#1
okay, so i have been in a band for a little while now. we know our songs really well, have about enough material to record two albums on the spot, play gigs pretty often, and can get a crowd going.

now i need to know what to do from here?


ive looked up record companies adresses because we decided maybe we should just mail our demos to every company weve ever wanted to be a part of ha.


however, ive been seeing that some companies do not take "unsolicited demos"


please, explain to me what i should do in order to get my music out there better.

all i want with my life is to play music and survive doing it.
#2
1.-PLAY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, IN EVERY PLACE YOU CAN,
2.- BUILD A FAN BASE, CREATE A BUZZ AROUND YOU

record companies do not really care if ur good or bad, they wanna see ppl following u, if they do then ur worth being signed....
hope it works out for u dude, id love to listen ur bands music=]

cheeers!*

Originally Posted by anonymus
I voted "evolutionism", though. Cuz you know... it's sciencey.



Originally Posted by anonymus
We were all created by God...
As Monkeys...
Then evolved.
End Debate.
__________
#3
Gig relentlessly, advertise, advertise, advertise. There's all sorts of stuff you can do. Never get your hopes up. For every band that "makes it" there's tens of thousands that don't.
#4
What's your definition of "play gigs pretty often" and how big is the area that you're known in? You'll want to spread out as far as you can to get a local following. Make as much of a name as you can.
Originally Posted by evening_crow
Quoting yourself is cool.


WARNING: I kill threads.
#5
As well as Internet exposure via a wide variety of websites, try looking into local competitions and independent radio support. There's a surprisingly large amount of both of these in many places.
#6
Quote by zephyrclaw
As well as Internet exposure via a wide variety of websites, try looking into local competitions and independent radio support. There's a surprisingly large amount of both of these in many places.

Those are very helpful. Check out all the bands that you play with and add them to your myspace and stuff. This will help out when they have openings for gigs they're doing and stuff like that. I mean, we're all musicians and we're always trying to help each other out. Also get involved with your local radio/tv stations. Many of them help touring bands go to ur city and put out certain bands for opening acts. There's many competitions that will allow local bands to open for other bands (taste of chaos anyone?).
Originally Posted by evening_crow
Quoting yourself is cool.


WARNING: I kill threads.
#7
Careful about the record company thing. A few things to think about in that regard:
1. You're right. Most of them don't want unsolicited demos. If you have a manager or work with an agency who knows the people at those record companies, it is easy to get it submitted. Mind you, working with a manager or agency at that level requires a lot of work. They don't take just anybody.
2. Different labels work with different types of bands. You want to pick labels that work with YOUR type of music.
3. If you're out there making waves, the labels will find you. They will at least probably have heard of you when you contact them... or when your management does.
4. If you are submitting as a band (rather than as a songwriter), the label wants to know that your band can make money. Not just crystal ball gazing 'this looks like something that might sell' - but actually want to KNOW it can sell. How do you prove that? By showing that you ARE selling!! You ARE making money!! You ARE touring!! And the good news for the label.... if they sign you, THEY can be a part of that!!

In this day and age, you really can't just make a demo, send it in, and hope to get signed. Especially with downloads contributing to labels dying and having shrinking budgets, and the fact that A+R people are routinely fired for signing acts that don't sell, they don't want to risk their money (or even their jobs!) any more than the next person. They want a sure thing. You have to have something concrete to prove to them that you ARE a sure thing!

Now, to get hooked up with those high end managers/agencies, you have to prove to THEM that you are worth the effort. Are they really going to be excited about having to make 10 phone calls to get you three gigs that each pay $100, thereby giving the agency 15% of $300 = $45. $45 for an hour's work, when they can make ONE five-minute phone call for the next band and nail them down a gig that pays $5000 and collect $750? Nope. Surely, the difference between those two scenarios is obvious....

If you can't get on THEIR radar, you WON'T get on the radar for the major labels... or even a lot of the indie ones.

So, what you should be asking is, "how do I build a market for my band locally and beyond on my own?" Once you do that, you can pass GO, collect $200, and move to the next level.

You might also want to consider joining TAXI. I was a member for a year. Their A+R Insider articles are gold. (you can get those articles for free - or close to it - from various other sources though - the taxi website, Recording magazine, etc.). But, you can browse their listings and submit stuff that WILL be listened to by labels. In fact, a number of the Taxi staffers are former A+R people - even A+R managers - themselves. At the very least, they will still have contacts in the industry. With many of the submissions, you get a valuable critique that is constructive and can help you bring your music to the next level. All it takes is for ONE contact made through taxi to open the door to other opportunities.

But even the listings will often tell you.... if you are a band looking to get signed or accepted for one of their listings, you should have a track record of successful touring, a marketable image, etc.

