Bands are fragile things a lot of the time – possibly numerous personality types, some people in the band are closer to the music they are creating/playing than others, some more dedicated than others, differing opinions etc. The Songwriter/s is generally the closest to the music, emotionally.
Creative people by and large are emotional people and their art is their baby. They gave creative birth to it and it is very much a relationship not unlike that of a parent and child.
It’s with this thought, then, that perhaps when looking at the commerce of your band and your art (booking gigs, getting distribution/label deals, promotion, getting on the radio, licencing/sync etc) consider a number of different approaches.
The most important thing to remember: Don’t let it get you down. (Read: If you don’t get exactly what you want or are rejected, don’t take it personally.)
1. Don’t take it personally, move on and re-visit later.
If you just aren’t getting that venue you want to play when you email the booker or aren’t getting any phone calls back, don’t take it as though the booker is personally spiting you. Yes, they probably should email you back and yes, they probably should recognise your art, but bookers are super busy cats. Don’t stress – it will come around. For now, move on to the next venue and nab a great show elsewhere and make the most of it!! Next time you go back to the other venue, you can quote great numbers at your last show and perhaps get more of a response next time round!
2. Keep great relationships.
A lot of this industry is relationships and networks. It doesn’t just mean doing bid-ness all the time with every contact you have always (in fact, that will probably get annoying), it means that those relationships might come around and help you in the future. Remember that in any friendship or relationship, they are two-way things. When someone tells you about an opportunity that doesn’t suit you, don’t just sit on it and do nothing about it. If another artist or industry worker could use that opportunity, pass it on. Trust me, another opportunity will come back to you via doing these solids for people. Make sure you say G’day at industry conferences and events and have a drink with these people. Again – don’t talk business the whole time. Have a chat – what’s going on? What music is exciting them? etc. You’ll be surprised. Sooner or later, they’ll simply be good mates and VOILA, your network is effortlessly growing.
3. Remember that it’s a long, hard road.
Someone told me of a quote that was along the lines of “You have more chance of winning the Lotto than having a number one hit.” Now, that’s not to mean you should stop trying. In fact, look at all the artists you know. Can they imagine ever stopping making their art? No. Of course not. The thing to remember is that there is no shortcut or instant fame. It is a lot of playing live, meeting the right people, writing and recording the best possible music you can and not giving up. Don’t get down about other people doing better than you or comparing yourself to others. It’s a lot like Apples and Oranges a lot of the time. The only things you have in common in a lot of cases is that you are both bands, in much the same way apples and oranges are both fruit. Same group, but so many differences.
Till next time.