Friday, July 30, 2010
Lately I have found myself in this frustrating catch 22 with everything booking related. I know that if I cease to do it I will be unfulfilled and miserable but if I do it chances are I will end up frustrated and somehow pissed off %50 of the time. Mostly, it is things I can endure and ignore and just continue to do my job. I sat down recently and thought about it what are the sources of my frustrations with booking?..... That led me to a landslide of thoughts on the underground music scene in a whole. I thought I'd share those with you all be it if you are in a band, do the same thing as I or you can just understand where people are coming from I felt my thoughts were worth being shared.
Just in the past decade alone (damn, I'm old) I have watched the once thriving underground music scene(s) go from complete awesomeness to complete shit. Not just here, everywhere. There of course are several factors that have proven to be the reasons for this.
Major reason number 1 - THE INTERNET.
The internet has made people lazy. There is no longer any work in obtaining the music you want to hear. You don't have to seek out bands or trade tapes to get the music you want. You can just look it up and download it. For free, also adding to the decline in the music industry. The consumer, the fan has become lazy about the stuff they like. To be a dedicated fan it takes no more than clicking the like button on a facebook page and illegally downloading the bands album.
Bands are lazy because of it too. Fuck going out and telling people about my band.. I will just spam the fuck out of everyone including my grandmother on social networking sites about my band. Got a show? Digital flyer. Only posted to the internet.
Then with all that, the said band gets 20,000 "likes" or friends on a social networking site, there goes their head and ego. A false sense of entitlement. I can't tell you how many times in booking of recent times a band has told me how great their fan base is because they have 8 million friends on a social site but when it comes to a live show they draw 0.
With that all comes laziness abound. Bands no longer think it's important to respond to things, to post important things. It makes you lazy. I'm guilty of it. If you are reading this even if it doesn't apply in the same situation, you're most likely guilty of it too.
Underground bands once thrived hard because it was hard work that got them where they were. To be a band of importance back before the internet you had to tour, you had to promote. You couldn't sit back in front of a computer and tour once every 2 years.
Reason number 2 - RECORD LABELS
The currently state of the economy and the fact that no matter what people do to stop it music can be pirated anytime, anywhere with no effort - the music business of most record labels is dead. They don't have the money they once did to promote bands properly. To support their touring, to put out their records properly. Now a days, even if a band has a label they do most of their own promotion and touring work on their dime. Which leads to jaded pricky musicians. I can't hate for that, in that case I would probably be a little pissed too.
Reason number 3 - VENUES/PROMOTERS
As stated above the economy is shit right now. Everyone has to fight a little harder to make what they make and keep it. One thing I noticed here in my hometown is that the harder it gets the venues get greedier. They want to charge you so much to run a show it hardly leaves you money to pay your bands with. They like to use cute words for it so the rape seems less painful such as "production costs" There was such a day when you used to just pay your sound guy, pay your door guy and make sure your bartender gets hooked up. Don't let venues fool you their cash cow is booze sales. If the bar is doing good there is no reason they should want all your money your show made. It's bullshit. It's a scam and its benefiting off other peoples hard work.
As far as promoters go, they are your middle man to your band and the venue. They are the bullshit buffer. They are there to pamper your ass facilitate a show and avenue for you to rock out. In a lot of cases the headache they go through is definitely worth some form of compensation. However there are a lot of promoters out there that will fuck bands and try to hand them 0-$10. That's bullshit. If there is 5 people that came to see you it's worth more than that.
I am a promoter/booker. I don't keep money for myself. Sometimes, I wish I did to compensate for the migraine I get in return but I started doing this for the love of a scene and the music and that's probably how it will end. I never get more pissed off than when I hear of a promoter fucking over bands and running with the cash. Get a day job you fucking hack.
In most cases of slimey promoters it's some jackhole that has no musical talent whatsoever. They don't want to work a real job but has always wanted to be a musician, so this is great for them because they can live through the bands by booking them and profiting off their backs.
I am sure I could continue to ramble on my reasons for why the music business is fucked. I could probably go on for days. Those are the main points.
In regard to those reasons I'm sure some of you can guess as to why doing what I do can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Shit rolls downhill.... You see....
Let's say you got a band that is fairly well known, they have a label that could give a dick less about them that dosen't support what they do financially at all. Let's say they need to tour. Let's also say that they have 40000 internet warrior fans. Let's say they are booking with me. Here I am dealing with a super pissed off money hungry band with an inflated sense of self entitlement that is putting monetary demands on me along with any other demands they see fit. Could you image how angry this could make me? Then at the same time you have this rabid fan asking you about the show and when and how it's going down and you grin and smile... If they only knew. But that's besides the point because you want to make them happy. Because somewhere 13 years ago, someone else was doing the same thing you are now that made you love music.
