In this day and age it’s really difficult to get any notice around the town you live in, ok the rise of Facebook and twitter have made it increasingly easy to showcase your own work on a public forum however it still takes a lot of hard work and effort to make people sit up and listen. It’s become more of a task to keep the interest of your fan base now the actual novelty of Facebook has worn off, a time when you liked every page you were told to. I did a clear out the other day and I still have no idea how I’ve liked some of the pages I have.
The idea of DIY bands is nothing new, a lot of popular bands are doing it today to avoid contracts and record labels. However it's a lot easier when you’re in an established band rather then an unsigned band.
Gallows recently announced that they would be releasing their new album on their own label. Called VENN records. They believe that departure of their previous vocalist "frank carter" now doing another project called Pure Love. It was the perfect chance to break all ties with record labels and contracts.
For many unsigned bands their dream is to tour the world, or get signed by a record label. But it's not all doom and gloom out there in fact it's far from it. The most important thing I feel for an unsigned band is content to keep the interest of a fan base. I've seen a few Manchester bands adopting the video blog as a great source of promotion but not everyone. If the blogs are interesting or funny then people are going to watch purely for the entertainment value. I've seen blogs by Kids With Machetes, Morphine Ghost Deaf FM and Saving Syenna all these unsigned bands in Manchester making free accessible video content on their YouTube channels.
My band has also utilizes this form of free promotion doing a free video documentary about the band. We are up to episode 6 now all of which are now on our YouTube channel. The idea of video blogs again is nothing new but when you pick up a Flip HD camera for under £100 why the hell not. People enjoy watching things when they've got time to kill. And I think that everyone should be doing it. Even if you can't edit video content together it's worth shooting videos and keep them for music videos or tour videos etc. It’s a tough world out there but with a tagged video then you might receive some extra hits on a channel
I do all the video content in my band. Including some DIY music videos for our tracks Pure Gold and A 20 Note Ain't For Coke" which were easy to film and easy to edit although I've got a degree in television/radio it’s pretty simple to grasp. Why spend the money getting someone to produce an overly elaborate TV quality music video when music television hasn’t been popular for years.
If you’ve got the money spend it, however if not get a camera and film the thing yourselves, with your mates and have a good time doing it. The stigma of having to be a professional filmmaker has disappeared when YouTube and inexpensive cameras appeared on the market place.
Again like the previous blog this sounds like an “I know better then you blog” but it really isn’t, I support the scene like everyone else our facebook page is littered with band shout outs and the #supportthescne hash tag Designer Magazine came up with. It’s really bad that people are making exciting music but won’t get it out there in the public.
I believe all bands need to have a Twitter account, Facebook page and Tumblr blog. Getting rid of a Myspace page is the first thing to do, once popular it’s a completely dead format, I’ve not been on a bands Myspace page for years now, because Facebook and the respective applications you can attach on your profile produce a better more professional effect, and you’ve not go the hassle of HTML to customize your profile.
I know a lot of people know about what I’ve wrote about, in fact a lot of people will, however I know a fair few bands without twitter accounts and I know a lot without Tumblr blog’s. I want us all to be successful in our musical ventures, and I’m trying everything to do that with my band, we’ve made 6 video blogs ranging in length from 3 minutes to 10 minutes covering the life of the band, the fights we have and general banter that goes on at practice. Made two music videos ourselves recorded a ton of videos of us practicing just to get content out there. Even writing this blog gets me and us publicity, Designer Magazine is always linking and sharing the articles that I write, ok you might not go and actively “Like” my band, but you’re aware that we exist, and it’s another contact in your little black books to call upon when a band cancels on you and you need a band to play with you. Being aware of something is defiantly better then not.
So again this isn’t a blog about how my band is better then yours no not at all. My favourite bands around Manchester include
Halflings Leaf - www.facebook.com/halflingsleaf
Morphine Ghost – www.facebook.com/morphineghost
Waters Reach - www.facebook.com/WatersReach
Kids with Machetes – www.facebook.com/kidswithmachetes
Saving Syenna - www.facebook.com/SavingSyennaUK
There’s five bands right there, I’ve promoted them, I will most likely get a thank you from them. Designer Magazine will promote them through posting this blog post on twitter and facebook that then gets shared around Manchester, again you may take no notice that links are their to view but your aware these band exist. That’s DIY that’s taking any preconceptions about anything you’ve heard about a band cutting out the bad and promoting the good using every social media outlet. And it took the space of writing this blog post.
So yeah, just do it, write for Designer Magazine, and create a video blog. Use twitter, facebook and everything else popular at the moment. And if you’ve done all this, well done you’re still in the same boat as all of us but at least you’re giving it a damn good go.
P.S my band is equal to your band
CJ is bass player in Manchester punk band Dead Retinas - check them out here http://www.facebook.com/DeadRetinas
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