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Everybody says the music industry is changing; that the power of sucess is back in the hands of the artist; that the internet makes it easier than ever to get your music heard by everyone. I would love to believe this, but I am all too aware of the real world. The music industry is changing, but slowly. Rome was not built in a day, nor broken down in a day either. For the bloated, archaic industry monoliths to fall requires more of us than ever. Artists must take responsibility for thier music, ensuring that they are releasing the best music of which they are capable. Consumers must support local artists. This is THE most important thing you can do to ensure the change in music climate is for the better. If you hear a song you love, odds are the artist that made that song has taken several years,several thousands of dollars, and underwent numerous self revisions to develop a sound that is absoultely unforgettable. There is an underappreciated sacrifice that many bands volunteer to pursue their craft. Most are in vain; especially without YOUR help. Yes, this is a rant. We do not exist without you, our listeners, our fans. Sure, we love making music. But we only pursue it with such vigor, such wreckless abandon, so that we can offer the best of our efforts to you, and hope that it makes such and undeniable effect that you will tell others. So please, tell others; love it, hate it, or indifferent. Just tell someone how the music that artist have put everything into makes you feel. Tell someone else to listen. We love you for it! Yes, this is a plea. We have been told that we are on the cusp. That if we keep pushing, keep witing, keep gigging, keep throwing ourselves at this with wreckless abandon, we will be successful. I hope with every cell in my body this is true. But it all comes down to you; your judgement of our music, your choice to listen, to spread the music. Yes, this is what it is all about.
If there is one thing that is true about life it is this: Change is inevitable. If you would have asked Mo or I a little over a year ago what our musical aspirations were, it is unlikely we would have an answer. Through events neither of us could have foreseen, we have had the unbelievable fortune to find each other and make the music that we had always dreamed of. Nor could we have foreseen the amazing opportunities being offered to us now. Through a lot of hard work, a lot of learning, a LOT of practice, and a little luck, we now have a direction for ourselves; and aspirations that are limited only by our imaginations. So, as I am sure you all know (we have been advertising it like crazy for too many months), we are working on our first full production album, entitled 'Just a Seed.' (We actually just thought up that name right now). We feel a little concerned that maybe we should have delayed those updates a bit, we were, perhaps, a little too enthusiastic. As we hammered away at recording, engineering, and producing this piece of ourselves to offer you, we began rushing ourselves. We felt an urgency to just 'get it done,' so we could move on to playing more shows and writing more songs. While these two things are extremely important to the vitality of a band, they can't be a distraction from the equally important task of getting this right. We only have one chance at this album. We only have one chance to prove to you that we put everything into our music; to prove our skill, talent, and heart. Given that this effort is bore solely by ourselves, reinforced by your support; and given we have never done this before; we want to do everything we can to make it a success. We have set a tentative release date in early January. We hope to be done much sooner, but we want a time frame we are comfortable with. I know I had some other stuff to blog about subsequent to the last one, but we wanted to give you an extended update on what we are up to. Thanks for reading! Nobody Gets Killed
... But no one ever said it would be this hard.
The idea of starting a band with a few of your friends, writing some songs, and making a career out of it seems so simple. As long as your sound is tight, your lyrics are powerful, and your songs are unique, the fans should just pour in, and the rest should be history.
Little does one consider, along with the constant practicing and gigging, that a whole other world of responsibilities awaits. This is what has crept up on us in the year we have been together. Please don't read this as a list of complaints or a surrender. I hope this will just be an illumination to other artists and our fans of the subtleties required to "break into" in the music business (not that we have by any means).
First of all, all of those glorious songs you have written; they sound great played live (loved your last show!), but what about getting them recorded. The miking techniques, acoustic treatments, plug-ins, mixing, mastering; its enough to spin your head and empty your wallet. We have all heard about the leaps and bounds in home recording technology, making the production of an album super cheap (relatively), which we as a band are unbelievably grateful for, given the fact we were never able to grow a money tree (stupid thumbs never were very green).The thing about technology, though, is the unfortunate side effects; a steep learning curve, struggling with conflicts, and being constantly outdated. This situation we shall delve into further on a future date. For now, suffice it to say that this sh*t gets crazy!
Secondly, how do you get that next hit into the hands of your fans? We have personally experienced the fact that, contrary to popular belief, not everything you upload to that great cloud in the sky goes viral. Given the amount of noise generated by the infinite masses out there, it takes something extremely special (or unbelievably stupid) to make someone watch/share/download a particular song/video/blog/bed intruder. This is one area we as a band are still figuring out. We will have to get back to you once we have it all figured out (... and you can too! for the low, low, LOW price of $59.99 I'll tell you all the secrets 'they' don't want you...). Yeah, don't fall for that sh*t, trust us.
