Comments Off on RANT: Ointment for the seven year itch

Many Las Vegas bands try to teach me quite regularly that there is no reason to promote themselves, no reason to play weekdays, and no reason to create nor record good music. They just get together and pleasure each other and their tone deaf significant others, as long as it doesn’t interrupt their day job. Is this true for all scenes? Or is Las Vegas as pretentious as New York or Los Angeles without all that history of quality music being made here?

Maybe its the seven year itch, but I am tired of being in a city full of potential music fans just to have so many bands so blatantly ignorant to the business and how things work. In my opinion there is no reason why a band that lives, plays, works and sometimes grown up here, can’t bring or find 50-100 people for every show to see them play. But bands insist that 3-10 people coming to see them is ok, and that promoters magically conjure up fans because we put your names out there to our network. Unless you music is on the radio, tv, video games or movies, no one gives fuck about your band in a market like Vegas, unless they have made that connection with you first. Weather it be through personal, professional or actual band promotion, a band has the most power to draw that crowd locally, hell even on the road after you have build your network up. People want to connect with bands, not promoters, so for a band to expect a promoter to find your new fans based solely on their promotion, you’re fucked! Every band usually has 3-6 members. That’s 3-6 figgin promoters right there in your band, each having a unique network that reaches people each other can’t. Now imagine a bill with 3-4 bands, each with 3-6 band members, each one promoting to their friends, family, co-workers and fans, then a venue and/or promoter reaching their unique network. That would be a good show. Haven’t seen it yet. Every show I have every done has had at least one or more bands, several musicians and sometimes even the venue not do their part. The best part is usually the ones who do the least are the ones complaining the most. Then their bitchings reach other bands, and becomes a gosh darn epidemic. No one is worse at making a band feel more superior than that of a band girlfriend. I would include a female musicians boyfriends, but in 7 years, I have yet to have any issues from band boyfriends, just wives, girlfriends and even mothers. Unless your wife or girlfriend has been in a band, promoted for a band or venue or just in the industry at all, chances are they are going to make you feel like you are doing more than your share, playing better than anyone else, and always bring the most people. Those crazy bitches should be shooooooooshed! They are just as bad as band members who don’t promote their own band to their own network.

A big thing bands do often is listen to a few peoples lame excuses (also comes from the girlfriends/wives/mothers) as to why they wont come to a show. The trick is to never listen to them. Keep reaching out, keep finding new people, just because a person that regularly shows up, cant make it to this one, doesn’t mean that everyone is like that. True there will be times to where you will get a majority or your network that cannot make it, but as long as you and your band mates are constantly gaining new contacts at every show, and reaching out every day online and via general networking, you will find that eventually no matter the date, the band or the venue, you will be able to draw a decent crowd and following. Ive seen it often, bands who constantly work on growing their network are constantly releasing music, touring, showcasing with national acts and more. But bands who sit there and bitch and moan about everyone else not making them heard are the bands who usually break up quickly, make shit music and waste everyone’s time at concerts.

Concerts are indeed a huge part of a bands success, but more often than not, people hear new music via recordings, not live. Remember that not everyone goes to concerts. Huge chunk of music fans just listen on their mp3 players, home or car stereos, radio, during video games and through advertisements. Make sure your music is available in every way possible so that you can reach every music fan, the way the like to listen. Then you will see the rise in concert attendance, and the quality of shows you are playing out of town.

Guess what I am trying to say is that, if you are in a band, know what direction you want to go, and realize there are millions of ways to get there, but you have to do most of the work yourself, for yourself and don’t give up. I haven’t as a band manager and promoter, and now I am an employee of production companies, bands and venues directly, getting paid to book and promote (granted I have to do thirty million things just to almost pay my bills! Donate to the Figgy fund.) and the bands I work with are getting amazing local opportunities constantly. Why? Because we use our networks and take advantage of opportunities. I learn from my mistakes as well as giving second chances to the ones who wake up. Learn from your mistakes, learn from others mistakes and triumphs then pave your own way. If you are in it for fun and just a hobby for after work to get away from your ‘American dream’ then do so far the fuck away from people like me who are in it for the long haul, for better or worse.

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