More Gigs Closer to Home

Booking & Touring
Success Strategies & Secrets

Getting ready for fall tours, conferences,
and projects? There’s no better time to
get a few booking strategies under
your belt to increase future gig bookings.

During the next few days I’ll send you some
of my very best strategies to help turn your
booking woes into booking know-how by using
Touring Patterns. 

Touring Pattern # 1: Prosperity Pattern

Once you get this one down pat, you can
use it as a template every time and everywhere
you plan a tour.

This is a “center-out” pattern that
begins with a home base of support and
expands in concentric circles or ovals outward
to nearby towns.

jeri_blog_1

Prosperity Pattern

This pattern provides you with a number
of benefits.

1. Build a loyal support base.
Whether you are just getting started
or have been at it for a while, having
a solid base of support to start from,
is key to building loyal fans.

2. Save on travel expenses. By touring
to towns within a radius of 20, 40, 50
or even 100 miles, you can return home
after the gig. Dollars normally spent on
travel expenses like hotel can be put to
use on other aspects of your career.

3. Build media relations in nearby towns.
Once you develop good relationships
with your home town media, you can
use them as a reference to media sources
the next town over. Often, media like
radio and TV will cover larger areas that
include towns within your oval pattern.

4. Create a template for other markets.
Use this pattern as a template when planning
tours in other other markets of support as
you expand out from your central location or
even in strategic markets some distance away.

5. An Audience Development Strategy
This Prosperity Touring pattern can
become your best audience development
strategy. Your local fans can easily encourage
their nearby friends and family to come
to a show in their town just 20 or so
miles away. It’s easy for fans to travel
to those nearby gigs to show their
support.

Begin right away using this Prosperity
Pattern to reduce your expenses,
build your audience and media support
and get more gigs locally.

Do this now:

Get a piece paper, tracing paper or
best yet a transparency sheet and draw
or print a series of concentric ovals.

Then overlay the sheet on a map with your
home town. Now you can see all the
nearby towns that fall within each oval.

When you begin to plan tour dates that
include those towns, you’ll be on your
way to creating a solid home base of
loyal fans, numerous gigs and better
income. I can’t wait to hear how you
have used your Prosperity Touring
Pattern.

I’ll share another Touring Pattern with
you tomorrow that will help take this
Prosperity Pattern to a whole other level.

Booking & Touring Success Strategies & Secrets

Registration is Now Open

and Closes, Monday, October 7

at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific

Cheers,

Jeri Goldstein

jg@performingbiz.com

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YUCA: On Band Life, The Present and The Future

Guest blog post by Gretchen Mashburn:

YUCA_live_stage

About six months ago, I was listening to the New Driven Torqued show on WROM Radio, when the most heavy, beautifully sung alt-rock song I had heard in years caught my ear. I had just begun listening to some Indie Rock after seeing some hashtags on Twitter about it. Winchester Rebels was one of the first bands that caught my attention due to their awesome name. They play good stuff, but the music I heard that night, hooked me. After the song ended, I tweeted Sherry at New Driven and told her that there was this one song from that night’s show that I was totally digging. Without any further description from me, she knew exactly which one it was. It was “Where are My Soldiers At?” by the Western Canadian alt-rock band YUCA.

For weeks following, I saturated my personal as well as “business” Twitter accounts, and my Facebook page, with that song; randomly sharing at all hours of the day and night. I haven’t played a song on repeat like that since the early 1990’s when Alice in Chains released “Would”. I did the only respectable thing a music lover could do; I bought everything they had available on iTunes and stalked YouTube for videos of their live shows. By the time they released “Give Up My Ghosts” and “Skeletal Desires”, in June, my friends were all practically jumping for joy that they would hear something other than “break ooooouuuuut the wiiiiiine” from my horrible singing voice once I reached “solo a cappella singing level” of intoxication.

