Ricky Garvey

Music | Marketing | Transparency

Everything Rad Podcast #6 – Josh Bandy of Elevator Union / Little Climbers

I’ve known Josh Bandy for nearly a decade. And I’ve been fortunate enough to play some really great music with him. And I can say that and feel no guilt because Josh himself has always been the songwriter and I’ve just thrown noise over it and called it a day.

When I first got a job in Orange County, my wife and I decided we wanted to live in Tustin. I love small towns, and the particular section of Tustin we live in (Old Town) has tons of cool stuff in walking distance. It’s extremely important to me that we can walk a couple of blocks and grab a beer.

I knew Josh lived in the area and having not seen or played in a band with him in about 5 years, i figured I would hit him up and see exactly where he lived in Orange County. Turns out he lived a few blocks away. This was about 3 years ago and the beginning of the latest project we worked on – Little Climbers.

Everything Rad Podcast - Josh Bandy

Now, I know it’s been some time since I’ve uploaded a podcast, but Josh was the perfect person to get back in the groove of doing this. I had an interesting summer. I lost a job. I gained a new job and spent about 3 months getting in the groove of that schedule. It’s been tough but I’m happy with where I’m at.

In this episode, Josh and I do some pretty heavy catching up – discussing about his move to become a high school teacher, chatting about the recording process for Little Climbers, and what it’s like to be an adult balancing a ton of things at one time.

To get a feel for how Josh and I have collaborated in recent years, here’s the music video we shot for Little Climber’s single “Heavy & Light.”

Touche Amore – Displacement (A Discussion)

Touche Amore has blown me away as a band since I first discovered them opening up for Thursday in 2009 at The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. I walked in a little too late. They were finishing up their set with “Honest Sleep” and I remember being shocked that this band I was unfamiliar with had 25+ kids on stage screaming as loud as they could.

I was hooked. I haven’t looked back since.

See, I’m a fan of Thursday and the reason behind my obsession is not only timing (I was 12-13 when I picked up Full Collapse), but the urgency in what’s being said when I sing along. I had not found a band that had sounded so urgent in a long time. Hearing Touche’s first demo was similar to the experience I had when I first heard Full Collapse. I knew it was special.

Touche Amore Displacement

Touche Amore has since released 3 outstanding full-length records. They’ve each grown in maturity on exponential levels. I’ve shared moments from time to time with Jeremy Bolm, singer of Touche Amore, and expressed how blown away I was at the level of maturity coming out with each release. “Is Survived By” is one of my favorite records if you’d like to check it out.

3 years later and we’re months away from the release of album four titled “Stage Four.” The album is about the loss of Jeremy’s mother to cancer.

I remember struggling with the fact that I follow Jeremy on social media and witnessed some very personal posts. Posts saying goodbye to his mother. Posts at her funeral. It felt too personal.

Yet, this album is the ultimate heart on his sleeve. I can’t imagine the experience of opening up on a topic this personal. But I do know that it will help countless people cope with something they’re going through and that’s a beautiful thing.

This song Displacement is one of the most personal things I’ve ever heard. Check it out and pre-order the album. I have a feeling “Stage Four” is going mature in exponential terms once again.

Castle Pines – Hollow Cause

First of all, I just want to apologize for my lack of posting the past couple of months. I had some major changes in my career and had to take some time to focus on the full-time venture. It’s been stressful. It’s been exciting. It’s been a big change and I’m extremely happy with how things turned out. I really don’t want to get into details but I was able to apply Ryan Holiday’s stoicism to the situation and turn a negative situation into a positive. I’ll be posting a “here’s what you can learn from getting laid off” post in the next week. I learned a lot about myself. Again, it’s all about how you look at the situation.

But back to this post. I want to discuss my project Castle Pine‘s latest single release – Hollow Cause.

