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Oedo 808

Bio, Photos, Influences

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Why are many of the new bands on here missing these things out?

I'm all for letting the music 'speak for itself' or doing something besides the obvious in terms of marketing but I'm growing tired of bands just sticking a track or two online, listing a genre (which is often meaningless without reference points) and expecting me to do all the work.

You should be doing everything you can to hook an audience and grab the attention of your most likely fan base. I appreciate that getting photos might be a logistical issue, but it's hardly an impossible task - certainly less complicated than recording music. Everyone knows someone that has a camera. Get creative.

Also, three or four sentences about your band and a list of 4 or 5 musical influences does a lot to ingratiate yourself to your audience and increase everyone's understanding of what you're all about.

Sort it out.

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Why are many of the new bands on here missing these things out?

I'm all for letting the music 'speak for itself' or doing something besides the obvious in terms of marketing but I'm growing tired of bands just sticking a track or two online, listing a genre (which is often meaningless without reference points) and expecting me to do all the work.

You should be doing everything you can to hook an audience and grab the attention of your most likely fan base. I appreciate that getting photos might be a logistical issue, but it's hardly an impossible task - certainly less complicated than recording music. Everyone knows someone that has a camera. Get creative.

Also, three or four sentences about your band and a list of 4 or 5 musical influences does a lot to ingratiate yourself to your audience and increase everyone's understanding of what you're all about.

Sort it out.

I think generally speaking most bands have this angle covered on whatever social networking sites they use. Most will have a wee blurb about what they're about of the band members, some gig and posed photos and a list of what bands float their boat. Nobody wants to read a novel about X band members fascination with belly button fluff. I don't want to spend 20 minutes reading absolute shite when i could take in a paragraph of information and while i decide whether i like the music or not from teh two or three tracks they have online.

I can link you to a fair few local ones who cover this if you want?

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Why are many of the new bands on here missing these things out?

I'm all for letting the music 'speak for itself' or doing something besides the obvious in terms of marketing but I'm growing tired of bands just sticking a track or two online, listing a genre (which is often meaningless without reference points) and expecting me to do all the work.

You should be doing everything you can to hook an audience and grab the attention of your most likely fan base. I appreciate that getting photos might be a logistical issue, but it's hardly an impossible task - certainly less complicated than recording music. Everyone knows someone that has a camera. Get creative.

Also, three or four sentences about your band and a list of 4 or 5 musical influences does a lot to ingratiate yourself to your audience and increase everyone's understanding of what you're all about.

Sort it out.

I don't really give a toss about any of the enlarged things. I also enlarged audience twice. My band makes a racket, and if people dig it, then fine. if they don't, then diddums. I don't see how a list of bands we all like makes the slightest bit of difference. Everyone knows Jan likes the Smashing Pumpkins and hates rock music. Isn't that enough?

Photographs are probably my least favourite thing about music. Promo shots where you're all stood around, trying to look nonchalant and urban? Awful. I don't do guitar jumps either, so a live snap of me will just have me looking at the floor. I am 1000% certain that wouldn't increase the amount of people listening to our stuff, or benefit it in any way.

I do reviews for a webzine. The ones that send me those pissawful 'press-packs' with back-slapping third person blurbs, which are clearly written by the band themselves, tend to get a bad review from me, because I don't like them before I've even heard them. Those blurbs tend to be awful, describing their own band as "a breath of fresh air" or some shite. Fuck off.

To summarise, I am on the other side of the fence. Bands should just shut up and play.

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No offence bob but it this kind of feels like you just wanted a good old moan about something and this was the result.

A lot of the time folk play music just for the fun playing of itself. My other band have a few tracks up on YouTube with very little info for people to read other than the track name and that we're an Aberdeen band. We're not recording these tracks to become famous musicians or get big on the local scene. We play because not only is it great fun, stress relief and practice but it's our Saturday night out pretty much. We play for 4-6 hours, have some beers, food and a laugh and go home.

So sorry if I didn't put my starsign, favourite food and album up with the track but having it there to let people have a quick listen wherever I am fullfills it's purpose.

I can see your point if you mean bands that are trying to make a name for themselves but I find that most folk don't bother reading more than a few lines anyway. "influences" is pretty much all I'd need to see to know if it's going to be my kind of thing.

There's my 2 cents.

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I think generally speaking most bands have this angle covered on whatever social networking sites they use.

All too often they don't, but if they do then great... if that's the link provided. If not, it's no use.

<snip>

I find it odd that you highlighted what I'd said and still managed to argue against a bunch of stuff I didn't. Bio, pictures, influences. Include them. It's a courtesy to the people you're asking to have a listen. Just because there are bad bios and band photos out there is not an argument against including them altogether.

