As a musician, it's important to network with other musicians and build genuine connections with them. But how do you go about “networking” without coming across as slimy, rude finance bro?
Get ready to navigate the tricky waters of networking with other musicians and come out looking like a pro so you can find the right band members, book more shows, and become respected in your community.
Listen now to learn how to make the right connections the right way so you can boost your music career!
What you’ll learn:
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#53: Getting Signed: The Most Common Types of Record Deals | Matt Bacon of Dropout Media
Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Welcome to Episode 104 of the Bandhive Podcast.
It is time for the episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross and we're with Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona. How are you doing on this wonderful fall day?
Matt, I'm doing incredible James. It's nice and brisk outside. It's a nice morning to wake up early, watch the sunrise and bundle up with some nice hot coffee and a blanket. Good book so far. It's looking to be a great day all day. So I'm excited. How's everything over there on the east side? Yeah, I'm happy to hear that man, Things are good here. We actually had really cool clouds this morning that I took a picture of just the way the sun rise was hitting them and like there was just like a burst of light and then the cloud was orange around that one like focal point and is really cool and yeah, and things are good man.
I I had a little adventure yesterday trying to get a passport photo, I'll make this quick. But I went to CVS and their photo printer was broken and I'm like, okay, well let's see Walgreens. So they do photos called up Walgreens. Yeah, they do photos. So I went over there and this poor lady, she was super nice. Like no disrespect to her at all. She was great. But how it works is they take the picture and then they have to put it on the like the photo machine and then it checks to make sure that the photo fits all the requirements.
And this poor lady kept having trouble getting the photo to sit just right in the frame. And so finally there was some other dude was like oh hey like he was an employee, he was just printing out photos on a different machine for himself and he's like okay like try this like he fitted around and made it work and then we went to print and the machine had an error and couldn't print. So then we had to put the little SD card in the other machine to get that one to print and go through the whole fiasco of getting my face to fit in the algorithms of that machine.
And they kept saying my face is turned and it's like no my face is not turned, my nose is just like a little tiny little bit crooked like where it is here between my eyes Is slightly left or right. If we're like the tip of my nose is and so if anybody wants to see this, just look at any of the Bandhive videos you'll probably see it there. But point being this machine did not like my face. So we had to go through the whole thing again and it took half an hour to do what should have taken like three minutes and you know not that lady's fault at all.
It was just it was funny and she was so apologetic. I'm like it's whatever like welcome to real life. But so now I have a passport photo and matt. You get to see it before anybody else before it gets mailed out. Oh yeah that's the other thing. I went in with my hair all down and I was like oh this is going to look great and then uh it wasn't working like well maybe if I put my hair up. Dude passport pictures are always the worst I anything that you need where it's like a photo for the government.
You're just literally like I feel like anybody that's ever been to a like a family photo event where it's like they just put you in these like weird awkward positions and it's like okay like turn your head to the right, keep turning until it doesn't feel natural. Oh take a big breath of area. Put your chin up. But but look down like what does that even mean? Like put my chin up and look down. Like When we got our passport picture we went to the UK and 2019 and my son was 1.5.
So when we went over there we had to go get a passport picture taken for him trying to get like a little, you know, one year old baby to like hold still for a passport picture is really, really hard. And so when he was trying to get all this, I mean it was like we had to take five or six different ones and the lady eventually was like to her the only thing that mattered was the eyes, she was like all the rest of the stuff is fine and things will change and blah blah blah that she's like, but his eyes like have to be looking at the camera and so like it took him forever to get the picture.
But finally once they got the picture, it was like I swear the picture didn't even really look like my son that much because it's like all the weird angles, they wanted him to like sit out and then like plus he was sitting there for so long, it was just irritated. So by the time we got it done it was like what the, you know, interesting little picture of my baby like but we still have the picture, oh you got to keep that. I think we did it in texas like while we were on tour.
Had to go get that photo fun times man, I found my first passport recently and it's like, oh that's different, it's nice that they last for 10 years. So then you get these pictures of you when you were like 14, you're like oh man, that was great. Here's my old one. Oh wow, you look young, That was me 10 years ago. You were young. That one's not going up online though. That picture note that's just for you matt, I feel special, that's for you and the government Yeah, that's right.
The government cares. Yeah, that was between my 1st and 2nd year of college I guess I got that one Anyway, that's not what we're here to talk about today. We can nerd out about passports and old photos actually I think this was the first passport I had that lasted 10 years because before that it's like five years or something for kids. My first german passport was seven years even though I got that one, I was like 20 so I don't know for anyone wondering, I have dual citizenship so like I have a german passport and a U. S. Passport for anyone wondering, James is better than us.
