Hello and welcome to a very special mid-week edition of our popular Journalism Tips series. We normally hold these columns until Saturday, but due to the time sensitive nature of the content contained within this post we decided to run it a few days early. Don’t worry, there will be something new on Saturday too.
This blog exists to promote the future of the music industry, and to do that we need input from people like you and your music-loving friends. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact email@example.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
There was a time not too long ago when I would have thought we talked about Vans Warped Tour too much. While it’s true that many labels who use Haulix to service their artist’s latest releases have participated in Warped Tour at least once or twice in the past, it’s not true for every single one of our clients and we often worry about giving any one area of music too much attention via this blog. In 2014, however, Warped Tour is a far different beast than it has been during any other year that I can remember. The punk and hard rock elements are still firmly in tact, but the world’s largest traveling music festival has also expanded its musical offerings to include people from the world of EDM, rap, pop, and beyond. Some complain, but I think it’s ultimately for the best, and if you’re smart about how you approach your coverage of Warped Tour you may find it has the potential to be one of, if not the most rewarding coverage experience(s) you have all year.
I know that every writer has their own method and routine when it comes to interviews and live coverage, but that does not mean you’re incapable of improvement. To help get this point across, I asked Absolutepunk staffer and all-round badass music blogger Jake Denning to provide a few coverage tips and tricks for those who have yet to attend the 2014 installment of Warped Tour. He agreed, and after a few back and forth conversations we settled on a nice list that I think drives home the idea that you can never truly perfect your interview style. In truth, you can only plan, practice, and hope for the best. Put yourself in the best possible position to succeed and do whatever it takes to make your goals a reality.
Without further ado, here’s Jake…
I recognize the advice I’m about to share is not gospel, but I feel like it will help some looking for some tips when it comes to doing press the Warped Tour (or any festival in general).
BEFORE YOUR APPROVED DATE:
1. Make sure you’ve turned in the interview request form that was sent to you when approved for press. Some interviews (such as The Summer Set and The Ghost Inside) require advance approval, and if you don’t turn in the form well in advance of your show date, there is absolutely no chance you will speak to that band.
2. Make sure you have a plan for food/water. My personal preference is to pack the following: (1) Quest Protein Bar, (1) 3.25oz bag of Jerky, and (1) Small bag of Trail Mix, along with (1) Empty gatorade sports bottle (you can generally find these at any sporting goods store for about $2-5, VERY useful).
ON THE DAY OF THE SHOW:
1. Have your batteries charged, your memory clean, your bag/gear organized
2. Get to venue and find yellow Vans tent well in advance of check-in time (generally 10:30am local time). This allows you to be ready to go when it comes time to enter the venue, and find the press area as quickly as possible
3. Once you’ve found the press area and you’ve introduced yourself and signed in, find the performance schedule, typically located next to the interview sign-up sheets. From there, momentarily forget about doing interviews for the day, and build a schedule based on what bands you’d like to watch. Ideally, you shouldn’t have more than 20 minutes between sets, as to maximize the day. Once you have that schedule, THEN start to remove performances that conflict with press times for a particular artist (For instance, if Every Time I Die is doing press from 1pm - 1:40pm and you’d like to see Motionless In White at 1:20…well, looks like you’re not watching Motionless In White)
4. HAVE AN OUTLINE - I recognize this is not for everyone, but for someone who tries to hit on the album/release a particular artist is touring on, this is essential for me. I need specific notes detailing my critical thoughts on said release, as well as questions pertaining to lyrical content, etc. You will never get a chance to interview this artist again on this specific day, so be as detailed as you can be in this setting.
5. Be mindful of when a particular artist is scheduled to interview and be mindful of when they arrive. Be near the press table when they arrive, so that you have a better chance of getting to interview them. To be honest, not every publication that signs up on the list (even if they’re first to sign up) will get to interview. For example, I had an artist come in that 7 different people (including myself) had signed up for – the Tour Manager routed them to AltPress, myself, and then one other publication, and then promptly left.
6. After an interview is done, IMMEDIATELY find a way to upload to Dropbox (or favorite cloud storage provider) - Things happen.
7. Chances are that you’re probably going to end up charging your phone/laptop/etc at some point in the day - take that opportunity to connect with other people/artists in the room. Plague Vendor (Epitaph) ended up on my radar because I ended up getting to know them for 20 minutes or so, not knowing who they were before hand.
8. Last, but certainly not least, FOLLOW THE RULES given to you when approved – for example, if you’re in a venue that does not allow video, then DON’T shoot video and claim you didn’t know about the rule afterwards.
Jake Denning is an entertainment writer and critic with years of experience working online. He has interviewed dozens of bands and written about more albums than you have probably heard in your entire lifetime. He’s a smart go-getter with a blindingly bright future ahead of him and we’re grateful that he was willing to help us with this post. If you would like to learn more about his efforts in music and beyond, click here to follow Jake on Twitter.
"Watermarking" in the context of audio in a Haulix promo, is the process of injecting inaudible pieces of data into an MP3 file that can later be scanned and used for tracing back to the original listener.
