Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday.

So right now I'm doing over seven festivals at the same time on different locations. The next couple of week will be kind of not so updated because of this. After 9 of September, it will cool down and start all the traveling. Of course, it won't totally empty but less long things.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Showcase tip-off part 4, You can drink beer later!

I do this every year.  A couple of posts to prepare for Live at Heart. So if you have followed my blog you probably have read it before. Still, there are changes from the past editions. And as usual, these tip-off works for any showcase festival.

You can drink beer later!

Yes, we know after a really exhausting show it's really nice to get backstage and grab that cold beer that waits in the dressing room. This is really not a good time to drink beer. Just minutes after the show get back out there in the audience and mingle.

I have been both sides my self. I have seen bands and wanted to get their contact information and answers to some questions. Hey in some cases I wanted to book them to Live at Heart. But they never come out again and I need to get to the next show. And since time is going fast I never manage to write to them and in the end that opportunity they didn't know was there is lost.

One of my jobs as a manager is to actually go backstage and get my bands out of there to mingle some 20 minutes with new fans or industry people. Sometimes it's the beer that keeps them, but in most cases is that friends of them are invited backstage and keep on talking how good the show is and so on. And it's hard to say to a friend, excuse me I come back to you I just need to work the room. In many cases that are my job to be that irritating person that nags them back out.

Some also go back and then they go directly on the stage taking things off. That is necessary. But if you are not a solo artist, send someone to work the room and the rest pick things off and join in when they are ready.

A band that stayed and didn't drink beer directly after is Royal Prospect. This live clip from Live at Heart 2016 is from their first Live at Heart. They stayed after the show and worked the room and got signed on the spot by a record label. You can see them this year on Live at Heart still working the room.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Showcase Tip-off part 3, Use your stage time.

I do this every year for Live at Heart (2 of September to 8 of September). A couple of posts to prepare for Live at Heart. So if you have followed my blog you probably have read it before. Still, there are changes from the past editions. And as usual, these tip-off works for any showcase festival.

Use your stage time.

A showcase festival will give you 40 minutes to play 20 minutes to change over. Prepare a set that really is 40 minutes, not 30, not 45. If you play longer, of course, you eat someone else playing time and that is not fair. Things like that can fuck up the schedule for the whole evening. So clock your performance.

Playing to short is equally bad. Okay, only you are affected by it. A showcase festival is several artists playing at the same time, during Live at Heart it can be up to 25 artists at the same time on different venues. And yes some people want to see artists at the same time. what you do is that you see a couple of songs from one band, goes to the next one. But if you end your show to early there might be people coming in that wanted to see your performance missing it, even if it was just the last song.

The 20 minutes change over. Practice this, I don't know how many times I see artists do change over and run around like chickens and it takes longer than it really should. Practice it so it goes faster. And another thing as a professional I actually look as much on the changeover as I do on the performance, you want to see how the artist solves problems.

And in all cases, it is line check. And when it comes to line check it won't be that perfect. Don't waste time to find the perfect sound on your snare. Don't try to squeeze in a full sound check into these 20 minutes it won't work. Also, everybody that is professional knows that the first song in the set usually sounds a bit strange since some of the sound checks are done there. We know it is your time to shine, still, we are also interested to see how an artist handles these situations, that is why I love showcases you can sort out the professionals from the beginners just by see the changeover.

Whatever you do don't go over these 20 minutes. It's horrible when you get into a show where you want to see the first two songs and they are still doing the changeover. In severe cases, we have left before it starts. If something is going wrong try to go around it instead of changing the fuse of the amp. One time it was a blackout in the mixer during a showcase with the band Like Swimming. All instruments except for the mics without effects went silent. It was during their last song. They could just have stopped and got off. But they were professional and played their 40 minutes by picking up the gear and started to play the last song totally acoustic, it was marvelous. See the clip at the bottom.

