yeah, I've learnt that labels don't want to deal with anyone they don't think has a ready made audience. And I jumped in sending out cds of the first album's worth of material I got together aswell... feedback was good and bad(when I actually got any) but it was invaluable in teaching me the way these things work, in that no matter how good you think your own stuff is, no label's going to touch you (except in very rare instances) unless you've got a ready made market waiting for product. Labels like Roil Noise are doing a good job tapping into a vein of unsigned talent with their upcoming RINO compilation and their invitation for everyone to send them their stuff for consideration but a lot of "bigger name" labels wouldn't give you a second thought without that guarantee of sales from an established audience. The main thing at the moment is to get your stuff online... the best thing GD did when we started out as a 2 piece was to get on Soundclick and start getting involved with online communities. There was a lucky break with some early magazine coverage that got more people visiting the site and coming back regularly to grab new material, the same magazine's (UK's Bizarre magazine that ships internationally to a big audience) been very suppportive and since published a cd review even though it wasn't commercially available. It's opened more doors than sending stuff to record labels ever did.
I know Soundclick isn't perfect, but there's a good core of noise/industrial/experimental artists there that support and promote each other, so it's always worthwhile getting involved with people like that, I mean I'll promote and help out anyone whose music I like. I've got a certain amount of notoriety (same goes for folks like RI) and I like to use it to help out other people who haven't had the same lucky breaks I have, it could be helping to spread the word about them online, giving them tip-offs of upcoming projects where people are on the look-out for new music, or even just a remix so that "my audience" (if it's not too bold to call them that) can get an introduction to someone elses music that way. Promotion's always a bitch, but nobody's gonna listen to your stuff unless you push it on them at the beginning, and from there once you've got them hooked you can just work on sreading it out further. If you're doing something good then the audience will come if you let them know what they're looking for. Fanzines, trading circles, anything you can use to get word out about your stuff, you have to do it. I've gone from sending out literally hundreds of cds to now just doing a couple of dozen at a time to the places where its at least been acknowledged that I sent them something.
Its word of mouth not the music that'll get you noticed, and until you get the word of mouth the labels won't be interested. Play live aswell if you can, it's surprising the people that turn up to gigs... Ghoul Detail's getting radio airplay because of someone I met at the last gig we did as GDR experimental/noise outfit.
So 12 months after I started sending out stuff and got it online there's a couple of compilation cd slots in the pipeline, but no record deal and no full album release on the cards. Thing is, I know my stats at soundclick, I see the figures for who's checking out my stuff, I see the download stats, I get the emails off people that like what I'm doing... I know I've got an audience and to me that means more than getting something released on a label, it's a foundation to build on.
I owe more to lady luck than anything else
posted by: Ghoul Detail on 2005-02-20 04:56:26
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