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#1
Would you be willing to drop everything, sell everything you had, get in a van and just tour, without any security of success?
I'm just curious because this is what I really wanna do with my life, but I cant find anyone else with that kinda passion....its really annoying.
We've dressed up in our best...

...and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.

Quote by bogg808
The PBT is for those too TGP for the rest of UG.

#3
It's not just about the passion though, it's about commen sense. If you'd said quit my job to go on a our then yeah, but sell everything I have? No, I wouldn't sell everything I have, no matter what. Don't get me wrong, I've actually dedicated my life to my music, but I wouldn't give up my life to attempt a tour with no budget...it's common sense unfortunatley.
Quote by uvq
yeah fire him secretly... thats what im doing except im firing myself and secretly joining someone elses band

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If you get a virus by looking at porn, is it considered a sexually-transmitted disease?

Quote by DiveRightIn63
thanks for the compliment man!
#5
Once you have a following and toured a few times take a month off work or something and tour for a month. If you rock (pardon the expression) keep going or something.
#6
Would I? Hell... I practicaly did.

I didn't sell everything I had, everyone needs a place to go home to occasionally, but I walked out of a factory job and into a van and disappeared on the road with a band for for months on end.
#7
There was a time when I would have left everything behind except for my few meager worldly possessions and went for it.

Now.... no. I have three kids and a wife to think about, a mortgage to pay so they (and I) have somewhere to live, and a great job. Not only would going back to that great job be very difficult, making the kind of money I'm making at my current job playing in a band rarely happens.

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
currently... hell yeah I'd do it. In two years my family is moving to Hawaii, and I may stay behind in MD with my band,and friends I've known all my life to do just that! God its a hard decision: Hawaii- hot biches that you'll never touch, or the band-fun as hell rockin every night...
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You're whackin' one off in the toilet and you jizz on the counter?

I hope you never get a driving license.


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Dude mangoes are so good. Imagine a blowjob, but instead of the feeling being on your dick, it's on your mouth.
#9
i wouldnt sell everything i had...i would sell a good bit of it though...i wouldnt give my life away

but i would tour without knowing the outcome
Quote by jsbud11
Dude your leetness is maximum.
Seriously if you leave UG without becoming a mod, I will kill someone.
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This is turning into fap-to-amazingfretman's-love-a-thon
#10
I would most certainly not sell everything I have
Everything I own is mostly either CDs, Band Posters, or Guitar Gear!

But in all seriousness. No.

I would not do that unless I had a dignified tour planned out, a set budget, gigs to play, and people to play for. It's all about the marketting and planning.
#11
Quote by axemanchris
There was a time when I would have left everything behind except for my few meager worldly possessions and went for it.

Now.... no. I have three kids and a wife to think about, a mortgage to pay so they (and I) have somewhere to live, and a great job. Not only would going back to that great job be very difficult, making the kind of money I'm making at my current job playing in a band rarely happens.

CT

Yeah, the wife and kids tend to stomp all over plans to bugger off on the road with a band and party 'til your kidneys explode.
So if any of you younger UGers are gonna do it, do it before you hit your twenties which is when most people meet someone and settle down, but make sure that you have a proper itinery sorted out before setting off.
It's a great adventure to go on and it turns you into a much better musician while also teaching you a few valuable lessons in life.
But for the sake of your sanity, stay away from the booze and the chemical toys though, because it's while you're on the road, partying every night, that you start doing things like taking uppers to wake you up and downers to help you sleep. You'll be so tired that you'll do anything to get back into some sort of proper sleep pattern, and on the road, there's no end of people offering you stuff.
You become drug dependant very quickly under these conditions and once you take a break from touring, you'll find it impossible to get back to any kind of normality.
#12
Quote by SlackerBabbath

So if any of you younger UGers are gonna do it, do it before you hit your twenties which is when most people meet someone and settle down,


This should be made into a banner and put at the top of the site instead of those ads.

Real life is always happening. If you want to 'make it' be sure you jump out of the pool before you get to the deep end.

Not only that, the pop music industry heavily favours the young and the beautiful, so if you haven't 'made it' by around 25 or so... you ain't gonna anyways.

