New Politics at House of Blues San Diego

After not seeing the band since 2014, I got the chance to check out New Politics on the Lost in Translation tour with support from Dreamers and The Wrecks at their stop in San Diego at the House of Blues. Though the band has become much more musically refined in the last few years (I remember seeing a breakdancing, rapping, pop-punk act opening for Dirty Heads back in 2011), they still maintain their high energy roots. They have also become a much better live band, with solid production and a tight live show.

Indie-rock band The Wrecks opened the night, playing a 30 minute selection of their songs, including “James Dean”, “Favorite Liar”, and “I Don’t Like You”. The band has a variety of influences, but one that was clear from the start, especially on “I Don’t Like You” is Cage the Elephant. Seemingly out of coincidence, the first song after their energy-filled set was Cage the Elephant’s “Come a Little Closer”.

Dreamers is the direct support on the tour, one of the notable songs they played was a cover of The Cranberries’ song “Zombie”. The band released a recording of the cover online on February 9th, just three weeks after the death of Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan. Other songs the band touched upon included “Sweet Disaster”, “Wolves (You Got Me)”, and “Painkiller”.

As the main act of the night, New Politics started with an upbeat song off of their newest effort, Lost in Translation. “Istanbul” got the crowd going, and singer David Boyd was crowdwalking before the song was over. After a track off of Vikings, the band jumped things back to their 2010 self-titled release with “Love Is a Drug”. Even though many of the fans in the audience seemed to be newer converts, there was still an intense energy during the cut. During “Lifeboat” the band showed that they can still write a pounding, anthemic track to get the crowd going.

After dedicating “Color Green” to all their friends and family, the band played a few more songs from their first release; “Dignity” and “Die For You”. After the latter, the band was amazed that a mosh pit had formed. Throughout the rest of the set, the band blended songs from each of their albums and ended the main set with hit single “Harlem”. Several of the songs during the night also featured additional performances on keys and bass by stage techs, which was new to me but a nice touch. Some songs just seem to call for live bass, rather than the band’s standard backtracked synths.

Once the main set was over, the band came back for a three song encore, of “Lifted”, “Pretend We’re In a Movie”, and finally closing the night with their first hit, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”.

Check out their tour dates to see if they’re coming to a city near you!

Press photo by Brendan Walter.


7 tips when doing PR for your band

Making music is a creative process, an art. However, if you want to keep making your art and have as many people as possible hear your music, you are going to have to market it. PR is an important tool to get your music or band seen, known, and hopefully loved. Here are seven tips for anyone planning to do a music PR campaign.

1. Know what you’re selling

What is it you’re promoting? It can’t just be your band. A good PR campaign is set around an album/EP release, tour or both. These products are tools to make your band known. Make sure you know what your aim is when addressing press. Are you looking for reviews and interviews or do you want them to mention your tour or show? Know what you want before addressing them, which brings me to point two.

2. Know who you’re talking to

You also want to know your audience. Are you a black metal band? Than maybe don’t send your album to a women’s fashion magazine. Do you have a new video? Don’t send it to a magazine that is only printed in paper. This may all seem logical, but trust me; it’s important. Check out magazines, webzines, radio shows. What are they playing? Do they have certain returning articles that you’d like to be featured in? If a magazine has a “a look into the bands rehearsal space” article and you rehearse on a submarine, the drummer’s grandmother’s basement or whatever special or funny place, that’s a perfect target to aim for when addressing that specific magazine.

7 PR Tips // Frank Iero

3. Know who you’re talking to part deux

It’s also nice to know the person behind the e-mail address or Phone number. Are you a rock band? Check out who usually writes about rock in that magazine and address your post/e-mail to that person. Do a little research. Did you read a brilliant interview by a journalist you’re e-mailing about your band? Tell him you read that article and loved it. There is nothing better than showing that you’ve done your homework and you respect someone’s webzine/magazine/whatever, writing, or musical taste.

