Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Top 10 Twitter Tips for Bands, By Bands

Listen up, bands: Twitter is more than just a place to wax poetic from the tour bus and gripe about broken guitar strings (and/or dreams) — it can also help you promote your music and connect with your fans.

While you don’t have to go all Kanye with your Twitter stream, hooking up to the micro-blogging site can add a whole new dimension to your act.

We talked to a ton of bands — from up-and-comers like The Limousines, to indie darlings like The Thermals, to established artists like Pete Yorn and Ben Folds — about how they use Twitter, and compiled the following list of tips and tricks.

Got some more clever musical uses for Twitter? Be sure to share your pro tips in the comments below.


7. Retain Your Independence

When you’re in the public eye, most of what you say and do goes through a kind of filter, which makes it hard to retain some measure of indie cred. Remember Hanson? The teen pop group from 1997 who took the world by storm with their jam “MMMBop?” Of course you do. Don’t front. We all had that tape.

Back in the day, Hanson was signed to Mercury Records. But after Mercury got swallowed by Island Def Jam in the merger of PolyGram and Universal in 1998, Hanson left and put out their third release, Underneath, in 2004 on their own label, 3cg Records. They’ve been indie ever since, releasing their latest album, Shout It Out, this year.

“[Twitter] allows you to take out the middle man,” Taylor Hanson tells us. “If we had had Twitter [back when we started], it would have moved us even more rapidly toward the idea that has made it possible for us to continue as a band, which is, in part, that direct connection with your fans…. And with Twitter, it’s really about, ