The music industry is a mess right now, and it's hard to know what the right way to go about things is. The last 18 months have wreaked havoc on artists worldwide.
David Ryan Olson joins us on this episode of the Bandhive Podcast as we talk through six important takeaways from the last 18 months.
Listen now to learn how you can shore up your band so you’re able to keep the lights on during unprecedented times and be stronger at the end of it.
Be sure to listen to part 2 of the episode on the Music Business Mindset Podcast!
What you’ll learn:
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Music Business Mindset Podcast
#81: From Self-producing Artist to Full-time Producer: Todd Barriage of Theatria
#82: Every Band Should Be on Patreon: Ty Christian of Lords of the Trident
#83: Booking and Playing 150+ Shows a Year (While Working a Day Job): Troy Millette and The Fire Below
#84: Musician, Composer, and Business Owner: Andy Wilson-Taylor of Midgar
#85: The Return of Live Shows and Touring: Adam Loellke of Pickwick Commons
Welcome to episode 86 of the Bandhive Podcast.
It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross and I am once again not here with matt hose of Alive in Barcelona because he's still up in Spokane recording with his band.
I'm looking forward to hearing what they put out. But I have here a very special co host for today, David Ryan Olson of Evergreen Records and the music business mindset podcast. How's it going today? David dude, I'm doing great. It's a beautiful day here in Oregon and we're in the sweet spot where it is lovely blue skies in the morning and I am not turned into a pool of sweat yet, That sounds very nice indeed. If this is your first interaction with me just like why is he just jumping in?
Talking about getting sweating well in non sweaty notes. I have to point out that you're amazing. Black Lab Ellie or Eleanor is behind you. This won't be a clip on instagram but there will be clips on instagram and if she hasn't moved by the time we pick those clips, she'll be in the background. So go to at Bandhive dot rocks on instagram to see those clips and you'll get to see Ellie and maybe we'll put a photo of her up in the show notes just for tax.
Yeah, I mean like honestly that's the content people want is you know the puppy pictures rather than listening to us talk about music and business, right? Absolutely. I mean she's got to be about a year now, right? Her birthday was yesterday. Nice! Happy birthday, Ellie. She can't hear me, but yeah. Well, cool, man. That's awesome, man. I remember what it was like having a puppy 17 years ago. And best times anyway. As much as I would love to talk about dogs. Specifically black labs, because I love black labs and yellow labs, but mainly black labs.
This is now the lab hive podcast. Oh, lab Hive. That could go a very different direction to that. Could be like for science people. Yeah. Covid conspiracy theories. And this is quickly going nowhere. But for those of you who just lab up the content, this is for you. Uh, but she's not a lapdog. So I guess. No. Well, anyway, we're here to talk business. I'm not going to sidetrack anymore. David, thanks so much for joining us. Do you want to tell the folks a little bit about who you are and what we're doing with these episodes that we're going to be publishing?
Yeah, So as James mentioned, I have a production company called Evergreen Records, where our goal is to help artists grow even outside of the studio. So one of the things that we do is our podcast, music business mindset and just a little plug, if you like Bandhive, I would encourage you to check out music business mindset because we talk about a lot of the same principles. A little bit of a different angle. Ban Hive, I'd say, correct me if I'm not giving a fair assessment of this James, but like Ban Hive tends to be a little bit more about the nitty gritty and music business mindset.
We talk with usually other artists about, you know, the mindset for success being a healthy member of the music community. Getting your head on straight growing personally and professionally. So I think James and I think that our shows complement each other pretty well. Yeah, absolutely. And you're spot on about Bandhive. It's very much hands on how to and we'll talk about mindset. But the main thing is like just do it, which we'll come back to that later. Yeah, just do it. So what we're doing this week is we're going to have a two part series covering six lessons that Covid taught us.
So we're going to have three topics here on Bandhive and then the other three are going to be on music business mindset. So be sure to subscribe to that David. Where can people go to subscribe? Yeah, we're on apple podcasts. We're on Spotify. So just go and check that out there. If you need a link, you can go to evergreen records dot com slash podcast, but also just searching music business mindset, you'll find it on your directory. Let's just jump right into it and talk about the six lessons that we learn from this crazy year and a half we've had with Covid.
I guess one question for you. David is here in Vermont, things are going great right now. Like it's fully reopened. We hit 80% vaccination rate. So the governor said, Yep, cool, we can open back up masks aren't a thing. Oh, Ellie, Good dog. So we're having great progress here. I've been working baseball games as the sound engineer, loving it, making people laugh with funny clips, all that kind of stuff. And we don't have to wear masks anymore if we're vaccinated. So that's great. How is it out in Oregon?
Are things going the same way? Yeah, we're trucking along on the vaccinations. It's been a little bit slower at sometimes there are some shows happening, limited capacity. We don't really have any like big venues going yet, but it's definitely something that we're on track for. So I'm excited to kind of have things get back to quote unquote normal, But I think we are also going to be seeing a lot of shifts because of COVID. So even normal doesn't mean exactly like it was before. Yeah, absolutely. I'm working a July four show on July two.
So long in the past by the time this episode comes out and I have yet to know what the actual requirements are, as far as Covid guidelines. But I know last year instead of being a party in the park, which is what it's called, it was party out of the park and we just live streamed it from the park, livestreamed the fireworks, so it's a blast, but it's very different. And two years ago there was over 1000 people there. So I'm hoping that this year safety permitting, we'll have a nice big show again.
