How to leave your impression on the whole city, not just the venue when on tour there are many ways, while on tour, to leave your band’s impression and brand behind.

How to leave your impression on the whole city, not just the venue when on tour there are many ways, while on tour, to leave your band’s impression and brand behind. A lot of them actually come from the things you do leading up to your shows, and not just the shows themselves! This is a quick list of things you can do in a city to boost your fan base, and potentially even your show’s attendance.

Before I get into the list, there are a few things you’ll have needed to accomplish before you hit the road. I’ll get this out of the way quick. – Try to keep your shows within 3-6 hours of each other. Small town are fun to play, by the way. (Shout out to Fresno) – Print as many stickers as possible, and don’t be too cheap. (Buy a box of gloves too. I’ll explain later.) – Ask the venues/promoters for free tickets to give away during your day in the city. (This is opposed to you trying to sell randoms vs. brand to them)

Search for and contact Record Stores, Coffee Shops, Local Radio or other small day venues you can do an acoustic set at before your show. (Bring the acoustics, too)

Alright, let’s get into how you can use your time to leave a bigger impression in the city before you even get to the show.

1. Arrive for breakfast / lunch and go out to eat. Talk to your server and everyone you interact with about being a band on tour. The key is, to come off laid back and not trying to sell yourself. You can give them a free sticker, and if they seem interested and you got some tickets to give away, you can invite them for free. Odds are, they’ll actually show up since you’re from out of town and gave stuff away vs. trying to sell them. Do ask for their email if they decline though. Worst they say is no.

2. Take a walk around town, hit the music stores, art stores and anywhere you can meet cool people. Do the same with them as in #1. When people are interested but can’t attend, always ask for an email.

3. Really this should have been number one, but this is why you brought the gloves with you. Put your band’s sticker inside the pisser in every men’s bathroom. Sure, they might be peeing you you, but they are also reading your band name while doing so. If you are in every pisser in the city, people are going to want to know who you are. Take that how you’d like lol

4. If you were able to set up an in store, radio gig or anything like that, use those tickets that you hopefully got to invite the people who put the show on for you for free. They will at the very least appreciate the gesture, and they will more than likely oblige as they already care about music enough to have hosted you.

5. While you are doing 1-4, make sure to document it on your band’s and personal social media accounts with the proper local hashtags. This puts you online in the area which, depending on how small the city is, can actually bring more people out to a show. This is also going to keep your current fan base engaged with you while you are on the road!

6. Get to the venue before the show starts, introduce yourselves to everyone in the room and load in. Put a video up on your social accounts of the opening local bands and don’t forget to tag them. This increases the chance of them sharing your video, again leaving an online impression in this place you have only been in for the day. If they notice you doing this, they are more likely to put a video of you up, or at least mention you to their following online. Get everyone at the show’s email.

7. Stay and hang out late with the local bands after the show is over. Meet the fans, hang out and you’ll be more likely to sell merch and maybe get a place to crash for the night from a new friend. Obviously sometimes, your shows are too far apart from each other, but this is why you want to be within 4-6 hours. Wake up early and make it by noon is really the goal. That way you have the time to hang, sleep, see the town and play a show. There are a lot more things that you can do, this is just a beginning list.

You can find more at The OCML Podcast Epidode 23 : Touring Tips, How to Hit the Whole City, Not Just the Venue

Thanks for reading and as always #EnjoyLocalMusic

John Safari

OCML Axiom – Where I Stay with Clemmie Williams

John Safari and the Axiom crew go behind the scenes with one of California’s best, Clemmie Williams. The lyricist, producer and singer/ song writer takes us behind the scenes of his everyday life as well some of the struggles himself and other Americans are currently dealing with.

This is a follow up to the coverage from the March in L.A. in favor voting on Measure H. This “yes” vote approved a tax to go directly to aiding L.A.’s ever growing homeless crisis.
Measure H Passed on March 7th

We sat down with Justin and Jacob from Centerpath. We talked in depth about their influences and story behind their new single “The Day After Tomorrow”.

