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Cris Cohen
Works at Bands To Fans
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Cris Cohen

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Kim Wilson of +The Fabulous Thunderbirds: This stuff ain’t rocket science. It’s all about the delivery. It’s all about the simplicity, the phrasing. There’s a self-assuredness that comes with the stage and the music in general, along with a lot of energy. 

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Cris Cohen

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It's about celebrating this moment that we have here. Tomorrow might be rough but this moment right now is great simply because we decide it is. - Fred LeBlanc of +Cowboy Mouth 

(photo: Alicia Neely)
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Cris Cohen

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Cris: How much does the setting affect how you play?

+Sean Paddock (drummer for Kenny Chesney): The setting has everything to do with how I play. What am I provided with today? An indoor setting might have an echo. It might have more ambiance. With an outdoor setting there are more temperature variables. How hot is it? How cold is it? All of that affects your playing.
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The other day I sent an article about the streaming music mess to my clients. Fred LeBlanc of +Cowboy Mouth had this response ... 

The problem goes all the way back to when the major labels were not willing to allow for the possibility of digital music distribution in the first place, wishing to hold onto the paradigm of a music fan paying $15 for a CD to hear one song. Obviously these guys were not in it for the long haul, and DEFINITELY not in it it for the "love of music."

When the bean counters (another word for accountants) took over the music biz in the late 80s / early 90s, you saw a HUGE shift from music biz types who viewed music careers as long term investment propositions to those who didn't understand that letting a Springsteen develop as an artist over his first 2 albums could potentially produce a "Born To Run" and eventually a "Born In The USA."; letting an artist grow over a period of time to where their journey and the journey of their audience matched up, producing huge benefits for all involved. That's why entertainment has gotten so formulaic as of late; it's run by people who won't / can't take artistic chances.

Anybody with half a brain saw the digital revolution coming for music distribution by the early 90s (I did say half a brain. I'm sure many others saw it sooner). What would've been the smart move for the labels to do would have been to each embrace the coming digital distribution, setting up their own domains and selling their music from there. Profits could have remained in-house and they could have continued to function as separate business entities, instead of being at the mercy of an Apple, Amazon, or Spotify, just to name a few.

Alas, it was not to be ... So instead of spending quality time investing in the future, they proposed to bully their customer base into accepting an unsustainable past ... but lawyers can only do so much. Like the line from Jurassic Park clearly states, "life finds a way." Hence, Napster and all of the activity thereafter.

Ultimately the labels lost control ... which is not a bad thing, if you ask me. But is what has come since better? Depends on who you ask. The customer probably likes getting music for free, or at least a relative equivalent.

But the artist continues to find new challenges in the pursuit of a professional creative life. The grand utopia that was promised via the unlimited creative freedom of the Internet has not completely panned out, per se, at least not on a monetary level. I was either very lucky or very smart (either is debatable) in that I saw that the only thing that couldn't be stolen from me IS me. I've concentrated my energy on being a live performer and still am able to do that successfully to this day.

Although I've made many albums I'm very proud of, my thought process was always that the recordings sell the live show, NOT the other way around. Not being the typical performer of the day made me understand that the opportunities that came my way would be sparse, at best. So it was up to me to make the most of whatever came my way, which I think I've done.

Not possessing much in the way of business acumen over the years has cost me control of some of my own work, but that's ultimately no one's fault but mine. As I've said many times over the years, if I wanted to jump in the shark tank, then I can't complain about being bitten. I also remember the band's business jumping a good bit during the Napster era precisely because so many more people had free access to our music, fair or not.

Do I think artists should be paid? Hell yea! Do I long for some sort of physical paper trail to account for anything I've sold? Of course. I'd be a fool not to. But the genie is out of the bottle, and it seems those days may be gone. The streaming services are an economic model that is here to stay, consumer-wise. Of course, the Taylor Swifts of the world (with her huge sales and her father's powerful Wall St banking connections) will make sure that they get a big slice of the pie. And the record labels are back to the size they were back in the 40s and 50s, small businesses satisfying a certain niche market, as opposed to the money losing monoliths they became in the late 80s into the early 2000s. So maybe they are just shrinking back to their natural size. Who knows?

