December 7th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Playing hard to get
This interview is one of the best things I've heard. One thing I really enjoyed was the point of being local.
The classic problem of building a following is overexposure. This means people never coming out to see a performer they love because they figure they can easily make it to the next show. I'd love to know if Earwing has consciously tackled this issue and how it fits in your experience.
How do you make a performance special and an occasion not to be missed?
How do you limit exposure so folks don't assume they can just come see you anytime?
December 7th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Re: Playing hard to get
We’re legitimate fans of so many other local bands and we get asked to do local shows all the time. So it’s hard to find a balance with not playing out every weekend and also making each show worthy of attention. Mostly it’s a change in mind-set about “why” I would book a show locally for the band. I need a good reason. We try not to play out more than once a month in Columbus, usually less. I try to find (or create) a story for each show that I can feed to the local press. Perhaps it’s our “homecoming show” when returning from a short tour. That gives me the chance to have something special to talk about in our emails to fans (while promoting the show) and something specific to promote to the local papers and hopefully get a mention, photo or write-up. When that whole Earwig/Nirvana thing was happening (mentioned up-thread) I hooked-up with a local recording studio and a few other musicians/promoters/producers. We organized a free event at a respected local studio and put everybody‘s name on it. We “premiered” the documentary, we had hand-outs and gave talks on how to go about getting placements in DVD releases, TV etc. as well as the “ins & outs” of recording and mastering. Afterward Earwig played a full set. It really worked well and we got lots of ink and had a great turnout with minimal effort. Even though it was a free show, it really served the band well. Another example: Every December the big local alternative station does a promotion here where the main DJ has an on-air marathon, stays up for 3 days and raises money for local children’s charity. They’ve asked us to play live on the air during that marathon (our second year in a row), so I’ve booked a show in town for later that same night as a holiday show. It’ll be our last show of the year, the last chance for people to get out and see us before we take a break to work on the next record. So that’s my special angle to promote this week’s show and I get a great, well-placed radio tie-in to help me promote it on the most popular alternative station in town. I’ll wait to book any more shows locally until I’ve got something substantial developing for the band or the next record. Maybe we’ll have a show to celebrate finishing the mixing of the record and people can come out and hear the new songs live. It only takes minimal effort and some restraint with regards to booking.