Developing a band and artist image
Are you unsure how to go about developing a band and artist image? It’s important to understand that image and brand identity are crucial tools for establishing who your band is and how your fans see you and relate to you. The sound, look and feel of your band and music—from the album covers, to the types of distortion and the logo can draw in and influence the fans you seek!
The more unified and consistent your band image and identity is, the easier it is for potential fans to understand and connect with your music and group. When creating a band image and identity, you need to choose the right sounds and visuals to help represent you, and maintain that more or less.
Is it all really necessary?
Hold on a minute. You might be thinking (quite justifiably). I just want to make music! Srew all this dictatorial and confining advice. Before you shoot the messenger, understand that this in fact doesn’t have to be restrictive. You might have several musical projects that you work on. It’ not uncommon for big name famous bands to have side projects and put forth a plethora of materials and allow all their creative juices to flow. From musicals to movie writing (eg: Ben Folds Five). A great example is the solo projects of Roger Waters from Pink Floyd (though he had little time for them while with Pink Floyd).
The projects of Freddie Mercury, Axle Rose and dozens of other creative power houses. But one thing they always had with their main project was an ability to go on developing a band and artist image. Did it mean throwing away divergent influences? Absolutely not. Did it mean the formulas of other bands and regurgitating popular culture like robots? No way! Queen was famously unique with a whole host of influences from classical symphonies to baroque choirs, heavy metal, blues and brit pop. In all this they were still Queen! When you saw them or heard them they had an unmistakeable “Queeness” about them (read it again… there is no R in that word).
Walking into a sydney music studio like Crash Symphony Productions will open you up to possibilities of video recording. Which is a key part of developing an image.
Getting things of the ground
So how do you practically begin developing a band and artist image. Firstly a simple brainstorming and putting of heads together when you walk into a Sydney Voice Over Studio is a great way to start. Rather than simply throw out ideas, riffs, lyrics that clash or seem different. Try uniting them. Something as simple as instrumentation and certain sounds can create theme and unity between seemingly different song genres. Tempo, tuning of guitars, the use of capos and open tuning can have a huge effect also.
If you are the sole writer of the band then this often solves itself in terms of the general “feel” of a song. You are you and it comes through in most of what you do. Even if you find yourself drawn in different directions – gosh… this week I sound like I’m writing jazz, last week it was punk rock and next week I’m likely to have a singer songwriter, folk feel. Help! Again, work with the other members in your band and listen for subtle things you can do to create a theme. Something as simple as a feel change with the drummer in a Sydney Recording Studio can unify a song where you were powerless do to it with a guitar!
A classic example
The Tea Party (90’s phenomenon) were a classic example albeit over done at times. They had multiple writers and different song structures and lyrics. After the common theme of more exotic tuning and instrumentation and a tweaking of melodies and scales. Their music became distinctive in the extreme! Its almost impossible to hear a Tea Party song, new or old and not know it is from them. This is sound branding in all its glory. From there the visuals are a very easy step. Visuals, logos, branding and photography need similar attention. It is not something musicians are specialists at but there are those who live in this world. We spend most of our time in a Sydney Recording Studio Recruit people with artistic talents and understanding. Not just artistic friends who drew well in high school. Look into serious brand, art and image experts. Someone who has studied how all of this works. Even the posting on social media can have a common theme and recurring catch phrases. This all helps to create momentum for your band identity.
Important social media outlets
It’s easy to get lost in a Sydney Music Studio and just focus on production and music. Here are some places to start thing about putting forth your image and band name:
- Instagram and Instagram Stories
- Your own website
- Sound Cloud
- Twitter Live/Periscope and Facebook Live
The more places you post your music and ideas and image, the larger your audience. You don’t necessarily want to give away the whole game. What you are trying to do is arouse curiosity and interest. Get people seeing and subliminally remembering you message and music. Sample and short snippets are often better than a full song. You ultimately want them to end up streaming you on Apple music, Spotify and hey… who knows, they might even do an old fashioned payed download. But don’t get your hopes up on that one.
The ultimate goal is to gather an army of followers that can help increase your coverage and the audience your reach. Let’s face it, we all want our music heard. A full venue with 200 people singing a long with your songs is far more gratifying for everyone than a backwater pub with 2 family members and a few drunk locals who want you to play covers! This starts like most things in modern society: ONLINE. People are far more likely to have heard about a band they are interested through social media these days than via on a billboard or telegraphpole (though they still have genuine value).
In terms of image and message, clear purpose and positioning is the goal. This is the most vital element in making an impactful band identity that will promote interest, particularly when it relates to social media. Every detail about your bands music, purpose, message, goals, and audience should be clear from the start. This process is challenging and will undoubtedly go through changes and morphs. It requires a lot of considered thought and research. Many bands have died slow deaths after dramatic changes of style or message.
Why? A successful band understands, both outside and inside, their identity and which people they are trying to reach. Every decision should be understood with your potential audience and fans in mind. A simple example: a brand name or logo directed towards millennials would look quite different to a logo directed toward 50 somethings. The colours, font, wording should vary depending on your audience. Remember, when it comes to image branding, if you try to reach all people, you often end up reaching no one.
Here is a useful site for getting started with logos: