bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003
Good info geoff!
Posted on Oct 19, 2007 05:47 am
SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Contributor Since: Jun 20, 2002
for all of you who are going to or already have a web site or myspace page. so of this is good info. even if a bit harsh.
1. Don't worry about writing a book. One page or even a few paragraphs is fine. In fact, most people don't want to read any more than that.
2. Do emphasize your strong points while minimizing areas where you lack. If you have played gigs with well known bands, be sure to list it. If you haven't played many gigs, don't bother mentioning the fact. Go on to your recording, or your other musical experience. Also, while it's OK to "hype" a little bit, never tell any out-and-out lies or make a boast you might not be able to come through on. It will come back to haunt you, and then you will lose all credibility in the reader's eyes. Not to mention these music people talk to each other...and HOW!
3. Do use your band's letterhead to write it on. (You DO have a logo and letterhead, right?) Be consistent in your entire promo package with the image, logo, etc.
4. Don't say your band's music is "not able to be classified". Aside from the fact that a million other bands say the same thing, the music industry contact reading your bio wants and NEEDS to know who you are comparable to. For instance, if someone recommends a movie to you, you probably need to know if it's a horror flick, a romance or whatever before you decide if you want to see it.
5. Do use humor or slight sarcasm if it fits your band's image. But avoid the temptation to go overboard. A bit of humor can make a low budget press kit seem better. Too much is a loser. Also, some types of bands fit into a niche that is more open to humor. Just make sure what you say will not offend anyone.
6. Don't, repeat, DO NOT say you are the coolest, best, or greatest band around, or anything even remotely close to it. Music Industry people want to decide for themselves if you are good or not. Avoid the flowery adjectives.
7. Do list the band's major musical influences. This goes along with trying to give the person an idea of what you sound like. It can work great to come up with a unique description of your music. For instance, Indiana guitarist Michael Kelsey describes his music as "Progressive, aggressive acoustic music".
8. Unless your band has former members of Aerosmith and Van Halen in it, it's probably not a good idea to do one of those story bios. "John was playing in Joe's band until the singer quit. Then John met Steve, who was playing with the Nobodys. They formed a band called The Losers. When the drummer quit, they changed their name to The New Losers", etc. This is irrelevant and, well, boring. Not to mention it shows your lack of ability to keep a band together. It is OK to use an interesting line or two about how the band got started, or how songs are written. It's also OK to add any interesting facts, like maybe your band donates all proceeds from their song sales to charity.
9. Of course you want to list all your major accomplishments. Any recordings, awards, education, or whatever.
10. A quick concise listing of each member is good. Sometimes you can do fun things with this like a listing of each members' favorite drink, or other non-relevant stuff. But make sure it works. Nobody really cares what your favorite anything is, so it has to be part of a humorous image. If any members have played in well known bands, it's good to mention it here, but don't make a big deal out of it.
11. You may use a different version of your bio depending on who will be receiving it. For instance, a record label and a club booking agent might need different info to decide if you interest them. A record label wants to know you have it all together: music, business, a fan base, songwriting, etc. A club agent is mostly concerned with whether you have a following that will bring paying business to his club.
12. Do make absolutely sure you have your address and phone number (and your e-mail and website URL, if applicable) listed prominently. This goes for all items in your press kit. Name, address, and number on EVERYTHING. (Demo discs included!)
13. Read other bands' bios. Compare and rewrite. Have other people read and comment on what you write. Make sure it is grammatically correct, with no typos. If you really feel yourself lacking in this area, consider hiring someone to write your bio for you. A good bio is part of the press kit that forms the first impression of your band. Don't mess it up.
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