I recently posted to this blog, an interview I did with SXSW Magazine – SXSWorld which resulted in a very interesting comments thread, wherein I was called out by a couple of people over what they perceived as a lack of new ideas from me regarding musicians and their utilization of the web. I don’t mind being challenged over my ideas, after all this is a forum for discussing ideas and what I learn here can be applied, not only to more posts on the subject, but also to my panel at SXSW this year. The only problem I had with the comments is that I couldn’t help but feel I was being asked to provide tactics that might lead to success for some musicians on the web, whereas I was attempting to discuss web strategy – two very different approaches basically.
Fortunately Justin Spohn, one of my business partners here at Fight, bailed me out by saying this – “The first thing I think it’s important to note is that at Fight, we almost never have blanket recommendations for anything when it comes to tactical recommendations, and I fear that may be part of the frustration I’m hearing.” In other words, what’s your strategy and can we help you with that?
And it is the frustrations of musicians that I would love to help alleviate. Unfortunately I doubt that I can assuage all musician’s frustrations along with their doubts about embracing a new way of thinking about selling music. As Justin says above, we are not in the business of simply providing tactics, but I did think it may be useful to offer up some info of how a couple of bands I admire are working their way through the new paradigm.
Last week I met with the Portland-by-way-of-San Francisco musician and artist, Holcombe Waller. We had a lively discussion about the challenges that all creative people in the arts now face, the least of which being one’s ability to gain attention and traction in a world of high-speed communications and online hyperactivity.
So what is Holcombe up to? Well, he’s not in the least bit perturbed by the ever changing cultural landscape. He has set out to win, and along the way he’d like to make a difference and also be brilliant. We discussed the 1000 True Fans model which Holcombe has essentially embraced. We agreed on many things so I’m not going to go into detail about his hard work, [we definitely agreed that hard work and talent are two very important prerequisites for achieving success these days], I will simply give you the links to his ambitious project.