May 24, 2015

Crash Course: Online Marketing & Social Media

By: Ashley Fullerton

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 3.19.02 PM

This handy-dandy chart shows you what you should already know, teens dominate social media. This is especially true on Instagram and Twitter. You should be aware of what audience you are trying to cater to so you can tailor your marketing to specific platforms. Here are some things you need to keep in mind before you get started:

Be aware of your group’s image or brand
Brand image is critical to creating a consistent experience for your fans across multiple social networking platforms. You need to make sure that all of your social networking accounts have the same look and feel, so the message you are sending to your fans remains consistent. Creating a bio can help with this as well, because fans will have a better understanding of what you’re about. Remember, keep your personal and professional profiles mutually exclusive because this will eliminate unwanted confusion about what brand you’re trying to sell.

Understand your group’s goal
Why are you establishing this online presence? What are your goals? Is it to find and build a fan base? Promote a new release? Sell CDs and merch? Whatever the purpose of your online music marketing is, your content should reflect this consistently across all social networking platforms. You should have had a similar chat about goals when you started making music, so this should be easy, but necessary to sort out.

Pick what social media will work best for you
You don’t have to sign up for every social media platform and you shouldn’t! Sometimes more isn’t always better because stretching yourself too thinly can lead to unwanted stress and cause you to devote less time and energy than you want to posting and gaining fans. Test them out; figure out which ones are most useful, and discard any that aren’t.

Now that you’ve decided what platforms to use, here’s how to keep up:

Friend/follow people to make great professional contacts
Like we’ve said in our previous newsletters, networking is key. You never know who can help you out and you could do the same for them as well. By building up a strong list of contacts and followers, you can only build a good name for yourself. Be interested and curious about what other artists are doing and reach out! You’ll never know what you can learn and who you can meet if you don’t try.

Always be respectful.
People don’t like to be constantly spammed with invites, so don’t force yourself onto the pages and timelines of people without their permission. You should be reaching out to new fans or contacts, but if they decline invites don’t hound them. Often this will lead to having a negative idea of your group and you don’t want to build a bad reputation. Start first with the contacts you’ve been making and build relationships slowly, not all in one mass invite. Growing a fan base takes, time, patience and persistence.

Promote, promote, promote!
If you have an event, a sale, or any kind of project, let everyone know about it by every means you can. Just passing out flyers and hitting the streets may not work on their own so combine your offline and online efforts!

Get creative and interact with fans by hosting contests for merchandise and tickets or posting short videos or sneak peeks. People appreciate feeling involved and close to bands they follow so get creative and move past just the typical paper flyer.

Just remember that this is a process and even the most famous acts also started out with only a few hundred followers. Be patient and smart and you will reap the benefits!

Getting Creative with Grassroots Marketing

By: Elise Niemann

Grassroots marketing is one of the easiest ways to promote yourself. You can pass out promotional materials outside of venues to fans leaving a show featuring bands similar to yours or create displays in retail stores, on school campuses and other public areas around your town. Festivals and traveling tours are also a great place to promote since you’ll have access to bigger target audiences. Pair hand-to-hand promotions with our tips on social media marketing and you’ll be on track to get your name out into the music world!

The Best of the Basics
Everyone needs to start somewhere when reaching out to potential fans outside of family and friends. Use word of mouth alongside these beginning promotional tools to tell potential fans about your music.

  • Flyers – the easiest step in marketing for your next gig. You can print out your creations at home and pass them out before and after shows. Try to market outside of the venue you will be playing since concertgoers are one step closer if they already know and like the venue where they can catch your show.
  • Promo Cards – get some nice, glossy cards with a picture or logo for your band and include your social media links for new listeners to check you out online. These are like business cards for your band. A band IS a business after all!
  • Posters – you can opt to print posters for specific shows or use your album artwork to create wallpaper for the rooms of your fans and to plaster on bulletin boards across your city.
  • Stickers – the go-to non-paper item that people will stick on their laptops, notebooks, and car bumpers. If possible, print from somewhere that will allow you to add text on the paper backing. This allows for double promotion power when handing them out to your fans if you can include more details about an album release or social media links.

Trying Something New
When you have a little bit more money and are ready to step your marketing up a notch, you can find some clever and functional items that will make people remember your name. I have passed out several unique items for artists and bands for my job as a marketing rep that have really caught my eye and stood out from other materials I’ve received at shows. I’ve found that having an item that serves a purpose or takes the audience and/or the show into consideration really makes a difference. Ideally it’s something they would use every day. Here are some of my favorite items that I have seen over the years.