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.
#14
hell yeah when i turn 18 i'm sellin everything not music related or clothes n stuff thats like important n movin to LA
Quote by IDread
You know something is wrong when you have to utter the words "I have ganja in my eye" to your mother...


Quote by RIPKurt67-94
Aliens don't exist. I live on Mars, and I can assure you that there is no life here.



I hijacked this!
#15
Quote by Corruption
hell yeah when i turn 18 i'm sellin everything not music related or clothes n stuff thats like important n movin to LA

I would strongly urge you to rethink your plan.
Moving to a big city doesn't neccesarily make it easier for you as a musician, infact, it can be a great disadvantage being a musician in a city.
When you move to a city, especialy a music capital like LA, you are up against much more intense competition and the basic cost of living is more expensive too.
Gigs are harder to come by and everything costs twice as much.
Not exactly a good situation for a struggling musician to find themselves in.

Now, I'm not about to tell you how to live your life, it's your life and your choice, but here's an alternative plan that I would suggest you at least take a look at.

It's quite often better to start off in a small town, gain a good reputation in that town, (which is easy in a small town) then use that town as a base of operations for getting gigs in other surrounding areas. Eventualy you'll have a good reputation in a large area, now go further afield and repeat the process in a different area. Keep repeating the exercise and eventualy you will find that your reputation preceeds you wherever you play.
Now start playing in the city where you will have an advantage over the local competing bands, quite a few people will have already heard of you and your preceeding good reputation will open doors that you wouldn't have a fart in a hurricanes chance of getting opened for you if you had just moved to the city in the first place.
Once you gain a good reputation in the city, this would be the time to move there and use it as a base of operations to get into other cities.

Like I said earlier, I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life or anything, just sharing a little information.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Oct 2, 2008,
#16
Yeah me and my band are only 13 so we're not moving until like 6 years because I forgot the 2nd lead guitarist is only 12 right now so we have to wait another year.

But we live in a small town (i think the total population is only like 9,000) but its around the Kansas City Metro area, so we're going to do gigs in the smaller areas around it, and we're also recording a demo album (except it will be very good quality because the bassists dads friend has a recording studio and will record our stuff for free) and we're going to send it to labels n stuff n send it to labels like Geffen n Elektra n all those labels but also small ones; and also put it on MySpace, YouTube, and other popular places.

We're also going to have the guy record an album which we're writing and a cover album (after we get all the HFA liscenses so it'll be legal) and get them duplicated professionally and sell them at all the gigs we do so we'll have money saved up to move to LA.

But thanks for the advice man
Quote by IDread
You know something is wrong when you have to utter the words "I have ganja in my eye" to your mother...


Quote by RIPKurt67-94
Aliens don't exist. I live on Mars, and I can assure you that there is no life here.



I hijacked this!
#17
That's not the most logical way to go about if you want that as a career.
Last edited by Guitarfreak777 at Oct 2, 2008,
#18
Hmmm.... I think I disagree with Slack on this one. If you are seriously into 'making it' in the industry, you're going to have to make it in LA anyways. Just because you find yourself being a big-shot in Rochester or Williamsburg or somewhere like that doesn't mean you're ready for prime time. If you're going to fall in LA, the other places don't so much matter, IMHO.

I think a lot of people get hyped on being the best player in a town of 8 million people or whatever. Not necessary. You need to be good, yes, to be sure. But you need to travel in the circles, which means getting involved, and being professional, and being a person people want to work with. People will pick a good player they really like over an awesome player they really hate about 95% of the time. Connected people will get the gigs before 'unconnected' people 95% of the time. Your job... be that person. Tough? You bet.

On the other hand, you're not going to meet the Bob Rocks and Quincy Joneses and the like unless you live there. If you are from LA, too, I think it gives you a bit more cred than if you're from Spokane or something - even among the media types that will write about you, etc.

And if you have some great songs written, that will set you apart too.

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.
#19
Quote by axemanchris
Hmmm.... I think I disagree with Slack on this one. If you are seriously into 'making it' in the industry, you're going to have to make it in LA anyways. Just because you find yourself being a big-shot in Rochester or Williamsburg or somewhere like that doesn't mean you're ready for prime time. If you're going to fall in LA, the other places don't so much matter, IMHO.