Haulix employs a custom integration utilizing Fraunhofer watermarking technology. When questioning the robustness of said technology, Fraunhofer states:
[watermarks]…withstand mp3 encoding, time stretching & pitch shifting, changing the sound volume, dynamics compression, trimming and DA/AD conversion including microphone recording…
The Haulix watermarking process is split up into two parts: PRE-processing of uploaded MP3 files and the actual INJECTION process.
We have automated both parts of the watermarking process and made them completely web-based — meaning anyone on your staff can sign in from anywhere in the world with an internet connection using a browser, upload tracks and they will get prepared for watermarking automatically.
How does this benefit you and your company?
— No special software or plugins required
— Anyone in your staff who has promo permissions can upload tracks from anywhere with an internet connection
— Remote staff can collaborate on promotions
— The PRE-processing step is fast. On average it takes 39 seconds per track to process
— Because of the PRE-processing step, the actual watermark INJECTION process is even faster, taking mere seconds per an entire album
When it comes time to scan a track for watermarks, simply submit the tracks to Haulix and a staff member will scan them and send back the results — no extra work required on your part.
SUMMARY: Haulix has taken a very complex watermarking technology and made it point-and-click easy to use through a pure web-based interface.
Hello, everyone. We are absolutely thrilled that you chose to spend a few minutes of your day with us. It has been well over a week since we ran any interviews with our friends in the writing community, but that finally changes this afternoon with the official return of the Blogger Spotlight series. This blog exists to promote the future of the music industry, and to do that we need input from people like you and your music-loving friends. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
H: Hello there! Please take a few moments to introduce yourself to our readers:
MB: Hi, I’m Mariam (but you can call me Mary), a 22 year-old settled between Paris, France and Brussels (Belgium). I aim to live positively and I’m the co-founder and Editor for Plug-In, which is a European based web magazine.
Hello and welcome to the dawn of a brand new week. We have been planning and working on the content you will see posted in the coming days for the better part of the summer, and to be perfectly honest it is a bit of a relief to know they will all soon be shared with you. This blog exists to promote the future of the music industry, and to do that we need input from people like you and your music-loving friends. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact email@example.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
The internet has changed essentially every aspect of the music business. From the amount of time between an album’s recording and release, to the way news is distributed and the way artists engage with their fans, nothing is the same today as it was even a decade ago. As someone who lived through it all and can clearly remember the days before everything you ever wanted could be found online, I constantly find myself blown away by the amount of change and evolution that has taken place within my own lifetime. It seems anything is possible these days, as long as you’re willing to work for it of course, which is part of motivation behind my decision to feature a relatively unknown band by the name of Knuckle on the blog this afternoon.
About a week ago, I received an email that brought to my attention a new duo from the UK who call themselves Knuckle. The two piece, as the press release explained, met on Halloween night in 2013 and decided to launch a band not long after. Their first single, “Living Hell,” can be enjoyed below:
I don’t know what you felt when you were hearing the song above, but the first time it met my ears I immediately knew Knuckle were onto something great. I reached out for more material, but their publicist informed me the guys only had a few songs completed and were focusing on developing their presence before releasing more music. This is a common response given to people requesting unreleased music, especially when talking about newer artists, but the more I pondered on Knuckle’s need to gain further exposure the more I became fascinated with the way the industry has changed. The members of Knuckle met less than a year ago, but already they have played with internationally recognized groups (Little Barrie), recorded some great songs, and released their first music video. Call me crazy, but there was a time when achieving all that mean you had ‘made it’ in some small way.
Anyone old enough to drive in the United States no doubt has a decent memory of the world before social media. In those days, if your band formed in October you would probably have a minimum of six months, if not more before you began playing shows. As for recording, you either needed to do it yourself with whatever equipment you could find or save enough money to enter an actual studio, but in order to that you first needed to generate income through playing shows. As a result, it was not uncommon to see even the greatest new artists take a year or two or more to find their audience. There was no Twitter to turn to with every thought you have, nor Facebook to post tour dates on. Bands that wanted fans had to hit the pavement and promote. They had to create actual press kits and pay whatever ridiculous postage was charged to get those kits into the hands of every record label, music publication, and management team whose address was available to the public. You may have an EP out six months after forming, but it would not hold a candle to the quality or quantity of content being produced today.
The world has changed since then, however, and whether you think it’s for the better or for the worse there is no denying that we are able to discover new artists and the music they create easier today than ever before. The hard part, at least as far as artists are concerned, is turning that person who discovers their music into an actual, financially supportive fan. That is the place where Knuckle find themselves right now, and it was one of the many things we discussed when I had the opportunity to interview them at the end of last week. You can read highlights from our conversation below.
Knuckle will be working on new music well into the fall, but I expect another single will surface before snow starts to fall. Follow the band on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated on their latest activity. If you have any additional questions, please comment at the end of this post and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
A lot has been written about the supposed dire state of the music industry, but truth be told there are a number of successful and growing companies, including record labels, that are thriving in 2014. In this column we bring together every job opening we can find from the companies responsible for building the future of the business and present them to you, our reader, in hopes of aiding you on your journey to join the global music industry professional family.
