Music is one of the world’s most beloved and widely consumed art forms. It can do things like help us sleep, cope with a breakup, and give us the boost energy we need to focus while working at a boring job. But as vital as music is, most non-musicians ever consider how incredibly hard it is to create––especially when multiple musicians are involved. There’s countless books and movies about bands because there’s an inherent drama involved with a small group of people trying to take on the world and make meaningful art together.
While the drama surrounding bands can be entertaining from the outside, relationship complications paired with a growing list of challenges brought on by the current state of the music industry can be hell to navigate if you happen to be in one. Great bands break up all the time seemingly out of nowhere, but there’s always a hidden story behind what groups of musicians face and why they can’t play music together anymore.
When good things start to happen for an artist, it’s only natural that the musicians around them might feel and express some amount of jealousy. But while a little bit of jealousy in music is to be expected, dwelling on it could prove to be a major source of distraction and negativity for you if you’re not careful. From serving as a harmful distraction from your goals to earning your project a bad reputation, jealousy is something capable of seriously harming your music career.
Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to other artists? Do you get secretly jealous when other musicians land cool gigs, win awards, and score lucrative press?
These are signs that you are playing the comparison game, a common trap that can send normally rational and level-headed artists into a tailspin.
No matter how well you’re doing in your career, you’ll always be able to find someone doing better. In other words, if you let the “comparison game,” and the crippling emotions that accompany it, invade your mental space, you may find yourself on a continuous emotional rollercoaster that can erode your confidence and keep you from making progress.
Luckily, there are tools you can use to help you avoid the comparison game, and tools to help you deal with the emotional rollercoaster if you do fall victim to playing the comparison game.
Imagine you’re a new, independent artist looking to test the waters of the business they call music. You have a soul-sucking day job, but hey, gotta pay the rent, right? Soon you’d love to quit and make music full time, but first you need to get some momentum going. You bedroom-produced a handful of songs and you’re ready to get streamed. Got $50 to drop on digital distribution for those five songs? “Ayyyyyy, I haven’t even bought a nice microphone yet!”
Do you really want to begin your career hundreds of dollars in the hole?
You can’t catch your dreams if you go broke trying. That’s why we’re dethroning The Old Way with Select Distribution, the smart, budget-friendly way to get your music on the biggest streaming platforms in the world. The Old Way requires you to spend at least $10 per song and $50 per album to get on “hundreds” of streaming sites, apps, and stores. That’s a fine offer for the more established artist with thousands of fans. That guy is confident he’ll make his money back in a few months. But the up-and-comer, well, she needs to be a bit more choosy with her money. Want to do some quick math?
So, you want to rock a tour, do ya?? Congratulations on your decision to become a highway pirate! It’s time to cruise the land with your bandmates, crew, your favorite sweat pants, your noble steed, and all your special quirks fully loaded to test each other’s patience and sadistic behavior. Here are top touring tips and suggestions from Midnight Mob on how to make a tour successful, fun, inexpensive, efficient and – most importantly – safe for all.
In a world full of spammers and unapologetic super-promoters, cutting through the clutter with sincere, genuine, and thoughtful music feedback will greatly increase your odds of building valuable relationships with other artists. Ask yourself: Would you rather have someone give you thoughtful insight with actual proof that they listened to your work, or just a two-word comment and an emoji?
If you want to really learn how to provide strong feedback online that can develop into authentic relationships, try putting the following tips into action.
Quick thought experiment – you’re a DIY rock ‘n’ roll band from the same area of Massachusetts that produced The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. and you’re trying to pique the interest of indie labels. You’ve released an album, done a bit of regional touring, got a strong fan base going and some press attention. Ok, what do you do now? Blast pitches all over the place to a bunch of “info@” email addresses? Tag every indie label in the known universe in your album cover art Instagram pics? Now put yourself on the other side of the equation – you’re an indie label constantly on the hunt for fresh talent. You have a rock solid reputation but limited budget and resources. How do you navigate the crowded waters of new music while still developing your current artists? The answer for both sides – queue the self-promotional back-patting for a quick moment – is ReverbNation. This is the story of LuxDeluxe and Old Flame Records, as told by them, with inspiration for any musicians out there looking to make the next big move.
If perfecting your music marketing strategy is the ideal foundation for getting press and growing your fan base, then adding a dose of the nontraditional in that process is the trimming that could set your band apart from the rest. It doesn’t have to feel contrived or forced, either; trust your instincts and you’ll find there are ways of filtering in unexpected promotional elements that feel appropriate and natural, whether intended to be silly and gimmicky or earnest and sentimental.
Check out the five examples of unconventional music marketing for inspiration in sprucing up your own strategy. With creative thinking, you’ll come up with something fresh that’s wholly unique to your band.