4 Signs You're Sabotaging Your Band's Success
October 4, 2016
Paul Corsi in Artist Development, Building relationships, consequence of sound, diy musician, music publicity

After working in the music industry for over 20 years, I can tell pretty quickly a few surefire signs a band is getting in the way of their own success. Ultimately it all starts with a victim mindset that pervades every decision made and how the band interacts with every opportunity.


This is one of the most common mistakes bands make when contacting a music professional. You want the aid of an expert, but you begin your sentence with a variation of all of your money issues. The most common begins with “We’re an independent band so we don’t have a lot of money.” I’ve even had bands ask if I can help them secure financing. If you are working with a music industry professional, chances are that person has also chosen the love of music over an amazing financial return. You should not be placing the burden of your financial responsibility on the person or business you want to help you. The only signal this sends is that you’re not yet ready.

Flip It: Instead of focusing on how your band doesn’t have any money, make a list of 20 ways you could bring in income and start with the one that has the greatest chance.


Now you are truly mired in a state of complete victimhood. If you keep repeating all the ways you can’t do something, guess what, you won’t. I’ve faced many situations at Green Light Go where the hurdle seemed too great to overcome, but I take on every challenge with resilience and grit. I ask myself how can we beat this? How can we get to the other side? And those have always led to the greatest successes.

Flip It: Look at your number one challenge right now. Again, make a list of 20 ways you can overcome it and then start with the one that most excites you.


You think if you just hire that expert, he or she will make all your dreams come true. You hire a top publicist and Stereogum or Pitchfork will all be over you. You get signed to a record label and you’ll be able to quit your job and go on a national tour. If you are an unknown band, no matter how great the publicist is it will be an uphill battle if no one knows who you are. Maybe Stereogum will cover you. But most likely they won’t. The campaigns that have been the most successful for us are when we are working in tandem with the band toward their success. They understand we have the experience to know what works and what doesn’t and trust that over any preconceived notions of how they think the industry works. At the same time the band also is able to bring new ideas that help move the campaign and their career forward.

Flip It: What’s one thing you have the power to accomplish right now? Do it.


You look at bands who appear on Consequence of Sound and think all you need to do is mimic their success Radiohead style. This may work if you started exactly where they started and built from there. Instead you try to do exactly what a band is doing now with a lot of buzz or at the height of their success. It is successful for these bands because in some cases they’ve spent 20 years building up to this level. Very few bands make it on the first release. And if they do it’s often simply the luck of the draw. Twenty years ago people didn’t access music simply with the click of the mouse. Only the industry elite or the master counterfeiters were able to get their hands on music, which quite simply created more demand for the music when it did start to take off. Now everyone can, and let’s face it, it’s much easier to take great music for granted. It’s fantastic to look at success stories and use that as a model, but don’t forget to look at where it all began and see if that model matches your philosophy and how fans would react to your band right now.

Flip It: Stop comparing yourself. Identify YOUR band’s greatest strengths and then determine how to develop them to help take you to the next level.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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