It’s not often that a band celebrates their 25th anniversary – it’s a special milestone for any business, but especially in the music world it’s truly incredible.
Ballyhoo! is one of the lucky few that has made it to this milestone, and they’ve done it based on the commitment, sacrifices, and pure drive of their members.
Howi Spangler, singer and guitarist of Ballyhoo!, joins us on today’s episode to discuss the band’s longevity, adapting to COVID-19, and how they have managed to make a living as creatives.
Listen now to learn more about Howi and Ballyhoo! and find out what you can do to grow your own business into a great career!
What you’ll learn:
Click here to join the discussion in our Facebook community.
To help keep Bandhive going, we sometimes use affiliate links. This means that if you buy something using one of the links below we may get a small commission. This absolutely does not affect what you pay for any of the linked items – your price will be the same whether you use our links or not. This trickle of income is what helps us keep the free content flowing!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Tales From the Green Room Podcast
Get your Hoolloween tickets now!
Ballyhooligans! Facebook group
Fred Mascherino (The Color Fred, Terrible Things, Taking Back Sunday)
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Welcome to Episode 48 of the Bandhive Podcast.
It is time for another episode of the band. I've podcast. My name is James Cross, and I'm here with Matt Hose of a live in Barcelona. How are you doing today, Matt?
I'm doing pretty awesome. James has everything over there on the east side. Glad to hear it. Things are good here. And I got to say I'm not the only person on the East side today. We have Howi Spangler of Valley who from Aberdeen, Maryland, joining us on the show today. How's it going, Howi? I am great. How are you? Guys were excellent. Great to have you on the podcast. For those who don't know you, you're the singer and guitarist for Ballyhoo!. You call yourselves Beach Rock, which I think is a really great way to describe it.
You're also the host of tales from the green Room, which is a podcast about the music industry. So if anyone listening to this wants to go beyond and learn even more how you've interviewed tons of guests over the years, I think you're what, 2. 5 years in now, something like that. Yeah, Yeah, yeah. About 2.5. Check that podcast out. If you want to learn even more about the music business, we're just going to today focus on Ballyhoo! and you're 25 years as a band. So first of all, congratulations on the anniversary, which was, I think, a few months ago, Thank you.
And then, of course, how things shifted when Cove it hit. Which I got to say, we've given you guys a few shoutouts for the live streams because right from the start, the production value is so high and really impressive. And a lot of other artists didn't do that till later. And for some artists, I think it was too late because the fans were already used to kind of low production value and then, like, streams suck. We're not gonna tune in, but you guys from the start just killed it with the streams.
Thanks, man. We were very lucky tohave that, um, to have Harford sound. It's, like 20 minutes from my house. And we knew that we had to do something. When things started going south, we started losing gigs, and, uh, we were starting to try to find venues. And you know what? Can we do this from the basement? What do we need? What gear do we need? One of the local venues here had contacted us, and we were gonna do it there in Baltimore. But they weren't really set up, you know?
And they were talking about like, it was like one camera. And, you know, I just I just saw it. My head is like, this is this might be weird, but we'll do the best we can with it. You know, eso like I'm asking questions. I'm renting gear and renting, like wireless stuff because I wanted more than one camera. I want to at least three, you know, at least if anything to stationary and one guy moving around, you know, just to create some movement. And I just don't like the idea of a static image, you know, and and then you know, it was just What about the WiFi?
Like, are we gonna have issues like, you know, who's gonna run lights like things like that? And then our governor is like, up. I'm sorry. Everything's you know, what do you got? Essential businesses on Lee and, uh, so they had toe shut it down. So we got in touch with Harvard Sound, and they had the same night available, so we we just slit in there, and it was just like a dream. It was like, Well, I mean, it looks like we're playing on, like, Fallon or SNL or something, you know, and we're just grateful that we have it here.
And my phone was blowing up all night and into the next day just from like friends And like, industry friends as well, like other other band guys and other managers and stuff there, like bro like every band just needs to just quit, like, not even try like, you guys, like, destroyed that. And I was, you know, obviously grateful. But I knew we had a great product, you know? I know it was a good good first time, but shout out toe every artist that is doing something doesn't have to look like that doesn't have to sound like that.
It's great if you could get it that way. But shout out to any artist that is actually just doing anything to serve their Vance to me. I think it's it's kind of a little don't know, disrespectful in a way. If you know, if you're not like it's like you you had you were so used to going out on the road and this is just how it waas you had. You know, fans coming to see you, paying to buy tickets and whatever and by your merch and stream your music.
And and then when shit goes down like you don't have enough time for them like you can't you can't do anything, you know So to me, I think it's a It's a big loss for both the fan and the artist. You know, if the artist doesn't do anything, yeah, I have a degree, and I think also, you know, for artists who aren't doing anything, it's going to be a lot more difficult to climb back out of that hole once. Hopefully soon. This is all a thing of the past the artists like you and, uh, you know, Fred from taking back Sunday, Dropkick Murphys, all the artists who are still doing stuff.
