Can Our Christian Rock Band Leave the God Ghetto For A Secular Career in Indie Rock?

Categories: Fan Landers

From what I can tell, your band is the perhaps biggest band in Chico, CA (congrats), and you recently won an actual award for being the best band in city as well (nice plaque). You have done toured national and regionally, but probably not enough. Being the best band in Chico on album three is no small accomplishment, but is the next step really some hot luv from Stereogum or whomever? No, no it is not.

Here is the bigger issue, and I say this not knowing how you have tried to promote your work or to who--but (no shots) you may not be an indie blog band. Your quiet tunes are pretty, you have lovely harmonies--but speaking as someone who gets sent a lot of albums, being a plaintive post-Fleet Foxes band with a bit of banjo probably isn't going to cut it. Because there are a crajillion bands like yours, vesting up and kicking out their drummer, right this very instant. It is a Mumford Mumford Mumford world we live in now and your banjo is no longer a novelty.

It's best to stop aiming for underground, niche attention. Hire a publicist for your new album coming out--nothing too fancy, just someone who can do a little something for you regionally, get press for your tour dates and hit the places that do care about an independent bands making music like you do (Paste, for example). Plus, if there is truly some residual "OMGosh!" about your Christian-label albums, you can build a new press kit on, like, show previews from the San Jose Mercury News.

Given that you have done some national touring you either have a booking agent or are capable of self-booking. A primary goal needs to be getting on bigger bills locally and regionally, being the first call opener the next time Avett Brothers come through. Your sound is has a lot of mainstream ambassadors right now; aim to connect with their fan base. Live, what label you are on and who you were before you stepped on stage does not matter, so work on having a live show that convinces people, that can nuke whatever low expectations they might have about an ex-Tooth & Nail band.

See also: Ask Fan Landers: What Can I Do To Make My Album A Success?

And finally: you are 150 miles from the Sonoma Valley--surely there are wine-related festivals you could get on, some vineyard events to play. You are totally that kind of band. Your sound is FM-radio familiar and will not be offensive to older, rich wine aficionados or younger people who actually still enjoy music. Play up the flannel; get a washboard player if you have to. GO GET THEM WINE BUCKS!

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