If you have some asshole artist that has gone over the 20 minutes and leaves you with only 10 minutes change over. It's critical to do it all in 10 minutes instead and rather start in time, here the practice comes in handy. If it's so bad that it even has taken off time of your set. Shorten the set to help the festival get the schedule on track. Don't think that you should have your time worth of show that you only contribute to the problem the rest of the evening.

Here is a live clip of the Like Swimming song where they played "Go Buffalo" acoustic on SXSW. Also alesson how even in an acoustic gig go out with a bang.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Showcase tip-off part 2 Bring your music.

This is a part of a series of a tip-off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 2 of September to 8 of September. The tip-off is not just for Live at Heart would work on any showcase festival.

Bring your music

Yes, it's kind of usual that I meet artists that don't have their music with them to give me. Sometimes they want me to listen to songs on a phone right there and then. That never works for me. I want to listen in my office when nothing is disturbing me.

But then you have the people that bring CD:s. I remember when I got to showcase festivals in the 90:s and you got a suitcase full of CD:s, to be honest with you, I never listen to CD:s. mainly because of the only CD player, we have now is on the Xbox that is in the living room. I won't have time to get there to listen to a CD. So they are mainly just lying around.

Here is a picture of CD:s that I got the past year. Last year we went to the land fill with the CD:s I got over the past five years, and just dumped them. Now I try to say no to CD:s



So what is better a USB stick? Well better, but today I took one of these USB sticks and erased it since I needed space on it. Did I listen to it? No! Same with all these download cards I get, also very hard to do, you have to go to pages and put in a hell of a long code and then download it. In reality, I'm lazy and there is to many steps to be worth it.

The most I know people I know in the business prefer to get links. And prefer video links so you can see the band. You get approached by several so you won't remember their names, but if you see them you usually remember who they were.

The trick is to make business cards, cost almost nothing (Vistaprint or similar). Put your contact details there (email, phone, and homepage. Then put a link to your songs (a direct link). Okay, some one says that would be a hell of a long link on the card, that will be trouble to put in for you.
True but do it this way. Do a secret page on your homepage ( yes you need a homepage, if you go on a showcase festival with just a facebook page or Bandcamp page you are out of the game, a homepage with bio and contacts is a most). Then on this secret page, you put in links to secret songs from Soundcloud, better even embedded. So the link would look like
www.rockband.com/LAHsongs. Easy to put in.
And yes put videos there as well embedded.

Another thing you should do is try to get the address of the person you speak with and then send an e-mail with the links to that person on the same evening. Don't expect them to answer, but you got the links in front of them.

If you are really good, put your gig times on the card, but also space for changes. Then you have to print cards to every showcase, still, a low cost to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Showcase tip off nr 1.Get the most of a Showcase festival!

I do this every year.  A couple of posts to prepare for Live at Heart. So if you have followed my blog you probably have read it before. Still, there are changes from the past editions. And as usual, these tip-off works for any showcase festival.

Get the most of a Showcase festival.

Live at heart has a conference part to it. Use that! Most showcase festivals have a conference part, most artist never uses it. Okay, some of the panels might seem boring. Hopefully, they will give you new information. But don't think of it just like a panel. It's a chance to see industry professionals. Check them out what can they provide for your career? The best way to find out is actually to see panels. You learn and you find new people that you can easily approach right there afterward or during the whole festival. Not going to the conference is like wasting a good opportunity to find your next person to work with.

Attend the mingles. Yes, mingles can be really boring. But if you have done your homework and seen the panels you will find people at these mingles to ask these extra questions you couldn't ask on the panel. Go up to these people tehy are there to find new artists. Not attend any mingle or afterparty is a good way to not get much done on a showcase festival.

A showcase festival is not just a show. It's an opportunity to get the right people down to see your show. A good showcase festival gig can be for just five people if they are the right five people. To get these people down to your showcase you need to invite them
You are faced against 200 good bands. Probably 20 bands play on the same time slot. So there is no point just to invite everybody. Select the persons you think you can do the most with or the persons you find the nicest when you meet them at the panels or mingles.

