Things Local Bands Should (And Definitely Shouldn’t) Do

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I’m blessed to have solid local bands in my area. Central Florida has always been a breeding ground for new music – we are the death metal capital of the world, after all.

However, how do you think bands like Death and Dark Sermon got signed to labels? It certainly wasn’t an easy process – but you can bet it’s rewarding for just about every band that gets to tour the world doing what they love. Here’s a list of things you definitely should (and shouldn’t be) doing if you’re trying to gain an audience.

– Printing out flyers and posting them around everywhere might not be in vogue anymore, but it should be. In fact, it should be a priority. If you want people to know who you are and you’re not posting flyers, you don’t have much excuse for empty shows.

– Do respect the venue and the venue owner. Resolve disagreements without violence or name-calling.

– Do try to impress those who have earned their keep in the music industry. You never know who is watching. Hustle hard, and you might end up like Odissia, who actually got the attention of and tweeted out by Emmure’s Frankie Palmeri.

– Do stay for all the bands (if possible) before and after your set. Often, these are the bands you’ll be playing with in the future – and you’d want them to watch you, right?

– If you have to cancel a show date, try to do it at least 24 hours in advance. Emergencies happen, it’s understandable – but make a habit of canceling, and you might not be invited on many shows.

– Don’t get excessively drunk or under the influence at shows. If you must, save it for after the set.

– Don’t rely solely on Facebook Events to notify people of the show. Make phone calls, text people, bring you family and friends too.

– If you’re playing a benefit/free show of any kind, you have absolutely no honor if you complain about not getting paid. Don’t do it.

– Don’t complain about where your band is on the lineup. Be thankful you’re playing at all.

– Don’t do this when you’re placed at a certain spot on the lineup:

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– On the flip side, if you feel a promoter or venue has wronged you in some way, take it up with them, be respectful, and keep your cool.

– If you mess up, apologize and make things right. Leave your ego and pride at the door – rockstar mentalities from a band nobody knows about is laughable.

– Social media is a wonderful tool, but it can also end your band with one shared racist photo or homophobic tweet. So, think before you press the “post” button.

– Open your mind to genres of music that aren’t your own. Broaden your horizons.

– Don’t steal from band members and then kick them out of the band.

What ideas would you have for local bands? Post them in the comments below.