I think a lot of people get hyped on being the best player in a town of 8 million people or whatever. Not necessary. You need to be good, yes, to be sure. But you need to travel in the circles, which means getting involved, and being professional, and being a person people want to work with. People will pick a good player they really like over an awesome player they really hate about 95% of the time. Connected people will get the gigs before 'unconnected' people 95% of the time. Your job... be that person. Tough? You bet.

On the other hand, you're not going to meet the Bob Rocks and Quincy Joneses and the like unless you live there. If you are from LA, too, I think it gives you a bit more cred than if you're from Spokane or something - even among the media types that will write about you, etc.

And if you have some great songs written, that will set you apart too.

CT


I see your point and agree with most of it chris, but I was mainly concerned with Corruption going to LA all freshfaced and thinking the streets are paved with gold and saying that if you're going to move to LA in the hope of making it big, then getting a lot of touring experience first and gaining a good reputation outside LA is going to give you an advantage in a very competative market.
One hears so many stories of young people moving to media capitals like LA, or New York or London with stars in their eyes in the hope that this will automaticaly give them an advantage, be they musicians or actors or whatever, and then finding that they have to turn to some form of sordid activity just to survive.
I'm not saying that Corruption is necessarily headed down that path, for all I know the guy could have a really sensible head on his shoulders, but just that it was a concern that I felt needed voicing.
Of course, being in the centre of such media capitals as the ones I've mentioned is almost a necessity to someone who's really serious about trying to hit the big time, but having a bit of serious experience is always a definate advantage.

Here's an example.
Lemmy, bassist and vocalist for Motorhead.
Started his musical career in Llandudno in Wales, moved to Stockport, (hardly the rock 'n' roll capital of the world) gigged around localy with various bands for several years gaining experience, joined 'Reverand Black and the Rockin' Vicars' gigged much further afield around most of the country and into Europe gaining experience and a bit of a reputation, then got a job on Jimmy Hendrix's roadcrew, gained a hell of a lot more experience touring around the world, then moved to London. From there he joined Hawkwind, gained a lot more experience and a bigger reputation as a musician, formed Motorhead and toured the world but mainly Europe, then, once he had gained a very respectable reputation in the music business, moved to LA in order to break America.
Now he's one of the most famous faces in rock, but my point is, he didn't just move to some music capital in order to start a career in music, he gradualy built up his experience and reputation first.

I realise that there are probably loads of famous people who did make it big by moving to a big city, but it's always nice to know that there is more than one way to do it.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Oct 3, 2008,
#20
True. You can't expect to move to a place like that and not be prepared for it or you'll get eaten alive.

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.
#21
Quote by axemanchris
Not only that, the pop music industry heavily favours the young and the beautiful, so if you haven't 'made it' by around 25 or so... you ain't gonna anyways.

CT


And if you haven't made it by 25, just keep trying.

You could always be the next Seasick Steve.
Quote by Ed O'Brien
“It’s not genius. It’s just that if you want something good to come out of something, you have to put in a lot of effort. That involves a lot of hard work, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears sometimes.”

http://urbanscarecrow.bandcamp.com/
#22
Quote by axemanchris
True. You can't expect to move to a place like that and not be prepared for it or you'll get eaten alive.

CT



Yeah, that's exactly the point I was trying to make. I suppose I could have put it all in one line like that, but you know me, I suffer from verbal diarrhea.
#23
I'd better get a move on then :P (i'm 21 atm)

Quote by Damascus
And if you haven't made it by 25, just keep trying.

You could always be the next Seasick Steve.


Yeah, there are heaps of rock stars who made it big after 25. Mick Mars was 30 and dad to a 10 year old kid when Motley Crue's first album came out...and Lemmy was 30 before he formed motorhead.

I reckon if a well established band with awesome material asks me to go on tour with the offer of making it big then i'd go for it. If it were my own stuff, i don't think i'd be confident enough in my own songwriting ability to be able to throw everything away for it.
#24
Quote by goony
I'd better get a move on then :P (i'm 21 atm)


Yeah, there are heaps of rock stars who made it big after 25. Mick Mars was 30 and dad to a 10 year old kid when Motley Crue's first album came out...and Lemmy was 30 before he formed motorhead.