Also, the panel is a good way to know what people are doing. Just because they work at a booking agency or record label it might not fit. If you play metal and they work with country music it won't be a match. During the panel sometimes, you find new ways. Maybe this country label has just started a metal division.

Be active. I was on a showcase in NYC a couple years ago where I took care of two bands. One band was the headliner, people loved that band. But they wanted to do some sightseeing instead of going to the conference. The other band I had was unknown but they went to the conference with me. Suddenly I got the opportunity to play two songs acoustically in the mingling part. The band took it. Played a really good two songs in front of all the important people and invited them down to their show. That got them a lot of important people to their showcase that night. The other artist mainly just played on the festival and nothing got out of it.

This method also works quite well even though you are not playing at the festival. The introduction part is a huge part of the success of an artist. I have seen artist being successful just on the conference part, not playing. I have also seen many artists just play and just got a gig out of it.

Think of it as an opportunity to just be chosen, use it.

This gig gave The Magnettes a ticket to play in NYC and their career took off. This summer they played around the world and opened up to KeSha on the worlds largest festival Summerfest.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Use your time

When I look back on many careers I see that you often wait for something. Yes, you are probably young and time seems like something that you have plenty of. At the same time, you hear people say "times flies". And it does.

I lectured on a school a couple of years ago. Essentially you got two years at the school just to dig into your artist career. On top of that, you could apply for the third year. That is amazing I know. You think that it would be an easy task then if you had every day for two years just doing what you need to do for your carrier?

Here is the thing. Almost all of the students didn't pick up working hard with their careers when it was six months left of the second year! More or less they got kicked out just when things started to happen for them just to see that they didn't have the time to nurse their career. Why? Well after the two years tehy need to get jobs to support them and suddenly time was of shortage.

So what did they do the first 1,5 years? Most of them did just nothing. They figured out who they were, what style they like and they also thought they had plenty of time, two years is quite long. I only know one artist that actually took the whole two years and made a career and went big. The rest just faded away or came back with new projects later where they felt that time was against them.

What I'm trying to say is that you should not wait for everything. You need to do it right now. Everything you do will be a part of your journey, right or wrong. Still just do it like a slogan say. There is no time to wait.

PERSONAL:
A new trailer just came out of a TV series they recorded some years ago. Most music is actually from our company and Like Swimming appears as themselves in the series. I'm really happy it's getting out finally.
I was doing my debut as an actor in it as well. Or well, actor, extra is more like t. I was showing up as a janitor cleaning the floor. Unfortunately, that scene was cut off later. I guess I have to wait with my acting debut for now! Here is the trailer.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Don't push problems over.

The worst thing you can ever do is to betray your working people. One of the worst is putting off problems to someone else. I get this from time to time.

I was booking a band for example. They demanded a kind of a big sum of money. I couldn't agree on that so I just sent it back with the note that I don't have that budget.
Suddenly I get an email from a booker in a totally another part of Europe, saying that they are the booker for this artist.

Hey, wait a minute the band applied to me saying nothing about a booker. I have for six emails talked to the band and they are not telling me they have a booker. Suddenly now when they have to negotiate they suddenly throw in a third party?

You really hate these things when suddenly when you are negotiating with a "manager" "partner" or something else just pop up like a jack in the box and you have to start everything all over agin.
What in hell where this band even negotation a deal if there was someone that should do that part?  If you ahve a signed a deal that is what it's for.

When these things happen, these artists and their people around them goers stright into the black list of peoople you should not work with. If they fuck their own like this, imagine what they can do to you.

Let the right person handle the things.

PERSONAL:

I feel a lot of changes is going on. I wrote it before. And the consequences for these will be severe. I'm not so sure the industry will understand what I'm about to launch. I guess I'm in the position like bands are when you have to drop a member and you know it will be bad but you have to do it to move on and reach what you want to reach.

Well, I have come to drop the bomb.