There has been a widespread opinion that ‘rock music is dead’ for years (or decades, arguably). Still, this is a sweeping and vague statement to make. It never quite makes sense to me when people say this.
Bands are still successful in the modern music industry, though I do agree that most of them have undeniably branched off into alternative genres of rock and reinvented the old school sound.
Okay, so traditional rock and roll may not be as popular as it once was in a ‘mainstream’ sense any longer, but a better question would be: Are bands dying out?
Given that the music industry as a whole has been suffering and profits have been decreasing year after year, it does seem, on the surface, that only musicians with a brand which perhaps spreads into other forms of media such as films or modelling are maintaining mainstream success.
The bigger worry on your mind as the young and idealistic member of a band is likely that it seems impossible to achieve success in such a competitive, overcrowded and yet struggling music industry.
Still, whilst the game may have changed, the love people feel for their favourite musicians has not; no amount of corporate greed or terrible pop music can change that.
The right image and promotional tactics can still create a successful band in the modern age, so here are some tips to help you achieve that status.
Maybe you were expecting that I’d suggest some incredible promotional technique to start off your journey to the top, but the fact is that your band may just need to practice first of all.
You need to walk before you can run, and that means honing your art until it sounds like far more than a few guys or girls playing instruments in a crowded garage.
The garage sound is appealing, of course, as people like the raw feel of small, local bands at gigs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re looking for amateur hour.
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You need to be working with decent tools, but you also need to know how to play your instrument to the best of your ability. People may not want a clean, overproduced sound, but music lovers usually want to hear something rhythmically in-time and in-tune.
Whilst you guys may have played amazingly in your garage, you’re not going to get noticed from there, and you’re also not going to improve if you don’t play in front of a crowd. You need the practice just as much as you need to build a name for yourself and attract new fans.
Live gigs may be scary, but once you’ve mastered that environment, playing on your own will become a piece of cake.
Social media works for bands. Just take a look at Arctic Monkeys; they were one of the first bands to promote themselves using the internet, and they essentially gained fame solely from their online demos.
Given that they became one of the biggest bands in the world, I’d say that using social media to spread your music to as many people as possible is a good idea for your band.
Record Something Different.
At the end of the day, people only want to hear covers for so long. You need to create something unique and different about your ‘brand’; for a band, this usually stems from the music itself.
Drawing inspiration from other artists is necessary, of course, but you need to add your own flavour to the sound, rather than coming across like a tribute band. A singer with a unique voice or a weird combination of different genres can often capture people’s attention.