Castle Pines

See, this was the first Castle Pines song written after I joined the band – ultimately taking over for the wonderful and amazing Nick Barrientos. It was written when much in this world was uncertain. Months after the Paris attacks that really hit close to home for us as musicians. The San Bernardino terrorist attacks had just occurred in our own backyard. Tensions were high. And we just wanted to have a song that acknowledged how crazy this world is.

Cut to June 10th. We release this song as an anthem for everyone fed up with what’s going on in this world. We have a candidate that feels the LGBT community using a restroom is more of a threat than guns and the related violence. It blows our minds. And we’re not a political band in most senses. Vote for whoever you want. And at this point I think we can all agree most of our options suck. But some seriously suck more than others.

Little did we know that following weekend would hold the worse attack on US soil. And again, we’re speechless. And to me, this song means more than ever.

Lyrics: Hollow Cause
It feels a lot like dying
When They shoot me on the TV
When half the world don’t see me

As a holy living being
I’m alone in everything

Meticulously spying
Disenfranchised baby
Left to sink the boat

Left them drunk and dying
Onto your remote
Onto nothing
Onto what she wrote

I gotta get out of this place
I gotta get back
And out of my head

Bataclan is bleeding
In Syria they’re fleeing
Time to cut the noose

Ferguson gave me something
I am what I choose
We are star dust
We are born to lose

I gotta get out of this place
I gotta get back
And out of my head

How do you feel?

This world is crazy. I hope you figure out a way to get through all this. It’s times like this when we’re super thankful for the release of music.

 

 

Marketing Your Band on Instagram

I want to preface this post with two very important thoughts. Basically, you’ll need to consider the following before you dive headfirst and spend valuable time marketing your band on Instagram.

Marketing Your Band on Instagram

And to go on a quick tangent, I’ve shared 3 tips to marketing your band better on Facebook. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking to up your game on the Facebook platform.

But back to Instagram for a minute. You need to ask yourself the following:

What is your goal? – Are you looking to get people to go to your shows? Are you looking to market your latest or upcoming album? Are you looking to find new people to listen to your music? Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, you need to prioritize your goals or figure out what exactly it is you want to focus on. This will help determine the tips you utilize the most and where you focus your efforts.

Is this the right place / right time?I wrote about a great quote I heard at Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles back in January of this year. Here’s the quote from Brian Harris Frank in all its glory.

It’s all about “getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time.”

With that in mind, you need to determine if your fans are even on Instagram. Is this the best place to communicate with current or potential fans? Do a bit of research and analysis. You may find that your fans or potential listeners are hanging out elsewhere.

So let’s assume you have your goal in mind and you know you have plenty of fans and potential fans on Instagram waiting for you to communicate with them. Here are my tips to get the most of using the platform.

Utilize Your Profile URL

Let’s start you off with a simple one. To be fair, it’s simple but EXTREMELY effective.

Too often, I see a band using their profile URL and sending people to their website or different social media channel. And that’s oooookkkkkkkkk. But your fans don’t want to be redirected from site to site. The strategy of tossing people around to your various social channels is not a great one. You end up right where you started.

You need to treat your URL like a step in a call to action. If you have your latest EP being sold on a site like Gumroad, a page on your site, or at the very lest iTunes, you’ll want to use this URL to guide fans and new listeners to a place where they can hear your music.

While links don’t work in photo posts, you can guide a user to your profile and have then click on the URL. It’s a fairly common tactic and most users don’t get confused in this process. In fact, it’s been proven to be a highly effective way to get users to click on a link.

In fact, I use this whenever I write a new blog post, release a podcast, or want to send people to a specific campaign I’m working on. As you’ll see below, I used the URL to send users to my most recent podcast of Everything Rad with Michael Estrada of Be Still Kid. 

Ricky Garvey on Instagram | Marketing Your Band on Instagram

Get Your Fans to Help

This is a fun one. And it’s extremely helpful because fans loving being part of the action. In fact, I think we all have that “look at me, look at me” mindset from time to time.

