DIY artists come from many different backgrounds…
Some of us have extensive backgrounds in the music business and are trying to launch our own music careers.
Others no experience at all, just raw talent from years of practicing their instruments.
But there’s room in the music business for everyone!
Join Aaron and James as they discuss their beginnings in the music business and some tips for artists to build a successful band.
What you’ll learn:
Click here to join the discussion in our Facebook community.
Northern Vermont University (Lyndon State College)
The Six Figure Home Studio Podcast
Welcome to Episode two of the Bandhive Podcast.
If you just finished listening to Episode one and then came right over to Episode two, that is awesome. Thank you so much. Just a quick ask. Please go to Apple podcasts or iTunes and leave us a rating or review.
It takes 30 seconds and helps us out. So, so much. Now let's get into this episode. An Episode one. You didn't learn anything about us or why we should be telling you how to run your band. So to prove that we're not just two random guys on the Internet, we're going to share a little bit of our backstories. And first off, we're gonna have my co host, Aaron Gingras, from the band Suburban Samurai. How's it going today? Good. What's going on? I'm glad to hear that, and not much, really.
Just, you know, uh, prepping for my upcoming vacation, which will be long gone by the time this episode comes out. But aside from that pretty much same old, same old before the episode, we were talking a little bit about your plans for the band. So it sounds like you've got some big things in store. But before we get to your current gig in suburban samurai, why don't we go way back in time? That will have to have some echo on it when I do the on and find out how you got started in the music industry.
And what kind of piqued your interest in music in the first place? Boy, I think that's one of those. There's not just one answer to it, so I kind of get the pick and choose my own adventure. No, I think, uh, to kind of sum it all up. Uh, well, if our listeners don't already know, we're both living in Vermont, from Vermont in the United States, and, um my the person who is now the guitar player in the band that I'm in sub Sam, Uh, we actually I don't want I grew up together, but we kind of grew up together in the same town, same elementary school, same middle and high school, um, and into adulthood.
And, um, it was actually I kind of have to give him credit. I think he was probably one of the first, uh, like, like an interest in music like that. Spark kind of came to me from, like, a couple of different, uh, like angles. But he was definitely one of them where you know, you're 13. 14 15. That's usually when I'd say probably most of the people listening. Um, we got like, Yeah, that's when I got into it. Um uh, my guitar player Cody got into playing guitar on git was, like, right around that same time.
I think we're 14, 15 years old. Where, um, my aunt had a drum set, Um, which she kept at my dad's work on die, his work or something. Where When everybody left attend of the night, Um, it kind of be as loud as he wanted. It's It's, you know, there was a model home. He built homes and and he kept that and, you know, up in the second floor, wherever it was. And like so, you know, like he was kind of the, you know, he could do what everybody wanted.
And so he was kind enough toe, you know, and my aunt, who's Trump said it was was kind enough to let me, like, kind of play around with it for a little bit. And so it was like, um, seeing a drum set and person and kind of being able to fool around with it for a little bit wild the same time, like my best friend picking up the guitar, It was kind of like Okay, well, I guess that's what's happening. And so, uh, I think that's kind of how I got into drums and then I worked, Remember all summer?
Um, you know, I think my 14th year going into turning 15, uh, to save up money for my first drum set. And, you know, as they say, the rest is history. And I think from that point, the rabbit hole has only gotten deeper, you know, from there. So it's really just, you know, I found a drum set at the right time. Uh, right time being. My good friend picked up in instrument, so I kind of got to do it that way. So you kind of just fell into it.
And I have to say, when you're talking about having the drum set in the model home on the second floor I was just imagining a Bluth model home with Trump set in the attic and George Michael bashing on the drums and see when they say that was based on a true story. Now you know where that came from. Of course. Michael Cera was also in Scott Pilgrim where he played bass. Yes, so that doesn't quite tie into sub sample, but good TV show on a good movie and a good band.
So it all fits together. Moving on. You had some very high profile professional experience in the music industry before coming back to focus on your own music with Sub Sam. And you also end up ended up going to school. I did. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Yeah. So after, you know, having um, fallen into the role of like d i y drummer and, you know, just having having fun with it while trying to learn, you know, through middle school in high school, Um, basically, that's you know, any other hobby that I had or any other you know, any Anything else that I had happened to have been interested in at that point went away when I started playing an instrument.