Now, those were gonna be the ones who could just jump right back into touring once it's safe to do so because they're fans were there the whole time they've stayed relevant. So, speaking of staying relevant, you guys have another stream coming up two days after this episode premieres. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? Yeah, that's our our Halloween. I think so. We started doing a Halloween show back in 2000 and seven at a local venue called the Record Theater in Towson. It's another venues, like, 40 minutes from my house, Like just everybody.
You know, Just pack it out. And, uh, we would just get, like, the coolest bands, like all our friends, you know, bands to come out with us. And we, uh, just started building this thing every every Halloween. You knew that this is what was going down. And so we just continued it this whole time. And we did take a year off. 2017. No. 20 was a 2018. I don't remember we took off one of the years like my dad had passed away and there was It was like a lot of like I just It took the wind out of my sails for a year or two.
He's the reason why I love Halloween, man. He was always like we watch scary movies and he let me watch for Friday, 13th and night, Random Street and stuff when I was like six, which Who does that? Because that that's crazy. I would never let my kids watch that shit right now. But, uh, yeah, I just remember trick or treating and I don't know, it was just the best. And whatever reason, I was just the energy was just gone. I don't feel like it's a big production, you know, like way do the stage We like build sets and stuff like I don't building, we have friends building.
But But, you know, there's it's just there's a lot going on coordination and what we're gonna wear, like we're gonna dress up and the set list and everything's gotta be. And I'm in there like the last minute, like just making sure everything's right on stage like this goes here, and this goes here and, you know, it's a lot of planning, and I was just over it and sad and all that. So we did skip a year. But, you know, this is the 13th one coming up, which is pretty cool Number 13.
It's gonna be extra spooky this year, Extra spooky. So, uh, you know, the Kobe thing is just, you know, when when when shit goes down like you just adapt, you know, you just adapt just like we do with live streams. And, you know, it's like we weren't gonna you know, it's I saw fans going, I hope. I hope there's gonna be a Halloween stream like you know, is usually Halloween Halloween show every year. Of course, man. Of course, like, we're not gonna stop just because, you know we have a way.
There's a way to deal. We've been doing it. So you know, this just made it even more interesting, actually, because, um, we had some ideas. Where what if we did some, Really. We use the fact that it's a broadcast. It's like a It's essentially like a show that people watching on TV on YouTube or whatever. I don't give too much away, but it's Ah, we got some really cool stuff that we're gonna dio and it's gonna be completely different from normal because we we are. We're embracing the fact that it's a It's a It's a live broadcast, you know?
So I don't know. I can't wait for people to see it. It's gonna be a lot of fun. I love hearing that that approach to it, the the broadcast is, is making a comeback. You know, YouTube is turning way more into the into the life, the Life Stream Channel. You know, people like to see that that extra layer of intimacy that they don't get through the music and they don't get through the videos. And and so I think that's really awesome. I love that. Uh, well, a your attitude about it, you know, that's I think a big part of what James and I talk about to a lot of our listeners is that adaptation is the most important thing, and that's what you constantly have to dio in the industry.
And then, you know, you're thrown a giant, you know, the entire world is thrown a curveball, and you seem to have, you know, it doesn't shake you it all. You know, you have an incredible resolve, and that's awesome. That's admirable. I think that's, uh, you know, I wish our listeners could see Just look on your face when you talk about this because there's nothing but confidence behind your eyes. And that's awesome. Eso for anybody listening. You know, this is this is gold. You know, the ability to adapt is integral in any business, but especially, you know, nature last last.
So you might be planning. You know, you might have all these tours lined up. You might have a whole bunch of revenue that's supposed to come in and then pandemic exactly what happened. And so it's up to you to say, Hey, how are we gonna adapt out of this situation? And I also wanted to say thanks so much for sharing that story, you know about, you know, taking a year off, and about your dad. I know that those air, you know, those air really intimate and personal details.
So thanks so much for sharing that. I really appreciate that. And, uh, I'm personally really looking forward to this year's who wins Streams so Thanks, man. I can't wait to see what's in store. Yeah. Thank you, man. I appreciate that. Yeah, I think that, you know, adaptation. As you said, it's just like anything else, man. It's like nature and evolution. And you know, all the animals and everything that survived because they have adapted, you know, over the millions of years. And it's no different when you're talking about just over a couple months of human life.
Like, you know, the life that we knew it is over as of right now, you know, hopefully comes back. So we had to create a new way to do things and and the cool thing waas I was already doing like, the livestream stuff. I was already had my YouTube channel going. I had my set up my camera and my mic and, you know, just I had everything that I needed. I was going live, and I was uploaded YouTube videos and instagram and stuff. And then all this stuff goes down and it's like I'm ready to go like I'm good.
I just doubled down. I just I just played more live, you know, and I think there's something to be said about being prepared. You should always be looking ahead and sort of future proofing and try to see what's coming, you know? I mean, we didn't see this coming, but I was ready for it when it happened. You know, I just saw that things were moving online for me. The podcast that tales from the greenroom podcast I started seeing that video pods was the new way to go.
