One thing I often get asked by bands and artists is, how do we get noticed? Easy answer, step backwards. Backwards I here you say lol, yes.
The trouble is today everyone wants to be the next huge star etc, but in reality that’s not going to happen, well at least not for 90% of you. Now before you go on thinking WTF let me explain. Never give up your dream of being famous, its your driving passion, it’s the spirit that writes lyrics, the fire that produces every note. But what im saying is stop trying so hard. The problem is bands and artists chuck themselves at every possible radio station online. every site that’s out there, they gig in numerous clubs all over etc, etc, and what happens your just another band that’s being played like thousands of others all over the place and the trouble nowadays is there is far too much choice everywhere thanks to the internet and other media outlets.
Now lets look at people? creatures of habit, yes that’s us, so when you think about it the average person will do pretty much the same thing day in day out same food, same type of clothes, same bad jokes, you get it, but the same is said for music, how often have you said to a friend listen to this new band and the friend says not my thing without even giving it one thought, it gets dismissed and if you play it there not really taking it in. Same goes for when we buy a new album from our favourite artists they always have songs on it we think mmm not to keen on that but then after a while and its been heard a few times you find yourself singing along to it and all of a sudden its a fantastic song.
So now you should start seeing an idea of where im going with this? (The old saying don’t run before you can walk) its one hell of a saying and makes sence in the music industry. So here is my advice, stick local both with online radio and local clubs, events, bars etc. consistency is the key. If you have a local online radio, I say online as they are more likely to play you and more often because they are more friendly and supportive than the huge commercial stations, I know from experience lol. Give them your music, tell them where and when your playing, give them a small bio about yourself don’t be lazy, a pet hate of mine as a station owner is bands that just send a track over without a small bio or the mp3 being tagged! also keep them up to date on your every move, if they play your music and they are local to you. show them support in return, because trust me we soon know lol and when we know who is plugging us not only does it feel good but your band rep goes up as being really great people and with that you get spoken about and more air play.
Next all bands want a paid gig? Da! not gonna happen untill you are known. When I’ve managed venues apart from charity gigs or special one nighters of unsigned bands, most of what was played were cover bands, why? because public love them, its back to creatures of habit again, they get drunk and bellow out to songs they know. So given a choice a Venue owner is going to pay a cover band knowing they pull in a crowd, over an uknown band who just have a few followers. Having said that what I used to do was get about 3 or 4 unsigned bands in and say to them you’ll get a percentage of the bar takings, so the more friends you bring in the more they spend. This worked well for bands even if they just covered their petrol money, they was happy to play and get a little back. So it’s always worth approaching venue owners with this idea.
Keep it local, offer to play anywhere for free, print flyers, posters etc, find other local bands doing same as you and arrange free gigs together, people like that, also check out your local rehearsal rooms, they are great for meeting new conections and often lots have their own in house gigs. Stop spreading around, as ive said above, if you post in to many places your just lost in the cyber brian and soon forgotten. Concentrate on local and you will soon find people want you, they get to know you and more importantly your music, and before you know it others further afield will hear of you.
Dont be fooled! Another important thing is the internet, every one is a so-called PR, or marketing guru and you’ll be inundated with choice and offers, most are a waste of time you’ll be throwing good money down the drain, money you don’t have and to be honest with you, there is a lot of scammers out there, which is a shame as they let the good PR companies down. Most marketing can be done by yourself for free with free sites like Facebook, Linked In and twitter, note google plus is your friend, get a goole account and share updates to it regularly, nothing works faster at getting your content out there than google plus . You can also do your own website easy enough nowadays. Keep it simple, don’t be a look at me constantly posting selfies, if your serious then keep it about your music only posting regular updates as they happen. Never post your personal life on your band pages, nothing kills a band faster than personal issues. It’s not like the famous stars where it seems ok to do so lol, you’re trying to get fans of your music, decent fans not shit stirrers and gossip mongers. Always be courteous as the music industry can be cruel at times, Ive know a few bands over the years to get signed up and regret it big time as it can force you to change who you are and what your about, Always do your homework and seek out only reputable companies , labels, managers etc, because as well as some extremely good ones there is a lot of bad out there.
This is just my advise, I’m just a regular old fart, owner of RBX Radio and Rock Bandom Magazine site, who’s been around music for a long time , so if it helps it helps lol, if not what do I know…
Take note of these points and you’ll get the recognition you deserve.
2. Stay local first
3. Don’t run before you can walk
4. Never give up on your dreams
5. Never let anyone change your style