Posted in Band Talk, tagged anecdotes, band anecdotes, band quotes, Band stories, band story, bands, club owners, gig stories, gigs from hell, music industry, pre cleared music, quote topics, quotes, the way bands do it, Touring & Gig Swapping, touring stories, worst gigs on July 14, 2008 |
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Every band has its stories. Best gigs, worst crowds, most awkward situations, craziest fans etc.. and we tend to recall the bad ones as they are often the most entertaining. Gigs From Hell is a compilation of gig stories that this doggy found particulary entertaining, and the beauty of it is that a big chunk of the book is available free on Google books. It’s a rare glimpse into what it’s really like to tour, record, and survive in the cutthroat world of the -music industry-no holds barred, full speed ahead, the most cringe-worthy moments fully intact. And it goes something like this:
The worst crowd – I used to think the worst shows were always the ones where no one showed up. Where the sound of one clap was actually a wish. I was in a five-piece, all-girl, whacked-out, surfy, garage band called The Amulets. We were asked to play a birthday party. Sure, why not, right? Parties are always fun. Yeah, well, they tend to be a little better when the audience appreciates sounds a little beyond Yanni and Barney, the ambiguously-defined dinosaur. That’s fucking A right. It was a birthday party for a one-year-old child. Yes, we actually set up and played a full set for Team Pampers. Humbling? Mind-numbing? Surreal? All of those plus a cherry of embarrassment right on top. The only hope is that we somehow got in and warped their little minds.
As you may have noticed, gigdoggy takes pride in posting band quotes. Most of our quote topics aim to answer specific questions, but we also encourage bands to share their own crazy stories – so if you’re feeling nostalgic about the good ol’ days and want to grant us and our readers some story-telling, please do so here.
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Posted in Touring & Gig Swapping, tagged band quotes, bands on tour, bands swapping gigs, gig swap, gigs, gigswap, gigswapping, networking bands, quotes, seeing the band play live, sharing gigs, sharing shows, Touring & Gig Swapping, touring bands, trading shows on June 16, 2008 |
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More gigdoggylicious quotes on gig swapping here and here. Mruff.
We find bands to share gigs by networking, so far it’s worked out. I am going to be doing some shows with a couple of bands who’ve gotten into NXNE and contacted us (so I’ll probably see them at the festival), as well as a band I personally just tripped across on myspace, loved their sound/style, will be going to check out their show this week, but more because I just love their sound and want to see them anyway. If that match up works out I’m sure we’ll do a few shows with them, including one out-of-towner, which would be great..
Myspace, facebook are excellent ways to at least preview the band and get a sense of their direction/attitude. But there’s no substitute for seeing the band play live, and on that note I totally agree with the live video option as a great tool/calling card. We’ll definitely try to get one happening ourselves at some point
SleepSix – www.sonicbids.com/SleepSix
First time I was half of an acoustic duo in Austin, we played a club there regularly and they booked us to open for another local band. They set up during our last break, and had some nice comments about us. We decided to do Neil Young’s “Old Man” for our last song, starting into the second verse I suddenly heard bass guitar…in key, perfect volume, turned around to look between lines (I did the lead vocal) and their bass `player grinned at me just as the drummer fell into place. We finished the song with bass and drums, it went well and sounded great, the crowd loved it. It ended up to be a really good night.
PaleoPete – www.bandmix.com/paleopete
Sharing shows is pretty common these days. Almost the norm. It’s a good strategy for a local band whose fans see them often. Get an established band to play the show with you, and open for them. That gets all your fans out at the same time, and the club loves the business..
The better question is “have you traded gigs?”
Trading gigs is getting pretty popular. We have had at least 3 bands ask us to do it. A band from out of town takes your gig, and you play their gig. It helps BOTH bands develop a fan base in each other’s states or cities. It gets you “touring” faster. As long as the venues are cool, which they usually are, it is a win-win-win for all three parties
Craig Maxim – www.myspace.com/southernmischiefband
To me, just as important as building a fan base and getting in good with club owners is getting in good with other bands. If other bands like you and your music, they will probably ask you to do shows with them off and on..
