Music News

What's The Best Way to Promote My Band?

Page 2 of 2

Dear Us, Your letter gets at the crux of why it sucks to be in a band; it's a little heartbreaking. Reading over your letter and listening to the link to your band's album on Bandcamp, I see that your problem is actually something other than what you think it is.

Getting people to your shows, having a record people like doesn't really have anything to do with talent. This is the great myth of the music industry. Sure, beautiful songs and punchy hooks help, but you need to purge your mind of the idea that if you just make great songs and play them well that everything else will fall into place, because you deserve it. Mourn the death of that dream of music as a meritocracy and that the world is going to discover your genius and come scampering to your doorstep to pad your path with dollars. Thinking that way will make the reality of being in a band really discouraging and painful.

You live in a city that is a great place to be a musician... if you are a country session player. You are a macho bar rock kind of band and admittedly horrible at networking or self-promoting. Does another member of your band have any palpable social skill or gladhanding ability that you can call upon? Could you recruit a second guitar player from another band who has connections to bookers and other bands? You guys need to work on ingratiating yourself into your city's rock scene and getting on the radar of the people that make things happen within it -- bookers, club staff, other bands. Think about the marginally talented local band that gets all the plum opening slots on the big national-band shows and get annoyed. Let that competitive fire fuel your pro-active networking. Covet thy neighbor's opening slot. You know what I mean.

Be a super nice dude, accommodating, show gratitude to the people that help you, don't act like you deserve things and people will want to work with you again just on the basis of that. Most dudes in bands act like the world owes them and they never say thanks and they want everyone else to make it happen for them. No one wants to work with a big baby. Nepotism is a real thing. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not well-connected.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jessica Hopper
Contact: Jessica Hopper