Do you feel like you are up against all the other bands in your genre or region? Do you consider those bands your competition? If they win, do you lose? The secret is, we’re all in this together. That’s why fighting bands is a waste of your time.
Too many bands are worried about what the other bands are doing to get ahead.
We might feel like if the other bands do well then there is no room left for us to succeed. The reality is that everybody has the ability to do well. Don’t get stuck like the goats in the photo. Locking horns with your “enemies” isn’t going to make your band better.
“The rising tide lifts all boats.” – John F. Kennedy
As a musician, you are probably also a big fan of music. Do you only listen to one band? I would guess, and hope, that the answer is no. You probably listen to hundreds, if not thousands of different bands. Many of them within the same genre even. Does liking one blues band mean that you can’t like another blues band? No. If you like blues then you want to find as many good blues bands as you can. So why do we feel that our fans are going to leave us for a better band?
It is only human to feel threatened when we think somebody is coming after our precious fans. We fought long and hard for them, so we want to hold on tight. Just remember that if our fans are true fans then they will stick around. If they buy your competition’s music, they will probably buy yours as well.
Instead of working against other bands, work with them.
Combine forces with them even. Create a combo album that features both bands. Now you can sell your music to their fans, and vice versa. Play shows with those bands. Fans won’t have to choose which band to go see and which one to miss when they are all playing at the gig. The best part is that the bands will start to share their fanbase with one another. You’ll get farther quicker when you work with bands instead of against them. Win, win!
Let’s take a look at an example.
Dave Mustaine spent decades making Megadeth the best metal band he could. His main goal was to get back at Metallica for kicking him out. Years later he felt like a failure because Metallica was “better” than Megadeth. For most of us, we would view Dave’s accomplishments as a huge success. He formed an internationally popular band, won a Grammy, and released several albums that sold millions of copies. To Dave, it wasn’t enough because he was focused on being against Metallica. He couldn’t see his own success and enjoy it.
Let’s change how we look at things.
The next time you see a band do well in your genre or area then remember that it means you have the ability to do well also. Sometimes these other bands might even break things wide open in order to let other bands in. Don’t concentrate on why they are doing better. Concentrate on how you can succeed like they did. Don’t let jealousy get in your way. Find new ways to join your fellow musicians and help the indie community. Build bridges instead of burning them. You’ll find that when you concentrate on the positive stuff that your world becomes a nicer place to live.
Do you have examples of how working together with other bands helped? If so, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your story.