In the end, you will probably not get signed through Taxi either. Statistically, there just aren't that many opportunities, and the cream really does rise to the top. You have to keep at it, keep networking, etc. Their critiques, though, and the information you get from their articles, and scanning their listings, etc. is worth the cost for at least one year.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
thank you for all the help everyone.


feel free to post even more information, i wouldnt be upset haha.

this is my band, myspace.com/musicaldirt


we play shows every single weekend, and we play a really good live show and get the crowd into it without looking like dumbasses haha :P
#9
Quote by evening_crow
What's your definition of "play gigs pretty often" and how big is the area that you're known in? You'll want to spread out as far as you can to get a local following. Make as much of a name as you can.



we play weekly, and we are from Rhode Island, the smallest shittiest state ever.


however this summer we are all moving to seattle, WA. hopefully a better turnout :P
#10
Quote by ManipulatedDead
we play weekly, and we are from Rhode Island, the smallest shittiest state ever.


however this summer we are all moving to seattle, WA. hopefully a better turnout :P


Better turnout? Hmm.

I don't know anything about Rhode Island, but wikipedia reveals a population of 1,000,000. I live in the capital of Australia, Canberra, which sports a population of 345,000. I can attest that the most successful independent bands could pull 100-200 whenever they play. One group in particular "Casual Projects" would pull these sorts of numbers consistently (including myself) and they were always the same people. It was like a little community where everyone was there to worship the awesomeness of this band.

If you aren't pulling those sorts of numbers with a population of 3 times the size of my city, maybe you should consider why. However, gigging weekly with an originals group is a good goal to achieve so well done!!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
its not just the size of that state.


i also said shitty :P

dont forget that haha


people here seem to be more into grindcore then us


however we still have good turnouts to shows
#12
Okay..... so.....

Looking at your Myspace.... record company exec says:

"Only one show coming up?"

erm... pass. No buzz. No deal.

That's *before* they even think about listening.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
Do you have a record out? Do you sell CDs and merch and make money? Do people know your name? Do you play in venues other than wrestling clubs?

As of right now you are unsignable. Don't get me wrong, I think the songs are good, but you are just another good band wondering what it takes to make the next step. I've realized it is huge investments in time and money, patience, determination, and luck.
#14
we have songs recorded, 6 i believe, and are working on recording more. we dont have any merch or anything yet.

and we usually do play alot more venues than wrestling clubs haha.

ive been using a pretty good site to book our shows actually. take a look: http://www.indieonthemove.com/

the wrestling club is actually alot cooler than you think :P we are playing a huge fest with like 10 bands total. and its at this wrestling club because one of the ppl in one of the bands' parents owns it and are letting them do it, its going to be a cool experience i hope


and i took the booking advice, and just contaced 10 different venues nearby.

please continue with the advice everyone, because its really helping me out alot.


and i appreciate the criticim greatly, because i need to learn alot to make it.


any ideas on where i could get good merch made or anything?
#15
hire strippers in cages for your shows!!!

boobs = +1
Last edited by GrisKy at Nov 16, 2009,
#16
Quote by ManipulatedDead
its not just the size of that state.

i also said shitty :P

dont forget that haha

people here seem to be more into grindcore then us

however we still have good turnouts to shows


Gee whiz, is this where this thread is heading? You've just lost your cred man.

Never blame the place you live on your lack of fans.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
thats not what i was saying at all, but alright.


honestly think about it. do you think people in seattle or rhode island are going to appreciate grunge more?
#19
Quote by ManipulatedDead
we have songs recorded, 6 i believe, and are working on recording more. we dont have any merch or anything yet.

and we usually do play alot more venues than wrestling clubs haha.

ive been using a pretty good site to book our shows actually. take a look: http://www.indieonthemove.com/

the wrestling club is actually alot cooler than you think :P we are playing a huge fest with like 10 bands total. and its at this wrestling club because one of the ppl in one of the bands' parents owns it and are letting them do it, its going to be a cool experience i hope


and i took the booking advice, and just contaced 10 different venues nearby.

please continue with the advice everyone, because its really helping me out alot.


and i appreciate the criticim greatly, because i need to learn alot to make it.


any ideas on where i could get good merch made or anything?


Are you touring? If not, why not?
Fact of the matter is, there's a reason that bands that want to make it move to New York, LA, Nashville or Toronto. A general rule of thumb is that to get what you want from somebody, you have to appeal to their laziness. Make it less effort for them to say yes than it is to say no. It gets a lot easier to get a 'yes' from somebody when you're in their area, and they don't have to fly to Rhode Island to check you out. If you're really committed to making it, you should have no qualms of picking up and moving to an industry center.
#20
Quote by ManipulatedDead
thats not what i was saying at all, but alright.

honestly think about it. do you think people in seattle or rhode island are going to appreciate grunge more?


Dunno? Which city appreciated Nirvana more? Pretty sure in the end they became a world-wide phenomena. Maybe you should make a Nirvana tribute band and see which city gets more people?

Edit:

In terms of re-locating to make it big, as Koslack suggests, it's LA or New York.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
It often doesn't matter about what the style of music is in the area.

My town had a country act on, about 4 bands, a pretty big gig at the weekend, there is NOT a country following in my town.
Venues will put on bands that have a bit of a buzz and are capable to play, hell grunge should be insanely easy to attract the punters.

