#1
I just wanted to start a little discussion on "success". Now I'm not talking "world tour" and millions of dollars, but regional success with your band. Here's just a couple of questions to kind of get things going.

What do you consider to be the key to success in starting out locally, and then expanding regionally?

Is it possible to consider certain "genres" of music harder to become a success than others? Is there a certain level of commercialism that is required to reach any sort of level of success?

Now this is just around my town "a college town mind you". But a lot of local bands seem to blame a "dead" music scene as the reason that they are not successful. How do you view this?


I'm really just curious as to what some of ya'lls answers are. I'm doing some photography and booking locally. And A LOT of the bands I've been working with seem to complain excessively about some of the things above, especially a "dead" scene.

Thanks,

Keep it clean guys Would love the input of Axeman and a few of you other guys.
#2
Quote by scguitarking927
What do you consider to be the key to success in starting out locally, and then expanding regionally?

From what I've seen, playing shows, gaining contacts with other bands/venue owners etc. and and just getting your name out there are the most important things. I wouldn't know about expanding regionally, yet

Is it possible to consider certain "genres" of music harder to become a success than others? Is there a certain level of commercialism that is required to reach any sort of level of success?

Simple common sense tells me yes, it is obviously much easier to be successful with a pop punk or classic rock band than it is with a death metal band. I wouldn't say commercialism is required, but I do think that fitting into a scene or whatever is popular at the time/place would make it a lot easier to become successful.

Now this is just around my town "a college town mind you". But a lot of local bands seem to blame a "dead" music scene as the reason that they are not successful. How do you view this?

Sounds like an excuse to me. The more likely explanation for their lack of success is that they're just not very good, a scene is only as good as the bands that comprise it, the fans are a part of it but you can't expect people to support/get excited about bad music


My answers in bold
#3
Thanks for the reply

And @ SilentHeaven I couldn't agree more with what you said about the "dead scene" bit. Almost my thoughts exactly...Why would somebody want to come out and see a sub-par band. I might have to quote you for the future. lol


Another question for you UG! Do you feel that musicians have an obligation to bands, to go to shows around their area? Going back to what Heaven said, why would they want to go see, in most cases, sub-par performances.
#4
Quote by scguitarking927

What do you consider to be the key to success in starting out locally, and then expanding regionally?

As stated before, I think much of it has to do with making contacts with other bands and venues. Taking this further, professionalism and humility are also key factors, IMO. A band just starting out, with no fan base, and no name recognition should not be an arrogant bunch of hacks, which I've witnessed time and time again. Bands should realize they are just another band until they have garnered some sort of attention/following/accolades, ect. Also, another key factor is the professionalism displayed on their websites/myspace/facebook. If I see a band with a cheesy layout, bad grammar and spelling, and a sloppy presentation of themselves on their page, I will most likely overlook them immediately as they appear to be nothing more than your average hacks playing in a garage band.

Is it possible to consider certain "genres" of music harder to become a success than others? Is there a certain level of commercialism that is required to reach any sort of level of success?

Dependant on area. I'm not sure if it's "commercialism", but rather "individuality"/"uniqueness" that is really required. I personally don't want to hear a band rip off their favorite artist, but rather create something unique.

Now this is just around my town "a college town mind you". But a lot of local bands seem to blame a "dead" music scene as the reason that they are not successful. How do you view this?

I view it as possibly bad promotion. I live in a college town as well, but if you flier the hell out of the place, try to get the bar/venue owners to run promotions to those college students, and really show them a good time, they will come. One of the best shows I've ever had was a direct result of promotion to the local college. My band put up a flyer with a picture of Miley Cyrus in a catowoman suit, providing massive teenage cameltoe. Flyer had an arrow to her vadge reason saying "This bands is tighter than this". 500 drunk, moshing, crowd surfing college kids, and a line out the door.


You get the point, answers in Red.
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#5
Everybody is always bitching about how their scene sucks and that they're just boned because they're not from Chicago/New York/Whatever. When it comes down to it though, every scene is going to be relatively similar. It's just what you make of it.
#6
Quote by Zycho
Everybody is always bitching about how their scene sucks and that they're just boned because they're not from Chicago/New York/Whatever. When it comes down to it though, every scene is going to be relatively similar. It's just what you make of it.


It really is just an excuse, sure a good scene can help you in the short term but if you don't have that then you should just deal with it and just be a better band to stand out.

Just as an example, there was no Visual Kei scene in Japan when X Japan started out, they were total outcasts, no one would even interview them because they didn't fit in with what was popular/mainstream at the time.
Did they sit around complaining about the lack of a scene? No, they wrote brilliant songs, played shows, and created the bloody scene themselves, which I wish more bands would do instead of bitching about wanting to be in some other city where their crappy music would be equally ignored.

