[00:00:00] James: Welcome to episode 177 of the Bandhive Podcast. It is time for another episode of the Bandhive Podcast. My name is James Cross and I help independent artists Tour smart.
[00:00:10] James: This week I'm very excited to welcome back on the show, Robbie Litchfield of Saving Vice. How are you doing today, Robbie?
[00:00:16] Robbie: I'm doing good, James, how are you?
[00:00:17] James: That's fantastic to hear. I am having a great day. It's April Fools. I just heard about how you trolled your band mates I haven't fooled anyone yet, which is kind of disappointing, so I'm gonna get there.
[00:00:28] James: But aside from that great day,
[00:00:30] Robbie: Yeah. You know, every year I'm just like, ah, I'm not really in the mood. I don't really have anything. I'm telling you there's just some sort of like magic that happens on April 1st where I just think of the funniest joke or it just comes to me out of the blue. It's never premeditated I always have fun with it and my band mates fall for it every year and I love it.
[00:00:48] Robbie: It's so
[00:00:49] Robbie: funny.
[00:00:49] James: amazing. Yeah. And I should say this episode is premiering on April 18th. So if you're scratching your head being like, Hey, it's not April Fool's Day, it's cuz we're recording this in advance. But yeah, like [00:01:00] I used to plan out stuff so well, and this is totally sidetracking we'll, we'll get into it later.
[00:01:05] James: But I actually, I pissed off AFIS management once.
[00:01:07] Robbie: Really? What'd you do?
[00:01:08] James: So I used to run an AFI fan site and we actually, we worked closely with management, like took over the official blog page on their website at one point and everything. And before this happened, like a year or two before that, we were already tight with their team, but like weren't working with them directly.
[00:01:25] James: And we always had an April Fool's prank and like their drummer loved it. He's like, oh, you got me, that was a good one, blah, blah, blah. So one year we announced the 100 words tour. Like we made a super sketchy looking website and everything saying they were gonna play, sing the Sorrow in full at like five different venues and it is all fine and dandy until Live 1 0 5, which is like Krock, but for the Bay Area.
[00:01:46] James: Posted an article about it and it got 50,000 views in like two hours. And then her management emailed us and was like, Hey, just saw you shared this, like this isn't true. you might wanna take that down. We're like, yeah, that's our April Fools prank.[00:02:00] And the next email was like, please don't ever do that again.
[00:02:03] Robbie: yeah, my buddy uh, Tom Keely of patient 67. Another great friend in the scene that I think you should, you would love to talk to the DIY stuff. He made a flyer today about BLE Fest. I dunno if you saw that or anything,
[00:02:16] James: I did. That was
[00:02:17] James: amazing.
[00:02:18] Robbie: Yeah. And we were on the flyer with like, architects, motionless and white, bare tooth, et cetera.
[00:02:23] Robbie: And I posted it, I thought it was pretty transparently, like an April Fools joke. And even at the bottom it says like, gotcha. April Fools or whatever. And I still proceeded to get over a dozen people reaching out to me. My father called me uh, shortly before this interview. He's like, yo, you're going to Australia.
[00:02:41] Robbie: Congrats, man. I'm like, dad, it's a freaking joke. Like, like, these people just don't read, man. And it's like, it's just so funny to me.
[00:02:49] James: the funny thing there is you never know what might happen because of that, we were just talking about Troy Mullet, a couple minutes before we started recording last year, he poster a poster for like a five day [00:03:00] tour where it was just gonna be a Britney Spears cover set.
[00:03:03] James: And if you know Troy, you know how funny that would be. But they were all real venues. And two of the venues reached out to him and were actually like, Hey, we wanna make this happen. Can you do this? Like, will you come play here? And I don't think he's booked them yet, but like, he was literally getting offers because of this fake poster.
[00:03:20] James: So sometimes that's just what you need to get attention.
[00:03:23] James: People like the idea and
[00:03:24] James: then they reach out.
[00:03:25] Robbie: so there's one festival that God bless him. It didn't end up happening after all, but last year, I don't know if you you saw this, after the, when we were Young Fest got announced and like, you know, blew up the internet when, on that day, I'm sure everyone in the scene can remember that. Some friends of mine, came together and they made this like meme joke fest when we were hungry Fest with more like younger, hungry, you know, independent artists uh, including us. they started making these memes and stuff and that got residual attraction. And I remember we got an email from, one of the people booking, you know, the TPIs of the fest[00:04:00] saying like, Hey, would you guys like to come and play this out in Vegas?
[00:04:04] Robbie: And I'm like, wait, is this a meme? And they're like, no. And they had all these like, assets going along with it and contracts, like they turned it into a real thing. They saw basically, to your point, they turned a meme into something that was like tangible. And unfortunately, like I said, it didn't end up happening for, whatever reasons that they, publicly announced or whatever.
[00:04:21] Robbie: But, for a while there it was full emotion, you know, and it was a part of that tour that we were gonna go on last fall.
[00:04:27] James: you really never know what opportunities are gonna come just by putting yourself out there, which I think that's something we should talk about too. That's not on an outline, but if we have time, we'll get to that. But before we dive into this, I just wanna shout out that you were on a past episode, which was number 1 39, how to stay positive when a tour crumbles around you saving vice's.
[00:04:48] James: Incredible story. if anyone wants to hear that, check it out at bandi.rocks/ 1 39 and you'll be able to pull that up. We're not gonna talk about that kind of stuff too much today. We're gonna nerd out about more of [00:05:00] the business side of things, but for anybody who hasn't heard that yet and doesn't know saving Vice Robbie, can you just give us a quick rundown of who you and the band are?
[00:05:09] Robbie: Yeah. So saving Vice. I'm the guitarist and founder of the band. And we are a Vermont independent metal Corp band. I founded it back in 2016. we kind of rebranded in 2018, so our official discography starts there. And I mean, that's pretty much it. You know, we, we've just been on a steady rise over the years.
