Dear Ego Maniacs,
2010 is already unfolding at a breakneck pace, and Icky’s Ego is feeling the pull to get our act together and get some resolutions in motion.
Our lovely Cela decided to enter Icky’s Ego in a blogging contest put on by Ariel Hyatt of Ariel’s Publicity, a PR firm for bands. The contest will follow several musician bloggers who are implementing the strategies from her book “Music Success in 9 Weeks”, which focuses on using social media and online tactics to build a fan base and to earn money as a musician.
The winner gets a free 3 month Cyber PR Campaign, and blogging about the book sounds like a good opportunity to share the tips we get with many of you guys who are also navigating this rather daunting business we call “show”.
So…stay tuned for the info, as we dive in and follow the course.
Now, by way of introduction, here’s a moment of pop-culture wisdom to set our scene:
There’s a sequence in James Cameron’s Avatar that depicts a young warrior-in-training trying to earn his status as a member of the tribe. His biggest challenge is to tame and pair up with an aggressive flying creature called a “Banshee”, that will be his bonded friend and personal mode of transportation for life.
He must use his intuition and strength to choose his beast. But the catch is, the beast must also choose him.
As he approaches a group of Banshees, he asks his mentor how he will know when his destined creature has chosen him.
“It will try to kill you”, she explains.
Well friends, we now feel certain that a life in music has chosen us. Because it’s definitely trying to kill us.
Icky’s member David pointed out how the metaphor from the movie relates to one’s chosen field. You can choose a profession of passion, a life doing something that you love—but if it’s really meant for you, you can’t expect it to yield itself up to your desires without a fight. You have to expect to be frustrated, burnt out, uninspired, to think you suck, to feel like giving up, to see your weaknesses as insurmountable. Until they’re not. And you have a success. Then, rinse and repeat.
Our band is realizing that to keep from going nuts, you have to learn to love this growth process, instead of focusing on the negative. But damn, it’s really tough right now.
We’re seeing that to really have any kind of shot at making a living as a musician in today’s oversaturated market and crumbling music business paradigm, you have to be really savvy and creative with marketing, promotion, and all kinds of non-music making things that right-brained artsy people know nothing about. You have to put in a lot of hours and energy, without letting your writing, recording and performing suffer. Right now we need about 12 more hours in a day.
Ariel talks a lot in the first chapter of the book about the mental preparation that it takes to be a musician. She advises you not to beat yourself up, to make a written list of the successes you had in your day (however small), and to celebrate your wins.
Well, we have the celebrating part down. Traditionally, Icky’s Ego celebrates our hard work with hard liquor. And while we like this very much, we will be spending less time at the corner pub and more at band work in 2010.
According to reality TV, most bands find success and then go through rehab…we just figure we’re doing it backwards, but it’ll all even out in the end.
Setting goals with due dates and a plan of attack is the key point in the first chapter of the “9 Weeks” book. Icky’s spent some quality time over New Year’s Eve brainstorming our intentions for this year…they go a little something like this:
- Have our first CD finished and pressed by April (that means recording about 8 new songs)
- Play out once a week
- Get our EPK together
- Post at least a 1-min video online weekly
- Get out 3 CD’s to radio and reviewers daily
- Practice at least 3 hours a day, and 2 rehearsals a week
- Create 4 music videos this year
- Put on our “big show” at the end of February (to be explained)
- Be touring in Europe in spring of 2011
That’s right…we made the massive, wild, inspired decision to move to Europe in spring of 2011, to tour with the band, for about a year. It’s big and unknown territory…50% of our band has never even been there. But we’ve really been feeling a pull in that direction. So it’s happening.
So let’s savor our quality time together this year you guys!
More on that to come. The idea of music success in 9 weeks, as proposed by the book, sounds really tasty, ‘cause we’re gonna have to get some serious work done before we jump over the pond.
Thanks as always for listening. And, please enjoy our second Icky webisode.
Love You Long Time.
Vreny & Icky’s Ego