  • Bottle Opener Key Chains: since this item hangs right on your keys, it’s easily accessible and ready for use any time. You can print your band’s name/logo on the opener and fans will look it every time they open a drink. This is one of my favorite ideas because it’s so practical!
  • Paper Fans: as seen at summer festivals, a popsicle stick fan is a small but creative way to market to concertgoers. You can put your album artwork or other information on the fan, and be sure to use both sides to maximize your marketing impact when people wave them about to cool themselves off. To really catch the audience’s attention, choose a fun shape or a fan that doubles as a mask if fans hold it up to their face.
  • Sunscreen/Sunglasses: these items are perfect for sunny outdoor shows! These marketing materials take the elements into consideration and help the fans battle the sun in addition to promoting your band. For the sunscreen, small sample sizes could include the band’s name, album name and release date on the wrapper. Sunglasses can have the name or logo printed on the frames.
  • Beach Balls: the most exciting festival item! Print your information on a panel of the beach ball and watch it soar over the crowds of fans ready to keep them flying. While the person who received the beach ball might not end up with it at the end of the day, someone will definitely catch it in the crowd and want to take it to the next set or take it home at the end of the day.

Hopefully these creative ideas sparked your imagination and help you to increase your marketing potential by picking unique items to pass out to potential fans. As always, be sure to take advantage of the ways your can market yourself inside the Music Garage building. If you have a show coming up, write out your info on our hourly room and front desk clipboards. If you have posters for a show, give them to one of the lovely faces at our front desk and they will put them on our bulletin boards during the week of your show.

Featured Interview with Jim Gifford

Jim

While it may be easy to gather your friends and start jamming in your basement, there are a lot of actions that need to be taken when forming a band. Without talking about everyone’s level of seriousness or how to handle the expenses, you might be vulnerable to losing members along the way.

With 38 years of drumming experience, Music Garage’s own Showcase Room manager Jim Gifford is a founder of multiple bands. In addition to talking about the changing lineups in his numerous musical projects, Jim shares his advice on how to build your band on solid ground as well as where to turn if you need to find a new member for your group.

One of Jim’s biggest points about forming a band is that it is like forming a business. You need to decide if you’re playing shows just to have fun or if you want to make this a long-lasting profitable venture. It’s important to have an active conversation about the expectations you have for your band right up front. “Make sure everybody agrees on the purpose of the band,” says Gifford. “Whether it’s fun or money or girls, have a common purpose and common level of dedication.” By discussing your goals and dedicating time to work together, you are increasing the permanence of your lineup and setting the tone for your band to succeed.

When getting the band together, talking about money and ownership is crucial. “Whatever your goals are in starting something, you should always treat it like a business in the terms of who owns what and who gets what, or when the money doesn’t roll in, who pays for what.” To prevent any rifts over finances, keep track of who is paying for the assets of your band. From printing flyers and ordering merchandise to buying gear or a van, you’re making an investment in your band when paying for these items. The members who invest in the band stake their ownership in the project. “The ownership situation is based on who is actually invested in the band and who gets to decide what happens,” says Gifford. Even if you’re just looking to jam, every band should discuss the money situation. “The bands that are formed for fun should still be looked at as a business. In the event that things go well and you make money, everyone knows who is responsible for what.”

Gifford also talked about his experiences with lineup changes throughout his musical career. He has been playing in bands since 1996 when he formed the Jim Gifford Trio. He remains the constant member of the group but if another member’s schedule gets too busy, they can always bring someone new into the mix to play a show. Jim also drums for Chicago Soul Revue, who you might have seen perform at our monthly artist showcase at Double Door in September. The other two constant members of the Motown music group are vocalist Felicia Patton and Tom Ogunribido on bass guitar while the rest of the large lineup is made up of the horns and rhythm sections. “[The band] can be anywhere from nine to twelve people depending on the venue. If any other member can’t do it, we have subs for them.”

Jim also plays in a jazz-fusion band Polcat, one of his favorite things. They recently experienced a change in the lineup when their bassist Sean O’Bryan Smith stepped down from the band to focus on his work in another field. Gifford shared that networking within the members’ musical contacts was key in looking for the person who would replace Smith. “Someone in the group knows someone who has played with the people involved before. This guy is a great player who fits well musically and personally.” These characteristics were very important to the members of Polcat when considering a new band member. “Everyone has their own reputations and careers, so the addition of the new guy has more of an impact.”

