How to get signed... no really, how?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Lon, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Lon

    Lon drop it like its G#!

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    i very much appreciate the input guys!

    and i also realized how much we're lacking in regard of pr and as bulb mentioned creating a "buzz", definitly trying to change that with the next EP.

    and can someone give an experience report in whats better for promotion? full albums/eps/1 single song that kicks huge amount of butt? should you distribute digital or just give it away for free so everybody can have it without even searching the "usual sources"
     
  2. leonardo7

    leonardo7 Banned

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    I just want to add that if you plan on making a demo, spend the extra money and time to really make sure the recording, mixing and mastering are absolutely top notch. Once you have the recordings, all thats left is to kill em live and as mentioned, they will come to you eventually if your writing good songs and creating a buzz. Thats kind of whats happening with us. Roadrunner Records has already contacted us though an agency! We didnt go to them, they came to us but we havent toured yet nor do we even have a manager and thats the next step for us.

    www.myspace.com/simoommusic
     
  3. madcult

    madcult SS.org Regular

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    This is what we´ve been thinking. Try to record ep as good as possible. So we took loans and did the ep in probably the best studio in our country and mixed in UK by well known producer.

    The ep is out few weeks (not yet physicly) and we are trying to get som buzz around us. But god it is soooo hard.

    Honestly we´ve been thinking that we will be able to step to next level and get some support from agencies, labels etc. But still nothing:wallbash:

    Judge by your self

    Madcult NEW EP OUT NOW!!! on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
     
  4. signalgrey

    signalgrey Ambiente Savante

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    on a much humbler scale. Any band ive been in we have always burned 3-4 song freebies to give away at the show with our info and a kind word on it. Because of this i was asked to join a signed band here in Korea BECAUSE of the music on the freebie.

    whenever i do solo stuff i spend the day-of burning cds and making simple foldable jackets with some of my art work.

    perhaps we are talking about different results but, i never forget the bands that played and simply gave me a cd to take home. Still have those cds and i still listen/support (if i can)

    this has even gone international ive gotten requests for a physical copy to sell in countries as far as France, Japan, China, Australia and Japan. Of course this is small potatoes but the essence of the idea has worked really really well for me.

    I simply zipped the files for the album they wanted and sent it via "yousendit" with a big thank you.
     
  5. Trauty_MR

    Trauty_MR Beartrautcci

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    yeah this is how we are doing it isnt it!!!
    luckily between us we know alot of people so hopefully will get us somewhere in the very near future...

    you definatly need alot of things done before a label will take interst. local following as well does help. if you can prove you can get people to your gigs and sell some merch etc then people will be interested!
     
  6. Inazone

    Inazone SS.org Regular

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    Give away a song online, or maybe 2-3 if you want to give a good idea of your band's overall sound, possibly in a "medium quality" MP3 format. But if you're going to make CDs, I'd suggest at least making it look professional (color artwork and insert, jewel case or cardboard sleeve) and charging a couple bucks at shows. Since we're between albums and wanted to have something containing newer songs for people to take home from shows, we did a short run (150-200) of CD-Rs with color artwork on the CDs and jewel case inserts, containing two old songs and three new songs that we frequently play at shows. We sell them for $3 *and* send them out as part of our press kit. We also rotate the songs on our MySpace page (in case anyone is still on there) and Reverb Nation.

    Since we're still unsigned a few months after starting to send the EP out to labels, I'm not going to say it's a sure thing. But we've also sent it to webzines where it has been reviewed, and to a couple of FM and web-radio stations to get it a bit of airplay. You can promote your band for next to nothing while working toward getting signed . . . if you in fact want to get signed. Until you have a full-length album that you absolutely want to get pressed and available for sale, the only pressure is what you put on yourselves. Once you have a finished product that cost thousands of dollars, you'll definitely feel a bit more urgency to get a return on your investment.
     
  7. rectifryer

    rectifryer Banned

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    Whats the point anymore?

    You could incorporate your band into a business and recieve a business loan to record your album if your really need an advance. In the end, that will be less trouble than staying on the bottom of the food chain in the "music business industry".

    Say you take a loan out for the same amount the typical label would advance, that loan isnt going to take a 90% cut off of everything. Its not going to control your material or what projects your involved in. Sure, your not going to get babysat so you can play rockstar, but atleast you can be 1/10th as successful and make the same amount.

    I am pretty much convinced that labels are pyramid schemes.
     
  8. Axel

    Axel SS.org Regular

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    My guess is status, or some sort of legitimacy. An affirmation that you are a decent band which in turn would help open up some doors for tours and perhaps a booking agency.

    Think about this:
    There are lots of unsigned bands and few great unsigned bands. There are less signed bands and also fewer bad signed bands.

    Imagine organizing a festival of some sorts locally with all unsigned bands. Chances are it wouldn't be a success because even if you book some of the great unsigned, the majority won't be that good and noone would be interested in going.

    Now conversely if you organize a festival with all signed bands, chances are people are gonna go. Even if a couple of the signed bands are bad. This is all due to that idea that's been ingrained into our heads that signed bands are good. Naturally the extra pr most of these bands get also helps.

    I think for most bands it's just that goal that's been there since day 1 (when getting signed mattered). They still wanna achieve that goal.

    I mean obviously if someone finds out you are in a band it's way cooler to say that you are signed than unsigned right? :D
     
  9. Cheesebuiscut

    Cheesebuiscut Loves his Q-tuners

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    Thats why you create your own label (even if its a fake label) and just make it look like your signed.

    Take out your loan and create *Signyourlifeawayhere records* and bam! instant success!
    :fawk:
     
  10. rectifryer

    rectifryer Banned

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    Oh yeah, I forgot the major labels either own or pay off every radio station in the country. Not saying all labels are terrible, but holy cow.
     