[00:05:29] Robbie: We've been touring the past couple. Obviously ran into some big snags with tour package issues, which I'm happy to talk about a little bit. You know, on this podcast, obviously I wanna nerd into. tour management side of things, but uh, this kind of plays off of that story.
[00:05:44] Robbie: I'll give a little bit of context. So last year probably some of the biggest press that we've ever received as a band came after, what was infamously called the Lil Zan tour Dub by our friends in uh, dropout Kings.
[00:05:57] Robbie: So we had a tour that we were doing with the [00:06:00] rapper, Lil Zan, who I'm sure you guys have all, are all familiar with, for better or worse, dropout Kings and us. we were supposed to go out on this big national tour starting in Texas. We drove down there to kick off the tour.
[00:06:13] Robbie: And uh, I think the day before the actual tour started, he announced that he wasn't doing it. He just dropped off. So us and Out Kings and our agent basically put together a tour, just rebooking the dates and everything like that. I had to redraft up a whole flyer. That's pretty much the TLDR of my last episode on this podcast that I got into in way more detail.
[00:06:34] Robbie: I haven't talked to James since then, and a lot's transpired. But we've noticed some common patterns. So the second thing that happened to us was, we were going out on our own headliner tour last fall for the Dichotomy Tour, for I think it was like um, a little over a month. And that was a really cool, tour.
[00:06:53] Robbie: And right after we announced that back in August, the day after we announced it one of the legs, [00:07:00] I can't remember it was the first or last, leg of the tour, but violent new breed, who we were supposed to go out with, they dropped the day after we announced, which was, really challenging.
[00:07:10] Robbie: We had all the artwork and stuff made up for it, so we had to, again, struggle to rebook some stuff. We also, had some issues on the booking side of things. not on our end, but the person we were working with at the time. So we had some issues with that tour. We ended up sticking the landing and figuring it out, obviously, and making it happen.
[00:07:30] Robbie: But yeah, that was a complete mess of a situation. And then this time around maybe some of you have seen, we were supposed to go out on the Hellbender tour, which was uh, headliner, for vampires everywhere. We were direct support, and we were told. A week ago, two weeks ago, I'm, I'm losing track of time at this point, that they were gonna be dropping to take another touring opportunity.
[00:07:52] Robbie: So my agent and I pretty much scrambled all weekend, tirelessly to salvage these dates. You know, hit up [00:08:00] some friends from other states, try to book something and get this back in order. luckily we were able to announce something just a couple days prior to the recording of this episode. And yeah, I think a lot of people really respected our resiliency.
[00:08:13] Robbie: You know, our agent, I'll, I'll just name him by name because, you know, he deserves the credit, but Wesley ing Grham, a forthright booking. I remember he called me and my band mates last Friday. Yeah, it was a week ago. Okay, so last Friday, this is how crazy it's been. I'm losing track of my days here. He called us and he said, you know, do you guys want to basically, throw in the towel and quit?
[00:08:34] Robbie: Or do you want to like, try, to salvage this? He's like, I'll make phone calls, I just need an answer right now. And my band mates and I just kind of like, you know, we were all in this, you know, emergency video call together, and we were like, let's do it, man. Like, what have we got to lose? We're already prepared, you know what I'm saying?
[00:08:51] Robbie: We ordered all the merch that we were gonna, be selling on run. Have the songs rehearsed, took the time off of work for some of the guys. You And not to mention our fans, like, [00:09:00] we don't wanna let them. At all within our control. See what I mean? So it was one of those things where we're like, let's do it, let's do it.
[00:09:06] Robbie: So, we were networking a ton and it just felt like, that classic high school night before the, project was due, you know, just, working as fast as we possibly could to get this done up and announced and we did on Wednesday, and it got a lot of traction. Maybe some of the folks listening on this have seen.
[00:09:25] Robbie: So yeah, that was pretty much the story up to date.
[00:09:29] James: Yeah. Which is ridiculously impressive that. You've been able to pull that off three times. With all the van stuff and everything that went down on the uh, little Z tour that already was just so much that you
[00:09:42] James: had to overcome for that one
[00:09:44] Robbie: we were joking. We're like, well, this ain't like the first time. Like that meme with James Franco was like first time with like, the noose or whatever, and the plank, you know what I'm talking about. you know, that's literally the situation here where it's just like, we've done this before.
[00:09:56] Robbie: It's deja vu. Like, it's sucks, but like, we're pros at this [00:10:00] now. And like, it's just becoming uh, comical, you know,
[00:10:03] Robbie: at this point.
[00:10:04] James: real. But the good news is that by now, when people are listening to this, you're already a few dates into the end of winter tour. You've got that all going. So you're gonna be, it's either like San Diego or Phoenix is the day that this episode drops online.
[00:10:19] James: if it's San Diego, amazing. I love that city. Live there for quite some time. I hope you guys get to see some sights before you play the show. But you know, Twitter life, you probably won't. Or if it's Phoenix, also a cool place. Just watch out for the giant snakes cuz they literally have giant snakes in the desert out there.
[00:10:34] James: So careful.
[00:10:35] Robbie: Yeah, so like last time we were on a, our tour this last fall I was telling you about earlier, the furthest out west we went was Phoenix. we haven't hit California yet. I'm very excited for that. I know it's really expensive and we're gonna be spending a lot on gas out there, but I'm really excited for those states just on a personal level. But I think one of the funnier things than I, and uh, I think you can probably relate having, toured across the country yourself. so we went on this tour [00:11:00] back in October, right? So it's sort of like that weird month where it's still kinda like got the warm days and the cold nights, you know what I mean?
[00:11:07] Robbie: We were out in uh, Denver, I'll never forget this. We woke up in Denver and it was 31 degrees, so literally freezing. 31 degrees Fahrenheit Mile High City. We all have our jackets on and everything like that. And I believe one or two days later we were playing Phoenix cuz it's like that was part of the routing Phoenix was 110 degrees and we were wearing tank tops and shorts and flip flops and we're like, what the hell is going on?
[00:11:31] Robbie: it was just so crazy to have that sort of like, contrast within a show or two,
[00:11:37] James: Yeah. It's like a two day drive.