Um, you know, it was just total, like, black hole, but in, like, the best possible way. I just like every part of me, was sucked into this thing on trying to get better at it. Because it's truly something that I think you whatever way you're coming from, you kind of get out of it what you put in. And so that was kind of exciting. So it kind of took over my world on Ben. I realized that you could go to school for that. Um, and so I went to school.
Uh, they call it something different now, but when I went, it was Lyndon State College, which was still just in Vermont. Um, they had a baby, uh, music business and industry program there. There are a few people who came together who I'm ashamed to say. I don't know what they did before, but I would imagine a few of them had been teaching things other than music. Um, I know you know the head of the first head of the department, Uh, was very involved in music and came from another school.
But, um, they were just trying to put something together, and it really just I'm not kidding you. And I say, you know, the first tour that I took of, like, the space and I met the faculty. You know, when I was trying toe learn a little bit about the space before I chose to go there, Um, it was a hole in the wall. It was a closet, like, you know, the studio they had was alive room and the, you know, it was one room with, like, a 6 ft folding table and, you know, an analog, I think an analog console And like you had the drummer playing there, the person who was recording you sat at the 6 ft table like it was rough.
But what really drew me into that they had some people on their team who were really working hard to build that up and turn that into something mawr. And by the time that I graduated, um, they had taken over the school, and by that I don't mean the whole school is a recording school. They you know, I may not get this entirely right, but you know it It was one of the cornerstones. Uh, by the time I graduated of, um, the school, you know, just based on, like, new, like new students.
Like they were pulling a lot of new students. Um, they were finally getting the funding that they needed to do to a lot of this stuff. Um, there were, you know, knew people who were introduced as, like, faculty within the program who, you know, all came from, you know, other backgrounds that were, I think, really valuable thio the education that the students received and just kind of like the, you know, the general. Like like people started to catch on and go. Oh, this is a riel. This is something that has potential.
And there's ah lot of interest in this s o. By the time I left, you know, they re model or they remodeled the wing of the school s o. They had ah, very nice studio space on DFO. Um what? I hear what little I I keep up with the program. They're continuing to invest in new equipment new spaces on gets turned into something which is really nice and absolutely no longer a hole in the wall. Um, and so that's where I went. I didn't go for recording our engineering.
I started as a production. Uh, major is not the right where focused. I was focused in production. Um, I got just about as good to the point where I realized that wasn't my strength. And so I continued with that program, but I switched over to business. Uh, considering up until that point all the way from when I, you know, picked up my first set of drumsticks through college like, Well, I've kind of always been that guy. Um, that's it's what I do. Anyways, why don't I learn a little bit more about this and really, you know, take a deep dive into, like what it is I've already been doing.
How do I make it better? What other people do it? This how far can you go? Um and so that's that's kind of what I did in college. Um, and yeah, from there, Uh, I'm thinking the summer before my last year at college. Um, I did a full work tour um I was connected by one of the faculty members with a band out of Boston. Um, and I ran their merch for the summer. Attn. That point I had only done, um, you know, cumulatively, um, I'm not Cumulatively, I had done, like, a week like here and there, like with my own project.
Nothing substantial. But, um, I was lucky enough for the for the teacher to like. See that? You know, I didn't know what I was doing, but I was trying, and I wanted to learn more, and he gave me an opportunity which really ended up paying off for me because I was introduced to the idea of what it really means toe be thrown in head first, Um, you know, doing warped merch. I went into that really not knowing if I was. You know, I'm lucky. I did. And for if there's anybody listening who's also on that tour, obviously, you know, it worked out.
But, you know, really like when you are thrown in head first to something you haven't done before, You know, there's always that like, Hey, how's it going to go? But for somebody like a little younger, like I was, um you know, it was very challenging. It was boot camp, and I was lucky to spill out on the other end, like totally eating it up and liking it. But if you know, maybe if if somebody else is in the same position, that would have been there cute toe quit and move away.
But But that that just served toe suck me into that world more. Um, as I, uh, sort of closer and closer toe. Uh, my graduation, Um, from the school. Um, I sort of found myself at a point where I had another opportunity I could take this time, um, working, uh, as a production assistant as an intern for a artist who's been very successful. Um, also out of the Massachusetts area on DSO where work tour with summer 2011. Um, I went on this other run 2012, all while, um, you know, being in school the, you know, the spring before, um, and working for these people while taking classes.
