Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of bands avoiding the social media blasts to their friends which ask them to pay around $10 a month to come to a downtown venue and vent their teenage angst somewhere other than in school hallways. I could be wrong, but I know I don’t message my friends and beg them to come to my shows anymore, because I know the shows will be crap. I’m an 18-year-old amateur, and am very clearly an unprofessional kid who doesn’t know anything. This leads to promoters attempting to take advantage of me, bands taking advantage of me, and dealing with drama at shows that I don’t care about, nor do I have time for. Most people who are more successful than you (or who believe themselves to be) feel the need to belittle you and make you feel like an infant.
In this day and age, where we all can sound like pros from the comfort of our bedrooms by simply downloading plugins to make us sound like our favourite bands, it’s easier than ever to create something you are proud of. That being said, it doesn’t always mean that this will be a good thing. Take it from me, who spent the last four years of his life (and still sorta does every now and then) sending my friends new music to get their opinions, and begging them to come see me play a show where they won’t have a chance to really talk to me; rather, they sit on the sidelines with the crowd of four that we brought who all hate each other (’cause y’know, drama). My point is, no matter how independent you are, you can still be professional. Recording on your own can work, but it is a long shot. You need to be absolutely exceptional at what you do, or you’re better off saving up and going with someone with more experience than you.
Another thing I’ve noticed that makes a band stand out, and this is crucial: it’s all about your image, both visually, and professionally. Nowadays, in order to gain any sort of attention is to be associated with someone more successful than you are at the moment. This means, invest in a professionally made logo/emblem, invest in artwork, and in physical copies of your music. Make yourself stand out from everyone putting out their music on BandCamp and nowhere else because it costs money. If you want to go beyond your basement studio, and to gain some attention and, more importantly, respect, realize that we live in a day and age where people only judge a book by its cover because we don’t have time to read the synopsis on the back. Take some time to invest some serious cash and even then, it’s still a crapshoot. Realize your target demographic and make yourself marketable to that age group. You know how, just follow YouTube trends.
But hey, what do I know? I’m just a blogger. I’m not a musician. I don’t write good music, I don’t want to take advantage of girls by using any sort of notoriety to get them naked, or intoxicate myself for the sake of attention. I’m an entrepreneur, and every band needs one. But the only way you’ll truly find success, as defined by what you believe success to be, is to surround yourself with likeminded people with the same goals as you, or you’ll just waste so much time, money and effort. I don’t get paid for this, I write for the sake of pleasure knowing that I have a place and a team that appreciates what I do. Once you have that, you will be unstoppable in your own light.
Written by Rian Cunningham