By working with someone that has a mutual connection within the band, you can gain firsthand knowledge about their track record and how well they work through the relationship they have with the mutual link. “Talk to people that you have a connection to because ultimately how well they play and how well they fit into the culture of the band are two of the most important things,” says Gifford. “It’s much easier to know these things from people who can vouch for them and you’re less likely to be surprised.” Jim highly recommends using your network to fill any replacements. “Work the friends network; talk to friends of friends. Personal relationships are by far the most valuable thing you can have in this industry.”

If you’re starting your adventure as a new band or tweaking your lineup with a new member, make sure to discuss the basics during every step of the way. Determine the reasons why you’re getting together in the first place. Treat your band as a serious business and work with all of your members to contribute financially to the band. If you’re working hard and investing in the band, there’s a better chance you’ll end up playing album anniversary shows instead of farewell shows.

The Show Must Go On: Tips for Replacing a Band Member

Breakups

Being in a band is like being in a committed relationship. There are breakups and there are make-ups but when a member is truly ready for a divorce it can leave you hanging and in need of a new member. Once you exhaust your contact list of friends and family members looking to live the rockstar lifestyle, the task of finding someone becomes increasingly difficult. Where do you even start? Lucky for you, we came up with a (nearly) foolproof list of ways to find a perfect musical match.

A tried and true method is first putting an ad on craigslist or for the truly old-school, an ad in the paper. Pay a few dollars and you can have an ad in any local paper, but with the risk of little to no one responding. Nevertheless, this has been a method for many simply because it’s very straightforward. For the slightly more technologically advanced, put your ad online to increase its reach. Places like Craigslist and Bandmix act as virtual classifieds section that are no fuss and straight to the point. It will be a waiting game, but you can do it from the comfort of your own couch. In the mean time you should be…

Working within your extended music network. You’ve likely already made many connections within your music community or know some seasoned veterans who would be willing to connect you with the right people. The music world is a revolving door of people constantly leaving and entering for various reasons and you will run across many of them. So keep good karma and don’t burn any proverbial bridges because you never know who will be willing to help a brother out in a time of need. Chance are there’s something looking to start fresh or get out of their current gig. Which leads to our next point.

Find someone who is unhappy with their current situation. This approach could be for the bold, as convincing someone to jump ship from their current group may not come off very well. It’s easier, however, to extend the offer to a friend or acquaintance who you suspect is looking to enter a better situation. Whether it be artistic differences or clashing personalities, this is bound to be the case for many artists. You never know, that act of sticking your neck out could lead to an awesome long term member for your band. What we’re getting at here is that you’ll never know unless you ask! Even your mother could tell you that. To make this happen you should…

Start frequenting places like your favorite music store, rehearsal space or the local open mic night. Keep your eyes and ears on high alert. It’s acting as your own reconnaissance mission, checking out the talent before you have to muster up the courage to approach them blindly. This also mitigates the chances of putting up an ad and having the response be from someone too inexperienced or just plain crazy. You never know what kind of talent will show up while you’re rehearsing with your newly fractured group. Invite them to a short jam session and you have a built in audition without all the hassle. Mind you this involves more risk and intuition, but while you’re there…

Check out the community board. It’s difficult to think of any business that doesn’t have one of these posted up on a wall somewhere. It may be a waiting game, much like posting an ad online, but it gets more directly to the source. Places like music rehearsals spaces and music stores get a lot of foot traffic, generally from the kind of people who are active musicians. So it’s a safe bet that there are plenty of talented and dedicated musicians looking at your ad. This also gives you a good, neutral place to set up a meeting or audition, without having to give out too much personal information. The music garage encourages people to post on our bulletin board and has a space in the newsletter dedicated to musicians seeking members because we know how difficult it can be to reach the right audience!

There’s a good chance that you reading this article all the way through means you’re looking for a new addition to your music family. If you’d like a shout out in our newsletter, send an email over to elisen@musicgarage.com.

Music History Lesson: Famous Fractured Bands

Pink Floyd

Starting on any musical endeavor is a leap of faith. Some are in it to simply have a good time, while others are committed to make it to the big leagues. But what happens when some members aren’t in for better and for worse?