Since then I have talked, to anyone that will listen, about this band and how amazing they are. I have burned CD’s and mailed them to my friends to listen to. They all agree that YUCA is an amazing group. They are truly the real deal. And they do it with only three band members. Guitarist and Lead singer Matt Borck, Bassist Andy Boldt, and Drummer Dave Atkinson put out a sound that is truly unique, spellbinding, and just plain damn good music. Recently, I crushed brains with Sherry from New Driven Radio and we came up with a little concept of me doing written interviews and what not for bands, to be posted on New Driven’s website.  The band I asked to do first was, shockingly, YUCA.  The following is the result. The interview took place during early September, and gives a little background into the band members, as well as their own individual takes on the new album, “Rebuilding The Fallen Empire” which set for an October 11th  release. Their publicist Angela Nagle of Rising Empire Records was extremely cooperative with me, and I will forever be thankful to her for letting me use YUCA for my first foray into this arena.

YUCA_-_band

YUCA Interview

Andy – BLUE
Matt – RED

Dave – Green

 

1)      For a three man group, you produce a LOT of sound. How do you pull it off, and what are some obstacles, if any, that you encounter when recording in order to achieve this enormous sound you guys put out?

Making things sound huge is about finding the right balance – space and dynamics allow for the music to go from quiet and intimate to huge and explosive. Also, being a three piece has allowed each of us to develop a unique approach to filling that sound with the parts we play as well as the sound and effects we use, not only on guitar, but on bass as well.

(See Andys answer)
As the drummer, I rely mainly on Matt and Andy’s knowledge with their gear to fill in the space with sound. Their sound will dictate how busy or spacious my grooves are. We have many levels of dynamics, and by being able to play in all ranges allows for us to sound huge when we want to. Filling up the space is easy when you know every sound going into that sounds amazing.

 

2)                  Do you all come from musically oriented families? Any siblings that play as well?

My family has always been involved musically, singing from before we could talk and playing instruments since the age of 4 and encouraged to try new things – both my brother and sister play music at different levels.

I grew up in a very musical family and much like Andy was singing & making up songs before I could talk. My Opa and Oma sang, my dad was a choir leader and sang in bands and my mom & sisters love to sing as well. I remember when I was a child I would stand on my Oma and Opa’s fireplace hearth and sing for the family – I just loved to sing and make up my own songs. In my family, if we were driving we were singing, if we were hanging out, music was on and we were singing – I loved it.

My family was always singing and encouraging music, but never to the extent of pushing music lessons, or buying instruments. I fell in love with music from seeing it performed live. I have 2 siblings that sing, but nothing serious.

 

 

3)                  How did the three of you get together to form YUCA? Were you in any previous bands?

Matt and I grew up in the same area and played in ‘neighboring’ bands and almost played in a band together but it never worked out. A few years later when YUCA was on the lookout for a new bass player, Matt knew where to look.

 It was sheer luck and since I don’t believe in luck – it was perfect timing.  As Andy said we had all been in “neighboring bands” and tried to make things work but never had the right teammates (band) to achieve the dreams that we had in our hearts. YUCA is the name we chose for our dream. A dream that me Andy & Dave all share and are very passionate about.  It seems cheesy to use the word ‘dream’ as most people aren’t encouraged to pursue theirs but passion doesn’t even seem a deep enough word to describe how we feel about YUCA.

I had always loved YUCA from seeing them locally to hearing them on the radio. I was in a serious band before them, and as that came to a close I noticed YUCA looking for a drummer. The timing was perfect, and I did what I needed to do in order to get the job. That was over 5 years ago. It feels like we have always been playing together now…

 

4)                  Other than yourselves, obviously, do you have a favorite genre of music, or musical group in particular?

