Monday, February 1, 2010

MY DUH 101 Series of short quotes are simple sayings that are aimed at helping the startup artist or band realize some important issues about the music business. They are made up from my own thoughts and ideas, or are quotes from other people I respect in the business, and some brilliant quotes from famous and not-so-famous other people.

I hope you enjoy them, and even if only one resonates with you, that is good. If more than one mean something to you….even better. This is a continuing series, so stay tuned for more to come!
Christopher Knab: FourFront Media and Music 2010


Duh 101: yes, it takes money and hard work to make a living from your music, and yes it costs more to market your music than record it.

Duh 102: your family/friends are NOT reliable sources to judge whether your music is "good". Best source is a live audience. Play LIVE!!!

Duh 103: trying to get investors to back you is a bad idea.Most have no music biz background & have fantasys about getting rich quick.

Duh 104: when you call a music biz person realize we have "time zones" in the U.S. Check the time in the area you are calling...PLEASE!

Duh 105: Stop asking about how to get signed to a label deal. This is 2009 NOT 1979!

Duh 106: Want an internship in the music/audio industry? Better work your ass off for it. There are tons of unemployed, experienced people willing to take them these days.

Duh 107: 'promotion' in record label terms refers to any kind of "airplay". Traditional radio, Internet streaming, satellite. It is NOT publicity!

Duh 108: 'publicity' in record label terms, refers to things like interviews, articles. blogs, twittering etc. It is NOT promotion!

Duh109: whenever you email a new music biz contact don't write "Wuz Up" or any derivations of this greeting in your introduction to them.

Duh 110: When you talk/meet someone in the music biz don't launch into a LONG story about YOU. Keep it short and to the point. Be Polite!!

Duh111: Don't ask 20 questions when you email music biz folks. We are BUSY and some of us have written books that answer your questions!

Duh 112: NEVER attach music files to your emails. ASK first if the music biz contact even accepts music file attachments. MOST of us don't!

DUH 113: (from Nick Johnson).Don’t ask a FOH Engineer to do sound for your band if you aren’t prepared to give some kind of compensation

DUH 114: (from Nick Johnson) Don’t waste a FOH Engineer's time bringing them to a venue that isn’t equipped for what they do for a living.

DUH 115: FOH stands for " Front Of House" (engineer). (If you didn't know that you shouldn't be playing live anyway!) …Nick Johnson

DUH116: "Just because you CAN record doesn't mean you SHOULD!" Chris Knab

DUH 117::"Don't ask your engineer to take less money because you haven't sold many (any?) tickets to your show"…Matt Shaw

DUH 118: "Don't whine about how the engineer is the only one to make money. If you can't market a show, it's not their fault"…Matt Shaw

Duh 119: W hen you record and release a cover song you MUST get a"mechanical license" from the owner of that song!

Duh 120: a "mechanical license" authorizes songs to be recorded & provides for the payment of mechanical royalties to the owner of the song.

DUH 121: Your CD cover, website design & posters-any artwork you create MATTER. Poorly done, your music will likely never be listened to

DUH 122: When you request to befriend someone on social networking sites, and have 1,000's you follow-you are worthless for true networking.

DUH 123: Mass e-mailings are like bulk snail mailings. Today-target your fan base directly and develop a real relationship with your fans!

DUH124:"There's always a demand for fresh mediocrity. In each generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite."…Paul Gauguin

DUH 125:" I never met an asshole in the record business I didn’t like.” Irving Azoff

DUH 126:"“Just because it happened to you, doesn’t mean it’s interesting”...
Dennis Hopper (from the film Search and Destroy)

DUH 127:“Independent labels take nothing and try to make something out of it." Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Records

DUH 128: " Major labels try to buy that something, and make more out of it.” Tom Silverman-Tommy Boy Records CEO

DUH 129: “Actually I don’t know if honesty is a strength or some kind of weakness.” Ani DeFranco

DUH 130: Anybody who writes songs, records and releases them, and says they don't care if people like them is a liar... James D. Bradford

DUH 131: “In this biz the first rule is never act out of desperation because there is always someone looking to sucker you.”.. Kevin Czinger

DUH132:"In the music business bigger is not necessarily better, In fact, I believe smaller is actually better.”...Chuck Kaye

Duh 133:“Anyone with less than 10 years experience in this business,and starting his own label is going to create a disaster.” Russ Regan

DUH 134:“ Without music, the greatest marketing plans in the whole world don’t mean shit.” Eddie Rosenblatt

DUH 135:“ Without marketing plans, the greatest music in the whole world don’t mean shit.” Christopher Knab

DUH 136:20 or 30 good reviews on MySpace or Facebook, but lousy sales means you are not marketing your music seriously enough. Work on it!

DUH137: Young acts are willing to pay professionals their fee music lessons, management, and publicity but balk at paying marketing experts?

DUH 138:If you have less than 2 years experience exposing your music why are you shocked that you have no national success? Be patient and WORK HARD!

Duh139: Today, the best way to get money from your music is to build a community around your work...make songs people can believe in.

DUH 140:Music fans today aren't going to buy new music they can't hear before buying.If you are unknown give your music away digitally.

DUh:141: Image is everything. Create your band image to reflect clearly what your music/lyrics are all about. Follow your image everywhere!

DUH 142: Everything we see/hear thru the media is a deliberate staged simulation of a prior reality...Ian I. Mitroff and Warren Bennis

DUH143: Every simulation is capable of simulating every other simulation as well as being simulated by them. Ian I. Mitroff and Warren Bennis

DUH!44: The greater the number of simulations a simulation simulates, the better it is...Mitroff and Bennis

DUH 145: The path of the wise is to seek out the wiser. i.e. if you know very little about music marketing, seek out someone who knows a lot about music marketing.

DUH 146: Handshakes are not contracts.Approvals are not a promise, but hidden agendas in the human mind...Baltasar Gracian 1563

Duh 147: There is no glory in cheating an honest man. Better to be prudent than crafty. Be known as one who inspires trust...Baltasar Gracian

DUH 148: Reputations fly on invisible wings & find their way to unexpected places. Let your greatest cunning be in not being cunning. Baltasar Gracian

DUH 149: Sound is a means by which the world enters the body. The ear brings the self and the world together. David Sussman from “Selling Sounds:

DUH 150: Musicians as a rule do not make records. Musicians make music, which record labels turn into records (or music files, etc) Adopted from David Sussman’s “Selling Sounds”

1 comment:

  1. Totally love your articles...We're a band from South Africa and it's great to be able to tap into this kind of resource!Extremely helpful!