And it was, like, super hectic, but, you know, So I worked my ass off for those folks while in school. Like went on to graduate. I went on tour with them, Um, and again, a production assistant, Like a production capacity aan den. There. I stayed for the next six or seven years, somewhere between six and seven. Andi, I kind of just focused on, uh, you know, it's going to sound like a bad thing when I say it, but kind of giving my twenties away. I You know, I I just I gave that job my all, um and I tried to take from it everything that I could and as a result, um, again, I was very lucky tohave some very nice people Notice that, um it seems like that's what happened.
And eso I claimed the latter from production assistant to production coordinator and then, uh, probably due to, Ah, a couple of different things, Kind of all convening and happening at the same time. My last full outing with those folks. I was production office manager. Eso I kind of just spent a lot of time climbing the ladder and soaking up much as I could, um, and then after six or seven years of that and I'm feeling really old right now, uh, all the all the while I had still been continuing to play music when I was home, doing as much as I could for my own projects.
Um, uh, let's probably 2020 15. I'll say, um, I started to realize that, um, I up until that point, have been pouring all of this effort into, um my job is I should have. So I was, But I wasn't really doing the same for, like, my own thing. I was thinking, Here I am, you know, doing doing this for somebody else and again as a zai should have been, um, but kind of seems like it could also be doing that for myself. Um, or, you know, to to appoint, um and so I together with the guitar player from much earlier in this story.
Uh, my guitar player, Cody. Um, we both kind of came out of having been in another band on done the same with our bass player. And so we the three of us kind of formed this new thing, um, from an old band. And, um, kind of spent a year, a year and a half, like, really trying to build the infrastructure at first understanding what that is or what it should be And then on then building that and then 2016, The beginning of 2016 was where we really tried to throw everything at the wall.
And, um, where the year before, we had kind of, um, treasured, you know, assembled the whole thing. Still not knowing what we're really doing. Um, we started touring in 2016. Um, I think we did. You know where we did it, Like, 11 shows the first year we were together. Like writing and trying to figure stuff out, Not sucking so hard in our instruments anymore. Um, which, you know, Mayor Not still be a thing, depending on when you talk. Thio. We were 11 shows that year. We'd locally we did like, I think, 51 or 52.
That second year, 2016 on Did you know, I think that took us faras. You know, the Virginia and then it's far west. Probably is Pittsburgh Buffalo in there? So, um, you know, an era of expansion Onda again? All while working production for this other artists. So very hectic, hopping back and forth from one world to another 2017. The same thing um 2018 was the year that I chose for Ah, a couple of different reasons. All both positive reasons to leave my post Aziz production for this other artist. Um, and just continue to kind of focus on myself and my own music on the band's music.
Um, and so that kind of more or less brings us to today 2019. And, um, the focus has been to continue to explore, uh, you know how the heck we can build this. Continue to build this thing up from from the ground whether that be new markets, new modes of tour transportation when old ones kicked the bucket Or, uh, you know, new music, um, you know, kind of further and faster into all of the different facets of it. There's my monologue, but it Z um yeah, we're and it's exciting time.
Still, learning never stops learning, but it's always fun. Thio be ableto have conversations like this and kind of look back and reflect on progress made. Yeah, and I think one really interesting thing is that even though you have all this great experience with Sub Sam, you're still very much d i y band in part because you can't do it all yourself. And I would say you self manage sub Sam better than 95 or even 99% of the other d I Y bands out there because of your experience. But you've been doing Sub Sam for about four years now and you're still growing it.
So I want to highlight that. Ah, lot of bands think they're going to start a band and get signed overnight, and that's just not realistic. That's like a one in 10,000 chance that that's gonna happen to kind of put it in plain text. Um, the artist that I was lucky enough to to spend so much time with, um, in a production capacity, I've, you know, either done tour work or toured through, you know, probably 2025 countries on four continents. Um, and I come home, and although I've been able to take away a lot from that work and sort of apply it to my own, uh, you know what I do with my own band?
