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What makes for a suffecient press kit?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Droog, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    My band is finnaly at the point that we need to start putting our demo/PK in the hands of venues and such so that we might get some gigs. What has worked for you guys/gals? I have an idea for how I want to present it, basically a CD-ROM, but I really don't know what all to include. Do we need a photo? What info do they want besides contacts. Do people really care about Bio's? Should'nt the music, (and our professional demenour) speak for it self?

    Thanks in advance. Any input is appreciated.
  2. I think generally you'll want to include a demo tape or CD, a nice still photo of the band members (not a live gig shot), a bio, and some reviews if you have any. Here's a link for the online press kit of some friends of mine in NYC: http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=9430
  3. Agree with Meyekul, sorta.


    A good press kit should include:

    A demo cd
    A short, well written bio
    A promo photo - not live
    A (good) promo photo - live
    Any good feedback, reviews, etc

    The cover letter which accompanies your pack should make it VERY clear about the payment. Be very clear about how much you want for your show - DO NOT LET THE CLUB MAKE THE FIRST OFFER!

    You can always negotiate downwards - you can never negotiate upwards when it comes to payment (until you have a following..etc)

    You should have one only contact, in my band its me. This stops venue bookers from screwing you around by saying that the guitarist said blah blah blah. One contact only.

    You should treat the whole situation like a businessman. If you get a gig where you are booked from 9pm-2am, then your first song starts at 9pm and your last song finishes at 2am (excepting encores, which you will obviously get, and which bar owners love anyway..)

    Remember this - the bar owner is a businessman - he is hiring you to make his crowd drink. Play songs that make his crowd thirsty (ie: songs they dance to). Promote his bar - always acknowledge the hard working bar staff (this always gets a holla back, and is good PR)

    Umm, all for now - sorry bout the very long post!
  4. kansas666


    Sep 20, 2004
    All good points. Here are a couple of other things that we do.

    We produced a dve. This way we were able to include live video performance and other extras.

    We made up a wall calendar with our picture and contact info. This is handy in that we are providing something useful. If a club owner hangs it up somewhere, we are constantly on his mind.
  5. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Thanks for the input, very helpful! A few more questions/comments.

    The guys are being bitch's about the press photo. I think its the in-experiance speaking but I think I need to just lay it down and say "hey, if we want gigs we gotta play the game." They think press photos are lame or "I don't want our music to be about what we look like." Which I think is dumb because, well, we are nobodys and our mugs sure as hell are not going to get us gigs.

    Also, for an un known, un tested band is it really proper to have a cover letter which talks about pay and such? I kind of feel that we need to be pretty humble for a while when its comes to the money situation.

    We have a demo with 7 songs, some folks are telling me 3 is enough, but I wonder if it would hurt to just go ahead and put all 7 on. My idea is to have a CD with our music on it, but also include our press photo, bio and maybe logo, mp3's and such. Will that work? Or should the bio and photo be something tangible?

    Thanks alot everybody. Obviously we are novices, but if I don't do this its not going to get done, so I appreciate everything.
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    It won't hurt, but they won't get listened to. Chances are 3 songs won't get listened to either. Most bar owners/booking agents listen to 10-15 seconds of the first song or two before deciding if the band is right for them.
  7. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Yeah, I am definately aware of that. Friends that Book have told me that. So I guess I'll just stick them all on there.

  8. Fair enough, Droog. I'm sure it works differently in other parts of the world, but where I live, its very common to get the bar owners offering you $50 for a four hour show. :rolleyes:
  9. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I see. That is pretty crappy. I think for our first bar gig we will be looking at $80 for an hour. Which for a three piece ain't bad I suppose. You have reminded me that, unfortunately, there are some crooks out there, can't wait to deal with them :rollno:

    Thanks again.
  10. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    What kind o music do you guys play...cover/priginal?

    And is $100 for a 4 piece for 1 hour a good rate? That's what my band got the other night.
  11. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    We are an original hard rock band. Wish I could give a better discription. We are from the NW and grew up on the grunge scene so I am sure that plays a large factor. NIN and Deftones are my favorite bands so go figure. Gtr/Vox loves Neal Young and Soundgarden, and the drummer is influenced by everything. So whatever that creates. No covers yet, when we can agree on one we probobly will.

    As far as $$$, talking to the wrong guy. I can't even get a press kit together :D Pretty sure that the size of the band does not necessarily factor into pay, but I am sure there are exceptions. But that seems like a fair deal, $25 an hour to play music is pretty cool right?


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I'd like to mention that in addition to a good PK, I have found that a high quality website is INVALUABLE!!!!. There is so much that can be put on a site for a lot less money than a press kit, IMO.

    MP3's, photos, MPEG's, contests, gig calendar, band merchandise, etc can all get put here....and the upshot is that you only have to present a business card!! :hyper: In addition, what club owner in his/her right mind would refuse you if you asked if your website could provide a link to the bar the week that you're playing?

    Think of it this way, people spend a lot of time on their computer (why, you're on one right now)....having a presence of the web is a cost effective way of getting noticed. Check out GoDaddy, or other hosting sites for very reasonable packages.

    One of the nice sites I've seen is from our own QORC and the now defunct band Furious George...I got some great ideas form that one.
  13. One crucial part of the promo kit is pictures of the bar owner getting all lovey dovey with someone besides his wife.

    Successful bands pay their private detectives more than they pay their agents.

  14. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    This is great stuff, but what should be covered in the bio? History, influences stuff like that?


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    It depends on if it's a band bio or band members bio..(there's a difference). I've always leaned more toward the band bio for the press kit since you're presenting yourselves as one unit...the individual members bio can be on the web site so your fans can get more details. Either way, try not to make an anthology out of it and get too wordy....especially in the PK.
  16. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    we've moved onto dvd press kits. that way, its not something a promoter or record company guy has to read. he just puts it in, and bam.

    we have gotten so many shows this way.
  17. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    rather than a demo do you use live videoand such?
  18. EchO


    Aug 3, 2005
    nah u HAVE to have a press kit. My band and I have played at 4 major label showcases, and they all want the same thing. They want a good demo... they want to make sure that you all don't have like horns growing out of your back or some weird stuff like that haah (visual presence) and they want to see a bio just saying who you are and what type of music you play or influences... ect. I haven't met a record company who has wanted different yet. Just keep that in mind. Oh and BTW most bar owners want the same thing. If you can put maybe some live vid of your show on a website and just list the site down in your kit, then that is always bonus.
  19. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    awesome, thanks for the brevity.
  20. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    OK, here is the master plan!

    Going to make a hybrid CD. In addition to our songs the CD-ROM content will be our bio, press photo(s), logo, and contact info.

    On the liner there will be a logo/cover art and on the back side of that will be a track listing, CD-ROM content list, contact info, me obviously :D and then a small black and white photo of us.

    The CD's themselves, will be matte white Taiyo-Yuden CDR's and think I am going to get a rubber stamp with our band name and individualy stamp our name on them. Red ink for venues and black for everyone else.

    Also, I plan on getting quotes on what it will cost for color and black and white printing of our liner. I would like to provide color for venues and B&W for friends and to give away.

    One last thing, what are your thoughts of an 8x10 photo to go to venues as well?

    Thanks everybody. I'll post some photos when I have it completed, if your interested that is.