What's the story behind your band's founding?
Eviluer (Band Leader) is a founder account of LOTRO. I started in closed beta on September 8, 2006. Music was in its very early stages at this time. The ABC function was still in development. The only play was from the keyboard. I was eventually able to use anvil studio along with a virtual midi port and an application called MIDI2KEY to automate the playing of songs. Essentially, you picked the tracks of a midi to play and it emulated the keyboard playing it. To play as a band, or in my case, a duo, each character had to be played on a different PC. The track(s) for each part selected per PC/account. It was interesting to do since there was no true way to sync the songs. If it happened to be out of sync, one had to quickly pause and play the part that was ahead of the other. Additionally (even today) trying to play too many notes or playing too fast through the keyboard would result in errors and audible gaps in the music. Looking back on those days, I have to laugh a little at what I went through to play interesting pieces. I did have a second account but also has a duet band member I performed with when he was available. I wish I could remember his name to give him props. Alas... it was a long time ago.. and I'm old! The first thing to go is.. ah.. um....something.... I don't remember.
It has been amazing to me how popular the music system has become over the years. I was a serial beta tester and eventually left LOTRO. It was just as the band sync features were released. I have been back around 6 months now and I am blown away at how ingrained and relevant it remains.
So that's my story. The current band is 7 members. All played by me. As much as I would love to have a band of other players, it doesn't work for me. I want to play when I want to play. It's hard enough to find two people who can sync their lives enough to play as a duet. 7... not even going to try.
How did your band get its name?
Throughout my MMORPG gaming, both beta and regular, I have always enjoyed playing a Ranger. There is something about the lore of a bowman hunter that just does it for me. Most games make them a medium armor class with decent to high DPS. Even starting back in EQ1, that character has always been a Elven character. So, following the lore of the Elven race, Valinor has to be a part of that lore. All of the band members are Elven. Bards from a mysterious legendary place like Valinor seemed an irresistible choice for the band name.
How did your members meet one another?
They're all me! All of my personalities have been acquainted for a very long time! =)
How would you describe your band's music?
That's a hard question to answer. We will play anything that can be composed into a quality piece. Anything from Symphony to Metal. If I can make it sound nice, I'll play it!
How do you decide which songs to play?
Mainly, I try to play new material (my new material) when we play. Otherwise, I just play what ever hits me to play. Sometimes I may play a theme. As as close friend calls it, PDM (pretty dress music) or rock or metal. What ever the crowed seems to want to hear. I never mind requests and if I don't have it I add it to 'the list' to be created for a later venue.
Do you have a signature song?
Not that I know of. Frequent audience may look forward to a song that I play but I don't know of any song more popular than another.
What's the highlight of your band's time together?
So far, just having the privilege of playing alongside the other great bands across the LOTRO servers. It has been humbling to have requests to play for private events and requests to bring my bands to other servers. I work very hard on my music, but there are many great bands that do exactly the same thing. To be asked to venues is a huge compliment.
Do you have any stories about a time when things didn't go so well?
Not really. Even when mistakes happen, everyone just rolls with the flow. The music community across the servers aren't critical. There may be teasing for mistakes, but the reality is everyone is super supportive. So no one really remembers when things don't go so well.
Does your band play a regular concert? If so, when and where?
Not at the moment. I'm not really big on holding the white hot spot light. I don't mind playing alone, don't misunderstand me. My issue with playing my own concerts every week is.. Who am I excluding to play? I don't want to play a concert when another band is playing a concert. That forces audience to choose which to attend. It's not great for the band or the audience. The band community is getting larger for all servers. The more it grows, the more frustrating it becomes for up and coming bands to find a time that doesn't interfere with another. I tend to gravitate to venues where any bands can join in a round robin allowing the whole band community to participate. Again, I'm not against a single band concert. I would certainly do that. I just wouldn't schedule it every week. And even if I had a standing schedule of any type, at no point would I not allow another band to join in with me. If you see me playing, know that I have no issues with another band joining in a round robin.
That said, you can currently find me at the following events (subject to change):
Monday: Dwarves' Night Out at 2:30PM on Laurelin outside of Thorins Gate next to the statue
Monday : Nibbles and Nobs / Ales and Tales starting at 8:00PM on Landroval where ever they decide it will happen that day!
Friday: Bread and Jam at 9:00PM on Crickhollow at the Prancing Pony
Every other Wednesday at 9:00PM I usually join The Rakes of Kilkarill on Landroval at the Prancing Pony
On most other days you might find me at the South Gate on Crickhollow around 9:00PM. Other bands that frequent there are The Rakes of Kilkarill and the House of The Harp. It's not a hard schedule for any of us, but more often that not you will find at least one of us there around that time.
There will be more to come in the Future.
Does your band have a website, Twitter feed, Youtube channel, or links to any performances?
We were the opening band for Winterstock VI - https://youtu.be/ULZ6hHDJC7I
I have a Discord server for the LOTRO Band application currently under development - https://discord.gg/dt4Af3e
I am considering a website. But today, no.
What's the one thing we should know about your band above all else?
There are two thing actually:
First: I do not play this game. What I mean by that is I only play music. I don't level characters or worry with advancement. I am only here for the pleasure of the music and the music community. If you see me out killing.. it's because i need to buy something!
Second: I create my own music. That probably goes without saying for most of the bands across LOTRO. However, there are a lot of resources for ABC files on the WEB. I chose to create my own. One of the most interesting things about the music here is that no two bands sound the same (assuming they make their own music). 10 bands could create the same song and no two would have the exact same sound. I find that I enjoy creating the music as much as playing it. My guess is that is the consensus across most of the bands.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your group?
There is a band application that I and a couple of friends are developing for LOTRO. It will prove to change the way bands execute songs. The application will control all band members' instruments, song parts, everything from one window. There are currently testers using the first rendition of this application. We are presently developing a more user friendly version that we will begin testing soon (I hope). If you are interested in using the software or beta testing the software, you can join the LOTRO Band discord server (link is above). At the very least it will allow you to have a voice in what you would like to see in the application. I make no promises that everything can be put in the application. But I assure you that it will make playing much easier than how you are today. Eventually I will create a Wiki and video help files etc. We are not to that point just yet.