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Marketing your band for different genres & types of shows.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Thumb n Fingers, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    This is a little hypothetical at this point, but something being currently pondered. Working with a new band with experienced musicians. Currently we're building set lists based on cover songs we all know collectively, and adding originals each brings with them. We've never dedicated the band to being about a particular style or genre of music, and we're finding that we can easily build set lists around different genres, but that some of those genres don't necessarily mix well (or at all for a show... i.e. country and funk). Whereas we're all cognizant that these can't played together in the same show, we also don't want to give up on them and lock into one particular direction.

    I think that it would be tough to market a band like this under the same name and pursuing different types of gigs... and even more difficult to gain a brand recognition.

    So without changing band member out, has anyone else had luck marketing the same musicians under different band names for different scenarios like this? I think we can manage to form something that plays, say, Texas blues, rockabilly, country, and roots rock as one division, and separately funk, r&b, pop, and dance music as another division.

    Interested in thoughts and experiences you all might have.
    design likes this.
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    this is smart thinking! There is a group on Orlando that does exactly the same thing. Simpley Redneck is stuff country folk would like, Nerd Rangers does stuff like Devo and B-52's, Switch does top 40....and Def Leprachaun does their own brand of music that fits the name (didn't research it).

    It's the same group of guys positioning themselves to different markets.

    If u can get this page to load, this might help you get to their site with all the different brands of music they provide.

    Nerd Ranger - iLoveSwitch

    I just reviewed the site, and I think their bands could be better targeted though. Nerd Ranger seems to be the best as it focuses on 80's. The rest of them don't seem to have a clear, obvious musical target. I would make sure it's obvious from the start what each group stands for. I had one group Risky Business and it was clear 80's due to the movie of that name. If it was jazz, it might be called The Jazzway Express. If County, I might call it The Outlaws or something that is clearly country.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    design, Pumpkin, Stumbo and 1 other person like this.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Kind of like when Sum 41 plays as "Pain for Pleasure"?
  4. I love this idea.
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  5. Slade N

    Slade N

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    theres no reason that you cant mix at least some/most styles together. its a good format as not all places nor people want just one thing to listen to.

    having said that, i also agree with and have had the desire to do what PauFerro has described for quite sometime, it just makes sense to me if you can find the players willing to put in the time/effort to get it going. especially in a larger market like Pittsburg
  6. Back in the day (mid 70's) we'd occasionally run into another group that played the same general circuit we played. Five guys but they were actually 4 different bands - a country band (called the country act Billy Bob & the Bel-Airs, names for the other acts escape me now), a rock band, a disco band, and an oldies band (50's stuff, Elvis etc). Same 5 guys. They played full time, like 6 nighters year round. Never had to turn down a gig, they could do it all. IMO that would be way cool to do if you could pull it off but the amount of dedication and drive required would cull the herd of available musicians willing/able to do it pretty quickly IMO.
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  7. I play in two bands/ one line up: a Creedence Tribute band, and a standard Rock Covers band. The guitarist & singer do duo gigs too (no bass or drums obviously) to maintain steady work. Three different names obviously.

    Auditioned for a Corporate Band that had THREE shows: Premium $$$$ Band for top end Corporate gigs, Wedding $$$ Band, and a Funk/Party $$ Band for Festivals/Clubs/etc if needing extra gigs. Great stream of income generation. Again three completely different names.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  8. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    Years ago I had thought it would be fun not only to have two different bands with the same members, but to drastically change costumes between "bands" and open for ourselves. Never got around to trying it, but it might have been fun to see if we could fool anyone.
  9. That'd work very well. Different band names, different look/outfits, different sound, different target audience.

    Look for core songs that can be played across both bands. Tweak these songs to fit the BRAND.
    eg. Proud Mary: Creedence version vs Tina Turner uptempo version.

    Who gets your gigs? What type of venues? See if there's a demand for that type of work.

    Chat with your audiences about what songs THEY want to hear/dance to. Build a solid setlist around what songs are best received, & rotate in your personal favourites for variety.
    Thumb n Fingers and design like this.
  10. Dr Hook used to do that on tour. They got booed off one night, then applauded when they came on in those costumes playing their radio hits.
    farace likes this.
  11. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I always recommend this, so I will do this again. Record three songs in video of each band concept, and post them online. Start quoting on the various groups and trying to sell them.

    It's best if you figure out what sells in your town before you invest in the videos. Check the clubs around town and see what they think works. Or, just do the videos and let your attempts to sell them be your market research.

    Although there is a healthy amount of jazz in our town, Blues, and Classic Rock tend to rule the roost in my city. So, if I was serious about this concept, I would probably have all the jazz groups I do, and then a blues and rock band. Probably add an 80's group to it as well as I had one and it sold OK if only we had the right people on the bus.

    If you can, make them at different price points for different kinds of clients. I have a band of players who go out relatively cheaply (they have motives beyond money), so I always pitch them when I get a client who I know is price sensitive (a lower end retirement community, non-profit group, a restaurant). There are members in common with one of the other groups, so it is highly efficient. Otherwise I would not be able to quote at all. If I have a repeat client then I send in the big guns when there is money. It means I can truly be the guy who can provide live jazz for any budget.

    You've got me itching to add more groups to the offerings I have. But my eyes are bigger than my stomach, it seems. The idea of having all the general music ability, chart-reading ability, speed of learning songs and efficiency of a jazz musicians who can also play rock is very alluring. I did a rehearsal for pop-rock instrumentals with one piano player we work with and we learned the songs in one or two takes. It was great.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Nothing wrong with doing this. The guitarist in my band has two other projects with the same members - an Eagles tribute, and a Floyd tribute. The audience doesn't know, or care about, who is on stage.

    The issue is whether there are enough gigs to justify the work.
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  13. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    I think that's really my intent. To be working more by being able to pursue more gigs by being more accessible to different venues/audiences. My intention isn't to market this one group of musicians as being able to do it all (so to speak), but by separately marketing 2 (or more) bands (who just happen to have the same members) in different genres. A country band isn't going to get a gig at a venue that brings in classic rock acts. A classic rock venue isn't going to bring in a funk band to perform. But by being able to pursue gigs at all of those venues from different angles I'm hoping to increase our collective ability to land more gigs. No one needs to know its all the same band but the band members. Not that it'll really be a secret either...
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You can try to make the band names related - kind of an inside joke that it is the same players.
  15. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Definite possibility. We're all a little campy and get a charge outta stuff like that. We even joked about having a twitter war between the bands.
  16. Doug R

    Doug R

    Jan 27, 2011
    Spokane, WA USA
    If your goals are versatility, wide range of music styles and maximum bookings, that is a good way to go. I also know of local groups that do that. Same basic core musicians, then add extras as appropriate. Horns or keys for R&B and funk; Sax for oldies; Steel player for country... Lots of possibilities.
    On the other hand, if you have a genre you're really into, it's a lot more simple and true to yourself to go with the one thing you really love. It can be very liberating to say, "we don't do that" if you are a pop band, oldies group, blues, country, whatever. You may get booked less, but maybe more, if people know what you do and book you to do that, and do it well.
    PauFerro likes this.
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