Sylvan Lane – http://www.myspace.com/sylvanlane)
Sharing gigs is almost the only way to get one someday. So it’s pretty much the only thing we do. I can’t remember performing a gig with just the Fleets. It’s kinda weird, geez. I mean when you’re an indie self-produced and managed band like us. When you get a bit bigger, then you can expect to perform on your own (even if there’s always a first act to open for you…). I guess it’s pretty much the same for you in Canada. At least, I hope ! Cause it’s a great way to meet bands, have great nights and great gigs.
The Fleets – myspace.com/thefleets
More band quotes on sharing shows and gig swapping here:
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Posted in Booking & Promotion, tagged band match making, band promotion, band quotes, bands, bars, booking gigs, club owners, clubs, dealing with club owners, gig, gig swap, gigdoggy, gigs, live, live show, open mic, quotes, shows, Touring & Gig Swapping, touring band on March 30, 2008 |
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If you’re interest in how bands deal with club owners, you might also wanna take a look at:
Dealing with club owners: your best bet is to put a cd together with about 3-4 of your best songs, go and talk directly to the bar owner…don’t bull shit them at all…remember, they deal with musicians all the time. Don’t be cocky, but be confident, this will help you get your foot in the door, also, if you can play the same place twice, there will surely be people who remember you and word gets out
Gunner – www.myspace.com/guitargunn
Club owners are always looking for someone to bring in a crowd, they sell more drinks, that’s thier bread & butter.
I only take the door. They can keep all alcohol sales. They like to hear that.
A simple contract always gets signed, 3-4 things on it only, you get the door, they keep all bar money, your sales are yours, ect. Some don’t want to sign a contract. You play at your own risk without it
Cowboy Elvis – www.myspace.com/cowboyelvis
Although I’ve tried for a long time to get gigs in clubs, it’s been very difficult. Maybe because we are mostly a duo and clubs like dance bands. But we’ve tried restaurants too. Seems that restaurants have a rotation of bands that play regularly. It’s hard to break into that rotation. We haven’t yet succeeded. We have to leave press kits and cd’s but can never seem to catch the owner in order to actually book a gig. They will not call you ever. They have their choice of bands – they’re not looking for more or for anything particularly special. Some clubs have acoustic nights – most of these evenings are open mic evenings. We are tired of open mics. It’s great for the venue – free music! But lousy for musicians trying to make a living. Some clubs require you to secure them an audience of anywhere from 30-100 people before they will “hire” you. It’s quite a scam – after you secure them their business, they will pay you only a percentage of the door! Sometimes this is split with other bands who’ve had to do the same thing. What a scam! We’ve tried to find managers and booking agents. We’ve gotten as far as sending our press kit and then never hearing from these guys again.
Our problem is that we don’t play covers – we do originals. We are far from mainstream even in our originals so it’s hard to find a club or venue that will hire us. We’re “not what they’re looking for”. If we were a cover band playing rock and blues we’d probably be working regularly.
Payment is hard to come by – because of all of the above. But we’ve managed to be sure to be paid for most gigs – even if it’s minimal. Here’s a good story for you…
After playing the local Pumpkin Festival for a few years for free, my partner and I decided to ask to be paid. After all, the sound man is paid and so are the staff. Why not the musicians whom, without them, the festival would be basically nothing? We approached the organizing committee and asked for payment. They responded that it was not their policy to pay musicians and if we wanted to be paid we should look elsewhere!
Rahel – www.rahelmusic.com
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Posted in Booking & Promotion, tagged band promotion, band quotes, bands, Booking & Promotion, concert promotion, gig promotion, gigdoggy, how bands promote, how to promote your band, independant radio, local press, local publications, mailing list, meet club owners, music promotion, muysic blog, myspace, promoting bands, promoting gigs, promoting shows, promoting your band, quotes, relationships, spreading the word on March 16, 2008 |
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5 pointer method:
How to get people to keep coming to shows:
1) Post about your show on MySpace, Facebook, and any other site where you can post events for your band
2) Every time you are talking to someone, if they ask you what you are up to these days (and this comes up in almost every conversation I have!), mention your show and be very enthusiastic about it. Be sure to have business cards handy that sends them to a website (be it MySpace or a homepage) that gives all the details about the show they need!=
3) During a show, encourage the audience to come talk to you afterwards. Offer to take pictures, sign autographs on CD, whatever! Talk to everyone you can at the end of every show and thank them for supporting you. Show an interest in what they have to say and LISTEN to what they have to say carefully. Take an interest in the lives of people who support you. Remember people’s names! Or at least some things about them that you talked about at the end of a show. It will come in handy the next time they come to one of your shows.
