3 - How To Destroy Your New Band
Forming a band is one of the most exciting experiences you can do. Regardless of whether you're forming your first band in school (you’re going to play a cover of Teenage Kicks, it’s just the rules) or you’re forming the band you always schemed you would after retirement.
Although all the buzz of doing so does make it really easy for that excitement to bubble over. I’ve seen musicians blow huge budgets on things, that although look shiny and exciting…they quite frankly don’t need it, or at least not yet.
Running before you can walk
Surprise! I’ve booked you and I a surprise holiday to Italy! Congrats! The only issue is… neither of us speaks a word of Italian. Which of these two approaches would you take;
1) Take a quick but manageable online course for a few minutes a day to learn how to do basic small-talk, enough to get by and order pizza, etc.
2) Or learn the direct Italian translations of Shakespeare’s most famous monologues and rehearse them to perfection in preparation for our trip.
(If you answered 2, you’re just being plain awkward)
So why do I see so many musicians taking the equivalent of 2 when forming a band?
I had a band reach out to me, asking if I could recommend them a good director for a music video. Got chatting with them and I asked if I could hear the song that they wanted the video for. They haven’t recorded the song. Even more, they haven’t written the song or played any gigs as a band yet. Further conversation found that they’d dropped a large sum of money on a PR campaign. How can you promote a band without knowing what it’s going to sound like?! (You can argue that you can, but a lot of bands develop there sound in unexpected ways when moving for the rehearsal room to the recording studio).
I get it, you have to be pretty much the whole package now with social media etc etc… but let’s get down to the route of why people will ultimately like your band… BECAUSE YOU HAVE GOOD MUSIC! Having everything else in place won’t achieve anything unless you have a well produced and recorded song.
I’m not saying neglect the other things because I appreciate that most bands require a fairly slick looking social media presence but it seems daft to put work and hard earn cash into it when you haven’t applied either of those to your music.
Take A Step Back
Surely the music is what you actually got to form a band? I don’t know of anyone (correct me if I’m wrong) who sat awake at night and dreamt of having a verified tick on Instagram as a child? Surely that wasn’t the thing that made you pick up your instrument in the first place?
So my takeaway advice to you is this… take a step back. Momentarily stop thinking about what you’re going to tweet next from your band account and evaluate where your music is at. Have you written enough songs? If the opportunity came tomorrow, could you hit the studio and make something you’re proud of? Or maybe you recorded something yourself in your DIY setup and you’re not sure how to get it ready for release? Surely it’s better to figure out your sound before you tackle the Facebook Algorithm?!
If you’d like to find out how your music would sound with a professional mix, send me a song and I'll mix a free sample.
As always if you have any thoughts or questions, I’d love to hear from you.
Your friendly neighborhood mix engineer,