Dear Record Label: Music is Everywhere Now. Is Having a Good Live Show Still Important?
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 blog 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 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 Vice President of A&R, Monte Conner.
Q: With the prevalence of easily distributable digital music, has the importance of a good live show been diminished at all?
MONTE CONNER: Not at all. For the type of music I sign at Roadrunner - which is lifestyle - all the bands will live or die based on whether they are able to kill it onstage. Live performances are the true tests for any lifestyle band; it's where they "sell it." That being said, I have taken some risks and signed some bands that were not great at first because, as long as the musicianship is there, very often all it takes is live experience for a band to dominate. Take any average live band and have them play 200 live shows - you'll see something dramatically different at the end. While some guys are born rock stars, for many it takes live experience to become one. So yes, the live show is key. The glut of bands online and their ability to reach kids makes it more important than ever to stand out in person; the live show is what separates the men from the boys.
And if you're an unsigned band, 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!