Like the podcast isn't just audio anymore, you know? And so I was like, Well, I guess I'm going to start going live and doing a video podcast and then just use that audio as the audio podcast and, you know, But then you've got like, like, h three. They've got, like, a great production. I mean, there's there's plenty of, like, good video podcast out there where they have, like producers like people like switching cameras and lighting and cool vibe. He set ups. You see it every day now.
But I saw that coming and I was like, okay, and I was a little late to the game. Actually, UNICEF ours video pods were concerned, but I started doing it and you know, it got even mawr interactive, you know, because I used stream yard for from my live pods and basically I can I can see comments right there, just like I'm doing, like, a YouTube live or something or a Facebook. Live the chats right there. So I see people like ask me questions. So I wanna have a nart iStar our guest on towards the end of the show.
We could do a Q and A like live. And I'm like, Hey, you, any questions for whoever and they'll on And it's still too You could, like, fly the questions up, you know, for the video. But I don't know, I'm always looking ahead. I love technology, you know, As far as the band was concerned, we knew where to move the show online, and we had to move the merch online because the merch was always on sale at the shows and we always had an online store. But we never we never really, like, focused on it.
And we never like, I don't know, probably even cared that much. You know, it's all about the live show on the touring, you know, and we talked about like, tryingto beef it up a little bit and make it look better. Try to direct some sales that way. But when all this went down, that was the only way to get get March. So it was like, Yep, we gotta put everything online. And now it's just like we've been going crazy, just like new merch every month, every couple months, like whenever we would do a live stream, we would do like the 24 hour, 24 hours only, like Livestream commitment commemorative T shirt with set list on the back from that that show.
And then after that, 24 hours it's gone. You can't get it ever again, you know? So that created some demand. It forces you thio innovate and I don't know, I think now that I'd like to focus on I mean, there's a lot of crazy things that have a lot of bad things, but I like to focus on the good things that are gonna come out of this. You know, the Livestream is not going away when, when when touring comes back, we're gonna be able Thio do like imagine doing putting out a new record and then doing a live stream a month before the tour starts playing songs from the record or to celebrate or or doing like a fundraiser type of thing for you know, your hotel budget or, you know, just you're touring budget in general, like, Hey, guys were trying to raise money to go on tour.
Would you mind donating? You know, we're buying some merch. We're gonna do a live stream like stuff like that, like there's a lot of ideas and then the online store thing that's never going away, either. I think people are so used to buying online now. You know, every year we get into the 21st century is like that apple pain man. It's dangerous, you know, to that you know, you you seem to have an incredibly good grasp on how to interact with your community. Now. Now you actually have a name for your community as well.
The Bali hooligans, which is awesome. What what? What can you tell to another artist who's trying to basically build a nurture, these same types of relationships that you've created with your listeners? You seem to do a lot of things, you know, like everything that you've mentioned so far is about reaching out. It's about, you know, saying like, Oh, yeah, I got it. We got to make sure we keep stimulating. You gotta keep logs on the fire. If you don't have timeto make music for your fans when things aren't good, then then who?
Then why should they come? And, you know, listen to you when things are good, you know, you're very consistent with with everything you're saying And it all kind of has this, uh, you know, fan based centric, you know, ideology behind it. What's a piece of advice you could give to an artist who is trying to build their own community like that? You have to go back to What is the nature of what we dio? It's, you know, we make art, we make, we make music, and this is for anybody that, like, makes a product.
You know, that's like trying to get somewhere, build a career around a new idea of product. You know, the only way that you go anywhere is this. Someone consumes that product. That's the only way like you could do anything. You know, you can write music and you can play music and you can record music and you could put it on Spotify for all for yourself. And that's totally fine. And you can have no ambitions of you. Just I just want to see my stuff out there on the platforms and have to be able to listen to it, you know, and be proud of my my work. Fine.
But most of us that do that we wanna build a career around it. And we wanna, you know, not have to be a part of the rat race and work a regular job. We wanna want music to pay the bills, and the only way to do that is if you have fans, people consuming it. And it's not enough for your fans to just like the songs and, you know, connect with them. If the song hits you, you're like, Oh, I love this song, right? But you have to go further.
You have toe over, deliver for your listener, for your fan, and you know I'm speaking in terms of music. But this is for anything. Art, photography, whatever. If you're a chef, I don't know like you have tow connect, like when you're at a restaurant, you know, especially it's usually the like the local, the mom and pop type of restaurant you're eating, and then the owner is walking around greeting people. Hey, guys, how you doing? How's your meal tonight? That is the same thing. That's the same approach.
Is like Yo, guys, just checking in on the on the Facebook group here. How's everybody doing today? You know, like just being accessible and giving a face to the music? I guess that is just that's invaluable. Its's so much value. It's it's it's an invaluable you know what I mean. Like you have toe, you have tow, be willing thio doom or and it's not just about the music anymore, it's You have to create this sort of. I hate to use the word brand, you know, but that's essentially what it iss and the brand is.
