Bands, You Have to Be Ready

I was chatting with a PR friend the other night about our experiences in “the industry” and I kept thinking about the one thing that annoys me more than anything: not being able to find contact info for a band. This is the simplest thing in the world to provide regardless of your preferred social/musical media outlet and yet…

You HAVE to have a reliable way for people to contact you, folks. Get a (free) gmail account, assign someone to check it every day and then respond in a timely manner. It’s that simple. In recent years I’ve had to 1) DM a bassist on twitter to get the email address of the singer who happened to be in another band 2) Literally flag a guy down at the grocery store to ask about an album release detail and 3) spent an hour trying to find the group’s Instagram, sign up for Instagram, and then DM them a question. This is madness.

Friends, life is short and likely to end with us all dying horribly Mad Max style in a post-nuclear/climate changed desert world. But I cannot ride eternal, shiny and chrome until we’ve put this contact info thing to rest. I don’t care if you have the greatest music of all time out there if I have no way of asking you about it. Put that email address of yours EVERYWHERE. It should be line two or three of every social media bio you’ve got out there. It should be SO OBVIOUS to find that you could call me an idiot for not seeing it before.

Once that’s done maybe consider setting up an EPK or “electronic press kit.” This doesn’t have to be a big deal if you don’t want it to be but at the very least have a band photo and/or logo, a list of who plays what, and a sample song ready to go. Nothing has to be fancy but this is invaluable to people trying to find info on your band. We can go into ideal scenarios like “professionally recorded radio friendly MP3 with attached lyrics sheet” but if you’re just getting started, you want info that will be helpful to music journalists, interviewers, etc.

I do want to reiterate that “being ready” doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Band photos are their own form of art and can get pricey. Music videos aren’t a necessity but they’re helpful to have in a visual medium like the internet. A band story or narrative will help you figure so much out about how to present yourselves or what kind of fans you can reach but again, small steps first. You don’t need a PR pro if you don’t have any music yet.

The chances that a big wig record exec is going to email you with the ticket to a massive record deal is basically nada but why not leave that door open? More than likely you’re helping out a local music journalist who just wants to cover your band’s upcoming show. Or there’s a fan out there that wants to tell you they love your stuff. It’s worth it. Just post your damn email please.

 

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