Do you have tools citizenship with the Ireland or the UK? I wish No and actually I think that it would be easiest for me to actually get it with Germany so both my dad's side of the family is like german swiss and french and my mom's side of the family is like english, irish, Scottish, welsh and then german, so I actually have german on both sides. So we think that that's like the one that I kind of have the most of, we assume because our last names are Rennick hose, like we have lots of german names and then it's like Peterson, you know, it's like, oh yeah, you're definitely english.
I mean basically we're a western european, but that's that's all it comes down to. But Germany, it's like we can know exactly where our ancestors in Germany came from because we come from a long line of german dairy farmers. So like you can actually go find like the old Rennick dairy farms in Germany. There's actually there's a town in Germany named Jose H 00 S. It's like a small town which like apparently at some point or another had a bunch of our our family members there. But but yeah, somewhere we, you know, I get this long, luscious red hair from some random Scandinavian way back in the day.
But it was like Scandinavians went over to the UK, they found some pretty people there and then those UK people found some some nice strong Germans that they thought were attractive. And and it's all uh it's all downhill from there and that might be where you get the red hair from because the neanderthals, that's where the red hair gene comes from. And they came from an area around the capital Germany, which is near where my family's from. I don't have the red hair, but The battle is like 45 minutes from Boko, where my family's from, maybe we're in the end with all brothers.
Yeah, like go back 5000 years and like we have the same parents. No way. But just for the record, I don't think I'm better than other people because I have two passports. I just like having the ability to go anywhere in europe and I could live there without having to get a visa. So that would be nice for the record. I'm the one that thinks James is better than the rest of us because he has two passports. Well, thank you. You could be jealous. I will allow that.
Absolutely dual citizenship. Yes, please. That sounds incredible. Dude, you should do it. Like for me it was super easy just because my mom has german citizenship still. So I just had to be like, I was born in the States. But I mean my mom has a german passport, so like give me mine filled out the paperwork and they were like, okay, here you go. Your grandma actually speak any english very little like she can order a sprite. Yeah, I was like, I'm pretty sure that you're, you're kind of, you know, much better situation than most because you have to know german and have to be able to travel to Germany to have a relationship with your family members. Yeah.
Dude, I love it over there. Like I'm so excited for March, Take me with you someday. We'll do the band. I've tour, it'll be like the ap tour. but all d I y I'll have to say stuff and you'll have to translate. Yeah, exactly. I'll be able to say nine seconds. Velvet say that's all you need to know in Germany. Where is the bathroom? Anyway, I said we'd stop talking about passports. This does kind of come full circle because we're, what we're really talking about is having conversations, you know, being able to to have to build relationships with people in different parts of the world.
You with your passport, you actually have the ability to develop relationships with people over in mainland europe. You have developed relationships with people by way of networking. That's the beauty of all this. That's actually what we're going to talk about today. Not passports, not the weather, not not all the stuff we really like to talk about. We're going to talk about this stuff that we really love to talk about networking people. So, James, you being, you know, having dual citizenship, you have the ability to come and go as you mostly as you please.
And you've had the pleasure of developing quality relationships with people in multiple countries. So one of the coolest things about networking is that you James of avenues in multiple different places, let's say down the road, you no longer want to do a podcast with me and you're like, I want to launch a podcast that's more based in europe. Okay, I don't have much experience with europe. So I would be totally useless James due to your extensive networking capabilities. Thanks to your passport. See, I'm gonna shoehorn that back in there.
James has been able to develop relationships with people in different countries, right? So because James has developed relationships with people in different countries, he is able to find more avenues for achieving a certain level of success that he might be pushing towards. So today we're actually going to talk about networking all the way from the ground level. We can talk about being a singer songwriter, we can talk about being in a band, we can talk about a whole bunch of things, but at its core we're going to talk about you the individual.
What does this look like? Well, if you're an individual networking is going to look like finding business relationships with people, finding other people who are going to help your project get to new heights and reach new distances. You're going to network with pr company, you're gonna be networking with other businesses, really. You're gonna be networking with radio stations, you're gonna be networking with pr companies, record labels with booking agencies with fans. Really. Like, I hate the word networking because of I think it's the work in the middle of it that really just makes me like it feels so like bureaucratic kind of, I agree with that.
And I also think it's because it's kind of become a loaded term where you'll get like, like finance Brunswick, oh I'm networking and it's literally just like just like collecting business cards from as many people as possible. Do you have relationships with the nameless people? Like you shook their hand and chatted for 30 seconds and left? That's not networking, but that's what people think networking is. Absolutely. And on top of that these buzzwords, I hate buzzwords in general because and it's it's kind of bad for me to say because I like marketing and I think that's one of the reasons that I hate the word networking so much.
There's a certain feel with the word networking. It's like it kind of has the same ambiance as like using the word client, client is another one of those business terms where it's like if I ever had somebody call me their clients in front of me, I would really, really hate that because even if I'm trying to develop a business relationship with somebody, I don't want them to refer to me as their client. I know I feel like I'm a number on a spreadsheet, I don't want to feel like somebody was networking with me, I want to take somebody out two beers and I want to have a drink with you and I want to meet, you, want to talk about your kids, I want to talk about your life, I want to talk about your interests, that's what networking is.
Don't get me wrong, there's lots of there's business networking to be had, but I guarantee you if you go and you look like the highest level of billion dollar corporations meeting with each other about whether or not they're going to work together. Do you think it's the two of them sitting down and asking each other bullet points on how their business is run? It's not, that's a hint. They already know how the other one's business runs. What they're doing is seeing if they like each other, seeing if working together is even a possibility, seeing if they're they're personality types are compatible.
They're seeing that if, you know, like when James and I work together, we work together. I'm not worried about what James is going to say on the other end of the podcast, we've developed a relationship with each other. I'm not sitting here saying like, oh man, I really hope James doesn't mention this because that's going to be this, this crazy thing tarnishing my reputation. That's what I think a lot of people, you know, people get so caught up in and like worrying about stuff that they lose sight of.
Like networking really is like seeing who you like. You can think of high school as networking. I mean it is, it is, it absolutely is college more so absolutely 100%. The funny thing here is, and we have to specific areas of networking that we're going to focus on and we'll bring it over there in a minute. But the thing about college that I think is interesting is, and this is just from my experience, like maybe other people have a different, there's a lot of people that I know from college and we're still acquaintances, but they are not my network.
My network is the people that I've kept in touch with over the years and for the most part in college, even though I went to an entertainment management program, a lot of the people there did not end up in entertainment management, at least in fields or areas of entertainment management. That makes sense for me. Most of them didn't end up in production or live events or even in music necessarily, like there's people who are doing work with Nascar and stuff like that, which is amazing. Or there's one girl who works for Disney, like that's so cool, but that's not the E. M. That really has a benefit for me.
That's not to say they're not good people, like I'm sure they are, they're doing really cool stuff. But the people that I stay in touch with from my time in college are the people who have similar interests and similar, I guess career trajectories to use a loaded term. And so as part of my college experience, those are the people that I focused on. And then once I got into the quote unquote real world and started touring, I made friends like you Matt and now you and other people I met touring are the people that I stay in touch with because it's like, hey, we've lived the life, we didn't just study it in college and say, oh, this is cool.
Like let's go do this. And there's something to be said about the bond of touring. If this is too personal, we can cut this out. But I remember there's one day in New Jersey where you were just having like a really bad time. You found out some terrible news about a close family member. Yeah, exactly. His home bill. It was the PNC Bank Arts Center and we talked before that, you know, we'd run into each other like, hey, what's up? And I just like took, I don't know, maybe 5, 10 minutes like, hey, let's talk us out.
What's going on? Tell me about it. And I kind of view that as like where we went from friends to acquaintances or where we went from acquaintances to friends, not the other way around. I got to know you and I didn't want anything to do with you. Yeah. And I was like, okay, like, and I think he left the tour of the next day or maybe that day even, but we've stayed in touch since then. Yeah, like a day, day or two later was, yeah, I think I flew, I flew out of Tinley Park out of Chicago, which I think was like two days later because that was like the earliest possible flight to leave?
Yeah, no, that's a perfect example. You know, we developed a personal relationship and here we are. Years and years later, still working together. And that's where the word work kind of comes back in. What is a network. That's kind of something I want to dive into because the Entomology of network is fascinating to me. I want to start with the idea of a net. Okay, what is the net? The net is used to catch something right? It's a crosshatch. Crosshatch of a bunch of pieces of fiber going vertically and a bunch of pieces of fiber going horizontally.
It's crosshatch and it's a means to catch something, right? That's a net. Well you can use a net for bugs or fish, but each one of these pieces of fiber I want you to close your eyes and just envision for a second. Each person in your network is one of these pieces of fiber, you individually with a single string. Let's say you're trying to catch fish. This is gonna look like a fishing pole. It's not really a network, is it? You're just by yourself. Can you still catch fish?
Absolutely, but how quickly are you gonna be able to catch fish? You can only catch fish one at a time and it's as quickly as the work that you can do. You have one line in the water? You have one strand? It's yourself. What happens if you have a band mate? Now you have a crosshatch? Right now there's you and now you have one vertical line. Okay. Is it going to be easier? Your net still sucks. Okay. This is this is not a quality network. But now there's now there's two single lines.
So now in theory you'll be able to catch more fish assuming that everybody is doing the work that they're supposed to. What if you're a four piece band? Now you have two vertical and two horizontal. Is that better for catching fish? Absolutely, it is. And with each and every person that you add to this network, your net gets stronger. Your net is more capable of catching fish on top of that with your eyes still closed. Imagine these cross hatches, these pieces of string getting laying over each other and with each person that you add, what you're finding is that your net gets bigger, Your net is growing vertically, your net is growing horizontally.
And before you realize it, if you can visually imagine this, now, you have this big square net right now that your your network has worked out a whole bunch and and now now you can catch fish way up here in the top right corner that you and your band mates would have never been able to catch before. And you did that because you had carefully laid a string up here at the top of your network and you carefully latest string over here on the side of your network and you developed quality relationships with these people.
You learned about who they were as people, you learned about where they were from, you learned their kids names when they were having a rough time. You didn't contact them about business needs, you made sure that they were okay with each and every carefully lay in line in your network, what you're doing is you're able to catch more fish and more fish and more fish and more fish and then you can really see a your reach like what it is that your product actually has the ability to do and who you are as a person.
If you go listen to any self help book, any personal growth book and he like become a successful person book, they all focus on the same thing. It's not about money, it's about network, it's about what you can do for other people. The shift from millionaire to billionaire. If you talk with most of the people who are billionaires and if you listen to what they have to say about the mentality that you have to have in order to to make that change from being a millionaire to being a billionaire, not that I'm advocating for that or whatever.
But the point is is there's a certain mentality shift that has to happen and the shift is going from you saying what product can I make, that would make me money. That's the millionaire mindset then the billionaire mindset is what can I create that will redefine the structure of society. There's an idea called the deserve it factor. Do people need a billion dollars? No, they don't need that. But do the people that have it, do they deserve it? And that is in my opinion, a much more important question to ask.
Do I like Mcdonald's food? Not in particular did the Mcdonald's brothers and Ray Crock redefine the way that we view food. Yes, they did. Now things have changed since then and products and whatever have have deteriorated in quality and that's a totally different subject. But the thing that didn't stop was these people saw a way to take a business model and say how are we going to make, you know, people want food well, time is important. So how do we make this faster? How do we, how do we amp up this drive in burger scenario?
And they did it by networking. Networking is the most important thing you could ever do in a business. The Mcdonald's brothers were successful very, very, very successful. Long before Ray Crock ever came in and turned their business into a billion dollar business. The Mcdonald's logo was known. The brand was well made and Ray Croc came in and said, how can I make this better? These two groups, the Mcdonald's corporation and the Ray Crock enterprise, they decided to work together and you know what they did. Ray Crock looked at everything and he said, I don't think I can make this better, I don't think I can.
But you know what he did do? He said, why don't you guys think about adding milkshakes and lo and behold, milkshakes came into the drive in burger scene because of this network, Ray Croc didn't approach this saying, what can I do that makes this better? How is my prowess incredible. He looked at what they did and said what these guys have done is incredible, what can I bring to the table, what can I do to make their business more successful and all products and businesses aside. That mentality is really what I want to focus on because that is the essence of networking.
If you are by yourself and you meet another musician, you don't want to say how can they make my life better? But if you sit down and say let's play some music together and then that creative prowess starts to fly, oh my gosh, that is what real networking is. All of my bandmates. The first thing that I did with them was jam with my guitarist jesse. He and I showed him a day to remember we spent a summer driving around just jim and the downfall of us all as loud as possible in my car.
My drummer Chase, his favorite band is the red hot chili peppers, just the same as me and he and I would literally sit there and play in his apartment until my fingers would bleed. This was before we ever actually played in a band. Our relationship first, our network first and foremost was about the quality relationship that we were able to build with each other. Not about, you know, like Chase was phenomenal. I could have looked at chasing me like, oh dude, this guy is going to get me into the music industry, but instead it turned into like, oh dude, let's jam the first time Chase and I hung out, I sat there and I played chili peppers baselines while Chase would just guess what song I was playing and we developed a relationship that will last a lifetime.
It wasn't about what we could do for each other, it wasn't about the setting we were in, it wasn't about it wasn't about anything other than just a simple shared appreciation for a certain band. And the two of us developed a lifelong relationship because of it. Yeah, that's amazing. And that's the kind of thing where your band mates are not just your friends, they're not just your business partners. They become family. It's all three. It's difficult to sum it up is anything aside from that and that's actually the first main area of networking that we're going to talk about today is how you can find the right members for your band, whether they're already in your network or outside of your network.
For those of you who already have a full band, you don't need any extra members. Stick around because we're going to talk about a second topic or a second aspect of networking, which is networking with other artists. So you can find shows outside of your home town. Now, obviously you have the people you already know when you're looking for bandmates, it's really easy to look at your circle of friends and acquaintances and that should be the first place you look for a potential match. Like that's the low hanging fruit.
Why skip that? You probably know some amazing musicians now, Maybe they're already in bands, maybe they're too busy, Maybe they're not. And the advantage of looking at your circle of friends is that you already have an idea of the talent, their skills, their personality, all that kind of stuff that goes into making the decision, like, hey, should they be in my band or not? But if you only look at your circle of friends, you might be passing up better matches that aren't in that circle of your network that you've already built.
So the second way that you can find potential people to be in your band is a way that I'm really not a fan of, I don't think it's very effective. It's kind of like the online dating of being in a band, which is just posting online, like craigslist saying, hey, you know, rock band seeks drummer or going to apps like vamper which literally has you swiping left and right on people like Dewey Finn wants you. Yeah, exactly. And it's like okay now posting online can be ridiculously hit or miss, mostly miss because you have no idea of personality.
So you could be like a modern rock band playing similar to these styles. Like we play like Green Day, the offspring off with their heads like punky kind of stuff And somebody else sees modern rock and you get like a 60 year old boomer who wants to play music from the 80's and it's like, dude, that's not modern rock and they didn't read the actual information. They just saw modern rock. Now that's not how it works. Additionally, you have no idea of their personality. Like maybe they're super skilled but they're just a jerk and you don't want to hang out with them.
So when you're searching for potential bandmates online, you need to do a lot of research and pre filtering of candidates to avoid wasting time with people who are just like the bottom of the barrel. Like if somebody's looking on craigslist to find a band to join. That shows that they don't have any friends in the scene who trust them enough to invite them to be in a band. Now this is from my experience in a small scene, maybe in a big city where you don't know people, it's different but they're still going to be like, if you're in the scene, you're gonna know a core like 5, 10, 15, 20 bands and that's going to happen.
Like just last week, I'm not in the Burlington Vermont scene really, like not the way I used to be, just because, you know, pandemic and stuff, but a friend of mine hit me up and was like, hey, this band needs a failing guitarist for two shows next week. Like, do you think you can do it? And it ultimately it wasn't a fit. I said, you know what, I'm going to pass on this one because they needed a lead guitarist. I'm not really a lead guitarist, I'm a more of a rhythm guy.
And I would have had like, literally a week to learn all their songs that they needed me to play. So it wasn't a good fit, but just by being present in the scene and being chill and knowing people, I had this friend hit me up and say, hey, this band needs somebody, do you want to do it? And if I were a total jerk that wouldn't have happened. So if somebody's on craigslist looking for bands to play with, it's like, why aren't their friends hitting them up?
What's what's going on there? And on the other hand, maybe they're really nice and they think they're amazing and like they're the next Eddie Van Halen and all they can play is the intro to smoke on the water. That's the other alternative, Maybe they're really nice, but they're just terrible musicians. It can go either way and then same thing, like if you're using vamper or other apps like that, like the tender of music, you got to meet with people a few times and get to know them personally, assess their skills, their proficiency, all that you need to really think long and hard about.
Do I want this person in my band? Do I trust them enough to be in my band? And now the third way to find a bandmate, which is my absolute favorite and the one that I recommend is looking beyond your circle of friends by asking your circle of friends. And so obviously this is, you know, look at your circle of friends first to see who might be a good candidate, but don't be afraid to ask people in that same circle who they would recommend say, hey, like we need a new drummer, drummers are tough to find.
Like, do you know any drummers who are good at what they do, They're chill and they're looking for another band because they're probably in three already. Your friends probably know somebody saying, oh yeah, you know, I know this person, she's great, like have her try out the drums. Like, let me introduce you and this gives you an end with people that you may already know as acquaintances or maybe you don't know them at all. But whether your friend making that introduction, that's an in that way, there's already a small amount of trust between you and the person that you are considering for the band, because you have this mutual connection saying like, hey you two should know each other.
Is this relationship to grow, maybe you don't know, but you have that small level of trust starting the relationship there? Absolutely. I think this is a really good point. Um I want to tell a story about my bandmates because already mentioned Jesse and Chase both of them, I developed quality relationships with, you know, both of them, it was all about music at first and it was, you know, Jesse and I listening to a day to remember Chase and I playing chili peppers together. Well, I also have two other bandmates, Colton and Cameron.
Neither one of them started this band with us. They were members who came along years and years and years later after Chase Jesse and I had all started playing together. Colton actually played for another band in our local Spokane Washington music scene and we all knew Colton was a good guitarist. Golden also was a really, you know, he just had a lot of awesome energy about him all the time. Even when he was playing with another band, he was always super supportive of our music. He was always up there in the front at every show that we would go to Colton would be there and he would like buy somebody a beer and he just wanted to kind of exist around, like he put in the work, he's a go giver. Exactly.
And when we got to the point where we lost our bassist actually, he was our bassist that walked out, we went to him and said, hey, like we know that you don't play bass per se, but would you be interested? You know, like, we really want you to be a part of our group and and how would you feel about playing bass? And he was like, sweet, let's do it. And he was just so on fire about it. And Colton has been, you know, an absolutely incredible addition to our band.
You know, he's he's been an integral member for years and years now, you know? And so he had liked our old band for years and years and we had played shows together for years and years and years. And then finally it came down to a relationship had been nurtured long enough, and it came to the point where he was no longer in a band, we no longer had a bassist and all the stars aligned, that was a shorter period of time than even Cameron was Cameron when we met him, he was like 13 years old, we were out on Warped tour.
