Tag Archives: Death metal

What Musicians Can Learn From UFC Fighter Chael Sonnen


Sometimes it amazes me some of the stuff I read on social media. Musicians complaining about other musicians “being posers” on Facebook or wherever trying to act bigger than they are or cooler than other bands. Well #1 that is their job and #2 just because someone takes it that way doesn’t mean that is what they are doing. They are simply trying to build excitement with their fans and followers.

 

Musicians are many times so eager to tear each other down, especially other musicians that seem to be having more success then they are and they don’t understand why or think their band is better and the world just isn’t fair. Of course the music business has very little to do with talent and everything to do with a budget, work ethic and marketability. If talent was the key than most bands have no shot at ever making it and jazz, fusion, classical and opera would reign supreme as that is where most of the worlds best talent truly lies.

 

What musicians have to learn is the art of promoting themselves and some people really struggle with this. They might feel funny about tooting their own horn but unless you have a major PR budget no one is going to do it with out getting paid. Musicians need to quit expecting someone to just help them out on a spec deal as there is no real money in this business anymore for people to work on the “hopes” of a band making it. Learning the art of self-promotion is extremely vital to making it and developing a new audience, gaining advantageous spots on tours etc. This is where they could learn from the UFC fighters.

 

Chael Sonnen was a middle of the road UFC fighter. He was always a very good wrestler but he wasn’t winning the big ones and certainly not all his fights. He was a quite, respectful fighter and never caused any controversy then suddenly there was a transformation. Chael came back after some time off and was a completely different media presence. All the sudden he was a smack talker. He learned the art of self-promotion and has talked himself into title fights he didn’t deserve necessarily. Now I am not taking anything away from his talent, but looking at rankings and records, he probably normally wouldn’t have been the one picked for these fights.

 

However, Chael learned to promote himself in the media to such an extent he became a major Pay-Per-View sell. Chael also never backs down from a fight; he doesn’t care what anyone else says about him, what the other fighter’s think of him or anything except for accomplishing his career goals. Now some people have said that behind the scene Chael is nothing like his smack-talking persona, he is a nice guy and an extremely hard worker, not the hard worker part. Chael has proven himself to be ready to go to his promoter the UFC by always being prepared not only being in shape to fight at a moments notice but that he will kick the shit out of the media schedule. He is a marketing machine and that is exactly what promoters want and look for. Their job is to sell tickets and the talent needs to understand that and me a major presence in making that happen. It keeps Chael employed and bumps up his paycheck quite dramatically.

 

You see, musicians need to quit worrying about what their local musicians buddies say and think. It’s not their goal or dream, it’s yours. It’s not their image; it’s yours to worry about. Who the hell cares what band ABC says about you online or behind your back. This business is nothing but shit talkers talking behind your back. It is your job to put out the very best show, product every night and to somehow get people to notice you, talk about you and most important bring more people to your next gig.

 

Whether or not you chose to be as controversial as Chael Sonnen is not my point, my point is Chael learned what he needed to do to separate himself from all the other UFC fighters looking for their shot beyond his fight skill which was already considerable. Chael talked himself into positions he probably shouldn’t have been able to be in because he created those spots by his selfless self-promotion. Chael has now secured himself a very good future outside of fighting as he now also a very popular TV host due to his self-promotion efforts. This is every band or musicians job period, to separate your band from the mass of white noise from the millions of others bands vying for a spot in the limelight.

 

Let me warn you though, do not do this if you can’t back up your talk. If your band isn’t as good as you say or your live show is just average, don’t even bother. Work your product to be the best, most creative and original thing your fan base will experience and then go out and self-promote the hell out of yourself. Don’t worry about anyone else but you and your goals.

 

Pull up your bootstraps, dig deep in the trenches and become a self-promotion powerhouse. You owe yourself that much in order to achieve your dream. Anything else is a waste of time.

 

Good Luck!

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15 Tips on How To Give an Interview


It was requested that I write an article on how to give an interview for musicians. I know from the media sources I have, that there is a lot of laziness and disrespect, especially from the musicians that have yet to achieve any real status. Hopefully this article will help you realize to not piss off your media contacts. It is through the media that your music reaches the world many times over, so it is very important you take this seriously. You make a huge mistake in your music career if you don’t take this seriously and do your very best because they will not ever cover you again. Remember, they never have to interview you or cover your band, regardless of how good your band is or how big you think you are.

When giving a live interview for TV or radio keep these points in mind. I know I am going to get comments on these points because it should be common sense but here is the feedback I get from fellow interviewers and from my own radio show.

  1. Always be on time – Don’t rely on your publicist for the correct info either. Many times the artist does not know the time to call in because the publicist got it wrong, even after three emails or more. I know this is what you pay for if you have one, but everyone makes mistakes.
  2. Don’t assume they are going to call you – This is your business and career so make sure you know what is going on. It’s your job to know who is calling whom. Don’t miss an opportunity to get press by not knowing the details.
  3. Do your research and know with whom you are talking – Make sure you at least know which station or magazine you are talking with and the person interviewing you.
  4. Answer using sentences, not one-word answers – Nothing is worse than a boring interview because you don’t know what to say about your band or music.
  5. Don’t call in drunk or stoned – These people are being professional and working hard to promote your music. Be professional and do the same. Respect them and their time by being coherent for the interview.
  6. Make sure you leave enough time for the interview – A good interview takes more than 10 minutes most of the time. You have a story to get out so make sure you give yourself time to do it.
  7. Also be prepared that many of the interviewers don’t like your music and didn’t prepare to interview you – Sometimes you need to lead the interview or make sure they know everything about you that you want them to know. Don’t assume they actually know anything about you or your music.
  8. If doing an interview for an industry specific magazine, know your stuff – Say you are doing an interview with EQ Magazine; they are going to want to know how your signal chain works so make sure you understand your own gear or equipment. Make sure you understand what the interviewer is looking for.
  9. Be focused, but have fun – This is serious business, so make sure you pay attention and are not distracted. There’s nothing more obnoxious than listening to an interview where the artist is talking to someone else in the background, chewing gum/food, clacking away on a keyboard, or generally not engaged in the interview.
  10. Phone fodder – While it is always preferable to use a land line (or Skype), more often than not, interviews are done by cellphone these days. Make sure you are in a well covered area, you find a quite place to talk, and you’re not pacing about potentially endangering your signal.