Bottom line is... If you make music, do it because it makes you happy. Never forget why you started playing music. If you become a jaded fuck rockstart, usually there is no turning back.
If you book shows like I do, may the force be with you and remember your satisfaction can only be brought by the fan that says thank you to you.
If your the demanding jaded musician reading this, the only thing that might work in your favor is to travel back in time and kill the internet. You may have a chance then for your wildest dreams to come true. In the meantime think about how you treat people who treat you good and try to some them a morsel of respect. Even if you tell someone fuck off or fuck you that is working hard for you atleast you gave them something to go on.
-Evil Abby 7-2010
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So here it is finally. My take on properly booking and promoting a show. Not that I am the total Jedi master, but I do have some years under my belt.
Enjoy! Don't forget to leave comments if you dig it (or if you think I'm a retard!)
I'm from the old school. For the most part most of us old people believe that hard D.I.Y. ethics died with the electronic age. Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, etc has made people lazy. With the click of a mouse and a few words they can post shows, bulletins about shows and make flyers using photoshop. Don't get me wrong it has made things easier, but it comes with downfalls.
As much as the bands of the scenes have gotten lazy and don't make demos to hand out or flyers to pass out anymore... The labels, promoters, clubs etc have gotten lazy too. People can just email instead of talking now and with that people get bombarded with emails so a lot of times people and bands get ignored.
Even with technology however I can tell you that your fans or your "could be" fans would much rather have a paper flyer to save or a burnt demo CD than having to look at your myspace page for it. It gives them something to take with them a souvenir of sorts. Of for fuck sake even a flyer with your logo and myspace address on it. Something physical. It leaves a lasting impression.
Things to do to Promote Your Band
1. Flyers! Actual paper ones! People really do keep these. I know I always do. Most the time they remind me when I pull them out of my pocket the next day, if nothing else I end up looking the band up online.
2. Demos! Even if they were recorded on your granny's karaoke machine, it's better than nothing. They don't need to be pretty a cdr and a website address and logo will do.
3. Be nice. No one likes dickheads. Even if you know your band is fucking awesome, don't be a pompous cocksucker. Let people figure it out on their own. Nothing is worse than an ego. I can't stand people with big heads. Everyone should be your friend in the beginning the music world is a dog eat dog business there is plenty of time later to make enemies! Trust me.!
4. Don't be a jock rider. No one gives a fuck about who you are friends with in bigger bands. If your band sucks, it doesn't matter if Lemmy Killimeister is your uncle or not - doesn't stop your band from sucking!
5. Network! Deliver pizza for a living? Talk about your band! Wait tables? Tell people about your band! Go to other shows!
And Most Importantly!!!!
Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!! HAVE FUN!
No one joins a band to be miserable. You picked up your instrument for the first time and had FUN! A lot of people can never remember that after they have been in a good band for a couple years they loose sight over the reason they did it in the first place. Something to always remember.
And last but not least...
Some Tips to Not Forget!
1. Promote!! Network!!! Hard work yields good shows.
2. Treat people like you want your band treated. You act like a fucking asshat, chances are people are going to give it right back to you and the rest of your band.
3. No one cares who your friends are! Only if you suck or not.
4. Don't blame your shitty turnout on your promoter / booker. OK, some of it lays within the promoter but I would go to say at least 75% of the draw is YOUR BAND. No fans? Shitty show. Simple mathematics. Promoters aren't miracle workers. It's a very thankless job, so be nice to them.
5. Never demand shit! Always ask. Unless you are making over a 6 figure income a year and your first name is Gene and your last name is Simmons don't make demands to venues/promoters/bookers. You just look like an ass.
6. IF it ceases to be FUN, it's not worth it!
-Evil Abby 10.21.09
Keep checking back! Keep it evil!
Friday, October 9, 2009
December 4th @ Dirty Jacks 18+ (sorry young ones! The Hatter was booked solid :( )
With support by your fave Nasty Nati bands
The Reanimated (always classy....)
Shriek (Yes! The fucking return! So metal it will be titanium!)
Pumpkin Slut (They'll fuck your sister for free....maybe throw candy and condoms at your face.)