4. Have your assets in order

Whether you send music and info out digitally or by mail; please make sure you have your assets in order and make it easy for the receiver to know what he’s getting, what you want, and who it’s from. Not only should you include the album or digital stream/download, also include a good press photo (don’t email the hi-res version because there’s nothing worse than receiving a 2MB email from someone you don’t know), a well written biography in which you highlight important features for the band like when you were played on the radio or that you won some competition, been touring with so and so etc and never forget to leave your contact info.

7 PR Tips // Max Raptor

5. Push, but don’t be a stalker

Wait a few days to a week after sending out your stuff before you follow-up. If you don’t get an answer within another week, try again, but please don’t be a stalker. At some point you have got to cut your losses and leave someone to be when they are not responding or have said no. You’ll get them next time. Maybe. And always, ALWAYS, be friendly. Your music can be great, your band cool and your album killer, but still no one likes a dickhead. So just don’t be one.

6. Timing is everything

All of the above should be done in a clever timeframe. Take at least three months before release to do PR. With all the back and forth follow-up, setting up times for interviews, etc. you want to have some time. Magazines are usually made a month in advance, sometimes even three to six months. Those are your long leads; address them first and on time. The easiest way is to draw up a little timeline, an agenda or schedule in which you note when each step should be taken. It’s also very helpful to note reactions to your requests. If a journalist replies with; this is really not for our audience, note that down and don’t email him again. Or when someone replies with a ‘not quite sure right now’, note that down and email them a bit later with the latest super cool news about your band and this album and get him on board.

7 PR Tips // Lonely The Brave

7. Hire an expert

There is a lot you can do by yourself, but at some point it’s really good to consider a professional. Professionals have the network. They know the people and it took them a few years to get there. Don’t underestimate that. You might also come to a point where you want someone else to speak for your band, it looks more professional and it saves you a lot of work and pressure. Sometimes it’s just easier and smarter to have someone else ‘sell your product’ than to constantly blow your own horn. DIY is great, having a great team of people who know their shit is fantastic.

Doing PR for your band

There’s a lot more to say about PR, but these tips should be helpful. Remember that nothing is set in stone so don’t hesitate to use your own creativity when doing a campaign. And last but not least, be enthusiastic and persistent, but also realistic. Remember to have fun!


Wanted: Silence in my ears

If you’ve started reading this article, it’s obvious that you’re a passionate music lover. You go to concerts, sing along and you always have your favorite music with you on your IPod. When listening to it, you play it louder than hell (‘cause you promised that you would, like Manowar taught you in their song, “The Gods Made Heavy Metal”). But Manowar didn’t tell you anything about tinnitus, did they?


Tinnitus (Latin for “ringing”) is a condition characterized by ringing, wheezing or swishing that is heard in the ear or head. Why does this “beeeep” or “tuuuuuuuuut” suddenly appear in your ears after an overwhelming concert? It’s simple: your ears are damaged because they can’t handle the loudness. The damaged nerves in your ear result in a kind of short circuit that causes your brain to tell you you’re hearing sounds that are not actually there around you. That doesn’t mean that the ringing or wheezing is imaginary; it’s not. It’s just created by your brain. If the ringing in your ears disappears after a few days, you can be relieved. Also, take it as a warning. The next time you expose your ears to very loud noise, the damage could be permanent. 17% of the general popula- tion has Tinnitus that is permanent. A few of the RMP readers got in touch and shared their stories about how Tinnitus changed their life. They all got their ears damaged by not wearing any kind of hearing protection during playing shows or going to shows in small venues. Listening to music on their IPod on a high volume also contributed to the ringing in their ears. They are really bothered by the damage that’s done and were forced to change their way of life. Meet Daniel, Thibault, Timon, Frederik and Christian.

Daniel played music without wearing earplugs and has Tinnitus now.

“Whenever there is silence, all I hear is a high pitched note in my ears. Due to this, it’s often hard to get to sleep. I have to turn on a fan to create white noise to drown it out,” he says.

Thibault was also convinced that he had tinnitus and started to research on the internet about it, but this wasn’t a good idea.

“I started to see everything in a negative way because of all the negativ- ity about it online. I even started doubting if my life was still worth living. I went to see an audiologist, and he told me I should try to live with it. If I think less about Tinnitus, I have the feeling I hear it less too. I really recommend you to protect your ears, but otherwise, the silence in your head disappears forever.”

