The following post was originally a guest post for CyberPR… enjoy it here in all its broni blogles glory.
Thanks to my heavily twitter based relationship with Ariel Hyatt (@cyberpr) I found myself (via a tweet) on the guest list for her talk in Melbourne for the 3 Wise Monkeys Tour (#3WM). This is certainly not the first time that twitter has proved it’s value to me and rewarded me for the time I put into being present, and being myself, on the platform. Ariel re-iterated and proved in the room something I guess I’d been aware of for a while. – Australian artists en masse seem allergic to twitter. So I’m putting my fingers to work today to try to convince those artists on the fence to give it a try. In the hopes that I might achieve some level of relevance with Australian artists I don’t intend to share statistics or hard data to sell you on using twitter. Instead, I’d like to share with you my top 4 personal twitter moments.
For years, in bands, and then as a solo artist my band mates and I like many other Australian artists considered Triple J the Holy Grail. We spent money on PR and postage to have someone represent us in the offices of Triple J, have meetings with Kingsmill etc. As a solo artist specifically, this money and effort amounted to 2 whole spins on the radio that I’m aware of. I achieved the exact same result simply using Twitter, I tweeted @SarahHowells and @homeandhosed and put on some #twitter #charm. 2 Spins on the radio is still not huge – but this time it was for ZERO dollars and about 6 seconds of my life. If getting on triple J were still my daily goal, I’d be their best twitter #friend right now.
“A Packet of Tim Tams please”
I was invited to play a house show in Holland. (yes, via twitter) A week before I left the country, a follower from Holland asked me in 140 characters or less if I could bring her some Tim Tams to the house show. This was a great chance for me to build an even stronger connection with a fan and she brought me delicious Dutch treats in return
Help me out
After many well crafted but quickly ignored emails in which I did my best to sell the idea of working with me to management companies and agents with a much bigger industry reach than I. I finally got what I wanted with a single tweet about 18 months ago and established a casual and very rewarding working relationship with someone I respect (who had in fact ignored a few of the aforementioned emails) and we still work together today.
Where in the world is Broni? San Diego!
Back in 2009 I had a dream to play in San Diego. I organised 20 gigs in 25 days via a series of tweets to San Diegan musicians I’d heard of from (you guessed it) twitter. In that first year, I didn’t talk to a single venue or big-shot booker. I started with the musicians.
It went something like this
@bronibroni – “Hey @robdeez, I’m a musician from Australia… I’d love to play with you in September… any chance?”
@robdeez – “@bronibroni sure thing. I have a show at Lestats, you can open … ” etc.
That tweet got it all started. I’ve played in the US four times since, last year playing in 6 states on tour with @robdeez, @kennyeng and a few others. All 4 trips to the US predicated by a twitter conversation. These might not be YOUR idea of dreams coming true. But I hope my point is clear, Twitter is powerful. I have had many days made by a simple tweet from someone across the ocean that just perhaps likes my latest song and found it easy enough to shoot me a 3 second tweet to tell me. Twitter makes us casually approachable by a global audience.
To me, Facebook feels like I’m talking to an audience from the stage. People are there to listen to me, which is nice, but there isn’t a whole lot of back and forth going on.Twitter feels like I’m chatting to the audience at the bar after the show. They are sharing the whole night with me; they are even there when I get drunk. People go to Facebook to talk to their friends. They aren’t that into noise from me. People go to Twitter to discover. So I plan on being there for discovery multiple times a day. I’m not the most organized twitter user. I’m lazy with my lists and I tend to favourite more tweets than I should because I just like it when people want to talk to me. But what I do make sure of is that if people want to connect with me, by golly I’m going to get back to them with more than just a bland auto generated message from socialoomph.com. The key is to be you. Say anything. Have fun with hash tags I’m sure many people un-follow me because my jokes aren’t funny or they don’t care for my #moderndayrenditions. But that just makes the folks that stick around all the more special. Because they like me, for me. Not a version of me that is trying so hard to be likeable. So go on, and get tweeting. If you want to know more, why don’t you log into your seldom-used account and get the conversation started with me there. I hope I helped you on your Social Media journey.
I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Wednesday already here in the states.
My super organised calendar app was still sitting in Melbourne time.
Luckily i didn’t miss anything important.
I’m sitting at Lestats coffee house. It’s like my productive sanctuary. I get here every year and realise how much i neglect my online presence when i’m at home. I think i vow to change that each year and then I’m reminded of that vow when i get to Lestats again.
Or maybe it’s just time.
I can spend my time here pretending I don’t have a day job.
Man that feels nice. Meanwhile, my day job paid me today… that also feels nice. So if I can some how manage to convince my boss Luke to give me a year off paid, then i might really get some stuff done.