[00:11:38] Robbie: yeah, oh you know what? We did play Salt Lake in between. That's a beautiful city too. I really, really like Salt Lake City. Big shout out to them.
[00:11:47] James: Yeah. They have good food too. I've been to multiple pizzerias in Salt Lake City, and they were all
[00:11:52] James: good.
[00:11:52] Robbie: it's hard man. Being broke on tour, you know, it's not like we're exactly selling out arenas and stuff like that, so we have to be like, [00:12:00] pretty, frugal with our, food budget. Cuz as you know, that's one of the biggest expenses you're gonna have on tour next to gas. And it's so hard being in places like Texas and Phoenix and you, you've got all these cool, artisanal type, places to eat and you just want to like dive into the culture.
[00:12:18] Robbie: But it's like, occasionally, you know, you'll get some good catering and the promoter will hook you up with something local, you know, that does happen from time to time, but, For the most part, it's like so tempting. Like I want to eat everywhere and eat all this really good food and I'm a bigger guy myself.
[00:12:33] Robbie: Like, you know what I'm saying? So like, I'm just all about it, man,
[00:12:37] James: Yeah. Well, just one quick San Diego tip before we dive in. In North Park there's a place called Saguaros. They have the best, most authentic burritos, and so I'm vegan, but they don't use large, they don't use butter. So like the rice and beans are vegan and you can get a rice bean, salsa burrito. It used to be four bucks.
[00:12:57] James: When I live there now it's seven 50, but it's like [00:13:00] this big, and that's like all you need for a meal for seven 50.
[00:13:03] Robbie: That's awesome, bro. And in California too?
[00:13:06] James: So don't recall where Brick by Brick is. I can actually just look it up real quick. Brick by Brick, San Diego. This is the most interesting podcast topic ever, by the way. Like, we're looking up where to get food in San Diego and what the actual location of the venue is. All right. So, oh, I've driven by Brick By Brick so many times.
[00:13:28] James: that's probably about a 20 minute drive from Saguaros. Like nothing in San Diego is far, so you can probably even get it door dashed, to be
[00:13:34] James: honest.
[00:13:35] Robbie: we definitely have a, a policy with our van. So like our van gets 10 miles per gallon, which is not good. that's pretty tough to anyone out there. That's a lot of money, especially with,
[00:13:45] James: Is that
[00:13:46] James: 10 with a trailer?
[00:13:47] Robbie: right. Yeah. That's with a full trailer, a full squad, you know, with crew and stuff like that. We're getting about 10 miles per gallon.
[00:13:54] Robbie: Not great. Especially cuz like, again, since the, the Ukraine war kicked off[00:14:00] beginning of last year, gas prices have risen. They've come down a little bit, but they're still like pretty hefty, especially out in California. Right. So, my point is we have to be very strategic with our drives. It has to be on the way. And if we are going out of the way, it's sort of like a, you know, I mean we can literally do the math, like it'll cost us $4 to drive 20 minutes the wrong way and back. You see what I mean? Like, I have this math down in my head, like sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not.
[00:14:26] Robbie: Especially when we're trying to get housing with like friends and stuff like that. Right. after a show. So there's a lot that goes into this and that's why I love these types of podcasts where we can dive in and, cuz no one like knows this stuff unless you've been doing it, you
[00:14:40] Robbie: know?
[00:14:40] James: Yeah. Well let's go ahead and dive in cause we're about 20 minutes into this now and we've
[00:14:44] James: just been nerding out about tour life. So first thing I want to talk about now is especially the fact that you were able to come up with all of this in like five days, the assets you use for marketing your tour, it's so important to have something that's cohesive.
[00:14:59] James: [00:15:00] Cuz people think about the announcement, which in the industry is called the ad break, and they're like, okay cool, you put up a, poster, right? Yeah, you do. But everything from that point all the way through to the execution of the tour, if you're doing it right, has cohesive branding. So that probably means you're gonna use one designer for everything, or at least you're gonna have one designer who makes the initial stuff and sets the color palette for you and then you work with the assets they've given you to make sure that everything from that point forward is identical. So you have different sizes. Maybe you have a different format like you have like, here's the West coast leg of the larger tour. So some of those are really obvious, like the tour poster. But what assets do you like to have for a saving vice tour?
[00:15:42] Robbie: I love this question. Yeah. So for assets, this is something that I've kind of massaged over time and when you go on the road, and, and a lot of the people listening to this, you guys will understand this too, the more you tour, I'm big on answering questions for people without them having to ask me, right?
[00:15:58] Robbie: So giving people more [00:16:00] than they need, but there is a point where it becomes overbearing and it's too much. So you gotta have to find that sweet spot. assets are a great example of this. So basically what James is talking about is like, the poster, like the flyer for the tour. So obviously I'm helping Wes our agent.
[00:16:15] Robbie: Just a reminder, I'm helping Wes out with like, booking a lot of this stuff. I'm hitting up friends and homies, which is a whole separate conversation and strategy in itself. But as far as the assets, you know, I'm also kind of the in-house graphic designer for my band too. Tyler does a lot of my vocalist.
[00:16:30] Robbie: Tyler does a lot of illustrative type stuff, it's great and it's super handy. But I end up doing a lot of like the bigger type stuff. So like our flyer, Evan Middleton, who's actually our content creator on this tour, did the original Hellbender tour assets. But because we were working so quick, he asked all these other clients.
[00:16:48] Robbie: I just wanted to help out the team. That's literally all at once. And I put together these assets myself. with the end of winter tour, there's a couple things that you have to get right, right off the bat. when we [00:17:00] set up a tour, number one, what's the angle here, what's the theme of this tour? Why does it matter? Why should people come out? Right? You have to bake that into your branding. So for us, we don't have any big new a side releases that have been out. You know, we already toured off of our dichotomy EP last fall, so that's already kind of come and gone.