I reckon if a well established band with awesome material asks me to go on tour with the offer of making it big then i'd go for it. If it were my own stuff, i don't think i'd be confident enough in my own songwriting ability to be able to throw everything away for it.

Y'see, this is kinda what I was talking about. Mick Mars and Lemmy had both established a reputation from constant gigging and touring before making it big in the acts that would become synonymous with them.
#25
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Y'see, this is kinda what I was talking about. Mick Mars and Lemmy had both established a reputation from constant gigging and touring before making it big in the acts that would become synonymous with them.


Yeah true, that's what i kinda figured too...an up and coming band just isn't going to hire some other guy on the street to play guitar/drums/bass/etc for them. :P
#26
Times were different 25+ years ago when they made it. It is much less forgiving now. Hell, when Lemme made it, video hadn't even killed the radio star yet.

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.
#27
Quote by axemanchris
Times were different 25+ years ago when they made it. It is much less forgiving now. Hell, when Lemme made it, video hadn't even killed the radio star yet.

CT

True, but still, you have to think about what happens if you don't make it big. What if it all fails?
It generaly takes so much time and effort just to get to the stage your at, that you have completely failed to gain any other qualifications or experience in any other field.
But if you've gigged around enough and built up a decent enough reputation, you can still make quite a decent living as a musician, even though you're not living in a mansion with a solid gold Harley parked out front and a lake of beer 'round the back.
Many people, myself included, eventualy give up the search for fame and glory and just concentrate on making enough money to live on instead.
#28
you could always get a hot + rich wife, then keep tryin to become a rockstar until your 50.

money would never be a problem.

But seriously, what i believe is that quite often bands are formed through other bands in high schools, and you start off with one group of musicians, then you meet some others, who might like the exact same stuff as you, and then you might leave your own band and form one with the new guys.

I think that's gonna happen to me, and if not, it already has, as my band was formed out of 2 completely different ones.

This was also how muse started. Dom was in his own band, then he saw Matt in another band, and he was the only one takin it serious, so then he snatched Matt and they later fired their other members, then found chris was an awesome bass player and they got him quickly before anyone else could. And that line-up has stayed the same for roughly 10 years ever since the later side of their high-school years.

So if you meet the right people, why not eh?
#29
Quote by SlackerBabbath
True, but still, you have to think about what happens if you don't make it big. What if it all fails?
It generaly takes so much time and effort just to get to the stage your at, that you have completely failed to gain any other qualifications or experience in any other field.
But if you've gigged around enough and built up a decent enough reputation, you can still make quite a decent living as a musician, even though you're not living in a mansion with a solid gold Harley parked out front and a lake of beer 'round the back.
Many people, myself included, eventualy give up the search for fame and glory and just concentrate on making enough money to live on instead.

If this is how you try to get us young whippersnappers to calm down a bit, you're doing it all wrong >.>
#30
Quote by Retro Rocker
If this is how you try to get us young whippersnappers to calm down a bit, you're doing it all wrong >.>


Did I mention the 'cat flap' style bedroom windows to allow easier access for flying TV sets?
#31
in the old days, it was alot easier (as far as what my old man told me and what old hippies have told me) to get gigs and get signed and all that.

Becuase- MTV wasn't around to ruin popular music, and there were alot less of these private labels so you always went a little bigger.

Music for the last 50-60 or so years appears to have been working in cycles. At the beggining of the 60s, rock and roll started to kick off and give birth to an anti-society raw culmination of noise known as the British Invasion and the Hippie movement. It got very noodely after that, prog came out and metal started getting up, but just at the end of the 70s, rock took off again in the form of punk, yet another anarchistic blow to the "system"
It kind of died a little quick, as hair-metal and synth pop grew on, but one Kurt cobain didn't like that crap so Grunge, the most so-called "non-conformist" music exploded onto the scene, giving birth to the ever so popular post-grunge and alt rock. Since than, Boy-bands/crap-Hip-Hop/and a Slew of generic Alt bands have dominated the mainstream. According to history, a new revolution of rock should be on the verge.
#32
Quote by Highwaytohell
According to history, a new revolution of rock should be on the verge.

