Gateway: Living

Artist chases musical dreams from KP studio

Greg Bilderback has invested both time and money into his dream of being a recording artist. Here he works on his computer-based mixing sound board.
Greg Bilderback has invested both time and money into his dream of being a recording artist. Here he works on his computer-based mixing sound board. lgiles@gateline.com

Greg Bilderback has been making music his whole life.

Now, at 38, his goal of being a full-time musician is beginning to take shape.

Bilderback launched DubSevenRecords — his recording studio website — from his home on the Key Peninsula on Jan. 8 to stream his music to listeners over the Internet.

By Jan. 15, music lovers around the world had streamed 25,000 songs from DubSevenRecords.

Bilderback was in shock.

“(This is) pretty much just a collection of music I’ve been recording for the past ten years with my brother and friends ...(I started to think) this could be a really big thing,” he said.

25,000 the number of streams on DubSevenRecords for Bilderback’s music

The music on DubSevenRecords is a solo project called SixTwoSeven that Bilderback began to record in 2011 under the pseudonym “illfunk,” which he had been using since high school.

“It’s rock,” he said of his music. “I feel like there’s a serious lack of music that actually rocks being put out to the public right now... I still want it to be rock and roll. I don’t think it’s a dead art.”

Bilderback joined his first band, an alternative punk bank called 5 Hoss Cartwrights, right after graduating from South Kitsap High School, joining them on a U.S. tour.

I feel like there’s a serious lack of music that actually rocks being put out to the public right now...I still want it to be rock and roll. I don’t think it’s a dead art.

Greg Bilderback, CEO of DubSevenRecords

While music has been his passion, Bilderback supports his interest by working as a power engineer for the Nova Group, a general engineering firm in Port Orchard. But full-time music is definitely his goal.

“I’m a much better musician than I am an engineer,” Bilderback said. “I would love to be able to pay my bills playing music.”

Until that day, his engineering job covers expenses.

“I’m financing the whole thing,” he said. “I’m doing all the work. This is my baby, my bucket list thing.”

And he is determined to do it himself — with the help of friends and local producers and without the influence of big-name record labels.

“I work,” he said. “I stayed up all night on Facebook making my contacts. I will find a way to make this fly without the help of a record label.”

But he is interested in working with friends like Mike Knapp, also a Key Peninsula resident and owner of Knapp Productions, a production studio in business from 1999 to 2002.

Knapp, 40, and Bilderback have known each other since middle school.

“We’ve always been friends and we’re always into music,” Knapp said. “At 40 years old, we’re finally sitting down to make music together.”

(His music) is very unique...It’s got kind of a unique, kind of a mid-90’s progressive, Seattle-punk sound. It’s not punk and it’s not grunge…it’s unique.

Mike Knapp, co-producer

Knapp — now the owner of Peninsula Carpet Cleaning Company — entered the project as a co-producer after Bilderback asked for his help “smoothing over” rough patches on some of his vocal tracks.

“I understood what (Bilderback) was trying to do and what kind of help he did need,” he said. “You can’t do everything on your own. It’s just not possible.”

Knapp describes the music of SixTwoSeven as being a unique blend of influences, while remaining original to Bilderback.

“(His music) is very unique,” Knapp said. “It’s got kind of a unique, kind of a mid-90’s progressive, Seattle-punk sound. It’s not punk and it’s not grunge … it’s unique.”

Currently, Bilderback is working on releasing more demos, a new single with a music video and an upcoming tour.

His website features seven songs from his SixTwoSeven project, titled “Allow me for a moment if you will ... to be Frank,” and he plans to add new content soon to keep his fans interested.

“I’m trying to build a real, legitimate fan base,” Bilderback said, adding that he has been talking with fans and other musicians about his work since launching his website.

His advice for young musicians is entirely practical:

“Keep your job,” he said. “The music thing, it doesn’t matter how much money you have or your gear, just work with what you have.”

Now I’m gonna put my heart and soul out in front of everybody for their feedback...Those are big leaps to take when you’re somebody that nobody really knows.

Greg Bilderback

Working hard is nothing new to Bilderback, who said that the biggest challenge he’s faced so far has been overcoming his own doubts.

“Now I’m gonna put my heart and soul out in front of everybody for their feedback,” he said “Those are big leaps to take when you’re somebody that nobody really knows.”

But he says that big things are in the works for DubSevenRecords, which he said involve a partnership with Seattle-based producer Jack Endino for a record beginning in February.

Knapp is optimistic for Bilderback’s future and says he’s happy for his friend.

“(Bilderback is a) pretty talented guy and he’s definitely the kind of guy who deserves to have some success for this,” Knapp said. “He is a good person and I have a lot of respect for him.”

For more information about SixTwoSeven and DubSevenRecords or to stream music, visit dubsevenrecords.com.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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