoe Nirvana: begin recording? our drummer knew someone who had a studio set up in his home, and we tried recording there an odd setup. The mixing board was in his attic, and the recording area was in the basement but had a camera set up so they could see you downstairs.
Nomad Parx: Did you record Prose & Icons there?
Bobkoe Nirvana: No, that was much later. My first recording bands name was ‘Abandon Here” we even managed to play at a famous local club “My Father’s Place”. But by 1987, we broke up. then my drummer and I started recording with various friends, and issued an LP, “Grand Opening” under the group name ‘The keys’ so, the Keys began life before they were even a real band, the other members were added later. The keys broke up in 1994. “Prose & Icons” was my first recording after the breakup. as a solo artist.
Nomad Parx: I have to say it is a very good album.
Bobkoe Nirvana: well, I was then signed to Catspaw records. whats funny is he wanted to sign the Keys, but we were gone, so he settled with me. *laughs* I wrote the songs, mostly and was the lead singer, though others wrote and sang in the Keys as well. They all put out other music afterwards as well. My one mistake with “Prose & icons” was I put together a quick band with friends of mine. I just played accoustic guitar and let theband fill in the gaps, so to speak. I think I should have asseted more control, but it worked ok. The producer, George Petersen, picked all the songs from my back catalog, so i didn’t even choose the tracks. It just happened.
Nomad Parx: It happens to a lot of artist.
Bobkoe Nirvana: to back track, there were three cool things I did with The Keys before being a solo artist, we appeared in a comic book, and had a record attached to a comic. And we were on a national TV show, “Dance Party USA”.
Nomad Parx: Femforce Comics #50?
Bobkoe Nirvana:Yes that issue had the record. Femforce up close #1 featured us in the story. BTW, femforce is almost up to issue #150! During the Keys, I also finished a country album, “Backroad Pond”. And the Keys appeared on a compilation CD in Australia.
Nomad Parx: Oh wow you were going places.
Bobkoe Nirvana: well, lets say we tried. We played various clubs in Greenwich Village in NYC. The Keys also recorded in Todd Rundgren’s studio in Woodstock. Our downfall was we didnt tour. our recordings were being played at some colleges…we should have picked up on that. But, I digress…a lot. sorry.
Nomad Parx: Tell me about Abbey Lane, I understand a lot of history is behind that album.
Bobkoe Nirvana: That was my recent recording. It is out on my own label, and I am an artist under Chrome Orange Music. That’s my producer, mark gaide’s company. I presently live in Levittown, NY. which has a lot of history as being the first suburban town built for veterans after WWII. And I am an active member of this community as a board member of the Levittown Historical Society, as well as Vice President of the Levittown Community Council.
Nomad Parx: Impressive.
Bobkoe Nirvana: So, when we were to have our 60th anniversary as a town, I though i should contribute something unique. Combining history and music, out came “Abbey Lane” and the cover is a parody of the Beatles Abbey Road. Thinking the music should be universally liked (as the community would have to be mixed) I wrote songs in a Folk motif.
Nomad Parx: It’s my favorite album of the two I think because of all the history behind it. It tells a story. Recently you have been using SL to perform and share the history of Levitown. Tell me how you discovered SL and how have you been enjoying it?
Bobkoe Nirvana: well, in RL, I do work on a blog and website for the Levittown historical society. I had seen a magazine article about second life and logged in as the character you are now speaking to. Then I found out you could actually perfrom in SL, and found a few clubs. An excellent one for my work is Guthrie’s.
Later, travelling in a town area of Madupak, I found an empty store, and decided to ‘rent’ it and make up a Levittown museum..a kind of mockup to the one we have in RL. The land owner, Fleep Tuque liked the idea, and let me get to work on it right away. What I enjoy in SL is you can involve several of your likes and hobbies all at once. So, besides the museum and performing, im also a Green Lantern lol
Nomad Parx: Amazing. With the ring and everything?
Bobkoe Nirvana: Hey..I found a golf course here too..always finding something I like to do here
Nomad Parx: Would you suggest SL to others?
Bobkoe Nirvana: oh yes. I think it is quite a functional (and addictive place). I think , for those that may be homebound for one reason or another, SL is a handy tool. it gets you places when you are somewhat immobile.
Nomad Parx: Bob thank you so much for taking the time out for this interview.
Bob Koenig’s Website: www.bobkoenigmusic.com
The Levitown Museum at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Madhupak/47/180/92
The Daily Planet SL: http://kryptonradio.com