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.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I remember when Gravity Kills started and it really seemed that it was the band against the world. The only fans of the band that existed where Matt, Doug, Kurt, myself and the few family and friends that had heard Guilty before it was released on Pointessential Volume One. I had no idea what the road ahead looked like. I had no idea that I was going to be so lucky as to emotionally touch people that I had never met with music that I helped create. Sure, I thought I knew. I had dreamed my whole life about hearing a song of mine on the radio or playing to a packed house somewhere but that was all kind of bullshit. The essence of my experience can be encapsulated by the experiences I shared with others and the people that made themselves part of my experience. Yes, I did say MY experience. I know this sounds selfish. Let me explain. My experience in the music business has been infinitely enhanced by the people that made an effort to reach out to me, not the other way around. People who make a decision to become your fans are beyond special. That is the reason you do it. You really only have communication when someone responds to you. If you are speaking, whispering, screaming, etc. and nobody talks back, have you really communicated? Don't get caught up in the number of people that talk back to you and let you know they are listening. You can sort of figure out that the sample of people that will really open up to you personally and communicate how your song made them feel is small compared to everyone that has actually heard your music if you are really getting your message out there and across. It is amazing to me that I am constantly in touch with fans that have been around for years and that we all consider ourselves real friends. I actually had a friend that started out as a fan send me a holiday package this week. Really cool if you think about it.

My whole point to this is to create dialogue with your audience. Be open to hearing what people who were touched by what you do want to say back to you. Take down the barrier that stands between you and your audience. You just might get way more back than you ever gave out in the first place.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Welcome Back

So, some if not all of you have been wondering where the hell I have been. I must say that my head has not been in the game with you guys for several months. Life and all of it's splendor has been kicking me in the ass for a while and now is the time for me to get off my aforementioned ass and get back in the game. Over the time I have been out of the game, it's not like I haven't wanted to write and talk about the things that are important to me and more importantly, anyone reading my ramblings, it's that I found an excuse everyday to not stay on the horse. I hate making excuses. It seems that when you get in the habit of making them, they become part of your operating system. It's time for all of us to stop that. I simply need to get over my shit and get on with it. We all do. Let's not make excuses when it comes to our passions. Everyone in the world has told you that you can't accomplish what you set out to do. Why the fuck do we buy in to everyone else's bullshit. BECAUSE IT'S EASY! Creating music is not easy and at times not fun or fulfilling. Working in the studio and playing the same guitar part until your hands bleed so you can get the right take is not always fun. Being in a band is not always fun. Loading in at the venue is not always fun. Loading out at 3 in the morning in the cold, rain, snow, etc. is not fun. Do you make excuses not to make love to your inherent passion? Do you listen to those in your life that tell you that you CAN'T simply because deep down they want you to fail? Please don't buy what they are trying to sell you. I am not saying that you will ever see success at the level that you aspire to but don't make excuses not to work at your craft. You and I both know that if it flows through your veins, you really have 2 choices: Work fucking hard or make excuses and be miserable. I have been miserable for a while. The excuses end today. Welcome back.