Weekly Update: Musician hunt and getting things done

I’ve been trying to accomplish 5 things a day.  I thought I would update everyone on the progress.  Actually, I feel I’ve accomplished quite a bit, but also didn’t get 5 things done everyday.

Musician Hunt:

I’ve gotten responses from guitarists this week.  One of them, however, doesn’t want to do the Shiplosion thing.  He hates the name, and he hates punk.  Also, he doesn’t want to play weekday shows.  I said I’d jam with him to see if we’re compatible for another project, but I think I might just pass.  I’ve denied my feelings before to settle for something, but it’s always been a mistake.  I think I’ll tell the guy I’m going to pass.

Not playing weekday shows is a mistake.  I know that the local venues here want new bands to play weekday shows just to try them out.  A show for a new band is a risk for a venue, so they like to keep those to weekdays.  Usually what happens when I play a weekday show, I get offered an awesome weekend show with a bigger draw.  It’s basically a trade.  With The Funhouse here in Seattle, that happened quite a bit.  We’d do a weekday show, and within the next couple of months, they’d offer us a bigger weekend show.

I don’t know the guitarist, so I’m not judging him or criticizing him.  He could have it completely right, and I’m the idiot.  But not wanting to play weekday shows raises a red flag for me.  That he might not want to do much of the work it takes for an independent band to rise from nothing to being sustainable.

Yeah, I’m going with gut.  I’ll give him a call and cancel the rehearsal for next week.  Shiplosion may be a weird name and a silly idea, but I really like it.  It’s silly but fun.  I want to be with other musicians that don’t mind a bit of silliness and fun.  Yes, I want to it to be serious, dedicated project, but I don’t want it to be all seriousness.

Another guitarist contacted me.  I’ll be giving him a call tomorrow.  Looks like he has chops, but I can’t tell if what I’m doing is something that would groove with him.  Only one way to find out.

Writing songs:

I’m most of the way through a new song, plus a couple of additional riffs.  The song is called “Higher Reasoning”.  I think I just made a geek metal song.  It makes of fun of people that don’t use their brain.  So there are references to “Engage your neocortex.  Use your frontal lobes” and so on.  I think this song will fall into the “suck” category, but it’s good to be writing and getting my brain constantly writing new music.

Social Media:

I opened Fanbridge, ReverbNation, and YouTube accounts.  I prettied up the YouTube account a bit, but I still think it’s pretty ugly.  I’ll need to spend some time on graphics design; something that takes me forever to do.  Ah well, gotta make some sacrifices.

Website:

I found a script that will allow me to render RSS feeds into HTML.  I’m not sure why RSS feeds are such a pain in the ass, though.  Seems there should be a simplified, free way of dealing with them.  Maybe there is and I’m not seeing it.  Yuck.  Every time I try to make web design simple, I always end up hitting the most difficult route.  That’s my life!

Physical media:

I ordered business cards for Shiplosion.  Only $9.85 for 100 cards at 123Print.com.  Truthfully, I didn’t research if I could have gotten them for cheaper.  But for only $10, I’m not too concerned.

Things I didn’t accomplish

I put on my list of things to do for two days in a row, “Make a flier for Shiplosion”.  This flier is purely to get people curious about Shiplosion, or, at least, start recognizing the name.  Two days in a row, I didn’t get to it.

Also, I tried to organize a rehearsal with my friends for recording “My Life Fucking Sucks”.  The drummer never gets back to me, though.  Seems like I’ll have to be more aggressive with him.  Probably calling him instead of email and FaceBook.

Okay, I know this was a boring post, but I want to be real and show how things are progressing for my band.  I also want to show that I’m practicing what I preach, and where I’m failing.  Also, by airing the dirty laundry, someone can tell me I’m a dumbass and doing it wrong.

Time management is the biggest problem I have.  Doing 5 things a day makes it easier, though.  Chris Rockett of Promote Your Music had a great post about time management for musicians.  Also, Tim Ferris’s book, The 4 Hour Work Week, is a must read for cutting out dead weight from your schedule and gaining measurable success.  Even though I need to be active with social media, I need to also limit myself on how much time I spend with it.  I need to batch things into limited time slots, and, also, cut out distractions wherever possible.

