Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Supporting a band: A fan's perspective

What does supporting a band mean to you? buying a CD, going to a concert? Organizing a street team? promoting the band through word of mouth to your friends? There are many ways in which we can help support the bands that we love.

I'm sure everyone appreciates that running a band is HARD work, really hard work. It's time consuming, expensive and tiring. Not that I have ever been in a band situation but I try to put myself in their shoes. At the end of the day, they will have no idea how their work will be received by it's target audience. So for all the hard work, could in the end amount to nothing. Of course musicians have a passion for making music. If they did not, they would not even bother, but in order to get the music out to the masses, and further more promote the band and in the future be able to set up a tour, it is going to cost. Right now, especially in this day and age, where crafting out an identity in a very saturated industry and be able to gain some recognition is very much dependent now on what us fans can do. There are a multitude of resources available now and I am typing this out on just one of them. I'm sure there are people out there that can do a little something within their capacity and expertise to help, in this case, Ravenscry. Who could use some help to have their work recognized in the metal world. 

Come to [insert Country] 

With regards to wanting to see your favourite bands on tour in your home town. We all would love that, and it will surely make our year, when a band we so truly love and respect are able to come visit us. But again, a band needs funding, finances and need to resolve all logistical issues before traveling, before they embark on the tour. We, the fans can help in that respect.  Buying the CDs, the merchandise, even donating a few euros, pounds or dollars now and then are great ways to help. On facebook, I counted 5000+ fans of Ravenscry. I am sure all 5000 would love to see Ravenscry somewhere close to home. That can be made possible if even half that number bought a CD/T-shirt, or hit a donate link on the band's page. I've not been asked to write any of this, it is an independent view, one which comes from my own heart and mind and if we pull together as a community and ACTIVELY helped support Ravenscry, we stand a better chance of seeing them live across Europe and maybe even further away and it's just little things that we can do and of course being conscious when we ask a band if they can come to our town, imagine what needs to happen to make that possible, and you can help make that happen.

But the CD is not available in my region

This is a likely scenario as bands on smaller and independent labels do not press huge quantities and(or) can distribute to every corner of the Earth, would be nice if that was possible! But did you know you could always try getting in contact with the band, and there is always a great chance you can simply buy directly from them as they will often hold stock of CDs and Merchandise. As always it is easy to get in touch with bands through facebook or their official websites and twitter, so there is no excuse! grab the CD! funds permitted of course and we don't all have the money at hand sometimes to buy the things we want.

How about going digital? I am sure there are many itunes and Amazon users around who like to download content. Most times it takes the lack of CD availability out of the equation and is often cheaper than buying a disc. You also have the option to preview and download single tracks for very little! It all adds up in the end and we have done our bit as fans with regards to obtaining the material we want to listen to and thanking the band for the hard work they have put in, to producing something for our listening pleasure.

Gangs of New York

Of course the word gang tends to refer to a group of individuals up to no good, but when you take the expression strength in numbers, it holds totally true and relevant to represent a united force for good and positive association. I am of course talking about street teams, who surely have their place in helping to promote bands by carrying out various activities in their town or city. We do have the internet now and perhaps the physical street teams aren't seen so often these days, but there are always opportunities at concerts and festivals to get together with fellow fans and hand stuff out, have a chat with other like minded people and generate interest.

Tweet till you drop!

Yep we love tweeting, facebooking, youtubing so what better way than to drop the name of your favourite band to friends and your wider circle of friends, friends and beyond! Do you have a blog? Why not review the latest album, or comment on the live gigs you have seen. Or anything band related, you can easily present to your audience. Remember we aren't flying solo here so collaboratively, we can spread the name far and wide. So lets see those blogging skills put to use. Those who are a little braver, how about a vlog on youtube? You'll get your 4 minutes of fame and you name drop a band you like, and speak a little about them.

It's your call and no one is being forced to do anything, but if you feel it in your heart that a band is worth supporting and I mean that in every sense of the word, then we should show a little appreciation for the hard work and energy put in by every band member and give something back. I think that's fair and just way to say thanks and hopefully with a strong and active fan base behind Ravenscry, you may just help ensure longevity and some success. No one is expecting miracles and over night fame, but it's not about that, it's about building something, leaving a legacy, a small dent in the music world, and we can be a part of that, if we just open our hearts and our minds, and show a little support. So let's do this folks! 

Stay Raven! 

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