The Demo: A Lost Art in the music industry

As technology advances, making things easier for everyone, we tend to get complacent, or take things for granted.

With social media sites, text messaging, email – how often do you pick up the phone and call someone?

On one hand, it’s a great quick communication technique. Fast and efficient; you’re in and out, and possibly receive a response within moments. On the other hand, personal touch, and sometimes even the point of emphasis, gets lost in translation.

It’s a similar situation for bands, DJ’s, songwriters. They have their Myspace (lol – yeah, I said it), Soundcloud, Reverbnation, Facebook fan pages, etc….

…and it’s made it a great way to search for your favorite acts, or for those acts to get their name around on the internet. With as much time as most of us spend online (keep your intervention away from me!), this is a very effective tool to get word around.

Unfortunately, it seems like so many entities have made this their ONLY means of information/artistic/musical transfer. To some, “diversifying” means they have a page on every social media outlet.


While many of us do spend entirely too much time tweeting, Facebooking, and stalking random people on various internet sites, there is a world out there, with real in-person interaction, that can never fully be replaced by technology – save Skynet going online and wiping out the human race.

I remember a time (3 miles, uphill in the snow story forthcoming), when I couldn’t go out to a club or event, without coming home with at least 1-3 CD’s from various DJ’s, one of which would generally end up the soundtrack to my ride home or next destination. And that was BEFORE I was an event promoter. Now I’m lucky to get 1 in a month, and I’m a lot more involved in the music event scene.

It seems like everyone has resorted to the simple – “Check out my fan page” or “I’ll shoot you a link to my soundcloud”

As an artist, you’re now not only relying on me to remember your name and face, but your band/DJ name and/or web site, and then hoping I take the time to do the legwork to find you in-between my typical Facestalking routine.

Let’s face it, we have gotten used to information coming TO us, and unless it’s something we’re REALLY excited about, or we’re just plain bored, we may not take the time to do the aforementioned “legwork”.

I understand that CD’s aren’t free, and it takes time to transfer files to them. And of course, it cost more to “decorate” them properly or put them in nice cases….

..but this is YOUR music, or at least your interpretation/compilation of it, that you’re using in hopes to grow your fan base and/or book some future gigs down the road. If that’s not worth the time and effort, then why should I take the initiative to look you up and do my own legwork to find out what sound defines you?

I’d like to share recent example, where forethought and initiative paid off for a local group.

As many of you know, EOTO was just in town, playing a show at the Vogue. After their show, they came through the after party – Altered Thurzdaze at The Mousetrap, to hang out with fans and unwind from their show.

In that crowd of fans, was Josh Lockwood, of local live jamtronic trio – Eumatik, handing out their latest CD. One of which, just happened to make it into the hands of EOTO, and they popped it in their CD player as they drove off.

Now, that’s not to say that Eumatik is about to be snatched up to go on tour with EOTO, but they definitely got a CD in the hands of someone of great influence and musical knowledge. It’s definitely a lot closer to something than had they tried to have a conversation with them about their group and what they sound like. They walked away with a sample and a reminder of the conversation.

It may not go anywhere else, but for one moment, EOTO was checking out Eumatik. That’s bad ass.

It’s not always gonna go that way. I’m sure many a CD ends up in the trash, the floorboard of a car, or tossed out the window. It’s a crap shoot. You hand out a few strategically to promoters, club/bar owners, and other people of influence; but to me, it’s just as important to get them into the hands of potential fans. Ultimately, they can decide your fate.

Nothing beats face to face interaction and personal touch. Keep that in mind the next time you’re uploading your latest demo.

For their forethought and initiative, I’d like to invite everyone to check out EUMATIK. Please check them out and share with your friends:

* Facebook Fan Page