Bitter Ruin are on a mission to get their music into the UK charts on Sunday 9th October.
“We all want that so what’s new”, I hear you say.
Well of course it’s not new but what’s different is Bitter Ruin are seeing the results of a very good piece of planning that all indie musicians can learn something from. Plus there’s the fact that they’re unsigned and doing all of this themselves with grace, enthusiasm and a good pinch of strategic thinking.
Bitter Ruin formed in 2007 in Brighton when Ben Richards and Georgia Train met at music school. Although they understood each other musically through their classical training, they had dramatically opposing music tastes. Georgia listened to Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and The Talking Heads whereas Ben preferred rock and bands like Metallica. The result? ‘Contemporary Expressionism’ with passion and musical intelligence at the heart of what they do. Their songs are about the darker side of life and their innovative performances come alive with theatricality, strong sparing vocals, harmonisation and raw instrumentation.
Bitter Ruin put in the hours and are persistent. They have a strong belief in themselves. After doing over 500 gigs they were good enough to be paid and they started getting great support slots in bigger venues. They’ve toured before now but it wasn’t the right time for them. This time it was very different.
Their plan is masterful and is paying off. They recorded their single, made a video (the first thing you see when you visit their site www.bitterruin.com), decided on a release date and went on a three month tour in the lead up to it. During the tour they concentrated on growing their email list and afterwards, back home, they plugged the single using Facebook and Twitter. They were clear about their mission and gave their fans clear a ‘call to action’ to support them. Their single, ‘Trust’, is only available in outlets that notch up sales registered in the charts. They know how many sales they need to get to number 1.
All good stuff. Their big break came when Stephen Fry got involved. Then followed radio and TV interviews and, two days before the chart was announced, they were in the top 5 in Rock.
And their ultimate goal? To have someone do the leg work for them so they can spend more time doing what they love, creating great music for their fans.
Eliza Michaels is a music career success coach and author of The Fan Formula - fan-centred marketing for musicians