Bass player - Alpine
Merchandise is the big thing now, in terms of making money. If you sell a T-shirt for 25 bucks, and you sell 10 T-shirts a night, that’s a huge amount of money. Also selling records that way, and it all kind of comes together. We’ve sold tote bags before, and silk-screen posters as well.
I always think of it as people are paying money, so you need to give them something to see. It really comes down to the sort of performer. When you see a singer-songwriter, then maybe you want to see where the song comes from and you want to be really close to it. But when it’s like a big loud rock band, especially our music, people just want to dance. So if you’re just stood there looking pissed off, you just look like you don’t want to be there and then they don’t want to be there. People are a lot more tuned into it than you would think.
Find a rehearsal space where you can stand as you would on a stage. A lot of people get in a rehearsal room and they sit in a circle with the amps all pointing at each other – and as soon as you get on stage and you can’t see anyone, like you’re facing the audience, it just all goes to shit. You’ve got to know where everyone is around you.
Be prepared for everything to go wrong. Like practice how quickly you can retune a guitar or fix a string. Just know things are going to go wrong because they will, constantly!
Any bands that you tour with or hang out with – just be really lovely and thank everyone if they lend you any gear, because you definitely will run into the same people again and again. And they all have cool stories and good advice. And when you see their bands play you can drink their rider.
When we started out, we had interest from labels and stuff, but we were shitty live. And we basically got told, "Go away for 6 months and just play as many shows as you can until you’re presentable." It was kind of like this unofficial agreement that we had with a manager and a label who were waiting, but they wouldn’t do anything for us, like they wouldn’t book us shows or anything, we had to do it all on our own and work out how to do it. They’d come and check on us every couple of months or so. Eventually they came back and were like, "Oh OK cool, you’re fine now, we can show you to other people."