Thursday, January 13, 2011

the easy part of being a musician

Here are 5 random pictures from previous tours.

I am in the throws of tour booking/planning/organizing/promo.

and all i can say is: SIGH!

and lemme tell you folks, writing the songs and going on the tour is the easiest part of being a musician. All this other shit is... hard!

Well its not that hard per se, you just have to do it. You dont even necessarily have to know how to do it, you just have to start doing it. And then its done, and then you can drive around all happy and enjoy your grande trip... take pictures, camp out, eat canned beans, go to art museums, be a bum, sleep on floors, spend all your money on gas and car repairs, pedal your wares all around the country!
Soul Search!
Sample Coffee and Beer from all Over the country!!
And play/hear/see music and art every night of the week!
Oh! that is the life for me!!!

but... if it was really that simple... everyone that could form a G chord with their bity fingers would do it.

Before all that fun stuff you have to do some stuff. I have had this conversation countless times... I tell people what i do and they say... "gosh... how do you do it?"
and in conjunction, "how do I do it" I'm pleased to tell them, I think everyone should do it... but if the following is too much to even read... you might consider a different route.

a crash course to being a musician... lets get the phrasing right so i get all the google hits:


1. write songs, record an album, practice and for the love of god, DON'T SUCK AT MUSIC.
... that's just step one folks... lets see how many steps I can ramble about ..

2. plan a route... use google maps, its the best technology has to offer

3. book the tour

... this is about as simple as Tiger Woods saying, "now, just hit the ball 300 yards"
Like i said... its not... hard... it just take persistence and time... and patience. All kinds of shit that dont come cheap.

a)Find the Venues, this is another easier said than done... but we'll leave it at that. Come on people, we ALL have access to the internet. It can tell you EVERYTHING, if you just know how to ask it. COME ON!

b) Email the venue and just ask to play, SIMPLE as that: include the date you want and links to everything you have previously set up: Facebook, Bandcamp, SonicBids, Myspace, YouTube, RevernNation, Cd Baby, Last FM, Blogspot... whatever you've got that can show them what you do and that it doesn't suck. I can't stress the not sucking enough. I have profiles on all these stupid sites, Thats a lot of passwords and usernames to keep up with, but this is our world. I invested about 1000 hours of time into Myspace and then it just imploded in on itself and fell to the wayside. So, what will i have to do when Facebook dies? Is this what the Mayas where talking about?

c) Wait 2 weeks before checking back with another email if you dont hear a reply... you will get a reply for about 1 out of every 10 emails you send out, so be sure you contact MORE than your first choice of venues. Unless you are Matt & Kim, then you can play where ever you damn well feel like... but you probably aren't so... AND EVEN IF YOU WERE... they probably dont have to do this themselves anymore... god that would be amazing... you could just skip to the fun part and concentrate on the music and the beer.

d) After you hear a reply, make sure they use the word CONFIRM. Then gather instructions: Where to send posters, how many, get the local papers name, the local radio station, when is load in time, and most importantly... (and i'm so freakin bad at this)... what kind of compensation do they offer... ARE YOU GETTING PAID... maybe a door, maybe %, maybe just a sandwich, but for god sake, no one is going to give you ANYTHING unless you ask for it.

and that's it! you're booked!

e) repeat these steps for each and every city on your route... voila! but wait... there's more!

4) Promote your tour... no one is going to come to the shows if they dont know about it.
oh wow, this is brand new to me. And completely unfamiliar. With a budget of $zero this can be very... costly... with time. You could easily pay someone to do a radio campaign and get your music all over the waves. You could easily hire a publicist. You could just as easily pay a BOOKING AGENT and skip step 3 all together! But you are probably just some poor kid with a guitar and a dream like me so... onward you must read.

5) Have LOTS OF SHIT TO SELL!! Cds! Zines! Tote Bags! stickers, keychains, t-shirts, snowglobes, posters, wallets, postcards, fanny packs, poems, back massages, kidneys, kisses, grill cheeses... what ever it is that you do, that you can make, that people will want... mass produce it and package it and put it on the merch table.

once you have completed these 5 easy steps, nothing left to do but pick out your most coolest outfits, pack it up, gas it up and go...

6) go on tour... you can figure everything else out along the way, the hard part is over. Enjoy your accomplishment, dont get too wasted on the free PBR at the venues so that you start sucking.

If you can do all that, you have accomplished a huge thing for yourself. I LOVE what I do... I love it. I think about it all day at my other job, I plan while I'm driving, showering, watching TV, running the treadmill, writing blogs... I am obsessed.

Being obsessed the best way to get through a thing like this.... it may take over your life. Your WHOLE life. It is a full time job on top of any other full time job you might currently be working to save up for the fucking gas you need to drive 10,000 miles. You may find yourself neglecting: loved ones, pets, diets, friends, writing music, any other hobbies and WHOLE series of television shows you love so dearly!

Being obsessed may be the only way to do these things.
Upon reflection... if you are in fact this obsessed, you didn't need to read this stupid blog at all, because you were going to do it anyways. You had no choice.

Maybe all you found in this random internet blog was that there is someone you can relate to.
I can't think of any other reason why anyone would still be reading.

But i feel pretty good now. i got all that off my chest. I've got a glass of my favorite chocolate stuff with a straw, and I'm going to take a little break from all this work. I'll get right back to it tomorrow, but for now I'm going to relax in my very warm bed and watch one of my favorite tv series.


1 comment:

  1. will keep track of all your usernames and passwords for you. And, more importantly, it will do it all securely! And for free, to boot!

    ...then you just have to pick out one good password and remember it!