I'd suggest you do a bit more advertising of yourself on the internet, such as, get some youtube videos up, good quality ones, use myspace, facebook and twitter. These things get your name out to the larger masses.
As well as this constantly sort gigs out. Contact any venue in the area, spread out a bit from where you currently are, people won't want to sign bands that are stuck to their hometown.
Anyway, the more gigs you get, and the more internet hype there is about you, the more chance there is of recognition.
Not only this, the more of this you get, the higher chance you'll be able to gain endorsements, which will make you look a lot better to record companies.
It's also worth self-producing an album, find a local studio, put some funds toghether and record an almbum, then distribute this at your gigs, off your website, on CDbaby etc etc.
#23
Quote by ManipulatedDead

honestly think about it. do you think people in seattle or rhode island are going to appreciate grunge more?


Careful.... the Seattle grunge explosion was almost 20 years ago now. All cities' scenes evolve and mutate and move on.

Here is some interesting reading to see what Seattle is up to NOW:

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-11-11/music/the-short-list/1

Yep. Some grunge, just like any other major city. But, just like any other major city, lots of other different stuff. There really is no grunge capital now. It went worldwide before many of the kids on this forum were even born.

http://www.seattle.com/nightlife/localbands.html

Note the word grunge only appears once on that whole page.

Do you think that if Pearl Jam played in Rhode Island that nobody would come? Of course, people would come out in droves.

Now.... I have always maintained that moving to a music center (LA and NY in the US) is an important step, but not because of the fans or the bands that are there - because of the INDUSTRY PEOPLE who are there.

Best advertising = word of mouth. Far and away. You have to get people talking about you. That means getting your PRODUCT in front of people so they can HEAR it and SEE it. Getting your name in front of people is useful only in terms of generating name recognition.

But really....

You receive a link to a band's myspace from someone you don't know? How often, really, do you excitedly click on it and say, "Gee, I really ought to check this out?" For me, insta-delete. I don't care, unless it is from someone I know. Otherwise, I just assume it's some joker out there spamming his band around. For that, I can't be bothered.

When was the last time you saw a poster on a phone pole from some band you never heard of and said to yourself, "Oh, gee.... the Labotomies are playing down at the Factory Club on Friday night. I should go!" You don't. In fact, because you've never heard of them, you forget about the poster almost as quickly as you read it. Posters only capture the interest and attention from people who are already familiar with you. If you saw a poster for the Foo Fighters, you'd remember.

Think about this... consider how YOU discovered the bands YOU like. Radio. MTV. A friend whose opinion you trust turned you onto them. They opened for another band that you like. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. You saw a poster on a phone pole? Someone spammed a message board advertising his band? No.

People have to hear your music, and then THEY will pass it on to THEIR friends, who will pass it on to THEIR friends and so forth.

To do that, you need to gig, gig, gig, and get some radio play, and make a name for yourself. "Oh, yeah... The Labotomies... they're everywhere these days. They were interviewed in the Daily News last week, and my friend has their CD."

If you can't appear on potential fans' radar, you will never appear on the major label rep's radar either.

Now, about the internet.... yes, it is awesome, but it doesn't change the basic premise of psychology that tells us, "we care much more about information coming from those we know and respect far more than we do about information coming from an unknown source."

As I said, random spamming is not going to help. Yeah, you got a couple thousand friends on Myspace or whatever. That doesn't mean crap. I don't know about you, but when someone puts in a friend request to our myspace, I just blindly accept. I don't care... it pads our friend numbers. It doesn't mean I actually took the time to care enough to listen to them. Yeah, you're my 'friend', but I've still never heard of you.

The internet is great for getting the people who like your music to pass it onto their friends, who will pass it onto their friends. Best example ever... Here It Goes Again by OK Go. Or "United Breaks Guitars." Those (especially the first one) are awesome examples of how the internet can help your band. Those videos went viral. People forwarded them because they loved them. I listened to OK Go because a friend of mine sent it to me and told me how awesome it was. I listened to United Breaks Guitars because I read a news article that contained a back-story I could relate to, and the news article contained a link.

Ask yourself.... what kinds of things lead ME to check out a band, and not only check them out, but to pass it along to my friends? THERE's your advertising.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#24
Quote by ManipulatedDead
we play weekly, and we are from Rhode Island, the smallest shittiest state ever.


however this summer we are all moving to seattle, WA. hopefully a better turnout :P

but look how close you are to other HUGE Cities. Why reloacte out to WA? go to Boston. Go to New York. Go to Philly. Hell you could probably play gigs in all of those cities and it wouldnt be too difficult for you to get there.
#25
Seriously, I would kill to be out east for that scene. There are so many places to play within a fairly short drive. You could easily play at least a show a week. Minnesota has no scene for anyone but pop punk and metal, or bar bands. Different bands like mine don't fit in but we still manage to book shows at most venues.

For merch, check out your local screen printing company for shirts. And maybe check sonicbids in addition for indie on the move.