Update: AHHH! My band just got its first gig opening for a major artist!! AMA!
It's been 5 months since my AMA blew up, and a lot has been happening since them - AMA!
Update: My band is KING WHISKER - we’re a 5 piece art rock/art punk group out of San Diego. We’re on all major streaming platforms, Bandcamp, and Insta
Our insta: https://www.instagram.com/kingwhisker
Recent music video: https://youtu.be/puK9i1gs9Z4?t=5
Recent single release: https://open.spotify.com/album/2Q83vN3SQHW23wfRQCCYdI?si=pM3el5NaQkOVxgCLF-ckPQ
In April of 2022, I got the chance to open for Yard Act in San Diego, just as they were starting to explode on to US scene - they played Coachella the night after our gig, and were in San Diego for a smaller club show.
Has this TASTE OF FAME AND GLORY done anything for my band? Are we wildly successful?
Here's the update - maybe other bands or musicians in a similar place will find it helpful!
The good: After about 5 months, we're in a much better place than we were BEFORE opening for Yard Act.
- The best part personally? We made a TON of friends and (a few) fans from the Yard Act show! There were a lot of folks from AF Gang there (the IDLES fanbase), and becoming connected to this group has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. They've introduced me to new music, have provided some amazing life advice, and have helped me stay centered in this crazy journey. I occasionally forget how much I LOVE playing music, and listening to music - the AF Gang folks have helped me rediscover some of the passion that I lost from focusing too much on the business side of things.
- Having a major opening act credit on on resume has helped us get some bigger and better gigs, and we're going on a 7-city tour in a few weeks to keep the momentum going. It's very much a DIY tour - no major label or promoter support - but we have some really solid gigs and I think it's going to be a great thing for us. We're also playing a local music fest this month, which is a first for us.
- The momentum from the show has really lit a fire under our ass. Since the gig, we've released two music videos and a new single. You can catch one of the videos here: https://youtu.be/puK9i1gs9Z4?t=5
- The guys from Yard Act are just wonderful - we spent some time with them at the show, and it was all smiles. If you haven't heard them yet, please give them a listen. They're amazing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ2ANR_vF2E
The "Bad" (or not-so good):
- Honestly, nothing "bad" has come from this experience... other than the slight disappointment in the 100% unrealistic expectation of this being "our shot" - there's no "one moment" that defines you as a band. It's a lot of hard work and grinding it out - it was VERY fun to exist in the orbit of some legit "rock stars" for a little while though, in our own way.
- What I would have done differently:
- Hire a photographer and videographer to get some better pics from the gig. This was a MAJOR missed opportunity to get some pics of us with a totally sold out show in a historic venue. Why didn't we? Well... we're a fully DIY band and it's hard to keep opening our pocketbooks... but we SHOULD have taken the plunge on this one.
- Some kind of email/social follow signup thing at the show. We sold a good amount of merch and made some fans, but we definitely could have done more to capitalize on the event.
- Gotten a pre-show guarantee. We only made $100 for the show... which is pennies. Someone suggested this during our AMA - I wrote them off a bit because they were rude (or at least I thought they were...) I don't think that $100 would have turned into $1,000... but maybe it would have turned into $200, which we could have reinvested back in the band.
- Had more fun - this is my main lesson learned during this entire experience. I want to play music because it makes me feel like a human... not because I want to be a famous boi. I have a decent day job and I'm blessed to be able to play my weird music for people. I had a full blown panic attack after the show (and several more after several shows following) because I was SO wound up on not squandering this opportunity. I lost the joy of playing a bit, but I'm working to rediscover that now.
TLDR: I'm not instantly famous, but I learned a ton of lessons and the band is in a better place.
AMA about the experience, the tour, doing DIY music videos, or anything like that. And here's my proof - I'm home sick from work today and look like a lunatic. Don't mind me :) blob: https://i.imgur.com/hixGluY.png