DIY: What Does It Mean, What Does It Take?

Conference Panels

DIY: What Does It Mean, What Does It Take?

Austin Convention Center, Wednesday, March 12 According to Dave Marsh, DIY was born with punk rock, when those pioneers dared to ask, "What would happen if we decided to make our own music instead of absorbing what's given to us?" In an age wherein greedy record labels gobble up the fruits of musicians' labor by any means, the questions regarding DIY have changed: What opportunities exist in order for bands to become self-sufficient? What is success? How can bands control their own output and make 100% of their living playing music? Musicians David Fagin (of the Rosenbergs) and Gooding (of the Gooding Band) told their personal stories, fraught with the interminable struggle to make good music and get it heard. The bottom line is unsurprising: It's tough as shit, especially when the little guys are up against behemoths like Clear Channel, which has a thumb in every conceivable pie in the industry. How can bands become successful on their own? Do bands need to sell 10 million records to be successful? Fifty thousand? Enough to keep them away from day jobs? The average baby band faces many questions when it comes to protecting their own interests and putting the bulk of their revenue into their own pockets, rather than paying back labels for recoupable expenses such as recording and marketing costs. Over the course of a sometimes-heated 90 minutes, Marsh, Fagin, and Aware Records founder Gregg Latterman (Gooding and moderator Vivek Tiwary of StarPolish often sat back and quietly observed the fireworks) hammered out options and opportunities. Performing on local television morning shows (radio, infected by payola, is no good -- even on the college circuit), touring extensively, and cultivating enthusiastic street teams are all good ideas, as DIY is all about making your own opportunities, because no one's going to protect your interests better than you.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Friday Showcases
Friday Showcases
Korea, Japan, Spain, Africa – see the world from single showcases

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Album Review: Superfónicos’ <i>Renaceré</i>
Album Review: Superfónicos’ Renaceré
Colombian funk septet marks a decade with debut long-player

Raoul Hernandez, July 19, 2024

Album Review: PES’s <i>Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)</i>
Album Review: PES’s Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)
Peruvian-fronted rock band offers a daring approach of their debut EP

Cy White, July 12, 2024

More by Melanie Haupt
Restaurant Review: Mexta
Restaurant Review: Mexta
Mexta wants to be Austin’s new upscale Mexican dining destination

July 5, 2024

Restaurant Review: Bambino
Restaurant Review: Bambino
New Eastside pizza joint from L’Oca d’Oro owners has something to say

June 7, 2024

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle