One of the most common questions I get down at The Hen House is “How does our band get more shows?”
Its a great question to ask because playing more shows is the single most important thing a band can do, if they want to give themselves every chance of being successful. Playing live improves band chemistry, helps fans discover the band and provides every musician with the chance to express themselves and have fun doing what they love.
Playing live is also every bands single biggest source of revenue. If you’re going to be a success in this industry you’re going to need to be a great live act. So you may as well start working hard on it now.
But how do you go about getting shows if you’re new to the music industry?
The first thing you need to do is actively involve yourself in the Perth music scene. Simply start by going to lots of shows and help support the scene that will soon be supporting you. Make a list of say 7 local bands that are doing good things right now and get along to their shows. Get to know these people. Say hello after the show. Drink a beer with them. Flick them a CD. Send them a message via Facebook. The great thing about the Perth music scene is it is relatively small and easy to get to know everyone quite quickly. Personal contacts will always be your number 1 gateway to getting shows. Don’t rely on simply using social media. Actually get out there and shake some hands and meet people.
Along time before he was the singer for one of Australia’s most successful hardcore bands Nick Horsnell (Miles Away, Vocalist) was at every local Gyroscope show and just about every single punk show week in and week out. By the time he started his own band Miles Away he had the contacts and friends to help his band get those first shows and then kick on to becoming a national band and international band.
Another way to ingrain yourself into the perth music scene would be to get involved with contributing to the scene. Become a reviewer for spaceshipnews.com.au or a photographer over at fasterlouder.com.au and help review local shows. Its a great way to get your name out there and to also get to know the bands you’re reviewing.
Take the plunge and book your own show. The trick here is to pick a few bands that have maybe helped you out with shows in the past but then to also pick a few bands you admire but don’t yet know and offer them a show. This will once again increase your circle of contacts. If you want to take this little move to the next level then pick bands from a different genre to yours. Being able to play with bands from different genres will be the difference between being able to play 30 shows a year to 90 shows a year.
When you do play shows. Always stick around to the very end and support the other bands on the bill. There is nothing worse than seeing the opening bands leaving after they play their set. This sort of effort and support goes along way in helping solidify friendships in the music industry.
Finally, share the love. Donate to a band you admire trying to fund their new E.P on Pozible. Share a link on FB when they upload a new song, leave them a review on JJJ unearthed and take the time to get your fellow muso’s. Not only will it open you up to more shows but you may just make some really great long lasting friendships as a result of the effort.
Rob Nassif – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hen House Rehearsal Studios