Art is cool but how are we going to make enough money to live? And who listens to sludge? Isn't that way niche?
We’ll need a plan if we want to write and record and release Bunn music full time and earn an adult income. We need to figure out a minimum of 3 things to get started
First is Music - we need to write, record and release a lot of music this year, it has to sound decent. And we need to be happy with it. We want to grow our catalog of songs so that our body of work is working for us. Additionally, we want to develop a professional level of consistent output. We can only achieve that by doing it day in, day out. There’s a saying - amateurs wait for inspiration, pros show up and do the work. If we want to be full time, we gotta go pro
The second thing is revenue - We have to prioritize and develop methods of earning revenue from the music so that we can keep going and live a meaningful life. What are our revenue streams, what are we missing? How can we make it better?
Lastly, audience - we want to connect with people who are truly stoked on our music. People who connect with the music, people that we would probably hangout with. The challenge here is the Aspergers / ASD thing. I don’t think like the average person, I value things for very different reasons, I don’t understand the subtleties of social interactions. How do we communicate all this stuff in order to connect in a meaningful way?
Our plan for 2022 is pretty simple, we’re going to be focusing on musical output, connections and revenue. This is my first time “going for it” solo and at 50 years old. Everything could fail. but maybe we can figure it out.
The Current Environment
My music writing track record hasn’t been great, 24 tracks since 2013 - some of those were demo singles that got redone. On average, that’s only 2.666 tracks per year… That directly impacts our possible listeners and revenue. We’ve gotta shoot way higher but not too high. Dream big but plan actionably. Let’s shoot for 24 tracks this year. To double our output from the last 9 years in a year. That's a track every 2 weeks. Seems doable.
We’ll release demos to Bandcamp as they finish, EPs and Full Lengths will release everywhere as they finish. There will be no huge marketing campaigns or release strategies, just get the work done for 12 months straight, so that we have great work behind us. The very first thing to tackle is music that can be done right now. My past self would try writing new music instead of finishing what is near completion. We are going to focus on everything that is near completion first. We have Venns, Foreigns and Wetlands to work with, Venns and Wetlands are closest to completion right now.
There are 4 Venns tracks that need to be refined, vocals recorded and released. There are 5 Wetlands tracks - 3 done - 1 almost - 1 rough - this will be the fastest to finish. We are gonna start with Wetlands and pick away at Venns.
We’re gonna shoot to get a 5 song wetlands ep out by the 21st of January And the 4 song Venns ep by mid February, We are also gonna pick away at writing new stuff the whole time
With full time writing, recording and releasing, we have no time to wait for inspiration. What if we have writer's block? We can’t afford no output, we need to be releasing every month
Let’s design a system so as to help us to hit our goals
I realized that I didn’t actually know what my music writing process was. This is one of the reasons why I sometimes get stuck, when you don’t know what you are doing.
I broke down everything about how I create music so that I always have a reference, if I’m stuck or need better results I can refer to what I now call the OEC - Outline, Experiment, Conclusion
Outline • This is the art direction, ingredients and parts
- Art direction is the feel, vibe, and aesthetic we want to shoot for.
- Ingredients are the sounds, scales, rhythms & tempos that achieve the art direction
- For the parts, what are their functions? Verse, Chorus, Bridge, etc..?
Experiment • This is where we riff dump, explore riff kinds, and riff treatments
- Riff dump is where we record every idea to a click and decide what to do with it after
- Riff kinds is trying our ideas as chords, chugs, arpeggios, licks, combos, etc..
- The treatment is where we explore angular, bendy, slidey, open strings, drones etc..
Conclusion • Consists of blocks to form arrangements and determine transitions
- The blocks are 1 bar loops so to test parts against one another & discover new things.
- In the arrangement we’ll figure out the flows & # of repeats. Chorus, Verse, Bridge etc
- The transitions are how we get from one place to another with a specific purpose
Hopefully this will kill any potential writer’s block!