The death of Rock has been greatly exaggerated. Rock as a music genre has been around for almost fifty years, but has been eclipsed by Rap and Pop in terms of sustainable success. There has been a debate on podcast shows such as The Jasta Show about how bands/management get more successful, but I think they are missing some points to improve the situation.
ENGAGEMENT IS KEY
The new world is one of social media and telling your story. The narrative is a big part of the way of marketing music. Bands such as KISS knew that fans would support them if they had big personas, rather than being faceless musicians. They may have milked their fans for money by merchandize, but they also made people feel they knew them well enough to relate to them and to gain their support. Everyone had a favorite Beatle or KISS member. Today, I’m not sure bands market themselves in a way that makes them accessible or memorable. Anyone know much about members of new bands like Greta Van Fleet? Couldn’t pick them out of a police line up, for sure.
I have said this before, but some bands do not support social media or don’t ever engage with their fans, making them distant and aloof. Get off your asses and spend an hour or two each day responding to messages or comments or emails. I know it is not easy, but those bands who do will overtake you in the long term. I know a few smaller bands who do this really well, but I have no idea about larger artists as they are not accessible. And don’t get me started on meet and greet packages, which are totally bogus.
There are lots of rock bands who play music that they don’t actually listen to. Weird. If you love a genre, pick a side and fight your cause. I would never record (if I has any talent) a Country album, as I don’t listen to Country music, but I would totally be in a rock or metal band. Fans can hear sincerity and know fakes.
GIVE UP THE CLICHES
You know where a song is going by the first line. Boring. Boring. Click – off it goes. Throw some originality into the pot and give it a stir. Write some meaningful lyrics and tell your own story. I know there is nothing new under the sun, but would love to hear new ways of saying the same thing. Be a leader, not a sheep.
FIND SOME MELODY
My son and I have started listening to tons of Beatles and Beach Boys music, although we’re both Metal heads. The reason? The melodies and the glorious genius of the music. Metal bands who know the value of melody and song structure always beat someone just screaming without any melody or rock bands who just rip off very simple melodies. You want great new melodies, try out X-Romance or Heart Society.
STOP RIPPING OFF FANS
The costs of music and merchandize is where some big bands are taking the micky. Do they need more money? Encourage the new generation by setting reasonable prices for gigs and merch.
Even in the age of digital music, bands should give their fans better quality packaging. Garbage artwork and lack of lyrics mean that bands’ messages fail and are forever destined to be lost in the billions of songs and albums being released. Get creative.
Do you agree with my rant? Let me know!