It’s a sad reality for a lot of people. As comfortable as it is to stay inside and hang with your significant other all the time, if you say your goal in life is to get signed – this is doing you no good. I say this as someone who knows it and has become a bit of a shut in (this blog may have a bit to do with that), but the reality is that while you may sometimes cling to the stories of the band that was anti-social and stayed home and wrote songs – those are few and far between. It usually helps to have at least one band member to go out and be an ambassador for your band. After the jump we will discuss how to do this painlessly for all of you socially awkward musician types.
When bands are in my studio they always ask what they can do to get their band ahead while not out touring. The simplest thing is to go to local shows when the bands are similar in sound to you. When I say similar in sound, I mean if a band is playing or comes through town whose fans may like you at all, get out there. So many times bands won’t go to the show because they don’t like the band. It’s not about if the band is good, are sell outs, didn’t pay their dues, it is a matter of you are going out to show you will meet people who could be interested in your band (if you are friendly). Is there a bar where they DJ your style of music? A place where bands are playing that share a similar audience? A party from a band similar to yours even though you don’t care for their music? Going to all of these events can do a lot more for your band than sitting at home on Twitter.
Did you make friends with someone from another band that you would like to work with? There is plenty you can do for them. Are you at an awesome party? Text them and let them know! Got a good show hookup? Found out about a really awesome website they should be reading (hint, hint)? Bands will often think a band that is a little more popular than them know much more than they do, but it is amazing the gaps in everyone’s knowledge. Let them know and if someone sees that you are trying to be helpful odds are they will want to help you. Just don’t do it expecting a favor or you will be seen for the douchemaster you are. Do it because you believe in the other band and have a bond with them.
Ugh. I Hate This Part
I know so many great musicians who hate leaving their comfortable circle of friends. Unfortunately, it is necessary if you want to stop working your crappy day job. Personally, I would rather hang out with my friends at a bar or a nice restaurant than go to a show since I am 31 and totally over doing it. But if my goal in life was to be in a big band, I would go out at least a couple nights a week to any show or bar where other musicians will be hanging out that are in my genre. By making friends, people want to come see your band, promote it and pass it on to friends in higher places. Even small towns have people like this in them, so do not feel like you need to go to NYC, Austin or LA every week.
Friends Like To Help Friends
If you make lots of friends and are a genuine, nice person – people will want to help you. You know whats crazy? Even if they think your band is a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 all of a sudden you become a 7 or an 8! If you are a good person in a good band you won’t even need to ask people to show your band to A&R and every promoter they know. They will want to do it to help such an awesome person get somewhere with their lives. So kill all that stupid-rockstar-being-a-dick-ideas you have and learn to treat people with kindness and smile a little.
What To Do
- Talk to people you have met, even if only in passing. Find commonality, ask them about things you are interested in and if you can help them, offer help.
- Be friendly, if someone talks to you – strike up a conversation. If you are a social retard this will take time but you will get good at it. There are so many things people could have in common – just talk and don’t pretend to be what you are not and all should work out.
- Be genuine and not a douche and it should be easy to make friends, get more of a following for your band and have more people wanting to help get your band where you want to go.
- If you know someone is in the music industry or a band find something genuine to talk about or a compliment to give them. Don’t be insistent and ask for things. Find a commonality so that you are on the same team and if you find none, maybe you should form your own team.