Um, it's really done. A number on, uh, it's really done a lot to sort of shape how I interpret a lot of things and and how I try to Not always, but how I tried to interact with people in situations. Um, but it is the day having done all that, I'm still with Sub Sam. We are, you know, not too good to do a lot of things. Still, you know, and it's just Z kind of, to your point of, you know, a band putting in, ah, lot of hard work.
And it is very hard todo tour for a year and then having that band think that, you know, whatever it is that they think success means is like right around the court, you know, um, you know, making it's right around the corner just isn't like, realistic. And that's, um this is not me trying to, um, you know, brag in any way. It just so happens that, you know, this is what I've done, and this is what I know. It happens to be the truth in this situation.
Um, and I think a lot of bands, uh, you know, I cannot stand when people use words like famous or success. Um, because they're both subjective and mean. Very different things to different people. Um, so, you know, it's all I think it's all incremental progress, no matter who you are or where you're from. Yeah, definitely. And there are other artists, and, you know, this is kind of the old model of the music industry. But look at Green Day. They were a band for 67 years before Ducky came out, So that was quite some time before they got signed.
That was their first big hit. They'd put some stuff out before that, but they were pretty much like a local D I Y band, and like six or seven years, that's longer than something. I'm like that that's older than we are at this point. And a lot of people who like If I go and find some 14 year old mall rat like Who's Soup has wearing a green day share, they may not know what do kiis Oh, that's so sad. How's that for feeling old? 24 years. But really, though it's like, you know, it's your patience and perseverance and all of those things.
Yeah, it turned 25 this year. It was 94 95 wasn't it? It sounds about right now. I just I feel to either way I am older than that album, as are you? Jesus, that's anyway s. Oh, sorry. The point being, even most of the top rock bands out there had a period of 5 10 years before they grew and had commercial success. Uh, you know, as you said, there are so many different ways to define fame and success, but to say commercial success in the terms of, you know, hitting the top 200 on Billboard or something like that.
Their bands that you know have gone 10 years, 15 years and then finally get that one hit. So I think it's important to have theatric tude that Aaron has about perseverance. And even if you have a great job with a high profile artist, if your dream is music playing your own music, you might have to say, you know, let me take a step back so I can focus on this rather than doing a job that you enjoy with another artist, you know, And it goes to show that even though sub Sam right now isn't, you know, touring the whole country, and you're just still doing regional or, you know, out to like Ohio and down to Virginia as you were saying, There is something going on there because you did 51 shows in 2017 or 2016 You said That's huge.
Ah, lot of diet bans couldn't pull that off. That's basically a show a week, and I'm sure you didn't do them one at a time like you did tours. But that's still really impressive that you had the mental bandwidth to pull that off while you were also touring essentially full time working for another artist. That's I don't know if mental bandwidth or, uh, that sounds like such a nice thing. I was probably pulling my hair out most of the time, but it's Yeah, I would say, Sub Sam's extraordinarily successful, though, uh, not quite yet commercially successful.
Um, you know, I think this the latter would be quite nice, but I think another thing toe consider, for anybody listening is, um, you know, you're gonna have to give up a lot. Chances are you're going to have to give up a lot whether it's the decision making. If you jump in bed with, you know, Joe Schmo in Hollywood, or, uh, you know, if you choose to keep a lot of that closer to your chest like you're going to give up a lot of time and other personal opportunities, so that's always a balance.
But, um, it's, you know, whatever. Yeah, I think it's like a $20 means more to me than the other guy thing. You know, small successes sometimes feel much bigger than they are. If it's something you've worked really hard out, I would agree with that. I mean, some people would look at it and say, I did this big tour Now I'm touring and playing. You know, house shows like this is lame, but you look at it the other way. Say, you're playing your music to new people and I have absolutely.
I've thought of it both ways to you know, it's if you're having a bad day. It's easier to like for certain kinds of thoughts, toe kind of, you know, blocks the door surface. Yeah. You know, I've woken up in ah, pilot parking lot in my bunk in a van, and, you know, I've thought of it both ways. Like, wow, where was I a year ago? Now I'm waking up sweating my ass off in a pilot parking lot smelling gas. And but then you keep talking to yourself and you think, Well, that's kind of because nobody, you know put us here but us, you know, the only response.