4) Find fresh faces… whether it’s a local independent radio (colleges and universities are an awesome source for radio airplay if they have a station), or local publications, your local paper, wherever. FIND NEW PEOPLE and tell them what you do. Give them a business card. Be enthusiastic but not overbearing. Again, show an interest in what other people have to say, because it’s not all about you!
5) Practice, practice, practice!!!! Make your shows the best they can be by being well-rehearsed and make sure you sound awesome at every show!
Union of Lanterns www.myspace.com/unionoflanterns
It’s good to build up a mailing list to tell people about shows, but you have to get out there and get to know people and be a part of what is going on. (Think about how many shows you go to based on emails you receive…)
World of Melon www.myspace.com/worldofmelon
The best advice I can give you (other than finding a super motivated indie booker type) is to go out and meet the club owners personally or use contacts you have in different locals to get into places. It’s all about relationships… the more you know, you know?
Tims Myth www.myspace.com/tmyth
Concert promotion: it is a mixture of everything! Spreading the “word”, local press, fans, radio… difficult to say. If they pick you up it goes quickly, if not it is tough, but keep on working! That’s all you can do! Forcing prople to love your music is only done in the commercial music, but that i often don’t like…… :-)
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Posted in Booking & Promotion, tagged band buzz, band friends, band promotion, band quotes, bands, Booking & Promotion, booking agents, booking gigs, booking shows, buzz, concert promotion, gig promotion, gigdoggy, local media, local press, local promoters, music, myspace, promote band, promoting a gig, promotion strategy, put up posters, quotes, radio, selling cds, sonicbids, word to mouth on March 4, 2008 |
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The Band’s tale:
Booking gigs is easy. It’s getting a person to come that’s hard. So here’s how it works:
You look around at coffee shops and little bars that no one goes to and the owners are thrilled to have you come and play. But they can’t afford to pay you. You go and tell everyone you know to come and bring friends. The first gig you play you get 50 people to come. Then you’re thinking “This is so sweet! I love playing for a packed little house! And I made three hundred bucks selling CDs!” So you book again.You get pumped for another show and another $300. This time 20 people come. It’s a little disappointing because you don’t have the feel of a packed house, but you put on a good show and have fun playing your tunes–knowing that the crowd loves you because these 20 people bought your CD at the last show. So you don’t sell anymore CDs but they love you give tips so you end up with $26 and you had fun.You book again but his time you advertise, put up posters in music stores, churches, colleges, and you’ve only spent $15 on the posters. Now you’re ready to make another $300 on CDs.You show up at your gig and the place is quiet. You talk with the owner of the place for a half hour and decide to start playing just to practice hoping that car-fulls our people will show up late to your 2-hour show. You know college students are never on time anyway. After you’ve played through a couple songs 2 cars enter in the parking lot and in walk one groupie from the first two shows and your parents
Ry Edwards – www.myspace.com/ryedwardsmusic
The AR’s Tale:
What I hear artists say is the hardest thing (about booking shows) is getting people to attend! Sometimes bands are great about getting fans or friends to one show… the trick is find those fans who like you enough to come to your next one AND bring someone who wasn’t at the first one. Then turn that new person into someone who brings someone to the next one. Tough. And you’re up against things like weather (just ask the members of Boston Molasses Disaster (www.sonicbids.com/bostonmolassesdisaster), whose last show was canceled due to a blizzard), time slot, etc. But concentrate on the people you know who like you so much they’re willing to bring someone new. Those folks are KEY!
Benjy Kantor, Artist Relations Manager at Sonicbids : www.sonicbids.com
Some bands get along fine just doing the usual flyers /posters / word to mouth routine, others promote actively through social networks. Lots do both. Many bands get in touch with the local media and press, radio stations, music associations, local promoters, booking agents and what not. All of these techniques are tools that a band can use to get some buzz. But in the end, the best promotion strategy for any type of band is to tour and the tools should serve that goal. Sharing and swapping gigs with other bands is indispensable because fans of each border will communicate and get the word-to-mouth going
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