The reason he was out there is his goal was to write a book about the touring lifestyle in general. And so he and his dad, they followed club tours, they followed Warped Tour, They went around meeting as many people as possible. This is a guy who, I mean, Cameron was literally, Cameron has taken lessons from all some of like the greatest musicians in the metal scene. His dad sounds awesome for allowing that being like, yeah, we'll follow these tours. Like that's so cool. His dad was not only would they do that, They showed up to tours and they said, hey, if you guys want, there's six beds in our RV, you can go shower on there, you can go sleep on there if you just want to hang out here, space away from your bandmates, you go for it.
They actually kind of developed a little haven for people to kind of get away from, you know, the current scene that they were in. You know, I was like, oh, we've been on the road for 30 days, like, I don't want to be in 100 degree weather, I want to be on an air conditioned bus and it was just wonderful. It was, there was never a time at a show when Cameron and Cameron's dad would show up and things would be bad. It was always like, this is incredible and tons of people in the industry knew him.
I mean, it was like, oh, we're going over here, we're talking to these guys and oh, you guys know Camera Delta two is like, oh yeah, look turns out that this guy gave Cameron guitar lessons back in the day? You know, it's like, Oh really? No, I mean this kid literally took drum lessons from Matt from periphery guitar lessons from, remember I'm not between the buried and me. But I mean like literally this, he's just, he has taken guitar lessons from, from some of the most talented guitarist, drum lessons from some of the most talented drummers and he developed quality relationships with him.
And when we met him, he was like 13 or 14 years old. He's a little tiny kid, literally, you know, hair down to his butt, almost just like excited to be there. He didn't sit there and say, what can these musicians do to make my life better. He said, what can I do to make these guys lives better? I'm gonna have fun conversations about music. I'm gonna ask questions, I'm gonna glean as much knowledge and wisdom as I can from these people who have been in an industry of doing something that I wanted to do my whole life fast forward a few years.
Cameron is 16 then or maybe 17. He's been putting out play through videos on multiple instruments. He started teaching music. He's been doing online lessons. He's been excelling and basically every area of his own personal life focusing on himself first and focusing on how he can make other people's lives better. And it got to the point where jesse came to me and said, hey dude, why don't we, why don't we ask Cameron? I know that he lives in a different state, I know that he's young, I know that all these, you know certain red flags are here, but it seems to me like he's willing to put in the footwork and sure enough he was and so we added what was the youngest member to our band ever into our band?
Cameron is uh I think seven or eight years younger than me, I want to say he turns like 23 or something this year. So he, I mean he's he's young, he's a baby, he is, but you know what? He also worked so hard that he got his PhD at the same time as touring with us. That is insane. Absolutely. You know? So this is why we always say that, like it's all about the hard work, it's all about the networking, like whatever you do, like he just spent his time trying to make other people's lives better.
And then when the time came, he had multiple people offering him spots and bands, He had multiple people offering him touring positions. He had people contacting him about, they were coming through town and they wanted to see him, it wasn't just work, it was personal. This is a kid who literally drove to go see jonny craig in the hospital because of the relationship that he's built with him, you know, and there's not a lot of people that would do that, but this kid, he loves everyone. And so he sacrificed himself, He developed quality relationships with people and he will have lifelong friendships because of that.
And until I die Short of him doing something that would wrong me incredibly. So if he would ever call me and need something from me, I would be there for him and that's a true network. He can count on my string to catch the fish, if that's what he needs, I will be there. Yeah, first of all, that sounds amazing that starting at 13, Geez, what what dedication, like that's really amazing. But I also think that's a perfect segue to our next and final section of this episode which is finding other artists to play shows with.
Now, all those connections that Cameron made, I am sure if he wants to play a show in a city somewhere, he's got five people at least he can hit up in that city be like, hey, I'm looking for a show this genre. Can you give me like three bands to hit up? And that's if his friend isn't in a band of that genre already, that can be a lifesaver. When you're trying to put together a tour that's like what a connector can do. Like I'm a connector, I can make, I can connect point A to point B and make things happen.
Cameron is what I would call a super connector, Cameron has a type of personality that like you're saying James, not only could he hit up some people and they could make some things work, but Cameron has developed such quality relationships that everybody he's come in contact with that other people would hit him up for him to make those connections. Two weeks into Cameron joining our band, we had johnny craig messaging him saying, oh, so when are me and Matt gonna do a track together because we're both redheads and we'll have a song about redheads taking over the world.
That was two weeks into him joining the band, he was making these jokes because that's who Cameron is the second, It was like, oh, cameras are part of this band, the next tour that we went on. People were like, oh, you're in Cameron's band, right? I played in this band for 10 years, and people are already saying like, oh, you're in his band, right? It's like, yes, I absolutely, and I'm proud to say that because I know that I can trust this guy with the business that I worked.