  11. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko www.markmichell.com

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    As outdated as some aspects of record labels are becoming, the fact that you can just say to people/venues "Yes, we are signed", will completely make a much more serious opinion of you. As silly as that is, that's how people work. That word "signed" holds a lot of weight.

    It screws over unsigned bands, because there are plenty of unsigned bands who are amazing, put on great shows, have great followings, but can't even book a show 100 miles away because the venue owner looks at them as "just some local unsigned garage band".
     
  12. chucknorrishred

    chucknorrishred SS.org Regular

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    ^ yep, i would work with some guy that played drums. one day i asked him, "lets jam just for the hell of it" his response........"i just play for signed bands"

    i laughed cuz i thought he was joking but nope...he was serious.
     
  13. Lon

    Lon drop it like its G#!

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    your word in... venue owners ears (i wanted to write god, but that darn nihilism...). especially if the venue booker/organizer is ... lets say just older and not one of the "new band. must check out on myspace" guys you just cant vouch for yourself if you weren't played on national radio and everybody knows you.. if you can't at least say "were on whatever-stylish-word which is a subgroup of whatever-major" youre just not getting booked, even a simple doordeal is often out of reach because they don't want to risk the bit of money for the soundguy
     
  14. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko www.markmichell.com

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    Yep. Venues are about as old-fashioned as...I dunno, something that's really old-fashioned.
     
  15. tacotiklah

    tacotiklah I am Denko (´・ω・`)

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    This. I liken it to having a college degree. Never mind if you've been doing the trade for years upon years and have a great deal of prior experience, some places will deny your application JUST because you didn't get a piece of paper from some random school.

    The same deal with some nice venues. They won't let you play there UNLESS you're signed. Never mind the fact that your band has been together for literally YEARS (I know of an AMAZING local DM band that has been playing together for about 5 years now, headlines EVERY local show, had Bruce Kulick of Kiss produce their demo [which was done fantastically] and they STILL haven't been signed by even a local label! It's b.s. I say.
    Here's the myspace for them: Lethal Intent on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads )

    I guess in the end, don't stress too much over getting signed. Just keep writing great songs, promoting the hell out of your band, playing amazing shows, and networking/being chill with literally EVERY person you meet. Look at each person you see as a potential fan. Think from a financial/business perspective for a minute and consider how much a fan pays to support their favorite band. Imagine all that lost income you could've had if you piss them off, or become an asshole to them. Even worse, people remember the bad far more than the good things you do, therefore they can pull away other potential fans from your band as well.

    I'm not saying kiss anybody's ass, but I AM saying to do your best to be as nice and chill as possible. Just remember that each person in your band is a representative of your band as a whole. If you mess up, your WHOLE band suffers. If you show positivity, then people see your WHOLE band as a group of great dudes, if said people have never met them to think otherwise. A great example of this:

    My bands first show with this new lineup was July 3rd. We play such a fantastic show. The headliners were the above mentioned band. One of their guitarists amp heads were acting up and it was delaying their show and cutting into their time. On instinct I grabbed my trusty B-52 SS head, jumped on stage, hooked it up to the guys cab, showed him how to use it within 15 secs, and they were tearing it up onstage.

    The vocalist was so happy that my ENTIRE band got such great praise and props like every other song they did. Now anytime we play, we're in the top 3 spots. And we've only done 2 other shows since.

    Again, I'm not trying to say that I'm amazing or toot my own horn here, I'm just saying that by being cool with other people, it opens so many doors that would've otherwise been closed.

    In the end, if you're making all the right moves, putting on stellar shows after shows, and have a rabid following, those labels will hear about it and come knocking.
    A good example is my buddy's band that got signed to a local label called Aftershock Records a few months back. They just kept playing great shows all the time and sure enough, they eventually got signed. They didn't bug the hell out of a record label (although there are some cases where this works, but I don't know of too many. Usually they come looking for you) they just kept playing big shows and bringing a lot of people with them.
     
  16. MistaMarko

    MistaMarko www.markmichell.com

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    Oh wow, probably one of the best analogies I've heard. Will use this for future reference... :bowdown:
     
  17. tacotiklah

    tacotiklah I am Denko (´・ω・`)

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    Thanks. :D

    But it's true though man. A good example of a venue that you can play BY INVITATION ONLY is House of Blues Sunset Strip. Basically you need some kind of label backing you before they'll even let you open for somebody.

    Also if you wanna play the whisky a go go without paying a fortune, you have to have a label backing you. The word signed carries FAR more weight that I actually think it should. While some labels are really cool (i've heard great things about Nuclear Blast) never forget that their purpose is on par with loan sharks. They LOAN you the money to record an album, then tour to support it. The very FIRST bit of whatever you get in terms of sales (either album, merch, or tickets) immediately goes to paying back the label the money they loaned you in the first place. A statistic I once heard (but can't be bothered to google a link at the moment) is that roughly only 1% of all signed bands BREAK EVEN with their labels. Never mind actually making a profit.

    This is why I HIGHLY recommend testing the waters with a local indie label first. The investment : returns ratio is much more in your favor. The most they'd have to invest is like 5k. If you sold like 35,000 copies of your album then it's considered a MASSIVE success. Try that with a major label and they will drop you like a bad habit.
     
  18. onpalehorse

    onpalehorse Banned

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    it sucks here in stl. It's so hard to create a good local following here. Like seriously the scene SUCKS. The only shows are in stl at venues that rape bands on money and ticket sales. I miss days of 200+ kids crammed into a township hall or skatepark. When bigger signed bands didn't give a shit where they played cause they knew everyone would be into it. Really the only hope for bands around here is the internet and creating as much hype as possible.
     

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