Steph is a friend of mine, a musician, an improviser, and an all-around awesome person. She is also an excellent vocal coach: http://www.dragonflymusiclessons.com/dragonflymusiclessons.com/home.html
Note: After graduating music college and being a professional working musician in Toronto, I took the plunge and co-founded an original rock band called Pan Out Now. It was an intense 13 year ride – with many ups and downs and lessons learned along the way. Here are just a few of them:
- Your fate is in your own hands. Don’t wait for others to make things happen for you.
- Working for beer and glory will be status quo till you land a record deal.
- Record deals are a pipe dream for most bands. see lesson #1.
- If you want to make some decent coin on a tour- college shows are where it’s at. They’re not easy to get, but if you have a good promo kit you just may snag some. With some smart planning they will keep your tour from going in the red.
- Always be kind and gracious to your soundmen. the fate of your show is in their hands.
- If you play the bar circuit, than you are essentially a liquor salesman. Booking agents care little how amazingly you can play or sing. Bottom line is, if you can bring 150 people to your show, they’ll book you.
- Stay away from Band Competitions. A pyramid scheme of the worst kind. See lesson #1.
- Wearing many hats (manager, promoter, booker) is part of the job description for an original indie band. If you treat the band like a business you’ll get farther ahead.
- Thanks to Homeland Security, the USA is a fortress for indie artists. While it’s possible to cross the border on the sly for shows, you run the risk of being finger-printed and banned from re-entering permanently. It’s just not worth it.
- The best lesson I think I learned is that my tenacity and passion for something I value is something to be proud of. It brought me much success, and even though the dream of having a label pluck us up and carry us further eluded us, I am proud to have accomplished all that we did. Like Franky says – “I did it my…..way!”