How to Remain Relevant and Build a Consistent Career

Electronic Dance Money Episode 045 - How to Remain Relevant and Build a Consistent Career

As artists and EDM producers, there comes a time where you have to face your career and decide whether or not you should pull the plug. This time usually comes when it feels as though you lost your momentum and people have all but forgotten about all of your masterpieces.

Staying relevent might be the most difficult part in a long standing career as a musician. So what can you do to remain relevent? How do you maintain consistent growth to help make your mark on the world?

This episode, I’m going to be doing an analysis of one of my all time favorite bands, The Maine. The Maine is an Alternative Rock band that started around 2007 and has since released over 7 albums and continueally grow their audience every day it what seems like a dying genre.

In this episode, you’re going to learn what it takes to remain relevant and build that consistent fanbase.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to remain relevant
  • Promoting albums vs singles
  • How The Maine continues to grow their fanbase
  • Why you should start writing albums
  • Why contents is king
  • How to create engaging content

and much more!

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Hey guys, welcome
to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.
Post Christian casino and we’re back with a another solo episode. You guys just get me today we’re gonna hang out
we’re gonna talk some
music business stuff. This one’s gonna be this episode’s gonna kind of go off of what we normally do. We’re gonna be doing a breakdown from the title you guys are probably wondering what the hell this episodes about but we’re gonna be talking about this band called The main now if you know me personally, you probably know that I way back when before I was extremely into electronic music. I was super into pop punk bands, alternative rock bands, I would go to Warped Tour every single year. I you know, loved bands like the main forever the sickest kids Of Mice and Men. attack attack and breathe Carolina before they were breathe Carolina. Now you know DJs and EDM producers. Same with
Oh, wow.
Why am I blanking on their names? cash cash, believe it or not, yeah, cash cash, they were like a an alternative pop punk type of bands. And with breathe Carolina, you guys should check out some of like, just google breathe Carolina Warped Tour, and you’ll be able to find some of their old stuff. It was completely different. And there was a lot more than two, I think there was like four or five guys in the band. Same with cash cash. Classic stuff, though. It was funny to see their transition and be like, Oh my god, yeah, I used to listen to these guys all the time. And now, here they are as DJs and producers after I’ve switched one I used to listen to but regardless, one of my favorite bands during that time period, which was from like 2008, to probably 2011 2012. When I started to make that transition, one of my favorite bands was the main the main I’ve seen them probably more times than I’ve any seen any other producer DJ, actually, I think I’ve probably seen them seven or eight times, maybe even close to 10. Whenever they would come through my town, which was multiple times I would see them. I’ve seen them at Warped Tour multiple times. And they’re a great band if you guys look up the main but the reason why we’re gonna be talking about them today is because they’ve been making music as a band for I think since 2007, maybe 2006 going 1415 years strong as a band, and they’re still selling out venues in a zondra that you think was dead, or is dying. I mean, Warped Tour is all but gone.
