It’s really hard being a member of an independent band. As you grind your way through one Slug & Lettuce open mic night after another, your wallet starts to represent your jeans, tight and stained with the irreverence of playing too many shows for “the exposure”. You may be a hotly tipped 90s infused post-baggy expose from Bognor Regis, but unless you follow the rules, the dream of playing the Norwich leg of the NME Radar Tour will be nothing but a reverb soaked wet dream sound tracked by Spector.
Because we “can’t all have solid gold houses and rocket cars” like proper musicians (The Vaccines) Angry Small Band are benevolently fighting the corner for all the bands who are third on the bill. Here’s a few industry insider tips that we learnt from following them.
EVERY OPPORTUNITY IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PROMO
All across the country, from Hoxton to Hamworthy, the country is in dire need of guitar music wielded by the gentrification forces of independent music. So, who’s going to give it to them? You, that’s who!
DON’T ACCEPT PIRACY
Remember guys, piracy funds terrorism. So, if in the fight against piracy, we must glue CDRs into Discmans, then so be it.
AND MAKE EVERYONE PAY FOR EVERYTHING
“People are willing to pay £4 for a cup of coffee that: costs pennies to make, takes minutes to prepare and is gone after one use. Yet millions of people won’t pay £1 for a song they like, that: costs thousands to record, can be used over and over again, took years of practice to create, and lasts a lifetime.”
BUT, PAYBACK THE DEDICATED FANS
If you don't have a recording advance, then these poor little followers are your cash infused lifeboat. But, just how a lifejacket is rewarded with a meaningless blast of air to fulfil it with importance, you should gift your fans with a ream of *exclusive* downloads.
DO NOT ACCEPT THE MINIMUM, REMEMBER YOU'RE IN AN INDIE BAND
You know what the problem with our generation is? It’s that they’re willing to do everything for free with their only payment coming in the form of exposure. Have you tried paying your rent in references? It’s fucking impossible. Instead, this generation needs to remember that they’re owed something. Which means £250 upfront, expenses paid and a HMV rescue package sized bar float.
REMEMBER THAT WE NO LONGER LIVE IN THE SIXTIES
In case you didn’t realise, it’s not the sixties anymore. It’s the twenty teens. Which means, social media. If you’re not updating your socials with frequent updates, starting Twitter beef with rappers and offering up live streams of your rehearsal sessions sent via Vine, then you’re dead to the world. Still, it’s a shame. If we forgot about the internet, we’d probably have ten Beatles by now.
CROWDSOURCING IS THE WAY FORWARD
Why pay for anything when you've got a dedicated ten person following who can pay for everything for you?
ASSOCIATE WITH SEMI-FAMOUS PEOPLE
Because it's not what you know, it's who you know. And if who you know is a former 2004 NME cover star, then you might as well ink up the Domino records contract now. You're signed.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanBassil