Another blog in our series on Band info
Of all the strange and wonderful things I’ve been asked in my 34 yar career running these marvellous studios, today I was asked perhaps the oddest request of the lot. A local band have been left £2,000 in a will, to spend on “The band”. It is a long story. They have done a lot of gigs for a local charity over the years and their rich benefactor wanted to say thank you. The only stipulation was that they couldn’t donate it to charity. The band asked me for my opinion. There are many things they could spend it on. They wanted to put it to good use. They have a PA system and they all have instruments and amps that work fine. They were a bit stumped. I asked them if I could think about it for a couple of days.
Anyway, having given it serious thought, I came back to them with a plan. My view is that anything you spend on the band should be only be spent on things which will in some way either improve the band or bring some money in, to be re-invested. Here was my plan.
1. Decent recordings – The band have not got any proper recordings of themselves. Whilst they are mostly a covers band, they have some original material that is pretty good. I suggested that they spend £480 on three days in the studio. This will give them some excellent quality recordings. I suggested recording nine songs, five covers and four originals.
2. Get some decent band photos taken for PR. The band have no decent pictures. There is a great local photographer who agreed to do it for £200.
3. Get 300 copies of a CD album produced with nice sleeves etc. This will cost around £300 (if they sell them for £5 at the gigs, this could bring in up to £1,500, achieving the aim of recycling the cash).
4. Upgrade and update the band website. One of the band’s mates is a professional website designer, who said he’d give it a makeover for £100, adding the pictures, features to listen to the songs and buy the album or downloads. It also has details for booking info and an email link back.
5. Lights for the band. I suggested that the balance be spent on a small stage lighting rig. Good lighting makes any band look better and ads atmosphere. This will hopefully help encourage venues to rebook the band.
All of these things are things that improve the profile of the band. They all help elevate the band above the other bands on the local circuit. Whatever money your band earns, you should always invest a percentage of it back in the band. I have advised them to make sure that any money raised from sale of CD’s, they keep a pot available so they can get some more manufactured if they sell out.
When I put the plan to them they were surprised. They said they thought I’d suggest a new PA system. I asked them if there existing system was a problem. They said no, but they thought a bigger one would mean they could play bigger gigs. I asked them the last time they’d not been booked due to the size of their PA or the last time it had been a problem. The reply? It hasn’t.
It is always important to make sure that a band spend any money it has on the most important things. In this day and age a decent website with good links can make all the difference. For a band this means good pictures and well produced music. Gear is also important, but you need the tools to get the job done. Make sure you set your priorities right.
Of course some things are free, such as setting up a wiki page for your band. Check this article for how to set up a wiki page
This is one way to ensure that you get a bit of publicity absolutely free