To Whom Do You Owe Success?

Talk about anything specifically related to local music. Local CD's, websites, local, local, local!

Moderators: Al Quandt, zenmandan, MrSpall, bassjones, sevesd93

Garr
Too Much Free Time
Too Much Free Time
Posts: 4801
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:22 pm
Location: Fort Wayne
Contact:

To Whom Do You Owe Success?

Post by Garr »

This was inspired by a recent post in another forum.

While fans are important and they may determine whether or not you are invited back to venues to play, how much of a band's success at a local level is owed to fans?

How much of that success is owed to the hard work of the bands? What, really, outside of showing up, do most of your fans do for you? Besides getting drunk and urinating on the dance floor, what contributions do they make?

Now, don't take this to mean that I don't think that people at shows are not at the utmost importance but how much of what they actually do attributes to a band's success? I, personally, do what I do for two reasons. I love making music. I love showing off and getting attention. Fans are number two for me. I'd still make music and do a lot of what I do regardless.

Once you hit a regional or national level, I think that fans play a much larger role in the continued or developed and advanced success of a band. If no one buys CDs and merch or comes to shows, you're pretty well tanked. At a local level, however, I can attest that bands still get shows even with low attendance and little or no sales. Now, I don't consider that success, really, but to some it might be.

As I said, I think fans are the second most important thing. Your bandmates and music (combined) take the number one spot.

What's your take?
lbanks
Regular
Regular
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:50 pm
Location: Running from Cat farts

Post by lbanks »

Metamucil.
What!
Steel String Bender
I Been Around
I Been Around
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 5:42 pm

Post by Steel String Bender »

In the case of my local group, hard work by the band and fan support are of equal importance.

Doing our best to combine art and commerce, we put this together in September & October of 2007: www.myspace.com/augustaroseband

Hard work by the band members has resulted in things happening very quickly for us. In a very short time frame, we've secured bookings for almost every weekend over the next 12 to 14 months.

The members of this band love a wide variety of musical styles. With this project, we wanted to do our own spin on covers and originals in the genre's of country and rock.

We are continually working hard to evolve and improve our set list. We're also experimenting with unusual arrangements and instrumentation, while remaining musically accessible to the general populace. Other forms of hard work by the band include identifying and correcting areas of weakness, developing original music, marketing, etc.

All that being said, none of this would have forward momentum without fans. The people that watch and listen to us, purchase food and drink from the local establishments that hire us. If we do our job right, we earn new fans and those establishments hire us again. Those fans keep coming back, bringing their family and friends along for the ride. Word of mouth is very much our friend. Fans help make more fans, and everybody wins.

I can't stress this enough, in my experience hard work by the band and fan support go hand-in-hand.
Oliver's Army
Too Much Free Time
Too Much Free Time
Posts: 3205
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:14 pm

Post by Oliver's Army »

If talent and fans are 1 and 2 on that list, there is a third element for success that most bands overlook that tends to be most difficult.

Its your attitude off the stage.

Word of mouth flies fast and if your are difficult, bitchy divas... EVERYONE will know.

DONT be an azzhole
follow thru on promises
deliver always and then some
PROMOTE accordingly and often
never badmouth the staff, the owners or the fans
understand you are always being judged
know your audience and entertain your crowd

You could be the best players in town, but if no one wants to be around you, your dead in the water.

The rest will fall into place.
The_Dude
Hillgrass Bluebilly FTW
Hillgrass Bluebilly FTW
Posts: 4041
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:53 pm
Location: 46825
Contact:

Post by The_Dude »

Oliver's Army wrote:You could be the best players in town, but if no one wants to be around you, your dead in the water.
=D>

On another note...I would think fans would be rather high up there for most bands. Fans spend money...bars love a packed house and they love to sell liquor/beer. If sales increase dramatically when your fans are at a particular bar, that bar will be more inclined to book you again and again and again...
Last edited by The_Dude on Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
deek
Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Posts: 1059
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:31 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Contact:

Post by deek »

I'd have to say, based on the initial question, that fans are the #1 factor to a bands success. I understand what Garr is saying, yeah, a band will be invited back to a venue, even with a small crowd, but most local venues don't really care that much who is playing. They want live music and want to fill up their shows, so if push comes to shove, they will take what they can get.

