Tag Archives: band

Starting a band 2: getting on the web

Last week, we did our first interview for a blog. We’re a three-month old band.

We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to put ourselves in front of a new audience, and it was actually a fun process. I’m looking forward to seeing the results once they’re online – I’ll post a link as soon as it’s live. But we haven’t got any recordings done that actually sound like us, yet. We’ve put some basic demos online, mainly to share between ourselves than anything else, but that’s about it. And yet we’ve been interviewed, albeit as part of a series on new bands.

It’s crazy how the internet has changed things for musicians, both for better and worse. Marketing yourself online is an early part of the process. Young bands turn to the internet to find their fame as much as the gig circuit. For some, it’s even replaced the gig circuit.

When we were putting this band together, I went on some ‘join my band’ type sites to see if I could find some additional members. We tried out a few people, none quite worked out until we met Dan, who was put onto us by the guy who runs the practice space we use.

The thing I was shocked at, going on those band sites, was how many people seemed unwilling to work at building an audience. Quite a few people said something along the lines of: “I want to be in a band that build a following online before we play anywhere. Then we can avoid playing pubs or stuff like that.”

Well good for them, I wish them luck. But it seems to me that they’re missing the point of playing in pubs (and I don’t really get why that’s bad – some of the best venues to play in London are in pubs). Working your way up to larger venues by playing regularly give you a chance to hone your show, and improve your songs as you road test them. Playing the songs will become second nature, which will also result in better recordings.

We also noticed that people expected us to have really professional sounding recordings of our songs before they would consider playing with us. Basic demos of the songs didn’t seem to cut it. Making great quality recordings of your music is a lot easier these days with software such as Garageband. As a result, there is now lots of interesting and really creative music from unexpected places all over the world. But maybe for some, it’s diminished the imagination somewhat.

Don’t get me wrong – the internet is an amazing resource for independent artists. You can build a relationship with your fanbase in a way that you just couldn’t really do before the internet. You can sell your records and merch on your terms, and reach a global audience, without it costing a fortune. It’s great. All I’m saying is, it’s not the answer to everything.

So we’re going to use the internet to introduce people to our music as much as we’ll use our shows. But it’d be a mistake to see it as the easy road to a bigger fanbase.

Advertisements

Starting a band

This is my first post on this website, barely a day old. A fresh new website for a very young band.

Partisan Waves hasn’t existed for very long – about three months, tops. It’s been gesticulating for some time, and now it’s here, and we’re getting better every week.

The band might be new, but the stock of songs that we have to work with have been written over the course of a couple of years. The initial catalyst for the band occurred a year and a half ago. Paul and I have been playing music together, off and on, since we were teenagers. Though the bands we formed had the occasional flash of promise, they never really worked out, and I hadn’t really played music for a long time.

We decided to play music together again and bashed through a few cover songs at my flat. It was fun, and we talked about making it a regular thing, maybe forming a covers band or something.

It was not a particularly happy period for me at the time. My 20s were rapidly disappearing. Although I was in a happy, long-term relationship, I felt that my work life had stalled. I was back working in my home town for the first time in 10 years. I found it increasingly difficult to cope with the outside world. I withdrew. I worried the hell out of my fiancee.

But the opportunity to play music seemed to be offering a glimmer of hope. I felt compelled to do something with it. I was at home, off sick from work, when I decided to write a song about how I felt. It came together really quickly, and it seemed alright, so I recorded a very rough version and sent it to Paul. He liked it, so we decided to work on it. It made me feel better, so I kept writing.

Paul had been writing songs on and off for a few years as well. He’s also the best guitarist I know – not just technically, but creatively. It took us a while to get a drummer on board, but when Dan joined the band, everything clicked into place. Dan’s not only a great drummer, he’s a brilliant songwriter, so all three of us have been adding songs to our set list.

Now we’re refining our set, and hope to start gigging regularly pretty soon. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading about the band as it develops.

Cheers,

Mark