Well, responsibilities should be another episode. But like, you know, aside from all the responsibility, you know all the things we need to knock out today. Really? The today's goal is to go fly music and, like, have you know what will hopefully turn out to be a very good time. So it's all on how you look at things. And you know, there's no one size fits all. And both ways of thinking about that probably are true. It's just, you know, how you choose to kind of live your life. Exactly.
I think that's a super positive outlook. And here's Thio sub Sam and you could bring to this podcast, too. Help people bring their band, The success that sub Sam is having an knock on wood. We'll continue to have rockin. But I think if it's about that time kind of 1 80 this and, um, sort of talking about you talk about yourself, James. Eso We've got this podcast. This is obviously a brainchild of yours um, what else have you done? What else are you doing? And then maybe we can kind of, like, you know, start in the middle and then record scratch three weeks earlier, or what I'm going to assume was closer toe 10 or 15 or 20 years earlier.
But we can talk about, like, how you kind of wound up where you are, but yeah, like, what's what? Keeps you busy day today. And maybe we couldn't walk backwards from there. Yeah, So basically, right now, I have three distinct things that I'm doing on pretty much a daily basis. One of them obviously being banned hive, which, if you're listening to this, you know that Bandhive is a resource for D i Y bands to learn how to successfully manage their d i Y band rather than running it into the ground.
In addition to that, I run Pinnacle Pro Sound, which is a mixing studio, and I work with artists from all over the country or even the world, and basically take the tracks that they have recorded either by themselves or in a studio, and makes them to be the best possible version of what it can be and help the band have to mix that they here in their head. Essentially. And so mostly. I work with rock bands, punk, pop, punk, that kind of stuff. Um, you know, Aaron and I are in the same scene here in Vermont, the D i Y. I don't want to say Post punk, but like indie punk scene probably would be a pretty good.
That's probably what's generating the most buzz these days. Yeah, just a way to encompass it, you know. And so those air, typically the artists I work with. And then I also do podcasts editing for another podcast called Six Figure Home Studio Podcast, which is run by Brian Hood, formerly of the band My Children, My Bride and That's podcast all about running a successful recording studio. And so, in part, participating in the editing process of that was what made me realize You know what? I hate being on camera, and if you watch my videos, I don't know if you like those videos or not like random listening out there, but I feel so a Ndjeng you in reading off of a script.
That's why I realized you know what I have to just do This is a podcast. I have to have a co host. So I'm not just talking to myself. I want to have a conversation and have somebody that can challenge me a little bit. Like if I say something that, you know, maybe there's a different opinion on that or something where I know Erin, you will totally do that because you have all this great experience is well, so you might say, You know what? I wouldn't do it that way.
I do it this way and just having a two way flow of information rather than just me talking at the camera. So that's how the podcast came about and to go way back when it's not quite 15 or 20 years. Although I was always interested in music, I actually did when I was about probably five or six did get a drum kit from some neighbors down the street. They had a garage sit on my dad and my mom came home and surprised me with drum kit. Super basic kit.
You know, Tom and snare and yeah, for parents in the suburbs to be like, Hey, here's your drum kit like generous. Yeah, it was really cool. And come to think about, I think they started with one of those little practice pads first. Like try this bond. Then I found out they had gotten it all at the same time. Was like, You gotta drink it. Two weeks ago, he didn't tell May, but it was really fun, and I just I enjoyed playing drums and I'd always enjoyed music.
What I listened to now is totally different from what I listened to Back then. It was like Randy Newman, the Neil's, which is a banned from Massachusetts who now does like kids music. But back then it was like folk rock and totally yeah, they totally 1 80 it that was a really good band and obviously Randy Newman. Now he's the guy that everyone knows for the Toy Story song. But back then, he was doing stuff with, like Mark Knopfler and other big name artists like that. So that was really cool.
That was just the music I enjoyed, and I did drums for a while, tried to take lessons, and the teacher wanted to teach me nothing but jazz, so that didn't last very long. because I did not like jazz. Still don't know offensive anyone out there is a jazz player. It's just not my thing. And, uh, I can respect jazz, but I do not want to play jazz. That's where I draw the line on so fast. Forward. Oh, about 10 years. And I was really getting into music as many teenagers dio and just listening to bands like F I and Green Day, who we mentioned earlier.
