Category Archives: Band Tips And Advice

Steve Hampton: advice from a life in music

Quite Great has been an industry establishment for some years, forging a niche as the go-to for marketing in a tough and cutthroat environment. There are certain individuals we encounter that have been in the industry far longer, Steve Hampton being one. Having been a jobbing musician for some 30 years, Steve has an intimate knowledge of the scene, seeing first hand how musician’s methods of promoting themselves and interacting with fans has changed over the years. He speaks about his current musical project and gives some advice to younger artists.

A singer and lead guitarist, he is the frontman of numerous bands. Steve’s success is due to his variety and ability to take his guitar and simply learn different styles, understanding exactly what his audience want to hear. A favourite of local festivals and music venues in Hampshire is Dead Crow Road, a self-proclaimed redneck rock and roll outfit that creates music which is wild and vicious. Steve explains: “the Dead Crow Road style is raw, real americana flavour, we use a pedal steel and mandolin to get it just right.” The band was formed with the soul idea to exemplify the true grit and power of country music, banishing any twee and syrup soaked notions. “Our first gig was in Portsmouth, a favourite spot for me and my band mates, at the Eastney Cellars, a small, spit and sawdust venue that really appreciates live music. The response was a positive one, and we have been going ever since.”

Dead Crow Road is made up of musicians who have an undying love and passion for playing music, with Nick Evans on guitar and mandolin, George Allen on bass, Dave Gilgannon on guitar, and finally the band’s youngest member Chris Dennison on drums. Collectively they have many years of experience, both within and on the periphery of the industry. In his conversation with me, Steve openly admits that the industry is not what it used to be. “I don’t want to sound like some old curmudgeon” he says, “but there’s not really much these days, in more ways than one, to make. You have any specific game plan for a band, the wider industry is less about talent now and more about promoting a certain product.” The band have found success by their independent means, finding ways to promote themselves via social media and secure gigs by word of mouth.

As a fixture of venues at a county level, Steve has noticed a change in the mindset of venue managers, and a change that can prove detrimental for up and coming musicians desperate to play to an audience: apathy. “They’ve been inundated with mediocre bands for so long, so when you approach them for gigs you automatically get tarred with the same brush.”

Steve’s primary advice for an aspiring artist is simple: “be true to what you are, this is the most important thing of all” he says, “if you’re constantly unsure and pretending to be something you’re  not, you’re going to fail before you’ve even begun. It’s such a distinct and obvious thing, but for many musicians I’ve met over the years, some just don’t get it”. Finally, he says, “remember your own self worth, the musician is the top of the food chain. Without musicians there would be no music on films, no radio, no record companies, no publishers, no venues, no promoters.”

Steve Hampton is living proof that you can be a fulltime musician – it just takes self confidence and a lot of hard work and determination!

Best Music PR Tips For Unsigned Pop Acts

The Quite Great Marketing and Label Services team work with artists at all levels of their development from across the world and we gain immense insights from them as to how they find the UK Music Industry and the trials and tribulations of working within in it, before checking out the interesting views of developing pop act Timotion check his video which was ingeniously created using an array of dance footage and has certainly shown a clever way to make a very watchable music video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twfqPzq372k

‘The good thing about being an artist making it on your own is that you have total control of your product.

1. You have a say in when it is released, where it is released, and how it is released.

2. You have the luxury of bringing product to market in weeks instead of months.

3. You don’t fall risk to having your product shelved in favour of a bigger artist.

4. You have the choice of which artist you work with and which producers you use.

5. You have a the last say in which tracks you choose for release, the supporting video, and promotional campaign.

6. The benefit of a successful campaign is far more lucrative than if you were in debt to a label.

7. Now a days we independents have a platform to where can get our product to millions.

8. My work is appreciated by industry professionals who have been in this industry for years.

9. To hear those who have been in this industry and have seen millions of talented people and say to me that I am very talented, is one of the highest compliments you can be paid.

10. Lastly, to know that people enjoy the music that I created is priceless

For me the above is exciting and all up to me to either succeed with or not. I can only blame myself if things don’t go well. I like the fact that in order to see a return on my investment I don’t have to sell millions of records. More importantly I enjoy making music and I am very fortunate that I am able to create, package, and put my music on the market.

The down side to all of this which we will label the bad is you are really on your own.

1. It is difficult to get the support from promotional companies, National and regional radio as they favour the larger organisations.

2. I just don’t have the budget of a major so my campaigns take longer and are not as wide spread as I would like.

3. I can’t compete with the bigger labels in regards to getting the exposure for my titles.

4. You can have the best track of the year, but if it isn’t in mainstream there is little fall out from a brilliant track.

5. It can be frustrating as you feel as if you are at a stand still, you expect a certain amount of movement but things grind to almost a halt.

Even with the bad you must focus on the good and the positive. I believe in a simple formula and that is just keep chipping away and chipping away, eventually the wall will fall.’

The guys at www.quitegreat.co.uk love working with all levels of act to help drive them to the next level and when you read such a piece as outlined above by Tim you can see why it is vital to offer a structured release pattern in order to really work with new artists in a focused manner so all is clear and understood as that is the only way to approach things when moving through the maze that can be the music industry.

Top 10 Tips Every Musician Should Know About

Whether you’re a solo artist or part of a band, a vocalist or prefer just to let your hands do the talking with an instrument, there are few things more satisfactory than turning your love of music into a full-time career and finally giving up that boring day job.

Actually cracking into the music industry takes some luck and a whole lot of hard work so here are 10 tips to help you boost your music career.

Continue reading Top 10 Tips Every Musician Should Know About