Do you ever wonder what your role is in the music community is, as a fan, or possibly as a musician? You have more power and influence that you may realize. Everyone knows that you “vote with your dollar”, and that supporting your favorite bands includes the basics–buying CDs and iTunes downloads, merchandise, and attending shows. More passionate fans involve themselves in the industry, joining street teams, volunteering to support shows, taking in internships, and if they”re lucky, attaining paid positions with labels and promoters.
The Jrock “scene” is nebulous. Its difficult to define it as a genre, to put an address on it (its both a local community and a global online movement), and its a patchwork of both talent from Japan, and local talent from around the world. Here”s a great situation to apply the political mantra “think globally, act locally”. There”s more you can do as a fan, and as artists, to build a better Jrock scene.
I want to encourage everyone who is creating their own music, to network with other bands, and consider putting together your own shows. As promoters, we are in the business of sourcing talent and handling all of the aspects of putting together events–but you, as performers, have everything to gain from exploring this angle as well. The more you involve yourself in the business side–the logisitics, the casino networking, the marketing, the healthier 9 million of our nation”s poorest, including 9 million children by means of expanding CHIP (Children”s Health affordablehealth.info Program). our corner of the industry is going to be.
Additionally, never underestimate the value of pushing your band in-person. The internet has created a wide array of the new ways to network and promote ourselves, but there”s also no substitute for chatting someone up, handing out a business card or demo CD, inviting them personally to a show.
Fans and music enthusiasts can do the same thing. Of course there”s a learning curve here. Being in the nightclub and concert business isn”t easy. But you can play a big role in ensuring that the music scene you enjoy thrives and continues to evolve in a healthy way. Take some music marketing and production classes. Get an internship. Or pick up an instrument and start to play!
The great thing about music is that it has always been an interactive world. There are many opportunities to involve yourself in the industry, creating a two-way exchange between yourself and the artists that inspire you. And for the musicians out there, seize upon the business side of things–managers, promoters, and labels are still indispensable, but you can gain a lot of power over your own careers by learning as much as you can about these aspects of the industry.
Let”s work together on building a better Japanese and Asian rock scene, wherever you happen to live!
DJ and Founder, Tune in Tokyo