I’ve spend some good time in lots of genres both playing and listening (funk, metal, folk, electronic, classical) but my strongest influences tend to be of the classic sort, where new bands are fun and go in different directions, not as many stick long term as favorites. I’m a really big fan of Neil Young, The Beatles, Wilco, Jamiroquai…

I love music and the more musical genres that I am exposed to, the more I fall in love with.  I am always on the hunt for new music! When I put on my iphone to shuffle I get a mix of classic rock, hip hop,  dance, alternative, easy listening – I love it all. I do have to say though there are a few bands that I can listen to over and over and I’d say are favorites of mine and they include: U2, Muse, Elbow, Radiohead, The Beatles, Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill…..ya had to throw in some hip-hop for ya!

I love music. Picking a favorite genre would be like picking a favorite Jelly Belly Flavour, they are all soo good. Recently, I have been really into Fusion and Jazz, however I have a huge soft spot for progressive rock, and punk rock. Bad Plus all the way to Porcupine Tree.

 

5)                  I often describe your sound as a cross between Muse, Imagine Dragons, with some Alice in Chains thrown in. Who do you see as your biggest musical influences?

See previous question 😉

That’s a very cool mix – never heard anyone use Imagine Dragons or Alice in chains to describe us before but I’ll take it. I have heard people say we have glimpses of Radiohead, Muse, U2 and that sometimes I have a “Jeff Buckley sound to my voice”. Man I love Jeff Buckley so I take that as a huge compliment.

I can see that being accurate. I would also throw in some Coldplay as well 😉

 

6)                  So far, what has been your favorite venue that you’ve performed in?

The Commodore in Vancouver is a great venue with some really good history – I’ve seen some great bands play there and it was exciting to be on the stage myself.

I was asked to perform on stage in a bull ring in Mexico. It was an incredible venue as the seats wrap around the stage and it was packed. As I was performing the power went out to the stage so I grabbed an acoustic guitar. The sun was setting behind me, and with the loudest voice I could, I sang my heart out to the crowd. It was one of those special emotional times I’ll never forget.
One of my favorite performances would have to be playing a Robson Square for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Not only was the stage amazing, playing right downtown in the heart of the city and an olympic centerpoint, but also the crowd. Playing in front of thousands from around the world and being able to represent Canadian Rock was quite the honor.

 

7)                  I know Matt has a little one at home. How difficult is it, to balance your personal lives, with pursuing the success of your band?

It is tricky to balance and make work with families with last minute things popping up and being gone for tours, but our families are such a priority in our lives that we are committed to make it work

Balance? Lol who has balance? ( I love Andys answer.)

For me it is pretty easy as I have no personal life. When I am not working on new music and performing, I am teaching online to thousands. So I am constantly in front of people, one way or another and that has become my social life.

 

8)                  What has been the biggest disappointment, career wise, that you’ve been faced with?

That’s a tough question and I am not even sure how to respond? I think for us we try to always remain positive and not dwell on the negatives. Anytime we have walls or stumble we pick each other up, dust ourselves off and learn from the challenge. What we are faced with right now – getting our music to the world! That’s a huge challenge and one we need your help with. We can’t do that without your help.

I think one of the biggest disappointments is failed relationships that we have seen in the business. There have been plenty of occasions where we have invested time and money in order to build relationships that would really help both sides. But the music business is a cutthroat one…

 

9)                  As a lifelong fan of music, I have seen quite a few INSANELY talented groups fall apart due to internal strife and personal issues; Oasis, Stone Temple Pilots, GnR to name a few. Assuming you guys are able to achieve the success you deserve and are capable of, have you given any thought as to how to preserve your group? Given any thought to the things you can do as a group to ensure that your goals are achieved and not compromised by the ego-driven b.s. that has destroyed so many great musical groups?

We may have an accumulative ego as a band, but we are very respectful and considerate of each other and that is part of the reason why we chose to work with each other.

