In a recent online discussion with a new music consultant called Hagop, we discussed the best ways for new bands to get in touch with mp3 bloggers like me.
My first piece of advice was “tape bottle of gin to promo LP sleeve”, but this, and “include naked photos” was removed from the final broadcast, the editing of which made us both sound like intelligent, rational human beings. I know the truth.
Where was I? Oh yes – the point we stumbled up on was that of the emails sent to request a listen of their songs, those which read like the following, against all the odds, often pointed towards the best bands:
from: The Band’s Drummer
date: 11 July 2010 01:02
subject: My band, yeah?
Check us out: www.myspace.com/mygenericband
And so it was that when The Spills got in touch, their email template was virtually identical to the one above. This simple act rattled me with the zesty zing of anticipatory thrills, and thankfully these were not misplaced.
There are a thousand bands born every year that sound a bit like The Spills, but very few that elevate these bands above the average, the mediocre or away from well-trodden rock roads.
A Botched Goodbye does nothing drastically different to the bands that became The Spills’ starting points – Pavement, happily, being one – and yet novelty lurks.
The hardest decisions a band needs to make are the ones that consciously move them away from bands that have been there before them. A lot of bands don’t make them at all, end up sounding just like the rest, and their hard work gets lost in a generic rock fog.
The Spills sound familiar and different. This means that any seasoned rock fan will slip in and settle comfortably with their songs, and yet there are enough rough edges, unexpected quirks and sonic curve-balls to bring a smile to those ears tainted by cynicism.
Good rock is hard to get right. The Spills can do it.
Photography by Daniel Easton
The Spills new EP ‘Smoke Signals’, featuring the song ‘A Botched Goodbye’, is available to pre-order now on Philophobia Music by clicking here.
When you purchase the record you get the tracks instantly via download while you wait for your cd to arrive.
Interesting thoughts on email template. For me, that’s too simplistic – I like to read a bit more about the band’s music (things like influences) before potentially wasting five minutes listening to 2/3 tracks.
Horses for courses, Saam, I suppose. I just want to hear the songs and make my mind up that way, but your reasoning is just as valid.
If I’m being totally honest, I hardly ever listen to 2 or 3 songs, and on the rare occasions I listen to more than 20 seconds of a song, it probably means I’ll write about them later.
It all comes back to the only advice I ever give to bands when (if!) asked:
songs = 99%, PR/Photos/Email promos/everything else = 1%. So work hard on the songs and everything else will follow.