Here’s an industry secret on band biographies: the ones who get the most publicity have more than 1.
There’s three kinds of band biographies. A short 1-paragraph bio, a medium 2-3 length bio, and a full page bio.
1 paragraph approach is great because it’s the most direct line – people will follow up if they need more info but these are the basics that need to be included. Think of this as your elevator pitch. If you’ve cornered your favourite magazine or head of Universal THIS is how you would sell your band.
- Your band name and hometown
- Who you sound like (You’ve heard the whole, if Zepplin had a love child with Chromeo we’d be its illegitimate offspring before, right? No? Well, if you’re stuck this metaphor technique helps.)
- Who you’ve played with/notable successes
- Why anyone should give a shit about your band, rather, what makes you special
Plus, if you’re cold- emailing someone, this is the most professional approach as you’re not just copying and pasting a whole whack of content a promoter, agent or radio station didn’t ask for. If you’re clear and concise, you’ll stand apart from the rest. A 1 paragraph can easily be copied and pasted for live show bylines at clubs/venues web promo and filter through others like radio, blog and photographers. It really pays to have this prepared.
Now if you’ve just done something noteworthy like win a songwriting competition, achieved a landmark in crowd-funding or shot a music video that’s gone viral, that’s where background information in form of word length can help you. Tell the reader why the director of the music video is important to you or what relationship you have with them that’s going to make it an international hit. Explain the meaning of the song in relation to the music video content. If you’ve had other music videos become popular mention the song names and if possible hit counts or where the video led to the song being placed or an artist of note that was a fan of the video.
A full page band bio is basically your EPK with a photo all web links and press highlights on top of artist history, discography, and notable successes. Make sure you have a PDF of this in addition to high res band portrait photographs as it’s principally used for publicity/journalism.
One thing to hammer home here is making sure that your bio is CURRENT and free of spelling mistakes. And whatever you do, don’t fabricate any facts or quotes.
Conferences, festivals and media outlets all have different needs. These bios mean that you can adjust to them and are the perfect fit for them.
And if you’re not sure how to write a band bio, check out this post I wrote last year.