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Tip of the Week: Mistakes Bands Make


Tip of the Week: Mistakes Bands Make

Posted on 29 November 2012 by D' MacKinnon

There are common mistakes a lot of bands make that end up sapping the enthusiasm out of being in a gigging band. By making simple shifts in behavior you can make your band more successful than it currently is.

Mistake 1: Failure To Make Sales

I see this happening all the time. A band makes great music yet doesn’t release anything for sale. It’s great that you want to play shows but if you aren’t selling your music the fans have no way to take that experience home with them and you’ll soon be forgotten. Related to this are bands that do release music but feel guilty or nervous about pushing sales. You need to get your music out there and charge something for it. Do you value your music? If you want your fans to value it then sell it.

Mistake 2: Playing Terrible Shows

By playing terrible shows, I don’t mean the band had a shitty performance. I mean taking every gig offered without thinking things through. Yes, it’s important to be working hard and getting out there but it’s pointless to play shows if no one shows up. Playing a lot of shows early on is important in order to get experience but once you are past that phase you need to be more selective. Playing to empty venues where you are not making money is not only a waste of time but it kills the band’s enthusiasm for their music career. Instead of playing a crap gig where no one is going to show up, spend that evening working on booking a better show. One really great show is worth a dozen bad ones.

Mistake 3: Not Marketing Consistently

Do one thing per day to push your music. It doesn’t have to be huge but do something. It’s not fun and you’d rather be doing something else but it’s important that you are out there reminding people of your existence. You may have the greatest songs in the world but if nobody knows about them what’s the point? If you focus on making an effort daily it will pay off.

Mistake 4: Jealousy

The little green monster. It’s natural and it happens to the best of us. You’re out there playing shows, working hard and you see another band get ahead because they have a connection you don’t. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of jealousy and anger but a simple shift in perspective can turn this negativity into something that can benefit your career. The next time you see another band becoming successful, just have the mindset of “Hey, if this band can get do [X] then so can I” and then work towards that goal. Competition is good and it breeds better music. If it’s a band in the same genre as you, set up a Google Alert to help track what they are doing. You can see where and how they are connecting with their fans and then come up with your own plan of attack for getting exposure.

Mistake 5: Being Boring

Don’t play the same set at every show. Seriously. If your hardcore fans are coming to all of your shows they are going to get bored as shit hearing the same exact songs in the same exact order every week. One good set is not enough. Write more songs. Working on writing every day.

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Can I sleep now?

Posted on 16 November 2009 by D' MacKinnon

No one ever told me this Thomas the train shit was so expensive.
Just blew a bunch of money at Toys R’ Us for holiday gifts. If people want to get Dres gifts for the holidays, get him some size 3T thick winter clothes. He has enough toys coming.
I saw a really loud-ass metal band in NYC last week. I think my eardrums are still recovering. Guitar player had 4 guitar cabs going in a venue about the size of the Lion’s Lair. Here’s their myspace for those who are interested. All instrumentals, just drums and guitar but they kicked serious ass at the show. One of their songs was 40 minutes long. Very rock. I’m digging on the song “Deep in the Caves” at the moment. They were the middle slot band. The headliner was a NY band that I didn’t like as much. Later in the week I had a $300+ steak dinner at Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn that was paid for by a client. It was my second time eating there, still the best steak I’ve ever had. Even though we had 6:30PM reservations we didn’t get our table until about 9PM. Of course, I see JJ Abrams walk in and schmoozed with the staff and get a table right away. Fucker. Flying back this time was not as painful because I avoided getting completely smashed the night before, unlike my trip out in September. I did find a cool new spot for some great Japanese bar food. It’s called Hagi and they are only open after 5PM and it’s in a little basement next to another Japanese restaurant. We had to wait about an hour to get in but we killed some time at a Irish pub down the street. Oh man, the food was great. Takoyaki, teriyaki squid, sweet fatty pork, fried chicken gizzard, wasabi flavored octopus…my friend and I had about 12 dishes between the two of us. In the next table over from us were a group of five Japanese girls with two gaijin boys doing sake shots all night for someone’s birthday. They were pretty entertaining by the end of the evening.
There are times when I miss New York. I miss my friends and the amazing things you can do there, I don’t miss living there everyday though and putting up with the bullshit.