does not go to the same cities that it used to, I think it only goes to major big cities. And so if you look at all these bands from when that genre was big, which was around the time that I was listening to it, there were a lot of people going to warp tour. A lot of people getting into, you know, think of the era of 303 when 303 was huge when don’t trust me came out and they had their one album came out. And then streets of gold came out after that I was a huge three or three fan as well saw them a ton of times. But if you look at that era, the bands that were big back then they are most of them are gone, most of the bands were established and you know, push through till probably 2013 2014. And then there was this shift and people stopped seeing them people stopped supporting those artists. But there were there some bands that managed to stay around. They managed to keep their fan base and grow it to a massive extent in one of those bands as the main they have over a million followers now and back then it on you know if you looked at like their Instagram or Facebook followers in 2012 2013. It was probably less than a quarter million, probably less than 100,000. And so they’ve exploded their relevancy and their following is unmatched compared to so many of the bands out there. So
how did they How are they to push themselves through This 1415 year journey and they’re still continuing to sell out, they’re still full time musicians, as a band in a genre you think was dying, because let’s be honest, it’s hard to maintain that status quo as a musician, unless you’re, you know, we’re talking as EDM producers and DJs. It’s hard to maintain that relevancy for so long. But there’s a way to do it. And obviously, there is a way to do it, because we’re talking about a band here who is in a dying genre, and they’ve managed to establish themselves. And they managed to help inspire me as well. I mean, they’re a major inspiration to a lot of people. And I’m sure a lot of musicians out there, they have great songwriting, abilities. Everyone who all of the musicians are just so fantastic. They are one of the bands that pushed me to want to get into music. And then ultimately, when I found electronic music in production, that’s where I started leaning to. And I was like, yep, this is the route that I want to go. So I’ve, I’ve written down and I’ve analyzed, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this. And so I’ve been, you know, digging through their social media stuff. And over the years, what, what have they done to maintain relevancy. And there’s one thing that sticks out? Well, really two things that stick out the most. But in terms of music, when we’re talking about writing, when we’re talking about releasing, marketing promotion, which is probably one of the most important factors, it’s, you know, how you’re growing your audience how you’re staying relevant. There’s one thing that sticks out above the rest, and it’s something that is not found a lot in electronic music. And that’s releasing albums, albums, verse singles, you know, in right now, with, with EDM production and DJing, and the music industry within electronic music, law, a good majority of the time, you’re seeing people release singles. And, you know, there’s, there’s a cost benefit to releasing an album versus a single, let’s first go ahead and take a look at a single. So the benefit of releasing singles is the amount of singles that you can put out. If you’ve got your production game down, and you know how to write a track really fast, you can get a single out within a few weeks. And so at that rate, you could in ultimately, you’d imagine you’d get better, and you get faster to a point where you could release a couple of singles a month, if not even more than that. So you can put out this massive amount of content and music. But the thing is, is as soon as you release something, the thing that got released prior and before has kind of become irrelevant. So you have to fight that. And I mean, that can either be a blessing or a curse, just depending on your situation. And, you know, if you write a very classic tune that gets played on the radio and becomes a hit, it will become timeless, and yeah, but the odds of that happening are so slim. So you have to kind of keep up with the rat race have a single and once you release a single people are expecting you to release another single, pretty shortly. So you’re kind of on these time constraints, and you have to fight with that. Now match that with the fact that there’s so many other singles out there being released, and you had to fight against those, it kind of becomes a race against the clock. And you know, you got to get more and more out, and you only have this one chance promote this one track for a week. And if it doesn’t hit, you’re fucked. And then you got to move on to the next one. And you you kind of do this repeat process. And if you don’t see any success out of your singles, then you go well, what the hell am I doing wrong, you don’t have time to for people, you’re also you’re not giving people time to marinate on what you have and give them enough content to be able to actually see it one day and you know, maybe it has nothing to do with the actual promotion you’re doing. But it has to do with the time that you’re posting on social media. And that’s not the time that your audience is on to they’re not seeing it and so there are these issues that come into play with that with singles. And you know, if you’ve already promoted the hell of a single and you get no you didn’t get any feedback from it, you didn’t see any success from it and you’re like well maybe it is the time that I’m posting well now you have to wait until the next single comes out to start promoting it and change your time that you’re starting to promote stuff and post so you can see how there’s this real issue and again now you’re racing against the clock. Oh, I got I gotta get in the studio. I gotta write another track. I got it. That way I can promote it and test this this out now.
There’s an issue with that. Now, what does this what the hell does you know me talking about singles and promoting singles have to do with albums or what the main To stay relevant and how you can stay relevant.