I love Andy’s answer and I agree with him. We chose to be together for a reason. We hate seeing incredible musicians and bands fall apart as well which is why we have chosen to learn from their issues and be active in preserving our group. We all choose to communicate, to truly listen, to respect and honor each other. We have also encouraged each other to have (what I like to call “ass-kickers”) in our lives. People that we love and trust to help keep us in check, grounded & balanced.  Remember in the movie Happy Gilmore when Happy sees the golfer in the golf clothes and he says “If I ever wore clothes like that, I’d have to kick my own ass!” – Well, if I ever started to act like anyone BUT who I truly am, not only would I have to kick my own ass but I’d have my “ass-kickers” doing that to me too! On our own, the three of us are normal, insecure boys but collectively (as YUCA) we know we are the greatest band you’ve never heard – YET!

We study those bands that fall apart, and study the dynamic of bands in general. What makes us unique is we are all legitimate guys who share the same passion. We are not out to become filthy rich, but share a lifetime of writing music and performing. We have been together for so long already, and we have been able to do that because we are all smart enough guys who know what it takes.

 

10)              Any advice you would dole out to anyone considering attempting to make a career in the music industry? 

Hone your craft, practice all the time, create your own luck and WORK HARD!

Be prepared for a long journey!

 

11)              If you were given the freedom to choose one song, what is the one cover you would choose to record for your next album?

Ummmmmm I really don’t know? Maybe a Miley Cyrus track or Lady Gaga? Something you would never expect from us. It’s too easy to cover a band you may sound like.

We have the freedom to record any song for our next album, we just may have to pay through the roof in order to do so. With the amount of music we write monthly, I doubt we would have room for a cover 😉

 

12.  Lastly, I was told you were recording a new album this fall. Have you decided on a title? How much material have you completed on it? Did you guys choose a certain theme or type of sound you wanted for this album?

At this moment the album has been mixed and is on its way to be mastered. We chose some of the best in the business to work on this album and we feel that it shows with a great feel and sound. The album will be called ‘Rebuilding the Fallen Empire’ and we feel the songs and sound matches the title of the album…(I find describing sound a difficult thing to do, which is why I’d rather just play;)

Andy gave a great answer!  YUCA – Rebuilding the fallen empire CD Out soon!

Rebuiling A Fallen Empire. Because we have 10 songs on this album, and is the evolution from our band going from a 4 piece to a 3 peice. In the album, many of the songs were written for a 4

piece band, so there was a challenge to re produce for a 3 piece group. That took the forefront when compiling this album, more so than any other theme.

Matt_YUCA_stage

*

I was already excited about the new album, but after the interview, I have damn near had to go on Rx meds to contain my excitement. It is rare that a group comes along that just catches the ear of a listener, or at least this one. I fully support Indie Rock and anyone that wishes to pursue a career in music. But let’s call a spade a spade folks. Most people don’t make it, and there is a legitimate reason why. They’re just not good enough. These guy do not fall into that category. I enjoyed the opportunity to interview YUCA and look forward to doing it again sometime.

~ Gretchen Mashburn

Rebuilding The Fallen Empire - new album by YUCA is available on October 11, 2013 at Yuca.ca

Rebuilding The Fallen Empire – new album by YUCA is available on October 11, 2013 at Yuca.ca

5 Ways Your Band Can Hit A Home Run With Video

As a Yankee’s fan, this is hard for me to admit, but the Braves hit a homerun with their new music video: Baselines.

CLICK image to view VIDEO

CLICK image to view VIDEO

This video showed up all over my social media today.  It’s a great view and can inspire bands and labels to better utilize the power of video in their marketing and outreach.

This kind of social marketing can be a real bonus for bands who want to grab interest about a big show, new CD or a cause the band is involved in helping.  You don’t have to create a music video like this, of course.  There is no end to what you can come up with.  I’d suggest tying it into current events somehow.  Let your imagination run free.

What does this video accomplish that can be of benefit to independent bands?