Each Sunday we scour the internet for the latest and greatest job postings throughout the music industry. You can help us better serve our community by sending any job openings you find or have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the name of the company hiring, a detailed description of the position being offered, a desired start date, contact information, and any additional supplemental information you feel may be needed.
Senior Publicist (Cashmere Agency)
Job summary: We are seeking results-driven and self-motivated individuals in the public relations department to work daily with Executive team, media outlets and clients; in conjunction with the new media, marketing and production teams. As a member of the Marketing & Communications team, the successful candidate will be instrumental in executing the agencys media relations strategy.
Thank you for joining us for another installment in our our ongoing Journalism Tips series. We started this column as a way to help aspiring writers get their start in music, but over the couple months we have been evolving into a place writers come to have their questions about life in the business answered. Today we are running a special editorial by our very own James Shotwell about the importance of collaboration. If you have any questions about developing as a writer/blogger in music, please do not hesitate email email@example.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
No man or woman is an island. You may believe you can do everything and be everywhere, but the hard truth is that there will eventually come a day when your best simply is not good enough. When those moments arise, and with the way the internet works today those times will likely come sooner than later, your best course of action is to seek out like-minded individuals with whom you can partner and collaborate. Maybe they join your site, maybe you join theirs, or maybe you both drop everything and start something brand new. Either way, there is strength in numbers, especially in the music industry.
I don’t know about you, but I woke this morning with a small spring in my step. The day greeted me with a cool breeze and plenty of sunshine, but something inside me told me the pleasant weather was not the source of my joy. I hopped in the showed and applying shampoo when it hit me: IT IS FRIDAY.
Each and every Friday we like to take a brief break from our regularly scheduled programming to update and reflect on everything happening at Haulix HQ. We are far more than a music blog, as many of you already know, and posts like this give us an opportunity to share more our efforts with all of you.
The past week has been pretty crazy around headquarters. We continued to promote our latest promotional video, as well as the recently unveiled profile system, but the task that took up the vast majority of our time was a new update we’re just about ready to share. Yes, the rumors no one started are completely true, Haulix has another big update coming in just a matter of days and we cannot wait to share the details with all of you. For now, however, we will simply tease the fact that this update deals with something that lies at the core of everything we do here at Haulix. Without it, our company would likely not have survived as long as it has, and with this latest update we hope to secure our position in the industry for many years still to come.
Hello and welcome to the final Advice column of the week. We did not set out to run a series of in-depth editorials over the last few days, but sometimes content develops in ways you never expected. For this particular piece, we became fascinated with the struggles of signed bands and wanted to shed a light on their troubles to help developing artists prepare for the realities of life in the music industry. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Today I was scrolling through the latest music headlines when I stumbled across a post from my friends at Indie Vision Music that captured my imagination. I Am Empire, a relatively popular rock band signed with Solid State Records, shared a photo on their Facebook page showing a quarterly streaming royalties statement. The image, which you can view below, was not exactly the kind of thing rock and roll dreams are made of:
The band offered an explanation for the image on the original post:
"A glimpse into being an indie artist on an indie label. This I Am Empire royalty statement shows nearly 500,000 internet radio streams/plays on one quarterly statement. Total royalty paid from this portion. $.58 per band member. Spotify streams.. nearly 50,000 streams.. paid $3.35.”
Hello, everyone. Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to join us for a little music industry discussion. We were not planning to run this particular feature today, but life has a funny way of telling you what needs to be done when you least expect it (as you will soon learn). If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact email@example.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
I was halfway through an editorial on stage lighting today when a new post from our friend Anthony at The Needle Drop caught my attention. In the clip, a fan wrote to Anthony asking him about his thoughts on cell phone usage at shows, and what he remembers from attending performances before smart phones. I was both fascinated and made to feel extremely old by Anthony’s response, as I had never thought of my life as having been lived in an era now known as ‘pre-smart phone,’ but I was also incredibly intrigued by the notion that such technological advancements have forever changed the way people experience live music. Before I ramble on, however, it’s only right that I share Anthony’s video first:
Hello again, everyone! We usually save our big company updates for the weekend, but given the size of this new feature we thought it best to give our latest expansion a post all its own. If you read our weekly recap last week you may already know what we’re about to discuss, but this explanation will be slightly more in-depth than before. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
One of the biggest concerns we have had in recent months when speaking with clients about their Haulix experience has been the fear of having their press contact information expire or otherwise become useless. You can only set aside so much time to update and reaffirm the information on your contact list, and as the the number of journalists you’re trying to reach grows it becomes increasingly difficult to manage.
We recognize the need for up to date information and easy database management, which is why we have created a new, state-of-the-art profile system that not only allows members of the press to see what labels have them listed as a contact, but also gives them the power to control what email addresses they are contacted at and who can contact them. When a member of the press changes their information that data is then updated on the contact page for every label that has that person listed as a contact.