 

When doing an email interview, please try to make it interesting. You have to keep the reader engaged and eager to learn about you.

  1. Write full sentences – Make sure you answer the questions as completely as you can and try to put some thought into your answer. Don’t rush through your interviews. This is your time to showcase or spotlight your band to an audience who has never heard about you in most cases.
  2. Be witty – Try to have a sense of humor. This will help with people spreading the article around and also keep the interviewer interested in interviewing you again at some point.
  3. Use correct grammar – I know many of us struggle with this, but try to use appropriate grammar. This will alter their pre-conceived perception of you, thus making you look like much more than just another musician who does not care about anything but chicks and partying. It will also help keep the grammar police off your page with pointless comments.
  4. Get the interview back in a timely manner – The webzine or whatever media source that has graciously interviewed you is patiently waiting for you to be professional and get your interview back to them. They have deadlines to meet; and if you wait too long, they may pass on you and post other artists that were more professional.
  5. The Extra Mile – Email interviews do not allow for follow-up questions, so if you touch on a topic or offer an answer that would lead to an obvious follow-up question, try to throw those extras in as well. If the interviewer missed something you’d like to get out there, add it in. The media outlet is always happy when artists give a little extra.

Please practice these basic points and watch your relationships grow with your media contacts, which is so crucial to your music’s future.

Good luck!

Note: This was originally posted on Metalholic.com

http://metalholic.com/musician-tips-15-tips-on-how-to-give-an-interview/


Making the Most of Every Opportunity


In this crazy entertainment business there are so many people who are working at it, trying to make it as a musician, actor, model, voice over talent etc…. and there so few really good paying gigs. It’s a dogfight to get noticed and grab the attention of those decision makers with all those other entertainers competing for the same jobs. But here is the real truth, there maybe millions of entertainers going for it, but there are very few that go the extra mile every time to make sure they bring the best of what they got to each individual project and make it the best it can be. This makes it a little easier to stand out and develop a reputation for yourself so that when someone like a promoter, producer, agent or whomever brings you to the table, they can rely on you whenever they need you. This will allow you to demand payment down the road by having proved what you can do for them on many different levels.

What won’t work is this sense of entitlement that many artists seem to have developed. Many feel that since they are “this popular” or “that they aren’t getting paid for this” they aren’t going to put in the extra effort. Trust me, people can see this coming a mile away and I can pretty much guarantee you that you won’t be called on again if this is how you represent yourself. If you agree to do something, then you are giving your word that you are professional and you had better bring your best effort each time. Everyone is relying on you. Just remember, more than likely everyone at this event is probably in the same boat you are.  They are all trying to make something big happen so they can make it to the next phase of their career as well as make money too. Don’t blow it for them because you can’t be professional.

One of the ways to avoid not being able to do what you signed up for is to not over commit yourself to too many projects. If you want to make the most of your opportunities, you will be so busy you can’t take on very many. This happens all the time with artists of all types so try and be very careful about your reputation and work ethic because word travels fast if don’t deliver, you are difficult to deal with or are unprofessional for any reason.

With each opportunity, not only do you need to be punctual, be responsible and know exactly what’s going on when it’s going on, you need to be able to see the big picture or vision of what this can do for you. To see every angle that you can capitalize on not just for yourself but the opportunity you are working on. In any major production, no one is going to baby sit you. It’s your job to know who, what, when, where and why or least to know where to find out.  Don’t expect them to contact you the way you desire because it’s what you prefer. They have many people to contact and they don’t have time to email 20 people here, text 10 here, Facebook 8 there. You are there to be professional, so make sure you check daily at least whatever system they use to communicate. It’s your responsibility to find out what is going on as long as they are consistent and you know where to look.

If it’s your event then you need to get as much out of it as possible whether it be your sales numbers, new video possibilities, gathering email addresses, acquiring new fans, future ticket sales, new opportunities and new contacts. There is so much you can do to maximize these opportunities and that can be staggering to think about but it is the business minded entertainers and that see these things and ACT on them. Most entertainers don’t do this no matter how many times they are told. They are stuck in such a rut and instead of focusing on business they are more interested in partying, drinking or whatever. It’s quite disheartening sometimes to be at an event and watch them just stand around not working and missing every potential opportunity as it just passes them by.

So here are just a few thoughts for you to think about. For every opportunity you get involved with, take the time to really think it out and how you can best take advantage of this moment to shine. Even if you do it for free, you gave your word and accepted the gig so you need to be professional and treat it like a paying gig. Do your absolute best and then some. Go above and beyond what you were brought in to do, promotion, connections, networking for new opportunities, creating content etc….

Remember, those that shine and bring the most to the table are the ones that come away with the most from each opportunity. They are the ones that get remembered, called back next time and most important talked about recommended to others. They become first call for other opportunities and that also puts you in a position to help others next time as now your opinion will matter and in many cases you will be asked whom you know to help out in some sort of manner.

Work as hard as you can and bust your ass each and every time and great things will happen for you!

Good luck!

Note: You can also find this article on Metalholic Magazine here: http://metalholic.com/making-the-most-of-every-opportunity/