I swear if I ever catch myself complaining about how "this scene sucks," I'm going straight home to write better songs!


Quote by scguitarking927
Another question for you UG! Do you feel that musicians have an obligation to bands, to go to shows around their area? Going back to what Heaven said, why would they want to go see, in most cases, sub-par performances.


Personally I don't think anyone has any obligation to go to any shows, unless their son is in a band or something

I don't go to local shows just for the sake of supporting unknown artists or to keep the scene alive, I go if I like the band, and in 99% of cases the "local, unknown" bands are rubbish, and I'd much rather spend the £15 or so it would cost to see 3 shows with "local" bands on a ticket for a professional band, who I know are quality and will put on a good show.
Last edited by SilentHeaven109 at Sep 12, 2010,
#8
Quote by scguitarking927
So then what do you guys think of bands wanting to move to a "new scene" to hopefully increase their fan base?


To expand your fan base you usually go on tour - you don't NEED to move.

However, if you move, you move to where the record companies are (eg. LA/New York) to increase your chances of being noticed by them.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
Depends what you call success. Success for me is writing a good song, playing it well, playing a good gig etc.

I think obviously it's easier to gain 'success' (in your words) when you're a certain genre. I mean, indie bands in London are everywhere because they're fashionable at the moment. Shame but really, it doesn't matter that much.
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#10
I'd like to address one part in particular:

"Now this is just around my town "a college town mind you". But a lot of local bands seem to blame a "dead" music scene as the reason that they are not successful. How do you view this?"

Most people are socialites first and music fans second, if at all. In college towns especially, people go to show only because that is where everyone goes to hang out. It is comvienient, there are people from diff areas and you can get access to diff communities and even substances. Few people in a local scene really care about the bands. they are friends of friends.

With this in mind, regional success, in my experiences, has be marked by showing up in a town far from home and people already knowing us or excited to see and hear us again.

I live in Vegas now. People here go to see thier friends, but there are about 40+ venues that hold shows 5 nights a week. Even with about 300 bands in this city of 2mil, you can rarely get much of a turn out a couple local bands (promoters and venue management are also largely to blame for this!!)

When I travel home, to Philly, NY & NJ, I find that people do go to the venue, just because thet venue is known for hosting (and choosing) good bands and putting together balanced bills. Kids seem less and less interested in going to a show, unless all of thier friends are going, in which case, you have to hook the first monkey.

It's a really defused sense of music community.
#11
Quote by scguitarking927
I just wanted to start a little discussion on "success". Now I'm not talking "world tour" and millions of dollars, but regional success with your band. Here's just a couple of questions to kind of get things going.

What do you consider to be the key to success in starting out locally, and then expanding regionally?

Fanbase. I was tempted to leave this as a one-word answer because this is all that matters, in almost every kind of success with music! But if you have a fanbase of people who genuinely like your music, you'll easily spread. Though another key to success is exposure/contacts. So getting in plenty of gigs around your area and surrounding areas, local festivals, knowing the right people to get the right gigs etc.

Is it possible to consider certain "genres" of music harder to become a success than others? Is there a certain level of commercialism that is required to reach any sort of level of success?

Arguably. If you're playing pop-punk with an attractive female singer, you're much likely to rake in the customers than if you're playing Bebop or something. Though even then, it's just about finding the fans. I was playing in a Two-tone ska band last night, a genre that's rarely seen in the grand scheme of things, yet everyone at the gig loved it (though the gig was pretty much empty cos it wasn't promoted (this ties in with my last thing abotu contacts but still it was in a nightclub, just very few people) so it's not entirely possible to say some genres are harder than others.
But it may be easier if you follow the current trend (though this is also fairly hard as the trends change every minute it seems!)


Now this is just around my town "a college town mind you". But a lot of local bands seem to blame a "dead" music scene as the reason that they are not successful. How do you view this?

This is no excuse. My town is dead when it comes to music. There are two places that put on bands regularly (one's a gothic pub... the other's just a pub with a real nice stage) and a couple of other places that sort of "allow" bands on, but still, any band I know who's done alright around here and surrounding areas have always managed to get gigs.
And even if you're living in a tiny village with literally nothing, branch out, furhter than your town. It's not too hard!


I'm really just curious as to what some of ya'lls answers are. I'm doing some photography and booking locally. And A LOT of the bands I've been working with seem to complain excessively about some of the things above, especially a "dead" scene.

Thanks,

Keep it clean guys Would love the input of Axeman and a few of you other guys.


Answers in bold.
I haven't read the other answers so I apologise if I conflict with anything.