You be. You just speak your truth, you know, in your music, on your live streams. Don't try to be someone else. Don't try to be a character Now. If your if your whole thing is a character, then that's what you do, obviously. But you know, the most important get on their talk about yourself, how you feel like what you're into, like connect and a lot of times, man, I'll drop like I'll get in there and I'll drop like to the Facebook group. I'll drop like a new merch is coming soon or hey, what do you guys think about that?
Like I like to get in and ask questions. It's like free R and D. You know, it's like, you know, it's I'm not. I'm not the one that's gonna be wearing this shirt right? Sometimes I wear our merch. I do. I do our emerge sometimes. Um, but ultimately, I want you guys to be happy with this. What do you guys want? What do you wanna wear? What kinda like Does this look dope? Would you wear this? And you know, we're lucky enough to be like everybody's like, take my money like all the memes, you know, take my money news.
But, you know, we've we've put out stuff that we've been super stoked on, like, this is rad and like it doesn't sell very well. You know, it's like, get in there. How do you know what they want? If you don't ask them? So it's all connected, man. It's so it starts, it starts here. It starts with the person you know, the person behind the the artists just over deliver. Make yourself accessible. Go live a lot. Be involved in the chat. You know, Stephen Slate is a very accomplished audio guy.
He's a mixer. He creates these amazing products for, uh, recording and mixing. And I have his microphone. I have, like, all this plug ins, You know that All that stuff. Dude, he's my age and he's richest. Fuck, and he doesn't have to do this, But he's in this slate audiophiles Facebook every day, replying and just in the conversation. You know, he doesn't have to do that, but it's just it's a It's a great look whether he knows that or not. I'm sure he knows it, but it's a great look, man.
Just be with your audience and don't be too cool. And don't worry, they're still gonna be some mysticism about you. But get in there, man, and just be a normal person. It'll take you that much further. Yeah, I think that's one of the things that really shows the difference between artists who do what you're talking about and artists who don't and to an extent, the artists who didn't 10 years ago are catching on and growing these communities, or at least interacting with their fans on Instagram or their Facebook page or whatever.
So there's some connection there going back to the history of the band now that you've been around for 25 years and had relatively few lineup changes compared to a lot of bands like, you'll see bands that have, you know, um, entirely new lineup every five years with, like, one member who's still in the band for you guys. I know you and your brother have been in the band the whole time, and then Scott came in 20 ish years ago, and you've had a few different bass players. But they've all lasted for a long time.
To you've all stuck together for so long. What do you think was the key to that? It was It's the drive It Z. I didn't want to give up on it. I loved it too much. Still, Dio, you know, it's it's easy when you're a kid, you're in high school and you're doing friends parties and there's no money. There's no business, you know it's just It's all about just I love this, you know? And so I used to draw, like, in class, you know, just I have I still have, like, flyers that I drew, You know, I'm supposed to be paying attention, but I'm just drawing and like, it's like me.
It's like Ballyhoo! and my favorite bands, Green Day and whoever else in the nineties playing a festival together like just stuff like that, you know, on the and we're like one of the headliners, you know, And I had dreams of being on SNL and playing the MTV EMAS and being on the radio and signed to a major label that those are the things that you looked that you wanted to do in the nineties as a band signed to a major label being all the big shows going tour.
It just really stuck with me, man. It was It was, um I knew that I didn't wanna be like, as I said earlier, part of the rat race. I didn't wanna, you know, work a bunch of shit jobs and, you know, take some job that I didn't like and and then live the rest of my life and collect Social Security and die. I knew that the only way I was gonna be happy was if I was doing things that I wanted to dio. And I knew that at an early age, and then when it came time to, like, go to college, you know, as high schools wrapping up, you know, I was like, No, I'm not doing that.
I'm in this bed, you know? And like, I'm telling family members like, No, no. And, you know, I graduated high school and I just took a year and, you know, did the bad thing, whatever. But then I was like, All right, maybe I'll just just for my grandmother, like my my mom, she was She just wants me toe. It was all coming from a good place, you know, carrying just I don't want to be in off the street kind of thing. And back then, I mean, it's even easier now.
I mean, it's not easy, but it's easier now to become ah, celebrity or something, you know? Then it was back then. But just because of social media, you know, I mean, you could be instagram or ticktock famous. Now, you know we don't have any of that stuff back then. So it was even more dire. You know, it was like the percentage was way down. And so, you know, I was like, All right, I'll just I'll go to college. I'll do this thing, you know, for you. And, you know, sure enough, I did two semesters at the community college here, and I did not like it.
I did really well in speech class for some reason. Like I don't feel like I speak that well, like, especially on podcast and shit. But I did great. But everything else my broadcasting class failed it like I just didn't care, man, I didn't. I didn't. This is not what I wanted to do. It was a waste of money. You know, I want to say as a waste of time, but it was probably I probably needed that, you know, I definitely believe that that we are the sum of everything we've ever done.
