Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm signed- now what happens?
Question: say if we got signed with your record label what would be the first things we would sort out and set up with you guys? Eg... Tour/photoshoot/recording and album? just wanna know how you guys work it really
Cheers!! From: firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer: Thats quite an hypothetical question, but Ok i'll try to answer you...
Firstly in order to get signed in the first place, Earache, which is a bit different from the other labels,because we firstly have to enjoy and actually like your music, plus we also have to see possible signs of impending 'greatness' within the band.
Once signed- the first bit of advice I'd give to the novice band is- you should know that the expectation level and level of intensity of the competition instantly increases by 500%, I'm not kidding.You unsigned bands have it relatively easy, with your regional battle of the bands and occasional gigs in front of the unswervingly loyal local fans and family - its a walk in the park being unsigned, because the weight of expectation is pretty relaxed.You can have a good gig or a bad gig, its no big deal, really, its not the end of the world.
Once signed, however, the entire Music industry has a stake in your success, everyone starts making judgements, and everyone has an expectation to see you become a highly successful act.
When i say everyone, I mean everyone, from the label employees themselves, to the press/pr department working your press, even the folks toiling at the CD distribution centre, to the newstand metal magazine journalists who hopefully will see you as their 'fave new band' - all will be judging you, and expect you to become the new Led Zeppelin, and in record time.The faith all these folks will bestow on you in the early days, is expected to be repaid by the band having a succesful career.Honestly, I cant even begin to describe the pressure you'll be under to perform well, and be brillant, both onstage and off it, day in day out - its intense.
Frankly speaking, the reason for the pressure is because our actual jobs depend on your success, our lives depend on it, we're not hobbyists here.
You should know that all the big bands who are hero worshipped by fans, and sell massive amounts of records and become stars, all are very driven people, and work incredibly hard- rehearsing and thinking 24/7 on their music, onstage and off it.Some of the public's best known and most loved metal musicians are some of the smartest and downright hardest working people I have ever met in my life- knowing this, you can't grudge them their success.
The old adage that success= 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration applies to music industry as well as other industries.
If you're still interested in being signed, then get ready to work hard, which by and large means touring.Some of the hardest working new bands can play 200 shows in a calendar year, and when they're not playing gigs are in the rehearsal rooms for 4 hours a day, every day writing better material and getting tighter.This is actually really standard.If you read the biographies of AC/DC and KISS- 2 of the biggest rock acts of all time- the early chapters are not filled with memories about amazing photoshoots or long recording sessions,or how it felt to be working with producers etc- instead they recount a life spent in a station wagon criss-crossing Australia playing every small town dotted on the map, for 6 week stints at a time, sleeping in the van, eating junk food at truckstops.Same for KISS in USA.
As you can see, its really all about the attitude the band adopts and what Earache does once your signed is pretty much instill in you the knowledge of whats expected to build your career.