Is there anything you can do to solve Tinnitus and bring the silence back? There’s no 100% guaran- teed remedy found yet. Some people can get rid of it by taking medications such as Cortisone, as Timon did. He took Cortisone pills for two weeks, and his ears fully recovered. He bought custom earplugs to avoid his ears getting damaged again. Other people try different things.

For example, Frederik is taking TRT: Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. In this therapy, he learns to sup- press the ringing and tries to hear it as normal sound in the environment. By doing this, he activates a process in the brain where it considers the sound as normal to have around. This process works to his advantage because these normal sounds are repressed, so he doesn’t hear them anymore. You could compare it to a fan or refrigerator that makes noise and that you don’t hear anymore after being around it for a while. Frederik’s Tinnitus didn’t disappear yet. The ringing gets worse when he is stressed out or tired, and when he has a really bad day, he doesn’t even leave his house.

Christian tried to learn deep relaxation techniques to focus less on the ringing in his ears.

“So far it’s been a lot easier to live with it. The ringing doesn’t really bother me as much as it used to. But still the Tinnitus changed my life: In some way or another, it manages to cripple my social life because I try to avoid just about anything with loud noise. Finally, whenever I’m around loud noise I just want to get out of wherever I’m at. I’m also now very selective with what shows I’ll attend. In brief, I just simply try to avoid my ears from further auditory damage by avoiding all sorts of loud places.”

What can you do to protect your ears? I’m sure you know the answer too because it’s very obvi- ous: use earplugs. James Cross, a sound engineer, further explains this:

“There are several types of earplugs available, each with a different purpose and cost. Most people are probably familiar with the cone shaped foam earplugs. These earplugs provide good overall protection when used properly, but they affect the sound quality by reducing the high frequencies more than the low. This means everything you hear will sound muddy. You can get foam earplugs for less than 50 cents a pair. For serious concertgoers, musicians, or sound engineers, I would recommend custom earplugs with filters that lower the volume of the noise. The customs are designed to affect the sound only minimally, while providing adequate hearing protection. The filters typically come in 9dB, 15dB and 25dB models, and each filter is interchangeable. The 15dB offers the best frequency response, reducing levels evenly across the field. The 9dB is really quite weak, so I wouldn’t recommend that one. Personally, I use the 25dB. Custom earplugs range from about €180-200, including getting a mould of your ears from an audiologist. The up front cost is high, but they will last long if you take care of them.”

So please if you think you have tinnitus, don’t ask for advice from Dr. Google; he might make you panic or overreact. Go see a real audiologist, take care of your ears and invest in custom made earplugs. It’s for your own benefit.


5 tips to get into international tour booking

“I’m an agent at and owner of Mindless Bookings from Belgium. We’re a full service artist booking agency that was founded in 2012. What started as a few friends setting up small hardcore shows, has grown into an agency putting its heart in helping up-and-coming bands getting their name out and exploring new territories. We specialize in European tour bookings and our main focus goes out to bands in heavy music: metal, hardcore and everything in between. The markets that we cover include mainland Europe as a whole, as well as the United Kingdom.” – Maarten Janssen

Below I’ll be giving my personal views on international tour booking and how to get started with it.

  1. Be nice and respectful
  2. Be patient
  3. Don’t expect to earn big money
  4. Make sure your band is ready to tour before sending them out on the road
  5. Build up a network of reliable promoters

Be nice and respectful

Whoever you’re talking to: bands, managers, promoters, other booking agents… always try to be nice and respectful. When you’re just starting to book bands, you’ll most likely be working with small acts that are not very known yet. This also means you’ll not be working with big venues and promoters, but with rather smaller ones. Often these promoters are very DIY minded and prefer to work with bands directly instead of talking to booking agencies. Being an ass won’t help you gain those people’s trust, so make it clear you’ve started booking for the right reason: the love for music and the desire to help out bands.

Being nice also means saying thank you. When I do something for someone, I also value a sign of appreciation afterwards. Others do to.

