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Monday, December 7, 2009

St. Louis Craigslist Musician Post of the Week: A Smart Response to "FORMED A BAND"

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Well, this didn't take long: I was passed a very well-thought-out, measured response to the subject of our blogpost this morning, "FORMED A BAND." The poster, a St. Louis native, is part of a band that's "signed to a Warner Brothers subsidiary" -- he doesn't say who; Cavo's on Reprise, but he says that the rest of the band isn't from STL -- and has some very, very smart things to say about today's music industry. Such as:

2) Major labels aren't signing metalcore right now because it doesn't sell. Sad fact. You might get signed to a smaller label (Victory or Roadrunner) that still supports that genre, but with that smaller label comes less exposure and less of the fame you crave. Needless to say, you aren't going to get signed playing the stuff you want to play. Right now, major labels are looking for quirky indie pop/rock stuff. Ludo, another band from St. Louis that blew up, is a good example. Playing metalcore and thinking you're going to get huge is like someone playing hair metal in 1993 and thinking they're going to make it huge. Most "signed, famous" metalcore acts do not have much money. I've got friends that are in a band that's signed to Victory. They're broke 99% of the time!

3) If you run your band like a dictatorship, you are not going to get signed. Not saying there shouldn't be a "leader" or a "driving force" but the way you make it sound, you just want people to fill in for the other instruments since you can't do everything at once. That is not a band, that is a solo project that you are approaching like a band. You don't care if your prospective band mates have fun doing it, you just want them to be good so that you can get big. It's also clear you don't have a lot of respect for people apart from "what they can do to help you". This is going to breed resentment, which is going to make people leave and having a revolving door of band members will also mean you'll never get big or signed or whatever because you'll be spending more time training replacements instead of getting out there and networking and playing shows and doing what needs to be done.

5) As I mentioned, we're on a WB subsidiary. "Getting signed" is not the end of your troubles. "Getting signed" does not make you rich. We've been on the road for 4 months. We play some pretty big shows, often to several hundreds of people, some of which buy our merch. At the end of the night, after the money is split between us, the headliner we're on tour with and the other local bands (and our staff/managers), we usually have enough money to gas up our van and get a decent meal for the 4 of us (woohoo! no going through McDonalds and ordering 2 dollar menu cheeseburgers each tonight!). At the end of a GOOD night, we might have enough to be able to "treat" ourselves to a hotel room. More than likely, though, we'll save the extra money in case we get a flat tire or something and stick with the "3 people sleep while one person drives" routine.

Kudos to you, anonymous Craigslist poster!


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