Right here, guv'.

I often wonder what the next big thing in music will be.
With the advent of globalising the living shit out of every idea mankind has ever thought of via the internet, everything seems to have been done already, and collected an obscure fanbase to boot.
#33
Only sell what you don't need, then get a job to earn the extra money before actually thinking about it
#34
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I suffer from verbal diarrhea


Haha


Quote by SlackerBabbath
Y'see, this is kinda what I was talking about. Mick Mars and Lemmy had both established a reputation from constant gigging and touring before making it big in the acts that would become synonymous with them.


Yeah see this is what I want to do for our trip to LA:

Before hand, we'll map out a road to LA, and find every place that will let bands gig, then we'll duplicate our demos, send them to every place that will consider us, then once they've all replied or just enough have, we're going to pack up all our stuff and along the road trip, we'll be stopping and doing multiple gigs in different cities to make some extra money, but also to get somewhat of a fanbase or just some people that like our music and stuff, then we'll also try to get our music on the radio (because I found an article in Guitar Edge about how you can even if you're not signed) and then hopefully that'll give us recognition too, so by then, maybe Club owners will have heard of us and give us gigs. And plus, in LA we're going to gig as much as possible too, and we'll already have an album recorded from the bassist's dad's friend probably, so we can sell them to people on the way to LA, the people in LA, and send them to labels.

I think about this shit a lot
Quote by IDread
You know something is wrong when you have to utter the words "I have ganja in my eye" to your mother...


Quote by RIPKurt67-94
Aliens don't exist. I live on Mars, and I can assure you that there is no life here.



I hijacked this!
#35
Hmmm.... I'd be interested in what that article has to say. My understanding is that nearly all corporate radio has their music purchased or acquired (more to the point) by a central office, and it is then sent electronically to its various stations. Like any other corporate chain, they all stock the same product - or at least product range. If you walk into Wal-Mart in Seattle and into a Wal-Mart in Kentucky, they have the same stock. Consistency of brand and product.

So, in order to 'qualify' to have your product 'stocked' at their 'store', you need to have at least national distribution. This allows all of ClearChannel/Global Media/WiC communications/whatever customers to be able to buy that product at their local stores. The station that plays your song in Philadelphia isn't doing anyone a service by playing product that nobody in Philadelphia can buy because you're based in SanFrancisco.

The exception is that a lot of these stations have 'indie' hours and stuff. You stand a good chance of getting airplay there. Outside of that... even the programming director doesn't have all that much say in what gets played at the station. It is up to the suits at central office.

Aside from that, with your plan, you need something that sets you apart from the zillions of other bands also in the LA area trying to do the same thing you are. There are a lot of places that force bands to 'pay to play' for no other reason than 'because they can.' There are so many bands competing for those places to play at, that if you're not willing to pay, a thousand other bands are. You don't get into the Whiskey without industry connections and support.

You need great songs, a great live show, and lots of hype that you ultimately have to start generating yourself to stand a chance.

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.
#36
Quote by Highwaytohell
in the old days, it was alot easier (as far as what my old man told me and what old hippies have told me) to get gigs and get signed and all that.

No it wasn't, we didn't have the internet for a start, which, if you've ever run a band without ever using the net for some reason or other, you'd know how much of a difference it's made.
We didn't have stuff like UG where we could go and ask advice of people or find out information, we had to just find out by trial and error.

CDs didn't exist, it was either cassette tape or vinal, cassette tapes were generaly used for demos and vinal was used for selling at gigs and in record shops, but vinal was seriously expensive to have made, you couldn't just run 'em off at home because it cost thousands and thousands of pounds for the equipment to make vinal records.
So you simply had to bite the bullet, pay a fortune to have a company make a batch up, and just hope that you could recoup the money. Either that or sell crappy looking cassette tapes that hardly anyone would buy or simply not bother having any material available.

PA systems were bigger and bulkier then, and nowhere near as loud, so you had more to move for half the volume.

Transport did less miles to the gallon.