1.     It’s appealing. Whether you are creating a music video or leveraging the power of video to sell out a show or new CD, your video MUST capture your AUDIENCE and hold their attention.  When you plan and shoot your video, make sure to get outside opinion and feedback on it.  Does it draw the viewer in and hold their attention?  If you can’t afford to hire a production team, then brainstorm with friends who aren’t in the music industry.  Get their insight into the scripting of the video and ideas about how to shoot it.  Since you want the video to appeal to your audience, you need to know WHAT appeals to them.  What you THINK appeals to them may be completely different than their reality.   *NOTE: Don’t ask your mom or girlfriend – they’ll always tell you your efforts are amazing no matter how bad the video is.

2.     Smart use of #hashtags. Without saying a single word about following them on Twitter or utilizing the #FearTheChop hashtag, this video created a movement that is sure to trend. Yes, I know they’re the Braves so it’s easier for them to hit critical mass but you can still use this not-so-subtle technique to your advantage.

3.     Have fun with it.  Make the experience both enjoyable and memorable for your audience.  Whether your goal is to tug at heart strings or make people laugh, you have to create that “feeling” within the video.  That begins with YOU actually ‘feeling’ it when shooting the video.  But it reaches farther than that.  This is where I suggest getting outside help.  Take the time to scour the internet for tips on how to make a video truly engaging.  Do your homework and make the video WORTH someone’s 2 minutes.  And that brings up another important point – it’s better the video ends when your viewers are wanting more than to extend it past the point of interest.  This would be the perfect time to be the 30 second wonder.

4.     Get fans involved.  If possible, find a way to involve fans.  This might be handing them the camera and asking them to come up with something to market a show or it could mean inviting fans to be a part of the filming.  But, it could also encompass things like the embedded #hashtag that speaks directly to your fans without saying a word.   What if you filmed a short, upbeat and funny invitation to a gig with each band member wearing a brightly colored wig?  What if you asked them to tweet which wig was the favorite and let them know that the band member who got the most tweets would wear the wig during the performance, where the results would be announced?  Be more creative than that, of course.  Do the wild and unexpected.

5.     Be unique.  We’ve seen enough video’s of bands singing in their vehicles. STOP.  Find your own thing.  Do it well and ask your fans to help share your efforts.  If you’ve built good rapport with your fans, they’ll help you spread the word.

Video is both the hottest way to share information and the most under-utilized medium out there.  Whether you create fun, 6-second Vines or a one-minute Halloween-themed who-dunnit, video is the way to go to harness the power of your audience.

Post your video here in the comments.  I’d love to see what you come up with.

Tell Your Fans You Go To Yale: Free Music-Related College Courses!

Coursera_Picture

People say I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

I’m always learning new things.

I have my own way of designing my personalized syllabus and course of study. Then I dive in, and soak in all I can about a given subject until satiated.  This summer I was learning everything I could about being raw-vegan. I studied the biology, food interactions and healing benefits.  In the past I’ve studied things like organic gardening, stock market, world economics and astrology.

Through this quest for knowledge, I found COURSERA.  I began signing up for their free classes about 8 months ago.  I’ve taken courses in Gamification, The History of Rock n Roll and Social Psychology, among others.

Yes. I said, THE HISTORY OF ROCK N ROLL.

This post is to let you know that there are loads of cool music-oriented college-level courses out there that you can take absolutely FREE!

Coursera is is just one of many web-sites that connect people hungry to learn more about a subject with awesome college courses. Currently, they are offering music-related courses in:

  • Fundamentals in rehearsing music ensembles
  • From The Repertoire: Western Music History Through Performance
  • Introduction To Programming For Musicians and Digital Artists
  • Introduction To Guitar
  • Songwriting
  • Introduction To Music Production
  • History of Rock
  • The Music of The Beatles
  • Survey of Music Technology
  • Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering:
  • Introduction To Digital Sound Design

..and MORE!

The courses are generally about 9 weeks in length. You can choose to take them FREE or sign up for a nominal cost, (sometimes as low as about $30), and get more interaction with the prof. If you’re taking courses through Coursera you will find that they don’t actually produce the courses. Instead, the courses come from major universities around the U.S.A. and world. Coursera acts as an umbrella that hosts these courses and organizes the students and faculty cohesively.

