Commitment & Hardwork with Ash Avildsen Part 2


The Working Musician Playbook


Lesson Info

Commitment & Hardwork with Ash Avildsen Part 2

I think you know something that that is very should be obvious to people is that you know, you need to continue to set goals you need to continue to work hard and continue to strive to achieve your goals that surround the passion that you have, you know, because you're obviously very passionate about it and I think that's something that speaks worlds to people because you know it's not something that you could achieve being half ass or doing it a half ass way it's something that you need to be truly passionate about and committed to and put in the hard work to do it and you know, that's that's why I think that that you know, the things that you're doing are great I think it will be successful because passion is definitely is definitely the foundation of it, so I do want teo wanted toa see there's any questions here? Yes, susan, I have a big picture question for you there's so many people in our chat rooms right now that are talking about they are passionate, they do work hard, they may...

play the drums eight hours a day, they've been working on this for eighteen years they're totally committed, passionate, hardworking what is the missing ingredient to you for these people who have been doing this forever or are putting in like hours and hours a day and still don't understand why they can't they're not nothing's happening in their lives with this, with music people, some people that have been passionate for eighteen years on, they still still feel that anything is really happening for their careers. Well, I'm saying even young people who are playing drums like ten hours a day, they're totally committed, they're totally passion there, they think they're working really hard or there's people who have been in the industry for eighteen years and I just, you know, waiting and are passionate are committed are working hard, like what? What is that? If you had something that you could tell them that is the missing ingredient in this equation for them, do you have something? Do you have ah, one liner or something that you think is the missing ingredient between in that scenario? I mean, if you're a drummer in a band, it could be your guitar playing your singers, you know, it could be the songs you're making, I mean, I still stand very hard behind it starts and ends with the talent, and that doesn't mean, you know, on a technical level, you could be on incredible player, you know? But what are the songs? You know, some of the best songwriters, our incredible singers, you know? I mean, bob dylan, mick jagger, they're superstars, but you know, I bet you spencer from paree freak and probably sing we're octaves than them. Uh what? What, what, what, what what does that mean? I don't think there's a single line, I can tell these people, but you have to be honest with yourself. So if they're playing a show and you're about to play your favorite part of this song, this is the part of the song that you think maybe it's your chorus, maybe your bridge and you're like this part is show awesome, I think it's awesome and you're playing it look out into the crowd when you're about to sing your favorite lyric or play your favorite beat or drum fill or drum solo and something that you think so great look out to the audience or here's my favorite red is my favorite part make eye contact is everyone paying attention? Are they engaged? Are they on their phone and they walk into the bar getting a drink? You know you have to you have to use all of this to your advantage don't get discouraged, it's knowledge knowledge could be learning at this creative live session or filming yourself, playing a show, filming the audience and watching people's reactions what is working and what isn't working be honest with yourself and remember like everyone's got an ego we all have egos that's why we want to do things other than get out of bed because way have drive we have passionate and we have you know, humans arguments have an ego so if you've been doing it a long time and you don't feel like you're getting that success sure could be because maybe you aren't discovered or whatever the case is, but you know, my office address is public it's on the back of all my cds now I never did this looking back, I probably wish I would have done it earlier but you're going to show up here I mean their security in the building don't get me wrong, but people that come to our office always look like they're crazy because they're banned people so you could show up and every time every sort so you know, every so often it happens sometimes sean hey here's, a bottle of red wine and my band above the line and somebody goes the extra mile tick to get you know to do that, then yeah, I'll pay attention or you know if you think you're a great singer and you can display guitar and your songs are awesome, go stand in a crowded area go to the venice beach boardwalk will stand downtown bye bye whether you live or if you're you're if you're out in the sticks, go stand outside a restaurant have someone film film you doing it and start seeing if you're engaging people? The problem is is that people think one because it's me I should be successful you know nobody wants to see oh it's not my destiny to be successful and the other thing is is the talent and I want a differential between technical ability and making songs they're going to give people chills and make them want to come see you live and buyer music you know it's not it's interesting because there's certain bands like guns and roses a motley crew these guys you could you could identify them just with the silhouette of what they look like they made themselves brands and icons by how they look but also the music they played and that's important but that's not the be all end all its not all image it's not all marketing you look a ban like imagine dragons and they made a great record. I was watching that band when they were still playing in three hundred cap rooms, but the drummer could walk in to this session right now and a lot of people tuned in might not even realize it's him even though he's just put out one of the biggest rock records in years and won grammys and everything else so it's important I guess the