If you’re not constantly receiving spam messages and event invites from friends of friends’ bands, you’re the one sending them. You are annoying and self-important and there are other ways to go about getting attention. Ways that are far less infuriating…ways that people won’t automatically ignore. That’s right, I said it. For every 200 near-strangers you send a Facebook invite to your next bar show, only about three people actually really, truly give a shit. And they’re the sad weirdos who’d be there regardless if you were playing or not because that’s literally all they’re doing with their lives. Eating cheese fries and getting flagged at the bar every night.
I’m not saying that Facebook isn’t a valuable tool for you. But here are some other options you might have better luck with, if you can manage to come across as genuine instead of obnoxious. I can’t be the only one sick of unsolicited messages from near or even total strangers asking me to get on board with shit I have no real reason to care about. (Really though stop messaging strangers about your crowdfunding or your house show. Come on.)
A BLOG: there are so many blogging sites available to you. Or, if you’re more tech and code savvy, you can build your own website and buy a domain name. Blog posts can be as long or as short as they need to be, and you can tag them with keywords that would allow like-minded people to find you and your posts—but also allow people who maybe don’t care as much to not be bombarded with them. Blog about your recording process for you new album, or a tour. Or anything.
TWITTER: I think Twitter is great because it restricts you to just 140 characters, forcing you to get to the fucking point. Tell me what’s going on without a whole life story, I have a short attention span and an extremely low tolerance for bullshit. I’m talking to you, Jimmy, bassist and manager of such and such band who sends me three emails a day and says “LOL” at the end of sentences in what are supposed to be business emails.
INSTAGRAM: a photo-sharing site that also allows people to find you through tagged keywords. Be witty, get noticed. Be interesting. Be whatever. Sometimes having a personal element like a photo allows for a much better connection.
REVIEWS: you can send your music out far and wide WITHOUT a lengthy explanation and in depth analysis, you know. Let your music speak for itself. Maybe ‘the right ears’ haven’t heard your stuff yet because ‘the right eyes’ are sick of having to sift through bullshit beforehand. A short paragraph can be enough, I promise. Get your shit heard. Not read.
GET OFF YOUR ASS: nothing beats the gold old-fashioned human interaction/personal connection of a street team. More so if you do it yourself. My friends in Those Mockingbirds are pros at this; the very first time I ever hung out with Adam, we spent a few hours walking around a mall with their record and some stickers, headphones and a mailing list signup. We met people and spoke to them and made real introductions. A computer screen could never compete with an organically built fanbase. Showing you care makes others care. I feel that this is definitely a worthwhile tool that bands and musicians have unfortunately lost touch with. Bring it back, thank me later.
I hope these help. Personally, I am always looking for contributors and conspirators. Get in touch if you have suggestions, or a subject you feel strongly enough about to co-author this column. www.facebook.com/medioxcore (Ironic. I know.)