Throughout music history, groups have gone through the natural ebb and flow of fame and fortune, often losing members along the way. It’s a situation we see time and time again, whether it happens through tragedy, substance abuse, conflicts of interest or simply movement on to solo careers. Here we’ll take a look back at a few of many groups that have faced this dilemma:

One of the most recognizable dissolutions of a band, if tragic, was with Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1977, the band lost three of its core members, Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines after their plane crashed just three days after the release of their latest album at the time, Street Survivors. The group disbanded after the tragedy, until 1987, when they returned for a full-scale tour with five of the original members, Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle, as well as guitarist Ed King, who had left the band before the crash. Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother, Johnny, took over as the new lead singer and primary songwriter. The group has since lost several original members, but still continues to perform with Gary Rossington, as well as Johnny Van Zant.

More recently, Paramore dealt with a messy breakup from two of its founding members. In 2010, the group announced the exit of the Farro brothers, then guitarist Josh and drummer Zac, following the release of their album Brand New Eyes. This had come after months of speculation that the brothers would eventually leave the group. The split became heated after Josh made many accusations toward front woman, Hayley Williams, including a blog post where he stated that the band members had “always been treated as less important” than Williams. The brothers have since tried to patch up their relationship with their former band, saying they were still proud to be a part of the group. Paramore continues to tour with Hayley Williams at the helm as well as bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York.

Having a careers spanning decades, you would expect a band like Pink Floyd to have run the gamut when it comes to band dynamics. Aside from Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright all started out studying architecture together at London’s Regent Street Polytechnic School. After gaining popularity and honing their signature psychedelic sound performing in London’s underground scene, they released two charting singles and a successful debut album. David Gilmour joined as a fifth member in December 1967 and Barrett left the band in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health from drug abuse. Waters then became the band’s primary lyricist and songwriter, for albums like The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Wright left the group in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985, wanting to go in different creative directions and saying the group was a “spent force”. This left Gilmour and Mason as the only members of Pink Floyd. Former members Syd Barrett and Richard Wright have since passed and the group recently announced the release of their 15th studio album Endless River, without the help of Roger Waters.

There are countless examples that are lessons in themselves for all musicians, showing us how truly difficult it is to stay dedicated to a band, especially when dealing with adversity, ego, artistic temperaments and an ever changing music scene. Keeping a collective ambitious attitude, being unwilling to fail and having a love of the music are likely a few reasons these groups have been able to continue on through the years. Not everyone makes it through, but when you have something good going, you should do anything to make it last.

Tips For Making It On The Road

van
By: Kristi Agne

● PLAN AHEAD! Do the math. Estimate how much the cost of gas, food expenses, and sleeping arrangements will be. You don’t want to be stuck hoping you make enough money from a gig so you can eat a burger off of the McDonald’s $1 menu or need to pass a jar to get gas money home. Work out a budget with your band and how expenses will be divided among members.

● Rent a van! You don’t need to try and cram yourselves into that old, rusty mini-van your mom used to drive you around in.

● Hotels aren’t necessary. If you plan your sleeping arrangements ahead of time, you’ll save yourself a lot of money and a lot of last-minute stressing.

  •  BetterThanThe Van is a site that connects bands with “hosts”- nice people who live in the town you’ll be playing in that will let you sleep on their couch for free!
  • CouchSurfing is a social network for travelers similar to BTTV, but not specifically aimed at bands. Another free option.
  • AirBnB, though it costs you some money, is often times cheaper than a hotel or even a motel. People list out rooms in their homes for nights and single-week long rentals. If you’re lucky it might be a whole place to yourself. Cost depends on the owner, but this is another friendly option.
  • Got a lot of followers on social media? Use it to your advantage! Hit up your fans on social media and find those who are willing to let you crash at their place for the night.

● Create a driving schedule. Having someone drive who is too tired, or intoxicated is never safe and accidents can easily be avoided with responsibility. Depending on how long the tour is or how far away dates are, split up driving hours amongst members. Set specific day shifts and night shifts to make it fair for everyone.

● If you have merch sell it! And use the money wisely. This could be used towards “emergency funds”, or gas, food, etc. but don’t count on this to pay your way. You don’t want to be one t-shirt sale short of the cost of a room! Decide how profits will be used and stick to it.

● You never know when something outrageous will happen. Flat tires, engine trouble, even van break-ins are all things that have happened before. Be prepared. Do some research and make a list of car-repair services for each date, have an emergency fund, and also make a list of emergency care centers or hospitals. People get sick, accidents happen, you don’t want to be scrambling to find out where to take someone who needs help.

