Words of Advice from Fred Pessaro, editor of Brooklyn Vegan

Brooklyn Vegan is one of our favorite blogs – they’re constantly releasing the newest, freshest music and they have a well curated selection of tunes. With over 100k hits a month on their blog, we were stoked to read an interview with Fred Pessaro, their editor, on Musician Coaching.

As the editor of a highly respected music blog, Fred gets a ton of music coming to his inbox, his mailbox, given him to by bands. Be it press releases or products, Fred says, “The thing that helps the most is to have a product that’s going to stand out. If you’re going to hand me a promo, make sure it’s a promo I’m going to remember and not just a CD in a jewel case or something similar.”

But more important than press releases and CD’s, playing shows is the biggest boon to a musician’s career. “People who just get out there and play as much as they can do well… I notice who plays a lot. Any band that plays a lot, whether it’s the first band, the second band or are in some other position on the bill probably has a strong work ethic. Any band that will play anywhere, at any time is probably a band that really wants to work. And it’s probably a band that, even if it’s not good now, will have the work ethic to be good later on.”

Looking to build your fan base? Get your music out there! “The best thing you can do is put together a record and give it away for free. Let as many people hear it as possible. I think that’s important on the recorded front and the live front.”

If you’re an up and coming band, Fred suggests, “Any time someone asks you to play a show, you should take it… If I were a young band, I would play anywhere and everywhere as often as I could, and I would give away my music to anyone that would hear it.”

If you’re wandering about merch, “Do something like print up t-shirts with a catchy design that someone might wear whether they liked your band or not. And sell them at cost. Basically, the more times someone sees your name, the easier it’s going to be for them to recognize it down the road. It’s the idea of conditioning. The more times you mention a name, the more the name will become a part of everyone’s consciousness as opposed to “just another band out there.”

“To sum it up, play as much as you can, record as much as you can and give it all away for free until you think people are listening, and then you can draw back on part of that,” Fred says.

Pretty good advice! We couldn’t agree more, Fred. Be sure to check out his blog, Brooklyn Vegan. Who knows – maybe you’ll be on the front page some day soon!

And be sure to check out the entire interview here.

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