The Recipe for Indie Music ‘Success’

by That Guy on June 27, 2013

Becoming microfamous in the indie music world is easy! Based on what I read, there seem to be a lot of similarities between many of the indie bands out there and it’s time you learn from them. If you’re an aspiring indie musician, follow these steps for sure-fire mediocrity:

Step 1: Move to Brooklyn after college

Step 2: Act like you didn’t go to college – never speak of it. For all they know, you emerged from the woods one day.

Step 3: Get an artsy tattoo that only shows when you roll up your sleeves. This way, you can hide it from your parents but still have street cred.

Step 4: Choose a band name with any 2 of the following in it: an animal, the word ‘crystal’, a nature reference, a missing vowel, or a double consonant.

Step 5: Pick your influences. For best results, pick one super serious old timey artist that no one really listens to but is afraid to question because they don’t want to look stupid (e.g. Chet Atkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Lefty Frizzell). Also pick one ridiculously ironic influence to show you’re down to earth and eccentric (i.e. Meatloaf, Dan Fogelberg, Bush). You have to act like you see a genius inside of them that no one else sees. You’d casually say something in a music blog interview like, “I think Gavin Rossdale is a genius, but no one ever gave him credit because he was so damned handsome. It’s sad.”

Step 6: Choose any 2 of the following gimmicks to have in your band: a standing drummer, ludicrous facial hair on one band member, 3-part vocal harmonies, face paint, eyeglasses that look homemade, or a female backup singer who has one of those annoying wobbly voices.

Step 7: Choose at least one super strange instrument to play at live shows. For instance, the pubic bone of a hyena or a giraffe coccyx. Beat on them like your life depends on it.

Step 8: Tweet about some obscure bass player who died and apparently revolutionized music. Doesn’t matter who it is. You can make it up. “RIP Rusty Kuntz – greatest six-fingered, double-penised bass player who ever lived. #neverforget”

Step 9: Get your gear stolen. Get other obscure bands to tweet about it until it finally gets retweeted by Ryan Adams.

Step 10: Start a ‘super group’.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Dahm June 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I laughed at #5. Dan Fogelberg – I was just thinking about Leader of the Band. I love this site. I never would have heard of Linda Chorney without it. Thank you.

Mary June 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Loved this!

Scott July 2, 2013 at 1:48 am

I knew Rusty Kuntz was the first base coach for the Kansas City Royals, I had no Idea he also played bass…

Terry July 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Step 4A – Pick a name with a ‘u’ in it. Change the ‘u’ to a ‘v’.

pista July 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

reading this from eastern europe I feel more and more convinced there is no place for cool music anymore, just coolness.

tom July 13, 2013 at 1:08 am

All good points, Indy bands will now ignore to be more obscure.

Neil July 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

As a musician who happens to live in Brooklyn and who hates everything about the indie scene, I must applaud you for this fine piece of satire—it’s by far the truest account of “indie” I’ve ever read.

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