By: TJ Liebgott
After scouring the Internet checking out Toronto indie bands it became apparent that the art of even a mediocre bio is lost on most bands/artists. With the increasing popularity of myspace and other such online music communities, everyone and anyone has a home for their music. Unfortunately, this has all lead to bands losing their professionalism and becoming lost in a sea of enthusiasts recording tracks in their basements.
Most bands hate the commercialism associated with the bio or feels that no one reads them. Regardless of your feelings on the music industry, every band should realize that this is a business no matter how indie you think your band is. Even if your just playing for the love of music, you still need to promote yourself as a product in order to get fans into your shows. In the end the bio is your business card to the music community. It helps fans, press, booking agents, managers, and record labels know who you are and what your about.
Key Points To Make In Your Bio
– Contact Information. Always make sure that everything associated with your band has contact information on it. Always have the contact directly on each piece of media from cd’s to bios. That way even if elements get lost, your contact information still resides on anything that didn’t make it to the trash.
– Influences. Every band loves to say that they are starting a musical revolution or don’t wish to pigeon hole their band by using genres. The fact of the matter is though, that no band is 100% unique. We all get our influences from somewhere no matter how random. If your band is afraid of being trapped within a genre, use words like hybrid, myriad, collage, or infused. Its still unique if you merge different genres, artists, political ideals, and non-linear thinking to describe your sound and it will give the average person an idea of what to expect if they where to see you live.
– Band Members. Very briefly describe who is in the band and what they play. Unless you’ve made a name for yourself, forget about writing 2 paragraphs about who came from what band and why. However, if one or more members/ex-members can give you some kind of instant music cred, be sure to drop their name a little more often. As well, pay more attention to this information if the band has numerous members or plays more bizarre instruments.
– Any Other Relevant Information. Briefly list off anything that was a major accomplishment for your band. Maybe you played a well-known festival, toured with a popular band, or were a major draw at NXNE. Quotes from reputable music journalist sources also help. Just be sure not to dwell too much on these facts or it may look like your band is holding on to glory days of the past.
– Humour/Individuality. Be sure to personalize the bio to the personality that fits the members of the band or the genre of music you play. If your music doesn’t sound like everyone else’s, why should your bio be a carbon copy of countless others?
Many bands are guilty of ignoring the bio, but it seems like Hip-Hop artists are the majority of those ignoring this key marketing tool. Regardless of style, every band needs a bio. All news is good news and a bio can help get press about your band from every angle, everywhere from Major music publications to local music rags to fans writing about you in their high school newspaper.
In most cases this is your bands first impression to make on somebody before they’ve even heard your music. It is sometimes your only chance to get your music heard and the last thing you want is to mess up any opportunity.