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« The Difference Between the Music Industry & The Recording Industry | Main | The Musicians’ Guide To Google – Hot Tips To Maximize Your Google Experience »

Reader Comments (6)

Very interesting article. As a pop/rock solo artist, I often wonder if I should present myself as a band (and what would I call it?) or just stick with my name. I think about this every day.

On another note, you said, "Foster The People ... worked for years to achieve some modicum of commercial success." According to Wikipedia at least, the band only formed in 2009 and it was Mark Foster who wrote and recorded "Pumped Up Kicks". It seems to me that Foster The People is an example of a solo artist whose success was independent of the band. But please correct me if I'm wrong.

February 1 | Unregistered CommenterSam Page

An inspiring article for all solo artists out there.

If you have a backing band, leadership skills become important, particularly having a clear idea of where you want to get to and believability.

Sam - using your name is fine however your name alone will not mean much to someone looking for a gig or new music like yours. Your name plus a "hook line" to pull in fans is much better - a short snappy few words that describe what you do succinctly. You only have a few seconds to grab a future fan's attention.

Eliza

The Fan Formula

Sam,

You're totally right, man; I kind of just culled the names of those bands from acts that seemed both popular and topical and while I do know a fair amount about Mumford & Sons, as well as nearly all of the other artists I named in the article, I apparently should have researched Foster the People more thoroughly. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

-P. Adler

This is a very interesting and thought-provoking article. As a solo recording artist, I chose to go the route of a "band" name primarily in order to leave my options open in the future while still having creative control of writing and recording now.
Having been in a good handful of bands before creating The High Cell, I can attest to the fact that sometimes, it's just too difficult to force cohesiveness. Then again, I don't think there's a "right or wrong" answer. It's just a matter of each artist finding what works the best for them as an individual.
Some of my favorite music of all time was created by what i believe is a combination of musicians who's sum was greater than the perceived value of the individuals. Would Led Zeppelin have created such timeless music if either Jimmy Page or Robert Plant weren't in the band? Not in my opinion. At the same time, would Nirvana have existed if Kurt Cobain had any random collection of warm bodies around him? I'd personally say yes (and in all fairness to Dave Grohl, the same can now be said about the Foo Fighters).

What it all boils down to, is that you just can't force things to work. If you're in a band and everyone is all on the same page, great! But if things aren't working, you as an individual need to take the initiative to put yourself in a position to succeed and stay true to your goals. For me, the philosophy that Bruce Lee followed as he pioneered the concept of "mixed martial arts" back in the day applies to just about anything. Don't blindly do what you are "supposed" to do. Simply use what is most effective for you, and discard the rest.

- Mike
The High Cell

This is great article for discussion, especially in the city I live: Nashville TN. I've compared building a band in Nashville to dating a stripper. Even it's comprised of close friends, someone that can get your drummer more cash in his pocket or if they get offered to go on tour with a music act they don't even like, you're probably going to lose them. And honestly, as their friend, you should support their career move to leave you for something else if they see a better potential for success without you.

I'm a pop/rock solo artist with a band mindset, and I'm a multi-instrumentalist songwriter. So I just write and recorded what sounds like a well produced full band. And I promote myself under the name "CRASH LIKE THIS," which sounds like a band name, but I just call it my music. My personal name isn't that marketable anyways, and also has a lot of "noise" when searched for online (surprisingly many other people also have my name). I just have friends play with me on live shows, and it's cool because even with some of the same songs, people get to hear different versions as I play them with various friends. If I'm alone, theres always a tambourine under one foot, a shaker on my other heal, guitar in hand, and the occasional use of a vocal harmonizer pedal. Anyways, I recently found Music Think Tank, and have been very impressed by the articles. I enjoyed this one, for damn sure.

February 6 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew M.L.

CORRECTED: This is a great article for discussion, especially in the city I live: Nashville TN. I've compared building a band in Nashville to dating a stripper. Even if it's comprised of close friends, someone that can get your drummer more cash in his pocket or if they get offered to go on tour with a music act they don't even like, you're probably going to lose them. And honestly, as their friend, you should support their career move to leave you for something else if they see a better potential for success without you.

I'm a pop/rock solo artist with a band mindset, and I'm a multi-instrumentalist songwriter. So I recently just wrote and recorded what sounds like a well produced full band EP. And I promote myself under the name "CRASH LIKE THIS," which sounds like a band name, but I just call it my music. My personal name isn't that marketable anyways, and also has a lot of "noise" when searched for online (surprisingly many other people also have my name). I just have friends play with me on live shows, and it's cool because even with some of the same songs, people get to hear different versions as I play them with various friends. If I'm alone, there's always a tambourine under one foot, a shaker on my other heal, guitar in hand, and the occasional use of a vocal harmonizer pedal. Anyways, I recently found Music Think Tank, and have been very impressed by the articles. I enjoyed this one, for damn sure.

February 6 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew M.L.

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