What to do to get on a label (underground or major)?


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03-09-2003, 12:14 PM
ok what are some things i should do to get picked up by a label. I am a one man band, and i want an MCD/Demo release (6 or 9 song first release) i only want a few hundred copies, maybe at most 300. what are some things i can do to get on a lable, that will make this possable. should i send a few tracks of mine to small lables looking for bands, then cut a deal with them for a mcd, and how do i go about doing this. i'm also thinking of sending my work to a radio station that plays local bands on sundays late at night, but i doubt they will play it cuz my style is not really what they look for. I am 100% serious about getting out there on the one person black metal scene. any suggestion or personal experences will surely hell me out....

Dark Hails:cheers:

03-09-2003, 01:51 PM
thanks def, i did some reacherch and for other ppl that want to know some stuff go to Here (http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/syws/recordlabel/recordlabel.html) its really for more larger lables, but its still good for some knowlege.

03-09-2003, 05:51 PM
thanks Gar :down:

03-23-2003, 08:24 PM
YO!...Send ur stuff to Nuclear Blast and Metal Blade records...
Try to get to know people who are signed..Do whatever it takes to get signed even when u have to Hump an ugly @$$ chick to get signed.

03-29-2003, 11:25 PM
You can also e-mail Ear Ache Records and Metal Blade.....
Go to www.LAmetaltv.com and click on "Links"
loook below and you'll find a record labels section

03-17-2003, 09:05 PM
i have heard alot of good ideas, but one thing you need to do is make sure that you have a good fanbase. start out with ****ty park gigs or whatever, then move on to the local club for metal, jazz etc. and play. try to get the world out about your band. make sure that you know something that origanal about your band. if you have a meeting with a record executive, they will ask WHAT makes you a GOOD and Origanal band. then of course do what garrett says, make a great promo package for clubs, labels etc. maybe you want to find out about a semi-popular band in your genre that touring, and see if they need an opening band. work hard!!!! and whatever you do, DONT accept every offer that comes along!! make sure it works in your benifit. club owners want an exclusive band thats great, not a band that will play at any club at any time. then ROCK THE **** OUT!!

03-09-2003, 02:13 PM
Im in the same exact situation, where can I get a list of underground labels?

03-14-2003, 06:15 PM
I found this list of labels:



03-09-2003, 02:40 PM
There's a couple rules:

1. Be professional
2. Be professional
3. Do your research.

You're going to need not just a demo, but a "package" to put together for labels. The biggest headache for you is that every label wants a different package. Not all labels will even accept unsolicited demos so you have to check that as well.

You should at least have the following prepared:

o A 3 song demo CD. No more and no less than 3 songs and almost always on CD. Again, every label wants different things so it's possible though unlikely that one label will insist on a tape or DAC. It's more likely that you'll find labels that insist on exactly one song or exactly 4 songs etc.

o Make sure the demos are professional quality and pleasing to the ears. If your demo sounds like **** you sound like **** and they'll just move on. Make sure it's your best work and your best job.

o Lyric sheets (printed via computer - may seem obvious but some people may overlook it or get lazy), for each one of your songs.

o A cover letter that explains briefly and professionally who you are and what you want. Do you want to cut a record deal? Do you want to sell your songs to Finger 11? etc...

o A biography sheet. Tell them all about you. Where you're from. How many people you bring to shows. How long you've been playing. How much money you make at a shows etc.

o Promo pictures. 2 or 3 of them to paint a picture of you, your image and what your shows looks like etc.

o If you want to get REALLY impressive print every single piece of information on letter head paper with your contact info wich brings me to my next point:

o DON'T FORGET YOUR CONTACT INFO AND MAKE SURE IT'S ALL IN THEIR FACES. If the A&R rep has to search through a pile of papers to find your contact info or it's easy to lose they'll just move on to the next group. If your contact is right there in their nose on every page they look at it'll be much easier for them. Print it on the CD and on the CD case. Print it on the return address on the package envolope. Print it on letter head on the bio, lyrics sheets, cover letter etc. Print it on the back of the promo pictures and make sure it's printed neatly and professionally.

o The next point is very important. You must always, I repeat ALWAYS send your package addressed to one individual person. If you send a package to "whom it may concern" it will be thrown out.

