THE DREADFUL DEMO FILES
We music industry folk tend to get lots of unsolicited mail from aspiring musicians and bands. I’m a nice guy and believe in good kharma, so I’ll generally give anything that comes to me one listen on principal. The problem is this: 95% of it is pure garbage. Another 4% is passable/decent but nothing spectacular, and the remaining 1% is very good but rarely ends up being worth paying attention to for some other reason (i.e. the band ends up being a bunch of fat 55 year olds, they abused ProTools to make a good sounding demo, etc). It’s the saddening 95% garbage that we’re concerned with here in my new column The Dreadful Demo Files. Take for instance the poor chap pictured above. Let’s just say this picture alone provided for a good laugh around the office.
More info on this fine gentleman after the jump…
For the sake of retaining some sort of integrity for this poor guy, we’ll leave out his real name; let’s just call him TR.
First of all, what in good God’s name is TR thinking by including THIS photo in a press kit? I mean, really??? He must think he looks spectacularly cool in this photo, which begs the question, what does this guy actually look like in real life? I mean, I’m all for not conforming to the norm, but wouldn’t it maybe be advisable to include a picture of him playing an instrument, recording, performing live, or something? I can hear his thought process; “I know, I’ll take this picture of my hot, shirtless bod with an Iguana on my arm and an ’80s tote bag around my neck. THAT will sure impress the hell out of these guys and show them I’m the real deal right off the bat!” Reality check.
Now let’s take a look at TR’s press sheet.
Kids, if you’re reading this, pay close attention; this is a great example of what NOT to write on your press sheet. This is the most generic crap ever. Every press sheet reads exactly like this. Let me guess, you lived in a bunch of different places giving your music a unique perspective… yup, there it is! “Memorable melodies and thought-engaging lyrics,” yeah, I’m sure, just like everyone else. Oh, and I’ll bet you also combine a variety of styles and influences, culminating in a unique sound that is all your own! Amazingly enough this last tried and true press sheet-ism is conspicuously missing this time around.
TR is already off to a pretty bad start, but in the interest of being fair I will still give his record a shot. Here goes… well, it sounds pretty much like what you’d expect a record written by a guy with an iguana on his shoulder to sound like. It’s not ear-shatteringly atrocious, but it definitely falls in the 95% category. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.