Designate one day per week to share a photo that a fan has taken of a live show, meet & greet, etc. When doing so, make sure you tag them in the photo you post. They’ll be super excited that you’re sharing their photo and will probably tell their friends to check out their 15 minutes of fame.

I’ve found that the best way to find photos in this category is for your band to come up with a designated hashtag. Keep it unique. And when playing a show or meeting a fan, show some enthusiasm and ask them to hashtag it properly so you can find it.

Don’t Forget About One-on-One Connections

One of the best campaigns I ran is when I set aside 10 minutes a day to search hashtags and leave a comment on people’s photos letting them know I’ve just released an EP they may be interested in. And this can either go super great or turn out extremely ugly. It’s all in how you approach this tip.

The last thing you want to do is write a super generic / spammy comment. Remember, your goal is build an actual connection. Do whatever it takes to make the comment feel genuine. In fact, it should really be genuine!

I made it a point to only comment on 10 photos per day, but comment on photos that I actually found awesome. I left a comment with why I found their post awesome, let them know I released an EP, and gave them a special promo code that I was giving away to musicians only. And I made it extremely easy for them to follow instruction. The link was in my profile. Remember tip #1?

It worked wonders. I converted between 30%-40% of the people. Now, I communicate with them monthly when I send out my monthly email campaign.

It’s all about long-term relationships. And there’s no shortcut to this. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a huge commitment – especially if you have 3 or 4 guys in your band. Separate the work on a daily basis.

It’s your turn now. What have you done with marketing your band on Instagram? What’s worked wonders for you? Share your tips below!

Everything Rad Podcast #5 – Michael Estrada of Be Still Kid

Michael Estrada (Be Still Kid, The Vice Versa) sits down to discuss growing up in Horsetown, USA, President Bush, and his new project Be Still Kid. We also discuss Thursday in length, his afro, and having a hard time not remembering his childhood. Take a listen.

Be Still Kid - Everything Rad Podcast

I’ve known Michael since I was 13 years old and desperately wanted to start a band with like-minded people. At a time when all of our friends were trying to get drunk every weekend, we wanted to write music and do something that felt important to us. Looking back, even with the lack of formal success the band had, it’s still a win in my mind.

Michael is doing a new project, Be Still Kid, and we discuss this project and what it means to him at this current stage of his life. We end up talking about one track that is essentially his suicide note. Heavy stuff. But super important stuff that needs to be said and discussed.

And then, in typical Michael-and-Ricky-hanging-out fashion, we go on a tangent about Thursday. Thursday was one of the reasons Michael and I saw eye to eye on so many musical ideas. They are the reason I wanted to be in a band and that age and still do at this age.

 

The Lumineers Cover – Ophelia | Little Climbers Bedroom Session

I’m going to have to be 100% honest right of the bat. I’m NOT by any means a fan of The Lumineers. That being said, I really dig their new song “Ophelia” and jumped at the chance to cover it with my good friend Josh from my project Little Climbers.

The Lumineers have an album coming out in early April titled “Cleopatra.” Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to the record and plan to revisit their older stuff as I may have jumped the gun the judging this band. It happens. I admit my faults. 🙂

Behind The Lumineers Ophelia Cover

I purchased this mandolin for $70. It was one of the most random purchases I’ve ever made. But it’s been a fun cheap investment and I’ve enjoyed learning simple chords. I may spend a few bucks investing in this mandolin this year. We’ll see. Either way, it’s super fun to play and I’m glad I got to do so on this cover video.

If you haven’t yet, head on over the the Little Climbers YouTube channel and subscribe for more cover videos as well as us playing some originals.

Unfortunately, Josh is moving about an hour away from where we currently live (Tustin), so these videos may be a challenge to pump out on a consistent schedule. So with that being said, enjoy this one. Check out some older videos we’ve put up on our channel. And enjoy it while you can!

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