Musical instruments were more expensive then, before many instrument manufacturers became almost fully automated and could make them cheaper.
I remember buying by first brand new bass guitar. I earned about £50 a week at the time, probably about a third of that was disposable income, and the bass, which wasn't a particularly expensive one, cost about £150.
Now, inflation means I earn a lot more than £50 a week but the same make of guitar is still around the same price.

There may have possibly been less competition in those days, but then, there were less ways to get noticed without the net, so it all evens out really.
Quote by Corruption
Yeah see this is what I want to do for our trip to LA:

Before hand, we'll map out a road to LA, and find every place that will let bands gig, then we'll duplicate our demos, send them to every place that will consider us, then once they've all replied or just enough have, we're going to pack up all our stuff and along the road trip, we'll be stopping and doing multiple gigs in different cities to make some extra money, but also to get somewhat of a fanbase or just some people that like our music and stuff, then we'll also try to get our music on the radio (because I found an article in Guitar Edge about how you can even if you're not signed) and then hopefully that'll give us recognition too, so by then, maybe Club owners will have heard of us and give us gigs. And plus, in LA we're going to gig as much as possible too, and we'll already have an album recorded from the bassist's dad's friend probably, so we can sell them to people on the way to LA, the people in LA, and send them to labels.

I think about this shit a lot


If you want that plan to have the best chance of working, I would advise you to get an experienced agent to sort out your bookings along the road to LA well in advance, he'll know all the best places for the best money and best promotional chances.
And possibly someone handling publicity for everywhere you stop to play a gig.
By the time you arrive at a venue, you want your posters to have been up around town for at least two weeks, the local newspaper to have run an article about you and your gig mentioned on the local radio station.
This means having a street team travelling to the towns on your tour a month in advance putting posters up and handing out fliers, and having someone stationed at home on a telephone contacting the media on your behalf, possibly a manager.

The street team you have handing out fliers in towns where you are playing obviously need to be giving most of them out to people who look like they'd probably be into your band.

Here's a good one.
Get in touch with the venue owners and arrange for two tickets to be held on the door for you, pay for them if you must, then get in touch with whatever the local newspaper is in the town you're playing and ask to speak to a reporter associated with their 'What's On' guide (almost every local newspaper has some sort of local events guide)
Tell them that you're coming to their town to play a one off gig and that you've got two free tickets to give away to two lucky readers, to be chosen at the reporters discretion. They'll probably want to run a competition, in which case they'll ask you to set a question, in which case, make it a really easy one that anyone will know, that way more people enter, and more people means more publicity. If lot's of people enter the competition, the newspaper makes a bigger deal of you. They'll think you're very popular among the kids and that an article about you when you are about to come to town will sell more newspapers.
Works every time.
Works with radio stations too!

Oh, and those flyers? This a sneaky little trick of the trade, but WTF, I may as well tell you.
Square this with the venue first.
Make sure that the fliers have the price of the gig printed on it, but make sure the price you print is $1 more expensive than the actual door price, then have your street team tell everyone who takes a flyer to take the flier to the gig, and they'll get in for a dollar cheaper.
The venue hasn't lost any money, infact, they've just been given an excuse to charge everyone who doesn't have a flier a dollar extra, but what advantage does it give you?
Well suddenly it makes that flier worth something to the person holding it which makes it less likely that they'll throw it away, it may even influence them to go and see the gig, but what they are almost guarranteed to do is show it to someone else, and 'voilà' you have instant word of mouth spreading about your band before you've even played a note.

Do NOT just set off with your gear hoping that venues you come across will give you a last minute booking, even if they do, you'll have missed exploiting the potential publicity that you could have gained from those gigs.
Make sure that you ain't travelling too far between towns either. You want them to be close enough to each other that someone who sees you at one venue can comfortably travel to see you at your next gig.
This also helps to spread your name and reputation before you turn up. If someone is gonna travel to the next town to see you, it's a fair bet they'll know someone in that town who they will probably contact to see if they fancy meeting up to see your show. Make the gaps between the venues to big and you lose this advantage.