Just mentioning his name in this blog could get me another week off, he’s a pretty big fan of being acknowledged.
Lots of stuff is going on.
Heres the important stuff I need you to know about. Itemised so that you can scroll down to the ones that excite you most.
1. SAN DIEGO SINGLE RELEASE AT LESTATS 9/12
2. I’M GONNA MISS YA MAN PRE-ORDER
3. ADULT BOOKS TOUR
4. NEW VIDEOS
5. FOLLOW ME ON SOUNDCLOUD
6. MELBOURNE SINGLE LAUNCH AT THE WESLEY ANNE OCT 26.
Hey super friends.
It’s good to be back in San Diego.
The flight was a harrowing experience – middle seat between too fidgeters.
I spent the first day wishing I was in bed, but instead running around town, bought a bow tie for the wedding I’m attending (and playing at) tomorrow. And then a show at Sky Box that finished up at 1am.
Waking up this morning at 9:34 felt absolutely horrible, and I’m currently planning to nap again after I go and buy some sunglasses because California is blinding me.
I’m really excited about this new single. Not only do I love the song, and I’m getting heaps of great feedback for the song, but everyone seems pretty stoked when they get the disc with the artwork.
And this is happening.
The single isn’t even officially out yet, so I’m really hoping we can have a bunch of fun with beard posts in the future. With the instagram hash tag #imgonnabeardyaman
I spend about an hour on my flight from Melbourne making the following video.
It took me about 3 times longer to make the video than it did to make the song.
It’s a generic chord progression, with the assistance of GarageBand smart instruments and a poem I love by E E Cummings.
For a song completely made on the iPad in about 20 minutes I think it sounds pretty cool.
What do you think?
This is how easy it is nowadays. It’s offensive really since I just finished an expensive new record that required many rehearsals in order to get the tracks down live together and accurately. And this iPad can just play in time using ones and zeros.
My thanks to Isaac Cheong and Jessica Hull for making my first day fun and easy..
It’s been a hell of a week.
Time is flying by here in San Diego, and i’m just realising i’ll be preparing to fly home only a week from now.
WAY TOO SOON!!! i hear all the san diegans screaming at me.
I asked Rob Deez to employ me and sponsor me for a green card. he was up for it before he realised it would cost him money.
Maybe he and I could get married 😉
You know what i’ve been thinking about lately? it’s weird… – Locksmiths. We as society put a lot of trust in locksmiths. Imagine going through a bad break up with a locksmith. You’d never feel safe, right?
I’ve started using instagram a lot lately… I tend to get into the whole social media thing a lot more when i’m away from home… i guess that’s kinda to be expected. You can follow me on there, my name is bronimusic.
If you read this blog, please tell your friends about my music, and my blog. Especially if they are already a fan of my music, then point them towards my blog. and my new podcast Broni Bothers which has a brand new episode up right now. http://www.bronimusic.com/bronibothers.
I know what it’s like when you like an underground musician, you almost don’t want give away your little secret.. you wanna be able to claim ownership…. Well A) i hope there is someone out there thinking that about me. hehe but B) If there is someone out there, and that someone is YOU then get over it and tell your friends.. i can’t afford to give you music forever… haha, but i will only the production quality may lessen.
So where are we, lots has happened this week so i’ll shed some light.
After my last blog i had a somewhat relaxing start to the week. I didn’t get up to a whole lot, just pottered about, played guitar etc.
Thursday night (the 22nd September) i played at Lestats. It was a nice little audience, and I recorded some more tracks for my second Live at Lestats webEP. This time featuring my friend Kenny Eng on Guitar and backing vocals… and a guest appearance by Rob Deez. The show was a lot of fun, and I was very hot afterwards…
At the show I told the audience that my occupation at home is a WHACKER… and that I have to stand on our busiest highway with a cricket bat and whack the kangaroos out of the way of the traffic. The audience laughed, then turned on me when i went in to detail, it was good fun. Then a girl in a truck stopped me afterwards and said “you don’t really whack kangaroos do you? please say no” – after all the hilarity my friend Travis drew me this.
That kind of began my jam packed weekend. Friday night I played a super casual house show at Jessica Hulls place, Followed by opening up the Adams Avenue Street Fair on Saturday morning at the Lestats stage. I then acted as a pseudo host for the first half of the day, back announcing performers, and playing a song or two then introducing the next act. I was a lot of fun, and a great way to meet musicians I hadn’t yet met. One in particular by the name of SABA, she and I had a great ol chat before she drove back up to LA. she has an amazing voice and held the stage so beautifully, it was inspiring.
