Taking an originals band to the next level
My band has been playing in and around the Pittsburgh area for about 3 years now, with our current lineup solidified about a year ago. We have a pretty strong reputation within the local scene and occasionally play some pretty well paying or high profile gigs, and we also keep busy with low to moderate paying gigs just to keep exposure up. So far we've focused on social media and media exposure and are just about to try taking the step from reasonably well known local band to reasonably well known regional band.
Over the past month or so we've been recording our debut EP (we tried to do a self recorded one about 2 years ago and the results were catastrophic at best) and also getting some solid takes for a debut album about 4-5 months later. The EP is going to be 5 songs and the album will be 12 songs, 4 of which are on the EP but will have somewhat different instrumentation or in some cases a completely different version.
With the production of the EP and album we're all working hard to take the necessary steps but promotional management has sort of fallen to me. I'm asking if there's anyone out there in TalkBass-land whose done this, even on a smaller scale and can offer any advice or words of encouragement.
We're on track financially to have advance listener copies available for radio and press about 3-4 weeks in advance of the EP, with the recommended tracks selected and highlighted. We're also launching a proper band website concurrently with the advance copies to promote the EP and step up our online presence beyond just FB and ReverbNation.
I've contacted most independent, public and college radio stations within about 100 miles and prepped them for a promotional copy in mid-March, and the mastered tracks should be ready to go to pressing 2-3 weeks prior to that. We're aiming for a release date of April 16th and have a pre-release show scheduled for April 13th with another local band that has a very strong draw and an out of town band that has a local following. We also have the funds set aside to register with ASCAP, register an ISRC prior to pressing and register a disc-at-once copyright with the US copyright office.
In addition to traditional radio stations we've taken the steps to prepare us for online distribution and to have it available on the release date, as well as sales in local stores and a media blitz including interviews on 2 local music blogs and at least a moderate writeup in the city's alternative newspaper, plus correspondence opened with at least a few dozen other local and regional music blogs and a few dozen online radio stations.
We've got a designer on board and have proofs for both the promotional release and full EP release, as well as outlines for the full album design and press release artwork/photos. We're considering launching a kickstarter concurrent with the EP release to help fund the album as a backup plan, but also to get more copies of the EP and buttons/stickers/apparel into peoples hands.
I'm getting a bit burnt out on all the promotion, having been pulling 30-50 hour weeks doing this in addition to rehearsals, recording, and a 45 hour a week day job. We took a 1-2 month hiatus from playing shows but made sure to keep our presence up by posting regularly to social media and providing status updates on the recording process and other developments. Is anyone able to see any avenues for preparation or promotion for a release that I've missed or even just offer words of encouragement to remind me that this is worth something?
I know when things settle down it will either make some money back or I can look back on it years down the line and say "Hey, that was fun and I have something tangible to show for my work."
Pittsburgh Club member #3; Carvin Club member #27;
SX Bass Club member in good standing
Last edited by BryanM : 02-14-2013 at 03:31 PM.