Dear Record Label: How Do I Get People Talking About My Band?
In a band? Have no idea how to go about getting a label to take you seriously? We've got the answers you're looking for.
In our new series, "Dear Record Label," we went to Roadrunner Records -- home of Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Opeth, Megadeth, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Trivium and more -- and asked them the tough questions that young bands should know the answers to. Each week, we'll be bringing you advice from members of the Roadrunner staff to try and get you on track to get noticed.
This week, the advice comes from Roadrunner Records publicist Amy Sciarretto.
What sorts of behavior tends to make publications want to write about your band? What really gets people talking?
This is a tricky question. If you try and pull one too many publicity stunts in order to get some recognition or coverage in the press, it may backfire or make you look silly or contrived, and take the focus off of the larger goal of people paying attention to your music.
However, when doing interviews with magazines, websites, blogs or any other media outlet, be as specific as you can. Be engaging. Having something interesting to say means a magazine has something exciting to print.
Try to talk in detail. Don't make generic, sweeping statements. Every band says, "We really believe in the album that we've made" or "We're doing something different" or "We didn't want to make the same record twice" or "This is our best album of our career." Snooze. That says absolutely nothing.
Show, don't tell. Get specific, put the writer (and thus the reader of the magazine article or the blog post) in the moment with you so they walk away feeling like they learned something about you, your music, your band and your mission that they could not glean from listening to the music itself.
Instead of "This is the best album we've made and with 'Our New Single,' we really focused on songwriting," say, "'Our New Single' really came from a dark place. I wrote the song the night that I found a text message on my girlfriend's phone making romantic plans with her ex-boyfriend. I was so mad that I didn't punch the wall. I grabbed my guitar and started strumming. I sat there for an hour trying to perfect one riff and I was snakebitten. Then I called my bassist, he came over, and we grabbed a case of Bud Light with Lime and worked on it for 48 hours."
See how specific, captivating and interesting that is? Put people in the moment, make them feel like they are getting to know you and give them something to grab onto that makes them want to check out more of your music. These types of stories connect the artist with the fan.
Speaking of getting noticed, be sure to check out Roadrunner's Sign Me To website, which allows unsigned bands to display their music, move up charts based on fan ratings, get reviewed by Roadrunner staff and maybe even get signed!