10 Ways to Make It as a New Band (By Samuel Riley)

In the year 2017, with the plethora of material available on music-sharing sites like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Songthrong, Artmart, Cutcabin, Trackshack, and Tidal, it can be tough for fresh, upstarting bands and artists to find a way to garner attention and develop an insufferable, hipper-than-thou fanbase. Historically, musicians faced with this dilemma have taken to pretending they’re actually U2, or in many more examples, developing their live shows into a memorable and/or dangerous experience. But long gone are the days when one could simply piss, shit, and bleed on their audience like acclaimed adult contemporary artist GG Allin. This is a new age, which calls for new ideas! So here are 8 easy ways to carve out a distinct identity and garner attraction for you new, uninspired musicians out there:

  • String your guitars with Bigfoot hairs
    • The mighty Sasquatch has been rumored to exist in the wilderness for decades but has yet to be found. Killing it and using its luscious, untamed hair to string your instruments would certainly get the blogs repeating your name. Bonus points for using his bones in lieu of drumsticks!
  • Tear up copies of Tony Robbins books
    • Claim the self-help guru to be a false prophet in the eyes of the Sun God and that any tome promoting his blasphemous declarations must be destroyed!
  • Do nightly duets with the exhumed corpse of Susan B. Anthony
    • Feminists make up a large section of today’s target audience and no figure receives more adulation from feminists than Sweet Susie B. Reanimating her long-lifeless body and performing songs like “I Got You Babe” or “Promiscuous” a surefire hit!
  • Segregate your audiences according to which character from the Rocky series they most identify with
    • Upon entering the venue, administer mandatory personality tests to your audience determining if they’re Adrians, Paulies, or Clubber Langs, then seat them in the corresponding sections.

While these are all guaranteed performance enhancing strategies, we here at I Am Real and You Are Not realize that getting the mindless sheeple to hear the music and come out to the shows is half the battle. Therefore, here are some promotional tactics that will ensure a desired level of fleeting notoriety:

  • Package your cassette tapes in jars of amber
    • People will think they’ve stumbled upon the lo-fi demos of a shoegaze group formed by dinosaurs. Upon discovering it is humans, they will most likely still listen to the whole tape, as it most likely took them a considerable amount of time to retrieve it.
  • Travel back in time and insert a reference to your EP in Catcher in the Rye
    • J.D. Salinger was nothing if not a tastemaker and if readers found Holden Caulfield saying something like, “Man, I just hate all these posers but not [your band], those guys are super cool and authentic,” then your legacy will be all but set.
  • Hijack a plane
    • There’s no better audience than a captive audience! Hold the passengers hostage and threaten to fly the plane into the ocean unless all the in-flight meals are replaced with poorly-made t-shirts promoting your music.
  • Post flyers for your shows on the faces of the recently deceased
    • The death of a loved one is one of the most devastating events in an individual’s life and those mourning are already looking for something to take their mind off of the loss. Spotting a flyer for your loft set glued to the visage of someone near and dear to them will most likely make a bereaved individual think, “I really miss my father, but this DJ looks pretty sick.”
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