And Troy Mallette, who was our guest on episode 83 of the podcast. If you want to check that out, you can go to band, I've got rocks slash 83 where he talked about how before the pandemic he was booking and playing 150 shows a year while working a full time day job. He's the headliner for that show. So I'm really looking forward to working with him again. He did the livestream last year. He's doing the in person show this year and it's going to be a great time, I think.
So, looking forward to that and it'll be cool to see shows come back in any capacity just having art available to the masses in general, I think is what people need. People have been starved for art. So yeah, it's a shame. Well, and I think being away from shows for so long has really kind of reinforced the magic that happens at a show, even especially the small shows where you're just hanging out and you're getting to know people and you're building those connections like one on one, which will get into that a little bit later in this episode about why all of that's important.
Yeah, absolutely. And it all comes down to as an artist, you have to decide if you are making music as a hobby or if you are making music as a career, which means if you are then it's a business and you have to run it with that in mind. And that's not what we're here to talk about today necessarily. But it's related to our first topic, which is income streams for artists. And there's the obvious ones like playing shows selling your music or getting royalties from streaming providers and selling merch.
But there's also some that are not so obvious. Do you want to go through those David? Yeah. If I could just back up for a second there, I think we have a tendency in the music industry to kind of go all in on one form of monetization at a time. Maybe this is just my kind of perspective, but it seems like back in the day, it's like, okay, well artist made money by selling cds or vinyl or whatever. And then at a certain point it's like, okay, streaming, the thing you're not gonna make any money on your album.
So shows are where it's at, right? And I think there was this tendency to put all of your eggs in one basket for a lot of artists and obviously this isn't true for every artist across the board, but there was kind of a tendency to say, we're gonna take a loss on the album, we're just going to make it up on shows and that's really bad business practice to not have multiple streams of income. If you think about Apple for instance, that's just I guess going to be our poster child for this episode.
They don't sell just iphones, they have max and they have ipads and they have services and air tags, air tags, every business that is successful and treats their business like a business has multiple streams of income. They don't rely on one thing because the market will change things happen, acts of God, like pandemics happen, so you cannot just have all of your money coming from one source. Yeah. And I think the best way to illustrate that actually is music venues, the venues that got hit the hardest were the venues that didn't have sponsorship agreements.
There are so many venues, Little mom and Pop venues that unfortunately closed because they thought we make money by selling tickets and selling drinks. And then there are other venues that had relationships with local businesses, radio stations, all that kind of stuff. Higher ground our local venue, amazing venue, two rooms. I think they're going to be moving to a bigger space soon as well. But they made it through this and during that time of Covid, they were going out in sponsoring live streams, so they were still keeping their name relevant by saying, yeah, we'll toss you some money to shout us out and we'll make this livestream happen.
But I am sure that could only happen because they had sponsors in turn. So for example, 99 9 the buzz, the local radio station, they do a ton of co promotes with higher ground. It's amazing. Like they bring a lot of great acts through here, like sick puppies, new politics switch foot, a lot of the rock shows that we get our through that radio station. And those shows, 99 9 the buzz is effectively a sponsor of the venue and that's how it goes. Like, you know, you go to any sporting arena, any big show, like a live Nation show, There are ads everywhere and you don't necessarily have to get ads for major corporations, but if you're running a small venue, look to the coffee shop next door and be like, hey, you know, can you give us a certain amount of money and we'll put up a sign and tell people to go if they're tired after the show and they need coffee to get home safely, go next door, get their stuff like that relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Make it happen. There are ways to do this. And if venues can do it, so can artists and that's not saying that every artist should be looking for sponsorships. But that's certainly one thing that you could do. Yeah. And I think it requires a little bit of a shift of mindset to where it's not just like, well I record songs and put them out in the world, but like, no, I want to actually enrich people's lives in whatever way. And it's not just like this is my one product and I do it.
I know you think about like, okay, what am I actually giving people bigger picture wise? So you don't have all of your eggs in that one basket? Absolutely. And that's something that I see with a lot of artists who they want to put their music out there and they're complaining that they're not making any money. But when you tell them to, hey, why don't you sell merch? They say, oh, I don't have enough fans for that yet. It's like, well, okay, but let's say you have to fans that would buy merch.
Guess what? You just earned $40 that you can put into advertising or something else to further your business. Looking at that and saying it's not enough with $40 not help you. Of course it would. Well, I think you also in order to start thinking about your band is a business in terms of diversifying your income and having multiple streams of income. Maybe this is a good point to kind of cast vision for. You can't necessarily treat all of your fans the same. We were talking a little bit about this thing, I don't have a good name for it.
I joked that David's hierarchy of leeds, let's just roll with that. Let's just roll with that and we'll explain what the lead is. A lead is, somebody who might be interested in your business, but they're not convinced yet. That's like the super basic dumbed down version of it. Yeah, I guess the way I would encourage artists just start thinking about their fans is that there are four levels of fandom or non phantom at the bottom. Non fans. I don't think I need to explain what a non fanny's this is, 98% of the world, probably 99% of the world.
Even for the biggest artists beyond that, you have casual fans. And these are people that, you know, maybe they heard your songs in a playlist or maybe they followed you on instagram, but you know, really they're not super invested in you, you might get a few, a few panties from them from Spotify streams or whatever, but at the end of day, they're not invested in what you're doing. Beyond that though, you have another level of fandom, which is your true fans and these people are willing to spend a little bit of money on you.
