In this industry it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the information being blasted at us 24/7. Do this, don’t do that. This works, that doesn’t. It can be tough to know which advice to follow, and which to stay far away from.
As someone who has been in the industry for the last 10 years as a writer for my own and several other publications, a music publicist, an occasional booker of local shows, and an all around observer, there are a few myths that I see bands still living by, despite any proof they actually work—most of them end up actually being detrimental. Here they are:
Back when I started making music over a decade ago, nothing made me more excited than booking and playing shows. No matter the venue, quality and size of the crowd and amount of money I made, I was elated to be able to play on stage. But it didn’t take long to realize that some shows were worth my time and some weren’t, and after years of touring and trying to make a career out of being a musician, I learned taking certain shows ended up actually noticeably hurting my career in music.
Every musician is different which means that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure when it comes to shows. But even still, there are some shows that are never worth playing. Here’s a helpful list of five shows every musician should run from:
Time and time again, the sort of music that finds its way to the top of relevance, prominence, and appreciation are ideas that manage to blend listenability with stark originality. When musicians create new, fresh musical ideas presented in accessible, engaging ways, listeners take notice. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense why so many artists and bands do everything they can to set themselves apart from their peers––and often end up generating ideas indistinguishable from everyone else in the process.
Sometimes when songwriters and people in other creative fields try doing something completely different, new, and unconventional, they end up coming up with ideas similar to thousands of other artists. Why?
Hailing from NYC, multi-instrumentalist Cuesta Loeb comes from a family of musicians. Inspired by popular ’90s artists like Green Day, The Smashing Pumpkins, Fiona Apple, and (early) Sheryl Crow, she found her home in Dream pop with dark, haunting melodies, and ethereal instrumentation and vocals.
It’s that unique blend that caught the attention of Fierce Panda, who she signed to after submitting to one of our opportunities.
“We had no idea what we were actually looking for until we found ‘it’ and that ‘it’ was Cuesta Loeb. Fundamentally it was the quality of their ‘Dive’ track which stood out from the pack – the fabulous shoegazey sonics were essentially familiar, but the combination of ethereal melodies and low-slung guitars was something we’d never quite heard before.”
Check out this interview with Cuesta Loeb, where she shares how to be strategic in promoting your music, why it’s important to have a plan, and what’s up next for her.
Professional college radio campaigns are one of the best ways to introduce your music to attentive new audiences, but they’re not cheap. Depending on the size, length, and nature of the campaign, hiring a radio promotion company to send your release to college radio stations could cost you anywhere from $2,000-$10,000. And if you’re financing the recording, production, and promotion of your record all by yourself, it might not be possible to devote that kind of cash to a college radio campaign.
If this sounds like you, don’t despair. You can create an impactful college radio campaign in-house. Here’s how to get started:
Want some more sizzle on a cymbal, or maybe a little less boominess on that acoustic guitar? By using equalizers (or EQs, for short) to manipulate the frequency content of a signal, you can gain more control over how your tracks sound.
How the Pros Use EQ
If you’re relatively new to mixing, it’s helpful to understand how professional sound engineers use EQ so you know what you should be working towards — and the rookie mistakes you should avoid.
As much as we’d all like to think that inspiration and the pure love of music is enough to keep us musicians motivated to practice, challenges like work, school, or relationships tend to get in the way of our goals. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then becoming a serious and competent musician can only happen with action and planning; not only playing music when you feel like it. And when it comes to bands trying to make, record, and perform serious music, the idea of practicing consistently is even more applicable.
The Cheap Thrills are a garage/psych pop band from Liverpool, UK. Their sound is a combination of garage bands from the sixties and a resurgence of bands from the 2000s.
It’s that same sound that caught the attention of End Of The Trail Records, who they signed to after submitting to one of our opportunities. According to the label, what attracted them to the band were their songs.
“Pop psych at it’s best we think. At the time of writing they have just had their new single played on BBC Radio 6 by the mighty Steve Lamacq. Which is a great thing for any band in the UK!!!”
Check out this interview with The Cheap Thrills where they share the secret to getting promoters to book you, how to build up hype around your band, and what’s up next for them.