What is your occupation?
My occupation is singer and manager for my band, Straight to the Guillotine. I also book events for the band and perform other managerial tasks.
How did you get started with your band, Straight to the Guillotine?
Originally, it was just me wanting to do music. I had a friend who had a friend who wanted to start a band. It was a pre-started band as far as music goes, but I came along an was able to write some things. I feel that I was able to push the band a lot throughout the process.
What services do you offer?
We get asked to do charity events and a few local touring events. For the local touring events, it is mostly with smaller bands. We have done events for animal shelters, a Sandy Hook event, Toys for Tots, and other charity events.
What are your fans and clients typically expecting of you?
Our clients who ask us to attend events expect that we are energized, practiced and well-versed in our craft because people want to have a show. For fans, it is roughly the same thing. They hear what we put online and to a degree, expect that. We try to keep it original every time because my personality is a little off towards the death metal genre. So they expect a level of entertainment, because my personal style is to be weird and quirky with a lot of dark music lovers and head bangers.
What skills are required to be a singer and band manager?
To do my job, the vocal portion itself takes a lot of training before hand because it uses a lot of falsetto. That’s not exactly something you learn classically. Beyond that, it is a lot of practice and a lot of PR work. Again, there is a lot of booking and talking to whoever I can to get us into shows. There are lot of one-on-one conversations through social media that take place to help spread around our band as much as possible.
What do you like about the business?
I like how fast-paced it is now. We don’t get to play as much as we’d like to anymore, but through social media, it’s still been just as steady with new fans. Especially in areas that we’ve never been -- we are popular overseas, especially in Singapore. I enjoy being able to do what I want to in my band, and I enjoy putting myself out there. I am glad that I’ve been able to be received well throughout most of my endeavors with that.
What do you find most challenging with your music business?
The booking portion is mostly the most challenging. For the most part, our band is all fully employed somewhere else, so it’s hard to work with those schedules. Also, locally, the music scene has been on a decline for a while, so it has been hard to get people to come out for our shows without a lot of extra effort. Making posters and social media posts has been time-consuming, and it’s hard to get people with busy lives to continuously come to our shows.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the music business in the last 5 years?
There has been a shift from how our product gets out there. Before, we mostly did shows, whereas now, most of the promotion is done through social media. I know a lot of bands who do most of their work in the studio instead of in shows to put their music out there. It makes people less willing to go to shows because everything is availability digitally. Then, why would they want to go see us? It’s something that has been a struggle for a while.
What are your plans with the band for the next year?
We are hoping to release the album, finally. Everything is being mixed and mastered, and hopefully we can work out a tour after it is released in order to promote it. We want to get it out to the people, both in the digital and physical format.
What opportunities do you see in Indiana specifically?
Growth, mostly. Like I said, there has been a decline for people who want to attend music events locally. I want to try to revitalize it to what it was years ago. Fort Wayne, where we are located, definitely needs revitalizing. Eventually we can branch out to other areas of Indiana too.
Do you have any advice to people considering going into the music and entertainment business?
Be willing to work. It is not an overnight thing, and if it is, it’s not usually going to be long lasting. You see all the stars that pop up huge after their first hit, and two years later, no one knows who they are. It’s all about working hard, being happy, and spreading your work to as many people as you can.
Any other advice, or anything else you’d like to add?
Keep making music! It doesn’t matter who likes it or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it for fun or for money. Just keep music alive.