Record Labels, Shows and more (oh my!)
Hope everyone is getting through as my man Tom Kiefer would sing “The Long Cold Winterrrr”. Finally getting some time to write, so wanted to post an entry since there are many things to announce!
First off, I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words and support on my last entry. One of the things I have really been concentrating on the past year is to NOT spread any negativity or complain on any type of social media, so it was really nice to read and hear the words of encouragement regarding my sobriety. Out of all of the things I’ve been trying to accomplish (my music included) these past few years, I have to say this really has been the most rewarding so I hope to continue to improve in all aspects and not let you down. As I say all the time YOU CAN’T STOP THE KID!
So with that out of the way, let’s get to the cool rock news shall we?
So the beginning of this year, compared to all of the other past years music wise it seems that we are FINALLY moving forward full stream ahead! If you have been following these blogs for the past few album cycles and if you read the last post where I broke down what happened the first quarter of every year, your pal has had some big challenges to overcome each time.
Well I am happy to report (and I am currently knocking on wood as I type this) It’s looking like all of the hard work I’ve been putting in personally the past 4 years is finally starting to pay off.
After the "Holiday break” with the band while trying to figure out what I wanted to do this year with the band./music, I got a message and was booked to be a guest on Jacque’s Big Music Show for a radio interview and live acoustic performance! It’s been forever since I was asked to be on the actual radio (haven’t done an interview really since HEAL on Barry’s podcast in 2015!) so I jumped at the chance and I had a really good time on the show and the interview/performance was very well received!
Here’s the audio of the show above. I start around the 20 minute mark. The actual video is on our Facebook page as well.
Considering I have been playing in bands for 30+ years, the fact now that I can sit and do solo acoustic is actually a big deal for me. I was always used to just playing bass or even when singing in a band you have loud amps in the face, so for me to just sit and play acoustic and sing one of my own songs was a nice feeling and I hope to do it more and more.
So after that I figured I better start booking gigs for the Spring if I really want to make a go at it for 2019.
Now anyone who knows me knows that I hattttte booking shows. It’s lots of searching and e-mailing online, only to get responses like “well how many can you bring?” or “Hey, you should play our open mic night on Tuesday at midnight first!”. It gets irritating.
That’s why near the end of last year we started focusing on booking more unconventional gigs like A Common Ground or places where we pay rent for the night and do our own thing.
One of the things I always say especially about my music is “invest in yourself”. I’d rather book a hall, invite all of our friends, have a kick ass show with other bands we like and try to cover costs. Honestly, I’d rather do that and have a good time then rely on a bar/club but it does come with it’s own type of pressures, especially when you are running it yourself!
So while in my online travels of hassling bar/club owners, I also started researching things like PR, booking agents, managers, etc.. One thing I say every year is “I wish we had some sort of representation in order to get good quality gigs and promotion without having to do it myself”
The awesome thing about technology these days is any musician can record and release their music totally DIY with a good laptop and a few mics. But the bad thing? There’s a lot of content out there more than ever and to get your music to the masses is like using a machete through a jungle.
I’m going to sound like an old man again, but I remember back in the day when our punk trio Brady Bastards were signed to a local label Sling Slang Records way back in 2005.
I remember finding them online because a popular local band Sugarfist (remember those cats?) were signed to them so I submitted our 3 song demo we recorded to say “hey, check it out we’d love to join the roster” This was before streaming and back in the old My Space days!
Cut to a few months later after the owner George checked us out live, he signed us to a 2 album deal where we got to record in a REAL studio on their dime, CD’s were pressed and with the help of the label not only did we sell a few hundred copies of our debut album, we were linked with of a bunch of great local bands where we supported each other, did shows together, even guested on each other’s albums sometimes. It sounds corny, but it was almost like a family.
Unfortunately these days it seems like every band is out for themselves more and more and it’s kind of sad. All of us are all fighting for the same slots and with all of the social media and streaming, it becomes like white noise. As much as people bitch and moan about labels and the music business, you almost need that support from an outside source again.
So after doing some looking around, just like I did way back in “The Brady Days” I came across a company called 31 Records that had a cool business model that catered to unsigned artists and they took submissions, so I said “eh, what the fuck why not?” and sent my info. Next thing I know I get a request for a conference call to discuss and we set a time to speak.
Once I got to speak to the owner and he went over their “business model” on what they do for their artists, It was exactly what I was looking for and jumped at the chance to be on their roster!
So it’s still early on, but I’m excited to see what we can do with this new found representation. Now we actually have a TEAM of people who will be helping us with social media, PR, gigs, merchandise and even artist development which I’m most looking forward to.
It’s easy to be stuck in your own bubble thinking every song or move you do is great, sometimes you really do need a 3rd party to look/listen to your stuff and say “maybe you should do this” or “I don’t think this is good” and actually LISTEN.
Plus the beauty of this deal is we are 100% in control of what we want to do. I’m all for criticism good, bad, whatever but if for some reason if they come to you with ideas that make me uncomfortable or to me sound ridiculous? I was told I can literally tell them to go scratch and no harm, no foul.
I’m very optimistic, the team so far have been super responsive and I can’t wait to see where this takes myself and the CAB.
Funny thing too was the same day I signed with 31, when I got to Splits practice that night, I got an e-mail letting us know we got a gig at THE LOFT for March! Totally unrelated, but at the same time with gigs starting in March and April in Katona, It felt like things were happening!
So we should have the tickets available soon for this show and as always WE NEED TO SELL TICKETS so I hope we can get a bunch of people to make it.
Not only will it be 6 months since our last show in Sept 2018, it’s literally the day before my 1 year anniversary of my sobriety! Therefore, what better reason to go hear loud amps in the face and drink on my behalf?
More details on happenings when they come in.