Well let’s
flip the script now and let’s look at albums. Let’s look at what the main does and what a lot of bands do in general. A lot of the time they’re they’re releasing albums now I’ve heard many producers and many DJs Tell me Oh, albums are dead in the music industry for electronic music or in general with bands albums are dead. And I, I don’t believe that for a split second. I think albums are alive. And well. There’s plenty of big producers out there that are still writing albums. I have more albums that I’m in love with than singles. I have more albums that I go back to endless and re listen over and over and over again, than I do singles. I’ve listened to albums front to back more than I’ve put a single on repeat. And I bet there’s more people out there like that I’m sure you’re if you’re listening to this, you you could probably name an album that you go back to that provides this, this, this thing of nostalgia for you. And there’s a story written within those albums if they’re written properly. Cosmic gates start to feel is one of my favorite albums of all time, try tunnels piercing the quiet one of my favorite albums of all time WWE album impact, one of my favorite albums of all time. And then there’s so many bands, three threes, one album, I listened to that at least a few times a year from front to back. It’s such a great album. So good, so creative. so unique, the mains can’t stop won’t stop album, one of my favorite albums of all time. Same with black and white, the way we talk that that’s an EP, but I mean, they write these great albums. Every single year, almost they’ve released now, almost every single year for 14 years pretty close. Maybe it’s you know, there’s some every other year instances, but for a good majority of the time, they’re writing at least an EP or an album every single year. And they’re putting it out. And if they’re not putting out an album that year, they’re probably releasing singles from a map from an album that’s going to be released in the next year. And so, and this is what you’ll see a lot of actually like EDM producers, when they’re when they’re releasing an EP or an EP or an album, they’ll usually release like the the title track the single, a single, that’s a title track for the album or EP coming up, and maybe they’ll release another track. And they’ll they’ll kind of promote those over two to three month period before the album comes out. And then the album will drop. I think tritonal did this with painting, painting with dreams. They had like three or four singles come out that they promoted. And they released over probably a four month period, maybe six months. And then they announced Hey, we have an album coming out. They started doing pre orders, they started selling merch for it. They started doing pre orders vinyl, all of that fun stuff. And then the album actually came out at some point. So why should you do that? Well, one of the biggest things with an album is it’s not this one hit thing with like a single where you only have a couple of weeks to promote it. And then it’s kind of dead. An album lasts for a while people will talk about people will listen to it a couple of times when it’s initially released. Because they want the first time they’re just getting a feel for the entire album. The second time they’re releasing it and finding out the tracks that they really love. And then the third time, they’re usually playing their favorite tracks from the album. And they’re, they’re sharing it. And so people will do that over a it depends on how busy people are, how often they listen to it. But you can find that people will do that in an entire week, or they’ll take an entire month to do that. And so there’s this everlong process of promoting the different tracks from the album and the album itself and sharing it when people find a new song that they really love. There’s been times I’ve listened to entire albums, thought I hated a song on it. And then after I really listened to it a few times, it turned out to be one of my favorite songs from the entire album and that will happen. So when you have an album, you no longer just have a single to promote, you’ve got depending on the size of it 810 12 to 15 tracks that you can promote not necessarily individually because there may be ones on there that don’t really stand up to promote individually but it’s still there to promote the album as a whole is still there to promote. You know you can spend the first month promoting the entire album finding the best tracks that people are playing the most and starting to promote those tracks over the next few months as well.