Season of the Witch (Not "Seasons" retards. )
Details to come! Now subscribe to this blog like good minons.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
So with that I plan to write a series of little how-to's on here, relating to working with bands and what-not. The bulk of questions I get from random people have urged me to just write it all out. So stay tuned should be having a plentiful update on here in the next couple days!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I'm very proud of this video. I directed it and took over 2 weeks to edit and put it all together. It's for the song Devilution (yes, the bar riot song to most of you) off of the album Scream at the Screen. You can check out The Reanimated http://www.myspace.com/reanimatedpunk
I'm proud of these guys they have overcome a lot to become a great band. Even though they are a pain in my ass I love them to death!
Check it out and let me know what you think!!!
Keep it Evil!
Friday, April 3, 2009
I was going through folders of really old stuff I had and I found my old zine files. Which brought up a subject I wanted to write about - and share some stuff from the folder. Enjoy!
I've been asked numerous times how I know a lot of the bands I do and how I ended up booking shows. I decided to make this post about that and give a little background on why and how I started doing what it is I do.
All throughout growing up music has always had a significant role in my life. My father was a guitar player and always encouraged us kids to listen to what we wanted with an open mind and try different musical endeavours. I took up piano. Actually I took classical piano classes for 6 years. Now if given the choice between the piano and the bass guitar - I'm going for the strings. Anyhow...
(An Eerie LN flyer sent to me years ago when I was doing my zine. They are no longer together but most the members have a superb new band called The Horrifics check them out!)
My parents were always the cool parents that all my friends wished they had. My mom bought my tickets to my first real concert at the tender age of 13 that was Cannibal Corpse and Brutal Truth. HA!
When I was a young teen I was into metal a lot. Everything from Slayer to Deicide. My parents, aunts and uncles used Metallica and Iron Maiden videos as a babysitter for myself and my cousins.. Ha! When I turned about 16 I started getting into a lot of punk. I've always been eclectic too much of one thing bores me. Maybe that's why I own Harry Belafonte records.
Anyhow, I had always had a deep love for music with a darker theme. I loved (and still do) The Misfits, Samhain, Danzig, The Cramps, The Damned, TSOL and the likes. (This was sent to me along with a burnt CD, my first thought was this is probably going to suck! (No offense Alex!) Boy was I wrong ha!)
When the Misfits made their way back together with Michale Graves and started touring it seemed like horror punk was getting a revival. So I decided to cultivate my love for this darker music with a printed zine. I called the zine Necrophiliacs Anonymous. To me the name was hilarious.
This was far before the days of Myspace. When bands actually used the postal system to make contact with people. When people actually went to Kinkos and printed, pasted and stapled their nights away making zines.
One of the first bands I featured in my zine was Blitzkid. I had ordered something through the company Angry Young and Poor and got a printed catalog along with my order and in the back of it was a hand drawn ad (by Goolsby) about a horror punk band out of Virginia called Blitzkid with some contact info. So I shot off an email and asked for the demo or whatever it was the ad was for.
A couple weeks later I received it and it blew me away. These guys were stuck between mountains making awesome music. Eventually I helped them launch an MP3.com site back when that was around and became good friends with those guys. I've gotten to see them go from rocking away in very small clubs to touring Europe and being in bands with Doyle. Holy shit. In some weird way it's like watching kids grow up. Makes you sentimental in a sense or it makes you feel old hahaha.. Sometimes I don't know which.
Another band that was around then was The Vladimirs from Cincy. They always played out back in the day - mostly to metal crowds but everyone loved their music. No matter if you were a metal kid, punk, horror punk, straight edge everyone enjoyed the Vlads shows. It was like having a hometown Misfits, because everyone even your mom probably digs the Misfits. Mine does. I always kept contact with these guys and as soon as I got the zine up I put them in there too.
We can only hope they will play out again very soon. (Very old newsletter sent out by The Vladimirs with info and releases)
To make a long story kind of short, (because I could sit here all day and type stories out about bands!) most the people I met while doing my zine eventually led to me booking shows. Back in 2005/2006 I was in the mood to get involved in the scene I love again and decided to start booking shows at Sudsy Malones here in Cincy. Since no one was booking what I wanted to see why not do it yourself?
So, I called on people I knew. I got Blitzkid to come play for the first time in years and it pretty much went from there one show turned into two which has now turned into so many I can't count and by time I'm 40 I will probably need hearing aids. I must say we now have a pretty fantastically killer horror scene here in Cincy. I would dare to say it's one of the very best on this side of the map. I know, I've been on tour to other cities. My dedication and love for music is why I continually book shows. To have people say thanks, that show was killer. However I do miss my zine days and that's why I have the blog!
So in a nutshell, that's where it all came from and that's why I book shows today. I love all the people I have met in my travels and musical endeavours and every time I book a show it's like a huge party and all my friends are invited!
Keep it evil people!
Until Next Time!