All I know for sure is that when my band plays a quality kick-ass rock n roll show, there is usually a line of folks who are willing to pony up a few bucks in order to hear an album we have for sale. Hand-to-hand, the way I've pretty much always done it. And glad to still be doing it. - Fred

CowboyMouth.com

(photo: Alicia Neely)
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According to an industry consultant, your song needs to be streamed 100 million times for it to really pay off. 

Also, this reporter apparently could not find anyone who has a pay subscription to a streaming music service. 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/06/23/streaming-music-paid-subscribers-apple-music-spotify/29144267/
Musicians will profit from streaming music when paid subscriptions top 100 million--analysts
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To succeed in the social media realm, you need to have stamina. You need to be in it for the long haul. So many people jump into it with a flurry of activity and excitement ... and then they burn out after just a couple of weeks. 

They heard about a video that went viral overnight and they mistakenly believe that such a thing is the norm. In part this is because the media runs headlines like "Band's new video gets 1 million views overnight". If they presented both sides of the story, they should post another headline that says "Hundreds of thousands of people posted videos yesterday; Most were seen by about 5 people."

Just as most bands don't start playing arenas by their third show, most bands don't have a large, devoted following online after just a month. Whether you regularly want to pack the comments section of your posts or pack the seats at a nice-sized theater, you will need to work on it consistently over a long period of time.

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Cris Cohen

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Cris: What drives you be so productive? You're not slowing down. You're speeding up.

+Johnny Colla of +Huey Lewis & The News: It used to be the other way around. I remember having a tape recorder and nothing to tape. I had no ideas when I was young.

I don't know why. I think retirement scares me. I think it's an ugly word. And I just have more ideas than I ever had in my life. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I work a lot. The good news is that I have a studio in the house now. Thanks to Pro Tools, you don't have to leave home. I can multi-task.

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Cris: Who do you listen to as far as bass players go?

Rob from Big Head Todd and the Monsters: I don't know that I listen particularly to bass players. I'm more of an overall music fan. My favorite artist is Springsteen. I love his bass player, but I love his entire band. I'm more of a music fan as opposed to listening to particular bass players.

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Cris Cohen

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Sad to hear about the passing of Yes bassist Chris Squire. I loved his version of "Amazing Grace".

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/06/28/yes-bassist-chris-squire-dead--67-after-battle--leukemia/29426347/
His leukemia diagnosis was revealed just last month.
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Cris Cohen

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A good point is made here that has not been mentioned yet: What about if and when these streaming companies go under? Suddenly your curated music collection is gone. and you might argue that you only listen to the hits, but trust me, what is a hit today can easily become an obscure, hard-to-find track tomorrow. 

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-owning-music-beats-apple-music-and-spotify-streaming-services-2015-6
I don't trust Spotify, Apple Music, or anyone else. Not with the soundtrack to my life.
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Cris Cohen

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I don't just use social media. I study it. Sometimes I forget this is rare. A huge number of people use social media. Very few people work to learn its rules and quirks. 

Thus, there are practices that I think are obvious. But looking at other people's properties, I get the feeling that is not the case. So to help share what I have learned, I am going to occasionally state the "obvious". 

For instance, if on your band page on Facebook you have a post that is only text, the Facebook algorithm will squash it. It will limit the number of people who see that post to even fewer than normal. So make sure every post on your public page features:
> A photo
> A video
> A link to a news story

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Cris Cohen

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Cris: How have you changed as a drummer over the years?

Troy Luccketta​ of Tesla​: Well, if you want to go back to where I started, I was pretty much self-taught. So what happens is, you get better in time. You have all that young, raw energy that you just play music and you play what you hear. And there's a sense of heart and feel that goes with that, without technique. And as you mature as a player, you gain more technique. So obviously my technique has improved dramatically.

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Have him in circles
171 people
eddieriddell's profile photo
Dhaya kumar (DK)'s profile photo
Electronic Drum Kit Central's profile photo
carlos oliva's profile photo
jose tama's profile photo
Rubochka fors's profile photo
lucero cuya's profile photo
Stew Kohnberg's profile photo
Kelly Jacoby's profile photo
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Professional social media for professional musicians
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social media specialist
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  • Bands To Fans
    Owner, 2011 - present
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Professional social media for professional musicians
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Owner of Bands To Fans. Writer of the book "Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane".
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