But, lets say you get 250 fans packed into a bar...don't you think that owner is going to ask you to come back? And if the next time you play, you get another 250 fans...you get where I am going.

Now success is measured differently by every band, but I'm thinking if a band in town is consistently drawing a lot of people and attention...well, that is going to be a successful local band. And the fans are what is making that happen. And I would say by default, if you are consistently drawing people out to come see your shows, you are handling yourself offstage as well...

I can't remember, in the last 10 years or so, of a band that was consistently packing local venues (by themselves, not because of a 3 to 5 band show) and creating a lot of local buzz...but if something like that was to happen, I'd say the #1 reason for the buzz and the success would be the fans.
[url=http://www.deeksworld.com]deek's World[/url]
Garr
Too Much Free Time
Too Much Free Time
Posts: 4801
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:22 pm
Location: Fort Wayne
Contact:

Post by Garr »

Well, I want to again clarify that I'm not saying that fans are not an important aspect, but I think that a band can become successful without them initially. Maybe I'm saying it wrong, but in other fields of music there are not grassroots fanbases contributing. I don't see pop artists working bars to build a fanbase then making it big. They are created or produced and marketed to build success.

I guess what I'm saying is that fans don't really do anything other than show up. Showing up is enough to get you booked again, but it doesn't do much else, right? I don't know. I think I'm trying to explore this idea just to think about it and I don't really have a clear vision of what I'm trying to communicate.

If there was no band, there would be nothing for the people to show up to. It's like the chicken and the egg thing.

Abraham consistently packed local venues in the hundreds and got signed. Rosemary Gates consistently packed local venues. Homeless J consistently packed local venues and got signed. The Wailhounds consistently packed local venues. . .and I'm sure many many more. Um, Skavosass too. They made a HUGE local buzz by selling a couple thousand copies of their CD locally.
deek
Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Posts: 1059
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:31 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Contact:

Post by deek »

I think its hard to base booking a show in this town on the fan turnout. Maybe things have changed in the last 10 years, but I never remember having issues playing out a weekend or two every month, regardless of how many people showed up. Granted, that may mean we went home splitting $50 with 5 people, but we always seemed to get another show. I don't remember many times where we were being called up by venues because we had such a huge crowd show up and they wanted us to do it again...

I see your point with pop artists, but is that who we are talking about? You started out by asking about a band's success at a local level. And then you said pop artists don't participate at a local level, so let's not worry about them for this discussion.

If you really break it down (like you did with the fans), what do bands really do other than show up at a venue and play music? If they are not bringing in fans (that go on to order drinks and food, thus making the venue money), what do they contribute? They get comped a few drinks and use the venues electricity for a few hours, right?

People show up to places for more than just the music. And I think that is the point of the fans, from a band's perspective. If you are increases the amount of people showing up wherever you play, you are increases the money being spent at that place. As your fanbase grows, you get more offers to play shows (not just being able to book at place, but actually asked to play), you get more people wanting to spend money on your merchandise or music or whatever...and to many, that is a sign of success, right?

Yeah, those bands seemed to have solid support and I think because of that, they probably were being asked to play. But I'd say it was because of the fans that frequented their shows that they became as popular as they did.

I guess its possible to become successful without local fan support...but that's quite rare. If you have the money (in which you don't need fan support) to make it without local support, then that is different...I just don't see success coming from anyone other than fans, for the vast majority of bands. Granted, if you define success differently, such as just being able to play music with your friends every weekend, well, then you can do that without a local fanbase...
[url=http://www.deeksworld.com]deek's World[/url]
ZychieG
Regular
Regular
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:58 am
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Contact:

Post by ZychieG »

Fans are everything to a band! Everything else said such as hard work and stage show is devoted to building up your fanbase! I will always put the fan's opinion over mine most of the time (unless they are a dumbass). Promotion, playing, and writing music is hard but it always comes down to "Will people like my music?" "Will people show up to my show?" I agree with the guy who started this topic. Fans are the most important factor!! How does a business grow without customers?
Sign of the Hammer!
If you would like to book with Argonaut email at booking@Argonautmetal.com or call 260-413-2027

Also check us out at
http://www.Argonautmetal.com

If you would like to book with Cougar Hunter please email:

cougarhunterfortwayne@gmail.com or call 260-413-2027
deek
Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Posts: 1059
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:31 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Contact:

Post by deek »

ZychieG wrote: I agree with the guy who started this topic. Fans are the most important factor!! How does a business grow without customers?
From the guy that started this thread: "What, really, outside of showing up, do most of your fans do for you? Besides getting drunk and urinating on the dance floor, what contributions do they make?"