punch line is if you're wondering why it hasn't happened something isn't clicking and you have to you have to ask people don't just ask your friends you know, some times friends don't want to tell you things that might hurt your feelings ask objective people you know if someone if you think hey, we sound like uh we sound like we want to be the next foo fighters you know, this is what we sound like then go out there and try and get feedback from people who listen to the fu fighters and say, hey, would you be into this what's wrong with it? You know? I mean, you got it you got to be honest with yourselves and and just remember too just because you're playing a style of music that's popular doesn't mean you're going to be popular no money back, you know? You know big you too is guess how many bands try and sound like you two are a c d c you know e I think identity is really important and don't get caught up either in just one song you know, go ta had somebody that I used to know incredible song now the bar set very high marcy playground had sex and candy that song was huge where's marcy playground now mon stained goethe is the new sex and candy marcy playground but you know once once you have that success it's very hard to sustain it the nice thing about not being successful is that you can always motivate yourselves that you're on an upward trajectory looking where you were last month this month what have you done to progress? Have you have you learned you know, anything new musically have you build your social media presence? You know, one thing I like to say to people too is like if you're player you know don't be too proud to play a covered, not play a cover to get fans play a cover to see how that song makes you feel, you know plato understand okay like the scales, the riffs, how the feel of the song is and and study the greats you know, if you want to be a big band, study them, learn their stories and listen to a cz many different interviews and all those things as you can, but again, not the sound, you know, I don't want to be darker the bomb anyone out, but it starts and ends with the music and if you're playing songs so what you think your target audience is and and you're not getting any reaction and no one's caring, then you need to re examine that lookit reworking your music I have one really one important question and I've gotten a lot that I wanted to ask you, um it's, how important is where you're located geography to succeeding in music a lot of people will go to different hubs where music is popular and try to succeed there and some people do and some people are like hey I even got up and moved and I haven't made it how important his geography to this you know that's a great question and it's it's interesting on how to respond to that because it used to be way more important before the internet hundred percent you know now you could say oh well l a is the entertainment capital of planet earth so I should be in l a but l a there's more competition than ever it's hard to get a show unless you khun you know pre sell tickets or draw a tte the same time if you're in some small town and you start blowing up in a remote place that you have a story to tell you know having a story's a big part of the two when slip knot blew up and got signed it was like you know there's nine guys where it masks from iowa like that had never been heard of iowa is the last place people will look to find the next big rock band but a lot of times excuse me a lot of times your your location consent you apart gives you it gives you a story to tell that you are from some you know random not random but just a place that's not predictable so you know, I think location is it always play a factor but I don't think uh just because you live in l a or new york you necessarily have, you know, a five hundred percent chance to succeed more than a band that's in which utah kansas if you're using the internet to your advantage and I can't stress enough teo promote online once you have your song what you have your music video go out there and break the walls down to get people to watch it you know like that could be something is I mean do be creative like see what happened make a fake profile of a hot girl on tender pretend you're talking to a bunch of dudes find a bunch of dudes that like a certain about it but you can stay check this band out all along what do you think I mean don't live in yourself take do whatever it takes to get the feedback ok? Because there's there's not gonna be a time it's not just about being on a certain record label we're having certain agent or having certain manager it's about having a certain song you know it's about having something that's reacting and making people react you know and even again back to tv film I mean, there is that movie that came out this before miley cyrus flips you know, her whole angle but it was called like I can't remember what was called, but it had miley cyrus and demi moore, innit? All these stars and I couldn't even get past the first five minutes because we're just awful script sock the acting was was not good, and it didn't matter how big and that's the same thing. Look, you gotta look att and people that have had huge success, I mean, guns and roses were my favorite band growing up, I happen to know steven adler he's a friend of mine, you know, dolph, stephen, is he all these guys? They haven't had massive success outside of guns and roses making music, guns and roses is still touring? I mean, yeah, they have chinese democracy, but they're still touring on the magic that the five of those guys created. You know, you can look at sebastian bach, skid row, skid row, big bad eighteen in life, you've got wild. I will remember you hit songs lasts timeless, timeless rock and roll songs. I love sebastian bach to death he's a friend have his solo records down when he wants them to dio no. Is that because the guy's not an incredible singer, no he's, an incredible singers, an incredible performer, but the songs are not reacting and that's when you have to be honest with yourself to say what is it? You know? Do I need to write with some other people? Do I need to be with different producers? Like, how do I get these songs to react? You know, the music business has crumbled in a lot of ways in the sense of selling