● Speaking of break-ins, help prevent this by keeping your stuff secure. If you’re leaving your gear in your van or trailer, try to back up/park against walls so it is harder to open the back door. If you have another car, use that to block it in. Keep your windows covered at night so no one can see what you might have in there. Park where it’s well lit. If you really want to, give someone “night guard” duty. Have a member or two stay in the van for the night. Your vehicle is less likely to be broken into if someone is inside of it.

Don’t Try This At Home!: Featured Interview with David Taylor

DT
By: Jasmine McFarlane

I sat down with Music Garage guitar tech David Taylor to get a better idea of his take on repairing instruments, some general tips for keeping your instruments in the best condition and to hear some disaster stories that he has encountered while touring.

The first question that many artists ask when it comes to repairing instruments is who should they take their guitar to? You basically have two options. Either take it to a professional guitar tech like David or learn to do it yourself. Both are doable, however, David told us why bringing it to a professional is the better option.. It boils down to two main things:

1. The experience techs have
2. The right tools for the job

Experience
David Taylor started guitar repairs professionally when he was trained by a master luthier. He spent 5+ years working with him, seeing a wide range of unique instruments, and learned firsthand through watching, learning and doing

When David first started out repairing instruments diagnosis was, “this feels weird” without knowing why it felt that way. However, through years of practice and working with musicians closely, David now can say exactly why it feels weird , isolate the reason and fix the problem.. As he says it, “it’s converting a feeling or sound into something tangible that I can adjust.”

The Right Tools
So…the tools used are important huh? Indeed! The tools that techs use play a big role in the quality of the repair. For instance, having acquired a high end tuner David can listen to an instrument more specifically than an iPhone app or a tuner that you can buy at a store for $12. The use of a ruler designed specifically to fit in certain spots on the guitar and make certain measurements allows the precise repairs necessary for the best sound. As well as tools themselves, subtle things like the right thickness or thinness of super glue used to glue on a nut is also another of the nuanced things that most people ignore.. After years of getting his hands covered with glue, he has learned that little things like this do, in fact, make a difference.

Lastly, bringing your instrument to a professional also saves time and frustration. It might take the average person a couple of hours to figure out what to do and then get it done. For someone with David’s expertise, it could take only 30 minutes because he’s been there before..

Emergencies on the Road— David’s Got You Covered!
David Taylor is on call so he’s definitely willing and able to help out touring groups that come in with whatever instrument repair and questions they may have.

“If someone is in town at 10 pm and something breaks down, it might be late, but we can figure out something f they call me and leave the instrument at Music Garage, I will tell them I will have it done at a specific time and they should be set.

Don’t Make These Common Mistakes
After talking with David Taylor, I was curious to find out if there are common mistakes that people make when handling their instruments. What I found was very interesting and beneficial for artists to know about.

1. Restringing problems. Just go to the internet, watch a video, or go to a Music Garage event and watch a demonstration. Be patient and make sure to give yourself time.

2. Don’t leave guitars in cars or trunks! Why? Well, there’s always the risk that someone may steal it and that’s never a fun thing. Secondly, the heat in your car acts as a greenhouse effect which does a lot of bad things to a guitar…things you don’t think about!

3. On tour? Think ahead at what you can do with your equipment to keep it safe. Take it in your hotel room, leave it in a secure spot at the venue, or bring it along with you. Just don’t drink too much that you forget it somewhere!

4. Guitar placement. Myth or not, if you lean your guitar against your amp or put it on top of your amp, there’s this thought since your pickups are magnets and speakers have magnets in them, that the speaker from your amp can affect the sound of your pickup.

“I haven’t totally experienced it but people that I trust tell me about it. The larger magnet will mess up the smaller one. I’ve had people come in with things needing to be demagnetized so it makes a lot of sense.” The best advice for this is to simply bring a stand. It reduces the chances of your guitar falling down and getting ruined.

Disaster Story

If you think these only happen in movies, think again. Things happen all the time and always at THE worst possible times. However, you just gotta keep truckin’ along! If you want to hear about a disaster story that David experienced keep on reading!

“I’ve had some pedal emergencies at the worst possible times. I was doing Carrie the Musical by Stephen King and you know, musicals are very specific. This note has to happen at this time with this sound and volume. If your pedal isn’t dialed in at the right time, people who have seen the show before will notice something is different. So I had a tour and it was a tender moment, I had 4 pedals, guitar and an amp. It started making this loud humming noise which is distracting the audience, the people delivering dialogue on the stage, the music director is yelling at me so I starting going through what it could be but it could be 15 different things. So, mid song I’m shifting things around and I found a way to get through the show and then eventually spent a day testing everything. Found out that the tuning pedal wasn’t grounding to the cord and there was a loose bolt. It wasn’t making a connection and if it’s shorted the wrong way, it will go to your amp…was something with that. Works well now!”

