Advice for up’n'coming, unsigned bands on using live shows to promote their music, develop a fanbase and attract the attention of the music industry.
As a band, standing out from the crowd and reaching that elusive plateau that so many dream of yet only a few ever reach is a hard task.
Hard, but not impossible.
Think about it, even the Coldplays, U2s, Iron Maidens and Metallicas of this world had to start somewhere, and they probably started at the exact same place you’re at right now; rocking out in empty clubs with scarcely any appreciation and even less financial reward.
That said, it’s the hard slog and dismal dive-bar gigs that separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff, that prove exactly who’s in it for the love of music and who’s in it for the hopes that they’ll one day find the phrase all-round rock god and international sex symbol’ attached to every mention of their name.
Yet that doesn’t mean that you should simply playing away to nobody every night in the hopes that one day soon Mr. Big-Shot-A&R-Man will accidentally stumble across you and turn you into overnight superstars.
Far from it, you should be doing everything you possibly can to reach out and get your music to the right people.
But who are the right people? The A&R guys? The high-profile band managers? The national radio DJs? Well yes, eventually they are, but at the beginning, the right people, the most important people are the music fans, the people you’ll want to buy your records, come to your gigs and support you through thick and thin.
Besides great songs, a large fan-base is perhaps the most important things any unsigned act can have in their arsenal. It shows the aforementioned A&R men et al that you’re a group people like and will happily spend money on. After all, as we all know, that’s what they’re looking for.
Possibly one of the best methods of increasing your fan-base is to get out and play live. Forget Myspace, forget Purevolume or Bandwagon, there is no better showcase for your talents than in real life, in front of real, music-loving people.
But how can I increase my fan-base by playing live when nobody will come to watch us in the first place?’ I hear you cry.
The answers to such a question are as many and varied as there are unsigned bands, but ultimately they all boil down to one key message: Make every gig seem like an event.