Here’s something that’s going to aggravate you to read and something you probably know but also something that needs to apparently be beaten into bands heads no matter how much experience they have. That is the simply fact that if you can’t confirm opportunities within 25 hours then you simply aren’t going to get them. Furthermore, if you turn around and cancel opportunities that you thought you were going to get then people aren’t going to trust you. This isn’t a case of anyone trying to be a dick or having a stick up their ass, it’s merely a question of oversaturation and a question of being forced to look down the barrel of bitter unreality and embrace the fact that no matter what you do things are going to get fucked up. It doesn’t matter what kind of opportunities that you are offered – if you can’t lock them in within a reasonable amount of time then you are not going to get anywhere in your career. That’s just the long and short of it.
This is a big part of what I always discuss in terms of constant contact. Constant contact is there so that people can make sure things don’t slip through the cracks, but also of course to make sure that we are all on board with the same ideas and can confirm things without having to dick around. If you end up needing to spend days getting peoples schedules together then things aren’t going to work in your favor. When there is as much oversaturation as there is in the music industry it really moves who has the power. In this case, it’s the promoters who control everything. This isn’t because they are bad people, but simply because there are five bands beating down their fucking door for every single night for their club. They offered you a show because they thought you would lock in – but when it comes down to it there are reasons promoters try to lock stuff down so far out – they want to have confirmed shows and grow.
Of course not a lot of bands want to admit this. They have lives and that makes it hard sometimes to confirm things on the high powered schedule that the industry so often demands of people trying to participate. I get that. It’s hard. You have kids. You have a wife. there’s a lot you’re trying to juggle especially if you don’t want to lose your job. This is why the bands that succeed are the ones who get their job situation sorted well before they start asking people to do things with them. That is not to say that they saved enough money to quit their jobs or that they got a rich relative to make it all work for them. No, what they did was get jobs where they could have a regular schedule and the manager was willing to give them unpaid time off. I know that jobs like that can be hard to come by, but they are also, as far as I can tell, pretty much the thing you need if you want to be able to develop in the world of music.
I know that music can be a hobby that requires an insane amount of dedication, but think about how goddamn entitled it is to think that everything should just fall in your lap. The bands that people in positions of power want to work with are not the bands who are hoping that maybe their job situation will end up working out for them. No, it’s the bands who are grinding it out and trying to find a more sustainable path for themselves, realizing their own personal limitations and working around them in order to create something better. The bands who sit their with a ‘woe is me’ attitude aren’t going to get anything done even if they are the best band in the world. The people who would be interested in helping you in this industry are probably all extremely busy and stressed and want to make sure they will be able to feed their kids. You coming around and backing out of things at the last minute means that other people can’t feed their babies, and that’s something you need to fucking evaluate long and hard.
When it comes down to it this is a big part of keeping constant momentum – a key in the industry if there ever was one. You want people to see that you are continually pushing for your own success, even if no one else cares You want people to see that no matter what the isutation you are hungry to grow and hungry to keep making your band into a bigger and bolder thing. If you show that you have that hunger than people are going to step up and check you out and try to help you out. If you don’t show that hunger and just act like another entitled whiny musician wondering why the world won’t operate on your schedule than you are just going to manage to alienate everyone around you and wind up screaming to the gods who failed with your foot stuck in your mouth. I know that’s not what you want to hear but that’s simply how it is. That’s the way we are all going to need to grow if we want anything of merit to happen.
I know I sound like an asshole, but consider it with any other job. If anyone complained that their job didn’t fit their schedule they would just fix their lives or find a new job. That’s sort of how it has to be with music. You have to appreciate that people are bending over backwards to help you usually on the independent level and you need to be respectful of what they bring to the table. Otherwise you are just showing yourself to be another foolish pretender. Be grateful for what you get and give back to the scene, otherwise people are not going to want to work with you and the opportunities you get will be few and far between.