Be patient

Booking tours often is a very stressful job. Especially when you’re in a tight time frame. A lot of times, you’ll be waiting on replies, confirmations, documents to be filled out and so on. Give promoters some time to help you out and sort out their side of things. However, check for updates on a regular basis to make sure they’re still on it.

Don’t expect to earn big money

Working with small bands means booking shows for low fees and even ‘door deals’. As a booking agent you’ll be paid commission-wise (for example 10-15%), so low fees mean low commission. You won’t get rich booking small bands, but in my opinion this also can’t be your drive when you start doing this. I’ve started booking tours because I wanted to help out friends in bands, not to make money (and this is still the case today). Of course, the longer you do it, the more tours you’ll do, the bigger the bands you’ll be able to book for, the higher the fees will be and in the end you’ll be able to make money from it, which is logical and fair, as you’re putting your time and effort into it (just like other people do this in other jobs and earn a living from it as well).

Make sure your band is ready to tour before sending them out on the road

Before you decide to send a band out on the road, make sure they are also ready to tour. First of all, this means having decent recordings. No one is going to be interested in having a fairly unknown band play a show when they’re not even able to properly check out the band up front. Next to this, an upcoming and growing fanbase is important as well. And having good recordings allows a band to make that fanbase grow, so it’s not an ‘or-or’ situation.

Build up a network of reliable promoters

This is without a doubt the most important advice I could give to anyone looking to start booking tours. Without knowing the right people in the right territories, you won’t even be able to start booking a run of shows in the first place. The result of this: you’ll be spending a lot of time emailing and messaging new people, while keeping in mind the other points I’ve discussed above.

In your search for promoters, you’ll also have to deal with unreliable promoters. People who cancel shows without any acceptable reason, people who don’t respect the conditions, people who don’t show up… Everything can happen. To avoid this as much as possible, make sure you properly check out the promoters you work with up front. Have a chat with them, look into their previous events, talk to people who’ve already worked with them and so on. After a while, you’ll know who to work with and who to avoid.

Building a relationship also means not ripping off promoters from your end. So don’t overprice your bands, you don’t want to be “that guy who charges too much”. On the other hand also make sure your band is not being underpaid, ‘cause this can also damage the image of a band.

In general, I’d say booking bands is great. If you feel this is what you want to do, don’t hesitate and dive into it. You get to meet a lot of great people and finishing up a tour always is rewarding. But keep in mind it’s very time consuming and it can be quite frustrating at times as well.

Start Booking!

5 killer album marketing campaigns

While musical talent, great editing, and persistence are key to making a good album, you can’t deny the marketing component and promotional efforts play big roles when you want your album to make it big.


While doing some research for a blog post about music marketing, I stumbled upon a document titled Musically Made in 2015 containing some marketing cases, called The Year’s Best Music Marketing Campaigns.

To my surprise, this document contained cases from different genres, not only highlighting “mainstream” music. To spark your interest, I’ll be highlighting some cases from Bring Me The Horizon, Frank Carter and Iron Maiden. You should definitely still download the original document to read how Avicii used Instagram to promote his new “Stories” album, how One Direction used mobile activations to find their “loyal fans” or how Taylor Swift promoted her album Bad Blood by allowing users to upload a selfie and merging it with the single’s cover image. They may not be your thing musically, but there’s still good stuff there marketing-wise.


Bring Me The Horizon

5 killer album marketing campaigns // BMTH

With a team of 4 people and a campaign budget “Between £ 10,000 and £ 25,000”, RCA Records (Sony Music Entertainment) used Spotify to build awareness around the release of That’s the Spirit.

Eight days before the release of the new album, they released clips of new songs on Spotify, supported by a homepage takeover. This resulted in a few cool numbers:

  • An increase of playlist following by 116%
  • 140,000 Twitter engagements
  • Homepage takeover was seen almost 2m times
  • 2.6m streams in one day


Frank Carter

5 killer album marketing campaigns // Frank Carter

After having officially formed for six months, Frank Carter and a team of 6 members used over £ 25,000 to promote the release of Blossom.

Frank Carter already had some fame from playing in Gallows and Pure Love, so the main goal during this campaign was to create awareness for loyal fans by targeted social media posts, giveaways and their own mobile app.

