The Indie Way project has now been in existence for almost 3 months. The question we’re asking ourselves is: how successful is this as a model for indie bands looking to finance themselves? From our own experience thus far here are a couple of observations:-
a. This requires of a fair amount of time sitting behind a computer, constantly updating the online presence and maintaining contact with online world. Moreover, one thing that we have not done enough of, but will do more of is to pour content onto the internet. A band in the era of web 2.0 can’t simply put out music once every couple of years as in a past era – it’s got to be constantly dumping out written content (blogs, newletters) videos and photos as well as music
b. Gathering e-mail addresses is crucial. Within any given e-mail list, perhaps 1 – 2% of the folks there are true fanatics about the band. Maybe 20-30% of the list is actually interested in what is going on and follows and occasionally comes to shows. That means that the main purpose of an indie band should be building the list at all costs and maintaining contact with these folks.
c. Live shows are still fundamental. Live shows are still the best way to hook people, give them an experience and collect e-mails. Also, they can be good ways to produce content as well. That means there can never be any throw away live shows ever. If you have to do a throw away live show, it makes most sense to invite people to a private open rehearsal.
d. Likewise, good songcraft. The old requirements for getting buzz still hold true, it’s simply that there has to be creativity in the use of the new medium of the web.