So you know, this is my baby and I know that he'll represent it well, and instead of people saying like, oh, you play for what band now I have, like the drummer from Borneo serious saying like, oh yeah, like you're in cameras band, you guys are great, it's like, cool, you probably never listen to us before Cameron joined the band, but because he did and because he said, hey, listen to this and he has a quality relationship with you, you obliged. This is why we always say that you never know when something magical is going to happen.
Yeah, that, that sounds so amazing to have those connections spark so spontaneously just by knowing the right people. And I mean it's, it's so cheesy, but people say your network is your net worth. It's true by having Cameron in your network and in your band that expanded year, reach really to the next level. And when you're trying to play shows in a market that you haven't played before and you've got to find local bands to put together a solid line up. So people will actually be interested in booking you and not just think this bands never played here before.
No one is going to show up knowing local artists in each of those markets, gives you such a big leg up on the competition. It makes your life so much easier to book shows in those cities. And there's two ways you can do it. It's super easy. The first one is, you know, just like finding your potential bandmates, ask your friends say, hey, we want to play in this city, you played there six months ago. Do you know who? We should hit up to try and book some local acts for the show, we're booking in that city and then you can offer the promoter package deal.
Say, hey, it's us plus these two locals who have a good history in, in your city, what can we do? Like, can you get us a show? These are the three dates we have available. And again, it goes back to, if you have a friend introducing you, there's that amount of trust. So like, if you need to show Matt in Wichita Kansas and let's pretend you've never played there before, Maybe you have, I don't know. But Cameron knows somebody in Wichita Kansas and he's given them a spot on his R. V. They're gonna be like, Cameron, dude, Yeah, of course.
Like, hey, hit up these three bands and you know what? Don't go to this promoter, they'll screw you over. But this other one, she's great. Like book a show with her, she'll take care of you, she'll give you food, she'll give you gas money. She's not gonna rip you off on the door split. Like, go with her. And you know, just just say, hey, we sent you like, that's fine too. And that's the advantage of having those right connections in place. The other thing you can do is reach out to bands online.
This takes more work. It's leg work. Really? You got to just slide into their DMS and do it in a positive way. You don't want to be like, hey guys, you're in this city, you want to play a show like that, that's cool. That works. It's not great and you don't want to say, hey, you're in the city. What bands should we hit up? You're hitting up abandon that city. Why aren't you asking them if they want to play on the show? The best way to do this is to reach out and find out a little bit about them.
Be like, hey, you know, we're a band from. So, and so like I checked out your music. This song sounds really cool. I like the video, like whatever it is, be genuine, actually watch their videos or listen to their music and say, hey, you know, how long have you guys been playing? This sounds really good. Like how did you do this particular part of your song? Like the effects on that sound really awesome and start building a relationship before you say, hey, by the way, we want to play your city.
Like you want to hop on a show, chances are they probably do, but they're going to feel much better about it if you show an actual interest in them now, you're probably wondering, how do I find these bands? There's two fairly easy ways. The first thing is to look at recent show posters from that market, let's say last 6 to 12 months tops because you don't want to find bands that haven't played a show in three years that's useless. You want to find a band that is relatively active.
So find show posters in that time frame and just start looking up the bands that are listed if they're good and they seem like they have an active social media presence. Cool add them to your list of bands to hit up as long as you know there in that city as well. If they were touring through then it doesn't make sense. But keep them in mind for whatever city they're in in case you want to play that city as well and add them to the list of people to hit up for that other city.
And the second method would be to use a tool called Camp Explorer dot io. It's a great tool because it lets you search for multiple band camp tags at the same time. If you're on the actual band camp site you can only search for one tag at a time. So you can search for genre or city or something like that. And band camp does have a city filter but that only allows you to search for major city. So we'll have like new york Los Angeles, Nashville London, paris Berlin.
And if you're in, you know like Burlington Vermont or even a relatively large city, like I don't know if they even have san Diego on there because L. A. Is on there, you can be in a major city and not be listed on band camp. So the Camp Explorer, you can go in and put in pop punk as one tag and Burlington Vermont as another tag or pop punk san Diego California. It allows so much more control. Now it doesn't let you sort by most recent release, so you just have to open up a bunch of tabs and look at what the latest release from that band is.
Look at their social media pages, see if they're active, see how good of a job they're doing with their overall branding and activity online. And that's another good way to find artists again, you need to put in that leg work. But it is so important to do this because if you try to book a show with a promoter in a new market and you find two locals that bring out no one that just makes you look bad because you're new to the market you brought out probably no one, maybe five people if you're lucky, maybe 10 if you're extremely lucky and you have an audience growing already there for some reason.
But you have to rely on the locals to bring people out when you're first playing a new market, that's just how it goes. Unfortunately. So again, when you reach out to them, talk to them, try and nurture that relationship rather than just going straight for the ask, there's a great book, I mentioned the title of it earlier when I said oh Cameron's ago giver being ago giver is a way of life. It just means that you give without the expectation of receiving back and not everyone will give back.
