Wie een beetje in de music biz thuis is en vooral op Instagram bepaalde mensen volgt, heeft vast wel eens van Matt Bacon gehoord: een jonge Amerikaan met lang haar, baard en snor, zittend voor een blauwe deur met sigaar in de mond en die zich hard maakt voor ‘The Community’ (van artiest tot roadie, van PR tot journalist). Een network guru in hart en nieren die de hele wereld afreist. Zo was hij ook te gast als spreker tijdens de vorige ESNS workshop: Digital Marketing In Loud Music. Kortom, een man met veel kennis en ervaring over wat wel/niet te doen in de wereld van de harde muziek.
Matt Bacon is a consultant and A&R man specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from glam rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post black metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of fourteen he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
The Importance Of Persistence In Music
The music business sucks. Like it really really sucks. I talk about this a lot on my music industry education Instagram, @Bacons.Bits. Note that I say this as someone who has willingly given their entire life to it. So much of it is just so hard. It feels pointless. Crappy people win. Good guys get shut out. That’s the way it goes. However you need to be persistent.
Why though? You might ask. Well it’s simple. You need to be persistent because you never know when an opportunity will strike. Longevity also ensures you will start to build meaningful relationships that will help you grow. Finally, if you are persistent people will start to be impressed with you and want to work with you more. Let’s break it down.
3. You Never Know When Opportunity Will Strike
Picture the scene. It’s Summer Breeze Open Air 2019. I had been going through a lot, depression, changing of my business model, all that good stuff. I didn’t know what the future would hold but I hoped Summer Breeze would help. Within ten minutes of walking in I had bumped into the guy who would become my current biggest client.
These things happen all over in the music biz. Like yes a lot of it is brutal. But there also is a lot of random chance. Things that fall into place and that remind us ‘Oh right, there’s a reason that we do all the things.’ The thing is this doesn’t happen if you don’t stay persistent.
2. Longevity Is Crucial
This is perhaps one of the most important parts in the industry. People have been screwed over a lot. They are paranoid and don’t want to deal with your bullshit. So you need to prove to them that you don’t suck. Well the only way to do that is to just keep showing up, keep being a friend, keep growing and eventually you will get there.
If you don’t have longevity then you are wasting your time. People in music especially want to work with lifers who they know are here to play the game no matter what happens. You have to be obsessed to grow in this biz. You need to show you are obsessed and not a shitty person. This is where longevity comes in, it allows you to get these opportunities, but only because you have shown you’re a real one.
1. Persistence Impresses People
This is the big one. If you’re not persistent then people aren’t going to respect you. There are so many bands who hit a single wall and then give up. When it comes down to it being in a band is about jumping dozens and dozens of hurdles. It’s about showing people that you won’t give up when the going gets tough, because the going will get tough.
If you keep showing up year after year, taking the hits people will see that you are there to grow. It’s not always easy. In fact it’s frequently quite difficult. But It seems to be the only thing that consistently yields any results. I have faith in you, but you need to have faith in yourself. Nothing else is stopping you.
Listen to Matt’s podcast Dumb & Dumbest on Spotify: