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Sunday, June 1, 2008

How To Contact The Industry Bigwigs

Well I must be doing something right here. Over the past couple of weeks, whenever I contact the 'movers & shakers' in the industry (be it management companies, major record labels or even the bigger indie labels), I seem to get replied to now! Yes that does come as a surprise, because I have been managing this band seriously for a year and previously when I would contact any one of those “types”, I always got the brush off or no reply at all!

A month or so ago I contacted the major US indie label Wind-Up Records. Now, a place like that – they have no contact details on their website, and don’t accept unsolicited CD’s. But it just goes to show, if you know who to contact, are polite, use the correct etiquette and get straight to the point, then a response is more likely. By the way – it is no good being an artist or a band member and trying to contact people like this, ensure you get a representative or look at finding someone to manage your band and do it for you. Anyways, Wind-Up Records replied to me and asked me to send a copy of the album over so they could check it out. Turned out that it wasn’t something they were interested in taking further (unfortunately), but have asked me to keep in touch and send them anything else that I think might interest them. WOOT! BONUS for me! What a great contact to have!!

Yesterday I contacted a couple of well-known band managers here in New Zealand and I heard back from one of them today, which was great. He replied "you're doing a great job with your promo" and gave a few suggestions, which was really helpful. I was happy with that and it was great to hear back from someone like that and receive their advice. Once again, it’s great to have a contact like that. So like my previous post – it’s really all about contacting the destination and asking for directions.

Just three things that I really want to point out, that are so important and will make all the difference if you receive a reply or not – 1) Find out who is the correct person to deal with; 2) Be friendly and polite, and get straight to the point; and 3) Do not contact them if you are a band member – get a management company to represent you – or you are wasting your time.

If this helps even one person out there then it is worth it. Once again, I will keep you updated as I go and you’ll be hearing all the success stories here (there have been a few already - including receiving over 300,000 views in the first 5 days of appearing on YouTube) and the failures as well… along with all the drama’s I encounter along the way! There’s already been way too much of that though – with sabotage from a soundman, a local music forum causing trouble, a reviewer that went to great lengths to bring us down, and a bass player that ditched us 6 days before a big showcase!