Everything that's ever happened to us. We're the some of that right now, you know? So maybe I needed that. But ultimately it was just I'm breaking up with girlfriends. Um, you know, there's nothing I'm quitting jobs. There's nothing that's gonna keep me from this. And so I just kept doing what I had always done. And that was just play shows, write songs, you know, put out records going tour. You know, I was on my space, like in the D M. There wasn't called d M back then, but eight hours a day, every day in the mid two thousands.
I was already doing that, you know, I didn't know that I was serving the fans. I just was doing that. But I didn't know that. That was, like one of the things you had to dio. I just did it because it just felt right. It just felt like, oh, these air, these people were, like, nice enough to leave a comment or nice enough to message me. I should reply. I should give them a time of day and ultimately, what that does It just builds your brand. It builds the confidence in you by your consumer, you know, And, uh, so all of that watching the growth, we had a significant growth in the like, the late two thousands.
Once we started touring, it was just it became a drug man. It became a drug. It was like, uh, this is too good. I love this too much. And even when I had my first kid, it was like it was scary, but it was like, Well, I'm still not quitting. So, like, three weeks after my son was born, I was back on the road, you know? And at that point, I had to be on the road, like, eight months out of the year, because, you know, that was the only way I made money.
You know, I had a job. I was I was working. I worked a bunch of warehouse jobs in in the early early years, but steady through the years, I was a server in a bartender. But, you know, I was either gonna I was either gonna go on tour. I was gonna work 12 hours a day, you know, working doubles at a job I hated. Either way, I'm not going to see my son, so I might as well go do what I love and build something. You know, just working at the restaurant was not doing anything in the long run.
It wasn't doing anything. There was no end game there. There was no great resolve there was. No. When you start building something like a band or you know, you're an author or whatever it is, eventually with compound the compound effect, it turns into something. You know, you grow just working at a restaurant. I would still be working there and nothing. You know, there were people. There are women there, like nearly 60 years old, you know, waiting tables. I'm like, I'm not doing that, you know? So that's what it was, man.
It was just the drive. It was just. And if you don't look and if you don't wanna be in the band anymore, I'm not gonna make you be in the band anymore. I don't want people here that don't want to be here. I respect it. We're still friends. Cool. But like, well, I'm This is still going so again, long winded Answer. Uh huh. I think that's awesome, though. Thank you for sharing that. Like, I think a lot of bands need to hear that because they want to have the success.
But they don't recognize how much of a grind it's gonna be to build up a business over years. You know everyone hears about the artist to overnight become a success. But you don't really think about the artists who have been doing something for 10, 15 years before they get there. You know their big break these days. A big break might not even be a big break the way we used to think of it. You know, you're probably not going to get signed to, like Warner or Universal or anything like that.
But that doesn't mean that you're not a successful artist, because there's so much you can do now that you don't need a label for so kind of going down that rabbit hole. We like to use the term decided yourself for D I. Y. You know, you've had a label like Law Records. Now you have your own label. You've probably had management at some point, but I think you've still been very invested in your career. Even when you have a team, Can you talk a little bit about that?
And how you kind of, uh, maintain control of your career? Even while you're outsourcing things to other parties? This is, ah, loaded question as well. Um, so, like, you know, I have a problem with micromanagement. I have a problem butting in where I probably just need to, like, let the managers take care of it. I care so much. I do not want this to be squandered. You know, we're 25 years in, and I know like I talked to our fans every day. I know what they want, or at least I have a better idea than most I'll say.
And we've been through so much we we've done Oh my God, way spent, like amounts of money that would make you throw up in your mouth That went nowhere, You know, on things that that didn't do anything because we simply had to try, you know, And it's the cost of doing business. You know, bands that just give up after a few years, they didn't take it as far as they could. They didn't do everything they could. If I were to quit right now, it would be too soon.
You know what I mean? Even 25 years later, a quarter century later, and when you get management, I mean, we've had management for 15 years, you know, like different managers, but you don't give up you don't like. Just let let go of the reins. You know, like completely just out of your hands. It's like, this is your thing. This is your baby. So you should absolutely be involved as much as possible. And ultimately it is your, you know, I let management advise us, and when I have questions, I'll go to them.
But ultimately it's my decision, like this is gonna be, You know, we're going to do what the band wants to do, not what everybody else wants to dio. And we will take all the information that we're given and we'll go. We'll make a decision on that. So we try to make informed decisions. I've been shut down by my by my own management in the past. You know, I've been shut down by my own band in the past for whatever you know, like all those lyrics are fucking terrible.
Or like, you need to rewrite that or we're definitely not doing this or whatever. But then oftentimes I'm the big dreamer in the band on the guy. That's like, Guys, check this out. Imagine this like, I gotta, like, really frame it up and and just really like, try to paint this picture, you know? And I'll say, my success rate, it's probably like 80 or 90% bro like there's come on, you know, like there's we do some cool shit and, uh, not to say the band guys don't have cool ideas, too.
