A to Z of Making It, Music

The New Artist Lesson

I have come across some good music lately, however the bands/artists that created the music are still languishing at the bottom of the music pile.  So what can bands like Burnside, Tesseract, The Night Flight Orchestra, Polution and Vaudeville do differently to get their brand and music out there.

IS THERE A MARKET FOR YOUR MUSIC?

The common misconception that most bands/artists have is that their music will succeed. The cold hard truth is that no one knows what music will succeed.  That is why A&R people, have a bad strike ratio.  They can find talent, however that doesn’t mean that the talent they find will succeed in the music business.

New bands need to test the market.  You need to see what kind of response you get back.  Find ways to measure the longevity of your song.  Did fans spread it on social media? Did a torrent go up on The Pirate Bay? Does it have seeders? Does it have leachers? Are people streaming it? Are people purchasing it? Are people listening to it on YouTube?

If the song is setting the world on fire, repeat the whole process again with a new song as there is a market there for you.

If the song is not setting the world on fire, take a step back, re-evaluate, create a better song and repeat all of the above as there is no market there for you at the moment.

Burnside created a brilliant album in Evolution that consisted of 13 songs and released them all at once. They relied on an old business model that doesn’t work anymore. They needed to test the market, so that they could see if there is a market for their music.  They should have released a song and measured it’s reach first. If you have an audience of less than 10,000, you should not be spending time creating a 13 song album.  

The Night Flight Orchestra wrote a song called West Ruth Avenue, that in my mind rivalled Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know.  Somebody That I Used To Know found a market, West Ruth Avenue didn’t.  (Yes, I know that The Night Flight Orchestra is a side project, however it is one album that should have found a bigger audience).

TesserAct in my view released a great album in Altered State.  Century Media streamed the album on their YouTube page and it had over 90,000 hits.  The album comes out and it moves over 4000 units in the U.S.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The label tested the market with the pre-release stream on YouTube. I think both artists where expecting a better turn out in sales, however this is the wrong view point to have. Fans can now stream their music.

SUPPLY vs. DEMAND

I hope that the bands I have mentioned are not focusing on the payment side of things. Remember Spotify, Pandora, iTunes are all services that you use to get your music out there.  Don’t solely rely on these services as a source of revenue.  It’s a diversified music game. You need to have other strategies for that.  However, before you get to this stage, you need to ensure that a market exists.

Remember that you are a seller and a supplier.  It’s simple economics. Supply vs Demand. At the moment, the recorded music world is over supplied. There is so much music out there, however not all of the music that is released has a demand waiting for it. Demand equals buyers. Buyers equal fans. The artists should be satisfying the needs of the fans.

BUILDING PLACES OF WORSHIP FOR YOUR FANS

It is the fans that will promote you.  No one cares about the music that radio pushes. No one cares about the music that the press and mainstream media pushes.  No one cares about the music if you scream until your black and blue about how great your song is. 

People care and pay attention, when they see fan blogs created in your name (like the John Petrucci forums, the Mike Portnoy forums, the Dream Theater forums and so on).  You need to ensure that you build a cathedral so that your fans can worship your music and spread it.

In the end, you need to have great music marketed to people that will like it and buy it.  Otherwise you will remain in your local suburban market.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Polution – Forever And A Day – Classic Song Waiting To Be Discovered

Polution. I came across this band by pure accident. I knew nothing about them. Even Googling the name Polution brings up everything to do with pollution but nothing to do with them. Still I delved deeper into Google. I finally came across some information. You can say their web presence is terrible.

Founded in 1997 and they come from Switzerland. In 2009 they released their debut album called Overheated. Twelve years from when they began. The album I heard was their second album called Beyond Control and it was released in May 2012. I heard it today. Almost a year since it came out. I am not sure why bands these days keep taking a lot of time to record an album. Release frequently and release your best. Four songs at a time, even three. Quality is what matters. No one listens to a whole Foo Fighters album. We just listen to their best songs. Even David Grohl said the same, in the movie they released for their last album.

Live Until You Die. It’s got that sleazy, head banging AC/DC meets ZZ Top La Grange riff. You can even call the riff a rip off. It doesn’t matter, as all musicians are influenced. Music is never created in a vacuum, even though someone like Prince tells you so. The riff is heavy and it makes you pay attention. The drums keep the toe tap feel of the intro riff going. Why couldn’t Bon Jovi release a song like this on the new album? Imagine that, Bon Jovi going back to his Classic Rock roots, taking influence from ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Toto and Styx. Instead Bon Jovi is trying to compete with Justin When Is My Voice Going To Break Beiber and One Direction.

Forever and A Day is by far the best song on the album. It came out of nowhere. After Live Until You Die, I wasn’t expecting a melodic song. Pure class. This is nothing like the previous song. It has got that melodic arena rock style of 80’s. Europe and Scorpions are two bands that come to mind. I even hear a Michael Schenker / UFO vibe merged with Classic Aerosmith. I even hear current Nickelback merged with Hinder. I even hear Adam’s Song from Blink 182. There are so many elements that wash over me sonically. That is what music should be. If you are a music fan, you need to check out this song. It deserves to be heard. It can stand on its own. It doesn’t need a Gangnam style video clip to keep it going. It makes you want to hear the next song. Did anyone care that PSY released a follow up single? Of course not. It was all about the clip and the dance. The song couldn’t stand on its own without the video.

Check it out here on You Tube.

Polution got me interested and I want to tell others about it. They are not banging my head over with the marketing sledgehammer or spamming me to do so. They just released an album, that I came across today, and had a great song on it that I wanted to talk about. It’s not perfect, it’s not original, but it’s human. Their life experiences shine through on the tracks, their influences shine through.

If listeners can listen to any of the above songs, then I have succeeded in getting this band heard above all the other amateur noise that clogs up the Internet. It’s great how the playing field has levelled, because if it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have come across Polution. They would have been lost in the regional restrictions of the old ways and available as an expensive import in Australia.

All they need to do is increase their web presence. They still have a MySpace account. Enough said.

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