Four good reasons: people
Welcome to the second part of the series entitled “Four good reasons (why not everything collapsed).” I present the second element worth holding to while doing anything.
Your very first audience, critics and fans will be your friends. Part of them will be excited that you do something more than just work and after-work beer. They will enjoy your show no matter if you play well or suck. These guys are the social proof that being your fan is not a shame. Naturally, too much enthusiasm and loud YOU GUYS, ROCK! during the show might bring some mean smiles on sceptics’ faces but — no one ever got really hurt because of it.
On the other hand, the second group of your friends will try hard to pose as experts and critics. Per my own experiences, everything you hear from them — is to be forgotten immediately. These homely, patronizing critics, so sure of their incisiveness, are usually very superficial, they lack a practice, and might not even wish you well.
Local musicians, the early adopters, come next. It is possible to acquire fans with an amazing music video or a stunning Instagram profile but truly loyal will be the ones who appeared on your live show and decided to stay. Therefore, maintaining good relations with your local audience is crucial. Make sure to rub your shoulders with a local music association, NGO or some informal society if there is a reputable one.
Go to local concerts, mingle with people, play together. If one of my band members were not able to play we used to loan a guy from the other band and had to re-arrange the whole material, which was a lot of fun. I loved these transfers.
All this combined made our brand recognized by other local band and their audiences.
Let’s make it clear: neither on early, not in the late stage you do not pick your fans. You can target your marketing activities on a certain group, but that’s not the point. Your fans choose you. You do not owe them anything more than 100% on stage and 100% in the studio.
Respect your fan and don’t be afraid a discussion. Even if they know better (‘how can you play funk without bass guitar?’) or are demanding (‘release vinyl or I’m not buying’). One modest guy, you’ve met at your show, might save your music one day (and that’s the story of my life). Don’t worry if Tumblr girls are not attracted to your shows at the beginning. Ex definitione, Tumblr girls reflect what is popular and not what is trending or underground. People who liked us, trusted the music below 30 000 views and made it to our live show.
People are the strongest and the weakest point of every organization. We all have many bad experiences with people: most of them are untrustworthy, have no respect or are really insecure. But on the other hand: without the help and passion of a few people in my life, I would never record a single note.
What are your thoughts? Is there a ‘human manual’?
My blog in Polish: https://filipkontraplyta.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/cztery-powody-2-ludzie/