Also, you can't come away with this "I don't give a toss about an audience" attitude and then put your music online and ask for opinions because your actions are betraying your words. Got stuff online have you?

The ones that send me those pissawful 'press-packs' with back-slapping third person blurbs, which are clearly written by the band themselves, tend to get a bad review from me

Ah, so a shitty back slapping bio tells you something useful about the band huh? I'm glad you've come round to my way of thinking without realising it.

A lot of the time folk play music just for the fun playing of itself.

Wonderful. But at the point you decide to start inflicting your fun on the general public the game changes and I expect you to put the appropriate effort in.

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Disagree fully here. Everything i put online, i like to hear peoples opinions and it's great if people like it, but if they don't then i really don't care.

You're confusing two separate things. You see, when you ask for an opinion you implicitly imply that you care. Otherwise, what's the point in asking? Once someone has given their opinion your emotional response (or lack of) is another matter entirely. Let's try that quote again with running commentary.

Disagree fully here. Everything i put online, i like to hear peoples opinions and it's great if people like it [wait, I thought you were the guy that didn't care about people's opinions? What happened to that guy?] but if they don't then i really don't care [There he is!]

You see? You don't even realise you're doing it. It's fine to say you don't care after the fact but at the point of asking you admitted yourself that one outcome is preferable to the other. I'm not going to deal with the rest of your post in too much detail because I didn't find it realistic. Never made up with anyone after a fight?

Next.

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If a band cites loads of influences, I'll concentrate too hard on trying to figure out how they're influenced by X band, if ya get me.

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Wonderful. But at the point you decide to start inflicting your fun on the general public the game changes and I expect you to put the appropriate effort in.

I'm not "inflicting" it on anyone. That's a poor choice of words. I don't force anyone to listen to it, I don't post links to it all over the shop.

In example, I met this guy at a friends house the other day who was interested to hear it as he does a little recording/production. It was really easy just to go to YouTube and play a track for him.

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Most modern biographies / photographs are woefully pretentious these days anyway.

Perhaps true, but I remember you being the guy who came on these forums only recently saying you didn't know how to "make yourself known" in order to get yourself gigs and get your name out there. Are you now telling me that including a bio, photos and influences as part of your online presence wouldn't be useful? I'm not sure what point you're making, but if you are making one I'd assume you wouldn't want to immediately discount an idea on a subject you had little knowledge about.

I'm not "inflicting" it on anyone. That's a poor choice of words. I don't force anyone to listen to it, I don't post links to it all over the shop.

In example, I met this guy at a friends house the other day who was interested to hear it as he does a little recording/production. It was really easy just to go to YouTube and play a track for him.

To clear things up, I was talking in general terms. I wasn't meaning your music was inflicted. Also, someone actively asking to hear a song is different to you asking them, but if you're making the approach further details are a helpful courtesy.

Anyway, I'm off to a gig now. Laters.

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Certainly with type of music we play, photos are pointless.

The "let's look badass" or "mean and moody" is ridiculous, it just doesn't work. Metal band photos are cringeworthy.

Bio... I would send it with a cd if it was to a record company or if we had a record deal.

Influences.. We name some.

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My band put stuff online to make it available for anyone who likes it. If they don't, then whatever. I don't care either or, and I haven't been bumping it over and over to continue to get opinions. It's just there, and I've let the potential listeners know that if they like it, I can send them a CD. It's good if people dig it and want to own it on CD, but it's certainly not the reason I play in a band, and it doesn't mean I give a shit about target audiences and marketing, as if the hideous racket we make is some sort of well thought out fucking business model. It isn't. I'd still keep doing it if people didn't like it, because I do.

It also helps to get gigs, since we can't get gigs on the reputation of having Teabags in the band forever. But what's the point in arguing when you are being needlessly patronising to every response you get? I don't understand what exactly you were trying to achieve.

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To clear things up, I was talking in general terms. I wasn't meaning your music was inflicted.

"Sort it out." Which bands were you making specific reference to then?

To be honest, I prefer bands that are a bit more modest, if you will. Local bands that have a bunch of photos where they're all looking in different directions (or in my case, always touching my face/head) and an in depth biography seem to be getting ahead of themselves. You gain a reputation by making good music and playing good gigs; the image - which I will concede is important, more often than not, if you want to have success commercially - can come later. I'd prefer it if bands didn't have to have an "image" but thats not the way it works any more, unless your music is special.

In terms of genres and influences: I don't see why a short list of bands that have influenced you and saying that you are a "rock" band doesn't give a big enough impression of what you sound like.

What is your band "about"?

