Get me a slice o’ that PIE!
Now that the structure of the music industry has shifted so much from a Stillwater in Almost Famous style approach to production to the DIY technogeek dream many up and comers have hit a wall.
You can no longer follow the route of Humble Pie (the PIE references will become clear by the end of this article) or many other supergroups of the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s. The traditional plan has been smashed by recession and the internet cry many, however equally important is the sheer amount of knowledge available to budding artists.
You can now do any number of degrees in Commercial Music or Music Management or Music Production, literally 4 year courses in how to be a rock star and not get screwed over.
My own dad was a musician in the 70s, he himself has said the concept of an actual degree to tell you how to manage a band back in the day would have been tantamount to telling a band they could travel by teleport to the gig. His own teen band threw a gig in the indistinguishable from zombie ridden fairground ailing Victorian beach town of Herne Bay at the dawn of the 70s, and literally everyone under 25 in the local area came. There was very nearly a riot.
This is because they were the ONLY gig in town. The ONLY chance to see and hear some rock and roll.
But as young men, they played and expected to become the Beatles or Led Zep or Cream but this didn’t happen. Bands at this time didn’t know what a fair cut was, they signed contracts and owed record companies thousands, they drank they partied and played. It was all rock and roll but unless you were the BIG thing, you ended up with nothing, quite often maybe not even a pressing of your own damn album.
But if you did happen to be the Stones, the record company were going to bankroll that party til the millennium. Record companies and A&R men ruled your world. They were the only way to make or break it.
Now so many years on we face an entirely new musical landscape. Young folk are savvy (even if many out there are still quite stupid, it’s an epidemic man, Health and Safety rules have allowed many to survive who go against the grain of evolution, as Darwin postulated in The Descent of Man)
Bands now have a greater awareness or at the very least access to information about laws, publishing, media and recording. Of course musicians are notoriously lazy right? so they still need the experts, the record companies?
Well in these days record companies are taking less and less risks with signings preferring to look for ‘the same as we’ve already got and makes us money’ nondescript female singer with hip hop leaning or solo male with guitar and silly name or boyband we can give a keyboard and mums will like as opposed to distinct and interesting talent. The biggest pop stars often still are at least different and skilled, but they are the exception really, Gaga, Beyonce, Rhianna, Girls Aloud – these are big players who make big bucks because they OWN the pop tour.
SO what you gonna do? You’ve got a band and you’re unusual and GOOD. You’ve even got the fanbase now, you’ve got tracks featured on prime time tv, you’ve had a foreign tour and you STILL haven’t been signed?!! WTF? whats going on here, I busted my ass for 2 years on this, I have a shed load of tunes ready to go and no-one to finance my album!
Slice The Pie
The answer may lie in this site. Slicethepie takes the idea of crowdfunding to a new level. On slicethepie you can upload your own projects and albums and people review them and rate them then the magic happens, the top rated stuff gets money!
Not like a lottery or competition this is simply music fans and investors willing and looking for projects to invest in. People invest from £1 in you until you reach the target £15,000. Like Dragons Den but not totally pish.
If you don’t make your £15,000 in 6 months you do get dropped out of the ‘scout rooms’ but if you’re a band with an already established fanbase then you can bypass the 15 grand part and go straight to raising money – up to £500,000.
The rules are HERE about what the investors get out of it.
If you’re a music journalist you can head over and review some TUNES. If you’re an investor looking for the freshest new talent, hit it up.
Slicethepie offers the chance to do it for yourself with a little help from new friends. But I have to warn you there seems to be no ACTUAL pie on offer. Just so you know. Check out Square Pie for edible pies.