[00:17:19] Robbie: The only like major thing that we had going for us of recent was our five year anniversary of our debut ep, colder Than Dark. So we felt like, okay, this is a really good opportunity to kind of brand that ep, give it another push, and also, play some of the songs off that EP before we finally kind of move forward in our career as musicians put these songs to rest with the exception of maybe Hell Here cuz that's our most famous song, duh.
[00:17:45] Robbie: But, you know, these other songs, you know, black Ice Runs You, we wanted play these songs live and give fans like basically one last chance to hear ‘ So that was sort of the angle we decided upon. Again, we only had like an hour to decide [00:18:00] sort of thing, but this made a lot of sense for us and we rolled with that.
[00:18:04] Robbie: so that was the angle of this tour. So if you look at the ad mat, I used our old logo, the Classic Saving Vice logo. I put that on there, just to, invoke some of that nostalgia, right? So I used that. I used the old fonts, we used the, you mentioned color palettes. I used the old blue.
[00:18:20] Robbie: You know, saving Vice Blue Color Palette, blue's my favorite color, that's why the EP was blue. But, that side of the branding is so important. and then the, The whole background image for that flyer is the artwork without text, obviously, but the artwork for that ep, you know, and I put some texture layers on it, made it look kind of saucy.
[00:18:39] Robbie: So that was sort of like the marketing angle for this. As far as like the creative side goes, again, we didn't really have much time to go deeper than that. For example, the title of your tour is super important, in my opinion, in my humble opinion. I think the title of your tour is important.
[00:18:53] Robbie: And so, Tyler, who does a lot of, like the marketing in our band, obviously, he suggested the end [00:19:00] of Winter tour, which has multiple meanings, right? Because it's like, well, it's literally the end of winter we're entering, this is a spring tour. And also the Colder Than Dark had this winter imagery in it, right?
[00:19:11] Robbie: So it was like a, a metaphor of like putting this EP to a close. And then Wes pointed out to me as we're making the announce me, he's like, you should have called it the End of Wintour I was like, you gotta be joking me. I was like, that is such a good idea. Ugh. Like, as we were posting it, I'm like, why did we not think of that? I was bumming, but yeah, no, it's the end of winter tour. It's the official title, you know, 2023. So yeah, that was the bummer. The last minute. Wes is like, that would've been smart. I'm like, it would've been smart. Where were you this whole time? But it's whatever. It's up in. Adam, we're good. As far as the assets himself, so I actually pulled up the folder.
[00:19:50] Robbie: anyways so this is pretty much the folder that I made in our Google Drive. So we're a Google Drive band. I highly recommend it. There's obviously comparable stuff out there, but we [00:20:00] use Google Drive. I just grew up on it.
[00:20:01] Robbie: It's easy to use. So I created a folder. I called the SV End of Winter tour. That's all I titled it. And basically inside here I've got four folders. I'm, I'll talk about each one. So from left to right, the subfolders are ad mats for promoters. And, and I'll dive into each one when, when I'm done here.
[00:20:19] Robbie: Ad mats for promoters, localized assets to our announcement. And w i p, which stands for Work in Progress. So work in Progress is sort of just like for us. I made this folder restricted so no one can actually open this. But basically it has like logos, QR codes, stuff like that.
[00:20:37] Robbie: That's what's in here. And then as far as the tour announcement. So this is a big one. So inside the tour announcement folder, I have all of our assets for the actual literal announcement. So this is the stuff that went up on Wednesday. So I have the actual flyer itself, I don't know if people can see this or not unless they're on the YouTube version, but, you know, I have the flyer itself, which is, letter size, so that way it's easy to [00:21:00] print out for street team members across the country, whatever.
[00:21:03] Robbie: I have a cover photo for social media. I make sure that I have my own like template so that way it looks good on mobile as well as desktop. As well as Twitter. it's kind of like the balance of all three, right? So I have a cover photo.
[00:21:16] Robbie: I copy this from another band, actually, this idea, but I have a one by one square for Instagram feed, so there's two slides. The first slide is just like the, header sort of thing. You know, you got the ghost killer presents, The ticket link and stuff like that, and the actual like tour package itself.
[00:21:34] Robbie: The second slide is the actual dates, So that way on Instagram, people can kind of slide and everything's legible. You see what I mean? Trying to cram this all in one square image is really hard. So I think this is clean, and I've seen some bands do that before and I love that.
[00:21:48] Robbie: I have a static story that truthfully, I pretty much just use as a thumbnail image for my reel, which I'll get to next, the reel. I try to keep 15 seconds as it looks like. This one's [00:22:00] 16, I make reels for all my tours. They're just animated story, posts.
[00:22:04] Robbie: That's all they are. I know it's hard to like show people stuff and talk about it over audio. But essentially what we're seeing here is, you know, like I said, animated story graphic that I just, I've got a template I made in, in Final Cup Pro, which is my video editing software that I use.
[00:22:20] Robbie: I'm, I, I'm Apple across the board, bro. I'm, I'm on team Apple, you know, I am a slave to the Apple train. So anyways, that is the reel that we used to post. And I have a folder for PSDs for each of these assets except for the video, obviously. But I have a psd, which stands for Photoshop document, I think for anyone wondering.
[00:22:39] Robbie: By the way, yes, Photoshop is industry standard, so anyone listening to this get on Photoshop if you haven't already, it's worth the subscription. Just trust me on that one. So anyways Photoshop files. This is mainly. Someone wants to go in and kind of tweak it or whatever, I like people having what they need, so I don't get, people don't bug me for stuff.
[00:22:58] Robbie: You see what I'm saying? I like, I'd rather them [00:23:00] have it as far as titling I like using acronyms in all caps, I'm really big on that. So my format for naming my files, at least as far as assets go, I have sv which obviously stands for Saving Vice.
[00:23:13] Robbie: I don't think anyone's gonna be confused by that. I've got e o w tour, just for end of winter tour. And then, you know, underscore story underscore one by one, underscore cover, flyer, whatever. And if I have any variance, as you can see, for example on the Instagram one I have in parenthesis, slide one, slide two, So that way it's very clear and you can't mess it up kind of thing. So this is the tour announcement folder. Do you have any questions or anything about that? Or can I move on to the next thing?
