Category Archives: Five and Five

Five and Five: Promoting your music

After spending all the hard work to produce and record your music you want people to hear it.  Be aware the work doesn’t stop once you release the single or album.  In order to make sure the release is as successful as possible you will want to promote it so it gains traction.  You can either do this yourself or you can hire a company who specialize in PR to do it for you.  Which ever way go, make sure you do some research first to make sure what you choose is the best option for your release.  So let’s hear some tips from an expert in the field of PR.       

Hi loyal readers, my name is Jesea Lee and I’m the co-owner/head publicist at the music PR firm High Road Publicity! I was previously the in-house publicist for Tragic Hero Records, Sun Pedal Recordings, and Revival Recordings. As a publicist, I of course suggest hiring a professional to handle your PR, but as a former wannabe rockstar, I know money can be tight and sometimes you just want to give it a go on your own. The following are some simple “Dos and Don’ts” that will help you cut through the noise a bit and give your music a chance to be heard by the tastemakers. These tips are just generalized tips, we’re not talking about developing your story/hook here, but just how to make a good first impression and not annoy writers before they even click play!

1.) DON’T send attachments. Writers (and most people) are doing a lot of business on their phone and don’t want to download files. It also takes up precious space in their inbox. DO send streaming links. If the song is unreleased, you can use platforms like Dropbox, Soundcloud, YouTube, or my personal favorite, Haulix.

2.) DON’T send a link to your full album. If you’re pitching someone your music for the first time, DO send them your best track. Nobody has time to listen to to an entire album from a band they’re not even sure they like yet. If you do send a link to your whole album, at least let them know what the focus track is that they should hear first.

3.) DON’T use generic greetings. DO take five seconds and address the person by their first name. They’re people just like you and don’t want to feel like just another name on your list.

4.) DON’T make the writer search for your assets. If they want to cover your music, make it as simple as possible for them. DO provide a link to a press release or EPK with all necessary info (bio, photos, social media links, etc.). If you don’t have a press release or EPK, at least include a Dropbox link with all those assets.

5.) DON’T forget about the blog/music mag after they decide to cover your music. If you’re lucky enough to get that review, interview, or even a quick blog post, DO support them by sharing the content across all your platforms. They put work into supporting you, so you should do the same. If you don’t, it’s unlikely they’ll want to cover your music again in the future.

High Road Publicity is a full service entertainment, publicity, and marketing company.   Check out their website and social media pages below.  If you are looking for a great PR company for your next project contact them to discuss options!

Five and Five: The Sound Guy

We’ve all been there before. A band gets mad at the sound guy because “he screwed up their sound” or their set was cut short because they took to long setting up but their story was “the sound guy doesnt know what he was doing”. Well I will tell you I have a lot of respect for sound guys and you should too! Sound guys can be the backbone of a show and they see most of what goes on. There are times I bet the sound guys sees more than the promoter does. They interact with the bands on stage and also see how the bands act in the crowd. They can make or break you in terms of how your set goes. Based on how you act or treat others could bring future consequences, both good and bad. So what should bands do? What are some things that sound guys like and what are some things that are disliked? I decided to take these questions to a good friend of mine, Paul Mitro, who just happens to be a sound guy. He put together a list based on his opinion and past experiences.

So without further ado let’s take a look at the five things you should do and five things you shouldn’t do if you’re a local band playing a show. (Although these can apply to all bands I am trying to help out smaller bands as they grow)

Let’s start with the five things that Paul recommends you don’t do.

  • Don’t show up unprepared. Soundcheck isn’t a time to go over parts. It’s for getting the audio right. Get on and get off other bands need to soundcheck as well.
  • Don’t be late for load in. Nothing screams amateur hour more then showing up late. And for goodness sakes if you’re late don’t expect a soundcheck!
  • Don’t be a diva. If something about the show doesn’t go your way don’t whine. Be cool and roll with it. The promoter and the other bands will remember if you took one for the team and didn’t make a big deal about it.
  • Don’t be picky about the sound. Be as minimal as possible with what you need. Take the time to figure out what you actually need to hear to play. Remember the sound guy/gal can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. And for the love of all that sounds good, don’t show up with your own sound guy without first clearing it with the promoter AND the house tech BEFORE THE DAY OF SHOW!
  • If you make a mistake or have a gear failure don’t make a big deal about it or blame the sound guy. It’s not his job to know the the 9 month old battery you’ve been too cheap to replace, finally died.
  • Alright now that we have looked at some things that are not recommended, let’s look at some things that you should do.

  • Do tip your sound guy. Especially if you have a ton of special needs. And even if you don’t it’s just good practice. Chances are you’ll get a little extra love from him/her.
  • Know your gear. Take the time to learn your gear inside and out. When something breaks…and it will, you should be able to troubleshoot it fast and get on with the show. Also new drum heads that are properly tuned and fresh strings the day before (not right before you play or they will stretch out and you will never stay in tune).
  • Be open to sharing gear. It makes the show go faster and honestly your gear probably isn’t better anyways.
  • Have a clear agreement on what is expected from your band and the promoter. No one likes feeling like they are getting ripped off. If you’re still not sure how much you’re getting paid by the day of the show you’re not doing it right. #contractskeepfriends
  • Stay for the entire show. This goes along the lines of being a diva. You’re not special. Hang out on the floor and make some new friends. Green rooms are cool for a quick refresher and getting your heads in the game right before you play but that’s it. You have to get fans somehow so try being outgoing and drop the moody, depressed artist thing that you have going.
  • And here is one more bonus tip that will get you extra points with the sound guy!

  • Make a stage plot and input list. The pros do it and so should you. This helps the sound guy get you up and running faster. Keep in mind that he/she has probably mixed hundreds of bands in the last few months and you can bet they will not remember what you need from the last time you played.
  • So there it is ladies and gentlemen. Five things you should and five things you shouldn’t do from the view of the sound guy. So let’s hear it. Do you agree or disagree with Paul? Do you have more tips you would like to add. Sound off in the comments and let us know your opinion!

    About Our Expert

    Paul Mitro has been producing music and working in the industry for over 10 years. He has produced many albums as co-owner of Old Bear Studio located in Batavia, NY. Paul has had the chance to mix for bands such as Haste the Day, Oh Sleeper, and We Came as Romans as well as work with bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Queens of the Stone Age, and Billy Talent. Paul has been in a number of bands and currently plays guitar for the metal band Tetelestai. Paul resides in Buffalo NY with his wife and soon to be born child! Make sure to check him out at