"Major labels didn't start showing up, really, until they smelled money, and that’s all they're ever going to be attracted to is money – that's the business they're in – making money. My idea was: Enjoy baking, sell your bread, people like it, sell more. Keep the bakery going because you're making good food and people are happy.” – Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat, etc.)
As a Manager, a lot of responsibility falls on you to help get your band out there. If you want your band to break, that band needs as much as exposure as possible. A lot of that exposure comes from touring. Putting together a proper touring plan for your band is key. But how do you strategize the tour for your band? What are the right venues and size capacity for your band to play in front of? If your band is unknown, how do you pair them with someone who already has good exposure? Dalton Sim, Manager of Fun., knows how to break a band, and in this segment, talks about how he put together a touring strategy for Fun. which ultimately helped to break the band!
Imagine Dragons blew up to become a huge band last year and that took plenty of time and seasoning. Their manager, Mac Reynolds, knew from the get go that the bread and butter for many artists is touring both monetarily and in terms of exposure. Building those touring chops though is a tough cookie for plenty of bands. First, you got to hone your skills, then hone your hometown, and work around from there. Mac talks about what Imagine Dragons did to hone their live performances along with how this paved the way for how they played shows live when they were huge and had all the eyeballs on them. Mac is a firm believer that you don't have to be in either LA or New York to be successful, and he illustrates how a band can use their hometown (Vegas being very unique in this instance) to an advantage. If you are just starting out playing live, watch this video for great strategy on how to round out your own live set!
**As featured in Indie on the Move's Touring Tips section.
Whether you’re planning a two-week mini tour or a two-month tour, first and foremost you should sit down and write up a mock itinerary. This will include the cities you plan to hit and the dates you plan to be in each city...
**Guest post by Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion as featured in their Song/Album Promotion Articles/Advice/Content.
"It works like this: Radio stations are paid based upon their ratings (the number of listeners they have.) If a record label exposes an artist to many potential fans by way of performances, posters, TV, articles, or film, and these fans then want to hear that artist's song, they will have to tune in to the radio station that plays it. This means that this radio station is going to get all these new listeners, and thus is going to have higher ratings. But new acts can't do any of this for a station, and the station knows this."
If you want to be in a rock and roll band, touring is going to be your biggest asset. It's not all glitz and glam and it's definitely not for for everyone, but if you're anything like Blasko, Ozzy Bassist and manager of The Black Veil Brides, you'll enjoy the struggle and learn on the fly along the way. Check out this bit of Blasko discussing the ups and downs of the touring business and what you should expect when getting involved.
**The following is an excerpt from MusicBizAcademy.com's "The Truth About NACA: Gigging on the College Circuit" by Fran Snyder, originally published in 2001.
"The National Association of Campus Activities, established in 1960, is a non-profit organization that puts on regional conferences where music acts, comedians, lecturers and other entertainers showcase in front of campus activities programmers from around the country. There are 1200 member colleges and 600 associate members (talent or agent) which makes NACA the largest organization of its kind." So how do you land one of these coveted showcase slots and secure college bookings with fantastic guarantees?...
**Guest post written by Erica Sinkovic, CD Baby's Web Product Manager and general music enthusiast, as featured in the DIY Musician Blog.
"Whether you’re an independent artist or signed to an independent label, you’re sure to have a lot on your plate already. Between booking shows, debating merch, planning your next big marketing move, juggling social media-insanity, oh yeah, and writing new material, the last thing you want to add to your plate is a radio campaign...I’m here to tell you: don’t abandon radio."
**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take.
"Of course everyone wants a 5 star album review in Rolling Stone or an 8.7 in Pitchfork, but you have to be realistic about your press pursuits. If you have never received press, there is a very slim chance that you will get an album review in a popular blog or nationally distributed magazine. Your best chance for media coverage is your hometown papers, magazines and blogs or local publications in cities you're touring to..."
**Guest post written by James Wilson, lead singer and songwriter for Brooklyn based alt-country band The Paisley Fields.
"Do... 1. Eat Healthy and Exercise. 2. Drink lots of water. 3. Treat everyone with respect. 4. Get your $$$$.... Don't 1. Have a bad attitude. 2. Leave before the other bands have finished their set...."
**Guest post written by Joshua Powell, singer-songwriter, DIY musician, and frontman for Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, as featured in his blog Fearsome Folk.
"I’ve been on and off the road with my band for over three years now, and it’s been entirely DIY, grassroots, self-booked. We’ve learned a lot along the way, but I’ve discovered one secret to touring as the single most valuable principle to make sure your tours are worth the trouble. Never play a show without booking 1-3 other bands as local support..."
**Guest Post by Ezekiel Morphis, San Diego based Americana/Folk Singer-Songwriter.
"If you just started playing music last week, this article will aid you further down the road as long as you stay committed and work on your music first. If you are like me — two EPs completed, well practiced, working on an album, playing for a handful of years, don’t mind smelling like beer and shame for days on end and still want to know how to tour DIY — then this is the article for you."
**Guest Post by Max Garcia Conover, modern folk singer-songwriter out of Portland, ME.
"i just did the taxes for my first year as a full-time independent songwriter and i wanted to share some details about the business side of the work i’m doing...so here’s me...taking some pride in humble, honest, hard-won earnings:"
**Guest post written by Joy Ike, creator of Grassrootsy.com and Independent Musician, as featured on Grassrootsy.com.
"Nailing big opportunities is one of the major things that kickstarts the career of an independent artist. Sometimes it’s having a video go viral. Other times it’s falling under the good graces of someone who knows someone. But sometimes it’s getting to open for a national touring act and getting your name out to a larger audience of new listeners...here are 7 excellent tips for making it happen."
**Guest post written by Corina Corina, NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Blogger.
"I have a love/hate relationship with touring. For all the incredible memories I have from years on the road, it was also stressful, exhausting and emotionally taxing. I've read hundreds of DIY music blogs about touring that emphasize the importance of self care but only begin to scratch the surface...Here are a few things I’ve learned in between downward facing dog and gas station coffee..."
**Guest post written by Ben Jacklin.
"For any touring outfit, life on the road can be fun, but can also mean a lot of fast food, cramming in the back of vans and plenty of spare time. For musicians, this can present an opportunity to write, practice and even record songs whilst making your way from one show to another. We’ve put together some top tips for putting together your next demo whilst you’re touring, the perfect way to fill the hours from one city to another and at a time when many bands and artists can be at their most creative."
**Guest post written by Zac Green of Zing Instruments.
"Not many people are willing to admit this, but the hardest challenge of being in a successful band is not killing each other when you’re stuck in close proximity for a long period of time. If you’ve got your first tour coming up, or you’re looking for a way to make the next one better than the PTSD-inducing nightmare from last time, read on for the 5 golden rules of touring with your band..."
**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business.
"I’ve made a ton of mistakes and got screwed over by talent buyers, promoters and club owners more times than I’d like to admit. I learned everything the hard way and it took me years to figure out how to actually book a successful, money making tour. The biggest thing you want to remember when thinking about setting up a tour is: do not book a tour just to go on tour..."