And at that point, we had around the corner here a community radio station where anyone could go in host a radio show W G D R at Goddard College. Oh, and I was home school. So that's part of the story. I actually, uh, as part of my home schooling got to go learn how to host a radio show. And then the person training me, I was so impressed that he asked me to come on as his intern and train other people. Long story short, he got fired.
So I basically started running the department. Yeah, and, you know, I was still technically an intern, but I had more responsibility than earlier while they were finding somebody else to do the job and started learning live sound over there and realized, Oh, like this would be really cool End up going to school for audio. And I have to be honest. I think the audio portion of what I learned wasn't the biggest take away I got because most of the time those audio classes I learned more on YouTube and just by trying stuff in pro tools than I did in those classes.
But the entertainment business classes that I took were absolutely amazing. I had some great professors who are very experienced. One of them, I took a tour management class and a production management class, and the professor for both of those had worked with very high profile artists that that really, you know, a household name especially, you know, 2030 years ago. But still to this day would be very well known. And that professor had also done some work with a major venue in New York City. Ah, while back and basically rebuilt that venues production from the ground up.
So she had ah, lot of experience. It was really great to be able Thio basically pick her brain every day, you know, and I always enjoyed that. And so I realized, Well, you know what? Maybe, you know, tour management, that that might kind of be better than doing live Sound like tour management. Sounds pretty cool. Oh, and I was also we had a small student on venue, so I got to be the production manager there, which is really a cool experience because it showed me how how to advance a show.
But it also let me see how awful no offense to bands again, but how awful. Most bands are advancing shows, and I learned first of all in mind and how to try to mitigate those problems, but also gave me a really great idea of what bands come due on their end to make sure those problems don't even come up. If the production manager isn't great from the venue side or if you know the venue might not even have a production manager, it might just be like a talent buyer and a sound guy.
Like there might not be that position of that venue. A lot of small clubs don't have a production manager per se. Where did you go to school? I forget. Oh, sorry. It was based at college in Boston. And so our student run venue was called the spot, and they still do shows every Thursday throughout the semester, as far as I know. And, uh, under my reign, we had bands like, um, the Venetia Fair come through, which was really fun. Anybody who remembers that band? Yeah. Alright. P and sparks the rescue.
Uh, they just didn't acoustic show when I was running things, but they had come through a few years earlier. Full band and I did can't refracted lights or sound for them. But that was cool. Transit was one that we had come through there and this was right before I got there. Like the semester before I started. I can't remember. I think it was state champs came through like one of those bands that blew up in, like 2012 had come through in the like start of 2011, you know, winter, spring 2011.
And then they blew up several. It's like, Oh, my God, this band was here. It's like, Yeah, that's awesome, you know? And so it is really cool that there was some great opportunities and, you know, not every show was this fun is like having the Venetia fair come through. But there were some other shows that were fun to do as well in their own rights. Um, and we had some cool stuff to the school, provided a lot of great opportunities. They booked Kevin Lyman to come speak with students, and that was the year that I got to do Warped Tour for the first time.
Not because I met Kevin Lyman, although he did give me some good advice. But I got to do Warped tour with one of the sponsors in 2014 and then continue that into 2015 and the first part of work toward 2016, which is when I officially retired from touring because I had realized my priorities had changed, which at the time I was 23. So that's probably not unusual for most 23 year olds. But I realized, you know what? I don't wanna live on the road for the next 40 years. That's not really what I'm cut out for, and you know it is for some people, that's great, and you could do it for me.
I just realized my heart wasn't in it. anymore. And in the meantime, I'd also done some tours with, uh, other artists ranging from D I Y artists to band's or artist's playing, Let's say, 100 5200 cap rooms. So I got to see a little bit of how it works on a big tour and how it works on a small club tour and how it works on a D o. I tour playing, you know, basement shows. And aside from all of that, I've also always kind of been the go to guy for people in my circle of friends who have questions about the music business or anything like that.
And this is what inspired me in a way to create band. I've because so many people were always coming to me and asking questions, and I realized there's not really a great resource for this. There are other podcasts. There are other people out there doing stuff like this, but so so so much of it is just focused on money. The other music business podcasts, for the most part, focus on selling your music, promoting your music, branding all that kind of stuff, and we're totally going to talk about that once in a while.
