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"Be polite to your coworkers."
Founder of Infinite Best Recordings, manager of Twin Sister and Ava Luna
81. BE POLITE TO YOUR COWORKERS. That is, while you’re in band-mode, be courteous and respectful to everyone you encounter, from industry macher to dorky fanboy. Sounds simple, right? Prove it! Bands are forced to interact with so many different kinds of people, often in loud, dark rooms, many times under the influence of various substances (or a post-show ego-high). It can be easy to lose your head, talk shit, mouth off. Sound guys, bookers, bouncers, promoters, lawyers, managers, publicists, label folks, fans, photographers and (especially) other bands... they all look the same in the crowd, they all are your current or potential coworkers, and if you just got off the stage (or are currently on it), they are all secretly watching you to see how you interact, whether you’re a nice person or a total dickwad. I can’t tell you how fast word gets around when a band or artist is less than kind, and I’m continually amazed at how many people remember you if you make a little extra effort to be nice.
Producer/engineer, Rare Book Room
82.Try to work with an engineer or producer who clearly understands your sonic vision. If you can, take them out for a beer beforehand (who doesn't like free booze?) and talk about what you want to do. If said vision is still verbally murky prior to crossing the studio doors (hopefully not due to the beer), make sure the engineer gives you a strong sense that they will at least pay very close attention to your particular needs and requests for a certain aesthetic/type of sounds. It's your music, not theirs.
Founder and Agent, Panache Booking
How to draft a booking email that will actually be read:
83. In the subject line, make sure you state the name of your band and the date you are inquiring about. If you are on a recognizable label, you could also mention that in the subject line.
84. Keep the email as concise and to the point as possible. Whoever you are emailing is most likely at their office reading your e-mail and has no time to read a novel.
85. Make sure your band name and the date you are looking for is visible within the first half of the message. [Editor’s note: see number 79.]
86. Include two to five noteworthy web links that pertain to your band. These could be your artist site, Bandcamp, Facebook, media press links, record review links, etc.
87. Do not attach files or mp3s! This is extremely annoying and clutters one’s inbox.
88. If your band is on a label, touring around a release, or has a publicist working a campaign, include that info. Keep it to a couple of sentences.
89. If your band has shared the stage/toured with other recognizable artists or played noteworthy festivals, you can mention these here. Again, keep it to a couple of sentences.
90. Make sure that in one quick glance or perusal of your email, the key information stands out and is easily spotted.
91. If you have a short, decent press quote or two, you can insert these at the end. The publication or entity you are quoting has more influence then the strength of the quote. Keep that in mind; quotes from entities like Pitchfork, SPIN, NPR, NY Times, Village Voice, L Magazine [Editor’s note: aw, shucks] will probably pique some interest and possibly a response.
92. And one more thing! A last reminder to keep it concise while still being as informative as possible. Probably no longer than this tutorial.
"I always had the idea that this was a really great thing to do: it's fun, it's important and we'll do it as long as we can."
Mar 29, 2012