Guest Spotlight: Carbon Tigers

Carbon Tigers
By: Nick Cudone

I’ve been playing in Carbon Tigers for four years now and it’s overwhelming to think about all the mistakes that we’ve made over the years. We’ve been through a lot as a band and new situations arise that make me reevaluate what I believe, but there are two important things I’ve learned. Don’t listen to everybody and always try to be present for the experience that lies within your music. Before I elaborate, I’m not upholding arrogance and by no means are these rules that should be applied to everything. These are from my personal experience and I find that they’re good guidelines for me to live by. Especially when I feel like quitting.

When I was fifteen I went to see one of my favorite hardcore bands at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY, Most Precious Blood. They were loud, radical, and part of the hardcore scene that I identified with while I was growing up. I happened to be walking up a stairwell in the venue and the singer, Rob Fusco, walked by me. I quickly turned around because I had to tell him how much I loved his band. I was talking really fast because I didn’t want to waste his time and in a short breath I asked him: “I’m in a band, do you have any advice for me?” He looked me dead in the eye, pressed his pointer finger into my chest and said: “Don’t fucking listen to anyone.” It was probably the most important thing I heard at the time because I was in a band that was pretty awful and my peers at school definitely never let me forget about it, so hearing that was really encouraging. It’s a really extreme viewpoint, but sometimes going to extremes helps me find a balance.

Somewhere between then and 25 years old I forgot about his advice. Until one night Carbon Tigers played a show at a huge venue, the audience loved it, but I didn’t, which still happens sometimes. Anyway, I was by myself in our green room thinking about all the things people have told me about my band, all the negatives and positives. I should emphasize that at the time we were going through some identity issues; figuring out what we were about, our style of music etc. We’d have conversations regarding our identity and someone would say something like, “oh well so and so said this” and use it as a reason for why we should do things a certain way. These points only pushed us closer to failure because rather than being ourselves we would be sucked into a whirlwind of confusion, spinning so fast that we could never stand still enough to get a good look at ourselves. I realized that rather than looking outward the solution was within us. We had to listen to ourselves and forget about what everyone was saying. I went back to my favorite albums to figure out what I loved about them and how I identify with what I’m hearing. I went back to my theory books, turned on my metronome, and practiced. I went back to the start. Today, I feel liberated and more passionate about music than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate it when people say good things about our music and I seek out opinions from friends, other musicians, and non-
musicians, and that’s why I tell myself, “don’t listen to everybody.” Not listening to anyone is extreme.

I’m a musician and to me that means it’s my job to be an agent of emotion and the essence of that experience. It is my duty to figure out how to express my experience through my guitar. When we’re playing a show I want to exist solely in the space between the listener and me. I want our worries, concerns, and sense of time to disappear for the sake of being present for a moment. In my experience, the only way to achieve that is if I feel what we’re playing.

From there, I believe that something divine happens. All that time listening to the bands I love, studying the intricacies of music, and investing in my soul creates a spark that sets my body on fire. It seeps into vibrations, which overflow onto the listener. I swear it’s there. I can’t prove it. It’s abstract and you just gotta be there to feel it. I think that’s where the listener and me can begin to relate to each other.

Look at us! Have you seen our new sign?

New Sign

11 Tips for Gigging Bands from No Love for Linus

No Love for Linus

1. Don’t tell the sound guy he looks like a young Angela Lansbury.
2. Show up for the opener and listen – they could use the support.
3. Help the drummer load his kit (looking in your direction singers…)
4. Treat the small shows like the big ones – you never know who will be there.
5. Don’t be a dick to staff/fans/other bands. If you were as good as you think you are, you wouldn’t be carrying your own gear.
6. Crowd sing-alongs don’t work when there are three people in the crowd.
7. Never EVER give that one asshole who screams “Freebird” what he wants. If you cover Freebird you deserve to be locked in a room with Justin Bieber while being forced to listen to Insane Clown Posse for the rest of your days.
8. Gear goes on wheels – future you will thank current you.
9. Never hit on your bass player’s girlfriend…have you seen the size of that guy?
10. You really get to know your bandmates on the road. Make sure that is something you are prepared for when adding new members.
11. Yes, there is a chance your singer wears makeup and secretly loves Air Supply.