Music Industry Red Flags: Saying The Same Old Tired Things


Every week at some point I get sent an EPK from an artist and gear up for the inevitable pain of what I am about to watch. In 9 out of 10 of these EPK’s I know I will soon witness the musicians recite some cliches that we have all heard one thousand times. While the tendency among young musicians is to watch and imitate, what most of us in the music industry are looking to work with is someone who can lead. Follow me to the jump and I will explain how to make sure you put out a good impression by avoiding saying the same old stupid crap when dealing with the people you will meet within the industry.

One of the things that all of us who have been in the business of breaking bands knows is that a musician who knows how to say things that are not your typical interview fodder will get a lot more press than one’s who just sit and talk about how grateful they are to have fans, how much they love being on the road, or any of the other things we have heard a million times. There is a reason everyone wants to interview Amanda Palmer, Thom Yorke, Ryan Adams and Brandon Flowers all of the time. The press knows that every time you put a recorder in front of them they are going to say something quotable and interesting that will create a meme. Part of breaking any artist is the ability to get the press to ask for them, rather than having to beg to get every single interview that you do. When you gain the courage to find the unique thoughts and personality you have, you do yourself a big favor and make your life a lot easier.

One of the things I see younger musicians due that does nothing to help them get where they want to be is get shy when the recorder is on. The second you are doing an interview, meeting someone important, or doing your EPK it is time to say some of the things that give you a personality. Do not stick to safe answers but instead say how you feel. If you think you have a unique perspective on a subject find a way to work it into the interview. Asking if you can talk about a specific subject is welcomed by most interviewers who are desperate to have good content in their pieces. I am not saying to go into a Marilyn Manson-esque hyperbole with each time you see a red light, but if you know you have something to share that is not being discussed this is the time to get it out there. Every time you have a chance to talk to a big audience it is a chance to create more of these opportunities and the way you do this is by being interesting. If you are able to do this more people will want to work with you and talk to you. An artist that can start conversations that get the world talking is one many people want to work with.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.