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How does a band break through the noise these days?

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by Ruston, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Ruston


    Everyone is in a band. Bands are buying likes and views on social media. Promoters don't want to book new bands.

    This brings up the question: what have you noticed working well for bands to break through the noise of all the other bands?

    Is paying on social media for attention the only way for a new band to break out these days? Is it all about who you know? I want to hear your thoughts.
  2. Horrorca


    play a shitload of shows for long-ass time and eventually people will notice???

    if you're looking for fame and/or money, there's a 99% chance you'll not make it and just grow bitter about it - just play for the fuck of it
  3. Iago

    forbidden chalice.

    Supporting your local scene helps. It sounds ironic to spend funds on things that aren't focused on your own band, but by keeping other bands around you afloat, it helps build a sense of camaraderie. Promote other bands and they're bound to support you. You can help fill each others bills and expose your fans to them and vice versa. In a much bigger scale, I found out about Manchester Orchestra because how much they interacted and associated themselves with Brand New. The Pennsylvania scene is filled with bands like Tigers Jaw, The Menzingers, and Title Fight who all go to each others shows and support each other. Cover local band songs. Makes splits with them, which in my opinion, is a fantastic way to get into new bands if done correctly. Promotion is only good if it's done with the heart.
  4. Ruston


    For the sake of this thread, let's leave the fame and fortune idea out. Let's aim for the "decently drawing regional act".

    Playing a shit ton of shows is one way of doing it. You don't want to burn yourself out (or you fans) though.

    Supporting your local scene definitely makes a lot of sense to me. Lifting each other up rather than being competitive with your other local bands.

    I've always been a believer in making friends/connections with every touring act that you play with. Often times it wont help you in the long run, but you never know when they might hook you up with a show in the future. That as well as playing every show as if it's sold out, even if you are playing to the sound guy. That sound guy might hook you up with a better show the next time you play.

    Any other thoughts?
  5. Matt Chylak

    I can always be better, so I'll always try. Supporter

    Your goal should always be to build an authentic niche audience and work from there. There are limitless ways to do that, but spending money on Facebook ads is not a good option.
    Jose likes this.
  6. Ruston


    I agree that Facebook ads are not a good option. Same with buying likes. It actually makes your posts be seen by less people who actually care.
  7. Fucking Dustin

    Hey now we'll be okay Supporter

    This kinda goes without saying but: be good.

    Overall those are the best ways, along with having creative ways to promote yourself to others that makes you stand out from the typical "buy our shirts/albums".
  8. Ruston


    Haha! I was waiting for someone to throw this in. Being good is definitely a good start.

    The second part of your response is more what I was looking for. What is a creative way to promote yourself these days? Any examples from bands you know?
  9. Fucking Dustin

    Hey now we'll be okay Supporter

    One band I know has candles that go with the album which I think is so cool. One of their members makes their own candles and it makes perfect sense, people make videos to have visual senses go with the audio, so why not utilize the other senses? Another band I knew had a player that was very good at drawing so they had blank EPs and when you bought one, they'd do custom sketches for each person by request, while making sure they fit the tone of the album. Word of mouth when you do stuff like this spreads fast because everyone thinks it's cool to have something they find unique, and wants to share it with other people because of that.

    The challenge is finding something outside of music you can do at a high level, and use that skill to create something innovative while still making it about the music. As long as it's not too gimmick-y and enhances the listening/supporting experience, music lovers will be excited about it and those will be the people that stick around.

    That's my two cents.
    Anti-Counter-Culture likes this.
  10. Your Milkshake

    Prestigious Prestigious

    from where I'm sitting I can see this as an era where tons of great music gets proper attention. even in more avant garde genres/with smaller demographics

    I haven't heard anything in a while that was great that I'm stuck pondering why it is not recieving attention and I actively listen to a very large amount of new music on a weekly basis
  11. Fucking Dustin

    Hey now we'll be okay Supporter

    There's a lot I hear where I wonder why it doesn't get as much (local) recognition. There's a lot of bands that "make it out" and aren't that good (IMO) compared to great artists around here who don't get nearly the same recognition.

    However, outside of this local area, I completely agree.
  12. Your Milkshake

    Prestigious Prestigious

    just my personal experience. There's prob still lots of stuff out there

    I've seen many give examples of bands that are either releasing music in dying genres or they're just flat out not very good or broadly appealing
  13. Lucas27 Apr 26, 2016
    (Last edited: Apr 26, 2016)


    I can't pretend to know the answer to this question, and I'm only beginning to write/play/record music, but I've been thinking about the answers to this question preemptively and this is how I personally plan to go about it based on what I've learned from those who have already found success:

    1. Be honest. If you aren't genuine, it will show. I find that when I try to please others when I write, it's ironically less likely to resonate with the same ones I'm trying to please. It's my job as a writer to tell my story and tell it honestly. If you've heard Julien Baker, she only planned on her friends hearing Sprained Ankle because of how personal it was and before she knew it it was on year-end lists.

    2. Connect yourself. Find a bunch of outlets (whether it's local venues or online outlets like and put yourself out there. I don't know to what extent this will help, but putting yourself out there CAN'T hurt. Unless you're putting yourself out there the wrong way which leads me to...

    3. Be faithful/patient with your limited audience. First of all, you have no choice. But second of all, if you're not faithful in the small things you're never going to build up a good fan base if your current fan base feels like you're constantly looking past them. I know they get a lot of flack here, but music preferences aside, I think every budding musician/band can learn from a band like Twenty One Pilots who had the same passion in front of 10 people as they do now in front of thousands.

    4. Work on it and continue growing. Mr. Nameless Poster Who Flips Over Tables had it right when he said "be good". Listen to a lot of artists and be influenced. Then practice. Then listen some more. And then practice some more.

    5. Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm in the same boat as you right now. :) Also, I'm a singer/songwriter and so my advice might be less applicable (or applied differently) to a full band. But that's what I've got.
  14. DarkHotline

    I’ll teach you to be happy! Prestigious

    Be interesting. If you get thrown into a group of nine other similar bands and nothing about you stands out, you're not going to get noticed.
  15. nfdv2

    Trusted Prestigious

    from what i've seen, play shows a lot / make friends with local bands and have a presence in your local scene / play in other cities as much as possible / release something new every year

    so basically all the things i am bad at and will probably never do, lol
    bradsonemanband likes this.
  16. Ruston


    Something that was recommended to me a long time ago was to pick a few cities nearby to focus on, rather than tour to a city you wont visit for another year (or more). I feel like this is a lot more realistic for small bands who aren't even making money for gas. My band focuses on certain New England/NY areas. We're trying really hard to be able to draw in certain cities that we can visit a few times throughout the year as weekend warriors.