Other sites offering free college courses include:

If you have an interest in learning a new aspect of the music world, check out these on-line courses.  You’re never too old to learn something new or build upon the knowledge you already possess.  Other courses that might be of interest to those in the music industry are business, marketing, psychology and entrepreneurial courses. To take your business, (music), to the next level, arm yourself with all the knowledge you can get your hands on.  Why not? It’s FREE!

textbooks

How To Not Be Stupid

I got really upset at someone yesterday.

Stupid-Things_main_web

Well, I got irritated, anyway.

One of my pet peeves is when an artist or band submits music that we don’t spin because they didn’t take time to check out who we are and what we do.

This is what I got in the email yesterday: (it was sent to a large group of radio shows and stations)

My name is XXXXXX. I am submitting a True Hip-Hop song titled “The Day” for airplay consideration. The sound of this song will subdue listeners with a deep mellow to raspy voice of love & inspiration mixed in with the rhythmic pulse of the harmony. My bio can be found at XXXXX.com Let me know what you think of the song.

 The artist came to NEW DRIVEN from an online website that helps bands find radio stations that play their genre.  That site lists all NEW DRIVEN criteria so there was no reason for this person to not only NOT include the actual things we require for submission, (social media links, tour schedule), but to submit at all since we work with independent rock artists and don’t spin hip-hop or rap.

Sure, this is a minor irritation that is easily dealt with by clicking the DELETE button. However, this is what showed up several hours later from the same artist:

Program Director,

Today, I submitted a song titled “The Day” to your web site. I am the original creator of the aforesaid song(s). At the time of submission I was unaware that many of the stations that receive submission via “XXXXX.com” operate with royalty-free terms of submission. Furthermore, I am a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), SoundExchange, and The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC). The term royalty-free violates my interest and/or agreement in the aforesaid royalty collecting societies.  Therefore I am instructing you to remove any and all songs, music, material(s), data, and the like that was submitted by myself or agents thereof from your website and/or network(s). This removal notice is issued with in reasonable time limits established by well know contract law(s).

As you can read, this artist made no mention of recognizing the extra work he may have caused some radio stations that may have already added his song into their rotation and the amount of work that takes. No apology or graciousness was extended what-so-ever and no mention was made that he had caused this by not doing HIS homework and checking into these issues first.

This is a problem.

we are oneWhy? Because it clearly forgets that the music industry is a whole.  Those of us in the industry are ONE.  In today’s world there are millions of super-talented musicians and bands out there putting out amazing art. They rely heavily on other’s to promote them and share their work with the world.  A major sector for this is radio, bloggers, fans and social media guru’s.  Acting like you’re a god and everyone else is your peon is bad business and just plain rude.  Artists should be working TOGETHER with other music professionals to get their music out there, not acting like some privileged prima donna and demanding others do their bidding.

It’s artists like this that push people away from helping bands.  A few bad apples really do make an impact on the whole.  I know people in radio and blogging who have stopped working with musicians because they often don’t show gratitude for the work others do on their behalf.  After a while, people start to feel used instead of appreciated.  There are amazing artists out there that possess great talent and social skills and who make sure they say “thank you” when someone helps promote them.  And there are those who need to consider what they would do without all the radio stations, bloggers and fans who freely help promote their work.

I confess that I impulsively wrote a terse reply back to this individual.  Although he hadn’t cost me more than a minute of time, I felt badly for the radio stations that he had inconvenienced and for his rudeness.  We all do dumb and thoughtless things sometimes and I should have been more patient with this individual myself.

The fact remains, working together in respect and with gratitude go a long way in today’s music industry.  While we all have moments of lapse, it’s in each of our best interest to do our best to play nicely in the sandbox.  “Thank you” and “I apologize for any inconvenience” still go a long way in good work relations.