But the people who do will be worth so much more to you. So it evens out for all the people who don't give back. It's an amazing book. It'll be linked in our show notes at band. I've got Rocks slash 104. I absolutely recommend reading it. It's Like, I don't know, 100 and 120 pages. It's a parable. It's an easy read. Great book. I cannot recommend it highly enough and I try to live my whole life as a go giver. And part of that is I've sent copies of that book to a few people like that.
I think I sent you a copy. I know I sent one to Matt Bacon who he had on episode 53 of the podcast, so that was like a year ago. Yeah, 49 weeks ago, we did that episode. You can find that one at band, I've got Rocks slash 53, that's the number 53. Uh And it's getting signed. The most common types of record deals with Matt Bacon, of dropout media. Again, it is a great book. I highly recommend the go giver. If you don't read, this is the one book and you should probably read audiobook.
Yeah, that's the thing, it's a parable. So it actually works as an audiobook, there's a lot of business books that you can't do as an audio book because it's not really a story, but the Go giver is a story. It's a parable audiobook, do it. Audiobook, paperback, whatever it is, 100% worth it. Basically. I think in summation, what we really want you guys to to walk away from this episode gleaning is that there's two different types of mentalities that you can have when you are trying to expand your business, you can say what can this person do for me?
And that might increase your bottom dollar? That might increase your profit. Might get you a couple things. It's uh the equivalent of finding a piece of driftwood and floating across the river on it. You can absolutely do things that way. The other way is for you to say how can I make their life better. Cameron never came to us saying how can I join this band? How can I make my life better by knowing all these musicians? I'm sure that as a 13 year old kid, when you look at these people that you kind of idolize, that's in the back of your mind, Oh, I I don't want these people to like think poorly of me, How can I make sure that they don't think poorly of me?
And I think that the perfect answer to that question is by doing what you can for them, the more that you start to do for other people, the more things for you kind of naturally start to fall into place I know because of my network, I will never have to worry about being homeless, I won't and the reason is Because I have developed quality relationships with so many people in so many different states that I to this day, I could travel to any state in the lower 48 and probably stay at somebody's house indefinitely until I was able to get myself back up on my feet because I've developed relationships when I met you for the first time, James I didn't say, oh yeah, maybe I should be nice to this guy because years down the road we might start a podcast together.
But you know what? When I was walking through lines with a boom box and I saw that you were talking to somebody, I was courteous and said I'm not going to blast these kids with a boom box while James is talking to them, I could have said I could probably make some money off of these guys, but instead I said, what can I do to make James job a little bit easier. Oh, I cannot be blasting these kids with music while he's talking to them. That's just a small thing of respect and it was inadvertent respect that put us here years later.
So you know, you never know when the actions that you take are going to lead you to somewhere awesome. I mean a lot of the time, it's the most selfless of acts that take you to the highest of heights. That's a personal thing for like everybody. Remember the first time I was ever backstage at a concert, It wasn't because I paid to get there. It was because I took donations for a kid that died and that made its way through the ranks of the festival to the guy who started the festival and he said, you know what?
Bring these kids in the production office, I want to thank them, I want to match whatever they raised. And then he also said, he's like, you guys can sell your own stuff inside the defenses. And then we had a relationship with these people for years. Don't be looking at what you can get out of a relationship that's not building a network. You don't build your net saying all these other strands are gonna catch so many fish for me. You look at the net and you say all of these strands together, working together.
Each one pulling their own weight, each one supporting each other at a time when they need support, all of us as a collective Together, we will catch fish together. The tide will rise, a rising tide raises all ships, support each other. Don't go into a situation. Looking for what you can get, go into a situation, looking for what you can give because the things that you give will build people far better than the things that you can receive out of a relationship. Mhm mhm, mm hmm that does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast.
Thank you so much for tuning in and listening. I hope that this episode helped give you some ideas of how you can network with potential bandmates or potential bands to play with in other scenes or your own scene really do it the right way. So you're not that slimy person that every other musician kind of shied away from, you really want to be the person who is if not beloved in the community, the person who is accepted and well liked by everyone in the scene because if you turn out to be the jerk who burns bridges and is selfish and all that kind of stuff, it is not going to go well for you in your career.
Yes, there are major artists who have big egos or are mean, but the exception does not prove the rule in this case, you have to be the nicest possible person and if you're nice, others will be kind to you in return. It's all about being a go giver. So I really hope that this episode helped you and I just want to shout out also, thanksgiving is in two days, happy thanksgiving everyone. If you're in the States and if you're not just have a great rest of your week, we'll be back next Tuesday with another brand new episode right here in your favorite podcast app.
Until then, I hope you have a great week. Stay safe. And of course, as always, keep rocking. Yes, don't buy all the waves plug ins on sale. Just know it's not worth it.
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