Fitzy and I were driving and talking about our bands (my 2 favourite things) and he raised the point that rock is an insular scene – bands go to other bands shows and that’s your audience, bands and band-girlfriends. So Fitzy asked “How do we get non-musicians to shows?”
I didn’t have an answer, I still don’t. Being in my folk music, singer/songwriter world I love the fact that I write for other writers, they’re the educated, serious, appreciative critics I want the respect of, it brings out my best. And I love being part of a ‘scene’ and I recognize my explanation is weird but I like that it’s a meritocracy, that to be a part of this thing that’s bigger just group of friends (all you have to do to be part of a group of friends is…be friends. I find that disappointing. Weird I know), you have to put in the time and effort to form a band and be musically decent to be part of what we do.
But Fitzy’s right, getting non-musicians is the next step. Girlfriends and other scenesters aren’t real fans. Supporters of any and all kinds are not fans and you’re not a really for real band until you have fans. Most bands will never have fans.
So like I said, I don’t have an answer but I’ve given it some thought and I can think of three reasons at least “the public” listens to music:
Situational context – People listen to music while driving, usually something familiar and usually upbeat. People play the same things at every wedding. And people will go to a concert by a big band that they love or they’ll go to a festival to dress like idiots and take drugs.
Emotional Context – get dumped, listen to break up songs. people buy songs that were used in dog food commercials because of the association with their loving dog. And this I think is where new bands can get an in. If a band is on youtube or Soundcloud and is related to a song or band that people listen to in a specific instance they may give you a shot.
Image – I was talking to Chris Saunders from The Reckless Heroes and a point he made a point I thought was really good that people may see a poster, photo, or cool t-shirt they’ll at least be curious about the band. It made me think of how I was in an HMV and saw a huge poster for the band HIM and it was super gothy and cool so I checked them out. They suck horribly but I did listen.
So that’s what I got, musician and non-musician friends give me your thoughts, feelings.