how to get band press

Don’t Play Your Hometown- Here’s Why

Have a new band and dying to show your friends, families, friends’ cats your new material on every stage in your hometown? Don’t! When it comes to starting out as a new band you need to be strategic about how often you play to make sure people show up and you get the attention you deserve from press, industry and whoever else can help your band get to the next level.

If you’re being bombarded with messages saying “Come check out my band! Come check out my band
!” for semi-weekly or even monthly gigs it’s easy to go, “Well, I can skip this weekend because they’re playing at the end of the month.” Don’t give your fans that option.

When people are booking you they want to see that at least in your hometown at least you have a strong following.  Your local press should be the biggest cheerleaders for your group (unless you’re a fringe genre or metal band huge in Germany that’s already gotten plenty of international press).

Besides, wouldn’t you want to play to an adoring crowd of fans in your hometown than empty rooms that might have you considering a move to the arctic for a warmer welcome?

Here’s why you shouldn’t play your hometown more than every 2-3 months:

- People actually show up!
- Promoters see a big crowd that could very likely turn into more future shows
- The bar owners will be impressed if you bring a crowd and invite you back
- Your hometown press is more likely to cover it as it’s a special occasion
- Your event invites aren’t ignored
- People will take time off work, family commitments, etc. to come support your band
- It gives you time to ample promo (poster the city, send press releases, post teaser songs/vids)
- You can use social media to help build up buzz

And if you’re not in a new band but wondering why your friends aren’t showing up for your band’s gigs, maybe we’ve provided a bit of insight today.

Sing it, Bruce.

How to Write a Band Biography

As a journalist I’ve received thousands of band biographies.  Some of my favourites have been done by fellow music journalists (the David Byrne St. Vincent one made me happy to sign their name signed at the end).  For the most part though, a band biography and subsequent press release are best left to the professionals or at least someone OUTSIDE the band to edit it.

Some basics that should be included:

-          When the band was founded

-          Full names of the members (or at least full stage names) and what they play

-          Hometown (I love seeing that a band is from Tweed, as it separates you from all the other Toronto bands)

-          Accomplishments (awards, who you’ve opened for)

-          Showcase highlights (SXSW, NXNE, Bluesfest)

-          Tour history- or where you’re headed

-          Short press quotes` (1-2 sentences)

-          list where you’ve been  featured (NPR, CBC, Le Voir)

-          Important people associated with you e.g. producer extraordinaire loves you – as a journalist we want to see what makes you different

-          What your songs and music are about in a very CONCISE manner

-          Influences or how you got into music e.g. “After stumbling Kurt Cobain was given a bootleg tape of The Doughboys he began to rethink melodies…” or “After singer X’s mother died of cancer, her songwriting took an introspective turn and she began to explore new themes of morality and fear in her lyric writing that is heard in the new urgency of singer X’s guitar playing.”

-          Links to all of your social media and websites with links to where we can hear your music

-          Link to a high resolution downloadable photo (do NOT mass email giant files like this as journalists and promoters won’t even open it)

-          Contact information!!

All of this should be contained in no more than 3 paragraphs unless you are The National, but even then, they definitely have a 1 paragraph go-to.

Your biography should be something that promoters can copy and paste to your event listing that tells your future audience exactly who you are, not who you’re trying to be.

What should NOT be included:

-          Cliches!

-          Lies (journalists are VERY good at Googling to find out that you haven’t won an award or played on Conan.)

-          Avoid grand statements, e.g. My band is breaking new ground, their sound is incomparable, well I need to know if you sound like the Stills or The Clash,

YouRockRed is happy to help you write YOUR band biography or edit your current one.  Pricing starts at just $50 for editing services and $150 for full band biographies.  YouRockRed bios have helped clients across North American and Europe- they’ve even been translated into Greek! 

Send us an email today and let’s talk about your kick-ass band bio that’ll break down doors for future gigs.

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