This entry was posted in Planning and Strategy, Productivity, Recruiting Band Members. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Weekly Update: Musician hunt and getting things done

  1. JMH says:

    Not as complex or with a laptop, but I’ve been running my Guitar into my Multi-Effects pedal into a Direct Box then straight into the soundboard for the last year and a half or so. Every body just has their own, personal mixed floor monitor, except for the bass player, he just uses his Head/Sub for a monitor just so he can hear himself. It has worked well. I like not having to lug my amp around and set it up. In fact, I actually like the sound better now. I still use an amp at home to practice and it almost sounds like overkill on a lot of effects because its like the effects already have that “amp” sound built in, then if you run it through an amp, its like your getting double of that ‘valve’ sound. But, I don’t think I’d want the computer contolling the effects automatically at different points in the song through midi. Doesn’t leave room for much spontinaety if you decide to play the chorus one more time or something. But I know that people like Blake Lewis (pre- american idol) and another band I can’t remember, was using Ableton Live with a laptop years ago. -or playing directly out of the pod into the sound system. Both are kinda just more like a DJ setup.

  2. Slash says:

    Chris, thanks for the blog.
    I’m about to start my own band in 5 months, so right now I’m gathering information about how to do it right. Your blog is an amazing piece of advise. And I’ll be following it :3
    I think you have a perfect mindset and right ideas.
    But what if, instead of waiting to be contacted, you contacted other musician yourself? Maybe the ones who are currently searching for a band and/or don’t care about styles.

    • Hey, Slash. Thanks for reading!

      I actually have been contacting musicians. I search the ads daily and contact whoever might fit the bill. I’ve contacted at least 4 this week. Unfortunately, there’s not that many guitarists advertising that want to do what I want. Also, a few of them have been flakey. They’ll say they want to jam, but then never call back.

      Even though I want the band to start now, I’d rather wait for the right musicians. But the waiting is driving me nuts!

      • Slash says:

        So I see this is the only thing preventing you from the progress.
        Maybe hitting the clubs and livehouses more often, say, every night? :DD You know, relaxing, networking, drinking, making friends with both fans and band members of your genre. Chances of finding the right people may increase, I believe.

        • Haha! I think my liver would die pretty quickly if I went out every night! Good advice, though. I do go out 3 or 4 times a week. I’m fairly active going out and seeing shows. Unfortunately, there isn’t always something I actually want to hear every night. Plus, for time management purposes, I need nights where I can concentrate on writing music and doing other things (like designing band artwork and working on the band website). Also, my musical tastes are fairly diverse. One night I’ll be at a metal show, and the next I’ll be at a gypsy cabaret show. So, I’m not always around metal musicians.

          I am actually starting to get responses from musicians. Daily I’m contacting, asking, posting, and talking about getting band members. Now might just be a slow time of the year for musicians wanting to start a band. Seems like ads for drummers and guitarists are gradually increasing. The only problems is they want to hear music for this new thing I’m starting. Kinda difficult when I’m in process of writing the music and have nothing recorded.

          But your advice is sound. I need to get out there and talk to more people. I just found a forum for local metal in Seattle and joined it. (http://www.truemetalseattleforums.org) I’ve put out a couple of posts, but I’ll get more into it and try to meet people. I’m a moderator at http://seattlepunk.org, and I’ve met a ton of bands and friends there. Just need to do the same for metal!

  3. Hey Chris,

    Another great post, thanks for the link.

    Something that helps me get more done is a concept called “Eat that frog”.

    The thinking behind this is that if you had to eat a frog every morning before you did anything else it would be so disgusting that all your other tasks for the rest of the day would seem easier. None of them are as horrible as eating a frog!

    Obviously I’m not talking about cruelty to animals 😉

    You can replace the frog moment with those really important tasks that never quite seem to get done.

    Sometimes I find that the stuff I avoid the most is the stuff that ultimately has most impact.

    Hope that kind of makes sense.

    – Chris

    • Since I’m a fan of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, eating a frog sounds fun if properly cooked and seasoned! 🙂 Okay, smart-ass comments aside, I agree with you. However, something I just discovered about myself, personally, is I will horribly procrastinate that big item I don’t want to do. If I convince myself to only do that item, I probably won’t, and the other items won’t get done either.

      So, instead, I chop up the frog before eating it. And, it actually works really well for me. For instance, I really did not want to design a flier. I avoided it for 2 days. However, on the third day, I just told myself I would simply start the flier, set the dimensions, and that’s it. Worry about the rest later. The result? I finished the flier in an hour.

      Sometimes, it’s just getting started that’s the problem.

  4. Pingback: An Intelligent Musician Builds and Promotes a Band from Scratch | Promote Your Music

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