Even if you’re not new to performing, navigating the payment situation after a show can be awkward, especially if the turnout was bad. I’ll never forget my experience after a show in Dallas a few years ago. After a nice write-up in the Dallas Morning News and coverage from a local blog, my band hoped some locals would come out, but the 200-person capacity Deep Ellum venue was empty save for a lone bartender who was on his phone during our whole set. Knowing full well we weren’t getting paid, I asked him if there were any drink specials for bands after the show. “Only bands who bring people get drinks,” he answered without looking up from his phone.
Whether you’re aware or not, there’s a few unwritten rules of how band’s conduct themselves within their local scenes. Break them, and you could face repercussions ranging from lost show opportunities to being the subject of ridicule by your peers. We’ve assembled five rules for you to follow if your band is interested in staying out of trouble and maintaining a good reputation. None of these rules have anything to do with the music your band makes, but they’re important because conducting yourself in a disrespectful or aloof way has the potential to keep you from reaching your goals.
In 1980, the Roland Corporation introduced the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer — what we know as the 808. It was among one of the first programmable drum machines. And despite being decades old, it’s as prominent as ever in modern music. Though, producers today may not be using the actual drum pad, they’re using the samples: booming bass drops, digital snares, tinny hi-hats, artificial claps, etc. In rap music today, the 808 drum kit can be found everywhere from Grammy-winning artists and producers like Kanye West and Jay-Z.
But with such prominence also comes a lot of repetition. When listening to a handful of hip-hop’s most popular trap tunes at any given moment, can you really tell who the producer is without the producer tag? Certainly Metro Boomin is going to produce differently than Mike WiLL Made-It, but in many scenarios, their use of 808 drum kits ends up sounding very similar. This isn’t a bad thing — most acoustic drum kits sound similar, whether it’s Led Zeppelin or The Who. But in this modern era of production, taking the time to make your 808 drum kits unique will go a long way in helping you to stand out among the rest. Here are a few ways how:
We’ve done plenty of articles on how to craft the perfect pitch, DIY your PR campaign, and land a feature. But what about when you finally do land that interview—how do you give answers that are going to spark new interest in your band, and engage readers so that they actually want to check out your music?
In today’s landscape of hacks, instant gratification and collective forgetfulness, it might be tempting to question the album’s relevance and place within music and popular culture. For bands, it can be especially tempting to count albums out considering just how expensive and time consuming they are to produce. Why spend loads of cash putting out an album when you can just spread out promotion and release an endless stream of singles? That’s a fair question, but the truth is that albums are more important than ever in 2017, and that your band will lose a significant amount of momentum putting out your music in pieces rather than through an album.
It usually takes years of incredibly difficult, thankless work before a band is ready to bring their music on the road. For most bands, touring is the culmination of thousands of tiny failures and successes, so it’s no wonder that our culture has such a dramatic association with a band leaving their hometown to take on the world. Single tours have spelled the untimely demise of many talented bands, but musicians simply can’t develop their careers without it. If your band wants to avoid burning out on the road, you’ll have to bring a balance to the way you think about touring.
Every artist has some form of a band bio. Traditionally, they include background on you (and/or your fellow bandmates), the story behind your music, a brief discography of past albums/singles, notable gigs, and what you’re up to now or working on next.
All of that is fine, but an outstanding bio needs a bit more pizzazz, and it’s unbelievably easy to spruce up a dull bio with just a few quick tweaks that show off your creativity and make you look ultra professional. So, whether you’re writing your bio for the first time or desperately need to update your current one, try one of these five tactics to elevate your band bio instantly.
Despite the best efforts, being an active musician requires traits that transcend musicality, and this can cause problems for artists who purely focus on music without taking the time to develop other important music industry skills. For example, the skill it takes to cold-call music venues and ask for shows is hugely important if you want to start making a name for yourself in your local scene. But even the smallest venues are typically inundated with emails from another band asking the same thing, and if you go about it the wrong way, you could end up severing an important relationship that your band will need for years to come. Here’s a few tips to avoid pissing off the venues you work with: