Sunday, April 16, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Getting reviews for your band can be one of the toughest things for any new band. It's not just trying to figure out who the best people to send your cd to, it's making sure they listen to your band and actually write the review. Music writers get an avalanche of band's cds each week, I have learnt that through doing my own zine Beat Motel. Some really good bands get overlooked when it comes to getting reviews because they don't follow a few simple but golden review rules. If you don't follow these rules you might as well make that stack of CDs then chuck them in the bin;
The Golden Rules of Getting your band reviews
- Be INTERESTING, sounds obvious, but if you can't be arsed with your output then why should anyone else care about you?
- Make sure your contact details are on EVERYTHING, several times I've been sent a totally blank cd by a band. Even if it's an amazing band the chances are I'll never know who they are as the CD pretty much always gets separated from the covering letter (if there is one).
- Make sure you know who you're sending your band's stuff to, there's no point in sending your death thrash black metal to a rumba magazine is there?
- Don't bother sending your cd to millions of record labels, they will just go in the bin.
The biggest challenge when planning a PR campaign for you band is getting contacts. You can spend months looking up publication/ zine contacts on the web only to have your press packs returned undeliverable. This is especially true with webzines, they are often started with fantastic enthusiasm by the people behind them, then left to rot after a few weeks.
Reading your band's reviews
The next part of your 'get heard' challenge is reading your band's reviews. Sound daft doesn't it! But think about it for a moment, you've spent months finding contacts, stuffing envelopes with your world changing cds, but how are you going to get copies of the reviews if they are published? 99.99% of zines/ magazines will not send you a free copy of their publication. Most zines (especially the big ones that you really want reviews published in) get sent anything up to 100 cds a week, if they sent out a free copy to each of those 100 bands then they wouldn't have any copies left to actually sell! So what do you do? You subscribe to every single one of these publications, in fact you'd probably have to as the chances of your release / demo getting reviewed when you think it will be are pretty damn rare. So you'd have to buy every copy of the magazine (or whatever) until you happen across your own review.
So is this all worth it?
Of course it is silly! Getting reviews brings exposure, interviews and about a thousand other positive outcomes!
Here's an easy answer...
There is a solution to all these problems if you have a bit of cash. Use a PR company, they have all the contacts, relationships with the publications they are sending your output to and will even send you copies of your reviews when they come out!
This article was written to promote the fact I was doing a bit of PR for bands through my CornDog PR imprint. Well those days are long gone but you could do worse than pop along and say hullo to these people - http://ultimatereviewer.co.uk/