Originally published May 31st 2014:
Hello, and thanks for dropping by!
Welcome to the very first article to be posted on the Underground In Prydain blog-site.
If I had to guess, I’d say the most likely reasons you’ve come to this site are either:
- You know me and I’m looking for your interaction to help me make a better blog
- You’re enthusiastic about the underground music industry (you’re probably a musician yourself or someone who works with them)
- A bit of both
I started Underground In Prydain for one main reason – to dig into the issues of the modern music industry which affect unsigned or small-to-mid-level bands. I’ve been in a few of them myself over the years, and I’ve dug around the internet for that ever elusive cure-all for musical careers since I first got on-line. Needless to say, I still haven’t found it.
What I did find was an endless stream of websites all purporting to hold the key to that particular secret.
The truth is, there is no definitive answer. It takes constant learning and hard work to get anywhere, and even then, there are no guarantees, only improved chances. Whoever said ‘You make your own luck’ could very well have been thinking of the music industry at the time. So, how do we make luck?
The music industry might be a creative one, but it is just that – a creative industry. A business. It might sound unsavoury, but anyone who has successfully projected their art to the world at large has used business practices, whether they realise it or not.
In any industry, knowledge and understanding of your environment are incredibly important. If you want to put on a super-crust-sludge-grind tour, you better know who puts on super-crust-sludge-grind shows, right? How are you going to pay for it? Will you be able to generate enough revenue from ticket sales alone, or will it need to be supplemented with a run of merchandise? If you get merchandise printed, what do super-crust-sludge-grind fans want to buy? Probably not My Little Pony i-Phone covers. Or maybe that’s a top seller.
All the information you gathered and considered before committing to the project was, in essence, market research, and most of it was collected by observing the experiences of others. Even if those experiences or the style of the artists concerned didn’t exactly match what you had planned, they helped make decisions.
The problem I have found with most music advice sites is that they don’t relate realistically to the audience they exist to serve. They use massively wide brush strokes and lean on information concerning the big players, who, and let’s be honest here, are so far ahead of us they don’t really need articles which aim to arm them for progress in the music industry.
This is where Underground In Prydain intends to get up to the elbows in dirt and pull out some golden nuggets. Through subject specific interviews and dissection of mass creative industry aspects, UP shines a light on the experiences and details which mean something to the underground.
If you sign up to the mailing list, like the FaceBook page or subscribe to the RSS, prepare yourself for articles which bring the battery of topics down street level to look you in the eye. You might not win every battle, but at least you’ll have better weapons for the war. I love helping people out with their passions, so if you can say that the planned disentanglement of music business mythology to come has helped you in any way, I’ll consider my job done.
Paul Macmillan – Slow Dragon Music