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Disposing Bodies Tour 2009

Posted on 24 March 2009 by D' MacKinnon

My friends Royal Dead hits the road tomorrow for the 2009 Disposing Bodies Tour! They throw some pretty fun shows, go check them out if you like psychobilly music. They’ll be selling their album “Enough Noise to Wake the Dead” which I produced.
Here are the latest tour dates:
Mar 26 2009
Rouge West w/ Henchmen Phoenix, Arizona
Mar 27 2009
Surly Wench – w/ Henchmen & Dead End Dragstrip Tuscon, Arizona
Mar 28 2009
Uncle Paulies Pub – w/ Henchmen & Straight Razor Suicide El Paso, Texas
Mar 31 2009
The Deadhorse w/ Henchmen San Angelo, Texas
Apr 1 2009
Red 7 w/ Henchmen Austin, Texas
Apr 2 2009
The Marquee w/ Henchmen & Brutally Frank Tulsa, Oklahoma
Apr 3 2009
The Gypsy – w/ The Henchmen, Queen Beast, tba fayetteville, Arkansas
Apr 4 2009
Blackthorn Pizza & Pub w/ Henchmen & Brutally Frank Joplin, Missouri
Apr 5 2009
Club Mustache w/ Henchmen & Them Damned Young Livers Kansas City, Missouri
Apr 7 2009
The Senate Bar w/ Henchmen & Three Bad Jacks Pueblo, Colorado
Apr 8 2009
The Rocket Room w/ Henchmen Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 9 2009 7:00P
Cervantes w/ Henchmen, Stellar Corpses & The Nica-Teens Denver, Colorado
Apr 10 2009
Quincy’s w/ Henchmen & Stellar Corpses Grand Junction, Colorado
Apr 25 2009
Bozeman Psychobilly Showdown w/ The Chop Tops, Henchmen, Three Bad Jacks and more! Bozeman, Montana
Jun 18 2009
Mesa Theater ALL AGES Grand Junction, Colorado
Jun 26 2009
Three Kings Tavern Denver

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Chemical Brothers live gear

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Chemical Brothers live gear

Posted on 18 August 2008 by D' MacKinnon

Here are some shots of the Chemical Brothers’ live rig. Some of it is pretty battered. Personally I wouldn’t mind owning a pair of those Akai S6000’s. The Jupiter 6 is always nice too.

Click for large versions.
chemical brothers live gear 2
chemical brothers live gear 1

Some choice items in that rig.

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Touring Tips

Posted on 16 August 2008 by D' MacKinnon

You don’t have to take my word for it how important touring is to get those CD sales, Martin Atkins has a new blog post discussing the importance of touring, how it benefits you and also some ways to make the best of your touring funds (aka, gas money!).
Read more at the link below

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Royal Dead CD release

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Royal Dead CD release

Posted on 11 December 2007 by D' MacKinnon

This Friday I’ll be at the Royal Dead CD release party in Denver. Come on down and say hi.
Enough Noise to wake the Dead CD release

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Radio appearance

Posted on 30 August 2006 by Kheperi Global Media

D’ will be on KVCU’s Remission show on Friday, September 1st, 2006. Read more about it.

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Radio appearance, Friday Sept 1

Posted on 30 August 2006 by D' MacKinnon

On Friday September 1, Jolene Shook and myself will be guests on KVCU radio 1190’s weekly goth/industrial show, Remission, from 9PM -11PM Mountain Standard Time. We’ll be talking about the launch of our record label, our favorite bands off of MySpace and the state of the music industry. We’ll be playing a couple of cuts from artists on our label and also songs we’ve discovered while on MySpace.
If you have questions for us, feel free to call the station during the show and we’ll answer them on air, 303-492-1190.
For those outside of the Denver-metro area, you can listen to the show via the live internet stream located at I hope you tune in on Friday!

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Billy Idol

Posted on 12 August 2006 by D' MacKinnon

I went to see Billy Idol last Wednesday night at the Ogden Theater in Denver. He didn’t have an opener, which I was suprised by but instead played for about 3 hours. His voice was spot on with the album recordings. I’m very glad that I was able to see him live in my lifetime as he was a big influence on me growing up…not so much musically but just as one of the artists that I was into as a youngin. He seemed to be having a bit of trouble moving around but I suspect it’s due to the altitude here, he still appeared to be in amazing physical shape. A lot of singers tend to struggled when they come to the Mile High city. Steve Steven’s guitar work was amazing and his forways into flamenco styled instrumentals during the show was a treat. I can honestly say that I could have done without the cover of Van Halen’s “Jump” though, I was never a fan of that song and it was a bit on the cheesy side covering it.
Thanks Tina for hooking me up with those tickets!

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Bauhaus and NIN

Posted on 31 May 2006 by D' MacKinnon

Last night was amazing.
Jolene and I went to see Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails at Red Rocks. The last time I saw Bauhaus was on their resurrection tour back in 1998 so it was good to see them. For me, the 1998 show had more audience energy and I thought the band’s performance was better but last night was good in it’s own right. Daniel came up into the crowd by where we were standing with his guitar and Jolene gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Last night was the 5th time I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails and it was probably the best show by them that I’ve seen since the first time I saw them on the Downward Spiral tour when Jim Rose Circus and Marilyn Manson opened for them. The time before this they played in Denver the night the With Teeth album was released and not many people in the audience knew the new songs and it sounded like the band was still working out some kinks. Last night they were in top form, the sound was great and the band was tight. They played a good mix of material off of all the albums and Trent’s voice was right on all night. I was actually so moved during “Hurt” that I got a little teary-eyed and I don’t think that has ever happened to me at a show before. Maybe it was just the right combination of the music and the atmosphere.
In any case, I’ll be standing in line to get tickets the next time they come through town.

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