Also, have lots of t-shirts made up and give them away, especialy in LA, it's gonna cost you quite a bit of money but you really are gonna need the publicity.
Remember, every person who wears your t-shirt is a walking bill board.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Oct 5, 2008,
#37
hmm, im planning on moving or staying in austin texas for a while just to get into the great blues curci they have there. not planning on being famous just having fun, thats what i should be about, if you happen to be the guy who gets famous then great, but it should be about the music first, not the "fame"\
BTW: my ultamate goal is to try and get into alligator records or become a music teacher.
no losing in those jobs.
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#38
Music teaching in a school is a very secure job. Any 'board of ed' type teaching job is about as secure as they come. This was part of the appeal of teaching to me when I sat back and asked myself "how can I pursue a career that will not only allow me to keep doing music, but will also pay me to do it, at least to some degree?"

As far as working for a record company goes... those are some of the most non-secure jobs out there. A+R people get nuked all the time, and if a label is successful, being bought out by a major is almost an inevitability. That means lay-offs. If the label is not successful, and is subsequently not bought out by a major, it tends to either have a really short lifespan, or doesn't pay well enough to support a family. (you know.... because it isn't successful....)

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.
#39
Quote by SlackerBabbath
If you want that plan to have the best chance of working, I would advise you to get an experienced agent to sort out your bookings along the road to LA well in advance, he'll know all the best places for the best money and best promotional chances.
And possibly someone handling publicity for everywhere you stop to play a gig.
By the time you arrive at a venue, you want your posters to have been up around town for at least two weeks, the local newspaper to have run an article about you and your gig mentioned on the local radio station.
This means having a street team travelling to the towns on your tour a month in advance putting posters up and handing out fliers, and having someone stationed at home on a telephone contacting the media on your behalf, possibly a manager.

The street team you have handing out fliers in towns where you are playing obviously need to be giving most of them out to people who look like they'd probably be into your band.

Here's a good one.
Get in touch with the venue owners and arrange for two tickets to be held on the door for you, pay for them if you must, then get in touch with whatever the local newspaper is in the town you're playing and ask to speak to a reporter associated with their 'What's On' guide (almost every local newspaper has some sort of local events guide)
Tell them that you're coming to their town to play a one off gig and that you've got two free tickets to give away to two lucky readers, to be chosen at the reporters discretion. They'll probably want to run a competition, in which case they'll ask you to set a question, in which case, make it a really easy one that anyone will know, that way more people enter, and more people means more publicity. If lot's of people enter the competition, the newspaper makes a bigger deal of you. They'll think you're very popular among the kids and that an article about you when you are about to come to town will sell more newspapers.
Works every time.
Works with radio stations too!

Oh, and those flyers? This a sneaky little trick of the trade, but WTF, I may as well tell you.
Square this with the venue first.
Make sure that the fliers have the price of the gig printed on it, but make sure the price you print is $1 more expensive than the actual door price, then have your street team tell everyone who takes a flyer to take the flier to the gig, and they'll get in for a dollar cheaper.
The venue hasn't lost any money, infact, they've just been given an excuse to charge everyone who doesn't have a flier a dollar extra, but what advantage does it give you?
Well suddenly it makes that flier worth something to the person holding it which makes it less likely that they'll throw it away, it may even influence them to go and see the gig, but what they are almost guarranteed to do is show it to someone else, and 'voilà' you have instant word of mouth spreading about your band before you've even played a note.

Do NOT just set off with your gear hoping that venues you come across will give you a last minute booking, even if they do, you'll have missed exploiting the potential publicity that you could have gained from those gigs.
Make sure that you ain't travelling too far between towns either. You want them to be close enough to each other that someone who sees you at one venue can comfortably travel to see you at your next gig.
This also helps to spread your name and reputation before you turn up. If someone is gonna travel to the next town to see you, it's a fair bet they'll know someone in that town who they will probably contact to see if they fancy meeting up to see your show. Make the gaps between the venues to big and you lose this advantage.

Also, have lots of t-shirts made up and give them away, especialy in LA, it's gonna cost you quite a bit of money but you really are gonna need the publicity.
Remember, every person who wears your t-shirt is a walking bill board.


How can I get an agent? How much do they cost? What all can they do for my band?

And we're going to probably hand out fliers to the gigs and hang them up, but maybe not because then how will we afford hotels and a place to sleep in the city while we're waiting for the gig?