But what we want to talk about mainly is running a d i y band and how you can make the most of touring as a d. I y band. There's so much focus on marketing, and I don't believe that marketing is always the major issue bands have. Ah, lot of people jump to the conclusion that, hey, we have to market ourselves. We have to put our ads and you know there's totally a place for that. But at the same time, there are so many other things that a band should be focusing on.
Aside from, you know how many Spotify plays you get, and that's all stuff that you know. Erin, you track that. I'm sure how many Spotify plays you get, but you also have a really solid foundation just for how to not be one of those guys in a band. You know, you handle suburban samurai very well. There's a lot of bands just kind of cringe E. That's what band I've is here for to help people understand that your band is a business, and there's a lot more to it than just playing shows and expecting people to go listen to on Spotify or throwing it add up.
There's so much to it that a lot of these other sources don't cover. So that's why we're here with the podcast, and I do have to jump in and say, That's something that's really attracted me to this project Is that way of thinking about everything on bits? You know, it aligns pretty well with the way that I kind of look at it, which is marketing one of the most important things you could dio song writing one of the most important things you dio, uh, knowing how toe you know properly, like, you know, scale from one spot to another.
One of the most important things like there are, you know, however, like 95 different topics. Or, you know, like each each part of what this is. They're all one of the most important things you could dio. And so it's like it's that understanding that, like marketing like Ella's, you're saying, Oh, are tracking Spotify plays or this or that or the other thing. It's like they're also important or they could be, but they're also like, you know, you have 24 hours in a day and you're like all of those things that should be the most important thing are also coexisting with all of the other things, which should also be very important.
And so it Z, I got to say, That's one of the things that attracted me to this to sort of thinking about, uh, you know, like you live in your central hub and like each of those things, are, you know, different avenues or like an extension. Uh, you know, they're all different pieces to what you're doing, but like, you have to learn how to make them all. Play nice with one another while you know, not driving yourself insane and like, that's pretty easy, like the driving yourself insane parts Pretty easy to dio if you don't keep yourself in check.
So I just wanted to jump in and say like it's, you know, saying it out loud like that sounds so obvious, but it's I don't know that a lot of people think of it in that way. Yeah, for sure, and it's I don't want to say it bugs me because a lot of those podcasts that I mentioned are really great and they have a lot of great information. But I see three or four podcasts that all basically cover, you know, marketing. It's like how to sell your music and they do it in slightly different ways.
Like one is more about licensing. One is more about just getting sales and streams, but and this is even like CD baby. They have the D. I Y musician, podcast, great podcast. But ah, lot of it is about marketing and sales, and there's totally a place for that. But I don't see anyone else talking about this is how you build a D i y banned from scratch. This is how you don't act like a fool when you're booking shows, you know, and it just seems like everybody ignores this because it's not cool.
It's like, Oh, you know, you got a million Spotify place that's so cool, like, Oh, you know, you sold 1000 copies. That's awesome like, but there's so many things that don't really affect it directly. But do add to it just like the food pyramid. And I know that's not a thing anymore. But if you're a kid of the nineties, you probably remember the food pyramid on the back of like a box of cereal or something. And think of marketing as, like the top of the pyramid, where is just being good musician and knowing what you're doing and being respectful or like the base of it?
At some point, I should probably make a graphic of that to kind of illustrate, you know, the food pyramid of being in a band. But for right now, just remember that marketing is the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things that you can do for your band that will help you build a long, sustainable career. That is what we're here to teach to wrap that whole kind of rant up. What you define as success for your band can vary greatly, and it's ultimately going to come down to what fulfills you, but just a few different ways to look at it.
You know, you can look at bands like Rise Against Who? Headline amphitheater tours. They're successful financially. They're successful in that they have fame, you know. They have thousands, and thousands are literally millions of people who know that band and loved that band and know every word of every song, and that's one way to look at it. But those bands, or, like the 1% you know, if you go back almost 10 years and there's all this talk about the 1% there still is to an extent. But when I was first starting college, it was really like That was the thing is people were talking about the 1% bands like Rise Against or the 1% same for any pop star like but Lady Gaga or anything like that.
They're the 1% of entertainers. Other bands, though, can have success in their own way, like I know a band who follows what they call the 1000 true fan model. And that means that they have 1000 fans who would literally give whatever they can to support that band. And this is a band who was on a record label and it didn't work out, and they essentially got dropped. But they got out of the deal thankfully, and they did a Kickstarter, and they set a goal of $20,000 knowing that they needed at least 40,000 to do the album the way they wanted Thio but they were willing to invest their own money to make up the difference.
