So You Want to Be in a Rock & Roll Band? - Phase 3 (page 2)
This month the column is about intensifying your popularity! NOW is the time to gain momentum and get things rolling so that more and more people in a wider range of area hear great feedback about your band and come check out your band with anticipation.
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Phase 3 - Intensifying your Popularity (continued)
Now that you have a bunch of great songs that are getting great reviews and people are excited about them, you can move on to the rest of the steps:
2. Investigate which indie labels are with which distribution company. The
best strategy is to release a new single/ cd ep about every 3 or 4 months
with different labels so that you have a record that is being channeled with
every distributor around. Do this with both US and Foreign labels for your
genre. In today's times, the label is only half the equation, without great
distribution by a company that really understands the label and is willing
to push for re-stocks, your record is as good as dead, no matter what cool
label releases it. Mordam was one of the worst distributors in that they
never re-solicited the stores to restock previous records that were over a
month old. They were passive and waited for stores to ask them for more.
They were too cool to look eager to sell more records. Do you know what they
told Man's Ruin Records when they pushed for them to get more re-stocks?
They said "why are you trying to get big?" Can you believe that? What kind
of moronic people would think that, let alone say that that worked for a
distributor! Cargo is another of the worst distributors out there, in my
opinion. Some of the least heard of distributors sell a lot more records
than the well known ones cause they have a strong personal relationship with
their customers (the record stores). Do your homework and find out who
distributes the records for the labels that are interested in releasing your
records. Meet with these distributors, take of tour of the place, and feel
them out. If they are not interested in answering your questions, then they
will not be interested in making sure you sell a good number of copies of
One of the very best sites for you to get a large number of new fans is: www.myspace.com . Here you can make another website for your band, contact all your fans, add
new ones to your list, email them bulletins, sell stuff to them, list your
upcoming shows, post photos and artwork, send out invitations to your shows,
and much more. It is one of the fastest ways to get lots of people,
especially kids to learn about your band and get into your music. Myspace
has a network of over 43 million users and growing! They are all there waiting for you
to contact them. Look up bands that you like and join their networks, then
you will be able to contact thousands of people there.
Some artists will make the posters, send you some copies, and they will make their money back by selling the posters on their sites. Some artists will ask you to pay for the printing and you get to keep them all and sell them all. Some artists contact the clubs that you play at directly and they will make a deal with the club. Each artist does it a different way. There are over a thousand different poster artists at this site that you can talk to and work with, from the most famous to the newest guy that is hot to do something and will do it for free to get his name out there to get started. You can look up any artist or any band in their database and you can see all the posters that have been made, and you can decide from seeing them who you would like to work with.
Having posters with cool art is one of the best ways to look very
professional and get people excited about your shows. I don't recommend
having shit photocopied flyers with no cool images on it. No one notices
flyers like those anymore. People always notice a great poster. This is one
of the best things you can do for your band. If one of you in the band is a
great artist, which is often the case in many bands, have this person make
your posters. Then you can go to your local print shop and get them mass produced and you
can put them up at the club and near the club. Don't wait too long to ask
someone, or there won't be enough time for the artist to make the poster. As
soon as you know you have a show confirmed, get the poster made.
In order not to get ripped off in any way, I TOTALLY recommend you buy all three books that were written by Moses Avalon, which are all available from www.amazon.com . He is the number one expert on how bands can get ripped off and his books teach you in easy to understand language exactly what to watch out for and exactly what to do instead. His books are: "Secrets of Negotiating a Record Contract: The Musician's Guide to Understanding and Avoiding Sneaky Lawyer Tricks" ; "Confessions of a Record Producer: How to Survive the Scams and Shams of the Music Business" ; and his new one: "Million Dollar Mistakes : Steering Your Music Career Clear of Lies, Cons, Catastrophes, and Landmines". You will kiss these books after you read them, I swear to you! AND, you can call him to get direct advice (for a nominal fee), I did for my band to get out of a contract, and he helped enormously!
12. Get volunteers from your fans to work for the band, have them hand out
stickers, promo cds/tapes, etc. to the right people (not to people that
don't want them and will throw them away), people that are already at places
and clubs that have the same kind of music as your genre.
(c) 2005 BGT ENT / Sal Canzonieri