They might be more willing to pay for like a ticketed show, your merch other just novelty stuff for fun. They're not necessarily looking to really be a huge benefactor of what you're doing beyond just enjoying what you do. And then beyond that, you have super fans which are like true fans, but on steroids right there are the people that are going to do anything for you. They live for not just music but your music specifically. I think of my friends, the taliban brothers who have amazing coalition of super fans, I remember playing a show with them where they had some of their fans drive a couple of states over, not just to see them, but to give them some merch that they had printed on their own dime for the band to sell.
Like that's how dedicated they were, wow right, You're going to be able to get a certain level of support from casual fans and you're going to get another level of support from true fans and you're going to get even greater amount of support from super fans. So how can you start bringing multiple streams of income knowing that there are these different levels of fandom in place James? Maybe you'd like to throw out some ideas? Yeah, I think maybe starting at the top here and working your way down is probably the best thing to do now, I might be totally wrong and this will tie into something else we talk about later, but in my mind, starting at the top makes sense because that's where the highest per person value is going to come in.
So if we're talking about merchants would be eur per head, but essentially for your super fans, give them the opportunity to support you, so you could do something like setting up a patreon if you want to find out more about building a successful patreon. Check out episode 82 with ty christian of Lords of the trident. They have 300 patrons right now, at least at the time, the episode dropped a couple of weeks ago and it's amazing how they set it up and tie had a really incredible offer saying that he will help for free anybody set up their Patreon.
Patreon is a great way to let your super fans support you. Whether you have one super fan, 10 or hundreds, like put yourself out there, somebody wants that content and even if it's just five or $10 a month, that's better than nothing. So again, that one is banned Hive dot rocks slash 82 or you can look up episode 82 in your favorite podcasting app of choice. Aside from that V. I. P. Packages, those things are huge personally. I'm not a big fan of V. I. P. Packages for meet and greets.
I think a meet and greet is included and I'm biased because as an A. F. I fan, a massive af I fan, as any longtime listener knows, they'll just hang out outside the venue after the show. In most cases, like not always the singer and the guitarist, but at least the rhythm section will be outside chatting with fans and that's great. They're a big band and they do that. And then I see much smaller bands charging $80 to meet the band, get a signed poster and leave and it's like, you have five seconds with them because you're just in a line.
I'm not the biggest fan of that. But you know what would be really awesome and something that I probably would pay for set up a dinner with your fans, be like, Hey, we're gonna let 10 people, we're going to have a dinner together and make it fun. Be like, you know, band members speed dating, like not an actual date, but be like, hey, we're gonna do this, There's 10 of you, there's five of us. So we're going to say pairs of 22 people sit with a band member for 10 minutes and then we rotate, you have a four course meal, you know, be created or something like that or just have a regular dinner and get a big table, sit everyone down and have a chat.
David, This was your idea. So why don't you talk about it a little more? I kind of got this idea doing like a fundraising dinner, fundraising gala or whatever just from the nonprofit world. I was, I don't know why I was looking at non profit tax documents last night, but it was like thinking it's like, wow, Non profits are really good at raising money. Like why aren't bands doing the same thing? People love music even more than they love the school they went to write. I know a lot of people that are more than willing to go to like $100 a plate dinners or whatever just for the heck of it.
Especially if it's, Hey, we have 10 seats for our dinner. If it's your favorite band, you're gonna be like, yeah, you know, 100 bucks to go hang with the band and to support them. That's the other part of it. You don't necessarily have to think about it. Transactional people like to support musicians. Think about ways that you can give people opportunities to support you. Yeah, absolutely. It would be so easy to set something like that up. If you're on the road Then you can find a restaurant. You don't want to make it like a McDonald's or something, find a restaurant that has a private room that you can rent out.
Get a buffet, some like that maybe will cost you two or $300 depending on how big the room is, what areas and all that kind of stuff. You have a private room and you get 1000 bucks like hey cool you just made 700 bucks in probably two hours. That's great. There's your gas money for the next couple of days if you're in a van. Right? So you may be saying though, well you know I'm a little bit smaller than that, I don't necessarily have dedicated fans that are willing to pay for like a fundraising dinner or whatever.
Why would you say to that? James do it on Patreon? Say hey if you spend, let's say it's $20 or more as your monthly contribution, you will get a private pizza party via zoom. So however many patrons you have at that level. If it's five people, 10 people B. Y. O. P. Bring your own pizza and show up on zoom and we'll just have a chat once a month, you know it's an hour long and this is your time, like we're all gonna hang out, we're going to talk about whatever.
If you want to ask stuff about the band that's fine if you want to talk about video games or books or whatever, like let's just chat, it's just us hanging out and if you want to take part like I said it's 20 bucks a month on Patreon, just go sign up now boom done, there's your pitch, you can refine that obviously but that's basically what you're gonna say but you're never going to get to that level if you don't invest in building your tribe. Yeah that's a great idea.
Building your tribe is so important and I'm really glad that we're gonna be talking about that on the music business mindset part of this episode. So again, if you haven't subscribed music business mindset yet, go do that now. Yeah. Building your tribe is so essential and it's taking every ounce of strength not to just dive into that right now. Well, and that's something else that comes with income streams is you want to show restraint because there are so many income streams that you could go after aside from, you know, the three obvious ones we talked about or doing a Patreon or V. I. P. Packages.
