Even a Band Has to Take Care Of Day to Day Stuff

Our life is not nearly as glamorous as we would like you to think. Unlike big name bands, there is no entourage following us around and taking care of all of our regular guy stuff for us. This means that some of the time we could be spending cutting new tracks and going to gigs is spent doing pretty mundane things, just like you.

Cleaning the House

None of us have made it to maid service yet, so unless we are doing a bunch of gigs out of town we are still responsible for keeping our digs clean. Of course there are a few of us that could use some help in this area still, (empty pizza boxes pile up quick) so if you know of anyone looking to get paid in band T-shirts we might be able to work out a deal.

Shopping

Band can not live on pizza alone. We have to go to the supermarket every once in a while just like you do. This is probably one of the most boring parts of our week, having to traverse up and down aisles of stuff and pick out what we think we will need. Of course this also includes getting supplies to keep the house clean. The idea of a personal shopper like other bands have seems like a really good idea.

Cooking

We have the groceries, now what? If we lived on take-out we would quickly go through our guitar string and microphone money so we have had to learn how to cook for ourselves. This has resulted in some rather interesting concoctions that resemble meat but taste like something completely different. It might be time to make the time and start checking out some recipe ideas on-line.

Car Care

van repairs

Used this as a rental once…much nicer than our old beast!

Well, in our case it’s a van, but we still have to take care of it. This means someone has to check the oil, make sure there is enough air in the tires and figure out what that clanking noise is when we turn (maybe time to head over to a used car shop like Konig?). Give me a broken amp, and I can fix it. But none of us have any clue when it comes to our bands van, so every few months we have to take it to a car repair shop. We have been using a car repair shop in Calgary regularly and that has worked out well for us. They like our music so we keep them happy with free band stuff when we have it.

Work

Some of us actually do have very unglamorous day jobs that keep us going month to month. We have not yet reached that super band status, which will allow us to leave the dishwashing apron on the side and focus only on making our great music. Someday.

Just starting out is tough and we have learned that even with a great group of dedicated fans we still have get by day to day just like everyone else. Hopefully this makes us appreciate it even more when we finally do hit the big time.

Are Music Stars Glorifying E-Cigs

Mars Smoks NjoyRed Hot Chill peppers, Snopp Dog, Bruno Mars, Jenny McCarthy, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the list goes on and on when it comes to A list celebrities and the new must have accessory, the electronic cigarette. About two years ago, way before vaping hit mainstream, Katherine Heigle came on the Letterman show puffing away on an electronic cigarette during her interview. Letterman himself took a putt or two. This very moment may have been why the e-cig got so popular so fast.

Recently, man A list celebrities have been seen and photographed using an electronic cigarette and many have started endorsing them. Jenny McCarthy joined Stephen Dorff endorsing and brand of e-cig called Blu. Also Bruno Mars has just signed on with NJOY to be one of their high profile investors.

Not everyone is happy about this new trend, as a few US senators brought up concerns after the recent showing of the Golden Globe Awards. Many celebrities were seen using the electronic cigarettes during the awards ceremony, prompting the senators to say that Hollywood was giving the wrong message about e-cigs, by glamorizing it. So they urged the Golden Globe to not let the use of e-cig appear in future Golden Globe shows.

E-cig came to us markets around 2007, it offers a healthier alternative to regular smoking. Though they may appear like normal cigarettes, these devices have no tobacco, but instead, it has a mechanism that will heat up a liquid, which turns into a vapor that lets the smokers inhale and as well as exhale like a normal cigarettes can.

While e-cig manufactures says that their product offers many advantages versus normal cigarettes, health experts don’t believe them 100%. They believe that there hasn’t been enough test and researched done on e-cigs yet to understand the possible side-effects inhaling nicotine in a vapor form. Those that are asking for tighter regulations on electronic cigarettes claim that these devices should all be marked as illegal devices until more research are conducted and more proof of their safety to sociality are shown.

Currently the decisions on e-cigs seems to be divided, with one side saying stating that if this device gets people off normal cigarettes it is both beneficial to the environment and society, and the other half stating that, until more research deems c-cigs to be safe. Celebrities and stars shouldn’t be glorifying smoking e-cig as a cool thing. Putting wrong ideas in to our children’s heads.

Why We Always Carry Business Cards

business cards for bands

The life of a professional musician is a varied one. Days and nights spent on the road, hours spent in front of audiences and studio microphones – simply part of the job. Whether you’re a classically trained musician, or someone who has been playing since childhood, you know the challenges to finding a good gig.

Since musicians aren’t typically employed in full-time music jobs, unless they have made it big, they are always looking for new opportunities. Even those musicians who have good jobs already need to be prepared to move on to the next big job. But how do you make a memorable impression that will guarantee you another performance, recording session, or show?

Business Cards Get Results

Don’t write your name and number down on a piece of paper – don’t have a booking agent program your phone number into their smart phone. Carry business cards, and hand them out generously. Business cards offer a physical reminder of your meeting, and promote you in a professional way.

