By Yvonne Villasenor
In a technological era, social media use is inescapable for the majority of generations, especially if people are trying to make a name for themselves by pursuing a music career. What was once tangible has become anything but since the advances in technology – making musicians more reliant on the internet.
“A good amount of a band’s success nowadays comes from their ability to promote and network through social media,” Jordan Damasco, guitarist for Carson band, The Difference, says.
Having a presence on social media has become a crucial component of what it takes to get known. It has the potential to make or break musicians depending on how it is used – it can benefit them to help gain more exposure or completely undermine their road to fame.
Damasco is a newer member of The Difference and is amazed at how much social media has impacted the band.
“It allowed us to push tons of new content that included promo shots, a brand new E.P., and a music video that we just released,” Damasco says.
He mentions the vast amount of surprise that came with people from Portugal, Germany and the U.K. reaching out to him and complimenting his band’s music. Bassist Gene Ramirez agrees that social media has had nothing but a beneficial effect on the band. “It’s shaped the band to be what it is and have the following that we have. We live in a busy world, so having social media helps to keep up with fans and talk to them…It’s all about keeping in contact with people that support you and what you’re doing,” Ramirez says.
Jonathan Martin, drummer for Chicago band, Terminus Reflection, describes social media as being an integral part of his band and helps them stay relevant. “Although social media has its upsides, it can also have its downsides,” Martin says. “It can hinder a musician greatly. Bands can get a lot of hate for anything they say…as entertainers, musicians, bands, we have to accept that we will be under the scrutiny of the entire world.”
Some wonder whether social media an absolute necessity in order to become successful. While the majority of bands use it to update their audience, interact with their fans and find shows to play, a number of artists can go without having a strong online presence and still gain popularity.
“Social media presence can be a great tool to help a band gain attention, but popularity for a band almost always will come down to the music,” Adam Wright, bassist for Boise band, Unexamined Lives, says. “If a band has good music, performs well live, and is personally sociable, then they will have more success than a band who strictly focuses on their social media presence.”