There's also licensing and sponsorship, which we touched on. Typically for an artist sponsorship is going to be more like, hey, we'll give you free gear or discounted gear, stuff like that. Or Taco Bell's sponsorship program for artists, stuff like that. They're probably not going to give you cash the way an organization might for, you know, a baseball team or a music venue. But I mean, hey, if you can save 100 bucks a tour because you're getting free strings from Ernie ball or d'addario or whoever that's great, don't turn it down.
That's money you're saving that you can put towards something else. Whether it's like an emergency fund or gas or get a nice hotel for a night, depending on where you are, 100 bucks won't get you far but get a motel for a night. Like when you're really tired and need some good sleep before the long drive the next day, something like that. But having restraint to not go after every single income stream is also important. I would say probably having like 3 to 5 is safe if you have 3 to 5 income streams, that's probably gonna be good.
You're not going to fall apart if there's a global pandemic because hopefully at least one or two of those 3 to 5 is not related to in person stuff. But yeah I think that's about it. For what I have on diversification of income basically is just do it be creative, figure it out. Do you have anything else to add on that subject? Yeah. Just one final thought. I probably touched on this. But also remember when you're thinking about your different streams of income, you can have multiple forms of that diverse income for every level of your fan.
Like don't necessarily feel like you need to jump straight to V. I. P. Dinners or Patreon. Think about, okay how am I going to monetize my casual fans and how am I going to monetize my true fans and then how am I going to monetize my super fans? Each of them is going to have a different willingness and different desire for what they want in exchange. Yeah, that totally reminds me, I said let's start top down and then I just covered super fans and noted out on that.
So yeah, like each of those levels, find your biggest spenders cater to them. Then say, okay, that's in place, Then go to your true fans and say, what do they want cater to them? That's in place. Then go to your casual fans and say, how am I going to turn those people into true fans and super fans? And that's how you cater to them. You don't want to sell, sell, sell to your casual fans. You want to Upsell Upsell Upsell whether they're actually paying money when you're doing that or not.
You want to get them to whether you're higher spenders. This is a big problem that I see is that a lot of bands fall into the trap of just spamming their instagram account about, go do this, go do this, give me money when I think instagram and social media is just such a powerful tool for converting your fans into higher levels of fans and then you're gonna have a lot more luck selling your merch or your tickets or whatever you've decided to put together to the people that have, you know, gone through the effort of signing up for your email list and not feeling like you're spamming your casuals that are following you on instagram.
Exactly, and that's such a big difference in How you treat people. And you know, that's the good old social media rule of 3-1. For every three posts you make, only one should be trying to sell something. Only one should have a call to action. The other two should be content that is helpful or entertaining in some way. And I think that's a great segue. David, thanks for pivoting us there too. Talking about content. And basically what we're going to say here is making content and make sure that when you're making content, it's content.
That doesn't suck. Like you want people to enjoy viewing your content, whether you're on instagram or Tiktok or facebook, which is kind of dead for the most part except for advertising, but organic reaches whatever. Like the main thing being, if you have good content, people will want to see it. And if people want to see your content, then they're going to be more likely to listen to your band and convert like you said, David to true fans and super fans. Yeah, absolutely. When I think about the bands that are more successful is they're the ones that are willing to give a glimpse into their life a little bit.
And this kind of goes back to what I hinted at earlier in that you're not just in the business of putting out a record, right? And then touring your record, your in the business of, I mean, this is going to vary depending on what your goal is, but like brightening someone's day, building community, making people feel like they're a part of something bigger. Like if you think back to the bands that you loved when you were in high school or whatever, it's the ones that like made you feel like you're a part of something.
So you should not just be like the distant, you know, you come down off of your mountain and you present the mere mortals with your record every two years. But no, you're building some sort of almost like a movement to a certain degree, your content should reflect that it's how do I bring a little bit of smile to someone's day so that, you know, they level up into more of a committed fan or feel like, you know, you get them. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm going to go back to my default example af I they had the despair faction, which is a massive community of fans who all connected through a F. I now the despair faction is more or less dead, but it's turned into some great facebook groups.
There's a fan run forum and the community is still quite active. So it's something that people come together about and many artists run their own facebook groups, which is great. I'm all for that A F. I for some reason does not they let their forum die and then just said, okay, whatever. I think that's a mistake because if they had their own facebook group, they could capitalize on that with higher conversions and keep people more involved because it's a direct line to the band or their management.
I doubt the band themselves would actually be in there. But it's amazing. Like one of the groups, the bass player's mom is in the group. It's like, okay, like even their parents are in this, and I'm not saying that for no reason. I'm saying that because when we talked about Patreon, remember when I said, it doesn't matter if there's only one or two people who are willing to give you 10 or 20 bucks a month. It doesn't matter if it's your parents, like a F. I. S. Parents support them.
So why shouldn't your parents support you? And I think for a f. I they're not getting financial support from their parents but they're still getting motivational support and their parents are involved in taking an interest in what the band is doing. So hey go out there. I honestly would say it doesn't matter how they support you, be willing to accept support from people with your parents or anyone don't feel ashamed to take support from people if they want to give you money or support or care packages or whatever it is, let them say thank you, be very nice to them, write them a thank you card, write them a birthday card, give them a birthday cake if you feel up to it, like find a way to show them that they are appreciated for supporting you and that goes right back into content because if you're making a good content and engaging with the people who are commenting that supporting them, they are supporting you by commenting.
