JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: DAATH’S EYAL LEVI OFFERS ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MUSICIANS
Here’s some advice for those of you aspiring musicians out there who keep asking me questions like: How do I get my band signed? How can we get the attention of people at labels? Etc., etc., etc. And I’ll give you some advice for sure.
But I’m going to start at the beginning. I think that most of you are putting the cart before the horse. You’ve got to get your package up to snuff before you can even begin thinking about labels. This is to take place months or even years before you ever encounter a label person.
Purchase a cheap way to record yourself. Record yourself often. Not for the sake of production. This isn’t advice for aspiring producers. Do it for the sake of truth. When you think you know how to play something, record a take of it. Listen to the truth. As the say, “the truth shall set you free.” Take the weaknesses you hear and make them your next area of focus. If you do this systematically and with enough frequency, you will become a much more solid player in a shorter amount of time than you would typically expect.
This is important because you need to learn how to be recorded. That’s right. You have to know how to play your instrument in a way that will translate to “tape” well. Think of it like a model learning how to pose for the camera. You need to learn how to play the parts the way they were intended to be heard while under the gun. If you are aspiring to be a professional musician, then recordings will undoubtedly be something you engage in creating. Start NOW at learning how to do it right. This will help you conquer the shitty shitty demo sound you will most likely get at the studios you can currently afford. Having your demos sound as close to pro is of paramount importance.
Industry guys will tell you that they can hear through a crappy demo. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!!! I FUCKING MEAN IT!!!!!! If your band is in a situation where it is being courted by label dudes and they ask for a demo and you give them one that sounds like shit, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Yes, it’s entirely possible that some A&R guy will hear your basement demo and hear the spark of greatness buried in that pile of auditory shit, but don’t count on it. Especially when some other band they’re also talking to will take the time and spend the money on getting their demo done right! Remember: They talk to many many bands! Your band is just a prospect at this point. Do you want to lose because of something you coul have so easily fixed with just a little bit more effort and cash? I wouldn’t.
So back to the original point. Learn how to be recorded. Do it a lot. Get comfortable with that red light. The red light will guide you.
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