What a great session this is turning out to be! What a rare opportunity for rising Buffalo musicians who got to hear how to succeed in the ever-changing music business by the best in town. Also, if you listen carefully to what these industry people say, and you follow their advice, how can they not help you to succeed? This is the real secret to networking and how it works. And for so many young musicians that think it is about the “music” in the music business, it is really about the “business” in the music business that can springboard you to success.
We continue with Anthony Casuccio, our moderator for the event, asking the next question. To learn about the backrounds of our world-class panel, and to see the first part of this session, please click on Music Inustry Mentoring Event at GCR Audio.
Casuccio: How does one go about getting attention for one’s band?
Kwitchoff: The songs have to be good, you have to have a good package, you have to know how to present yourself and you have to go out and get work. You have to get all of your friends and family to come out and support you.
Tanner: There was a woman that accidentally cut off three of her fingers, so she learned how to play the guitar upside down.
Moser: There are a lot of talented musicians, but not a lot of great songwriters.
Unique artists get this panel excited
Gallivan: It is about what it is that you are going to do, what you are going for, and not focusing on who you sound like, like the bands Green Day and Blink 182. It seems like every songwriter these days must have a sign on the wall that they look at all of the time that says “compare”. So don’t tell me tell me that you are unique, tell me something that describes you as unique. Unique artists get this panel excited.
Casuccio: What tools can help you succeed?
Petri: Electronic Press Kits are preferred. Your bio should have no more than four sentences. A bizarre picture will tell a thousand words. Let them see your band in a kinetic frenzy. Please no stacks of CDs, no piles of paperwork. Just a couple of mp3s, a picture, and send it electronically. Otherwise it ends up in the free box. And your web page should be as unique as your music. Have a simple web page, make it easy to navigate, without a lot of flash. When you get to be Coldplay and Radiohead then you can be artistic, but not right now. Also, always think mobile.
How many songs should I have in my demo?
Gallivan: Have just a handful of songs.
Moser: Two or three songs, not six.
Gallivan: Hustle. Networking is important but remember industry people are in a hurried place. Here is some thought on the three song argument: One and a half years ago I saw one of The Albrights songs on their Facebook page, but did not like it very much, and I had nothing else to go on, so I passed on it. Fast Forward to one day ago, with the band Victory for Poland, they listed three songs, their first song was nothing special, the second song was OK, but the third and last song was strong and made the difference. Always make the demo sound as professional as you can.
For every Justin Bieber there are 999 that aren’t
Moser: Today students seem to have a sense of self-entitlement. They feel they don’t have to pay their dues anymore. But for every Justin Bieber there are ‘999’ that aren’t. Even when students become college seniors they seem to have no one-on-one communication skills. They can not seem to ask an intelligent question in a discussion. They can not relate. No one is going to hand them the keys to the car. Learn those skills.
U2 would walk into a room with 50 people, and leave with 50 friends
Moser: Bryan Adams would lose money every night but would play for 20,000 people. U2 as 19 year olds had vision, they really knew what they wanted. They would walk into a room with 50 people, and leave with 50 friends. U2 would hang out at college radio stations until 5 in the morning.
Moser: Ruby Spirit from Toronto will be opening for Jesus and Mary Chain at Hardware August 2. I saw them six year ago when they were all around 16 years old. I felt then that they would have great songs someday, and that they were willing to pay their dues. I felt the worse thing then would be to rush them, to push them too soon. It seemed best to let them develop. If it is too soon, then bad things may happen, things like the band breaking up. They spent $2,000 to play in New York City and played for 50 people and 50 bucks. But they got a distribution deal from their efforts.
Interesting story about the Beatles
Moser: The United Kingdom press helps sell records, and the United States press doesn’t really help in that way. Interesting story about the Beatles, and nobody seems to know about it here yet. John Lennon signed Trevor Bannister in 1968 to the Apple label. Bannister wrote “Lovers from the Sky.” It never got released. Well, Ruby Spirit is going to release it this fall. So if they just get 2% of the Beatles fans buying it you are going to see a gold record.
Stay tuned for part three about this event coming up…