This is so you know This is so and so’s favorite track from the album that we released two months ago here, you can make all this different content assorted around that. Now what are the other options that you have? Well, you also have remixes. You can send the album out to artists to remix and remix the biggest tracks you can make entire, there’s people who make entire EP s for remix of like the biggest hit from the album. And that gets released as an EP. And then there’s another track that you know, the second biggest hit you send out to other people to get remixed. And there there’s no holy p that you release with that. And so you can be promoting that now. If you’re if you’re seeing what I’m explaining here, you can spend instead of, you know, trying to get as many singles out as possible and promoting those one individually over the course of a year. You can write an entire album and promote the entire album for an entire year while you’re writing the next album for the next year. And all this promotion and content is done through remixes rewrites of the best tracks of the album as well going in making acoustic versions I know, Gareth Emery does this. He did. I think he did this with 100 reasons to live and his drive album, I’m pretty sure again, to my favorite albums of all time, I can name I can name you more albums that I love than singles. It’s hard to remember a single it’s pretty easy to remember an album, especially when it’s written in the sense of a story. And it’s got it just everything kind of works together. Within that album, a really well written album tells a story. And it relates to people and people and enjoy that. But when you are writing an album, you’re writing content for an entire year that you can start promoting, being able to rewrite and make your own remixes to promote later on. And you you know that stuff is easy to do when the layouts are a done and you can, you know, scrap some other elements and start readjusting the production. It’s easy to do rewrites of tracks, and then you can start releasing those. And people like that, ooh, I love this song from the album. Now there’s a fresh, new different version of it. There’s so much content to be produced and shared with albums, and so many different giveaways you can do with it. There’s a whole I mean to there’s a reason why tours are bred out of albums. Every band in every major artist who releases an album does an album tour. And it’s because they’re promoting the album the entire time, as well. And not to mention the fact that you’re gonna probably make more money on a tour than you do the actual album itself. But you’re still promoting that music. A tour album is always named after the album itself, because you’re promoting the album and the tracks on the album. And you could essentially do the same thing with ups. I mean, you could release two or three pieces throughout the year and do the same thing. But again, you’re doing more with, you’re having to do more work with that rather than being able to write an entire ebook, or sorry, an entire album, and start promoting that and all that fun stuff.
But this was the biggest factor that I noticed is if you look through, if you go go look up the main, like them on Facebook and scroll through their Facebook, and what you’re going to see is almost I’d say probably 70 to 80% of their content is promoting their most recent album, it’s not that they’re going They’re digging into the nostalgia bin and talking about old tracks or what they did in the past. And they’re promoting some of their more popular stuff from from the past, that’s always kind of remain true to their fans. But for a majority of the content, it’s promoting the most recent album whether or not the album was released eight months ago. Now when you have a new album coming up, that’s when you kind of switch it you know, it goes from Word, you know, seven or eight months later, we’re gonna stop promoting the album from before. And we’re gonna start promoting the new album coming up in two months. And we’re gonna start doing giveaway stuff and promotional content, and whatever you need to do to prepare for that release. I think albums are a more consistent way of creating superfans if you can tell a good story and catch someone at a good point in their life or even if they’re in a in a bad position in their life. And that album brings them happiness. They’ll want to return to that happiness or that state of mind by re listening to your album later on and get that that beat of nostalgia and so this is how you can maintain relevancy by getting people to come back. It’s just like any other business. Businesses are only successful because of their repeat customers and repeat clients, those repeat customers and repeat clients become super fans, they spread the word for you, they do word of mouth. And it’s the exact same thing if you can write a great album, or even a great signal, but the point is, is when you’re doing that, as you’re trying to get a fan to come back, you want people to come back, you don’t want to be a one hit wonder, one hit wonders have one great track, and people don’t like the rest, they can’t relate to the rest, and they don’t come back. If you can write a great album, and have great tracks on the album that draws this sense of feeling for people, they’ll come back to it at some point to get them to style jufeel majority of albums I listened to are because I was going through a certain phase when I was listening to that album. And I want to remember that that feeling or that time and in place and get that nostalgic feeling. It’s why albums stick out more than singles, singles come and go. But albums do stay those stay with people. Now the next thing that kind of it pretty much plays into what we’re talking about here in terms of an album that I noticed from their pages, what they’re doing so well is the fact that they they recognize that content is king, and they have so much content that they’re putting out. Now they very clearly have a team behind that that’s that’s helping provide that content, you might not be neat, you might not be able to put out that much content. And that’s okay. You don’t need to right now, you just need to put out enough content. And really, you have to decide how much content is enough. And we’ve talked about content and what that looks like. But what sticks out with the main is the fun content that they put out the engaging content, they get their fans involved with stuff, I think they were doing a contest it might have been for I think they might have been promoting an album I can’t remember. But they selected some people off of social media, I believe it was people entered into some sort of contest to get a phone call from each of the members of the main. So it was in they cut it together an entire video like a three to five minute video. And they just hung out and talked to like personally one on one with with a very specific member would call them talk to them on the phone. And I think this is during COVID stuff. So I actually believe they might have been promoting a live stream concert that they were doing. But they were promoting content. And through that content, they were getting their fans involved and engaged. And people liked that they shared that they were a part of it. And it was a it was a great experience. They just did an interview. I think they actually was it with AP, I can’t remember if they didn’t interview with AP.
It was an interview with someone but they were looking back on the AP tour that they did in 2009. This might have been in an interview from two, maybe it was 2010. I can’t remember if the interview was done in 2020 or 2019. But they were it was a 10 year anniversary. And it’s gotta be 2019. The interview was from and they were looking back on the AP tour from 2009, which I saw them on that tour funny enough. And they were looking back on what I mean, they were 10 years younger. They were they had to have been like 20 ish, super young, one of their first major tours. And they were looking back at some of the footage that was shot there and kind of making fun of themselves. And it was a fun engaging piece of content. And people like me who went on that tour could be involved in it in a sense of like, Yeah, I was here at that show. I remember this, I remember that performance. I remember this, this and that. And it creates this great engaging fun content that people are talking about, you know, they’re commenting, tagging with their friends sharing with their old friends that they used to go to the shows with. So fun, engaging content helps maintain that relevancy again, they’re really playing that nostalgia game with that, like that interview looking back in the past, they they play this nostalgia game with themselves. And with their fans, their fans who’ve been around since the beginning. Now since COVID. Started they they did do like most people, they switch was flipped for them. And they couldn’t play these venues, these big shows, and sell the show. So they started to do more live streaming concert stuff. And this is where I was talking about I’m pretty sure they were calling up fans who had bought tickets and it was a giveaway or some sort of contest but they were talking about the live stream. So there’s ways to you know, if you’re doing live stream stuff, there’s ways to make it engaging for fans and Other people now, obviously, this is gonna, if you’re listening to this and you’re really young producer with barely any social media following, it’s gonna be a lot trickier to get real hyped up people that are excited for you to call them, especially for when, if you’re promoting a live stream show this is this is going to be for people who have a more dedicated following and a bigger fan base who are actually listening and watching what they do. But if you’re getting into the live stream space, like we talked about in the last two part at the last two episodes, and you’re starting to grow that audience, and you actually have an audience for live streaming, and you want, you know, you want to do a live stream concert and you want to sell tickets to it, well, now you actually have the audience where you can call people, they’re hyped up about it, you can cut it into a video, and use that as a really good, cool promotional tool. Now, let’s flip the script one more time and go on to the last thing that we’re going to be talking about. And this is probably going to be a bit of a shorter one. But I do want to make this next topic into a dedicated episode I have, I have a couple of guests in mind. But it’s gonna take I think it’s gonna take some time to get them on the show cuz they’re a little bit bigger than most of my guests. So they’re going to be a bit trickier to get into contact with and actually get them in on an interview. But one of the other things that makes the main such a great band and something that someone something that’s relevant and maintains this growth of new fans, new and old fans really, is how, how much fun their live shows are they create a memory they create an experience something like nothing else. Like I’ve said, I’ve seen them close to a dozen times to I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen them. But there’s one show in particular that is the most memorable. above the rest. Now I think I had to have been something like 13 or 14. When I went to this show, it was like three hours outside of my hometown in Boise and Blackfoot, Idaho. And Funny enough, like none of these bands have ever been to Blackfoot. And they were all I actually I talked to a number of them. And they’re like, yeah, I have no idea why we’re playing a show here and not in Boise where they normally play. But it was I think the lineup was a rocket to the moon, the main Cobra starship and boys like girls