Wich is why you have to do your research and find out a) wether the label accepts unsolicited demos b) who to mail demos to within the company and c) what they look for in demo packages.

I recommend buying a book called "The Song Writer's Market". A new edition is printed each year (so get the 2003 edition) and it has tons of info on various labels (indie and mainstream). It has interviews with people in the industry to give you an idea of current trends, how to package things etc. It's an invaluable resource.

The more you know about the business the better you will succeed.


03-14-2003, 12:45 PM
This should be made a sticky. Gar's post is excellent info for anyone who's serious about music (like me).

03-10-2003, 06:33 PM
Find out who at the label is most likely to be interested in your music, and send it personally to him/her. Better response than just sending it in general. And never, ever just e-mail a web link. Always send a cd.

03-29-2003, 08:47 PM
Put your stuff on winmx and kazza and it really helps to do this
Uhhhhhhhhhh - I'm in a black metal band(if you like Darkthrone,Burzum,Mayhem,etc.)
That really helps out and makes people think your famous.But you don't make any money but a lot of fans.

03-12-2003, 01:36 PM
^^^ You dont need a label for demo's, just money :)

Also, Gar, that was a great post, thanks alot :cheers:

03-09-2003, 01:36 PM
Send your demo to underground labels, if they like it they'll definetly get back to you, also, let your stuff be played in clubs and ****, if you can get people's interest, it's allways good.

I don't know about that radio stuff, if you want an underground label, that won't help you, but it would be neat to hear your own stuff on the radio I guess...

try to make contact with labels, if your stuff is good, they'll be interested, however it's not easy to get on a label, but you might just have a lucky day. just go for it, send that stuff around, email them with your mp3.com url and stuff.

03-15-2003, 05:43 PM
I can't remember who the last artist was that made it by submitting their stuff to a record label. I think that most bands that get picked up today, are picked up because A&Rs (basically scouts for record companies) see them performing live or hear about them once they've created enough buzz on their local scene.

I know of two prototype ways that someone got discovered:

Dave Matthews Band

1. Be killer musicians
2. Have enough of a look that can be put on merchandise then make some of your own and sell it.
3. Play every gig you can get your hands on and pack each and every one of them, regardless of where you are on the eastern seaboard.
4. Let people make bootleg tapes of your performances.
5. Keep doing this for years until someone notices. Actually this won't take too long as A&Rs pay very close attention to new talent. Many record companies already had an eye on DMB for years but everyone was afraid to pick them up since they didn't think that the DMB sound would sell.

John Mayer
1. Be a killer musician with a great voice.
2. Have good looks. Though in Mayer's case, his record company had a big hand in creating his image and marketing machine.
3. Play every gig you can get your hands on and pack each and every one of them. Mayer had a bit of an easier time finding gigs since he was a solo act with just him and his guitar (easy for bars to host him) a lot of the time but that was also a problem since he didn't attract as much attention as a full band would.
4. Market your music through your website.
5. Keep doing this for years until someone notices.

The irony here is that a bunch of pretty people can be discovered and snapped up almost overnight but good musicians take a long time to get a break.

As I mentioned, gigging is a big thing. A lot of bands get their chance simply because they earned their stripes on the road. But this is hard since doing gigs demands commitment.

The nice thing about making demos and submitting them is that you're not really investing too much time and effort, at least not when compared to being a live act.

More bands though make it when they've established that they can draw an audience and believe me, if you draw an audience, you don't even have to call the record companies, they'll come looking for you. Thing is though, they still might not sign you even if you have draw power.

04-20-2003, 10:45 PM
PLEASE put this in the best of archives