Monday, July 21, 2008

Lets bring the music back, Part 1

I have been in this business longer than I care to admit. It has never been easy, but I am passionate about what I do and still believe in music and that that music can be saved. That is the idea behind our slogan Music Is Our Voice. Music truly is our voice and can be traced back to the beginning of mankind. What are we saving it from you might ask? Well for one illegal downloads and the way music and musicians are abused by friends, so called fans and mainstream labels, which keep falling by the wayside at an alarming rate.

I remember doing a little digging back in the mid-80's to see just how many releases came out annually and was astonished by the number; over 10,000 new releases a year. I never saw that coming when you might hear of a couple of dozen new bands and twice that in major releases. This was in a day when Home Recording Studios cost millions of dollars not under a $1,000. Computers, Cell Phones and Cable TV were a thing of the future and music was the number one form of entertainment followed by going to the cinema and sports. So if in the mid-80's we had so many releases, without the technology how many releases and bands are you competing with today? Let's say it's a safe bet that it's up 10 times that, you do the math!

Where did we go wrong? One can argue that video killed the radio star. It's not far from the truth but it's not the whole truth. Technology killed the radio star. Music now competes with so many new technologies like Home Video Games, Cable Television and text messaging [we are not only losing music but the art of conversation and human interaction] MP3's and junk food. We would much rather stay home twiddling the knobs of the latest Xbox or download music for free while stuffing our face with junk and getting fat and lazy.

That's right fat lazy thief. So how do we revive music? Again there are many arguments and many people say it can never come back. Well if we can save the planet by going green then we should be able to save music, it's our voice and it must be heard. For starters let's drop the price of CDs the big boys won't do it, so I say it's left up to the independent musicians and independent labels like Melodic Revolution Records to make the change. As an independent artist can you honestly say that your CD is worth $12 $15 0r even $19 I think not. How are you going to compete and sell CDs for that price when only your friends know who you are and you can get the Current Journey or Eagles CD for only $9.99? Mind you the new Eagles CD is a double [for just a mere $9.99] and is an independent release. These bands have clout and a following, what do you have. Music that is probably much better and more passionate as you are a relatively new band. Sorry that won't sell CDs but it's a start.

So for starters bring the price down on your releases $9.99 is a good start $7.99 is even better. Let's say it cost you $2.00 a disc at disc makers for a 1,000 CDs which by the way is a high figure. And you sell your CDs for $8.00 that means your return is 300% so you sell all of your CDs and you've netted $6,000 and you need to press more. Or you sell your CDs for $18.99 but you've only sold 50 copies because people would rather buy the new Journey CD for $9.99. Now you have only made $949.00 and your sitting on a trunk load of CDs no one cares about and the balance will probably never sell. I know what your thinking it really cost more than that do to the other things that cost like studio time art work and so. If that's the case read on.

Next: Get real; ask a friend or a fan that has computer skills to do your CD artwork or hold a contest on MySpace. Forget that cheesy art work that looks like a Moose-in-heat made it. First impressions are everything: if you could buy a Bentley for the same price as a smashed up Pinto which won't run which will you choose? I would choose the Bentley. Try and make every song a good song, write lots of songs and let your fans choose the good ones. You don't even have to ask them. The good songs are the ones they all sing to and or ask you to play over and over.

When you go to record your music in a studio be ready don't write the songs there, you are only adding money to a recording that is not even begun. When you hit the studio, you should be ready and already have your sound down because you have played it live or rehearsed it 1,000's of times.

Don't beg to be signed, there is no pot of gold left but then again I don't think I have ever seen one. Do it on your own or with a small independent label that truly loves and believes in your music. The best promotion has been and always will be word of mouth. Let your music do the talking. Remember music is your voice.

Let's recap:

1] Cheaper is better. Selling 1,000 CDs is better then selling 50 and having 950 left over to use for skeet shooting or oversized poker chips.
2] Appealing artwork, you wouldn't date a warthog would you?
3] Make sure you have an entire album / CD of songs that are good, you wouldn't buy a steak that is 99% fat would you?

Remember you are competing with every Tom, Moe and Jagger out there. So you need to have an edge. And when you become big and famous and you want to gouge your friends and fans for $18.99 a disc then by all means let-ur rip.

Written and published by Nick Katona

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