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Band biogs and press releases

Discussion in 'Musician Resources' started by Anonymous, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Dos and don'ts, then.

    Again, this thread existed long ago, and should be in Resources so it doesn't vanish.
     
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  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Do: Keep It Simple, Stupid

    Don't: Spend two pages telling me where you all grew up and how you met

    Do: Put full contact details on everything
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I agree with Joe, unless it's desperately exciting and a press-worthy story on its own merits, don't ever tell us how you met. Nobody cares if you were at school/work/uni together or in three separate bands that kept bumping into each other. DULL. We don't care about your nicknames, either. Mostly, I don't care who you've supported either, unless it was a full tour or the artist in question personally chose you to play - you might just live in one of those places where there are only 3 local bands that can pull a crowd and end up supporting every touring act that comes through. If you've sold out big venues yourselves, though, that's not bad to mention. Don't send bad pictures. Don't send lots of pictures. Do write something that isn't too long and won't embarrass you, as lots of places just copy and paste the press release, even if it's meant to be a review and not a news piece. Don't ever send a folder or loads of promotional tat. Yes, people have sent teabags/biscuits/sweets before. It's not that original. Make sure there's enough postage on your envelope/jiffy bag - a CD in jewel case needs a big first class stamp, not a normal one, most of the time.
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    for the kong one we asked them to sort it. Here's what came back:

    Kong is not a name chosen by accident. It does not describe an effeminate collection of callow fuckers thrust together by a desire to look plucked or sound eager to please.

    All are/were/shall be in other, perhaps more commercially viable bands, which is notable only because it fills out their biography and creates the impression of a deeper back-story, which becomes, by definition, massively interesting to idiots. Yes, Nancy was in Jane’s Addiction, and Milicent founded ITV.

    Kong’s music, such as it is, takes all the risibly obnoxious elements of lots of very loud, credible bands, feeds it non-brand specific lager, then comes on it in its sleep.

    In truth, they are difficult band to describe unless you're a music journalist, in which case you'd probably pick a large animal (elephant, dinosaur or a fantastical creature of myth) and put it in an unusual place (Middlesbrough) with predictably madcap results.

    In summary - the first time I saw them play I felt a burning sensation on my arm and realised that I had developed eczema. Their first single "Blood of a dove" is released on 28th July on Brew Records and is available on limited coloured 7 inch vinyl (and the usual download channels), with artwork courtesy of Joby J Ford (The Bronx).

    The album, 'Snake Magnet', will follow when somebody grows balls and fucking puts it out there.

    Andrew Falkous 2008
    (McLusky/Future of the left)
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Agreed with almost everything.

    There's a problem for bands, though, that haven't really achieved much yet, and are hoping a decent press release will enable them to do so. Bigger gigs and tours. Recognition from labels, or even just trying to get a song on the radio or a review in a bigger music mag. If you're good but you've only got reviews from local rags and websites so far, and only played smaller local venues, there could be a bit of a problem.

    The Horrible Bastards are a rock band from Leeds, UK. Since their formation in 2007, they have played a few pub gigs, and Leeds Music Scene said they were "pretty good."

    End.
     
  7. always appropriate

    always appropriate New Member

    Im sure Karen wouldn’t mind me giving you a link to her download section so you can have a look at some examples of layout.

    http://www.radarmaker.co.uk/information/downloads


    I'd say the most important thing is to make sure it actually says something!

    Keep a biog and press release separate. A Biog talks about the band the press release talks about the single/album/ep.

    If you write a press release it's easy to repeat basically the same things over and repeat what you say in each new press release, try and keep it as diverse as possible.

    It’s ok to write a paragraph or something at the end on the band but keep it short.


    I’d also advise most people to actually get someone else to write PRs for you. it's 100% worth it if it's for national release.

    Kink will work for Kopparberg.

    Also it's worth putting a sticker on the CD case with all the main details.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These are hard. I hate them
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    You have to create a sense of story/character yourself instead of sticking to the facts if there's nothing much at this point to say - look at the Kong one, it tells you nothing in purely CV terms, but it's exciting. The Das Wanderlust one talks about them being wrongpop and makes fun of their inability to keep a drummer. It's endearing and gives a hint of their sound and personality.

    That said, I can't write my own for toffee, it makes me cringe and feel like I'm writing a personal statement on a job application. I usually stick to the facts, keep it very brief and then put the most impressive (where they're from, not what they say, who cares about obscure websites?) quotes at the bottom. Next time I do something I really ought to get someone else to write the blurb.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I utterly hate writing biogs and press releases, but its something I have to do - a neccessary evil. I agree with a lot of what's said before and that Kong one is an utterly brilliant press release. Exactly the right approach that will get the right reaction (in my books anyway). You need not be an already famous or successful artist to come up with something like that.

