EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a very old High Voltage post that never made it onto the old website. It was part of an educational humor series we started on Facebook. While the advice expressed should be taken to heart, we still hope you find the post amusing. This is all based on true incidents.
The one thing that separates High Voltage from most other music media outlets it the fact that we – as a collective – genuinely want success for the bands and artists that we talk about. The goal is so much more than clicks and site hits. It’s spreading the good word about good music so that hungry ears can find it and fall in love with it, thus perpetuating a forward motion where bands go on to hit Imagine Dragons level of success.
That said, there is a process where we, ourselves, have to find it first in order to share it. Now bands/musicians, we love you but you really, really, REALLY have to help us want to share your stuff. There’s probably a very good reason why media outlets (High Voltage, included) take one look at a press release/band submission/music pitch and almost instantly hit “DELETE.” First impressions are golden so let’s take them seriously.
As such here are the Top 10 Reasons Why The Music Industry Won’t Listen To Your Band’s Submission:
10. Only providing music that in order to listen to it, it has to be downloaded. You have no idea how much hard drive space our delicate MacBook Pro’s have so please DO NOT assume anyone has ample space for your mastered/unmastered/remixed/alt-version/demo of songs or that it’s even wanted. Stream it kids; that’s what Soundcloud and Bandcamp were invented for. Use them and we will thank you for it. PS: Actual CDs are always an option, very appreciated and actually preferred.
9. Your press release/music pitch is overrun with embarrassing spelling and grammatical errors. Oh wait – that shit was intentional? You really meant to write: “R u ready for these killa jamz?” Well no, but we are ready for you to get that long overdue GED.
8. Your press release/music pitch has wording like, “We turn your mama’s panties into Niagara Falls! What?!?” Anything devoid of class or common sense in any shape or form is a great way to turn someone off. We’re a potential source for coverage, not your pot-smoking homie.
7. That link to your music that you provided is actually a link to a video. No. I listen with my ears, not my eyes and don’t want all of the shiny visuals distracting from what’s actually important: how you sound. Plus videos stall, buffer, etc. and if the wifi is crap, chances are I’m giving up less than halfway through it.
6. You describe your sound via a mish-mash of genre bending/blending. What the hell is hardcore-indie-pop-electro folk-rock-cybergrind-drum & bass exactly? If you can’t effectively (not to mention simply) describe your music, you have no business making music and we have no business listening to it.
5. You send unwanted (and unsolicited) attachments that clog up one’s inbox. Didn’t really need that 300 MB hi-res photo, one sheet, album’s worth of MP3s, marketing spreadsheet, etc. Just a simple email with your basic information (2-3 paragraphs) and a streaming link to hear more ourselves. This also goes for those of you who reach out daily for weeks on end. That’s almost a guaranteed “IGNORE/DELETE.” Persistence is great but not if you’ve reached a DEFCON level of annoying.
4. Your band name is spectacularly God-awful. Anal Cunt set the standard but runners up = Goatwhore, Vaginal Spasm, oOoOO, HRVRD (This trend of band names with no vowels? Stop.), etc. Band names also fit this category when they’re unpronounceable or couldn’t be spelled if one’s life depended upon it. (I know they’re popular but I’ve never listened to !!! on principle alone.)
3. You’ve emailed a submission that barely includes the name of your band. No Facebook, no website, no date listed for this show you want us to attend, not even your Twitter handle. Let me take some time to root around the interwebs in order to find your band which, by the way, has the most generic name ever (i.e. try searching for the band “headphones”) and, if I’m lucky, I’ll find your music. On second thought, let’s not. Keep in mind, we receive around 750 submissions a day. We shouldn’t have to work that hard to discover your band and we assume that you really want your music to be heard. So please make your music as easily accessible as possible.
2. Oh no, you did not just use the line “The next Guns ‘n Roses” to describe yourself.
And the #1 reason why the music industry probably won’t listen to your band’s submission is:
1. You don’t pay attention to the requests/standards/likes of the people you are pitching to. If your press photo looks like this:
All of this simply to say: Treat Your Band Like The Business It Is. We thank you for your cooperation.