JD McGibney is a guitarist from New York, who started his journey after taking off from NYC to Hollywood and playing a few major touring gigs with bigger bands. He played in Europe, America, and Canada. McGibney is part of the Angels of the Battlefield band.
In 2019, Angels of the Battlefield has released an album Over Darkened Skies. Two of the tracks on the album were recorded with just an iPhone. A year earlier – in 2018 – Angels of the Battlefield released a single The Sleeper Has Awakened.
Angels of the Battlefield play instrumental, metal, and progressive metal. Follow their official Artist club
How did you decide to become a musician?
I first decided to pick up a guitar after hearing a cover of the Black Sabbath song NIB on the radio. It was the first time a song had really touched me deeply. I turned to my father after the song ended and said: "I want to learn how to play guitar." A few years later, I heard the song "The Element of One" by Killswitch Engage and I knew that I wanted to write music for the rest of my life.
What are your biggest inspirations in music?
My biggest musical inspirations are Randy Rhoads, In Flames, Killswitch Engage, and Periphery.
How did you learn about building a career in music?
I met my mentor, Thomas J. Bellezza back in 2013. He is the person that really opened up my mind and taught me how to run myself like a business. Before meeting him, I had always thought that my music would be the key to my success. It was him that taught me about ALL of the elements of being a professional entertainer. Allowing people to connect with me as a person was more important to success and longevity than pushing music alone.
What is the toughest lesson that the music industry taught you?
The toughest lesson I have learned from the music industry is that it will never be my art that brings me success. No matter what, people want to connect with people; they want to know the artist behind the art. Integrity, work ethic, and willingness to help others will be what bring success and longevity.
Anyone that is looking to have a successful career in the music industry needs to learn how to create a switch they can flip that switches from "Artist Brain" to "Business Brain." Understanding that there is a very big difference between running yourself as a business (which, every artist/band is a business) and creating art is a very difficult, but very important part of creating longevity.
Understanding that your art is not what creates opportunity, but the way you conduct yourself as a business will bring endless possibilities and also give you the freedom to create, literally, any kind of music that you want.
People tend to look for the "quick and easy" way to success. There is no quick and easy way. You can look at any successful artist or band and see that it took them between 5-10 years before they got their "big break." A big break is just the culmination of investing your time, building friendships, and working together as a team, and with multiple teams, in order to reach success.
What’s your take on developing fan engagement?
I find that the best social media engagements are on posts that have genuine heart to them; ones that have a message that people can relate to.
All too often bands will post something that pretty much says "See Me, Buy Me!" Those posts may look fancy and flashy and get a bit of temporary traction, but there is no emotional investment because there is no message. Sure, a song may have that message, but people may not know that at first glance. Having your message be obvious in every facet of your marketing is truly key to creating longevity.
How important do you think live shows are to an artist’s professional development? What’s the key to a successful live show?
Professional development happens behind the scenes. The most important parts of becoming a successful musician are through the genuine connections you make and by giving of yourself.
Live shows are the rewards musicians and fans get for all of the hard work put in running the business side of things. Knowing that allows musicians to give their all during a performance because they finally get to do what they love, and connect with those that love them back. The key to a successful show is putting your heart into the performance. After all, what is the point in performing if you do not love it?