Friday, June 18, 2010


I was asked to write further about pay for play and it made me think of something that I truly believe in and is really the reason that I started writing here to begin with. As a local act you feel alone and on an island with just you and your band mates. Movements, either social, musical, artistic or philosophical were created by more than one activist, band, artist or philosopher. There is strength in numbers. If you are the only great band in your city you can't do it alone. It takes mass quantity to create a scene. Have you heard of the British Invasion? Do you remember or have you heard of the punk movement from the late 70's and early 80's? Do you remember the techno pop movement in the early 80's? I could keep going but I think I have made my point. Everyone that writes about this business talks about having the ultimate relationship with your fans. Well, what about also seeking out the best bands in your area and having a relationship with them? To make this happen you have to stop talking shit about ANY good band that other bands are simply just jealous of. You can't think of other really good bands as your competition. They could be your ally. Do any of you that read this ONLY listen to one band? If you only listen to Gravity Kills I really thank you (really, I do) but there are so many amazing bands in various genre's out there. Are you getting this point? Don't think because you are a metal band that you can't network with a band that is less hard than you. If you are both really good at what you do then fans that like both styles could actually like both of your bands. What I am leading to here is talking about creating a band community. Just as we are collaborating together here, your band should be collaborating with other bands to create a movement. Don't feel as if you have to change the world here but in essence, that is what you will be doing. If multiple bands connect their islands, you now have a small nation of bands with the same common goal for the common good of the local scene.

How does that have anything to do with pay for play you ask? Think about this...If your band connects with 5 other really great bands, can you all pitch in on a pay for play in the right club? Now instead of you feeling as if you have to fill the room on your own, you have a couple of other bands in the boat with you. What if you could create a situation where the collective of good bands were putting on their own shows in alternate locations? At DFEST last year, a band talked about a situation in which they had gotten together with several other bands, rented a warehouse and put on their own show. It cost them money for sound and lights and they had to promote the show themselves but they described the event as a success. We have just scratched the surface here as well but hopefully we can keep putting our heads together.

1 comment:

  1. Oh God. I could write a memoir on this subject, however - I've just realized that my posts have been lengthy, and this is YOUR blog, not mine, lol, so I'll just say this - for anyone who might be doubtful - everything Jeff has just said is absolutely dead on.
    I live in Muskogee, Ok (and contrary to popular belief, they do smoke marijuana in Muskogee) - but I digress... the point is - podunk tiny town with shitloads of musicians across every genre you can imagine. 99 percent of the shows here - including all but a couple of the ones I've played in, and discluding the bar shows, were organized by multiple bands with money from our own pockets - and we usually didn't even break even because most of them were free shows. HOWEVER - there is no better way to make a fan then to give them something free to do on a Friday night that involves GOOD music and a bunch of people they know. Muskogee knows how to throw a party. Don't believe me? Ask Merle Haggard.
    I'm not sure how it is nowadays because I haven't played since '01 - but even our farewell show was organized and payed for by other bands FOR US, just because we played nice and made friends.