Lastly (for now), how do you get people so interested (amped-up, crazy insane, tweaked out, need-it-so-bad-I-got-the-crack-itch!) in your stuff, they will actually part with their hard (or not so hard) earned money to get your stuff? Well, you could roll it all in Cocaine (cocaine is a hell of a drug), or you can launch a marketing campaign. This is something we have been reading into, and though we are still drudging through step one of this adventure (recording, mixing, and baking), we hope to prepare ourselves and all you out there for each step we take.
Hope to see you in the next round,
Nobody Gets Killed (or do they?)
For a singer, having great pitch means resonating thier voice with all the other insurments to create a powerful harmony. Doing this well takes years of practice and a little (or a lot) of talent. In this week's installment of 'Music Success in Nine weeks' by Ariel Hyatt, the only thing more important than great pitch for a new musician, is a great Pitch. In order for us to get our music heard, we must entice our prospective audience with our words first. It makes sense. You can tell a lot about a band by how they describe themselves. If they are hard pressed to answer such a simple question as, "Sure, I'd love to come see your show. What kind of music do you play?" They may not have a coherent vison or direction for their music. Maybe they haven't given it much thought. Either way, it doesn't make their possible fans interested in attending a show. But if that same band answers with a collective short simple answer, "Electro-funk blues with a twist of opera," it will generate a lot of interest and bigger crowds to play for. So you see, even if your music is ground breakingly epic, it really doesn't do any good if you can't describe it clearly to the public. No matter how well you play or sing, no one will be listening to you unless you work on your Pitch. What I love about her book, is Ariel doesn't just tell you what to do but how. Sure, I know I need a pitch, but if I knew how to come up with one, I'd have it already, right? So she came up with a clever (why didn't I come up with that style) way of producing a pitch. 1) list all of the genres your music fits into. 2) list all of the other artists people say you sound like. 3) list all of your influences. 4) list all of the feelings or vibes you want your music to elicit. Then reduce all those lists down to all your favorites and combine them into a concise 15 second Pitch. For our band, Nobody Gets Killed we had some pretty long lists. We have so many influences and we want to explore many different genres with our music. One of the Pitches we came up with is 'Anti-pop alternative rock with undertones of blues and soul. A Radiohead feel with shades of Coldplay and Death Cab for Cutie.' Its a start, but I'm sure it needs work. Because we have a very subjective view of our work, what we really need is the input of our fans. So, we are asking you to please leave us a comment of what you think we sound like and what feelings you get from our music. We don't want to just be describing ourselves from our narrow point of view, we need you to "put us in our place", if you will. Thank you to all of our fans, to those who read this, and to Ariel PR for putting together such an excellent program.
Making music is Awesome. Hitting the right note, the right rhythm, at the right time; it feels so natural. What doesn't feel so natural is the real world outside of music. Today, musicians have so many more opportunities to be heard than in the past. With the advent of the social media and networking, the ability to share your music independently is easier than ever. Yet these opportunities come with other challenges; namely, you have to be heard over more and more musicians, let alone youtube videos, podcasts and popup ads. So being a musician, is a daunting task to get yourself heard. I have read many books on the subject, on playing music, recording, producing, and marketing; it seemed there was an element I was missing in all of this. There was always an 'Okay, I've read all of this, but what do I DO?' I suppose in part, I have a disconnect between learning all of this information, and using it to get heard. I suppose the other part is that I am a terrible procrastinator (seems all artists are) and I need someone to give me a swift kick in the you know what (no, not the balls)! That kick came from a book called 'Music Success in Nine Weeks' by Ariel Hyatt. The book comes with a challenge. Follow the information contained within and blog for nine weeks about my experiences with what I learn. So here I am, keyboard in front of me, with a sore butt (you know, from the swift kick), sharing this musical journey with you. I hope we both enjoy the ride! Mike
We know it has been over a week since our show at The Wire Music and Arts Venue (huge thank you to everyone there), and quite some time since our last post (the real world can be so distracting), but we wanted to give a big shout out to everyone that made it to our show, we were honored to finally share our music with you. We also want to send a gigantic thank you to our biggest fan (you know who you are) without you we would simply not be (despite our constant resistance). After a bit of an undesirable break from our music, we are now working hard on finishing our first album and scheduling more shows. We will definitely keep everyone posted on our progress. Please feel free to throw down a comment; if you love us, if you hate us, if you just have something to say; we would love to hear from you.
Not in an existential context, of course, but who are WE? We are Nobody Gets Killed, NGK for short. We are a band of two brothers (not literally of course) with the intent of doing as much good as we can, in our world, with our music. We aspire to be somewhere between The Beatles, Radiohead, and Muse; with an acoustic flare. We hope you enjoy our music, as we convey our love and life through its notes and lyrics.