If a music engineer is only as successful as the artist he records, how can the engineer help the artist promote their music

I was recently emailed a questionnaire from a young engineer, I decided I should post my answers to his questions.

Here it is….

I’d love to help out. FIrst thing to remember is that a engineer/producer will always go on to make other records, much like doing any other job. Whereas a artist, may only have the one chance.
Other then audio engineering and Mixing how else have you helped a band get there name out to the public?

I’m continually posting links to bands pages on my facebook/twitter accounts. If a band asks I will give them advice on the music business, own personal experiences etc. As I work for a record label as well, that comes in handy. If asked I will help to create a promo kit, do artwork for the CD. If a band is looking for another band for there CD release party or gig, I generally suggest bands that I have worked with. Sometimes it becomes a “jack of all trades” type of thing. Obviously its all about how much time you have.

-What do you think are the most effective promotional ideas for an artist to get there music out to the public?
The internet is gigantic! which is part of the problem (I like to call it the land of a million bands). I feel with a good social media/marketing strategy a band can really make a few waves. That being said, there’s nothing like having a loyal fan-base and a killer live show to help a band promote themselves. Swag – t-shirts, hats, drop cards, free downloads, etc are helpful means of promoting a band. If you look back on history, especially rock music, bands like Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie have all done really well having a “Schitck” of sorts. Its a marketing thing, just like the rolling stones “kiss” logo, its identifiable as the band. The trick obviously is to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. You don’t have to dress up in tights and make up, but having something that goes along with the music is always a great idea. I’ve heard of bands creating comic books, video games, pseudo names for band members.
Have you ever helped an artist get gigs?
For sure, as I said earlier if a band is looking for an opening act I usually will get them in contact with another band that I’ve worked with. As far as booking shows is concerned I’ve never really got into that full time, its quite a lot of work. Obviously if someone calls me looking for a band for a gig, I’ll pass on the information of an appropriate band… ie wedding – polka band etc.
Have you ever invested your own money into a band?
Yes there have been bands that I’ve invested my own money into. More to the point, I’ve invested my time into some bands, meaning that I wasn’t getting paid for the time that I was in the studio with them. I call these my “shane projects” I tend to do one a year. Its a creative outlet.
Did you find yourself going further for musicians when you first began as an audio engineer?(In the sense of promoting).
I think that I go further now, obviously the internet has changed that a bit, when I first began, it was more word of mouth. ie “yah gotta check out this band” – hands disc over. If any band asks me to promote I will usually help out in any way that I can, provided I have enough time. A good example is, I just finished up a hip hop mixtape for a band, there planning on giving it away for free, so I’ve been all over promoting the download link, etc. Now that I have a better understanding of how the business works, for sure I go a lot further than I used to. When you first start out as an engineer, you do tend to go a little further I suppose, now that I have a better idea of the studio business as a whole, I think that my time promoting is more effective now.
-Other then talent and the stride to go further, what do you think it takes for an artist to get there music well known?
Having great songs will always be the ticket. Along with good social media marketing, killer live show, a possible schtick. One of the most important things that bands need to learn is to treat the music business like a business, it takes some time for people to realize it. From an artist perspective there are a lot of greenies that have idolized notions of how the biz works, as well there are musicians that have no idea that there’s a business that revolves around music, that can be scary thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s