Well, within 24 hours they got over 40,000, and at the end of the month they had something along the lines of 124 $130,000 for their project, which is a ton of money. And they did use it all for that album. They did a lot of bonus stuff, and it was really cool. But it just goes to show that even though this band, who's not commercially famous, can sustainably release music just because they have roughly 1000 fans who are super dedicated and 1000 doesn't seem like a lot, and you might have 1000 Facebook fans for your band already.
But these air 1000 fans who would literally give anything they could to help this band out. They buy the new shirt when it comes out. Like you said the Kickstarter thing or they by the record they show up. It shows interact with you exactly, and what I want to drive home here is this. Band plays venues that are typically like 203 100 cap, but they made $140,000 on Kickstarter. This was five years ago that they did this. Now they've switched over to patryan and are doing everything through there because they can.
Every time they release a new album, keep those subscribers. They don't have to do the whole Kickstarter campaign again. They'll still do a campaign and all that, which I think is a really cool model that we might have to have an episode about in the future. And hopefully we could get one of those guys on the podcast to do an interview and talk about that model, because this is something they've been working on for a little over 10 years now. But there's also another model of success that I want to talk about, which is just if you have fun playing music on stage, whether you make money or not, playing shows might be what defined success for you.
You know, if you can go and play a week of shows with your best friends and you're having the time of your life, that might be what success is for you and there's no problem with that, but it will still make your life so much easier if you know the basics of being in a band. These air just three ways that I could see people defining success. And there are so many other ways that you might define it, that there really is no one size fits all.
But we're always welcome toe having you ask questions and you know, here a little more about your personal situation. So just leave a comment on any of these episodes that we ever dio, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I'm sure Erin will be poking around the comments section as well whenever you can. But the main thing is, we're here to help you start or continue growing your band to a level that defines success for you. We might not be artists who sell out giant arenas or amphitheaters or anything like that, but we've collectively spent what, 15, almost 20 years in the music business and various roles.
It's a long time looking at it like that and have the knowledge of the industry in different capacities to help you build your band. That's why we're here. So as we keep turning these out, James, correct me if I'm coming at it from the wrong place. But it seems like, uh, success. Your success is something on Lee you could define. Um, and I think, uh, you know, to quote the great late Tony Stark, Uh, no amount of money ever bought a second of time. And so whether you're in it to enjoy yourself or whether you're in it, it's a career aspiration or whether it's something else.
Um, do what you do. Seriously, um, and and be honest about it will cover that another episodes, but it's important to communicate, uh, to others. You know how you're coming at something? Um, but, you know, work hard. Um, it's smart to work smart, but I think most importantly, make sure that everything you do is honest work. Yeah, have integrity. That's what it comes down to exactly intended. I think anyone will find that most any successful artists, no matter how they define it, has integrity. Obviously, there are outliers.
We all know the stories about artists who are just total jerks and trash the hotel room. But that is really not so common anymore. If you really care about something and you you know, I think people will pick up on it. And that's a really nice thing. Yeah, exactly. And fans can tell when you're being genuine or not. So I think, really, especially in this day and age of accessibility, where anyone is so accessible on social media, you have to be genuine. You have to have integrity.
You have to be honest, and you have to truly care about what you're doing with your music or fans won't care, either. I think maybe that's what we should leave this episode and move on, because this episode was supposed to be about us. And I just went on a rant about how bands defined success, foreshadowing, yes, foreshadowing for sure and a little hint of what's to come. So that is it for Episode two of the Bandhive podcast. Thanks so much for listening. I hope that you learned a little bit about us.
We do haven't asked for you. If you're listening in Apple podcasts or iTunes, please go leave a review for the Bandhive podcast that helps us out so so much. It's really, incredibly appreciate it. If you are able to take the 30 seconds to a minute to do that for us. You can also feel free to check out our Facebook community. All you have to do is search for banned hive or visit band. I've dot rocks slash group in your browser to find the group. Thanks again for checking this out.
Don't forget that we have plenty of other episodes for you to take a listen. Thio, in the meantime, have an awesome week and, of course, as always, keep rocking.
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