How to Land a Band From Your Studio at Home (Part 3)
By now you should be feeling pretty confident with your ability to find the right band for your professional studio, or studio at home. If you still have some questions, you may want to go back and refresh yourself on Part 1 and Part 2 – or feel ask me a question directly in the comments below.
“Sure we know where to find our bands and that’s a great start. But Justin, come on, anyone can do that, get to the good stuff!” I know you’re hungry for some knowledge, so open up your brain hole and get ready for a healthy portion of learn-age. When it comes to contacting a band there is a ton of methodology behind it, so open wide.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure you are sending your messages privately (especially if you have a studio at home). Don’t publicize your quest for new talent on someones wall for all the world to see. It’s tacky. And after you start sending hundreds of messages your name will get noticed – (and not in the good way). So leave those walls alone.
The Cookie Cutter Message
DO NOT send a bland, generic, (obviously) copy-pasted message to a potential client. Here’s an example:
“Hey guys, I really love your music, you’ve written some great songs! I’m a music producer and would love to talk to you more about working together. Contact me back. Thanks!”
Sure, you can copy paste this message 600 times from your studio at home, but no one will respond to you. And if you’re sending the message via Facebook, you’ll get pegged as spam after about your 20th copy-paste. If you’re lucky enough to not get banned, I guarantee your name will make its way through the grapevine of bands who talk to one another via groups and forums. Once your name is shown in a negative light, it’s hard to detach yourself from that stigma.
Written Publicly, and Generically.
Actually Listen to the Music
When writing a message, personalize it. Quote a lyric, talk about how the harmonies lift the chorus, make mention of the unexpected saxophone solo. Do whatever you can to show that you’re an actual human being and not some lame old robot. When a band sees you took the time out to actually listen, it hits them right in the heart. They are real, live people who poured their soul into that lyric you just quoted. You’ll make more of a personal connection which will progress into a promising conversation.
What to Include
I’ve written thousands of messages to bands, all as unique as the bands themselves. I always find myself incorporating these 4 things.
1) How I found them.
2) Something that struck me about their music.
3) Asking about their current goals.
4) Letting them know who I am.
You can incorporate them all in one paragraph, or 4 depending on how much you have to say. You’ll notice things that work and things that don’t, so take note.
Writing by Region
One thing that strikes me is how vastly different bands from different areas will respond to the same message. I’ll give you an example. When I was in New York, I’d message bands and tell them something I like about their music and something that could use improvement. I had an overwhelmingly positive response using this technique. The bands in NY craved that constructive criticism. When I moved to Austin and tried that same strategy, bands went ice cold. Here, the bands didn’t take well to criticism. They saw it as insulting. I needed to revamp my approach. Instead, I left out the criticism and received much warmer replies. So bear in mind, something may work at one place/time, but don’t grow too attached to it because you will need to make amendments.
It’s a Numbers Game
One thing you need to know is that not every band will respond to you. You may message 10 bands on a Monday and receive 0 replies. Then you get back on your horse on Wednesday, and score a perfect 5/5. The point is, you need to send out a ton of messages. Because even the bands that do reply are not a guarantee to work with you in your professional or home studio. The more nets you cast the better, so get out there and keep fishing.
I’m hoping that these strategies will help you on your quest to work with new talent. They aren’t meant as gospel, more so as guidelines. You should borrow a few ideas from me and make them your own. See what works best for you.
Next week we’ll cover how to respond to a band that replies to your initial message and how to bring them into your professional studio, or studio at home. Then the conclusion of this segment will be the ups and downs of the entire band messaging process. Thanks for sticking with me so far, and please stay tuned for more.
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