Welcome to the music business.

24th April 2012 by Emma Scott

I feel I have to sit down and blog for a bit to try and get a few things out there regarding this wonderful world of the music industry.

There, I’ve said it.  Music industry. Music Business. Not Music ‘muck-about’ or ‘music doss.’

It’s SO hard to make it these days and I can see why so many talented bands fall by the way-side. They simply don’t treat their band as a business.  They mess people about who are trying to help them, they don’t know how to speak to people in radio or at venues. They turn up late or cancel gigs ‘because they don’t want to play that gig anymore’ or ‘they’ve double-booked.’ themselves.

Manners don’t exist. Assumptions are made that because  the band is great, everyone else must think so too. They don’t need to go on their Facebook page and promote the gigs they’re booked to play. It’s not their job, right? The music will do the talking, right?

WRONG.

Being in a band (or a musician in general) if you want to be a success, is going to involve work. Hard work. And lots of it. If you’re too busy at uni to turn up to load in on time at gigs – don’t book the gig until you’re not too busy with uni. If you’re busy in your 9-5 job and don’t have time to promote the band and tell everyone about your new e.p. release – don’t release an e.p. Wait until you are less busy and then focus on the band.

Most people in bands have other things going on – their day job, school, college, university, family stuff. But they love playing in their band and want to make it in the music industry. If I can offer you some advice right now it would be:
Don’t expect success to come quickly

Don’t think anyone owes you anything

Be ready to put the hours in

Be prepared for ‘band stuff’ to take over your ‘normal’ life.

Work hard on the songwriting and writing that killer song!

Rehearse as often as you can

Play live at decent venues but don’t over-play the same area

Promote your gigs, promote your band on a daily basis.

Don’t ever book a gig that you have no real intention of playing at.

Don’t double-book your band.

Speak to people nicely – ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ go a long way.

Treat people well on the way up – because you’ll see them on the way down!

Be patient.

This is the “music business’ and people in the industry NEED to make money from you to keep their businesses going.

For example, promoters should never be slagged off for asking you to bring people to a gig that they pay hundreds of pounds to put on.  You should never moan at your label when they ask you to help promote your e.p. release if they’ve just spent money releasing it and plugging it to radio.

If you are not a viable product, they won’t waste their time on you. If you can’t see that it’s a two-way street or you think that being signed means you can sit back and do nothing – you’re wrong.

Obviously, there’s a lot more I can say on this subject – that’s why I’m writing three books on the music industry, but I wanted to jot down some thoughts that hopefully will help someone. It’s not meant to be a negative blog, take it as a positive and have a think about whether you’re having a doss with your mates, or you’re actually serious about ‘breaking your band.”

Good luck.