by Ari Herstand
1. Trashing other bands in your scene
isn’t hurting their rep. It’s hurting yours.
2. Acting disinterested with folded arms at
the back of the room at other bands’ shows does not
make you cool. Singing along at the front of the stage does.
3. Looking like a rock star isn’t as
important as sounding like one.
4. Image is actually important. Cargo shorts
are for dads at a barbecue. Not for musicians on stage.
5. Being respectful and friendly will take
you much further than being superior and entitled.
6. Going to other bands’ shows is THE
most important thing you can do to support your scene.
7. Your scene’s gatekeepers are friends
with each other. Get in with one and you’ll get in with
them all. If you piss one off, prepare to be blacklisted.
8. You don’t need press to pack a show.
You need a strong work ethic
9. Physical promotional materials are still
incredibly important. Get out into the world and put up some
posters and hand out some flyers. Don’t spend all of
your time on Facebook.
10. Facebook is dying. If your entire promotional
plan relies on it, you’re doomed.
11. You need to conquer your hometown before
you can hit the road. If no one cares about you locally, what
makes you think people will care about you anywhere else?
12. Touring means nothing unless people actually
show up to your shows. Do not tour unless you know how you’re
going to get a crowd at every show.
13. Playing around town all the time weakens your draw. Spread
out your shows so you can promote one big show every 6-8 weeks.
14. HOWEVER, when you’re starting off,
you need to play out everywhere and anywhere all the time
to get practice. Record every show. Once YOU love listening
to your live set (and non-friends and non-family tell you
they love your band) then you can book real shows and charge
15. If you suck, you do not deserve to be
paid. Get good first. Then you can start charging.
16. No one in the industry cares about how
good your music is. They care about how successful you have
become on your own.
17. Go out of your way to help others in your
scene. It will eventually come back around.