[00:23:40] James: I'm good. I'm just soaking this all in,
[00:23:42] Robbie: Oh, steal it. Copy my homework. I want people to copy my homework. Go for it. Alright, next. AMAs for promoters I think makes the most sense for the next one. So in this folder, this subfolder, I've got three versions. And James, you touched on this earlier when you were prefacing this whole conversation.
[00:23:55] Robbie: So I have three subfolders within the ad mats for promoters. so I [00:24:00] have basically have a blank version, right? guys can see the thumbnail here. so this is more so for promoters. just saving vice. And then here are the PSDs if they want it, Then I've got one for Saving Vice in Mier Lake. So Mira Lake are on two dates in Texas, I think Houston, and I think there's one other one they're on. So clearly I've got, you know, saving Vice Mier Lake, whatever. And again, accompanying uh, PSDs there. And the last folder I've got, saving Vice and safe gang triple six.
[00:24:26] Robbie: That's how they pronounce it, by the way. I just learned this recently. again, just them on this flyer, So every promoter on this entire tour has a folder and a bunch of blank AdMass just for them. See what I mean? That they can go and do their thing. And then finally localized assets.
[00:24:42] Robbie: This is more from my team and the tour package, but I'd like to collect the local flyer artwork. I'm trying to see if there's any, you know, we just announced this so we're still kind of in the process. Okay, so here's one example for love drafts in, where is this? Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. So I put the date, 5 [00:25:00] 11, 5 13, whatever.
[00:25:01] Robbie: all the assets. If there's like a real, you know, like a TikTok kind of thing, I'll throw it in here too.
[00:25:06] Robbie: Yeah. And the best part about all this, James, is that all these folders here and this Master SV end of winter tour folder, our agent sends a link out to all the promoters, all the bands, et cetera.
[00:25:20] Robbie: Everyone has access to this folder and it's updated in real time. So if you open this up, you will have the most up-to-date versions of this. No more emails back and forth with file attachments. None of that crap. This is so easy. As long as you don't lose this link, you'll have everything you possibly could need for this tour period.
[00:25:39] Robbie: And if someone needs something extra, if there is that event where someone needs something super custom, they can email me and I'll happily help ‘ 'em out. But that's so rare. I try to give everyone everything they, they need. That's why I include PSDs, right? So they can manipul.
[00:25:54] Robbie: All the different stuff in the flyer, to their liking. If they wanna resize ghost killer for [00:26:00] example, they can go in and do that, and for the people that just want to, go on their phone and slap a quick logo or you want something, that's why I have these blank ab mats that they can use for that.
[00:26:09] Robbie: So that's the media assets for the tour. I think I covered everything,
[00:26:13] Robbie: I, dunno if you have any questions or comments on that.
[00:26:15] James: no questions, but I just want to highlight how useful that is because I've. Work shows where it's like pulling teeth to get assets. shows I promote, I typically just either do a quick and dirty flyer in Canva
, or if it's like a bigger show that I foresee doing well, then I'll go out and hire a designer for it just because it is worth it.
[00:26:35] James: and there's so many talented people even in Vermont, but that I know through my years in the industry, like I wanna support these people who are my friends.
[00:26:43] Robbie: So, just for the record to clarify, I was a freelance graphic designer for years. I did this for about two or three years. I'm now into, audio production. That's pretty much my predominant thing. But this is a skill, a professional skill that I've, worked on for years and I'm all about the [00:27:00] DIY stuff, but I want to.
[00:27:02] Robbie: Stress. What James is saying is really important here. If you can't personally create something that can be presented professionally, you need to have that sort of self-awareness to delegate this out to other people that do do it for a living. And there's tons of great people out there that aren't gonna charge you an arm and a leg, you know what I mean?
[00:27:20] Robbie: You don't need to pay the big top dogs in the industry, but there are people out there that are really good and they're charging very fair rates. It's a great way to support the community. It's a great way to network. And it's gonna make you guys look way more legitimate, So don't cheap out is what I'm saying, unless you can make this look professional yourself,
[00:27:37] James: Yeah, absolutely. and we're talking like in many cases under a hundred bucks for a poster.
[00:27:42] Robbie: I mean, all these crazy
[00:27:43] Robbie: assets I showed you might be a little heftier than that,
[00:27:46] Robbie: but
[00:27:46] Robbie: If you can at least get a P S D then you can manipulate it on your end take their PSD after that a hundred dollars that you mentioned.
[00:27:53] Robbie: They doing all this work, designing it, basically, you rasterized all the text files and stuff like that, and now you can kind of [00:28:00] manipulate and move the elements around, kinda like stems in a mix, right? You guys know about stems, like same kind of thing. You're just doing a remix of it.
[00:28:06] Robbie: you know, obviously talk to your designer about that. Don't go behind their back and there's, you know, kind of etiquette roles at play here. But my point is that like, yeah, this can be a collaborative thing and you guys will have something super legit and dope looking,
[00:28:18] James: Absolutely. just to highlight what you're saying here, before Bandhive was Bandhive, we'd released about 60 episodes under a different name. And then we rebranded. And the original podcast I had done. All of the branding, the logos myself. And I just, I was not happy with 'em. I tried to hire somebody off Fiver and I literally was like, no, I can do better than this in Canva
[00:28:38] James: So I did.
[00:28:39] Robbie: Now, don't use Fiver. I mean, fiver has some great people on it. I don't want to like totally crap on Fiver. I just think it has a time and a place, when it comes to designs and stuff, support your local scene. And there's a lot of musicians out there that you guys might be friends with that are really good illustrators.
[00:28:54] Robbie: Like my vocalist, Tyler's a great example. You know, I'm a graphic designer, but I'm not an illustrator. I can't draw, I can't do that [00:29:00] stuff. So, hiring people in your scene that do that stuff, it's great networking too. You know what I'm saying? And you, and it's going back into the community and the scene.
