Have you ever came across someone who claims that the sixties and seventies was a vastly superior age for rock n roll? Who am I kidding, of COURSE you have met someone like this! It is no secret that a large majority of rock listeners across the globe agree that the state of music is steadily going downhill and while most of that criticism may cater to the state of the music industry, a majority of the criticism also stems from the life of a musician. I don’t know about you, but whenever I picture the life of a classic rock star, I see tvs getting thrown out of hotel windows and groupies blitzing the back stage as if the Dali Lama himself is waiting for them in the dressing rooms. Now that the music industry has evolved into the beast that it is today, the life of a musician has drastically changed. There is no time for partying and living the rockstar life with your band mates! It is evident that musicians today have to focus more on the business side than just letting the music carve their path.
We live in an age in which technology dominates our social action. There are countless social networking sites and online music distributors which gives us the opportunity to promote our music damn near wherever we want! As awesome as this may sound, it also poses as a problem. How am I supposed have my band heard within a sea of a million other bands? The key word to this solution is: promotion. In order for a band to truly be successful these days, they have to promote their band as much as they possibly can. This means social networking sites, speaking with owners of different venues, keeping in touch with their band. The promotion side of the music business is pretty much a full time job and if your band is just starting out, chances are you guys are the only ones covering the shift!
Getting caught up with the business side of the band may be extremely discouraging for the musicians who just want to relish within the splendor of their music. In order to keep the spirits of the band up, it is vital to bring spontaneity within the group. The composition of a song feeds off our energy and the only way to keep that going strong is to make sure you guys are still having fun!
Whenever I found myself far too submerged in the business side of my band, I would usually take a break from promoting and focus more on creating more music with my friends. Writing new music and further developing your style keeps you and your mates entertained while also improving your music. Although the writing process is different for everyone, I would recommend jamming with your band using completely fresh material. It keeps things interesting and forces you to reach out of your comfort zone. After all, that’s what being a musician really comes down to, right? Experimenting and molding the energy between your band mates to create something that you all can enjoy.
Now, the idea of finding gigs…just typing it makes me shudder. It is not easy to land a venue and sell it out in record time. Frankly, it is rather stressful. But does it have to be? Instead of worrying about finding a venue that fits the style of your music and bringing enough people in to make some sort of profit, why not focus on the celebratory aspect of performing live? Don’t be afraid to host some of your own free shows and invite as many people as possible. Have fun with the performance! It’s time to stop affiliating gigs with stress and nerves. It’s time to go back to getting people to dance and even attending gigs for other bands to keep you inspired.
There is no doubts that the music industry had drastically changed over the years and as musicians, we have a responsibility to keep if we want to be heard. But sometimes, we have to take the time to sit back and realize that we all create music in order to have fun; to celebrate art and the fact that we posses the capabilities of composing magic. So if you ever find that your band has got you stressed more than elated, make an effort to step out of your comfort zone and bring back a little more spontaneity into your imagination!