Re: Why do rock acts still rely on labels ?
Date: November 02, 2006 04:55AM
Its hard to answer Laurent's question without sounding bitter. We're actually loving it, but the below details are simply the truth as we, an unsigned UK band find it, trying to progress.
A call from Mr Sony would be nice, but as discussed here recently, unsigned, original, indepentent, self-managed, self-financed UK melodic rockers Tara's Secret formed a small business, took an overdraught and recorded 12 songs to a high level production-wise with Mad Hat Studios who worked their butts off to get us through the whole process in 8 days. The result being "Tomorrow The World" - see the PJS review in Fireworks this month and Rob Evans AOR Underground feature in Powerplay.
Of course we've written to some labels but whilst we see projects and old bands being signed and releasing material left right and centre, it didn't happen for us so we did it ourselves. 2 labels said great, love it, we'll be back, but they weren't
So that was July 2006 and here we are in late October, the reviews have been constistently amazing - Fireworks, Powerplay (2 reviews), Strutter, AOR Heaven, AOR DreamZones (2 reviews), ModernHardRockToday, Metalliville, Loud 1, Hardsounds, AngelDevil (ooohh !) - also from Woody & Jack from this noticeboard !!
The album "Tomorrow The World" is now available across Europe with AOR Heaven and in the USA with NEH Records - no contracts, they simply picked up on the super reviews we'd generated, saw the potential and went for it. We're now getting exciting feedback from some USA rock radio channels - this week we were voted No 1, 2 & 3 by listeners on one channel chart in Texas !! and ARFM have been really great to us too - thanks Steve & Paul.
Strangely, stood in the Firefest queue, the British couples both in front and behind me had never heard of ARFM radio - they have now. But it demonstares how remote our music has become.
Gig wise, we're hoping we've generated enough text votes to support Thunder for one show on their November tour (we're up against younger bands who's friends often use text more than they speak - so who knows). Otherwise its whatever gigs we can muster ourselves, we've supported Dante Fox twice, Deadline 3 times, ACT (that cost us) & Y&T. We have to play pub shows mostly because we can usually guarantee travelling expenses from the landlord - Big City pubs won't do that though, which is why we play around the sticks more.
But, yes Laurent, its bloody hard. We can't just expect fans to come running to shows, but when Tony M sneezing generates more comments than the combined total of follow up comments to 4 UK melodic rock bands announcing gigs on this noticeboard, there's something wrong - and we'd kind of hope we're preaching to the converted on this noticeboard. Though I'm sure Tony's sneezes are legendary nonetheless, lol.
Magazines - Fireworks & Powerplay have been great reaching those already in the know, but even though we've been reviewed and submitted by a regular Classic Rock Mag scribe, it didn't get printed because we're not part of some regular income through labels advertising etc. We've no management and promoters (where do we find them ??? who are these people ???) so link-ups to bigger events is rare. Bloodstock takes place in our home town, but getting anywhere with them is like pulling teeth - Who ??? As luck would have it, we were offered Firefest Friday night by Kieran, but we'd got guys working overseas in their dayjobs - AARRGGHHH !!!
Hiring a venue for a show is a nightmare for unsigned original AOR !! The tribute and college age bands have the local fanbases so they get the gigs, no matter how good or bad the show. Its all down to money every time. Only one or two people off this site have seen us live, so if the diehards won't make the trip, then the genre is indeed in trouble. Christ, Gotthard only drew 45 to Dudley, Vaughn dragged along about 20 of their own to Birmingham (the rest were with the local support band). Dante Fox + Tara's Secret brought about 40 to Crewe. No doubt Bi Jovi, Fred Zeplin etc draw 1000+. Blame Matthew Kelly for taking a whole generation backwards.
We can't grow it without you guys. I'm not nagging, so please don't jump down my throat for this, Laurent asked the question and this is an honest answer.
My Space is a new tool we've finally worked out how to use. Over 1200 replies and requests in just 16 days is good going - there's rock fans out there and they are all demanding to know why we're not touring. Publicity, advertising, opportunities, support, time, money - all big reasons why we're not touring - the reviews suggest we're more than capable of putting on blinding shows. You should see the support that tribute band have got on My Space, its scary, no wonder music is going backwards, there are tens of thousands out there who think music stopped in 1993. Unfortunately they aren't keeping the music alive, they're bloody killing it.
On the publcity side, with the greatest repect to Andrew for running this superb site, it would be nice to have a Tara's Secret profile on here ??? Pretty please kind Sir ???? It would give us more of a chance to reach the converted, who are probably fed up of my postings !!
So Laurent, you asked. Tara's Secret for one, are on an upwards path, its slow, its frustrating, but getting an email from Texas saying you're No 1,2, & 3 on their chart generates a feeling that tributes can't buy, seeing Fireworks review us so well, getting messages from rock fans in Sweden, Germany, Spain, Japan, even Uzbekistan makes the spine tingle. We love it !!
Check us out, I'm sure AOR Heaven don't put their money on a donkey !!