Make the Connection

The last two years or so I have seen something change in the music scene. Ego’s have been on the rise by 200% and it is quite pathetic. When I first started playing with the band back in late 2008, everybody who went to a show was your friend, because everyone was able to relate through the same thing; music. Now the scene has changed to where no one even wants to take the time to meet someone new. 

As a musician, meeting new people is one of my favorite things to do other than getting on stage and playing a great show. Taking the time to get to know another band or even just someone who really enjoyed your music means so much more to the ones who do love music. Both of these things will make connections that may help you later down the road. 

When it comes to talking to fans or new listeners let them do the talking. By nature, we as humans love to talk. So simply take ten minutes to let them just say what’s on their mind and acknowledge that you are listening. Without people like them, you’d be playing for no one and personally I love meeting new fans. Hearing their stories helps me build memories and hearing they have a passion as strong as you do for music simply puts a smile on my face.

Talking to other bands or musicians comes with a little more dedication. This dedication has to come in the sense that we are all in the same musical boat trying to get our names out there. SO TAKE THE TIME TO MEET NEW BANDS. Sometimes you will run into plain out assholes who simply don’t care about you, because they have the ego the size of the statue of liberty. You need to be able to at least try and meet them even if they forget about you. One thing I’ve learned is never burn bridges with anyone. When it comes to bands who enjoy meeting other bands, it makes playing with them again that much more fun. I personally love playing shows with other bands that I’ve taken the time to get to know and have a personal friendship with them.

Basically what I’m trying to get at is if you are a musician or an artist of any sort, networking and making connections with others is so important. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. So if you are an artist of any sort post a comment and I’ll check you out. If you’re in the hardcore/metal scene and post a comment with your band I’d love to get to know you and play a show with you!

 

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Fail to Decay and We Paint the Sky (2012)

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What should I have expected?

Let us take a trip back to the past, about a year ago today. We were asked to play a show outside the small town of Plainview, MN for a benefit concert. The promoter who set up the show said it will be a big turn out, and although we hadn’t heard of the place, we were optimistic and hoped for the best.

The day of the show came, so we packed up our gear and headed out into the rural countryside that is southern Minnesota. After our GPS lost satellite reception and we ended up at a church in the middle of nowhere we began to ponder on if this was going to actually be a show. So after the brief stop we pulled out the iPhone’s and finally figured out the address. 

When we pulled into the driveway we saw our stage. The floor of a garage with nothing more than a few carpets to set the drum set on. As we began unloading our gear through the pouring rain we started losing faith in how this show was going to turn out. 

The line-up had us playing second to the last, so while we waited we decided on if this was even going to be worth our time. The clock slowly ticked away until it was time to set up our gear and hope for the best.

There were no monitors and the system used for vocals had more compression than a WWII fighter pilot talk back system. As we played through our set, we found ourselves not caring what people thought and just had fun. Even though there was one drunk lady constantly jumping around and touching us, overall… It was a blast!

I guess what I’ve been trying to get at is don’t judge a moment by the surroundings. When we first rolled into that driveway I thought it was going to be nothing more than a lame excuse of a show. Now, looking back at that moment, I can reminisce with the other guys and get a good laugh in.  I would definitely play there again simply to just look back and have one hell of a time.  

So I pose another question. What is your craziest moment at a show? 

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Booking a Tour

Being a small local band from Rochester, MN your opportunities for playing shows in the area are few and far between. Usually the closest venue we play at is the Warehouse in La Crosse, WI. So needless to say, after five years of playing within six hours from home, I am ready to hit the road and see what other states have to offer.

Booking a tour isn’t as easy as I expected.. Yeah you can read online about how to properly do it, but I’d rather learn on my own. So the first tour I am in the works on is heading out to Grand Rapids, MI. It’s only a four day mini tour, but I think it’ll be worth seeing other parts and if kids like what we are creating. 

After this tour, I am looking into a week long one. This would hit places like Fort Wayne, IN, Columbus, OH, St. Louis, MO, and several others. I enjoy traveling around in a van with three other guys, creating what we call art. As long as we continue making music that we enjoy, that’s all that will ever matter to me.

So back to the booking part.. What I’ve been doing is contacting venues in the area seeing if it’s possible to play at their establishment and could set up a show around the time we will be in their area. Another approach that I’ve tried is contacting band around the area to see if they could help us out. One problem with this is getting a guarantee or simply getting paid. Something I’ve noticed with the music industry today is that promoters let the word “guarantee” mean something more along the lines of, “well if we get that much through the door, then I’ll get it to you.” It isn’t free to get from venue to venue, so as long as we are making enough to pay for gas money, that’s all that matters to us.   

With that I ask a question, if you’ve ever booked a tour, how did you set it up? I’d love to hear what others do, because it’s networking that keeps small bands alive.