But like whenever I have an idea not, you know, it might get a little bit of a like a like I don't know that z kind of tough, I don't know, but we'll do it and it turns out fine. You know, it's so I'm like, Look, we just got to try things, man, like you gotta be willing to sacrifice and try things because you just never know. And we've tried many things that failed miserably. Man, we've had so many pitfalls. We learned everything that we know the hard way, like no shit, even to this day.
Like I am learning things that, like, if I had known 15 years ago, 10 years ago, different decisions would have been made, you know, we would have went the other way. But you just have to you have to do things, man, and take chances and try to take informed make informed decisions. You know, like, be risky, be dangerous, but get the information. You know, sometimes that's not a good idea to go in completely blind, you know, but Facebook ads, YouTube ads. You gotta spend a little bit of money a couple 100 bucks.
You know, try different ads and, you know, So you're gonna spend money. You're gonna You have to grow a business, essentially your business. It sucks to say that, but it's what it is. You know, when there's money involved, it's a business. And then we've got team members, and, you know, so everybody's got to get paid, and it's just it's a business. So you just make the best decisions possible. If it's your art. If you're the person you know behind all of it, you need to stay involved.
You can't just let the management just, you know, So I stay involved. And sometimes it's to my own detriment. Like speak up when I don't need to, you know? Well, wait a second. What about this? What about this? And it's like, Do we got it? We got it, you know. Shut up. We got it. Go play the kids, you know? Well, I think you brought up a really important point at the end there, you know, on the podcast. We always talk about how your band is a business.
But there's this idea around business that business is evil and greedy and all that, and that's why so many artists don't want to look at. Their career is a business, but I wanna also go back and touch on what you're talking about. How you're always communicating with the fans. You're giving them what they want. So I think that's a great example of a business that is serving the needs of your fans. It's not a self serving business where you're just like, Oh, how could I make money?
Today? You're figuring out how you can make the lives of your fans better. I think that's one thing that stands out for artists like Bali who who have a massive fan base that's really dedicated. They're there for you because you're there for them. Yeah, like I don't wanna get twisted like Look, what you're saying is correct, but ultimately it starts with starts with me. It starts with the band like we're doing this for ourselves, you know, like I need this. This is like therapy for May Thio.
Just live life to get through life, you know, to cope with all the crazy things that's happened to me, right? I need this. I need to perform. I need toe play. I need to make things. I love creating, not just music I like, you know, making videos and podcasts and writing and things i e need to create. This is what I dio. And so it starts with me, and ultimately, Look, I want the fans to be happy. I want them to love what we're doing. But if they don't whatever.
You know, maybe it wasn't for you then, but it was definitely for me. So whatever we put our girls in 2017, and it was, like, our greatest rollout ever Greatest rollout ever. And, uh, it received ah, bunch of a great reviews. And the sales were great the first week when there used to be sales and like those three years ago, so weird. But, you know, there were a few fans were kind of like it was a little too poppy little too, you know, because I had a lot of like pop elements in there, a lot of production and did a lot of production on this one.
But then, after my dad had passed and everything that, like, those songs already written and done before my dad passed away, and then we released the record about three months after he died. And then, you know, just that entire year 2017 2018 even was just a blur. And, like, I was not in the mood to write songs like that, like thes poppy, love songs, whatever reggae, whatever. So I started writing. I mean, just it was just natural. Like, I I come from like, a I listen to punk rock and Scott and shit when I was a kid that just came out, man.
Like, I just wanted to beat the shit out of my guitar and sing my ass off and right about these things that were bothering me these dark situations and get it out, man. It's very It was like my therapy. I call it my therapy album. So we put out detonate, and it was, like, less like, significantly less. Um, a fanfare, I guess. Um, like we have fancy like, Holy shit is amazing. like that. I love this, you know, But like, it didn't hit like the previous one did.
If you look at, like our top 10 on Spotify, it's all like the the poppy like soft stuff. You know, it's not none of the punk rock show. It's really in there. So it made sense, right? But I didn't care. I didn't care what anyone thought of it. I just had to get it out. I thought the songs were fucking great. I was like, These were some of the best should have ever written. You know, it's definitely the deepest I've ever gone in some of these, but arrangement wise structure the way it sounds like the way everything just put together.
Like all the songs are like Quick. Like It just reminded me of like a Green Day album, you know? And it was just from from the nineties and like I just loved it, man and the artwork and just it expressed everything that I was feeling like. The dude even looks like me on the front. I didn't ask for that, but he just did that. But it's a guy on the front. He's just he's linked There's a ship that exploded like a boat that exploded and he's laying on a rat on a life raft, and he's like It looks exhausted, you know?
