By Brian Weidy
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to talk to a variety of bands and I used the opportunity to ask each of them the following question: How have you embraced the new forms of social media as a business tool?
In Part 1 of this multi-part series, I got a chance to speak with Dave Watts, drummer and band leader of The Motet, Tom McKee, keys player and founding member of Brothers Past, and Miles Arntzen, NYU student and drummer for Antibalas, Superhuman Happiness and EMEFE. Here’s what they had to say:
Dave Watts – Drummer for The Motet:
It’s a DIY world for the musician of today. An incredible amount of promotion can be done by just one person using Facebook. We can reach so many more of our fans so much quicker using Facebook than we ever would have thought possible just a few years ago, and we don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to a publicist to do it. Cutting out that middleman puts a direct line of communication between us and our fans.
Tom McKee – Keys for Brothers Past:
I don’t really view it as a business tool. I view it as a way to engage and connect with our fans, which ultimately is good business I guess. We are pretty active on Facebook and Twitter and we release a lot of content using Bandcamp and YouTube so in that regard it’s really helped. We released a chunk of the record that we’re putting out next month already on our website and obviously Facebook plays a big part in getting the word out about that stuff. But we still do things the old-fashioned way too. I still go out and flier at shows in Philly cause it makes everything seem more real to me. I enjoy meeting people and talking about the band and frankly I am better at it then someone who is trying to get free tickets to the show. There was a time when I just wanted the band to be successful enough that I didn’t have to do that kind of stuff. Now I kind of want to be able to do it. I dig connecting with people out in the lots.
Miles Arntzen – Drummer for Antibalas, Superhuman Happiness and EMEFE:
Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, Bandcamp- all these sites are so helpful. I use all of them for gig promotion. If you put time into them, they yield results. Social media is where it’s at, to a certain extent. The music and the art comes first, though. If you put too much time into telling people to Like your band on Facebook and not enough time getting inside the music, you’ll run into a problem in the long run.