[00:29:08] Robbie: I can't stress that enough that you, you should be hiring your friends. You know, obviously the products gotta be there. but it's good for more waste than one.
[00:29:14] James: Absolutely. And, a lot of people listening aren't in Vermont, but if you're in Vermont and wanna support people, hit up Tyler, hit up Robbie, cuz you're just across the river. I know a bunch of other people here,
[00:29:24] Robbie: I can't tell you how much it pains me to say I'm a New Yorker now. It, really bothers me. Just for a bit, bit of context, I grew up in southern Vermont my whole life. Shout out to Jamaica, Vermont. and during the pandemic my partner and I bought a house.
[00:29:37] Robbie: The housing market in Vermont was so screwy, but we found the Dream House right over the border of Bennington and Husick Falls, New York. So that's where I live now. That's where I'm doing this podcast out of. I love it here, but it pains me to say I'm a New Yorker, especially cuz it gets so lumped in with like, the city and it's just not me, man.
[00:29:56] Robbie: Like, you know, I'm a Vermonter through and through. Like I,
[00:29:59] Robbie: got
[00:29:59] Robbie: real [00:30:00] syrup in my fridge, just chilling. Like, I'm not even kidding, bro.
[00:30:04] James: yeah, man. It's, I forgive you. It's okay. You're still a Vermonter at heart.
[00:30:08] Robbie: yeah. I, I just tell people I'm a Vermonter until like, you know, I legally am required to say I'm a New Yorker kind of thing.
[00:30:14] James: yeah. So anyway, when we, when we rebranded, I was like, I'm gonna do this, right? And I hired this guy and at first I almost didn't hire him because he works with an agency that does like major corporations. He's done stuff like Coca-Cola and, one of the big tech companies, I can't remember if it's like Nokia or Samsung or somebody like that.
[00:30:31] James: but I got a quote for a logo and a mascot and just like a, general branding color, Palette all that kind of stuff. And it came in at like $180 and I ended up paying him like two 30 or two 40, just because I felt so bad that he was undercharging, but like this, I just got these magnets. That's a design he did.
[00:30:48] James: Like, that's sick. That alone should be 200 bucks, in my opinion, if not more. so he is an illustrator, like you said, but he's also a graphic designer. I don't have anything with a Bandhive logo on it here, but actually if you just [00:31:00] go. The Bandhive website, like the little, the logo,
[00:31:02] James: the circle, the B on it, which I've been informed is
[00:31:05] James: actually a wasp.
[00:31:06] James: that was one of the best investments I've ever made, and that's the same guy who did our mascot and all that stuff. So it, can be totally affordable. it's so worth supporting people, especially supporting your friends, Cuz there's
[00:31:16] James: so many talented people here.
[00:31:18] Robbie: I think what James is trying to say as well is that, you know, this doesn't take away from the independent spirit. You see what I'm saying? All you're doing is just delegating,
[00:31:25] James: somebody was complaining, I've posted a video about that on TikTok today or yesterday where is basically
[00:31:31] James: saying that a lot of artists are stuck in the mindset of, if you don't literally do it yourself with your own two hands, you're not a DIY artist and you're a sellout.
[00:31:41] James: And somebody's like, well, a lot of people just can't afford that. It's like, no, I'm literally talking about the people who say you're stuck in this mindset and there's so much stuff that you can outsource without spending an arm and a leg. You can literally go out there and say, we're gonna make 200 bucks on this show.
[00:31:56] James: Let's set 50 aside to get a proper poster done. [00:32:00] And guess what? You might sell a couple more tickets and you've made up that 50 bucks.
[00:32:03] Robbie: There's two things I wanna comment on about that. Number one, I was that guy in that comment section because for a long time that was what I did. I did everything for my band. You know, I just, like, I made all the memes, I made all the merch stuff, like I wrote the songs, like I was just doing everything and there's a lot of chest beating going on.
[00:32:23] Robbie: And then like, over the years as saving Vice grew into something just so, out of control, you know what I mean? It's like also now I got bills to pay, right? So I have like, basically I'm outgrowing my shoes kind of thing. You see what I'm saying? Or whatever the, the right, the correct version of that saying is.
[00:32:39] Robbie: But like, I had to outsource so all my band members, they have roles in our band that transcend just picking up drumsticks or just, getting on stage and playing. Like that's such a big misconception that these, bands are all just like, oh, it's all about practicing and playing.
[00:32:56] Robbie: It's like, bro, that is like maybe [00:33:00] 1% of what we do. Maybe it's crazy how much we do behind the scenes. Engaging with fans doing accounting, right, doing this asset stuff. We just went over like there's just so much here at play behind the scenes that people just don't see. And they never will.
[00:33:15] Robbie: that's why I like doing podcasts like this cuz we can talk about those things and nerd out and it might go over some people's heads, but I know this podcast is more geared out the musicians and stuff of the scene. And, those are my people. You guys are all my boys.
[00:33:28] Robbie: I love
[00:33:29] James: specifically like we're targeting people who want to take the business side of things seriously, which is a small group of people, but I don't care because that's the group of
[00:33:38] James: people that will resonate with this.
[00:33:40] Robbie: So I wanted to put more like, you know, TikTok content in the world. Obviously, like a lot of you guys listening, cuz TikTok is sort of the name of the game, TikTok and Reels, short format videos.
[00:33:50] Robbie: So I was making, uh, these things called Band Hack episodes. Maybe you guys have seen these, where I was kind of going over like different types of things that I do behind the scenes that no one really talks [00:34:00] about. Like putting stage plots together, right? Organizing assets, some of what I've already talked about here.
[00:34:05] Robbie: What goes into an advancing email, which I would love to talk about here in a second. Stuff like that. but they don't get any views because it's such a niche community. The people that care care a lot, but there's just not a lot of people like that because a lot of musicians out there, they wanna look at the big sexy stuff.
[00:34:21] Robbie: They wanna look about playing big stages and, partying it up and stuff like that, and playing songs and like whatever. They wanna look at the fun side of things, you know? And some people close to me are guilty of this too. And it's one of those things where it's like, yeah, but you can't have any of that if you don't have the fundamentals and like all this other stuff down.
