An Open Letter to Local Bands

I have read quite a few comments on Social Media about a certain show that happened in Rockford recently and I see that quite a few members of the “local scene” were upset by what happened. Understandably so. You thought you were going to play on a “bigger show” and it didn’t happen. I understand that you would be upset. The radio station has gotten blamed, the venue has gotten blamed, It really wasn’t anyones fault. Truth be told, I had no idea there were local bands ever scheduled on the bill. In reality, that is part of the music business. That’s right, I said BUSINESS.

I know to some people BUSINESS may be a bad word, but this is what we are all thrust into together, whether we like it or not. Whether we want to get along or not. At the end of the day, business is part of it.

Which brings me to my point. For the radio station, it is a business. We NEED to make money to keep the doors open and for our employees to get paid. For national touring bands, it is a BUSINESS, they to a great big chance and hit the road with only the money they make and merch sales to support themselves. For Venues, it is a BUSINESS, they have people they need to pay as well.

As a local band, is it a business? Do you treat it as a business. If your band doesn’t make it, do you have a regular job to fall back on? For us, this is our regular job. I understand you are very passionate about your hobby, but at the end of the day that is what it is.

Don’t blame the radio station or the venues for your lack of success. Look in the mirror. Make your band the best it can possibly be. Be great! Be so great that people can’t stop talking about how great your last show was. If you are GREAT, word will get around that you have to be seen and heard.

So if sometime, we are not as eager to support your band, in a manner in which you would like, take a moment to think about the fact that this is how we support our families. Why should we take a chance on you, if you are not willing to take a chance on yourself, by giving up your 9-5 to do what you are so passionate about.

“Support the scene”, that is the claim of several people when it comes to the radio station and local music. Would someone please define the “scene” for me? Because it seems like it is a very small, clique that sees only their style of music is all there is. Do singer/songwriters count as part of “the scene”? Do cover bands count as “the scene” Or only the music that “the scene” approves is part of “the scene”?

Don’t play for the scene. Don’t play for venue approval. Don’t play for Radio Station support. Play because you love to play. Sing because you love to sing. Make it the most fun you have ever had. Don’t look to someone else for your happiness If you are great, fans will follow you in droves. Venues will love you and radio stations won ignore you.

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  1. donl_5453 posted on 03/06/2014 10:58 AM
    Dude you know nothing about the local talent in this town. Nor do you even care. You dont attend or be a part of the local scene partly because you have made sooooo many enimies in this town. You probably fear going out! Music radio and venues are all part of business. Why do you think local bands try so hard to gain your support? Because they want to become part of this business! The way you talk about and treat people in this town IS BAD business. For you and your day job not to mention possibly your health. You single handly have turned sooo many long time listeners away from supporting wxrx its rediculous! All these talented local bands want is a little attention and help from local businesses to get theyr name out there. And would be glad to help support wxrx in anyway if only youd give them a chance!
  2. PennyJ_6252 posted on 03/06/2014 05:07 PM
    I love music! But what I cannot stand is people who judge without knowing the truth behind a group. FALLEN ANGELS is a local group from the 815, they ALL HAVE JOBS AND FAMILIES!! I do understand that the radio stations cannot keep up with all the new groups, but at least GIVE THEM A CHANCE!!!! If you, JIM STONE could make it out to TAKE 20 THIS Friday NIGHT (March 7) to hear this local group and some others, I'm sure you would like them. Give them a chance, after all that's all anyone needs, RIGHT??? Hope to see you there, I'll look for you and we can talk about this some more.
    1. Stone1049 posted on 03/06/2014 09:15 PM
      @PennyJ_6252 I am booked at Murphy's on Friday Night. I will be there at 9pm until Midnight.
  3. lucas posted on 03/07/2014 09:32 PM
    On My Six, Ominous Grey, Left of Reason (unplugged) and Lance Baugus will be at the district on Tuesday. Its a free show and it ends early, seeing as the district closes at 12:00 am, so you wont have to stay long. Come listen to what we have to offer, see what we can bring to a bar on a weeknight.

    Were all normal guys trying to make it in the music world. Yeah we have day jobs but my rig and guitars are not free. That does not mean its just a hobby. We put a lot of that money we earn into the band to go play a show that does not pay very well. I understand that is your full time job, but are you not owned by Mid-west family broadcasting? A company owning 39+ stations? Don't act like giving us a shot will drive your financial life into the ground. Do you pay for all the rights to play that music out of your own pocket? do you pay for all the equipment? I don't think so. We do, we create the music, we buy and maintain the equipment, we are a small employee owned business. I wouldn't ask the bands to throw away their 9-5, personally I find that statement derogatory, apathetic, and uneducated.

    You speak of business and underestimate what we can do as locals. We sold 47 tickets to a Chicago show last month. That is 47 beer drinking people that were willing to go all the way to CHICAGO to see us play for 30 minutes. Imagine what we can do in our hometown, especially with a national act. We are walking talking advertisement and entertainment. What more could you want from us?

    The "scene"... we got all kinds of music in the scene. We got Rap, Rock, Southern Sock, Melodic Metal, Death Metal, Cover Bands, Folk, Grunge... etc. I've learned to like so many types of music since I have joined the "scene". You call us "very small" in relation to what? AC/DC fans? Metallica fans? I think the word LOCAL implies that we are small. If we weren't small we wouldn't looking to our LOCAL rock station to work with us now would we?

    You say the word "scene" like it is profane and prejudice, let me clear that up. I play in a heavy metal band, so guess what bands I play with? Metal bands. So our fans cross reference and we become what you call a "clique" also (profane and prejudice). I can look at your radio station the same way. Why cant i get any "This Will Destroy You" or some "Jon Gomm"? Because you are a rock station and i don't expect to hear Soundscape or folk music from your station. You wouldn't put "Slayer" with Garth Brooks on a show together would you? So yes we are a rock/metal scene, yes cover bands are included (for example pulse 18 and fully loaded).

    On a concluding note I would like to see someone from the Station show their face at one of our shows. Listen to us , talk to us, see what we can offer each other. Then pass your judgments. Instead of looking at us from the outside via Facebook and YouTube. Take a step in and see what we truly are.

    Lucas Dwyer, guitarist,
    On My Six
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