records, but it del still sold ten million copies and it's not because she's some sex icon or she's twerking like miley cyrus, adele soul because she had a brilliant producer, she did some great writes with other people. She has an amazing voice and her songs spoke to people, then gave them the chills. They made them feel things in their life. You know, I can remember vividly the first time I saw the smells like teen spirit music video, and I didn't know I didn't know nirvana before it never mind. I'm not gonna sit here and lie that yeah, I got bleach on day one. I found out about them on mtv. The video came on. I was one of I remember I was sitting in my bedroom. I was I was, you know, eight years old or whatever. And I was talking on a bbs which before the internet there were bulletin board system that you dialed up on a modem and I was sitting there talking to my friend on a direct shot on a bbs and oh my god dude you gotta see this blond guy he's on tv right now there's cheerleaders doing crazy janitor all this stuff and I just vividly remembered I remember the first time I heard rage against jean thes bands made an impact you know, a timeless and that did yep exposure was a big part of it had kurt cobain not been on mtv would what I found out about them at that moment? Probably not, but that's the beauty we of the of the business today is that major labels mtv they're no longer that gatekeepers you're the master of your own reality you could make an incredible song and video you could put it on youtube and you khun do the work to get people to start sharing it and there's a saying always using the office if it's real the world will feel if the song is good as you think it is, you will see some traction because just like if you're playing in a club and there's only fifty people in their screw it there's twelve people in there you don't sit up there and play like oh mirror there's only twelve people here this is a bull maru no, you kill it, you kill it like it's the last show you're ever going to play and you hope that those twelve people go tell all of their friends and the next thing you know, you drew twenty four or maybe fifty and then you build it and you build it. One thing I can tell all of you that are still trying it's a marathon, not a sprint it's, not about getting to the finish line in the first week it's about do you still have a career twenty five years from now? And then we can go through a list of bands through every genre, from classic rock to rap teo medal toe everything and yes, some of them were bigger than others at certain points, but who still standing now? Who's still playing arenas now and it's bands that, you know, you look at a band like tool tool wasn't some pop band, they weren't some bandit was constantly on the radio, they built a cult following through timeless music and incredible performance and branding and, you know, I don't know, man, I could go on forever about this stuff. So now I was just saying, I mean, the advice and the expertise you've been willing to share here today, I think, has been priceless. I mean, it's extremely valuable to the people that are tuning in on dh you really hit on a lot of different things that we've discussed today in smaller details, you've really I think driven at home and I really think that it was it was awesome I mean, do you guys feel like this was cool? Yeah, it was great to have you here for this so dude, I really appreciate your time I know you were also a very busy man, so thank you very much for doing this and it was definitely valuable I think will make a difference for a lot of musicians that are wondering how to take their career and their music to the next level. So I think it was great that you're able to do this and hopefully you feel great that you've been able to hopefully inspire some people because I think you have, you know, it's definitely awesome to talk to you in this capacity to because it's amazing how many values we share and how many things that were we're both pushing for tio educate people to be better at what they do and to be more knowledgeable so that they could do things a lot more effectively. So thank you very much for your time we're actually wrapping up this ah the statement for the day on a few minutes so we gotta bail but I really appreciate it and I'm sure everybody else does and there's any other questions after the fact I'll definitely get him to you but thanks man, I really appreciate it we all really d'oh awesome and sorry if I spoke too much about that took away from the question time ash, it's, marrying records, dot com feel pretty. Email me reference this class, and I'll be glad to help you if I can, so thanks everyone for tuning in. Matt, congratulations on everything you've got going on, and I'll talk to you guys soon. Thank you. Ash speaks problem.

Class Description

It takes more than raw talent to make a living as a musician – and it doesn’t happen overnight. In this online course, Modern Drummer’s 2013 Best Metal Drummer of the Year and founder of BandHappy Matt Halpern will show you how to break out of the garage and build a lasting career in the music industry.

Drawing on his own successful experience with the award-winning band Periphery, Matt will walk you through the everything you need to know about breaking into the industry, improving your technical skills, and making the right moves to ensure long-term success. You’ll learn how to get your foot in the door, build a sustainable career as a working musician, and keep growing your career from there. From finding the right management, agent, and label to building relationships with sponsors and key industry players, you’ll learn it all from one of this generation’s most respected minds in the business.

Special industry guests include:

  • Ash Avildsen - Sumerian Records Founder/CEO
  • Mike Mowery - Outerloop MGMT Founder/CEO
  • Mark Scribner - Business Manager for Killswitch Engage, Periphery, Animals as Leaders
  • Mike Johnston - Drummer, Clinician and Founder of
  • Chris Brewer - Head of Artist Relations for Meinl Cymbals USA
  • J.P. Bouvet - Drummer, Clinician and winner of Guitar Center Drum Off 2011

By the end of this class, you’ll have a comprehensive, actionable playbook for breaking into the music industry and putting in the right work.