Bent Out of Shape: How to Know If Your Band is Ready for a Record Deal



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Here it is: real simple .... great guitar playing. Your soul and heart is pouring out of every riff... every lead and lick!!! Honest chops that knock down walls. Absolute mastery of the guitar with a smokin tone to die for. I will buy it go to the show and go to the woodshed to copy some of them there licks... Keep rockin your &$%&$%# OFF!




Hey Will,

I totally agree the life blood of the current music industry is in touring, 2nd merch. I agree you need to hand the label an already packaged marketable 'product'. And your right touring is key to successes

Take Care.



Hey thanks for reading my blog and replying in such detail. You have a lot of good points. Of course you must have good songs, originality and a strong live performance. My blog should have said that assuming you have those, these are the three aspects you need to attract attention from labels. I was focusing on the business side as opposed to the creative side.

Of course there are exceptions but after looking at all the bands I know who are signed and analyzing them I found that my three points seem to be a common theme. The industry has changed. Touring is what makes bands/labels money and builds a fan-base and sells albums. I've seen many signed bands whose music wasn't amazing but because they toured regularly got good deals from labels. If a band has great songs and a good live performance, they will go nowhere if they are unwilling to put in the time/money/effort into touring. No label will be interest. Again there maybe a rare exception but for the majority thats definitely the case. Cheers



Hey Will,
Always enjoy your articles just wanted to give you my 2cents on this one, the Counterpoint.

1. Getting signed is not the 'Holy Grail' or the finish line, If anything it's just the the starting gun. Many bands get dropped and many professional touring bands are not hauling in the cost of expenditures to cover their tours and have a pile of cash left over.

2. A professional sounding album is awesome, but if the material is not strong, your not getting far in the long run, or even the short run. Many current and past hugely successful bands demos do not sound polished (and in my opinion in current time- overproduced) and go on to make a killing. Remeber Death Magnetic?

4. It's not your Band name or logo that means anything more than eye candy. Ex: KORN

3.I have seen bands grind it out in clubs, road tours or traveling tours for years. In my opinion that's not what gets you signed.It's a strong performance.

4. I've spent years in LA and your looks don't get you anywhere, unless your a chick and you know that their used for...

5. It's not, if you can shred. Unless you can deliver techniques not previously heard or recorded.

In my opinion the paramount solution to any band/ musician whether your Reverse Grip or Aerosmith is your material. Your songs must be strong or you must deliver a unique talent or craft that divides you from others, individualism. A recognizable sound that anyone can know that it's you from the first note.

I know that everyone can learn from almost anyone. You nee to get your chops, stage legs and tight unit prior to hitting the big stage. But young players need to know. If you pattern your playing style after another artist, your simply a carbon copy of someone your not going to overshadow. Everyone, even non musicians have enough of an ear to know when your ripping off another players licks, melodies or style.

My advice: Be original, play from your soul and don't be afraid to take chances. Trying to 'fit' into the mainstream mold will never have the impact as being different- originality. It'n not your look, your name, your times on stage or your production that makes you successful. It's your material. And then the true measure of your success will be leveled by your live performance.

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