Live 105 Local Band Workshop: January 21st, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO-Bay Area Alternative Rock station Live 105.3 FM opened it’s doors to local artists and those interested in the music industry for an annual forum that allows the public to ask promotion and management questions to experienced professionals within the industry. The panel consisted of Aaron Axelsen (music director & DJ at Live 105), Jordan Kurland from Zeitgeist management (Death Cab For Cutie), Patrick Brown (Different Fur Studios) and Eric Victorino (The Limousines). The meeting was very intimate with only about 30 people which made it easier for local band members to ask questions. Here’s some of the topics discussed in the panel.

What Is Soundcheck?

This show plays local music to the entire audience of live 105 (which is about 800,000 listeners)

If you’re submitting your band’s music to Soundcheck (Sundays 9PM-Midnight @ Live 105):


  •  Make sure the sound quality and production of your song is good!

(If the sound quality is off and the overall song isn’t that good. It’s not going to be played. Simple as that)

  •  If you’re emailing your submissions:

-Don’t attach a bunch of mp3 downloads

-Send your best 1 or 2 songs at the most

-Include a streaming link to those songs (BandCamp, SoundCloud, etc.) in that email

When Is A Band Ready For A Manager? 

When you’re:

-selling 300-500 tickets to shows in their hometown

-selling lots of records and merch

-creating a local buzz and creating a certain feeling within the music community

How Much Does The Band Pay A Manager? 

-Bands pay commission on their total income (approx. 15-20%) to their manager.

My Band Wants To Tour. Where Should I Start? 

Start touring locally within the bay area, then tour to venues outside of the region then continue to expand.

Getting People To Give A Shit: 

  •  “Stop giving a shit. Make the best music you can, because if you’re satisfied with yourself and your band then you’ve already won.”-Eric V.

Getting Your Name Out There:

-Be Persistent

-Give People something tangible

Examples of what bands have done to get their name out there: 

#1 The Matches: attended shows that they felt their fans would be at. (shows with bands who had a  similar sound). They passed out free cds, stickers and flyers and had a few members playing guitar outside while people were waiting outside.

*leaving people with something tangible to look at and hold will create a lasting impression whether they want it to or not. But it will help them remember you*

#2 The Trims: recruited their fans to tweet and post about their shows and new music for them. They also put lots of effort into their production and recordings which improved their overall sound. Lastly, they put on an amazing live stage performance. The Trims physically changed the atmosphere of the venue by putting up lights and fog machines and banners. By literally changing the physical space they created a lasting impact on people who were there because they did something different. Look at them like an explosion. During their set there’s a good live performance with lights and machines and when their sets over it all goes away and the space goes back to normal and the rest of the show dims slightly. (I found this tip very interesting but upon recalling my memory, It’s all very true. Once the band leaves that space is a little more empty and missing something)

Notes On The Current State Of The Music Scene: 

-Booking agents and band managers are increasingly important. (Especially if you want to expand your band)

-There’s more focus on band’s singles & EP’s instead of albums. (Essentially get to the point. What’s the best you’ve got to offer? Show it!)

-Make it clear within your band that it’s okay to have musical side projects. Let your band members individually express themselves because if they are suppressed, that’s how fights over creative control start and that’s how bands break up quickly.

When Dealing With Bookers: 

  • Be specific on your availability (don’t just say: I’ll take anything spots you have)
  • Try to get on shows with bands that phonetically sound like your band)
  • Be flexible with the venue
  • Be respectful to the booker
  • Send thank you emails
  • Don’t email back right away asking for another show. Just because it happened once doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. (There’s a fine line between persistence and being annoying)

When Your Band Plays TOO Many Shows:

-View it like supply and demand. The more shows you play within a certain time frame, the less obligated people feel to attend your show.

-When you do play, look for a good show. Not a decent show, A good show and promote it!

-If you still want to play smaller shows before your bigger show: get creative. Play at cafes, music shops and colleges.

Overall the workshop was very interesting and I was lucky I got the chance to attend. If you have any further questions on something they might not have covered feel free to email me at

Support Local Music!

-Calamity Jane

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