I wrote a few weeks ago about “The Scene”. Where did it go? Anyone who comes up to Street Patrol (Wednesdays from 8pm-10pm), whether it’s a band, promoter, or general concert go-er, they all say the same thing; the scene is dead and it sucks.
It is easy to sit around and complain while making excuses and generally not doing anything. Maybe that’s part of the problem. So how do we fix this? Last week, I said we don’t have a scene because no one has money, the music is mundane or crappy, and YOU. What’s the solution?
To regain a scene, bands have to be willing to play together. When a band comes up to promote an event, it is generally with 3 to 6 bands that they are friends with. They play to the same people and share fans and never expand.
HOW CAN YOU GET MORE PEOPLE TO HEAR YOU IF YOU PLAY TO THE SAME PEOPLE?! The lack of developing new listeners is a huge part of the problem. It’s great to play for your friends, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of metal bands in this area. Start meeting new people, go see other local bands play and STAY FOR OTHER ACTS. There is nothing worse than a band that loads up and leaves. I could go on for days with this, so I will stop. But, hopefully you get my point.
Another way to remedy this problem is to do what you can to get out of the area. There are a lot of places in New Jersey for a local band to play. The ultimate goal is to get a sweet opening spot at Starland before a nice national tour. However, New York City is right around the corner. I hear it’s hard to get a show there, but for most bands in this listening area it is less than one hour away. Spread your wings. Brooklyn has some great venues, L’amour’s is in Staten Island and even South Jersey and Philadelphia are not too far. To drive for an hour or two for the chance to play for new people, establish new relationships and to sell your merch to someone not in your graduating high school class is essential.
One last thing: don’t let age be a factor. I know some bands don’t like playing with the young kids and some kids don’t wanna play with the geezers. It comes back to respect. Respect talent, respect drive, and respect sound. Young, old, black, white, brown, men, women, and boys, it’s a principal that applied to all and what you would expect from someone else. If every band does this, watch the scene come back. You’ll probably actually start making some money too!