This single was inspired by the terrifying truth about the relationship that mankind has with our planet. There’s nothing political about this song, it’s not our opinion on the matter – It’s a wake up call to our generation. The writing is on the wall, our species is destroying our planet, in thousands of different, irreparable ways. And we are the only ones who can stop it. It’s a truth that weighs heavily on us every day. And this band has always been about having a REAL message behind our songs and our lyrics, so, it just made sense to take a subject we were so passionate about and create something from it.
“The Day After Tomorrow” obviously has it’s own literal meaning, and in the context of the song it makes total sense, being that the song is about the impending doom of climate change and environmental pollution. So that’s what the name actually means. But the inspiration for it totally did come from that awesomely cheesy movie from 2004, not gonna lie. It just felt like it fit the message so well, we had to use it.
As far as the production for the single goes, right around mid-January we had the raw vocals recorded by Augustus Cryns at Soundcheck Studios in Hollywood. Everything else was done in our home studio, by our guitar player Justin. It took him about two months to get it done, but he hasn’t ever had any formal mixing education, so we were pretty pleased with how the final result turned out.
We didn’t really have a specific sound that we were going for in the studio as far as production goes. We were more concerned with trying to forge our own sound. But obviously our musical influences came into play a little bit, so if I had to name a few bands they’d probably be Periphery, Meshuggah, Slipknot, Korn, and Lamb of God. There are elements of all of those production styles that we wanted to incorporate into our own, but overall the goal was to make a product that could sit in a playlist with those bands – without sounding like complete garbage compared to them. I don’t know if we’re there quite yet, but this is by far the closest we have come yet!
“We felt like we needed to release this song off of the EP first, because the message for it is so dire.”
It’s something we felt needed to be heard, as soon as possible. This song was the message that we had always wanted to tell people, but never had the courage to. It’s dark, and it’s brutally honest, and the lyrics are almost uncomfortable to listen to. It was meant to be a call to action for some, and a calling out for others. But the message was something that we knew a lot of people would stand behind.
It’s impossible for me to pinpoint what we go for when we write the music. I don’t think we really go for anything. This band is one of those weird situations where everybody seems to almost always be on the same page when it comes to writing our music. Our goal has always been to write what we’ve always wanted to hear, and to be that band we wished we could have grown up listening to. Our instrumentalists have been working together on this band for over 3 years, so they’ve really developed a sense of the ideal sound for “Centerpath”. Its not something that gets discussed often, or really at all. We all kind of just get together to jam and write, taking pieces of everything that we do and eventually constructing songs out of the parts that fit the vibe of the band. After writing several albums together over the years under different band names and working with tons of different musicians in the process, the guys have developed a really solid connection as players and writers. And with our new singer Jacob in the mix, things seem to finally be falling into place.

We’re beginning the process of recording our 8-track debut EP, which we expect to be out by Summer 2017.

Here is a sneak peak on the latest single “The Day After Tomorrow” by Centerpath 

Follow Centerpath on Facebook, Youtube by clicking either of the social media names.

Ending Pay to Play. Is it hurting musicians and the local music scene?

What is Pay to Play? 

Pay-to-play is primarily described as any event that a band has to pay to perform. This is most often seen when a band is asked to sell x amount of tickets and must remit ticket monies before playing an event, or else they forfeit their time slot. Musicians themselves are held responsible for promoting these types of events with little help from promoters and are often mailed tickets to sell to people in-person.

What is the difference between Pay to Play and Presale/tickets for an event?

Some musicians prefer to perform at events where there are ticket sales as it provides the benefit of show-goers buying tickets in advance, often online, giving the event coordinators & bands an idea of how many people are actually attending. Most often, for these types of performances, the band is given either a guarantee for performing and/or a door split based on sales. The event coordinators are responsible for promotion of the event; so, of course, more work goes into booking quality talent.

Why is pay to play hurting musicians and the music scene?

The pay-to-play structure of promoting puts money first and talent second. Bands are left to promote themselves AND the show, with little more than a flyer from the promoter. Come show night, they hardly make money off merch (if at all since their fans just had to pay $ to get into the venue) as the majority of pay-to-play deals leave the venue/promoter keeping all funds from the door. There are many promoters sending contracts to bands to send all the ticket monies prior to the show, to guarantee their time slot ($$$’s or more), sometimes taking a percent of their merch sales as well. With money being of the highest priority, it puts young, inexperienced musicians on stages they aren’t ready for because they have financial backing (often from their parents). It has made the promoters lazy since there are always new, fresh faces gracing the scene (at least here in California). It’s very obvious to any band that’s been around more than a year that these promoters send mass messages to new bands with minimal social networking presence or bands that have already expressed disinterest; throwing a wide net trying to catch any band they can. This makes show lineups poorly thought out, with bands of various genres and ages being on the same stage in the same night. It has fans come in for just the one band they bought a ticket directly from and they leave right after. Music fans have no idea where to go to find new music and they believe all new music is of the same lack of caliber

What can I do (as a band) to help the scene in this struggle?

Don’t succumb to performing pay-to-play shows, they are not your only option! If your band is new or not ready to perform on a stage for pay, play a free show! There are bars, venues or even people with large backyards that are willing to host music for honest musicians for free or for a split of the bar or door. If booking isn’t your forte, hook up with some of the few promoters in the area that are against pay to play. Go out to shows in your local scene that your band is not playing.

What can I do ( as a music fan) to help the scene in the struggle?

Quit complaining about a $5 cover and support people pursuing their passion to share that they have created with you. Check in at the event online and put your phone away! Artists want interaction and you’ll meet like minded people easier and a lot less creepier than on Tinder, I promise.

What if I want to play a venue that only does pay to play?

Patience. Build your brand and eventually they will come knocking. Build a solid team and a great local pull, document it correctly on all social platforms, and then these places will call for you. Crazy to think about not looking for a shortcut, isn’t it? In closing, there are a lot of better ways that you can spend your money to progress your band than a 30 minute set time for one night. Once we all say no, bands will stop being taken advantage of. The music scene is a team effort and the more we act like it, the better off everyone is including the fans who make this all possible.

Thanks for reading.

John Safari President/Co-Founder OCML

 

Alorion chats with us about their recent album. With their latest cover of “Starboy” now available on their Facebook and website, we sat down with the guys from Alorion and discussed their latest album.

With their latest cover of  “Starboy” now available on their Facebook and website, we sat down with the guys from Alorion and discussed their latest album.
What inspired this EP?
This EP was inspired lyrically, by a few different life experiences. A lot of it has to do with love as I’m sure you can tell. Musically we were reaching for something that was “different” just by not setting any limits on ourselves.
Where did the name of the EP come from? 
Austin had come up with the EP’s title and not only did it sum up the music properly, but with this EP, there were many behind the scenes moments that were both chaotic and joyful in terms of creating the EP.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
This was the “chaotic” part of the process. We originally went to Orlando Florida to record the EP with Tom Denny (ex. A Day To Remember) in Nov. 2014 but the EP was not finished by him. We then tried a few studios but were not pleased with the results. Finally, we found Eric Mata who has now become a huge part of our sound and he helped us finish the record and release it in the Summer of 2015.
What kind of ‘sound’ did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Production wise, we wanted something theatrical. Something that would help the music seem like a movie was playing in your head as you listened to the songs. Our producer Eric was a big help in us achieving that.
What is one of your favorite tracks on the new EP? and why? 
“Before I Fade” is one that means a lot to us, it’s the first song we worked on as a band together and it’s just one of those songs where we gave our absolute everything lyrically and musically. We play it last in our set, it’s also a crowd favorite.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Collectively, bands we really enjoy are:
Linkin Park, Metallica, The Strokes, The 1975, Slipknot, Pvris, Never Shout Never, The Devil Wears Prada, Crown the Empire, there’s so much we can say…These are all bands that inspire us or made us want to become a musician.

Check out more information about the band and more of their  music at www.alorion.com

The First Time Enter Shikari Ever Played, Today Won’t go Down in History LIVE

The First Time Enter Shikari Ever Played, Today Won’t go Down in History LIVE

First off, I have to say I was at the first Enter Shikari show at Chain Reaction on May 14th, 2007. So it was an absolute must to go to the first show of the Take to The Skies 10 Year Anniversary Tour with Being As An Ocean. I’m sure I’m in this video in the pit somewhere from that night at Chain in ’07.

