A note from the editor
Hello FNO Bands and Performers,
First of all, check out our partners earBuzz and Indie Music and tell 'em FNO sent ya!! They both supply great services to indie musicians.
This month's article is about being the best professional musician you can be because you never know who is in the crowd.
August's featured band is Spies of Life. Check 'em out below.
If you want to be a featured band, let me know. I also want to
hear from members who hit the festivals this summer, which were the
best for you?
FNO Marketing Chick
Festival Network Online
FRIEND REQUEST FNO ON MYSPACE!
P.S. Remember, if you have a website, let's link swap!
|« Newsletters Archive - To view previous newsletters, check out our archives! We
publish 3 newsletters each month! Art/Craft, Food/Commercial,
|Get Up, Get On And Get Off: The Early Bird Catches The Record Deal!
By Sheena Metal|
Imagine this…you’re in the local hospital’s pre-op ward waiting for the
removal of your pesky rupturing appendix. You wait and wait in
side splitting agony while your doctor chats it up with the nurses,
gathering phone numbers from the hot ones. After what seems
forever, he gets you prepped and begins the surgery. What should
have been a 20-minute procedure turns into two hours. He cracks
jokes and talks about his cherry red Ferrari, while you’re lying
unconscious with your abdomen split open. Finally, you’re sewn up and
ready for recovery but super surgeon and his crack anesthesiologist are
having a heated discussion about the science of their golf games and
have seeming forgotten you’re passed out underneath them with tubes
stuck in every orifice. If this were your surgery experience,
you’d freak out, sue the hospital and your hot-shot doc would wind up
cleaning bedpans at the state convalescent
Sadly, like our skirt-chasing doc, many musicians think that the
consequences of their actions are immaterial and treat their audience
with the same lackadaisical disregard that the before-mentioned doctor
treated his poor patient with. These selfish creative types show
up to gigs late, set up at their own leisure (roughly the same pace
that a 100 year-old tortoise would run the Boston marathon), play as
long of a set as they please (regardless of their designated set time)
and break down/clear the stage at their own whim with little or no
regard to the club’s schedule.
However, if you asked any of these artists, they would say that they
consider music to be their career…and shouldn’t a career be treated
with the same importance and professionalism whether you’re a budding
rockstar or an established surgeon? It should, but often it’s not
and bands then find their reputations are tarnished with labels like:
slow, lazy, and irresponsible simply because they seem unable to get
their show on (and off) in a timely manner. Get branded as a
slovenly flake and watch the music industry folks jump ship faster than
the rich ladies on the Titanic.
The following are a few tips that will help you to get up, get on and
get off in a timely, professional manner that will impress the
powers-that-be and leave you fans wanting more:
1.) Have Everything Set Up Before You Set Up---It’s not like you just
found out you were playing five minutes before. Gigs are booked
days, weeks or months in advance so there’s no reason not to be well
informed and well equipped prior to your arrival and set up.
Guitars and drums should be tuned, drum kits and guitar pedals set up
and dialed in, and song lists printed and distributed so that set up
time is minimal. Once the stage is free, a professional band will
simply haul their gear onstage, plug it in, and do a few last minute
tweaks before they’re ready to rock and roll. The ancient
tortoise rockers, however, will plunk the road cases down on the stage
and then force friends, fans and industry alike twiddle their musical
thumbs in anticipation while each piece of gear is pulled out,
unwrapped, wiped off, place into position and screwed in slowly but
surely. Truthfully, it’s about as interesting as watching paint dry
without the guilty pleasure of getting high off the fumes.
2.) Sound Check/Line Check Is Not A Mini Concert---You may view your
sound check as the concert before the concert but you’re not making any
friends dragging out your sound check to an hour and a half while bands
are lined up out the door waiting to set up their own gear and check
their sound. Same goes for the line check. You may be
surprised to know that audiences aren’t all that excited to sit and
listen to you work out your live sound in front of their eyes and on
their time. Save the lengthy tune-up and checking for the Making
Of The Band video. Get your levels quick and get to
3.) Plan Out Your Set Time Well Before Your Set---The key to a tight set
is the prep work that goes on before the night of the gig. Many
artists believe that the longer they’re onstage the more the audience
gets revved up, but there is something to be said about “too much of a
good thing.” Plan out your set, time it and then time it again
and make sure that it comes in a few minutes under your designated set
list time. Little passive aggressive tricks like cramming in two
or three extra songs at the end of the set or coaxing your friends into
screaming for an encore only serves to enrage your sound man and
confuse your crowd and extensive tuning and chatting amongst yourselves
and audience members in between songs is just plain tedious. The
tighter your set is the more professional it sounds to the ears of your
audience and the happier you’ll make your bookers, promoters and club
4.) Tear Down Should Be The Quickest Of All---If you thought your set up
was quick, your band’s tear down should be lightning fast in
comparison. So much time is wasted every night at a music venue
as musicians dawdle after their sets, drinking and chatting with
friends, while their gear lies piled up onstage, preventing the next
artists from getting set up. Pick up your instruments, haul them
of stage, and take them outside or into the green room. There you
can wrap your gear up, clean it off, and pack it away into cases and
into your cars. Then, it’s time to toss back a few beers and gab
with the masses until closing time, without interrupting the flow of
Imagine this…you’re in a local club waiting to check out an act your
label has sent you to scout. You wait and wait in growing more
bored and more drunk while the band you’ve been sent to see chats it up
with the women in the room, giving t-shirts and CDs to the really hot
ones. After what seems like forever, the bands takes the stage
and begins their set. What should have been a 30-minute showcase
turns into an hour or more as the band plays a loose set, stopping
often to tune, complain about the sound, yell to the bartender for
drinks and crack jokes with select audience members; while you sit
unimpressed trying to get a feel for the band’s style. Finally,
their set ends and you wait to approach the band on behalf of your
label but these super rockstars are still onstage wrapping up endless
cords and wiping down each piece of gear while they chat with each
other about how much their set rocked. If this were you’re A&R
experience, you’d give up waiting to speak with these lazy musicians,
go back to your label and tell them to forget about this particular
band and these hot-shot rockstars will wind up working at Starbuck’s
until they go on Social Security. This doesn’t have to happen to
you. Learn to get up, get on and get off. You’ll soon have
the reputation as an easy-to-work-with, professional, reliable
band. After all, you never know who might be in the audience to
see you on any given night.
Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor,
consultant, columnist, journalist and musician. Her syndicated
radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over 2,400 affiliates to
more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians’ assistance
program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently
promotes numerous live shows weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she
resides. For more info: http://www.sheena-metal.com.
|Featured FNO Band - Spies of Life
FNO member John Tyler wrote me about featuring his band so I checked
out their Myspace tunes and the song Heavy Medication was right up my
alley. They are a fun bluesy jam band from Atlanta and became FNO
members back in 2003.
Congrats to Spies of Like, this month's featured FNO Band!
In the picture
on the left is Patty
Albigese-Robbins: Songstress, Vocals, Acoustic Guitars,
Tambourines. Below: Band Member Lou Simmons: Vocals, Piano,
Spies of Life can be seen at the Candler Park Fall Festival on October
13 in Atlanta and the Save the Hemlock Festival in Dahlonaga, GA
November 3. For more info visit them on myspace.
If you would like to be featured here, please email julie! Put
FNO band feature in subject line. EMAIL: julie AT festivalnet.com
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