Saturday night was my show at Mueller college with Jessica Bell, Scott Cassidy and Josh Damigo It was fun to catch up with Jessica and Scott again, eating burritos before hand and drinking beers afterwards – which i received free because the bar girl remembered me from last year, i felt like a rock star. A soon to be drunk rock star.
Sunday I played at the Street fair again, followed by a super fun show at the house of blues.
I was called up on stage during John Hulls set, and stood up there basically laughing at Rob Deez’s hilarious free styles. It was a pretty damn good time, and actually I had my first glass of whiskey in about 3 weeks, i’d missed it dearly. How sad – missing a drink.
Monday I was STILL cramming. I had an interview with Mookie on Unsigned Sunday, Radio Sophie which was a bunch of fun, did a live performance in the studio of a CBS radio station! Crazy! that was 5:30 till about 7, then I rushed back to jump on stage at Lestats once again.
Yesterday I interviewed Rajan Dharni for Broni Bothers, and then went out to Phils BBQ for dinner because my friends had been insisting i try it.
and Today I went back to CBS radio to interview Tim Mudd for Broni Bothers. and now i’m sitting here writing this blog before I go on stage at Lestats for possibly the last time this year.
It’s a whirlwind… and i’m loving it… More crazy things to come this weekend.
and Back to some philosophical type introspective blogs in the near future, for now.. just the facts.
Thanks for checking in and keeping up!!!
Excuse me while i ramble. I don’t quite know my point yet. But i’m compelled to write.
I don’t like it when people ask my advice and then don’t take it.
In fact it’s one of my pet hates that I strangly get to pat often. Because as many of my friends have pointed out to me… i don’t talk about anything unless i know at least something about it.
For instance, I’m a horrible conversationalist if you wanna discuss finance, or politics, and unlike many polite people who will play along with the group and wax intellectual, I choose to stay out of it.
I don’t see it as rude, but there’s a reason my friends are my friends, we share a common ground. They talk to me about topics and I respond because I at least like to think I know some stuff.
Not EVERYTHING… s’not what i’m saying. But if the subject is Music, Relationships Or Computers and computer equipment and especially mixing those together. I know some stuff. I have an opinion. And not a manufactured opinion that i learnt from a man in a classroom (you can’t teach how to perform… it’s inate. You can teach the chords, but not the character. You can teach someone how to use a mixing desk, but not how to mix a live band, that depends on their ear and desire to hone their craft).
And I rarely argue with anyone, about anything. Because of one major factor. Either, I don’t know if i’m right, or It’s just an opinion i hold, and they are entitled to theirs.
You can bet if i’m arguing with you, i’m probably right… not because i’m arrogant, but because I know the answer.
My friend Sal hates when we argue, because if it’s gotten to the point where i’m contending so strongly then she’s probably wrong. Through no fault of hers. I just choose not to push my point unless i’m certain of it. Which is not all that often.
People not taking your advice is fine if you’re part of an advice committee eg. a band demoing for an album sending it to 15 of their trusted friends and fellow musicians… then your advice or idea can be taken on board or chucked away, and that is as it should be. Recently i offered a bunch of ideas to a band and i’m not sure they took any, but that’s okay they weren’t coming to me to make their decisions for them, they just wanted some things to think about. Then i make a radical suggestion to another band who are also currently working on an album. So radical that I suggested they basically halve the song. Told them exactly where to finish it, and what bits to cut out. And they tried it… and now thats the way the song goes. I absolutely can’t wait to hear the final product, because I’ve layed plenty of guest and group vocals on peoples albums before, but this time I get to listen and think “i’m part of the reason that this song rocks so damn hard”
Tangent: I still know stuff about rock and roll you know! Some think I don’t. Close friends know that I do. But many think my soft folk pop stuff is all i can muster up. But i’ll start a rock band tomorrow to prove them wrong, because I argue when i know something remember 😉 i’m spiteful when i know i’ve been judged or wronged. On my debut album I made the last song, which was originally a sweet little ballad, build up into a rocky big ending of the album all because ONE person said to me “have you gone solo because you can’t write any good rock songs anymore?” (he knew me from the old rock/punky band i was in) and I said “nah nah, this is just where my heart is” and he pushed “I bet it’s not… you just don’t have the right songs” So my rocky ending to the album was a big F YOU to him… See, Spiteful. But only positively spiteful. I hope.
But when advice giving and taking that REALLY grinds at me… is when you’re approached for advice on something, and you’re the only one they’ve asked. They’ve done no research for themselves. So you research for them. You have a good look around with their specific need in mind. You make the best judgement you possibly can make to assist them, and they go against you.