You can provide them to booking agents for potential new gigs, but you can also share your cards with other bands. You never know when an opportunity will pop up where they need someone with your talent, or they even need an opening act. Filling in for a sick musician can be an in to bigger and better shows in the future.

Even passing your card out to fans can promote you and your music and get you downloads, viewership, and sales. If you need side income and aren’t opposed, you can even indicate that you offer music training on your business cards, opening opportunities to make additional money by passing on your trade.

What to Include On Your Business Cards

Your business card should at the very least contain your contact information, including any social media or music-specific website information. If you specialize in a particular instrument or genre, make sure to include that as well. If you are currently associated with a specific act, don’t be afraid to include that information, as well. Additional talents should be listed as well, whether you are capable at production, management, composition, or other skills.

Design is important – consider having a professional design your business card, or at least spend time researching the most effective business card designs for marketing. While any business card is better than having nothing to provide an interested party, the better looking your card, the more attractive your services will be.

In the current age of technology, many people lean away from traditional marketing tools. Don’t let the ease of e-marketing ruin a chance to play more shows and earn more money. A well-designed business card with all your information will help you extend your musical reach.

Pearl Jam’s New Album – Love It

How Much Do We Actually Make Selling Band Shirts and Stuff?

Dig The Particulars Shirt SalesIt’s not cheap to keep a band alive. With every little dime we make, there’s someone out there with their hand out waiting for a cut of it.

Do you think that we are getting all of that fifteen bucks you dropped to buy one of our custom t-shirts? Ha! First off, we had to pay to have it made, and then we have to pay the chic that’s hawking them after our show. At most, we got a whopping three dollars to go towards buying a new set of guitar strings for the shirt that you bought during our gig.

It’s the same with all of the merchandise that we are trying to sell. The stickers, posters and key rings are all just us trying to make some extra money. And yeah, we are kinda’ using you as a walking and talking ad for our band. If someone asks you about the cool shirt you’re wearing, make sure you give us the shout out we deserve.

It works out to less than 50% profit for us for every item that we put our logo on. When you think about how cheap we are selling some of this stuff for, it makes you stop and think how we can even afford to pay our rent. No one tells you about this stuff when you first start jamming in your dad’s garage. You just think “hey, we sound cool, and that guy said we sound cool. Let’s go play some gigs.” There’s no one telling you about all the costs that go into it and all the commissions you have to pay on the little profit you can manage to make.

All of the stuff we do to try and make enough money to stay alive works that way. We have to pay for studio time, CD reproductions and printing the cover work that goes along with them. There’s barely any money left over for lunch after all of that. We’re not trying to play the “oh woe the poor starving band” card with you, we just want to give you an insider view into what it really takes to get ahead in this industry. Or in our case, stay afloat.

So what if you pay a cover charge to come see us live? Do you think we get a cut of that? Nope. The club owner is paying us a flat rate, and then banking on your covers and all of those beers that you drink. For him, it’s the more the merrier for his wallet. We think it’s cool that you all come out and see us, but not so cool that that guy is making such a big profit off of our hard work.

So there you have the dirt on what is really going on with that money you spend to help support us. You don’t have to spend more, but maybe spread the word about how rocking we are so that some of your friends will send us some love too.

How We Got the Motivation to Make Yet Another Album (3 Months Later)

Motivation

Truth

Unless you are a musician, it’s hard to grasp the constant drum of a beat that is going on inside of our heads. As we are laying track for one single, the guitar riff for the next is begging to let loose. This is what happens when you have a lot of good ideas floating around and only a 60 minute track to let them loose on.

Back in the day, it was unusual for a rock band not to release back to back albums. While people not in the know may see this as an in your face marketing ploy, musicians understand it to be that uncontrollable need to let it all out.

We weren’t completely satisfied with our last album, and know that our fans weren’t either. But we are a play from the heart kind of group and that is what our hearts felt like during recording. That release taught us a lot about recording and helped us in making this one so much better. It’s already gotten a lot of good buzz from our fans, which makes us excited to see how it goes over when we start playing the tracks at live gigs.

Our fan base is small, but loyal and we got plenty of motivation after that last album to push us into a better one right away. Don’t assume that just because we managed to put it together so fast that’s it not worth listening to. All we needed was a little push down from that pedestal to realize that no matter how many people we have interested in our music, we always have to stay on top of our game.

Fear is a powerful motivator, and it was a fear of letting our fans down again that pushed us into making another album so quickly. This one is a better reflection of our style and the music that we love to make and that our fans love to listen to. Without a doubt, we are much prouder of the work we pulled off in the studio over those last 3 months than anything else we have ever put together before.

It wasn’t without hard work. As a group we worked around the clock, experimenting with beats and refining our lyrics. The ideas for the music were already there, we had only to apply the lesson learned of making it great before putting it down on a track.

That effort shows. What we hear now are cuts that are edgy and refined, with that unique sound that made us popular in the first place.

There is not a band in history that you can point to and say that each and every track was absolutely perfect. We screwed up, we know it and we are sorry for that. But we got right back into the studio and used that experience to make some noise that is undoubtedly going to be music to your ears.