#1
Hey guys, not really a question, but a little story about the events of last night, illustrating how networking can effect the success and reputation of your band.

Firstly, what is networking? Effectively it's making contact and building relationships with people in the same and/or related industries to yourself. So you can build relationships with other bands and musicians obviously, but you also build relationships with venue owners, promoters and the audience and/or prospective fans.

Despite popular belief, this is best done in person, not through social networking sites like Facebook. There's a large difference between "liking" someones band and walking straight up to the band, shaking their hands and telling them how much you liked them. For this reason, it's always good to talk to other bands playing with you, and mingle around after your set.

Recently a local established hard rock band announced that both their guitarists were quitting, and that their final gig with both of them was coming up this weekend. I'll call them Band X. I've been pretty keen to join a proper "rock" band for a while now, but wasn't really attracted to the idea of building up ANOTHER band from the roots only to see it fall apart. Needless to say, I've been pretty keen to audition for Band X. They had indicated on their website they were going to continue on, but no advertisements/announcements of auditions had come up yet. My plan was to watch their final gig and ask if I'd be able to audition for one of the spots.

Last night (Wednesday) there was the final of a local Battle of the Bands. The heats leading up to the final have become a really good place to meet other musicians, both those competing and others rocking up to check out the competition. One of my bands was in the final.

As Battles usually turn out, it is not the "best" band that wins, but the band that draws the most fans with them. That's fair enough, all music effectively works on popularity contests. Our band was the tightest of all of them, with nice polished songs. We easily had the lowest fan turnout (3 maybe). Random punters in the crowd who happened to come for cheap chicken night at the pub also supported us. Needless to say we did not win.

The battle came down to two bands, based on loudness of audience cheers.

The first contender in the final was not tight at all, had a pretty out-there chick who I became attracted to during the show. I can say that their songs were actually pretty interesting, but the execution of them was very poor. They had a decent fan turnout. Otherwise neither myself or muso mates spread around the place had heard them before.

The second contender in the final was one that had played around Canberra a little during the year, and primarily played covers. These guys we definitely had heard before. At gigs around the place they had a reputation of largely keeping to themselves, and acting egotistical on stage. They did not have a good repore with other musicians, but their band was technically better than the first band. They also had a decent turnout.

So when the cheers were called from the audience in respective of the total 4 bands, those two were the two loudest. At this point the judge called for people to cheer just between those two bands.

Can you see what's coming?

Everyone who was not a "fan" of the second band cheered for the first. The other bands competing, their fans, other people in the pub, basically would do anything not to see the second band win. So when support for the first band was called, the place went absolutely mental. People screaming, crying, jumping all over the place, hugging each other, a dude breakdanced. It was awesome.

And so the first band won. Just because they were nice. And everyone couldn't have been happier.

The singer of my band, she was pissed off that that band won anyway, and updates her facebook status referring to the singer of that band as "yuck girl". Not very nice. I don't see any support slots with that band coming soon.

Afterwards I was talking with some members of the band and a guy comes over and shouts "you were robbed!". I said "thanks mate, but we sold some EPs and had a lot of fun". He then says "hey you guys should come to venue X this weekend". And do my best hard rock pose with hands above my head an go "BAND X! **** yeah!". We then high fived.

And guess what. He was the drummer for Band X. I told him how much I want to audition for them, and he said he saw me play earlier that night and wants me to audition too. I'm meeting up with them after the gig this Saturday and they'll give me their EP to learn.


So that's how it goes. Simple networking, with big effects. If you didn't see how important all these seemingly normal social interactions affected each band's success/careers, I'll put it in point form.

- A band who were not nice did not win the Battle of the Bands.
- A band member who was not nice has forfeited possible gig opportunities with the winner of the Battle.
- A band member (me) got the audition he wanted, just by making friends with random people.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#2
Good on you, man. Hope the audition goes well.
This doesn't just apply to rock'n roll, but to any business. I've had leads and stories fall into my lap, just because I'm always out there talking to people. You can expand your fortune on Facebook and Twitter, but that's not where your fortune is made. It's made face to face, one handshake at a time.
#3
Nice story.
The first to points in the summary at the end is the reason one of the bands I used to be in will never get anywhere! Such an arrogant attitude and not friendly at all.

It's just a shame my band is a covers band so networking opportunities are only ever with 50 year old pub landlords!

Happy to hear you got the audition too.
#4
Quote by AlanHB

The singer of my band, she was pissed off that that band won anyway, and updates her facebook status referring to the singer of that band as "yuck girl". Not very nice. I don't see any support slots with that band coming soon.


Nice post, and congrats on getting the audition too.

Stuff like that though ^quote^ is what really does get a lot of local bands into trouble, a lot of times, with out even realizing it.

You can't disrespect anybody; bands, promoters, venue owners, the crowds. Because it will negatively effect you in some way shape or form.

You have to put up the "I like everyone" attitude while in the public eye, because even one "smart" remark can offend someone and you won't be working with them again. Which of course can make things increasingly difficult if your in a small scene where there is only a few places to play and the same people running everything.
#5

You can't disrespect anybody; bands, promoters, venue owners, the crowds. Because it will negatively effect you in some way shape or form.

You have to put up the "I like everyone" attitude while in the public eye, because even one "smart" remark can offend someone and you won't be working with them again. Which of course can make things increasingly difficult if your in a small scene where there is only a few places to play and the same people running everything.


It's worth remembering that this applies *all the time*, no matter what hat you're wearing.

We played a gig a month or two back, organised by a local promotions agency whose organiser also plays in a band. At the end of the show, we came off the stage to find that he'd decided that there wasn't enough money to pay the bands and had left. We weren't going to argue that we should have been paid - we'd not been guaranteed anything, and from the size of the audience, and the set cost the venue levies for the sound man, there would have been pocket change left over at best - but he didn't bother to discuss it with us. Guess which band didn't get considered for a support slot?

Maintaining a positive online presence is also worth remembering - particularly if there's a local message board or similar that you're active on. In Northern Ireland there's quite a good one called Fastfude, where you can organise gigs with other bands, sell/buy equipment, and talk about the scene. If you use something like this, other people are likely to remember how you act there, too - you need to look professional.
#6
Completely accurate.

I recently left a band who were technically quite good, but didn't get the gigs because the guitarist was really arrogant, and would see a band and would be all like 'yeah, I'm way better than that guitarist.'

Which to his credit was true, he was a bit sloppy and wooden but had some really cool and inventive riffs. But I'd rather play in a band with a nice guitarist than a more proficient one.