A music video by Kayne West that received little recognition: $1 million.
A homemade music video that received more than 600,000 views on YouTube: $10.
A band that goes from nameless to famous in just nine months: priceless.
That’s Maldroid’s take on the music industry.
“It’s not about the money,” said keyboardist Jerry “Prince J” Yamashita of Tracy. “It’s about creativity.”
The band is made of seven longtime musicians — two of whom are Tracy natives — who have taken on the do-it-yourself philosophy to make fast gains in the music industry. The band records and produces their own songs and videos, which allows them to do things on their watch.
Maldroid, based in Oakland, won a contest for best video on the video-sharing Web site, YouTube, in November. That recognition landed them their first public appearance, on “Good Morning America,” before they even played a gig.
Maldroid is run like a business, said bassist Sean Shippley of Tracy. And like any good business, the group developed a plan: release a single every month, along with a creative music video.
“We realized, no one’s doing good videos anymore,” Shippley said.
Maldroid singer Ryan Divine set up an account on YouTube to release the “He Said, She Said,” video when he noticed a contest for independent band videos. He figured why not submit it, Shippley said. And it won.
Requests for the song, which the band describes as British invasion meets American music, boomed. And the record labels followed suit.
By the time the band played its second show, at a post-Macworld party in San Francisco, five major labels contacted radio station Live 105 wanting to know more about Maldroid.
Divine has created two more low-budget videos using a Lite-Bright and a jigsaw puzzle.
Maldroid’s released three singles thus far, and an LP album is in the works — the band’s EP, “Malfunction,” is already available, with purchase info posted on the group’s MySpace.com page.
“It’s all part of the plan,” said Prince J, who appreciates how quickly the band generated fame. “But it’s all exceeding our expectations.”
Prince J credits his first taste of music to his mother, who nagged him to play the trumpet at the age of 9. Since then, he and Shippley have been in Tracy bands, including Sound Boy.
Shippley, a 1998 Tracy High School graduate, discovered his passion for music when he unwrapped a guitar for Christmas at age 15.
At a glance
WHAT: Maldroid’s third show
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Command Center, West Oakland