He's just floating there in the ocean, and there's, like, debris and things on fire and stuff. In the sunset, in the background is an island, and to me it signified It was like a symbol for like, you know, we do this like Beach rock reggae thing like good vibes, whatever. But it's not always good vibes. Sometimes the fucking boat explodes and shit goes crazy and you're you're just exhausted. I was tired of being on tour. I was tired of missing my parents. I was tired of, you know, having toe I don't wanna go is about having to do like the meet and greet thing every night.
Like I love it like I love I mean, I think the record shows that I love talking to fans and being involved, but there's a point where it just you get so exhausted from that and you talk to you meet, you have that that one drunk guy that fucking shakes your hand, like in high five. You're like 20 times in three minutes and he's like, bro, you asked the same question and their breathing or they're hot, sticky, spit e breath on you. And just like it smells like a brewery.
And just like like, I got tired of that man, it was just I was just exhausted and that that record is like everything that I was feeling. So the point was the point of this waas that it's not always gonna please everybody, you know. But if you try to please everybody, you're gonna end up pleasing nobody, right? So just do it for yourself. You are the reason why you have these people listening to you like don't change anything like change it because you want to change it, change it because you want to try things.
Don't change it because you think this is how it's supposed to go, right? Stay true. Be. You know, it's all about having patience. You have tow like we're all with this with this, like instant gratification culture and you have to break from that. Like, you know, we sounded very nineties up until girls like, you know, and that was like we would get that all the time you guys like the nineties. I was with shit that I loved. It wasn't very popular anymore, but I loved it, you know?
But I also loved, you know, I like making beats and shit. So we did it and it went well. But change it because you want to change it. Not because somebody's telling you. You need to change this. This needs toe. You need to adapt with, uh, you know, I say adapt is great, but you need to, like, don't change your sound Just because this is what I know. Bands that started working in the dub step sound into their stuff in, like, 2012 2013. And that was a fucking fad.
And now it just sounds ridiculous when you listen to it, There's something like, really Wow, that's, you know, it needs to be a natural thing. Don't be so quick. Toe change direction because you think this is how it's supposed to go and you think it's gonna be accepted because you want to get there. Take the long road. Dude, it's gonna be way better for you in the end, have patients. I think that all really ties together to like the general vibe of what I see from value, because a lot of bands would do what you did with just changing the sound from one album to the next.
And they wouldn't come back from that, but for you, because you have that dedicated following your community. Even if you know some fans might not, like, detonate as much as girls or the other albums you put out which I would say, I mean, detonate is just more of a throw back to your original sound from the early years. But because they have that dedication to you, they're not going to stop listening. They're still gonna listen. And then when you put out another album, you know, I know message.
The world is kind of a surprise album. E. I heard you talking about that on one of your episodes, but that's going back again towards the direction that you were headed with girls. I don't think it's quite is Poppy, but the fans, if they stick around 23 years, Hey, look, there's more music like what? They were used. Thio. So I think it's a combination like you're saying of doing what is best for you. But that's also best for the fans, at least in my opinion, because it means you're putting out genuine music, and I think that's what you're getting at two.
I agree with that. I love that. You know, it's like I do, you know? I want them to be happy. I want them to enjoy that sounds. Um, we try to go for quality as much as possible quality, quality and quantity When? When, when it's possible. But I don't like to put anything. If I feel like this isn't like you know, it's just isn't up to the standard, then we're not gonna release it just because we recorded it. I mean, we've recorded, you know, dozens of songs that may never see the light of day Just because they're not, It didn't turn out.
You know, I just think that if your whatever it is you're doing, especially if it's if it's not, you know, if you're not trying to work at best, buy or not saying those jobs or bad or anything, But if that's not your vision, that's not your life, then you know, whatever is your vision, whatever it is that you're working on, you need to be 200% involved and present and, you know, willing to make the sacrifices and working on the craft. You know, people get upset because it doesn't happen for them.
It doesn't. It hasn't happened yet. I've made any money yet you can't be worried about that. If it's something that you truly enjoy, you truly love. It's not work. And you're not worried about making the money. You look, we're adults. We need to work. We need to make money that we have bills, you know, we have to pay for. We have families, you know? Yes, you're gonna have to work. But, you know, if you love that thing, man, you're gonna get off of work, and then you're gonna go home and spend the rest of the night doing that thing and that that that includes family time and whatever.
Like you could do all that. You just have to make the time for it. And when you do something on the creative, it's Yeah, it's gonna take a long time to make money from it. You know, some people hit earlier, but you can't be concerned with it, you know? And if It's something that I had a guy Tell me one time he was like, Hey, man, tell me like what you did to get where you are. I'm like, All right. I mean, you know, we just played a bunch shows and just got out of town and put out records and, you know, whatever.
We went on tour, we did the thing. He's like, Well, I want to go on tour, but, like, I don't wanna I don't wanna play for, like, 10 people. I'm like, Get out of my face, Just go, Go E. I mean, come on, man, don't come to me about that. It's like insulting to every artist that's ever put themselves out there, you know, truly put themselves out there and starved. I was broke for a very long time, you know, up until six or seven years ago, like I'm 25 years and you see what I'm saying, Like, do the math.
