Mr. Roboto

May 28, 2008

Dear Dude,

I just recorded and my site started to blow up once it was online, because I promote over 10 hours a day. When I don’t promote my site basically doesn’t do as well. I also noticed that there are things like ‘friend adding robots’ which many bands use. I don’t know where to find a good one, it would free some time up for me since I’m a one man band its hard to do it all on my own. Honestly, I know all these big bands cheat! My question is simple how do I safely cheat the way other bands do so I can keep up? I have great marketable stuff and I’m sick of watching tons of shit bands get huge and signed. Times are hard for new bands, especially that play emo, because Myspace no longer lets you add people under the age of 17, which is basically all the people that even like what I play. Do you know any tricks or secrets that could help give me some hope or something? Please get back to me if you have time, cause honestly I don’t have a clue who to ask these questions to. All I know is I have good music that people would like, but other than promoting, I don’t know what else to do. I can’t find a good manager and I don’t know how to attract record labels. I’m really stressed by all of this. Your advice would mean a great deal.


Mr. Roboto

Dear Mr Roboto,

Myspace’s weight in the music world is continually growing, while the anonymity of the Internet still allows for all sorts of cyber-manipulation. Logic than follows that it might be easy to fake, or project, the appearance of popularity in order to attract record labels, booking agents, managers, and of course that all coveted “heat” (or “hype”). Bands will do just about anything to get all of the above and it’s easy to get sucked into the game and compete, or worse feel like you have to “cheat” just to get your music heard.

How do you safely cheat the way other bands do so you can keep up? There is a very simple answer to this question: DON’T! Sure, bands will scam, cheat, lie, and steal to be popular. The music business is full of ugly people, but my suggestion is make a conscious decision to NOT be one of them. When Darkest Hour first started the big deal was SoundScan. It used to be all the rage amongst bands to add numbers to their live SoundScan forms. See, when bands play shows they write in how many records they sell every night and then once a week fax the info to their record label. It was real easy to turn a 2 into a 20, etc. That was the way to cheat in the 90’s. Enter the next generation, the Myspace count cheat.

Have I seen bands get big off of using their Myspace page for promotion? Yes. Is it possible to fake your profile into looking sick as shit and attract the attention of a few managers and record labels? Yeah, sure that’s possible too. But you have to think it all through. First, forget that its just plain stupid to fake anything (especially being a rock star, I think that’s probably the lamest thing you can try to fake) but just think about what might happen if you do convince that record label, manager, or booking agent to work with your band because of fake numbers. How would you like to do a tour that no one shows up to because you don’t have any real fans, or your record comes out and no one actually buys it. The point of Myspace is not to just have gigantic numbers, it is to network your music so people can hear it and your actual fans can keep in touch with the happenings of your band.

I think you’re missing the point of Myspace all together, and more importantly I think you’re missing the whole point of playing music. You mentioned you’re a “one man band.” I am sure you have already encountered how hard that is going to be. My suggestion is take those songs and get a band together. You have a flying leap start, by already have songs written. You just need to take your music to the real world, in addition to the virtual one. You have to start spending 10 hours a day playing music, not sitting in front of the computer. If you are going to spend ten hours a day on Myspace promoting your band, then you might as well just have a 10 hour a day office job, instead of trying to be a professional musician. Why do I stress playing shows and jamming with other band members? Because actually playing music for (or with) people is the interaction you should want to have as a musician, not the interaction that comes from the other side of a computer screen.

The Dude