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.

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