    I have no idea whether the ones we do are any good - in fact it's always a constant worry. Do our biogs/releases let us down?
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Like I said, I have no idea whether we are doing them right, but I have just revised our biog to looks something like this - believe me this is a LOT less long-winded than it was before! I got rid of pretty much all our history and just concentrated on recent and current achievments. Its also laced with a shedload of press quotes - perhaps too many. By the way, this is not intended as an advert for the band, but more of an example of how can be done (is it any good?):

    THE SCARAMANGA SIX

    Currently finishing what will be their fifth studio album ‘A Pound of Flesh’ for the legendary Wrath Records label, The Scaramanga Six are about embark on a barrage of new single campaigns and frantic promotional activities. The first of these being the dark & malevolent ‘Walking Through Houses’ in June 2008. The self-styled ‘evil pop group’ have been tearing a hole in the arse of the live circuit over recent years with their incendiary rock rituals including key slots at many UK festivals (headline set at Leeds 2007 on the Introducing stage). Current album ‘The Dance of Death’ pulverised the minds of critics and also saw release across Scandinavia, the Germanic countries and Japan. Bookings at some of the big European festivals have also transpired for these experts in rock noir (Hove Festival, Norway and Peace & Love, Sweden). All the while they have been building up and grooming a legion of die-hard crackpot fans ready to creep out from under logs or something and support the band wherever they play. And when they play, THEY SLAY. Now, new international credentials in hand & tooled-up to the teeth, The Scaramanga Six are ready to ATTACK

    “As we tiptoe graciously through all the wannabe Libertines and second-rate U2s to find something genuinely original, unique and inspiring, it seems dear old Leeds has come up with the goods again - the intense-yet-aloof rock operas of The Scaramanga Six could be its most omnipotent discovery yet.” – Dom Gourlay, DROWNEDINSOUND
    “SOULFUL AND subtle, yet also adventurous and abrasive, Huddersfield's The Scaramanga Six possess all the makings of a classic band.” KKKK – James Sherry, KERRANG!
    “Rarely does such disregard for the basic principles of songwriting provide such exhilarating results” – Victoria Durham, ROCK SOUND

    Huddersfield’s self-styled EVIL Pop group, The Scaramanga Six, are a tight-knit organisation. Every one of these desperate individuals is hell-bent on assaulting the ears of the unsuspecting with intense and preposterous rock and roll music. The group currently consists of:
    Julia Arnez – Vocals, Guitars
    Chris Catalyst – Organ, Piano, 2nd Drums, Trombone
    Gareth Champion – Drums
    Paul Morricone – Vocals, Guitars, Saxophone
    Steven Morricone – Vocals, Bass, Piano, Saxophone

    “A group at the height of considerable powers, yet working entirely outside the indie scene, let alone the actual industry. The Scaramanga Six wear the outsider costume well and exude a mafia-like family vibe, alongside awesome self-confidence. The Six never let you forget, even for a second, that they know EXACTLY what they're doing.” – Toby Jarvis, DROWNED IN SOUND
    “These individuals may just as well have met in an asylum - their tunes twist and turn with guitar eccentricities and lunatic Moog injections, and are as raw as scraping your knuckles on a cheese-grater - this is retro-rock with panache!” – Ronnie Kerswell, ROCK SOUND
    “Not just one of the best and most timely underground rock bands in Britain, but also one of the most formidable.” – Dan Chinn, THE ORGAN
    “The Scaramanga Six are one of the most exciting bands making noise in Yorkshire at the moment” – Karl Cremin, THE FLY

    The Scaramanga Six is the brainchild of headstrong siblings Paul and Steven Morricone. Not in any way like your conventional mindless rock-star filth, The Morricone brothers appear more like a pair of polite and softly-spoken, yet viciously intense and sadistic nightclub bouncers. Raised in the Westcountry seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare on an education of Stranglers records (by older brothers) and Tony Bennett records (by their Mum), the young Morricone twins discovered there was much fun to be had in crooning and shouting in equal measures. The Scaramanga Six was finally realised in the dark & drizzly backdrop of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire where the band still lurk to this very day.

