30 Reasons “Industrial” Music is in the Crapper

[Originally blogged 12/10/07]

NOTE- I’m guilty of many of these as well.  Much of this is also from an exclusively non-European standpoint.  Also, I expect this list to grow substantially.:)

1) Bands refuse to promote themselves properly and to markets outside of the niche.

2) Most bands don’t play enough shows to build a proper audience, and play to the same crowds every time allowing for zero growth.

3) Are more concerned with the latest software and equipment than making good music that will speak to listeners

4) Care more about getting signed to a label to get “validity” than making music that challenges listeners on any level.

5) Refuse to learn their hard/software outside of what sounds cool to them or sounds similar to what’s hot on the dancefloor.

6) Believing their own hype, when in the scheme of things even being a “top-selling” artist in this genre equates to what 50 Cent sells in a day.

7) Concerned more about image and $300 boots than putting on a stage show that is not only engaging, but personal, sincere, and fun.

8) An overriding silent shame that being “industrial” means you’re not good enough or unmarketable and thus need to incorporate other styles or become a “real” band to gain sales/validity from the mainstream press.

9) Giving a shit what “industrial” music even is, instead of just doing your thing and letting it be appreciated for what it is.

10) Whining about downloading being the death of the industry instead of giving people incentive to buy the release by offering special content that would be harder to get if it was illegally downloaded.

11) Not utilizing merchandise as a pivotal way of making most of the money for a band.  You can’t download a t-shirt.

12) Using grassroots advertising like the internet, street teams (be they virtual or physical) and word of mouth to get the message out about your music.

13) Not sucking live and actually putting on a show.

14) Staying out of needless online drama when you should realize you not only represent your you and your music, but also your label.

15) Blaming lack of advertising/promotional budget on lack of sales, when there are plenty of free, inexpensive, or economical methods of getting word out about your music.

16) Expecting promoters to come out of the woodwork to help your band when you could just as easily book your own shows and venues to kickstart the process.

17) Bickering, infighting, and taking cheap shots at more successful acts because you can’t be bothered to take responsibility for your own lack of promotion, skill, or ability to network.

18) A lack of professionality as how to deal with promoters, labels, distributors, i.e. the “business end” of the business.

19) Inability to embrace new technologies for allowing people to find and pay for your music successfully.  Odd, especially since an overriding theme in this genre is the future.

20) Few credible, accessible sources that write about the bands outside of grassroots webzines or Side-Line.

21) Very little Soundscan coverage for a majority of the labels, demonstrating to bigger labels the selling power of certain bands…or lack thereof.

22) Basing a band’s image on theatrics that were played out 20 years ago and refusing/being unable to update those theatrics to engage a new audience.  Marilyn Manson wasn’t first, but he took Alice Cooper’s crazy to a whole new level.

23) Dismissing the audience’s desire and need to hear and see new things on stage and in a club.

24) Sending demos only to labels that traditionally sign industrial acts, when many labels sign a variety of hard electronic projects.

25) Unrealistic expectations of promoters that are, at best, only part time and at worst completely inexperienced (yet have their hearts in the right place) and not working professionally at the business.

26) Unrealistic expectations of small labels to provide not only promotion, but tour support and the trappings of what screws both labels and artists in the “real” record industry.

27) Zero payola to pay off radio stations for proper airtime.

28) Bands unwilling/unable to tour enough to develop a strong grassroots following or improve their stage shows.

29) Few bands exploiting promotional/sponsorship deals with different equipment or software manufacturers.

30) Defeatist attitude about the music industry when music itself is alive and kicking– it’s just that the major labels aren’t because of massive overspending and their inability to put out music that interests listeners enough to go out and buy it.

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