Do’s and Dont’s for Writing a Band Bio

First impressions are everything and your band bio gives people a first glimpse of what you’re all about. Our CONNECT Manager, Sharyn, who has written countless bios gave us some quick tips for how to make yours stand out.

  • DON’T overestimate the reader’s attention span. Keep it short and sweet – think one to two paragraphs max.
  • DON’T let writing intimidate you, reach out to your writer friends for advice
  • DO hook the reader in with the very first sentence
  • DON’T use cliche phrases like “hails from” or “we sound like (insert band name) and (insert another totally different band) had a baby. Be original.
  • DO create a strong, unique tag line for your band that press can latch onto like “disco pop princess” or “post-millennial Billie Holiday”
  • DO find a compelling story line about your life and music that sets you apart and build the bio around this
MikeDo’s and Dont’s for Writing a Band Bio
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Behind the Opportunity: Open for The Cool Kids at The Art Institute of Chicago’s After Dark Event

We’re so excited to share that we’re working with the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago to find one artist to open for the influential hip-hop duo The Cool Kids at their exclusive After Dark event live at the Art Institute of Chicago. We chatted with Jeremy Rothschild, Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago, to learn about the successful After Dark series, how it’s become a platform for emerging artists, and more.

Hey Jeremy thanks for chatting with us! Introduce yourself and tell us what you do for the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jeremy Rothschild: Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago

What is After Dark, what does it offer for audiences of the Art Institute of Chicago?
After Dark is an event series hosted by the Evening Associates Board of directors that highlights art exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago while featuring musical acts, cocktails, interactive theatrical performances, and occasionally art making activities all focused on engaging Chicago’s young professional audience.

The Evening Associates Board is a diverse group of young art-inspired professionals, innovators, and philanthropists committed to engaging Chicago’s under-40 community with the Art Institute of Chicago, driving Evening Associates membership, and promoting an understanding and appreciation of the arts. They were named the 2015 Associate Board of the Year by Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago).

MikeBehind the Opportunity: Open for The Cool Kids at The Art Institute of Chicago’s After Dark Event
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Artist You Should Know: Owen Bones

Chicago-based producer Owen Bones recently premiered his latest single “Mach One” on Pigeons and Planes who described it as one of his finest displays of production. Read on to get the lowdown on the collaborative process behind “Mach One,” his upcoming debut album Dive Club, Spotify experience, and more.

Hey Owen Bones, thanks for be part of our series. Can you tell us a little about Owen Bones and is that your real name?
Thanks for inviting me! My real name is Owen *Jones* (clever, I know). Owen Bones is a bit like my alter ego. He does things I might not.

Pigeons and Planes just premiered “Mach One” the lead single off your debut album Dive Club and described it as one of your finest displays of production. Tell us about the track.
The beat was made earlier in the year in one sitting, and I knew right away that it had some special qualities. A close friend of mine was sitting in while I made it, and we imagined it might sound a bit like the inside of a spacecraft during intergalactic travel…the theme stuck, and the name was saved. When picking beats for the full project, I had been listening to a lot of Tunji, and I thought his voice fit. Same with Aaron – he was actually the first person to hear the beat.

MikeArtist You Should Know: Owen Bones
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Life on the Road: Touring Tips from Air Traffic Controller

Boston-based indie pop band Air Traffic Controller are on the road Bronze Radio Return, have just been nominated for three Boston Music Awards, and have been touring nonstop for the last few weeks. Read on to get their top tips for surviving life on the road.

Air Traffic Controller’s Top Touring Tips:
  1. Know when you need your space.  It can sometimes be hard to be around people 24/7 for weeks on end, especially if you’re an introvert like me.  If you need to throw on headphones or go for a walk to recharge, do it.  It helps a lot.
  2. Pack as light as possible.  I don’t always take my own advice on this one, but I always end up trying to bring things that I don’t need and it only weighs me down.  I’ve worked over the years to cut down everything I own so that it fits in a small suitcase, and it feels a lot better.
  3. Be kind to everyone you work with.  Your band, the sound staff, the promoter, the bartender, everyone.  It’s so much easier for everyone when everyone is psyched to be there.  If you act like a diva, it just makes things miserable.  And what’s the point of that?
  4. Driver gets to choose the music and the navigator sits shotgun and stays AWAKE.
  5. Don’t make any rash decisions.  It’s not always gonna be a good day and you’re not always gonna get along with everyone at all times.  Let moods pass and give things time.  Vent to a neutral party if you need to, but arguing and complaining don’t really do any good when you’re traveling around the country for months in a little tin can.
  6. Live in it and enjoy it while you can.  I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to travel and play music with my best friends.  I don’t always get to work with my favorite people in the world and it’s the best thing.
  7. Don’t let one sub par show get you down. When you’re playing every night it’s not always going to be magical. Maybe you have an off show, sound isn’t great, show isn’t well attended, you’re exhausted, etc. There are a so many factors that come into play. All you can do is try your hardest to give the best performance possible, support each other onstage, and remember to have fun. We’ve gotten into a really great habit of dissecting our performance after each show and figuring out what we can do to make the next show better.
  8. Take care of yourself. Your body is going to take a pretty good beating. Loading gear in and out of the van, not sleeping well, constant long drives, not to mention there’s probably a good amount of free booze around. Anyway, it’s helpful to try and eat well, rest when you can, and drink plenty of water. You might still feel like you’re not human most of time… but hey, you’re on tour with your BoyZ!
  9. Pre-Stage. Making sure that your gear is setup and ready to go off stage can be a huge timesaver and make your life a whole lot easier. This is especially helpful if you’re the opener on a tour.
  10. Make sure all your gear is tour ready. You really don’t want stuff breaking on the road. Especially if it’s something that’s not easily replaceable. I always try to go over all my gear with a fine toothed comb before we leave for a trip, and bringing some tools along for the ride isn’t ever a bad idea.
  11. Socks. Bring all of the socks.
MikeLife on the Road: Touring Tips from Air Traffic Controller
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Music Publishing 101: What’s a Performance Rights Organization (PRO)?