In a second wave, they tried to make a personal connection between the fans and the bands by conducting a Twitter Q&A, focusing on intimate concerts and venues, doing in-store signings during the release week, and releasing limited-edition, multi-colored vinyl releases.

They didn’t mention a lot of numbers in their case study; they only mentioned that their mailing list increased by 3,000 submissions. Another notable number is the audience demographic: 25% female and 75% male!


Iron Maiden

5 killer album marketing campaigns // Iron Maiden

The marketing team for Iron Maiden’s The Book Of Souls album consists of 2 members. They had £ 25,000 at their disposal and focused on video teasers, because they wanted to retain as much mystery as possible around the release.

T released 19 clips, which gathered 1m views during the first day. A few weeks later – when the album was released – they were #1 in over 24 countries. This campaign also had a notable skew towards the male demographic at 75%.


New Order

5 killer album marketing campaigns // New Order

New Order, the English new wave band formed by the remaining members of post-punk group Joy Division, had a team of 13 people and over £ 25,000 to their disposal to promote the release of Music Complete.

The team, formed by members of Mute Records, Out Promotions, Pias Records and Band2Market, started to promote the album by launching a pre-order on Chris Evans’ radio show on BBC Radio 2. They focused on hardcore fans first, building out slowly to the casual fans and new audiences. They used social media, remarketing tactics and a strong press campaign.

The band gained over 1m new likes on their Facebook page, 16k new YouTube subscribers and 40k new Spotify followers. What about the demographics? 86% of their audience are males.



5 killer album marketing campaigns // Whitesnake

Last, but certainly not least; Whitesnake’s The Purple Album campaign. The team, consisting of 8 The Orchard members and 2 Frontiers Music members, used a budget between £ 2,000 and £ 5,000. Their main goal: build a bigger Whitesnake fanbase and activate the Deep Purple fanbase.

They started the campaign with some rebranding, animated splash banners, and a hashtag wall. Secondly they posted some retargeting pixels on their homepage, which they used to push pre-orders and video premieres. They chose to not only use YouTube to release their videos, but they also posted them on Facebook. They did this mainly because of their large German fanbase where GEMA creates licensing issues (though this will no longer be an issue:

They advertised on Facebook video, search, YouTube pre-rolls and banners which drove 1.5m impressions and 250k video views. This resulted in a successful  re-marketing campaign to over 90,000 people.

During a last wave, the band setup a hashtag #PurpleAlbumWS where their fans could win some exclusive prizes.

The results?

  • 8,000 digital album sales
  • 1.5m album streams over 8 months
  • 2m YouTube viewers
  • 1.5m ad impressions


Other Album Marketing Campaigns?

As you’ve noticed, all the bands mentioned in this case study already had some fame. I’m certain most of these techniques wouldn’t work when you’re applying them on bands that haven’t collected even 1000 likes yet. Let us know via Twitter or Facebook in case you’ve got some cases for that target audience!


How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

When chasing your dream job, especially in the music industry, you will soon be confronted with the fact that you’re not the only one chasing after it. Some creativity and out-of-the-box maneuvers will be in order to avoid the pile of maybe equally qualified, maybe equally passionate candidates. A run-of-the-mill motivational letter is not an option if you want to stand-out from the start.

How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

Maybe that’s why we’re seeing all these creative efforts to impress human resources. So after you’re done kicking your butt, thinking “Why didn’t I think of this?!”, when you see this applicant and his vinyl resume, get inspired by this guy who started an entire campaign…

How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

What would you do when you spot your dream job and you know it would be a perfect fit? You could stick to the standard procedure and send the standard resume with a standard cover letter. You could hope your letter stands out in between all the other applications.

Or — you could go for a pretty unorthodox application that goes way beyond the full attention of the company that’s hiring.

Applying at AB

A couple of months ago, I decided I had to go the unorthodox way. I wanted to apply for the position of Assistant Promoter at Ancienne Belgique, a concert venue whose doorsteps I cross almost as much as my own, right here in the city where I live and (that I) love. For a music aficionado with a creative vision and a sense for social media, this job sure seemed like the perfect match. The problem? Hundreds of other applicants would feel the exact same way.

