BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on Why Going to Shows Matters

I am going to outline this fast and loose because I’m on a deadline and I fucked up. On the plus side, my esteemed editor happens to be EXTREMELY drunk right now at a bar down the street – so I think I have some leeway. The point being – there are a few very simple keys to success in the world of local music and we are going to talk about them. These are things that just about everyone can do and which are basically guaranteed to increase your bands’ draw. The best part is that it does not cost an exorbitant amount of money and most of them are going be fun. It’s really just a case of going to shows, talking to people there, making sure you get an understanding of who is doing what and then building on it. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: The Hedgehog Concept

I’m currently reading a book called From Good To Great, it’s a study by Jim Collins where he and a team of researchers broke down a huge variety of data in order to craft an understanding of what helps companies and projects move from… well from good to great. It’s interesting stuff – compelling reading across the board. One of the things that really struck me from the book was the idea of the hedgehog concept, that you need to find the one thing you are the best in the world at and then double down on that. So I wanted to talk about how this applies to bands. To do so we are going to dig into what the hedgehog concept looks like in the band world, how you can use that to start to differentiate yourselves, how that will fuel the economic engine of your band and then of course how to develop from there. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on Why Cover Songs Matter

I’ve written about this before, but given the huge response of a recent Bacon’s Bit on the topic, I wanted to re-address it. Your band should have a cover song or two in your back pocket. If you are able to do this then you are going to be able to differentiate yourself and more importantly have your band be remembered. When it comes down to it, as an unsigned band trying to break it in the underground having your band be remembered is the most important thing. If people can’t recall who you are you are fucked. But if you can give them a reason to recall you – you’re in the clear. So I wanted to address all this and get into why covers aren’t corny, how they help to cement you in the fans’ mind, how to choose a good song to cover and of course some of the additional benefits that covers bring to the table. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on How Hard The Music Industry Really Is

Doing this is hard. Like, straight up. I don’t think people understand this. I’m sitting on my third long flight in as many days, having been in Perth on fucking Tuesday and now about to land in New York Shitty on Thursday. Somewhere in between, I took a half dozen meetings in Los Angeles. That is what this lifestyle looks like. A baby is screaming, there’s a guy standing in the aisle who looks like a guy I used to tour with who killed himself, my fucking neck hurts. Don’t get me wrong, I feel fortunate for every day I get to help bands and work in this business.  I just wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of why this business sucks sometimes and what you need to emotionally prepare yourself for if you’re trying to get into the music racket for real. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on How To Break Your Band

So I was thinking about this recently as people are frequently asking what it takes to reach the next level of being a band. It’s a tricky question after all. What does a band need to do in order to break? There seems to be so many different possibilities and factors that could have a very real impact. Figuring this out is incredibly tricky and of course, if the formula was defined then everyone would do it. However, I wanted to distill four key points I see in bands from the underground scene who break. Remember – doing this is really goddamn hard and if you don’t manage to do them no one will think any less of you. So with this in mind, here are the key things you need to do to elevate your band. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on Why You Need PR For Your Band

One of the things that freaks me out the most about the music industry is the number of people who legitimately want to grow their bands and who are literally throwing their money away. It borders on terrifying when you look at the number of bands who will happily dump five thousand dollars in the studio, three thousand dollars on vinyl and merch and then just release their record without doing any PR. People aren’t out there looking for new music to randomly float into their eardrums guys. Record labels aren’t out there picking up random bands that they found on Bandcamp. I know that this sounds crazy – but this is where we are at. You need to hire PR if you want your record to go anywhere. I’m going to dig into why. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on Booking Agents and You

One of the things that I get asked about the most is tour booking and getting a good booking agent to help bands out. Everyone seems to think that all they need is a booking agent to ensure them a path to grow their band. In some ways, this seems true. In the current era of bands, people seem to be less and less focused on needing a manager and more focused on the person who can get bands what they actually want – sick shows. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. So with all this in mind I wanted to put together an article that outlines why booking agents pick up bands, how to make yourself desirable to one, what they can actually do for you, and of course the simple fact that a booking agent might not be what you want at the end of the day. There’s going to be a lot to unpack here so hold on to your hats for a wild ride. Continue reading