So support them back by replying to them way too many bands. I'll see a post and there's like 100 comments and not a single one has a reply from the band and this is like bands with management teams, who those management teams should be doing that. I get that can be overwhelming. There's a lot of comments, but just say, hey, thanks so much, or do the little Heart Eyes emoji or like an X X or whatever it is, like find something on brand for your band and reply to everyone.
If it's a question, give him an answer. If it's just them saying, hey, this is so cool, thank you. An emerging whatever acknowledge them and that will go so far, no one likes to be unacknowledged or ignored, so if your fans are reaching out to get in touch with you or just support you, okay, thanks, It's super easy. Well, and I think even if you just do a very, very basic reply, even if it's just a couple of emojis, anytime you see a notification that this pan replied to your comment that is gonna frickin make their day.
Even a tiny band, just a local band that I like, but I'm not like super close friends with them or anything. I get excited when they reply to me because it's like, oh I'm validated and everybody loves to feel validated, you know? And it's even with my friends bands like I can hit my friends up on Messenger and be like, yo what's up? But when I reply to something on their band page and they reply to that, it's like like they actually replied to me, they're doing their social media will Oh, but one thing I want to stress here, because we didn't really say how this is a lesson we learned from.
Covid the lesson here is that those artists who didn't just sit back and say, oh well we can't play shows, so we're not going to do anything for a year. Those artists who did not do that are the artists who now are getting the shows and having more success and pushing out new releases because you stayed consistent and that is what the algorithm cares about. So, if you took a year off, good luck if you didn't, that's great because you're in a much better place now and you want to keep up that good work and keep things consistent.
I'd also say that throughout code, and even if you didn't play a show or a single livestream show or whatever, the people that were still in front of their audience when it comes time to say, yo, can you support us here, or can you help us find our next album? Or even just donate? For no reason. The people that were showing up creating content, still engaging with people were the ones who are able to actually effectively bring in money. So, like, if you just sat around saying, no, I'm not playing shows, but then, like, out of nowhere, come ask for, like, a Kickstarter to fund their next album, saying, yeah, Covid's over, and they're gonna be like, well, I didn't feel the relationship with you over the past year.
I mean, they're not going to consciously say that, but they're not going to feel compelled when you come out with that ask out of nowhere, think of it like that friend who never hits you up unless they want something, don't be that person, don't be that band. Put content out there. Like even if you're not working on new music, do something interesting, do something funny, do some live streams and that's something that will talk about another time because live streams have become kind of cliche, but do something and just want to toss out there.
One great example of live streams in my opinion is fred. Mazzarino, formerly of taking back sunday through the pandemic every sunday morning. He did, I think was like coffee with fred and he would just hop on facebook with his guitar and sing songs and look at the comments and if people had requests, he'd play him, he'd get like 50 60 people on there. Maybe more. I don't know, but like quite a few and it worked really well and it wasn't the standard thing of, hey, we're going to play a show.
It was like, no, I'm going to play the songs that people tell me they want to hear. This is like a very intimate setting. I'm just drinking coffee in the morning and getting my day started. That's cool. That is how you add value to people when you can't play shows. Absolutely. So so far we've kind of focused on talking about content on social media. I would love to kind of pivot to talking about other forms of content rather than just, you know, your daily posts. Yeah, absolutely.
I think long form content is so important. There's a couple different ways you can do this. First of all, you want to make sure that when you release music, you have plenty of content for Youtube. You don't want just a lyric video or just a music video. You know, you want three different versions of the song itself, you're going to have the audio only version, which is just the album art or the single art. Then you have the lyric video and then you have the music video, that's three versions right there.
Then you can go above and beyond and do drum play throughs, guitar play throughs, all kinds of stuff like that. You can do alternate versions. If you want to do an acoustic track and toss that out there, you can do behind the scenes content, all of that stuff, put it on Youtube, my friend Todd marriage from theater area who is on episode 81 recently. If you want to check that out, it's banned Hive dot rocks slash 81. They are doing 10 different videos for their new single, Daddy issues, which came out the weekend of father's day.
Father's day was yesterday when we're recording this. But 10 videos in 10 days and they're all pretty much the same song. Like they do have an acoustic version, but most of the videos are just the song in a different format. You know, they'll have different videos and I think that's great because as we sit on the episode, as Todd said, a lot of artists are worried about fitting out their views on each video, but really what it is more chances for people to see your video. So even if each video gets a few less views, you're going to have way more views in total.
So I think that's absolutely worth it. And then Todd's great about this two behind the scenes content on Patreon now he's a producer, so he does a lot of mixing videos and behind the scenes stuff like that. But any artist can do that, have a friend, pay him to come into the studio with you and just shoot all the footage they can, they like we stepped into the studio and from the start you start recording, you know, have a camera up at all times, you can take pictures, but just get content and we'll go through it later and see what's worth sharing. Absolutely.
One of the things that I've toyed with doing for the bands that do albums with me is doing a a lot of people do, you know, like a studio documentary. I've thought about doing studio podcasts where it's like maybe every couple of days you just sit down for an hour and you talk about the experience like at the end of the whole process, you have like five episodes where you've talked about like where did the inspiration for this album come about? Where were you writing the songs?
