Thursday, 26 August 2010

Demos

I receive a lot of emails from unsigned bands. Too many emails, in fact. There's the occasional gem in there which is clearly from a true fan, who passionately discusses their love for the label and our bands, or goes into detail about the first time they saw xyz play live, or how many times they've listened to abc's debut album. Unfortunately, for every one of those, there's roughly 50 inappropriate ones. Bands who have filled the cc field of their email with the address of every label ripped from The Unsigned Guide. Bands who have read so far as the "Records" part of our name and immediately sent a message, ignorant to the fact that we don't sign funk bands or artists influenced by the Stone Roses. Bands who have played 3 gigs in their local school, recorded a terrible quality demo and proclaimed themselves "the next big thing". Bands who send 20 MP3 attachments. Bands who send recordings of the bass and drums, claiming that not only is it far from being their best song, they haven't yet recorded the guitar or vocals. Bands who include Red Hot Chilli Peppers in their influences. Bands who list their members in big, bold letters as if I'm meant to know who they are. Bands with crap names. Bands with crap music. All of these annoy me beyond belief, rightly or wrongly.

This morning, upon deleting my 9th such email in an hour, I took a moment to think about the perfect band submission, if such a thing could exist. Perhaps a list of rules would be a good idea?

This is where I realised I'm as contradictory as I am angry.
  1. Be concise... yet make sure you give me lots of info
  2. Be friendly and charming... but don't suck up
  3. Be confident... but do not, under any circumstances, be arrogant
  4. Tell me why your band is going to sell records... but don't tell me they're the next big thing
  5. Make it be known that you're not afraid to work hard... but don't you dare call me at 9pm on a Sunday night
  6. Do tell me your Myspace address... but I will frown on you for still using that terrible website
  7. Don't send MP3 attachments... but do make sure there are streaming and download links available
  8. Don't tell me I should sign you cos you're friends with our bands... although I do kinda like hearing that
  9. Don't list a bunch of gigs in towns I've never heard of... but do show me you're willing to tour hard
  10. And finally, continuing from the above; don't offer me guestlist for a gig in a village hall on the other side of the country one rainy Monday night... but do, it makes me feel powerful
Dear unsigned band, if after reading this somewhat confused list you still think you have what it takes, I excitedly await your email.

Much love

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