That two tickets idea is great, you should like make a blog or something of all your ideas and different ideas you've heard over time for publicity, because everyone will get something out of it.

Also, how can I get T shirts and fliers printed?


Thanks
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I hijacked this!
#40
Hotels?! You want to come back from your first tour with anything? Check out campsites, hostels, or even see if the venue you play at offers accommodations. You might be able to get a free room and some food thrown in - especially if you are playing those old hotels. (No, not Holiday Inns, but places with names like the Atlas Hotel... ) Even consider sleeping in the van. Won't be comfy, but even a two-week tour at $50 a night is $700 in shelter alone. Another way of looking at the same thing.... if you make $50 or $75 playing a gig, you're spending all of it on accommodation. Anything you spend on food and gas is a loss - never mind entertainment, insurance (for God's sake... don't skip the insurance), incidentals.

As a virtually unknown band, that $50 or $75 is about all you can expect - especially given the LA culture of 'pay to play' once you get there.

Food... hit grocery stores and make your own. Bring a toaster oven and a microwave along with your gear. For what you spend on one Big Mac combo, you can buy a whole loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter and feed everyone for the whole day.

(not sounding like quite as much fun now, is it..... )

Fliers - do 'em yourself on a printer is the cheapest way for the most part. Otherwise, you're looking at around 5 cents a copy at your local Staples....more if you go with the 11x17, and more again if you're doing colour. T-shirts.... there are lots of places that do them. Just look around. We use www.dnascreening.com for ours, but in Missouri, that's not going to help you much. Look for half-decent quality shirts, and an established client base. That way, you know you're not going to get ripped off. We pay on average about $7 and change per shirt, and they require a minimum run of a dozen. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it will cost you.

An agent will typically charge you 15%. Make sure that is 15% of your gross, and not your net. The harder they work, the more money you make, and subsequently, the more money they make. As a virtually unknown band, you're in a bit of a dilemma. You really should go with someone who knows what they are doing, but the ones who are really good (and more importantly, also have the best connections and the most credibility from the talent buyer's perspective) are in demand such that they need to be choosy about who they take on. They're looking for great bands with a proven work ethic and ability to make money on their own. The more money the band can generate, the more money the agent makes too.... it's a double-edged sword. And really.... if you were an agent and had one band who was able to go out and command a $1000 guarantee (that's a minimum $150 for you, for potentially a five minute phone call's worth of work.... ) wherever they went, and another band who is willing to go out and play for $100, or even half that, (which is a minumum of $7.50 for what might be ten phone calls and a half a dozen emails) which one would *you* work harder to get gigs for? Of course.....

Now the advantages of having representation, either through an agent or manager are:
1. You get out of doing a lot of the leg work (grunt work) yourself.
2. You are automatically perceived by the talent buyer as having more credibility, making them possibly willing to pay you a little more, and being provided with more opportunities.
3. (and the biggest of all....) You now have access to all of their contacts. If they are a professional, they know all the power people who can make things happen. There is an old saying, and this applies to agents too, is that "a manager is only as good as who is in his Rolodex" or something to that effect. It's true. Hook up with someone like Bruce Allan Entertainment and you have access to all the top people in the industry. He manages the likes of Brian Adams, Barenaked Ladies, etc. I'll bet he has contact information to not only the top producers and top artists, but also the top executives at the top labels. When someone like him sends your name and demo along, people listen. Surely, there are American equivalents - people who just call up places like the Whiskey and it becomes a personal conversation between him and the owner/booker/whatever where they know each other on a first-name basis. That one call, when he/she asks for a gig for one of his/her clients, gets one - no questions asked, except for negotiating a fee.

For the short term, of course, you're looking at people who are merely willing to take you on, and have some established connections at the places you're likely to get booked into.

(as a side-note to that... it is in your best interest to harvest all the contact info along the way that you can, and make sure to keep it in a place where you won't lose it. With the right contacts, and establishing personal relationships with these contacts yourself, you allow yourself to make your current manager/agent redundant, and can then self-manage effectively, or can use that new position/status to attract people on the next level who are willing to work with you.)

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.
Last edited by axemanchris at Oct 5, 2008,
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