It took like, 20 years to really make anything like make any real money. I'm not rich, you know. But the music and my art. I'll say my arts, not just the music. It's everything else but all together. It's a combination of things but my art, my creativity, like, pays my bills now and supports my family. But it took decades, you know, it's just if you love it, it's, you know, it doesn't matter well, how I think that's a really great place. Thio End this. It's been such a pleasure talking to you before we close things out.
I want to give you some time. If you have last thoughts Thio share the listeners. If there's anything you want to mention, please feel free. Obviously, the Livestream is two days from the date this episode comes out. That's Halloween. I believe it's shop dot Ballyhoo! rocks dot com to get tickets. Is that right? Yeah. So, uh, Halloween 2020. It's, uh, Ballyhoo!. Halloween Special. It's October 29th. It's a PM Eastern five PM Western. Um, so this time we're doing a ticket pricing model. So basically like it's tickets air $6.
66 because why not? Or you could get a ticket for free if you just buy some of the story and it could be a $5 Cuzzi. You know, it could be whatever by a sticker pack, whatever but anyway, do that. Just make sure you add the ticket at check out. Make sure you add the ticket in there with your merch purchase, and you'll get it for free. And we're looking forward to it. Man, we're looking forward to playing Show are playing a show and, uh, dressing up and doing this this cool thing.
So, um and definitely like, Look, look around for me. I'm all over the web, you know? YouTube search how he spangler have the song of the day on there I do the podcast tales from the greenroom podcast please subscribe to that on Instagram How he spangler. So all the places you know I got my own solo shit on Spotify. Check it out. We'll put links thio everything. How he's mentioned in our show Notes at Band I've got rocks slash 48. That's the numbers 48 so you can find all the links subscribe follow by the tickets to the show.
All of that on. And then one last question How a for you with the live streams. What do you think is the most important piece? Advice you could pass on to any artist who is trying to do their own livestream, I would say, Don't get wrapped up in the details or the production value so much. Definitely try to make it look as good as you can and make it sound as good as you can. But just do it. Just do something like, you know, even if you go on Amazon and spend 15 bucks and get a, uh, some tiki lights to put behind you, you know, you know, make it vibe.
You do something. Put some cool tapestries up. I don't know anything. Don't try to make it look like ours, You know, if you can. Great. But just do something and be there for your fans because look, man, we all need music more than ever. Right now, it's a crazy time. Get on their connect. You won't believe how much you'll grow by just getting on and talking to your fans. You know, on a half hour livestream play Some songs chat back and forth of them. Ask them Question.
What do you want to hear? You know, What do you guys want to hear next week? Tune in next week a PM like create something, create a show I was doing a show for a while called Let's Hang Out and I got I got burnt out. Actually, I don't like doing it at night, I think is the thing I like. By the time like nine PM rolls around, I'm like I'm ready just like chill, you know? But I was doing a thing every Wednesday night and it was everybody to show up.
And I'd have like, a couple 100 people in there watching me and throwing super chats and donating Venmo. And it's just I'm taking request like you need to do that. This is how this is how we interact, you know? Um, imagine how stoked you'd be if your favorite artist's notice you and said something to you. You know, you were able to ask them a question. If I could talk to the guys in Green Day, just pick their brain about nerdy shit from the albums and things, and I would I would love that, you know?
So do that. Alright, Awesome. How I thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us. It's been a pleasure to hear your knowledge, experience, your stories, all of that. I think is gonna be so helpful to artists just like your podcast. So tales from the Green Room you know you're on Spotify Apple any of the major players. And again, if somebody can't find that, for some reason, it will be in the show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 48 as well as the links to Values Music, Your shop where people could get the tickets for Halloween or merch.
If you're listening after Halloween has passed, I'm sure there will be other events coming up soon. We got plans. It's been an absolute blast to have you here, Howi. Thanks so much. Thank you. Thank you guys for having appreciate it. That does it for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thanks so much for listening. And, of course, big thank you to Hallie from Ballyhoo! for joining us on the show and sharing his knowledge from his 25 years in a band. I've been a fan of Ballyhoo! for I think I want to say nine years now, and it's really amazed me to see not only how far they've come, but also how they are amazing example of a D. I y and keep in mind we say decided yourself band, who really is invested in their career as well as their relationship with their fans.
So go check out shop dot Ballyhoo! rocks dot com to get your Halloween 13 tickets as how he said there, $6. 66 each, or if you by any single piece of merch at the same time, the ticket will become free in your cart. Just make sure to have it in the car when you buy your merch. It's always a pleasure to have guests like Howi on the show who just have such a passion and knowledge for their music. So again, thank you to Howi. Thank you to everyone listening. We will be back with another new episode next Tuesday at 6 a.m.
Until then, have an awesome week, stay healthy. And, of course, as always, keep rockin
Find out how!