Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I got a message today from a guy on Linkedin. He was introducing a band that he was managing to me. That in itself is cool and all but in the same message he said "let me know if there is anyway I can help you." In a way that kind of pisses me off. Why you ask? To me it implies that he is asking me for some help indirectly. I know I may be way off base and the guy really wants to help me out in someway but I don't feel good about it. I really don't know this guy and I know he may simply be trying to create a business relationship of some sort but I don't kiss on the first date (unless she is hot.) Where am I going with this?

In the music business, or any other business for that matter, relationships should be mutually beneficial. You do something for me, I do something for you and everyone wins. I really like helping people. I really like talking to bands but don't ever assume that by sending a simple message will engage me in what you are doing. Like you, I am a music fan. I listen to as much music as I can all the time. Dude, send me the stuff and try to create some dialogue like "take a listen if you have time and tell me what you think" or tell me you are excited about this band and see where the chips fall with me. Not that my opinion means jack shit but I would appreciate that you are excited, stoked, inspired, etc. by what you are pitching. Let's take baby steps here and see if I hear what you hear. I usually tell people the truth and even if it isn't my cup of tea, I will at least tell you what I think.

Maybe I am reading this all wrong but for you band people out there, think about how you approach prospective fans. Don't EVER assume that anyone will ever be as excited about your music as you are. Get into your relationships with fans and business people (club owners, booking agents, etc.) without hitting them over the top of the head and turning them off. Engage them first, give them something to believe in and then up the stakes. Don't make people feel like they owe you something because in this business, especially as an artist, you will never be able to do as much for your fans as they do for you. Remember that.


  1. Tact. That's what it takes, and some people have a different view of it. You have a different view than what I do because you are and have been on a different level in the music business.
    Some people can only offer to help and feel extending the olive branch is there tactful gift. I say use it for what it is worth, be blunt. Respond with 'Tell your fans about us' 'Mention us to your local radio Program Directors', etc... something like that if you just want to keep it casual. Grow from there, be engaged.

  2. I can totally appreciate your view. I agree with you. Tell me what you want or I tell you what I want. I just felt like the guy was in some way being passive aggressive. I was really thinking about this on the fan level for bands. Too many ask for something without taking the time to actually build a relationship with those that can help them achieve what they want. If the guy was excited then just come out and say "Dude, is there anything you can do to help me ? and I will certainly return the favor." The delivery was weird and turned me off. Molten, stay direct with everyone and you will get back what you put out there.

  3. Jeff,

    As someone who does websites for bands (none of which are nearly as famous as Gravity Kills) and who is very much into the music, I tend to say those very words. It's for no other reason that, in my case, the music does come first. Regardless, the "tone" is everything - you can get from an email if the person actually wants something or if they really do just want to assist in some way. Sleeze is still sleeze, no matter which way you look at it.

    I can only speak for myself, but a lot of relationships have begun simply begun I put myself out there and they band truly did have a need that I could help with (mostly in web design). Clearly, that guy was coming from a different circumstance, however...


  4. ProgScape,

    We are all coming from the same point of view here. Say what you need to say and don't try to be overly clever. I can certainly appreciate someone asking me for their business but please be more direct. I didn't really know what to say to the guy and I felt it put me in a real weird place like I was supposed to read his mind.

  5. Being direct while maintaining a certain level of politeness and tact is the way I preach all the time.

    However, very often do the direct calls for help, beginning with the good old "spread the word," fall onto the deaf ears of people who call themselves fans, and probably really are. This breed of fans is becoming more and more common - "I like your music, I want more, I even bought a CD/download, why should I do something for you? I already gave."

    This is not a reply to your post per se, rather, a thought inspired by it. The bottom line would be: clumsy cries for help can be very unnerving, yet the straightforward "help me" has somehow completely lost its power...