What were you feeling? What was going on your head then? Maybe there's another episode where you're talking about. Okay, so what does it first, like getting into the studio? Did you do demoing? Did you tweak the songs at all? Did you like change kind of what your sound was at that point? Then you talk about, you know, the actual recording process and the mixing process and what you're thinking ahead to your release process. People love that kind of content, and especially if you're doing like a crowdfunding type thing, That's something great to be able to drip out to ask for support.
You say, you know, after you've just been done talking for 20 minutes about the inspiration for this album, you say we're so glad that you're on this journey with us. Would you donate to our Indiegogo? It's going to be live for another couple of weeks. And you can find the link here. It's like those types of content. People want to have a glimpse into your life. People want to know what's going on. Yeah, that's stellar. And that reminds me a lot of the track by track that you'll see on Spotify, like the commentary, but I think there's a key difference there.
All of those are recorded in past tense. It's like when we were in the studio, we did this, we did that. So, those memories, in my opinion, aren't that fresh in the band's mind? They're not doing that while they're in the studio are doing that probably months later, but at least a couple of weeks. So I think that's a great idea, David having that set up as part of the recording process to document it. That's going to be such a more intimate journey, because it's still fresh in the band's minds well.
And then people feel like they're along for the ride with you too. And that's further going to solidify the relationship between you and the fan. Exactly. And having it not be video as cool as video is, and I would still say, do video. Having it as an audio podcast will make it more accessible to people because they can listen to it whenever, you know, if they're at work or something and they have a job that lets them listen to stuff, they can put in ear buds and listen.
That's great. Yeah, and it's long form, because if you tried to do a series of five half hour videos, that would just be such a pain in the butt, I would hate myself. And it would be expensive first if you're just like sitting around chatting with your band mates, your mates, people love that and it's easy to do and that's fun. Yeah. You're already in the studio. You have all the gear you need for your podcast. Exactly. At least I hope you do. If you don't, you might need to find a different studio.
Yeah, it's like, here's the one Sm 57 the studio owns everybody. Circle up. No, totally, totally. So I guess what I'm saying is look for ways that you can create content that's not just thinking about like, oh crap, I got to post something today, but can you actually bring people along for the ride? Because remember at the end of the day, I'm going to keep saying this. If you're trying to do this as a career, you're not in the business of just walking down off the mountain and giving them this record on a stone tablet.
You are in the business of brightening people's day, giving them something to latch onto all of that kind of fun stuff. That's a lot more esoteric than just. Here's the song listen to it. Oh absolutely. And that's the other mistake. I see and I've said this so many times in the podcast where band says, Hey, new song next week, next week comes around, Hey, new song, Go listen and then there's radio silence until the next song or the ep or whatever comes out. That's not what you want to do.
If you are looking for inspiration on how to make content a key part of your business, go pay attention to what's going on on Youtube. Like find people who are crushing it on Youtube. Even if they're like on a particular topic like photography or home recording, there's a good chance that they're doing stuff that's not even just the instructional they're talking about. Like I think of the cliche of like well what's in my bag, you know people love that or even people were curious about what my video setup was like and so they're getting a little bit of it behind the scenes of like oh yeah I'm using this camera here on my lights.
This is what it's looking like all about bringing people along for the ride and feeling like they're a part of the community. Yeah absolutely. And I think another great example for that is unboxing videos. Like if you get a new piece of gear show people like I am getting the most boring piece of gear today. It's out for delivery. Thanks to U. P. S. I hope you get it here today. I've mentioned in the past podcast episode how unreliable UPS is in my area. Great drivers. It's not their fault they're just overloaded.
But Fedex and USPS if it's out for delivery it gets here ups is like yeah you might get it in the next couple of days because they're out to like 9 30 at night delivering. So like I said it's not the driver's fault. They're just overworked but they need more drivers anyway, totally sad tracking the most boring piece of gear. A string winder. Dude, I need a string winder. I have one. I mean I do too but you know I was losing. Yeah but I got sick and tired of having to have a string wander and a pair of clippers.
So I did like the First world thing and got a string liner that has clippers attached to it because I'm that lazy that I don't want to have two separate tools, but I mean it makes perfect sense. So I'm going to post about that when I get it, I'm gonna be like, yo, this thing is so cool. Like watch how I changed my strings and that's going to be a Tiktok video, probably doing boxing. Do you know? They have string wanders that measure the tension of the string and automatically wind it up to tune.
So it's basically an ever tune string winder. It's not perfect. I would still tune with an actual tuner, but when you're changing your strings, you're not having to be like, okay, how far am I? You just go? And it's like, cool, that's an interesting, that's an A I have a clip on tuner that I just put on and do that. But again, there we go. That's a third tool that I would need, so maybe I'll condense that as well anyway, that's your content ideas. Do unboxing. My last thought when it comes to content is don't be afraid just to try something, don't sit around and think about what's going to be the magic bullet.
Content wise, I'm preaching to myself here because like I spend too much time thinking about things, trying to figure out what the magic bullet is going to be before actually doing anything. And that leads us to our next point here where we want to encourage you to just go for it, learn how to do something, execute it, and then review it before worrying about figure out how to make it perfect. I think I want to stress that the key here is learn how to do it, don't just do it.
If you put something out there, that's bad quality. If you shoot a music video that looks terrible or if you self produce and it sounds awful, That's not going to be worth it. It's going to hurt you more than it helps you. But if you learn how to do something and then just do it, that is so key and I think that's really important. And that's what multiple podcast guests in the past have talked about just a couple episodes ago on episode 84, Andy Wilson Taylor of Med Gar was talking about that how he just, if he had to do something, he learned it and he did it.
He didn't complain. He didn't say no, he didn't whine about it. He just said, I need to learn how to make a music video. Cool. I'm going to make a music video. So if you want to check that one out, it's at band, I've got rocks slash 84 and I love to say this code. I don't know who said it, but the day you stop learning is the day you start dying. And if you truly want to run your band is a business, you have to do it in a business.
You are out there and yeah, other people will support you and you can talk with people, but you have to have a certain capability to use google and figure things out because unless you pay somebody else to do all that stuff in which case you're not going to earn much. If anything, you have to figure stuff out, I'd like to hear from you, David about when you work with artists, how much do they know coming into the studio? How much do you have to coach them on being an artist in the studio because they didn't learn their stuff outside?
A lot? Actually, it's a fine balance. You obviously don't want to try and beat out what their natural spark is. But there's a lot of just saying, yo dude, you got to just own what you're playing, I don't care if you mess up, we can do another take, but if you mess up, I want you to mess up loud, because then you're going to have the confidence, it's gonna sound like you're confident, and if you're just playing timidly because you're afraid that you're not gonna sound right, that's going to translate and you're not going to connect with people, like, so what if you hit a wrong note, I hit wrong notes in the studio all the time.
I'm actually a mediocre guitar player, but I will play with confidence, whatever I'm playing, and I think it's the same thing with content or whatever you're doing, you just kinda have to own it. If it doesn't work, you can adjust. Maybe this is me preaching to my own insecurities again. But like, I think oftentimes we're afraid of commitment where it's like, you feel like, oh, well I have to figure out everything before I dive into it and there's a baseline knowledge you need in order to be able to do anything.
But worrying too much about having it all put together before you even attempt to put things out in the world. Guess what? The first iphone wasn't perfect. There weren't wallpapers, there wasn't a front facing camera and they iterated once they figured out what people wanted, there weren't even apps on the first iphone. So in the same way, you just gotta like own what you're doing, figure out if it's working, what's not working, get feedback and then adjust from there, but nothing's going to happen if you're just sitting around all day thinking about what you might do James, You had a story about live streams.
Yeah, A close friend of mine, his band, wanted to do live streams and they hit me up around last august for advice on gear, and I followed up every couple months with them and finally around, I want to say was december, they bought the gear and now it's june 21st this episodes coming out on july 20th and they have not done a single livestream with that gear, I'm sure there are other circumstances going on, but they've been putting out videos. So come on, live streams are the way to go.
Like if you're going to do something, if you say you want to do live streams and you buy the gear, do live streams now, it's almost a little too late. I don't think live streams are going away, but they're not going to be as popular as they were. You have to jump on it. And it's the same thing with last episode with Adam Loki number 85 I think I've now shouted every episode in the eighties, but 85 if you go to band, I've got rocks slash 85 you can listen to that.
They have released a cover of WAP last year and they are self described as Cavemen, Math Corps, but basically what they said is like, hey, this song came out, it's become a meme, it's gone viral. We only have so much time before somebody does a punk goes pop cover, so we're just going to do this and they knocked it out in a week. Their drummer is an engineer, so they were lucky to have an engineer that they could do it even during the pandemic, safely recorded it, shot a music video, released it and it went really well for them within a week.
That's amazing. And I think they didn't release it within a week, but everything was finished within a week. And then they worked on the release process. So many artists would spend a year writing and recording a song. It's like push yourself a little bit, get out of your comfort zone, know when to say this is as finished as it's ever going to be done is better than perfect. Yes, absolutely. I'm preaching to myself. I am the worst at this. Oh, trust me, David, You know, firsthand and this goes for the listeners.
I want you to hear this. Last week. Dave and I were on a call and we were chatting about, I don't even know what. And then we got onto website speed and we tried to improve the band. I've site speed. I noticed something after I did this and I was like, oh, well, let me fix this. And I spent like, 10 minutes trying to fix this instead of talking to David in the middle of our meeting. I was like, no, I I got to stop this. We're in a meeting right now.
I mean, it's okay. You were probably judging me so hard. I'm judging your page builder for sure. Now we're both wordpress fanboys. So yeah, we're nerds. But the point is, I've spent way too much time myself tweaking my website when it doesn't anything matter. I mean, it does. But like, at the end of the day, having a website that's pretty good, is better than having a perfect website because you're never going to get there. Yeah, absolutely. And if you don't know where to get started with a website, just shoot me an email.
James Bandhive got rocks and we can talk about what you need. But that's off topic or reach out to me as well. I'm more than happy to talk about website stuff. I think you're more of a website nerd than I am. So that's probably the better option. What email should they hit up? David at Evergreen Records. Also, I have been working on a little course talking about what you need on a website as well. Oh, perfect. You'll be linked in the show notes at band I've got rocks slash 86 that all said, just do it.
