More than just the music
I’ve been asked by lots of other musicians how we get by. They ask how we get gigs and how do people hear about us so I thought i’d offer you an insight into the murky lurker world and perhaps you can glean something. There are three parts: creativity, promotion and admin.
Creativity The most important part
Every month or so The Lurkers are part of a songwriting group. This means we meet up with people who write songs near us and share new stuff. It is often a productive space where you get genuine, critical feedback on songwriting. This process was inspired by Christina Olson at Summersong Music Camp.
We’ve started doing individual creativity stuff as well by allowing an hour or two a week to do something that inspires us. I’m really looking forward to visiting an exhibition called In The Balance: Art for a changing world. It doesn’t have to be musical inspiration but could be a stencil or a film – anything but you have to make the time to do it! In fact, a lot of our inspiration comes from activism
Promotion Time to put your soul out to the world
A lot of bands work hard on their music but don’t get it heard. Our promotion is done on the Internet (website, email list, facebook, this, twitter, myspace, reverbnation), playing unpaid gigs (not at pubs but for good causes, or supporting bands you like), sending our music to radio stations (2SER, fBi, 2RRR), and the lurker van! The Lurkers are active in the Australian Musicians Coop and artRiot. We also promote before gigs with posters and flyers. And it goes without saying that we use copious amounts of illicit drugs, cause trouble and sleep around as much as possible ; )
Admin So boring and so important
A band is effectively a small business. Like most businesses, there is a fair bit of admin. Tax, updating email lists, organising tours, managing finances, APRA/AMCOS LPRs, printing posters. We’ve started a fortnightly catchup to do admin together for moral support called, of course, a lurking bee. It is important to spread the load around between the band members. Try to do the bits you are best at, but at the end of the day you are going to have to do stuff you don’t enjoy.
Being indie is so cool yes. and until someone comes along and offers to do the other stuff for us we will do it ourselves cos we love playing for you and making music.
Weary and The Lurkers