We’ve gone over a lot in this How to Land a Band series, so if you’re viewing this for the first time, you’ll definitely want to check out Parts 1, 2, and 3. This article will be covering how to respond to bands after the initial message has been sent. There are several different types of band responses:
No band responses
This happens. A lot. Bands can be busy writing and touring, and they aren’t constantly checking their messages. Sometimes, the messages will be filtered straight to a spam folder. Don’t let this get you down. If there’s an artist you’re really hoping for a response from, contact them in a different way. If you contacted their Facebook initially, send a follow up message via e-mail, text message, or any other way you can find to get in touch with them. If they still aren’t responding, I would send out another message in about a week or so inquiring about the prior messages that have been sent. If there’s still no response, I would cut my losses and start seeking different options. You can always send more messages, but don’t get carried away. It’ll make you look desperate.
Wary band responses
Many artists are very cautious when they receive a message from an absolute stranger. And who can blame them? Wouldn’t you feel a bit wary too if someone contacted you out of the blue? They might test the waters and ask you a question just to see if you’re a real person (and not some sort of a crazy robot who’s plotting to kill them.) When this happens, be yourself and make light conversation. Talk about music, and show that you’re a genuine person who wants to help. If they feel comfortable talking to you one on one, try asking if you can speak more in depth. Phone calls are great, as are Skype meetings. But when a band wants to come in and check out your studio, this is a great sign that shows they are serious about working together.
Interested band responses
There are some bands who get very excited about reading your initial message. Like, really excited. I’ve had bands who think I’m a label trying to sign them to a record deal, and when this happens you need to be sure to clear up any confusion. Explain exactly who you are and what you can offer the band. Once they fully understand why you’ve contacted them, try to get a gauge for what they’re looking to do as a group. Are they serious musicians, or doing this for fun. Are they looking to record their first EP or their 5th? All of these questions will help to see if you’re a good fit for one another. If everything seems to be fitting into place, you’ll definitely want to speak more thoroughly. Like I said before, phone calls and Skype meetings are great, but get them into your studio and you’ll be much more likely to land them.
Non interested band response
There will be bands who are initially disinterested in what you have to say. However, don’t write them off. If they’re already a no go, it can’t hurt to ask them why they aren’t interested. Maybe they don’t have the money, or they lost a band member. If those are some of the issues, you can always suggest a Kickstarter, or having a studio musician come in and play the part of their lost member. Hell, you can even play it yourself if you’ve got the capabilities. The point is, you need to be able to think on your feet and get them excited about their future. Paint a beautiful picture for them and explain your idea of how they can reach the holy land. Worst case scenario is they say no, and you’re right back where you started. Best case scenario, you’ve got yourself an exciting new project.
Hateful band responses
Some individuals are just flat out rude. You spend your time listening to their music and trying to help them – and for whatever reason they feel the need to chew you up. Don’t take it personally. Maybe this person had a terrible week. You don’t know what their personal life is like, so don’t judge them, and definitely don’t sink to their level. Instead, take the high road and apologize for any concerns you’ve caused. The music business is a small business and word of mouth travels fast. Don’t incriminate yourself by venting some steam towards a band who isn’t worth the effort. In the end, everyone’s actions will catch up to them. So keep your actions true to who you are.
We’re coming close to the end of this series and next week will be the final installment. I’ll cover all of the up and down factors that go into trying to land a band, so you won’t want to miss the conclusion. If you have any questions, concerns, or you just want to say hey, please feel free to write a comment in the section below. Thanks for reading, and please share this article with anyone who will find it useful. Peace and rock on.