Is Managing My Husband's Band A Bad Idea?

Categories: Fan Landers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for fanlanders_header123.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Hi Fan,
My husband, two cousins and a friend have been practicing in my basement for about two years (whee for me! lol). They have played quite a few open mics with good response. A few local bands have invited them to be openers and the bar where they do open mic has offered them a spot on a bill.
Heres the problem: My husband is the lead singer and is super type A so he has been doing most of the 'managing.' With his full time job, he'd rather spend his free time writing songs rather than doing all the coordinating of practice time, shows, etc. All the other guys are kind of fly by the seat of their pants type characters with no interest in being in charge. My husband asked me if I wanted to take over that kind of stuff--including possibly putting together a promo package and everything else that will come down the road (merch, etc.). I'm 99% sure the other members would approve.

My question is what are the biggest factors I need to think about? How to network? How to deal with a band that is mostly family? I am intrigued by the opportunity but have some reservations. Any advice you have for me would've greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Kim


More »

Why is My Obscure, Vinyl-Only Band So Obscure?

Categories: Fan Landers

fanlanders_header123.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,

I'm having trouble getting press for my band and other bands on the micro label we're on. It's an all analog label, that has actually been tracking/mixing to tape and pressing exclusively on vinyl for the past 5 years. So, there are no digital copies of our music in existence. We do have YouTube videos with quality clips of the music to provide samples of our sound. We've been trying to get an LP reviewed for some time now, and have upcoming releases we're very excited for and would like to have press about them. We've had a small amount of success getting smaller blogs to review it. But despite positive reviews, none of that really translated to any sort of buzz or records sales. I keep hoping reviews from higher profile media outlets might translate to 'buzz' or at least a couple record sales. No one from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Spin, etc. is getting back to me. I'm also not hearing form lower tier magazines. Not sure if it's the emails I'm sending, if there's some secret password that gets you in the club, if it's the fact that we're not a major label, if they're all just afraid to admit no one on their staff actually owns a turntable, or if they just want money to review a record. Any advice on getting records reviewed?

Cheers,
Not Merge

More »

Releasing a Physical CD is a Waste of Your Band's Money. Stop it!

Categories: Fan Landers

fanhead1.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I'm in a weird spot with my music "career." I have a label that's actually willing to put my stuff out, but the last album barely broke even. I don't tour and I don't even have a band with which to play local live shows. Since I'm doing this as a hobby at this point, I'm
inclined stop releasing music on labels, and to put my stuff out for free on Soundcloud or Bandcamp in the future. Some of my buddies argue that doing so devalues music and would contribute detrimentally (in spirit) to a declining music economy. How do you feel about artists like me releasing their stuff for free?

When I've released individual songs for free in the past, interest in them is much lower than the albums that I've done (and sold). What do you attribute this to? The lack of paid publicity, or do you think people are less likely to pay attention to singles than albums? Is
releasing singles (even for free) every month or two less advisable than saving them up for one album every two years?

Signed,
Keep My Name Out Of It


More »

Is It Lame For My Band to Have a "Farewell Show"?

Categories: Fan Landers

Thumbnail image for fanlanders_header123.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
My band has been been together for about six years and in that time we've done some really cool things. We've released records, supported tours, headlined tours, played festivals, and more. We've had a great run and we are proud of what we've been able to do, but after all of those years of putting in close to full-time effort, recently everybody is drifting in other directions of life; baby, travel, work, etc. The question before us is whether we should break up permanently or take a "hiatus." There is no ill will between any of us, and down the road, we may feel like coming back to the band in some form, or we may not. I just don't know if we should close the door forever if there's not really any reason to close it.

Also, and maybe more importantly, if we did decide to be done for good, where do you stand on "farewell shows?" I am not into the idea, but the rest of the band really wants to do it. They seem melodramatic and presumptuous to me.
--Todd

More »

Why Doesn't Anybody Want to Sign My Band?

Categories: Fan Landers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for fanlanders_header123.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
Our band has finished making our second record and it's a bit different than our first one stylistically, which got some really good press. We made a list of everybody we're friends with or know who has influence (e.g. works for a label of interest, is on a label of interest, knows a ton of people, etc). We started sending the record out and got a lot of excited responses but no labels actually ever got in touch with real interest, except for one very small label. We have fans! And we have some amount of critical respect. Which ultimately begs the question, if it's not those things, then what exactly is a label is looking for? Clout? Cred? Buzz? We're lifers, who have been building slow-and-steady 4-ever. The two possibilities I could imagine are: 1) the music is just not exciting enough , or 2) we're just not cool enough. We'd prefer option #1, since at least it's something that we can control. What do you think the problem is?
Sign me,
Larry Gatsby Sr.


