BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on The Art of The DM

The direct message is a miraculous and powerful tool. It’s also a tool that you can dramatically misuse perhaps more than any other. There are quite a few intricacies to understanding what makes for a good direct message. The thing is – if you can master the DM you will end up being able to grow your network quickly and dramatically. However, if you fuck it up people will think you are an idiot. So I wanted to take some time about how to generate responses, build relationships, prevent yourself from looking like an idiot, and thus leveraging it for all sorts of long term opportunities. This is something I use every single day to grow my network and connections. I hope that it rubs off on some of you guys too. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on Marketing for Rural Bands

Rural bands have it tough. A lot of times big tours don’t hit you and often there isn’t enough of a population density to have any sort of tangible scene. A lot of bands who have a great sound and a lot of passion find themselves having a hard time because they are in a remote area that makes it difficult for them to get good opening slots with any regularity. This is something I see coming up all the time. So I wanted to talk about how this can actually be used to your advantage and how being a rural-based band is in some ways more of a blessing than anyone might otherwise realize. Though you may have to make the scene come to you, you have minimal competition, which means you can be the best thing going on a Friday night in your town and consequently you can build up a devout home base that will always support you. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on The Last Week of The Year

Something I struggle with as someone who is always pushing to hustle harder and do more is the last week of the year. Traditionally it is a time when everything slows down. Emails are rarely answered and people are spending time with their families. For many, this is a welcome reprieve and I get it. It’s winter, it’s dark, you worked hard all year, why bother trying to fight through when all is quiet? If you want to take some of this time off there is no shame in that. However, if you are in a band and this is some of your only concentrated time to work on music it can be hard to decide what to spend your free time on that will genuinely help your band in this period. If you focus on rehearsal, recording, planning and setting up incremental goals though you will quickly find that there can be meaningful growth for your band during the holidays. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on What Labels Are Looking For

Record labels – signing to one is the ultimate goal of many a band. That being said – so many people seem to fundamentally misunderstand what they do or how they seek out bands. I’m currently sitting here with the ability to do A&R at a decent handful of labels, but as I spend time doing the research I’m getting increasingly frustrated in finding bands who I think would make sense to sign. So what I wanted to do was take a little bit of time to outline some of my process for picking up bands with the hope that you can learn a thing or two and maybe it inspires me to figure out who or where I need to be looking. Ultimately what a label is looking for is a band with momentum, who have proven they can keep their shit together, have the drive to keep going and of course that mysterious ‘X’ factor. Continue reading

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