Are you playing your original songs/music live or are they getting played on the radio? Was your song placed in a TV show, film or commercial that is being played on TV? Did you know that songwriters get paid for these types of public performances? PROs (Performing Rights Organizations) are an integral part of the music industry and in getting these types of public performances licensed, tracked and then royalties paid to songwriters. The administration and business side of your song catalog is as important as you creating it - read on to learn the ins and outs of how this works from SESAC Creative Services Manager, Diana Akin Scarfo.

What is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)?
If you’re a songwriter, you have the right to be paid royalties any time your song is performed publicly. A PRO, also known as a Performing Rights Organization, tracks and licenses a songwriter’s music and pays the songwriter and music publisher public performance royalties (it is very common for the songwriter to act as the music publisher until a publishing deal/agreement is entered into).  Public performance royalties are when your song is performed on radio (terrestrial, satellite, and internet), TV (TV Shows, films played TV, commercials), live performances (i.e. bars, music venues, festivals, etc.), and digital streaming services (i.e. Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, etc.).

MikeMusic Publishing 101: What’s a Performance Rights Organization (PRO)?
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Behind the Opportunity: Treehouse Festival

We’re so excited to share that we’re the official submission platform for the inaugural Treehouse Festival in L.A.! What started as a monthly event held at pop-up locations in L.A. where performers present their talents, has evolved into an all-day festival at The Ambassador Auditorium to expose upcoming artists to the crowd they deserve. We chatted with the inspiring team behind Treehouse to learn about the festival, exclusive ReverbNation opportunity, Kickstarter campaign, and more.

Hey Alex, Diana, and Charlsey! Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little about yourself.
Alex Wisner: Musician at AKW/Founder of Treehouse
Diana Mantis: Photographer
Charlsey Kellen: Founder of Dog-Eared Records

We are beyond excited to be the official submission platform for the First Annual Treehouse Festival! Can you tell us a little about Treehouse?
Alex: I’m so happy to be working with you guys. I know that this site has such a plethora of artists waiting to be found and that’s truly what we’re all about. Treehouse Festival is a one-day festival taking place in Los Angeles on October 15th. This festival is the result of a monthly event that I’ve been holding every month for the last year and a half. These monthly events started in my living room and quickly grew too large and became pop-up events all around Los Angeles. We showcase musicians, writers, actors and filmmakers. Each person has a 8-10 minute slot and we’ve ranged from 8 artists to sometimes 20 artists in one night. People submit via our website and we curate a night in a random location adorned with Christmas tree lights, an attentive audience and very memorable, touching performances.

MikeBehind the Opportunity: Treehouse Festival
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Artist You Should Know: Matt Kivel

Singer/songwriter Matt Kivel just premiered his video for “Permanence,” announced an upcoming double LP due out in October, and consistently gets praised by the likes of Pitchfork, SPIN, and more. We caught up with the LA-based artist to chat about the collaborative recording process of 'Fires on the Plain,’ his evolution as an artist, and more.

Hey Matt, we’re stoked to have you be part of our series! Let’s start off with a quick introduction. Who is Matt Kivel?
Hi! Thanks for having me. I am 30 years old, married to a very intelligent woman named Emily, and I have been writing songs and making records for a long while now. I live in Los Angeles and have lived here, more or less, for the past 27 years. I enjoy reading, playing music, watching movies, and boxing … I feel like I’m on an old timey dating show right now.  

MikeArtist You Should Know: Matt Kivel
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Artist You Should Know: Adam Jensen

With an addicting new single out, and the ability to beautifully pair alt, pop, and electronic sounds with emotionally raw lyrics, Adam Jensen will be one of your new favorite artists in no time. We chatted with the Boston-based artist/producer about his major influences, production style, and more.

Hey Adam! What’s your story?
Hello there! That’s a tough one. My story is equally everything I am, and everything I am not. In short, I’m just a ruffian from Boston who was lost until I found music as a means of staying out of trouble.

MikeArtist You Should Know: Adam Jensen
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