How to stand out?

Not only did I need an application that reflected my abilities and showed I fit the profile — I also needed to draw enough attention to leave all the other applicants behind me. I didn’t want to be reduced to just another application in the pile.

I needed something extra. I needed a standout idea. Something original and attention-grabbing.  And sure enough, I found a way.

Levitate: The Campaign

Now, I shouldn’t take all the credit for this idea. Let me introduce you all to Vincent. His multi talent in graphic design helped me A LOT (check out his work here). We sat down together, brainstormed, talked the idea over, and came up with this:

Levitate How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

The idea

Say hello to my application: Levitate. An imaginary festival with an awesome line-up that would take place in Ancienne Belgique, accompanied by an ‘official’ website. If you visited the website, you would see the line-up for about 3 seconds, and then you’d be redirected to my online application.


Obviously, it was of vital importance that AB noticed the application as well. This, of course, required some planning. A lot of preparation went into a matching guerrilla marketing campaign, both on- and offline. The first step was printing and putting up the posters in and around AB.

Levitate How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

It didn’t take long before the posters were spotted. When I checked AB’s official Snapchat account, I even saw this.

Levitate How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

I was quite surprised that AB was spreading the poster through an official channel, but apparently this snap was taken by their social media intern who actually thought it was real.


You could say I was off to a good start, but I didn’t want to stop there. There was a good chance AB had already seen the posters by then, but still — I wanted to keep on going and get as much exposure as possible. The next logical step was taking Levitate online. I asked some people with the right network to share a few mock-up images through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Levitate How to Get A Job in the Music Industry

I was very happy to see the posters were getting noticed. Friends of mine were even asking if I had already seen that insane festival line-up at AB, not knowing I was behind it all. At that time, some people had already visited the website, but most people still believed the festival was real.


After a while, I knew it was time to let the cat out of the bag. Levitate had had its attention — I even had some haters at that point. A good idea always polarizes, right? So I announced on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that I was the mastermind and culprit behind Levitate.

Levitate How to Get A Job in the Music Industry


You’re probably wondering where all of this brought me in the end. Well, Levitate — and myself — definitely got the exposure I was looking for. I received tons of positive reactions on this application and the site got over a thousand views in just one week. I also got no less than three other job interviews. But you know I’m building up to that climax, right?

Unfortunately, this story has no fairytale ending (yet). I wasn’t invited for an interview at AB. Turns out I didn’t quite fit the profile they were looking for, but let there be no doubt — this has been incredibly inspiring for me. It had been a while since I felt so passionate about a project, and it has only given me more enthusiasm to throw myself into a new one. And remember, the next time you see a mind-blowing music line up… It could just be someone, applying for a job.

5 must-see artists at Paaspop

When it comes to music festivals, BeNeLux is the place to be! We're starting the festival season at Paaspop, taking place in Schijndel, Netherlands from 30th of March to the 1st of April. With so many great bands showing up at this  year's Paaspop, here is a look at five must-see artists for this year's event (click here for the full lineup).






Rock band from Utrecht, The Netherlands.





A rock band from Germany, known for their retro sound incorporating psychedelic rock and stoner rock.



Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes


English punk rock band formed in 2015 by former Gallows and Pure Love frontman Frank Carter.



Nothing but Thieves


English alternative rock band.



Jeremy Loops


South African singer-songwriter.

Eli – “Harder Than It Needs To Be”

Eli is a one man band from  Adelaide, South Australia. Sharing today, is a song called “Harder Than It Needs To Be”. This song is absolutely amazing and I love everything about it! The vocal melodies are beautiful and will have you play the song on repeat.


Glass Tides – “Forever”

Glass Tides is an alternative rock band from Adelaide, Australia! They would like to share a single called “Forever”, which is about dealing with a loss of someone you love. 


Take the Black – ‘Molly’

Take the Black is a rock band from Yonkers, NY. They have a song called “Molly” off of their EP Smoke up, Johnny that talks about, well, smoking. A very catchy song that will get stuck inside your head.