More »

Do Record Labels Prefer to Receive Demos or Finished Albums?

Categories: Fan Landers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for fanlanders_header123.jpg

Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
How do labels handle first releases from "new" artists these days? More to the point -- do labels sign people based on demos anymore, or do they only pick up new artists who have a record recorded/mixed?

I've got a 10+ year history with many labels -- tiny indies on up to quasi-majors. I've usually worked as a sidewoman, but for the last year I have been doing solo singer-songwriter stuff. I've demo'd some of the songs with a well-known producer who has given me a very generous "friends" discount. My producer pal has a large chunk of time free this summer and is ready/willing/able to help me in whatever way I'd like, either finishing the demos or recording and mixing an entire record. After this summer, he is booked.


More »

I'm a 40-Year-Old White Guy Trying to Have a Rap Career. Is the World Ready For A$AP Fogey?

Categories: Fan Landers

fanlanders_header123.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I am a 40-something-year-old white guy. I have long hair, like rock music, etc. Basically I am into all things white dudes are into. However over the last few years I have really immersed myself into the rap world.

I saw a Jay-Z commercial last night and found it very inspiring. Well, inspiring enough to get me thinking that if I could make just ONE top 20 rap hit I could be set for life. Then I could start having babies and not worry about their future.

Could you tell me how to break into the rap game without a lot of effort?

I feel like my flow, were I to ever give this a go, would probably be a cross between Debbie Harry on "Rapture" and Pete Nice.

Thanks,
This is 40

More »

These Bands Took Fan Landers Advice: Did It Work?

Categories: Fan Landers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for fan landers-001.jpg

Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

For this week's column, I followed up with some of the advice seekers from the last six months, to see what worked out for them, or what didn't:

Marc, who was feeling surly about his band having to use social media to promote their work, says that since he wrote in, his perspective has shifted: "Why not use it? Who really cares in the end? We are now on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud." Another moment of clarity came when his band was recording their new record with Bill Skibbe at his Key Club studios in Benton Harbor, MI. "[Bill] made a comment about lost hit tracks recorded at Key Club and it lead me to believe we owe it to him to promote this recording--so we hired a publicist. The publicist has done a great job of getting the word out with the album. We use the social media to reiterate her work and focus on making the music we want the way we always have and will."


More »

What To Do About a Violent Drunk in My Friend's Band

Categories: Fan Landers

fanlanders_header123.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I need your help. My roommate's BFF recently disclosed that her cousin, who I know from college, has gotten into serious domestic brawls with her older boyfriend. She says cops have been called. I don't think it's him beating her, but them both giving what they get, though I don't know exactly. They both are intense and volatile and appear to have drinking problems. So how is this my problem? I'm good friends with some of the other guys in the boyfriends' band and wonder if it is my duty to tell them. I would want to know if it was my band, but I don't have any proof, only what I heard secondhand.
Thx,
Frankie


More »

Fan Landers: You Need to Quit Your Band. Now.

Categories: Fan Landers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for fanlanders_header123.jpg
By: Jessica Hopper
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Fan,
I'm in a band of moderate renown. We're a D.I.Y. outfit but the band covers its own operating costs and on tour we can draw a crowd anywhere we play. We're on the cusp of releasing our 2nd album, nailing down dates for a summer tour (including some festival gigs) and shooting a music video for the lead single.

And I am so goddamn bored I want to quit immediately.

It took us a year-and-a-half to finish our sophomore album. During mixing, I suddenly realized that for all my avant-gardiste pretense, we're just a rock band. Just like every other bloody guitar band on the planet. How depressing. I've become disillusioned with the very ontology of being in a band. I look at audiences with contempt and disgust. I watch other bands and feel nothing. The whole endeavor seems a laughable waste of time.

Next year my wife and I are leaving the country for good. Do I grit my teeth and continue til the end, for the sake of my bandmates? Or do I say "fuck this, I'm out," to save what precious little sanity I have left?

Signed,
S


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Events

Links

Loading...