Hell hath no fury like a band scorned, right? Spending time and energy over emails settling on a date and promoting a show only to have a booking agent or promoter back out at the last second has got to be one of the most frustrating situations for a band to experience. And if you’re a small fish in a big pond, it can seem like you have little to no recourse when it comes to getting the shaft from a big club in your scene, but there are a few things you can do when you get burned by a venue or promoter.
The idea of a remix has been around since electronic music started becoming prominent decades ago. Because so many producers work with samples of pre-existing music, it only makes sense that they would be adept at taking a popular song — with permission from the artist — and remix it into their own creation. Just as many rising artists become famous or recognized by covering other music, whether on YouTube or SoundCloud, producers are getting their foot in the door by remixing. A popular song is released, then a budding producer gives it a new and exciting reinvention. Because the song is already popular, the remix gets a lot of attention, especially if it’s good. But since the art of remixing has become so prominent, it’s hard to stand out. And for those producers who are new to remixing, it’s difficult to know where to start. So, whether you’re a seasoned remixer or you just got your first batch of stems, we’ve outlined five smart ways to approach a remix for you to stand out.
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.