Posted: Oct 26, 2015
Category: The Musician Business
**Guest post written by Andrew Jones of Checkered Owl Media.
"The music industry, like much of our society, can become obsessed with what is new: The new better way to sell music, the new way to connect with fans, the new DAW to record your new album. Many blogs are written, podcasts recorded and conferences held about the newest and most promising options; and this, in large part, is good. In fact you will notice if you look back at the Checkered Owl blog, we write often about new tech and strategies. But if you pay attention to culture and society, you will notice a shift…
People are beginning to embrace old. Vinyl records, knitting, film cameras, pot lucks, gardening, simpler vacations, local foods, house concerts, they are all making a resurgence. But why?
I believe, in many ways people are wanting to return to something simpler. To personal connections, to a time with a moral compass, when people knew what was expected of them. We look back to our grandparents and great-grandparents and realize maybe with all our steps forward, we may have left somethings behind.
But what does this have to do with your music? Am I suggesting that you return to recording mono on a 4-track recorder? Probably not, however I think there are many lessons from the past young musicians could learn from, certain things no Facebook analytics can teach you.
Look back. Read about how musicians in the 50’s cut and sold records on the cheap before there was a large established industry. Learn about how labels like Motown and Chess built a community. Understand why U2 intentionally toured in too small of venues for many of their early US tours. Try to get your mind around the psychology of the KISS army. Study why Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins & Johnny Cash would all head out on tours together instead of going it alone. Find out WHY Van Halen’s rider famously asked for all the brown M&Ms to be removed.
Pay attention to new ideas and tech, you need to. But if you are really interested in building a great career, look at those who have already done it…you just might learn something."
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