Select Page

WTSS20110513-50A question from Lewis Wood:

Draven, how does someone know when they’re ready to get a band together? How important is the whole image of the band? How does one go about getting the band together etc? I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say. Cheers.

The full answer is REALLY long! Lol! Let’s go through your questions one by one. Your first question is easy.  You’re ready to get a band together right now. I’ll answer your question about how to go about getting a band together on this blog very soon. Until then, work on identifying your core values and how those are lived out. Having non-conflicting and complimentary core values is the number one most important thing about building the right team of people to work with. But, like I said, I’ll talk more about that in another post.

So, let’s talk about image.

Alex Staropoli (of Rhapsody of Fire), Tom Hess, and I already have an eCourse called “Becoming Unforgettable: A Rock Band’s Guide to Image and Branding“, which also comes with a great workbook, “Incredible Presence,” to really help you stand out and brand your band into the hearts and minds of your audience. Be sure to check it out, along with the awesome article on the linked page.

Branding and image are extremely important, and can greatly amplify the message, impact, and memorability of your music. That guide and workbook might be exactly what you’re looking for to make your band unforgettable and impossible to ignore. Image is much more than the clothes you wear; it is also the message and emotions of your music, the placement of things on your stage, the decorations you put around the entire room, how you act on and off stage, what you say and how you say it, your artwork, backdrops, and even merchandise and merch table. Everything that is an extension of your band is part of your image and brand, and serves to reinforce and amplify the impression you make on people – the same impression you’re trying to make with you music.

Sadly, most less successful bands stop at their music.

What if you don’t do anything with your image?

Imagine if Coca-Cola relied solely on their soda for their branding. Without the colors, logo, memorable songs, expected ad campaigns, slogan, and more, they would more than likely have never survived, much less be the number one soda company in the world. They mastered their image and brand, to the point that just seeing the color red with a white wavy line makes most people immediately think of them. Wen it comes to bands, think of some of your favorite successful bands. Look at their clothes, instruments, backdrop, merchandise, posters, artwork, how they act on stage, how they act off stage, their music, and everything else that you can find about them. There’s a consistent message running through all of it. It evokes a certain emotion and tells you what to expect from them. They have mastered their image and brand. Where would they be without it? Where are most bands who don’t see the importance of image?

With that in mind…

You want everything that you present to the public to be an unmistakeable representation of your band, both amplifying your message and letting people know what to expect from you. But also remember that communication goes two ways. Amplifying your story and message only works if the receiver can understand and relate to it. So keep your ideal audience in mind as you brainstorm all the cool things you can do for your image.

Think deeply about your ideal fan – those people you most easily connect with and attract to you. Who are they? What are their interests? Where do they hang out, find new music, shop, etc.? The more you know your ideal, perfect fan, the simpler it will be for you to create your brand and products in ways they think are absolutely awesome. Describe them so fully that you not only know their searching and purchasing tendencies, but also exactly what types of things they would go nuts over. Is it an awesome backstory like my own band, The Silent Still or Coheed and Cambria? Is it stunning visuals? What particular aesthetics are they attracted to? What about their interests truly seem to fit the music ad stories you’re creating for them?

I’ll answer more about starting a band and finding the right band members in another post. Until then, considering the above, what are some of your ideas for amplifying your music and story through your image and brand?