Fierce Panda Records has a storied and reputable history of putting out early records from some of music’s most prolific bands. The UK-based label has released early records from the likes of Coldplay, Oas*s, Death Cab For Cutie, and many more. Now in its 25th year, fierce panda has proven that it has the chops to identify and launch musical careers with precision and poise.
Fierce Panda recently signed The Comstocks to its iconic roster as a result of its latest ReverbNation Opportunity. The indie alt-rock band caught the eye of fierce panda thanks to their unique, hefty, and raw sound. By the looks of fierce panda’s current roster, as well as its impressive list of label alumni, we think The Comstocks are going to fit in just fine.
[SAVE THE DATE] The Comstocks’ newest single “Six Months” is releasing on October 4, 2019 on your favorite streaming services. Click here to pre-save the song.
With a quarter-century of experience under their belt, we thought it would be great to have a chat with the team at fierce panda and pick their brains on all things music. Learn what it’s like to run an independent label, what specific things can cause a great band to not get signed, and so much more in this delightful interview.
Like an interesting song, a music career requires a delicate balance of ideas. Not holding anything back when it comes to what you want to achieve through making music is essential, but not tapering expectations means opening yourself up for major disappointments over and over again. It’s a hard balance to strike, but maintaining a sky’s the limit outlook with an attitude that acknowledges the many harsh realities of being a serious musician in 2019 is something every music-maker needs to try to do.
When it comes to deciding what artists to work with on a PR campaign, there are a lot of factors that go into a publicist’s decision—contrary to popular belief a reputable PR agency will not just take the money of anyone who offers it to us and then blast out a press release and call it a day. True PR takes a lot of very purposeful, diligent work in building our relationships with press, strategizing the best methods and angles for each and every client’s needs and story, and creating a narrative that will entice and capture an audience of press, their readers, the band’s fans, and eventually, labels, festival promoters, and venue owners.
In 2019, there’s no shortage of ways to measure a musical artist’s success. Between public play counts and the growing private listener analytic data that streaming platforms now give to artists, musicians have ways to see how well their music performs in real-time. This unprecedented reality clearly brings artists some sizable benefits. For example, a small, unestablished band doesn’t have to fork over cash for an expensive radio campaign to learn what cities listen to their music the most because streaming platforms give away that information for free.
But there’s some significant drawbacks to consider in today’s data-driven, instantly gratified music culture. There are constant, unavoidable reminders of whether an artist is conventionally successful or if their music isn’t being heard. Drawing a connection to your self worth and whether your music is successful or not is a recipe for the sort of creative-killing frustration that can do serious damage to not only your career, but also your personal well-being.
Releasing an album, EP, or even a single the right way takes loads of planning and effort. First there’s the hard work of writing and recording music, and then there’s the tedious business of making sure your music gets heard through promotion efforts. But how can an artist stay productive during the inevitable downtime between releases? Try as you might, you can’t make music 100% of your waking life, but what you do with your time after a big music release will lay the creative foundation for your next musical endeavor. Here’s four tips for making your time between releases productive:
Being rejected can be a devastating experience. Most of the non-creative world associates rejection with unrequited love expressed as a teenager, or being passed over for a promotion at work. Rejection is painful, so it makes sense why most people avoid it at all costs. Musicians who are serious about creating meaningful work don’t have that luxury.
Creating and performing music leaves musicians vulnerable and tied to risk through things like playing shows in front of hostile crowds or getting nasty reviews. Unfortunately, you risk being rejected for your work each and every time you choose to share it. Learning to cope with rejection is crucial if you want to sustain a meaningful career in music. Here are three reasons why:
Whether you play in a 7-piece band or make music alone, musical relationships are crucial. From having access to opportunities and resources to simply having another person to talk to who knows what it’s like to be a serious musician, we need musical relationships to help us in our careers. But for as important as these relationships are, they often fall apart in spectacular fashion.
When I started making music seriously in my early twenties, I had an idea in my head that once musicians got to a certain level of success, they’d be able to focus purely on their music. Music promotion, finances, booking shows – I thought all the unpleasant grunt work of musical life could one day be handed over to managers, accountants, and record labels if I could just be successful enough. More than a decade later, I’m happier than ever making music and am nowhere near the point of being able to schlep off the non-musical duties of my music career off on someone else. Over the years, my views on what a musician’s role can or should be have changed completely. I now believe that musicians should care about the non-musical aspects of their careers, but not for the reasons you might think.