Now on to last night. I did something I never do and I stayed outside until ES took the stage. I guess I wanted my night to be all about the nostalgia and boy, was it worth it! When they first took the stage and went into Sorry, You’re Not a Winner, it brought me right back to that sweaty front row at Chain ten years ago. Bouncing around in the push pit, screaming the words with a thousand strangers, a feeling of being totally immersed in a show and becoming one with it. Their stage presence was nothing short of captivating up until the moment where nostalgia reaches reality, I’m too old for being in mosh pits for a long period of time. A sad realization. 

I took a step back to the left side and then ES decided to bust out, Today Won’t Go Down in History for the first time live, ever! So naturally, I took my phone out and filmed the song, all while catching my breath. This would be the only time until the last second of the set that my phone would not be in my pocket when I captured a picture of Rou on the floor with a light and his guitar, just after shredding the end their set. Enjoy the light show and #EnjoyLocalMusic
“Today won’t go down in history,
So shut your eyes.”
 

 

We talk to Against The Sun about their latest album!

1. What inspired this EP?

This EP is a collection of songs that have been written over the past few years. Each song revolves around themes of loss, alienation, helplessness, loneliness, and heartbreak. Our music is written with the emotional experience as the main focus. We craft the music, lyrics, and melody all fit together really nicely because they often all get written at the same time. As soon as there’s a really impactful emotional experience, the guitar and lyric sheet comes out and the music flows from there.
While each of these songs were written at different times, we specifically chose the order of these songs to tell a story. The first three tracks all are about feelings of disappointment, frustration, and anger towards a relationship that is going downhill. Then, in the fourth track, Obligations, we see why the relationship isn’t working out. We hear both perspectives on their problems and the song ends by exploding with heavily distorted instruments to symbolize the breakup. Then, the final two tracks, including the title track ‘Alone,’ are about dealing with all of that pain and loss and how to move on.
2. Where did the name of the EP come from? 
We chose Alone as the title track because loneliness was the common theme that tied all of the song together. Alone sums up the lyrical themes of the EP really well. There’s a lot of pain on this EP. Whether it’s coming from being with someone you love or being without someone you love. Ultimately though, at the end of the day, no matter what, you are alone. We all have to be okay with ourselves. We have to process this pain and learn how to be okay with being alone. 
3. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
We actually recorded everything in sixteen hours, so it was our quickest recording process so far. There was this sense of urgency during recording and it created this incredible energy. I think we rose to the occasion and I’m really proud of how we performed under that pressure. The mixing process was where we spent most of our time. We worked really hard on developing the tones we wanted and we think that was a really good decision to take the time that we needed to make it right.
4. What kind of ‘sound’, production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We all come from similar musical backgrounds but we all have our own unique perspectives that we bring to the table. Primarily, we’re a Hard Rock band so we like big heavy guitars and lots of bass. We take our sonic inspiration mainly from a mixture of late 90s and early 2000s Post-Grunge/Hard Rock, late 90s and early 2000s Alternative Metal, and some more recent Hard Rock bands. We like being heavy and having breakdowns and some fierce riffs but we’re also really melodic and vocally driven, so it’s a nice blend of the beauty and the roughness.
6. What encouraged the band to choose the current single for this new EP?
We didn’t really have a “single” technically speaking but the song we mainly promoted for this EP through shows and social media is the first track on the EP, In Chains. The songwriting process for this song was the most collaborative it’s ever been and I think it shows. Everyone has parts where they stand out and it’s just a great heavy song to start off the EP.
9. Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
We all love Hard Rock and Alternative Metal music but each of us have our own little sub-set of genres and bands that we admire. Our drummer, Tim, is really into the heavier music such as Arch Enemy and Periphery. He brings his love of Death Metal to the table which keeps that heaviness in the music and it adds a lot of technicality. I absolutely love Post-Grunge Hard Rock, bands like Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, and Seether, and that’s where the band gets its primary inspiration from. However, we all love Pop Punk so much! I think people can hear that in some of our songs, we’re faster and a bit more jumpy than most Hard Rock bands.  Last but not least, Calvin, our bass player, loves everything and anything that New Found Glory puts out. Not just that, but Calvin knows more Pop Punk bands than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s awesome, and he makes sure that the Choruses we’re writing are catchy and that we have plenty of energy in our music when we need it. All of our different inspirations combine to make the music that we write and it’s a unique combinations of a lot of elements of our various interests.

Check out more information and more music at www.againstthesun.com