Gil's 19 Things Local Bands Just Don't Get
From OzzMania's manager, Gil Mendiaz, adapted from an article he wrote some time ago.
Don't be too busy to read this, or you’re never going to make it in the music business. What’s on my mind.... so many things that impact the friends and supporters I am fortunate to have. I'm a smart guy, but not this smart and want to share this with the current musicians working hard in the music business that really want a chance to play and make a little money. Most importantly, the hard working musicians that give so much. I'm inspired by a few people, but 2 in particular. Won't mention their names, because they know who they are and don't need to embarrass them or expose how kind hearted and sincere they are about their love for music and the business. I guess I'm blessed to know the Obi Wan of rock-n-Roll. It’s a little long but worth the read. If you don’t, it is your loss.
19 Things Local Bands Just Don’t Get:
Trashing other bands in your scene isn’t hurting their rep. It’s hurting yours.
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.
Looking like a rock star isn’t as important as sounding like one.
Image is actually important. Cargo shorts are for dads at a barbecue. Not for musicians on stage, unless it’s your costume.
Being respectful and friendly will take you much further than being superior and entitled.
Going to other bands’ shows is THE most important thing you can do to support your scene.
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.
You don’t need press to pack a show. You need a strong work ethic
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 making friends.
Facebook is dying. If your entire promotional plan relies on it, you’re doomed.
HOWEVER, once you’re established, social media can be a powerful tool, allowing you to target ads, paying to boost them on a business account.
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?
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.
Playing around town all the time weakens your draw. Spread out your shows so you can promote one big show every 6-8 weeks.
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 a cover.
If you suck, you do not deserve to be paid. Get good first. Then you can start charging.
No one in the industry cares about how good your music is. They care about how many people will pay for your music.
Go out of your way to help others in your scene. It will eventually come back around.
If you get complacent because of some success, if you become arrogant, especially in the tribute world, you are doomed to have a short lived time as a top tribute! You’re an actor, imitator, playing a part someone else created or really did. Understand this and make it part of who you are and who your band is and you will work, be sought out and never turn down a job because you MIGHT get a better deal. Gambling has odds and the odds always favor the house....
Thanks for reading this and if you want to work, get paid and get treated like a professional musician and not a slot machine, we may be able to use you, or you may be able to help us even in the music business with the right people. One hand still washes the other! Live, Love and Rock.... Gil Mendiaz