REGURGITRON'S ADVICE TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
(taken from the PitGoddess interview of ReGurgiTron)
PG:You always lecture me about the influence of technology in music. How do you feel these effects? How do you feel the music industry is changing because of technology?
REGURGITRON: There are so many radical changes happening within the music industry. Today, artists can very affordably record and release their music on their own terms. This can be done in a bedroom with a laptop and software - if you have recording and production skills. The internet brings the world to you. So, like I said before, there are so many more opportunities for artists/bands to get their music heard. They just have to think a little differently than before.
The "old days" formula pretty much was that you record a demo in a studio, play out (a lot), build up a following, hopefully get some local airplay, shop your music to record labels, hopefully get signed, record the real record, release, tour, and hopefully you have something to show for it down the road. Most bands never make it through this formula, or if they do, they don't have anything in the end. For every band that actually "makes it" where they can earn a decent living for a while, there are thousands and thousands that never even come close. And that has nothing to do with actual talent or musicianship.
Today, recording a "demo" makes no sense and I often get calls to record demos for people. Demos are dead. CDs are going to be dead real soon. Radio is pretty much dead (at least in terms of "local") except for "college" type stations. MTV is dead. I know these things still exist and are functional to some degree, but successful people have to think "ahead".
Today, and for the foreseeable future, every band/artist must have a website. Not just something that looks cool (or looks like crap), but a website that's easy to read and easy navigate. A website with lots of information and music that's updated very frequently. A website that has links to and from it.
The website MUST be updated frequently! I know I already said that, but it really bears repeating. Band pictures and videos are a must on the site. Some free music should be on the site. WHAT? Yes, the business model for bands/artists making money is changing. Wouldn't you give some of your music away (at least in mp3 format) if it led to you selling out shows, selling merch, or getting your music licensed in video games, television, and movies? Wouldn't you give some of your music away if it led to sponsors PAYING you to advertise their products/services on your website?
OK, so you're a band and you have a website and you're saying to me "I'm not getting much from my site". My response to you is that you need to think differently when it comes to the business model of your site. Then you say "but I'm a death metal guitar player, what do I care about a business model". To which I say back to you that you'd better care if you want to make a living in the music industry. If this is going to be your CAREER, you'd better care. You could be the greatest guitarist (or bass player, drummer, vocalist, songwriter, performer) that ever lived. If you have no business sense, you'll get screwed and probably go nowhere. The good news is that learning about business is easy. The information is out there. You practice your instruments right? Consider this to be part of your "practice".
Now, back to the "web site" thing. Your site is your portal to the world. It's a gateway to you generating revenue, getting your music heard, getting people to your shows, presenting yourself to the hundreds of millions of people who DON'T live in your area. Think of your website as your own radio station, TV network, street team, magazine (sorry Pit Goddess), movie studio because that's what it is. The music industry as we know it is dead.