Classic example of this rather specific thing…. I was working with this old guy once, he was in the IT department, and I was in an offshoot of the IT department handling mainly the Media and Music areas… He came to me for advice on a good handheld camera for use at home. I asked what he wanted to do with it… Does he want to do extensive editting or just have the footage? or minimal editing in iMovie or Movie Maker etc? he said the latter.
So i gave him my best suggestion, with efficiency, ease of use and file compatibility in mind. I also particularly steered him away from a SONY because of their Proprietry formats and SD cards (nerd speak, sorry) He thanked me and went to the shops in search of the model i suggested.
The next day he looks at me excitedly “Broni, i’ve got a camera, let me show you. They did not have the one you suggested, but I bought this one because the man told me IT IS BETTER”
I looked on his desk… SONY.
Now a huge part of me doesn’t care. But the part of me that KNOWS this is going to cause him more effort than he wanted… irritates me to the point where i rudely said “don’t come to me when you can’t import your files”… I was so annoyed. I spent time finding something that would be perfect for him. And he trusted a salesman… The camera wasn’t BETTER it was IN STOCK.
All of this brings me to what I think is my main point. Free Music. I took a risk. I tried it out. Now i’m an advocate.
A Lady from a Local Newspaper who Misquoted me twice in her article referred to it as a “disastrous business model” when we spoke.
I contested strongly because… no, it isn’t. When John Smith stumbles upon my website via one of the many avenues… He’s not going to buy my music. Honestly. No matter how good it is. The general populous just don’t. It’s not the way the world works anymore. It’s not Johns fault that radio and TV is so repetitive that John doesn’t actually know what he likes until it’s fed to him.
The amount of trendsetting power that JJJ has is phenomenal… And that’s it… if John Smith is Australian, and I’m not on JJJ or Nova… I’m nobody, and he’s not going to buy my music. I don’t blame him. He doesn’t buy a suit without trying it on either. Sure, I could stream it for him. But then, he has to make the concerted effort to come back to my website to hear it again. Not something I expect is on his to do list.
BUT. Make it free. Tell him to have it. Go on with your bad self, chuck it on your iPod and you might stumble upon it later. and BAM you’ve got a potential customer.
One day when he’s on a relaxed stroll My song pops on. He digs it. and SOMETIMES the John Smiths dig it so much they come back and pay for it. Trust me, It’s happened many times. I see an email address has taken my whole album. A Week later they are back, they’ve downloaded the same album again just so they can throw some coin at me this time. That’s a double win for me. I just wanted them to have it.
The lady at the Newspaper was perplexed… “how do you make your money?”
“Via my music, and my merchandise and by being me” I responded… then I continued “but i know you’re asking how do i make ENOUGH money to live”
answer: I don’t. Not from my music. Not yet. But I NEVER will if i get hung up on squeezing ten dollars out of someone for something that is basically just a glorified advertisement for ME!
Some get hung up on, We spent x amount of money, time, sweat and tears on this album.. its WORTH x amount so we just can’t justify selling it for any less.
You know what happens? And I know, because that’s how I used to think… They sell a handful. Because that attitude is wrong. (If you’ve got a 7 track EP… don’t put a $17 price tag on it… That’s ludicrous.)
It’s about building a lasting fan base. Supporting those who support you. And building up your own lastability. Not about a quick buck that you don’t end up making anyway.
Those after a quick buck can often burn out quickly, they get fed up at the ‘industry’
But you know what? We’re all fed up at the ‘industry’. Consumers are… that’s why people torrent like crazy. I don’t particularly care about the “industries” perspective on what i’m doing. I don’t care that Someone at EMI doesn’t “get” what i’m doing. I care about John and Jane Smith, who just downloaded my album for free. I’m going to continue to try and give them what they want, Then Hopefully I can sell them a premium Single down the track (which by the way is a plan in the works, more on that later) or a private show.
Do it for your followers, not your wallet. You’ll feel better. You’ll care less about the suits who basically are losing all their power anyway.
The wallet replenishment will follow.
But i’ll reiterate something i’ve already said… I’ve already made more money off LESS copies of my new album Than I did from any of my previous releases. How? I stopped caring about the money.
Those who were going to pay… STILL PAY and many times more than i would have charged.(bless them. truly) Those who take it for free, were never going to buy it if I were charging, So now i’m just stoked they have it.
Why did I write this Blog?
Because This is what I have come to know this year. And not only just from the risk I took, but from hours and hours of study and reading. Articles and Ideas from innovators. Not tired old label wangs.
And because I’ve come to know it, I felt I should share my advice. But share it here rather than tell my friends directly and get all pissy when they ignore me.. 😉
Love you all.
Thanks for listening to my music. It’s FREE.. go get it.
Humorous life blog coming soon. Sorry this one is so serious
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