[00:34:39] Robbie: It's kind of like everyone wants to play guitar, but you need bass, bro. Like, you need bass in your mix to make everything pop. you know what I'm saying? And same thing with business, bro. Like you need to have good business fundamental. As a musician, even though it's boring and like doing the tax stuff, right, keeping track of your receipts, the stuff that we've talked about in the past, all this stuff like that is like, it's boring, [00:35:00] you know?
[00:35:00] Robbie: I get it. But it's like it's, you have to do it, man. You know? Cuz you are a business as a band, whether you like it or not. You are a business and by not doing some of these things, you're hurting your growth and you're certainly putting yourself in a lot area of ascension when it comes to the irs,
[00:35:15] James: yeah. Absolutely. And to touch on something really important there end of December or early January, I think on episode 161, we actually spoke with an accountant for artists. And he was telling some horror stories about artists who like made it big and then all of a sudden they literally lost the entire band because they hadn't been paying taxes for like five years.
[00:35:36] James: This was in the uk, but the tax agencies came calling and said, Hey, you owe us this much. And they had to fold. And that band hasn't been active in like three years because of this. So if anyone wants to hear that, I highly, highly, highly recommend it.
[00:35:50] Robbie: I'm not a CPA and I can't give you guys tax advice, like, you know what I'm saying? That's not my place. But I highly recommend to all the musicians out [00:36:00] there, especially if you've guys already have, you know, formed an LLC and, and done that part of the process. You need to hire a cpa. Kind of going back to what we were saying about the delegation, like this is something that you don't want to joke around.
[00:36:12] Robbie: just saying around and find out. Right. This is not one of those situations you want to do that. So, there are entertainment industry specialized people. CPAs are licensed by state, I'm pretty sure. So it's one of those things you gotta ask around and figure out, but it's worth it.
[00:36:27] Robbie: Once you find your, your person, they're gonna help you out, and you're gonna have that peace of mind every, tax season you get your 10 90 nines in order. I don't wanna talk about that in this, interview. I'm just saying that th this is important stuff. It really is. And you get, if you guys haven't been keeping track of this yet, you need to, cuz it will bite you in the, in the ass.
[00:36:45] Robbie: It will at some point. It's only a matter of time,
[00:36:47] James: I think the only thing I want to add there is don't just take the first CPA you find.
[00:36:52] Robbie: Yeah.
[00:36:52] Robbie: Shop around just like a mixed engineer, just like anything else. Ask
[00:36:55] James: there are, some out there who are absolutely clueless. I'm not gonna name names, but [00:37:00] I asked one, like a super basic question and they had no idea what I was talking about. So I
[00:37:04] James: found somebody else literally saying, this is what I need.
[00:37:07] James: And they're
[00:37:07] James: like, oh yeah, I do that all the time. I
[00:37:09] James: got this.
[00:37:10] Robbie: Someone that is already familiar working with entertainers, right. Maybe not necessarily bands, but like comedians, whatever. Lots of different types of performing artists. That's someone that you might wanna pay a little bit of a premium for it because they're gonna understand your needs and what you need to do in your situation.
[00:37:25] Robbie: And that's invaluable. It really is. So guys, go up there and do your research and do that. do we wanna dive into something else though? Cause I'd love to
[00:37:32] Robbie: keep going.
[00:37:33] James: yeah, I think one last question here about the ad mats, which will probably be pretty quick, is how long before announcing a tour do you like to have all your materials? Because I know this one was kind of
[00:37:44] Robbie: Oh man,
[00:37:45] James: but in an ideal
[00:37:47] James: world,
[00:37:48] Robbie: did my agent plant this question with you or something?
[00:37:51] James: no. But
[00:37:52] James: Wes, if you need somebody to plant questions, let me know.
[00:37:54] Robbie: Yeah. So I love Wesley to death. He's a great agent. I love working with him. He's [00:38:00] easily, probably the hardest working or one of the hardest working people we've ever hired, for saving vice.
[00:38:05] Robbie: I can't say enough good things about 'em. I will say though, that it does end up coming down to the wire sometimes with the announcement stuff, which makes sense because it's like, we want to get this out there so people can buy tickets. in this example, when we were told vampires everywhere was dropping, we're three weeks out from our first date.
[00:38:22] Robbie: That's not good. we gotta get this up and down, straight away. So sometimes we don't have that luxury period, me or Wes. And that's what happened in this case. And in an idealistic world. like, let's say we had a, I don't know, like a fall tour. We were gonna announce. I'd like to get everything booked and assets all prepared at least a week or two in advance, minimum, and, you know, sent over to promoters.
[00:38:42] Robbie: There is also the other side of the coin too, just to play devil's advocate, that like if you over prepare, if you send assets to promoters a month in advance of the announcement, they're gonna forget. In this industry, man, I write stuff down. I rarely ever miss, deadlines. For example, James, we had to reschedule [00:39:00] this.
[00:39:00] Robbie: the only reason I hit you up and in the middle of all this chaos is cuz I had it written down that I had an interview with you. Right. because of that, I was able to reschedule and it wasn't a big deal. And we're talking today. that's rare. That doesn't happen in this industry. for the most part.
[00:39:13] Robbie: you know, obviously there's some managers and venues that have their quote unquote together, but that's usually the people that have staff and secretary type stuff, going on in the background. for the most part, from what I've noticed is a lot of promoters, agents, managers, et cetera, especially musicians, they are goldfish bro.
[00:39:32] Robbie: And if they're not writing stuff down, they will forget. And you guys know, you guys know this by now. I'm sure people listening to this, you have to follow up. And it's usually not people leaving you on read it's usually, there's no mouse involved whatsoever. It's just people. You're not at the front of the stove, you're on the second or third, you know, layer of back burner and you have to fight to get your attention.
