I just heard Cervello’s debut album (released in 2011) today and I liked it. I wanted to find out more information. So what do you do in 2013 if you want to find out more information.
You go onto Google and type in Cervello. The first link is an Italian progressive band from the Seventies. WTF. This doesn’t look like the modern rock artists that I am hearing. It’s not looking good so far. Clicking on Facebook and Twitter pages, I finally get some information.
Before I get to commenting on the information, I want to point out that their web presence is abysmal. Putting all of their faith in Facebook and Twitter as their only web strategy demonstrates that the online world was just too hard for the band to participate in. In this day and age, your online presence is everything. Even the website wasn’t updated.
I suppose with a Facebook post from February 2, 2013, that states the following, I understand why;
We have some sad news to share… Cervello as a band has ceased working together. We’ve had a blast! It’s been tuff some times, but always fun. We want to thank every single one of you for your support. For the kind words! For rocking out at our gigs! For helping us spread our music!
We would also like to sincerely apologize to everyone that had planned to see us tomorrow. If it was possible, believe me, we would have done the gig.
Then there was a follow up comment (it was in Swedish, so I used Google to translate it) to the post;
Due to internal problems so this was probably the best solution to end. Sorry to disappoint you, and having to set up a cruel gig tomorrow but I can say that you will see more of me.
That was from vocalist/guitarist and founder, MICHEL BAIONI. He is from Stockholm, Sweden and was originally a drummer.
The first thing I want to point out is that the album is solid. It is a very good rock album. In 2011, the competition was fierce for listeners attention. Cervello’s self-titled album had to compete with the following releases;
- Evergrey – Glorious Collision
- Sixx AM – This Is Gonna Hurt
- Red – Until We Have Faces
- Machine Head – Unto The Locust
- Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
- Times Of Grace – The Hymn Of A Broken Man
- Whitesnake – Forevermore
- Art Of Dying – Vices And Virtues
- Trivium – In Waves
- Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn of Events
- Ten Second Epic – Better Off
- Madina Lake – World War III
- Black Veil Brides – Set The World On Fire
- Crossfade – We All Bleed
- TesseracT – One
- Redlight King – Something For The Pain
- Egypt Central – White Rabbit
- Daughtry – Break The Spell
- Disturbed – The Lost Children
- Megadeth – Th1rt3en
- James Durbin – Memories of a Beautiful Disaster
- Casting Crowns – Come To The Well
- Stealing Eden – Truth In Tragedy
- Drought – Untapped
- In Flames – Sounds Of A Playground Fading
- Plan Three – The Signal Part 1 (EP)
- Seether – Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray
- Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
- Protest The Hero – Scurrilous
- Rev Theory – Justice
So without any real web presence the decks were stacked against Cervello from the outset. What could have they done different?
They needed to provide a digital service to their fans. Music is a business and it needs to be treated like a business. Each band needs to compete against other bands for listeners attention.
What was the plan for the album? What was the plan if the album exploded? What was the plan if the album didn’t explode? How would they define if the album was a success? Would it be sales, likes on Facebook, YouTube views or Spotify Streams. Would it be attendances at live shows?
What was the plan for their online presence? Who will maintain it constantly, who will measure it and who will improve it? What was their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy and marketing campaigns?
They released their album in October 2011 and by 2013 it was all over. They were formed in 2008 by Michel Baioni (vocals/guitars) and his brother Antonio Baioni (drums).
They joined Facebook in May 2009. It wasn’t until June 2012 that Twitter was synced up with their Facebook posts.
Anyway they only had two Facebook posts in 2009.
Then on January 26, 2010, they posted that they are sound checking at Cosmos Studios and two days later they are recording drums for their debut album. WHY is the question? Based on their presence online, what demand was there for a debut album? Did they use their MySpace metrics for that decision? Was it their record labels decision?
Next Facebook post happened in April 13, 2010, with a preview of the new single. It only got six likes and 1 comment. Again, this should have been ringing alarm bells within the band.
Next Facebook post was on July 1, 2010. It said that the band had finally started mixing the album and that it sounds awesome and that the band can’t wait for the fans to hear it. That post got 3 likes and 1 comment.
Hearing that album in 2013, it is a great sounding album, however the lack of fan interaction with the band should have told them that the strategy of releasing 10 songs at once was all wrong. We live in a singles world. Look at Gotye. He is living off the sales of one song.
Then on July 8, 2010 they posted another post in Swedish, that more or less said something like “We know that we have not been heard from much recently, however we are far from dead and that during the spring they recorded their debut album.” 6 likes and no comments. Again, fan engagement was minimal.
On September 7, 2010 they posted a message saying that they are supporting Ed Kowalczyk the following day. WOW. They are playing a show the next day and are promoting it a day before.
You get the drift of their social media presence, which is a shame as they really delivered a great slab of music, that should have been released differently and marketed with a strategy.
If a band wants to have their name out there, they need to get it out there themselves. The record label is not interested and it doesn’t know how to break a band in this age. If the labels knew anything about the internet, they would have signed up the Napster technology instead of taking up arms against it.
Any new album’s form the entry point to everything else. Any album that has legendary producer/writer Max Martin as a co-writer for ‘Cause I Am’, and John 5 from Rob Zombie as a co-writer on ‘First Time’ deserves more attention.
It’s a shame that Cervello didn’t hold it together. The modern music paradigm is to create great music now and expect to be paid for it much later in the future. However to capitalise on it, you need to remain together. You need to outlast the competition.