Originally Posted by Shinyflavors7
I've seen a bunch of "How to be a cover band" threads, but I haven't read any how to break even, and save money as a band who only does originals threads. I'm pretty sure none of us are expecting to make it big, but if anyone has any advice on how to:
break even on the road
get merch made (and designed)
book gigs (payed or not)
get ahead in your local scene (in any genre)
get your music out there (and noticed)
We would all love to listen to what worked, and didn't work for you. I'm sure that I'm not the only person seeking out this advice, and I know each of us will have to figure it out on our own, but if there are people out there willing to share that information, I think we could all benefit from it.
To all who contribute thank you, artist (myself included) don't always have the easiest time with business end of music.
I'm in two original bands one I feel has done well overall the other is new and getting a foot in the door like yours.
Money on the road? Tough one here. Although my bands have never toured I have played with and know bands who tours around the US.
For the record most tours..ok... all the tours were complete flops and were only really done for the S&G's they got from them. Most came back broke and had major issues on the tours..breakdowns, small crowds,little support,gear ripped off etc.
I did a show this past week with a NY band who stopped in our city north and was going on to Chicago. They played to about 15 people (us included) had no where to sleep (cars) in cold weather and made $48.00 but I saw them buying beer when the freebies were gone. To me that does not sound like allot of fun.
Other bands told me they barely made it from town to town and had hard times. Unless you have label support or spend allot of your own money its a tough road out there.
Our BL silkscreens our shirts and does and awesome job and they sell decent. Look for merch companies local and see if they will cut you a deal. Do not go overboard on merch or you will eat it if the band breaks up etc.
Best way to book is do your homework and network with other bands. My Rock band is new and unknown so we jump on bills with other bands. My Americana band is 4 years old, better known and we would never do multi band bills. We book like a coverband and get a decent flat rate plus perks but are a rare originals band that can do 3 sets and 3 hour shows.
Local scene? Network! look for online websites, stores, fanzines,radio stations..cut a demo and leave it off at stores like music ,book, records etc.Play out as much as possible and let people know when you do.
Getting music out there? Tough one again, try a good demo or EP and spend what you can getting it done but watch the budget.
Give CD's and downloads aways, sell cheap at shows, send them everywhere ..hope and pray.
My Americana band did a full length record that cost a bit and we got press,websites, podcasts etc, but in truth it did little to nothing for us.
Originals band are a ton of work if you are pushing to get noticed and seen. You have to committ allot of time and often for little to no return. This is why the true musicinas IMO are doing it and live for it...but are they crazy? Do they just have stars in their eyes? Are the stars blinding them along the way?
Trust me, I dig the passion and live it also to some degree but sometimes you have to ask yourself...why? You will meet some of these people in your travels and often ask why and maybe someday will do the same of yourself.