[00:39:53] Robbie: You see what I'm saying? so there is an argument to be had that hitting up a promoter a day or two in advance of the [00:40:00] announcement just so that they're like, oh shit, I gotta schedule this on, meta business suite and get my post all scheduled up. You know what I mean? Like is an argument to be had there for sure, and I think that's what Wes plays off of.
[00:40:11] Robbie: But I would say ideally, long story short, assets done at least a week or two in advance, all the dates confirmed, Gucci chef's kiss, and then like an actual, like email to, you know, mass email from West to all the, promoters and venues and bands and et cetera. I would say 24 to 48 hours in advance,
[00:40:30] Robbie: upwards of 72 would be pretty healthy.
[00:40:32] Robbie: I think, a little bit of pressure is good, I think is the point, you know, but not like, Hey, we're posting in an hour, not like that level of
[00:40:39] James: you want it to be fresh in people's minds where they're not
[00:40:42] James: gonna say, oh yeah, I can do that later they're gonna say, oh yeah, I should schedule this right now.
[00:40:46] Robbie: the to-do list era is just like not a thing in this industry for most people.
[00:40:50] James: and I think it also comes in, so many creatives have h adhd, like diagnosed adhd, not just throwing this
[00:40:57] James: out there, like the amount of people I know in the [00:41:00] industry who
[00:41:00] James: have diagnosed adhd, like it's huge.
[00:41:04] Robbie: that's why we're good at writing songs. I'm sure there's been psychological studies somewhere that, suggests like there's gotta be a correlation between artists and adhd. I'm sure someone's done that study cuz I have it, and I have medication for it.
[00:41:17] Robbie: But I also, like I said, I write stuff down. Do you know how much ram that freezes in my brain when I have stuff written down listen, if I forget something, if I miss an appointment, miss an interview like this, for example, if I do something like that, it's, cuz I didn't write it down 99% of the time, it's cuz I didn't write it down, I swear I'm looking like an addict on my phone all the time at my, my list in my notes app, And pro tip, by the way, anyone listening, if you do have a to-do list, I've tried everything, bro. I've tried Google Docs, I've tried monday.com. That's a big popular one. And, Todoist
is a good one. What I ended up landing on, earlier prefaced that I'm an apple slave sort of thing.
[00:41:50] Robbie: I use my notes app and the reason I do it is cuz it syncs with all my devices when I'm on my laptop, on tour, on the, you know, on the road. I mean, pending I have wifi right? which is a [00:42:00] whole different thing. It's synced with my phone when I'm in the venue and I'm taking a I have my phone and I can play on my notes app and do stuff there on my desktop right now.
[00:42:09] Robbie: it's just synced everywhere. So I find the Notes app, which is free, it's intuitive and it's on your iPhone, which most of you guys have. And it's one of those things that like, it works for me. It may not work for everybody, but that's what I use personally
[00:42:22] James: Yeah, I think that's like the lowest hanging fruit, and as long as you don't have to share it with somebody who's not on the Apple ecosystem, that's perfect. Like, just use whatever works is the point that
[00:42:31] James: you're making.
[00:42:31] Robbie: I always, end up bullying people. I'm like, you know, I, oh man, I'm so manipulative with my band mates. I'm like, you guys gotta get iPhones, bro. Like, do you know how hard it is to have a group chat for tour and you just see green bubbles and you wanna just throw your face through a wall?
[00:42:46] Robbie: Oh my God. Yeah. It's so real. The green bubble prejudice is very real guys. God forbid they send any type of media,
[00:42:54] James: Oh yeah. It's so
[00:42:56] Robbie: Oh,
[00:42:57] Robbie: through a digital garbage disposal, bro. I'm [00:43:00] telling you. and I know, I know it's Apple. Apple throttles it first shirt Androids are not that bad.
[00:43:05] Robbie: It's apple that's literally compressing the everliving out of it, you know what I mean? Like throwing GST gain reduction on it and everything and just, sorry, I gotta have some, some mixing jokes in here
[00:43:16] Robbie: too while I'm, while I'm at it.
[00:43:18] James: We
[00:43:18] James: won't tell Joey Stir just You're using his name in vain.
[00:43:20] Robbie: No, you probably love it.
[00:43:24] James: All right. That wraps up part one of my conversation with Robbie from Saving Vice. This was such a good conversation with two distinctly different topics that we're actually gonna cut this here and pick it back up next week. So on this episode 1 77, we've been talking about the assets that you need to promote your tour and how you get them, how you send them, what you do with them, all that kind of stuff.
[00:43:48] James: Next week we're gonna be talking about advancing your shows so you don't have any unpleasant surprises when you get to the venue because it's really so incredibly important to know many [00:44:00] things in advance of the show. and this is something that you typically do about a week to two before the show.
[00:44:05] James: So again, that's gonna be next week on episode 178 of the Bandhive Podcast. I hope you'll tune in for that one as well. And aside from that, have a great week. Stay safe, and of course, as always, keep rocking. All right, Robbie, so I'll count two, three, and then on the four, just clap on screen please. We'll do that twice. And then we can get started. 1, 2, 3. 1, 2, 3. Perfect.
[00:44:30] Robbie: What BPM was that?
[00:44:31] James: I have no idea.
[00:44:33] Robbie: I'm just with you. It's Taber Fools Day. I started my day like pranking all my band mates. I called my drummer and I was like, Taurus cancel. He's like, are you serious?
[00:44:41] James: Oh, no.
[00:44:42] Robbie: I was, I was with you. Oh, my guys are on edge too. It makes, it makes it extra funny.
[00:44:46] Robbie: Oh, I, I put in our, we have, so we have a money chat for our band so we just put our expenses in there and my bass player Kenji, and he does like our accounting. And today I was just like, oh yeah, I made up some arbitrary numbers, like a couple hundred bucks, like, show [00:45:00] clothes for tour, band card, whatever.
[00:45:01] Robbie: Just super like casual poker face. And he's like, are you serious? And I'm like, dude, it's a band expense. And I was just getting him riled up. I was like, it's April Fools Day, you asshole. He's like, you. He's like, he's like, you're a