Granted, he also said that he loves showing off and getting attention, so fans would have to the the most important factor in that regard:)

Good point though, without customers, how can your music grow? I think this leads into a good discussion about bands producing music just to do it. How many bands are out there that really will just make their music available to everyone, regardless of cost to them.
[url=http://www.deeksworld.com]deek's World[/url]
Garr
Too Much Free Time
Too Much Free Time
Posts: 4801
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:22 pm
Location: Fort Wayne
Contact:

Post by Garr »

Honestly, most of the best musicians are not fiscally successful in the way you think of success.

Musicians whose music really, truly grows, are often beyond the listening tastes of standard music fans.

I consider it a success if I write a song that I want to listen to after I've played it 1,000 times working it out. That has nothing to do with anyone else. I don't think that fans are required at all to make good music and do so successfully. Again, as deek pointed out, it boils down to your definition of success in this situation.

If my son dances and bobs his head at a new song I'm writing, that's a success for me despite my rock star dreams and my love for being on stage in front of people and getting loads of attention in that way. I guess that I just gauge success in a different way. . .crap, I'm late. I have to go.
deek
Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Posts: 1059
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:31 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Contact:

Post by deek »

I'm was in a similar, but different boat. When I was in a band, I really didn't care much about our music. I enjoyed playing with my friends and culminated to playing out on stage. For me, success was measured by how much fun I had. I spent money on my gear, gas to make it to shows and studio time. Not to mention countless hours off stage. So, for me, being in a band was a hobby...something I enjoyed. Success was simply a question of how much fun I had.

But we could all go down these roads as well. I still think the root of the discussion was pointed more towards the stereotypical definition of success, which really equates to popularity, exposure and money earned. Even in a local scene, these are applicable, just maybe not comparable to a national level.
[url=http://www.deeksworld.com]deek's World[/url]
LC Pwince
I Been Around
I Been Around
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:49 am
Location: The Wayne
Contact:

Post by LC Pwince »

Can fans and music be co-# 1's?
It's the music that brings your band together in the first place and makes you comitted enough to play out/write songs/whatever. But without fans, you won't be playing out very much, at least not without being completely frustrated. I'd add that playing the right venue also matters. We have fans that will flock to certain clubs, no matter what the cover or location, regardless of who else is on the bill. Those same fans won't come out to certain other clubs, no matter what. All things being equal (playing on a weekend night vs. a weekday, venue being comparable in size and cover charge), the venue can and does matter. I, Wombat has been fortunate enough to get some amazing gigs (especially in the past few months) that have really helped us grow our fanbase. But it's been a lot of work on our part too.

PS
It's really strange to use the word "fans".
rezin
lib-mod cannibal Norwegian deth metal
lib-mod cannibal Norwegian deth metal
Posts: 1406
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:14 pm
Location: ft.wayne foo'
Contact:

Post by rezin »

LC Pwince wrote:Can fans and music be co-# 1's?
It's the music that brings your band together in the first place and makes you comitted enough to play out/write songs/whatever. But without fans, you won't be playing out very much, at least not without being completely frustrated. I'd add that playing the right venue also matters. We have fans that will flock to certain clubs, no matter what the cover or location, regardless of who else is on the bill. Those same fans won't come out to certain other clubs, no matter what. All things being equal (playing on a weekend night vs. a weekday, venue being comparable in size and cover charge), the venue can and does matter. I, Wombat has been fortunate enough to get some amazing gigs (especially in the past few months) that have really helped us grow our fanbase. But it's been a lot of work on our part too.

PS
It's really strange to use the word "fans".
venue and night is very important.

left lane will pack mid city to the walls, but when they had their weekly spot at chaps, which i think was a wednesday or thursday night, it was a strong group of about 6 of us.
www.myspace.com/hillgrassbluebillyfw / www.dirtyfootfamily.com
www.myspace.com/rolandogreenisaturd
Sankofa
Too Much Free Time
Too Much Free Time
Posts: 1506
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:17 pm
Location: home
Contact:

Post by Sankofa »

friends (collaborators)
fans
promoters
stores
us postal service
reviewers
myself
Post Reply