★ Advice for bands starting out – Part 1

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I was emailing a friend earlier today and she mentioned that the brother of another friend had just started a band and that they were pretty good, and she wanted to know if I was interested in signing the band. Obviously it’s a bit difficult to give an answer to that in an email, unless of course the band is Silverchair, so I asked a few ‘standard’ questions like; what’s their name, who do they sound like, have they got anything recorded I can hear?

Her reply sparked this article as the band have no recordings, have managed to choose the same name as at least 4 other bands (source. myspace), and aren’t really sure what they should do next.

So here it is, this would be the advice I would give a band who are just starting out.

Band Names

Have a good name, it doesn’t need to sound ‘really cool’, don’t dwell on it too much as the music is way more important. Make sure no other band is using the name, and if possible choose a name that has an available .com domain.

Social Networking

Get a myspace, get a Triple J Unearthed but don’t worry about any other social network websites, they’re not worth the drama early on in your career. Later on, once you’re established and have some recordings to back you up I would suggest getting involved in some of the other genre based social networks.

Record A Demo

Record a basic demo, it doesn’t have to be brilliant recording wise just have something that can be used on your myspace and that can be sent out to promoters, venues and music publications.

Press Press Press Kit

Put together a press kit. Have some photos, use an actual photographer and not just a friend with a point n shoot camera.Your press kit should have a bit of a bio about the band and your influences. Don’t try to be cool and arty farty with big words overly descriptive phrases, just be honest and DONT tell us how awesome you are because we’ve heard it all before. Now send the press kit out to music publications like Reverb Streetpress, I’m With The Band, etc..

You’ll need a Website

Design a simple, but informative, website with details about the band like your bio, how you can be booked for gigs, any upcoming gigs, etc. If no one in the band has the ability to do this opt for something like a hosted WordPress or Blogger account to start with, once you have some income you can get something more professional designed.

To be continued….

Published by

matpacker

My name is Mathew Packer, I live on the east coast of Australia in Newcastle with my wife Cath, my son Travis, and our dog Cherry Bomb.

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