Just build a website like every band. You have a website. So just do it websites, being on social media, posting content, releasing music, all of that stuff. Just do it. David, what is the biggest thing in your opinion that you see artists not just doing? Is there one overarching topic that bands need to do? But shy away from. There's so many, so many bands just suck it. Getting shows. Stop worrying about having your band together. Stop worrying about it being the perfect show. Stop worrying about I don't want to play this show because no one is going to be there.
I'm gonna be playing to an empty room. So what are you getting to play music? Are you getting free food and drinks? Are you getting your reps in? That's great. Yeah. What a good way to put it. And again, to tie this into how we learned this from Covid. It's from seeing all the artists who didn't spend time learning new things, trying new things and then reviewing what they did. This goes back to the last point in this of just do it is learn execute review once you've learned it and you've done it, look back and see how it went and decide if it's something you should do again or if maybe it's not the best idea and either you should not do that again or you should have somebody else do that for you.
I will say there is no substitute for a professional shot music video. I will say there's also no substitute for a professionally mixed album, but if you're needing to know how to put those things out as content, just freaking do it. For instance that cover of WAP, that's not something that needs to have a ton of budget put behind it. That's mostly for the laws of the moment for the meme that's not going to be your magnum opus at least I hope not. Alien ant farm. Yeah, Yeah, I mean alien ant farm's magnum opus is smooth criminal and I mean that's a stellar song done by Michael Jackson, but they actually made it better in my opinion.
They did an amazing job with that but I don't think they're too happy about the fact that it's their most popular song. Like I think they would have wanted one of their own songs to be their biggest hit. But ah well such is life. So I think we're going to kind of start to wrap this up here but just to reiterate the first three things that we learned from Covid were diversify your income streams. Don't rely on just live shows or just whatever like have multiple income streams.
So if something goes wrong with one of them, the other income streams will still be bringing in money for you. The second is content creation. And that's just basically make a content that doesn't suck. Make it consistently and reliably and have some behind the scenes content for your true fans and you're super fans because that's what they're looking for. And then the third thing is just do it. You had a year and a half without shows to learn something new, execute it and then review the results.
If you haven't done that, you messed up. But it's not too late to start doing that. So just do it. David any final thoughts to add before we wrap this up and send folks over to part Two on music business mindset. Yeah. I mean, I think these are all things that have always been true for bands. It's just a lot of these things were really reinforced through Covid and I think we're going to see them amplified in the post Covid world. Like I said, I think even if we're starting to see shows again and you're thinking, oh yeah, everything's back to normal.
We can just go back to exactly how it was before. No, that's not how it's gonna work. Even just in the microcosm of shows, a lot of venues are closed now because they just couldn't survive and it's going to take awhile to kind of get back to equilibrium in terms of the whole venue industry. So don't just be able to like say, oh yeah, well, I'm glad that shit show is over of Covid and then just expected to all get back to normal. Yeah, absolutely. And to refer back to Adam lucchese episode again, number 85.
One of the things we discussed there is, he's a booking agent and he's talking about booking tours for artists now. and obviously venues have changed. But another thing is that a lot of big tours are getting announced much closer to the current time than they normally would be, because artists are saying, hey, it's opening up, lets book something now because the venues don't have anything else. So there's a lot of conflicts in the genre and that is the thing that's happening to, so it's changing so much that you can't even necessarily rely on the crowd that you would have had in a city being there because you might be a month out from the show and some other bigger artists in your genre, announced the show for the same night, and all of a sudden all your fans are going to go there instead.
That's the thing that's happening and that's difficult to deal with. Anyway, I think at this point we really do have to wrap this up, but it's been a blast doing this episode. I'm looking forward to recording Part two. So David, if you want to remind folks where Part two can be found. Yeah, so it's going to be on the music business mindset feed, You can find that in apple podcast and Spotify, just looking for music business mindset, you'll see the nice green background in my face on there on the cover link is going to be in the show notes, where you can also go to evergreen Records dot com slash podcast and that will give you a link awesome.
Well, David thanks so much for doing this collaboration. It's a pleasure to have you here as a guest co host and I hope you have an awesome rest of your day, dude. You too? I'm so glad that we finally got to be able to do something together. Yeah, absolutely. This has been great. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thank you so much for each and every one of you tuning in and listening and of course thank you so much to David Ryan Olson of Evergreen Records and the music business mindset podcast for being a guest co host on the show today.
Just wanted to remind you that the episode I am guest co hosting on David's show. It's already out there. Go listen, go subscribe. It's a great podcast. I listen to it myself and I highly recommend it in the episode we touched on talking about community and that is something we're going to be talking about in the music business mindset episode. It's so important for every artist to have their little home base where their fans can connect and build relationships with each other and have that real attachment to the music to the fandom of that band.
And speaking of community, we believe that bans as businesses are stronger together when we help each other. So that is why we have the Bandhive Community. It's on facebook, it's free. All you have to do to join is go to Bandhive dot rocks slash group or search for banned Hive. That's B A N D H I V E in facebook and join our group. And while you're there, you can give the page, like and follow as well. But the main thing is please feel free to join that group, get some advice from other artists, share your knowledge, or just be somebody who sits back and learns from others by watching the discussions.
We would love to see you there again. That's banned Hive dot rocks slash group. Or you can find it by searching for Bandhive on facebook. We'll be back with another new episode, next Tuesday at six a.m. Eastern. Until then, I hope you have an awesome week. Stay safe. And of course, as always, keep rockin.
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