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Bob, surely you realise that a band having none of the aforementioned on their website - or whatever - is as much a statement as it would if they had reams of boring 'next big thing' tripe and vogue photographs. Although I'm sure you do, and are just in a shit stirring kinda mood.

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Its up to individual bands what they want to put up so im not going to argue it with any one, but I have to admit Robert knights got his psychology spot on.

Really just comes down to one question, would you prefer to play to a full venue rather then an empty one?

There are only two answers to that question yes or no, and if you say yes you do care what people think, even if just a little.

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The "influences" section always makes me cringe. It always turns into a list of everyone's favourite bands. Just because you listen to folk music, it doesn't make you a folk band. I see Bob Dylan listed so often under "influences", without there being any remote influence on the music beyond it having singing and a guitar.

It very often turns into a name-dropping section.

Even worse is when you see, for example, an indie band and they list about 20 bands that sound exactly the same:

INFLUENCES: The Kooks, Hard Fi, Pigeon Detectives, Oasis, The Beatles, Ocean Colour Scene bla bla bla bla bla bla Bob Dylan.

We get it! You like shit indie bands and Dylan.

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The "influences" section always makes me cringe. It always turns into a list of everyone's favourite bands. Just because you listen to folk music, it doesn't make you a folk band. I see Bob Dylan listed so often under "influences", without there being any remote influence on the music beyond it having singing and a guitar.

It very often turns into a name-dropping section.

Even worse is when you see, for example, an indie band and they list about 20 bands that sound exactly the same:

INFLUENCES: The Kooks, Hard Fi, Pigeon Detectives, Oasis, The Beatles, Ocean Colour Scene bla bla bla bla bla bla Bob Dylan.

We get it! You like shit indie bands and Dylan.

Absolutely. Stating influences is pointless (especially these days when you can have a band's song starting to play in the same time that it'd take to read such a list) and distracting.

Pre-Internet, sure - all of the above is helpful when you're not able to hear the act in question without catching them on the radio (if they even get airplay) or buying one of their releases. It's ridiculously easy to hear a band - both legally and illegally - today.

I can see the point of photographs (not neccessarily of the band...) or artwork when 'pushing' your music - a question mark as an avatar on Soundcloud, Last.fm, etc just looks stupid, for example. Journalists are inevitably going to want them as well, to make their articles look pretty.

As for bios, the only thing I think they're really relevant for, is again, for journalists. If they've got a list of facts then it means fewer inaccuracies, and less of an excuse to ask mundane questions in interviews (the 'point' of an interview is another argument, I guess).

At the end of the day, a band can do whatever the hell they want to, but it'd be a shame to think that they'd be spending a significant amount of time partaking in the above based on thinking they HAVE to.

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Bob, surely you realise that a band having none of the aforementioned on their website - or whatever - is as much a statement as it would if they had reams of boring 'next big thing' tripe and vogue photographs.

Which is precisely why when I mentioned the term marketing it was in direct reference to bands who might miss out a bio, photos and influences rather than bands who include it.

Stating influences is pointless

No. Just because you can't see the point doesn't mean it's pointless. A bio, photos and influences helps to contextualise, increase meaning and broaden understanding. Arguing against them is to say more ignorance is a good thing. Broadly speaking it is not.

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Haven't read the whole thread therefore I feel perfectly entitled to just wade in with my opinion.

Sometimes its nice to know a bit of background to a band. It can even enhance my enjoyment. For example, I'm listening to some stirring ebow-full post rock, its gonna blow my mind even more if I know it was recorded next to a volcanic geyser by icelandic teenagers with names containing no vowels and was inspired by the ten months of pitch darkness they endure every year.

Influences are good too because I'm lazy and like stealing other people's tastes.

Inversely, it can be equally as interesting if I know nothing about a particular band. Not even what the cd cover looks like. Mystery is good.

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INFLUENCES: The Kooks, Hard Fi, Pigeon Detectives, Oasis, The Beatles, Ocean Colour Scene bla bla bla bla bla bla Bob Dylan.

We get it! You like shit indie bands and Dylan.

The Beatles are a shit indie band? ?(

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Which is precisely why when I mentioned the term marketing it was in direct reference to bands who might miss out a bio, photos and influences rather than bands who include it.

No. Just because you can't see the point doesn't mean it's pointless. A bio, photos and influences helps to contextualise, increase meaning and broaden understanding. Arguing against them is to say more ignorance is a good thing. Broadly speaking it is not.

Could you explain to me how stating influences increases meaning and broaden understanding? I'd hardly call not knowing a band/act's influences being ignorant. When you're listening to their own output it's completely irrelevant.

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