and I believe it was in that order that they played rock to the moon something something like that. A ton of ton of fun. But it was such a great show packed house completely sold out. Now whenever I was going to these shows I would always go front row and up until probably what I was seeing. I think the last time I went front row for show was dos energy 2014 notes das energy 2013 last time I went front row for show saw hardwell and then after that, I was like nope, I’m done with fucking go in front of this shit sucks. So, um, I was we I went to the show with my sister and a couple of her friends and I remember we were all under age, we I think we were all under the age of like 16 and my aunt had to drive us so she drove us to Blackfoot, Idaho, Idaho, we went to the show. And I was front row for the main and john o Callaghan, the lead singer, the main came up on that like their most popular song ever was probably girls do what they want. Probably maybe not anymore, but it’s a classic. It’s one of the songs that blew them up in 2008. And so they were singing, they were playing that song and the lead singer came over and was trying to pull my sister up on stage to sing it, but she wouldn’t go up there. And so I was like, fuck it. I’ll go and the dude pulled me up on stage and I got to sing on stage in front of like 1000 people with them the most one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had at a show it was so much fun. After the song they ended the show and they let me go backstage with them. They got me a shirt I talked to everyone hung out and then after that I left but it was so damn cool. It was one of the coolest fucking experiences I’ve ever had. The second coolest might be when data life in if you guys have ever seen data life, then you know that they’re all about bananas and they’re all about smiles. Bananas, champagne and smiles. And so if you wear banana suit to data life, they invite everyone with a banana suit up on stage for to hang out and dance for like an entire song. And I got to go do that as well. Those are the most some of the most memorable experiences is being able to get up on stage with performers and artists. Now I’m not saying that you should do that for every single show. It’s always best if you actually have fans there to see you know what you you know, know your music. But the point is, is fine if you can find a way to make your shows more memorable and create an experience you’re going to create these super fans and new fans that always come back for more. They you stay relevant when you come back to their town to play. Or you’re playing near them they want to go see there’s a reason why we drove three hours to go see the main in hadn’t been to that 1009 maybe 2010. Look at people like Steve Aoki. I mean he he throws cake at his shows, data live sprays, people champagne, they have pillow fights that he they pull people up on stage, there’s ways to make your shows fun and engaging, other than just being on the mic and telling everyone to jump in 123 everyone does that. And it can be that can be a little bit boring at times. So if you can find a way to make your shows creative, engaging and getting the crowd involved in your fans involved, that’s gonna, you’re gonna create people who talk about their, you know, their experience 10 years later on a podcast like I’m doing now. And that is pretty much it for today’s episode. And this kind of analysis of how you can build up relevancy, what you guys can learn from the main and go check them out, go listen to their music, go check out their social media and how they’re doing things because they’re doing things right. You know, they’re not, they’re probably not your genre, but I will say they know how to promote, they know how to stay relevant. They know how they know how this business works. And watch what they do follow them, because they’re doing all the right things, you can learn a lesson or two from them. They are massively big, and they’re only growing even out of COVID. As always head to Envious audio.com slash Episode 45, to check out the show notes, and leave a review on iTunes or Apple podcast, hang out in the electronic dance money Facebook community, go ahead and look us up there. I’m gonna I’m pretty sure I’m going to start doing some live stream stuff. So if you’re already in the group, you’re probably going to get the notification that I’m going live
this coming Friday, which I mean, if you’re listening to this, when it comes out, it’ll be Friday the 22nd you’ll probably get an notification saying that I’m going live and I’ll be playing the episode hanging out in in the, in the comments talking to people. So if you want to be a part of that, if you want to ask questions live, listen to it, hang out with other people do a little watch party. Look up electronic dance money community on Facebook, join it, I will accept it. We’ll hang out. Go ahead and ask questions. If you have any music, business questions need help with anything reach out there. Other than that, I’ve got some cool things lined up for the next few episodes, some great guests, so I’m super excited for that stuff. But I’m hoping as well, as we get more into 2021 the podcast may go to weekly. That’s what I’m hoping for. We’ll see what happens My business is starting to get pretty crazy. And I’m starting to automate some stuff and put some work off including editing, the podcast and all that fun stuff. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to get that put off. And if that’s the case, I’ll be able to record more episodes for you guys.
So other than that,
I’ll talk to you guys later. Take care

Recent Episodes

Want to help support the show? Leave a usefull review of the podcast, and let me know what you think!