    “Chunks of brutal rock’n’roll hammer through your temples with all the desperation of a 47 year-old virgin in the back of a knocking shop. Excellent stuff.” – Matt Brown, LOGO MAGAZINE
    “B-movie chic combined with real musical muscle.” – Essi Berelian, KERRANG!
    “deliciously sinister stuff, but this lot still manage to keep it as raw as trapping yourself in your flies. Noise seems to be all the rage nowadays, and this band serves it up in a big ****-off ladle.” – Ricky Cheung, GLASSWERK
    “These gospel tinged punk/rock and roll songs beat the hell out of any amphetamine based rush I've indulged in, the energy tangible even through my redundant discman headphones. Join the flock son, you will be saved!” – Johnathan Sebire, JOYZINE
    “one of the most viscerally exciting things this reviewer has heard for yonks - murderous, piledriving rock action we've come to expect from this stupidly under-rated band” – Tim Peacock, WHISPERIN&HOLLERIN

    We’re not going to draw any lazy comparisons here – The Scaramanga Six do not rock by association. The only thing worn on the sleeves of this band are gaudy cufflinks. Whatever it is The Six turn their hand to, it's got to be flamboyant and colourful, self-assured and passionate, brutal and arrogant. Their love of dynamics and dramatic tension stirs them to create brilliant moments of songwriting in the classic British tradition, yet underpinned by a relentless barrage of sonic terror – all mashed up together and captured within perfectly dark and discordant pop songs. The lyrical content is intelligent, contentious, intriguing and seething. The hooks in their songs will stick into you so far, that you will have no choice but to be reeled in, gutted and battered like a haddock. One taste of this chaotic and intimidating group, whether it be live or on record, and you’ll see why ‘the band who torture from Yorkshire’ are so blindly committed to their cause.

    “The ‘band who torture from Yorkshire’ trample over musical acceptability with a fourth slab of rock gigantism. Thunderbolt riffs, massed vocals, harpsichord and volcanos won’t get them seated at the smirking kids’ table – the sound of not caring just got more epic” – Abi Bliss, PLAN B MAGAZINE
    “Whatever the purpose of it all, The Dance Of Death is as grandiose a record as anyone who'd previously listened to The Scaramanga Six would expect, with the Morricone brothers Paul and Steve in fine form here both in their songwriting and the delivery.” – Dom Gourlay, DROWNED IN SOUND
    “The Scaramanga Six are one of those delightful bands that refuse to be pigeonholed by moving too fast for you to keep up with” – INDIE MP3
    “Ah the joys of stumbling across something that, on initial listens, sounds not unlike Frank Zappa, Scott Walker, Todd Rundgren, Rocket From The Crypt and The Dawn Of The Replicants all playing at once.” – TOTAL MUSIC MAGAZINE

    Then at the end there is all the obligatory contact details for the band, label, booking enquiries etc... plus details of websites and links.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    It feels about twice as long as it needs to be (I'd cut everything after the current line-up info, and then re-jig the order a bit, maybe), but it reads pretty well. I never really like stuff that feels like it's telling me what to think and shunts loads of adjectives into everything, there's a bit too much incendiary arse tearing frantic crackpot going on, but other than that it gives the right sort of vibe and info.
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I would always get someone else to write it if you can.

    I actually think Penny would be good at writing these for other people. She has a good command of the English language and a creative mind.

    In fact do you fancy doing ours? 8)
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I think it's about time we did! However, it's often difficult to find someone to put things across the way you want - or that's probably more to do with me being a control freak. I suppose the best person to ask is a fan of the band? or would a more objective view be better?
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Cheers for that. I think you might be right Pen, still it is about a third of the size of it's predeccessor! I'll give it another working over soon.

    This is a good thread - old dogs can be taught new tricks after all!
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    When writting these things you have to bear in mind that no one is ever actually going to read it.... The best they might skim through it. So interest has to LEAP!!!! of the page.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Equally, if you fill it with capital letters and exclamation marks, you come across like an overexcited children's TV presenter. Capital letters read as shouting and exclamation marks as, well, exclaiming. Wooo!!!!! YEAH!!! It makes you look defective.
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'm not for one minute suggesting that he uses capital letters and exclamation marks. I was just over emphasising the word "leap" to stress its importance.

    But thanks for clearing it up Penny
    :)
     
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Heh, I know, but it was a point not made elsewhere that should have been, anyway. The number of OVER! EXCITED! OMG! press releases/biogs that I've seen is scarily high.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    In the don'ts column, here are two genuine quotes of press releases I've been sent:


    "The B-side to this single is excellent..." - Kasabian press release.

    And my favourite ever, by a long way:
    "This budget release will literally sell out quicker than you can say '£14.99'" - some videogame press release, ages ago.

    There are so many things wrong with that second one that I have no idea where to start.
     
  21. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    My favourite ever was by a band called the trend who were managed by a dude from the fly.

    The last line said.

    "The Trend, not A Trend, THE TREND. The difference? The Trend will last forever"

    Vile.
     

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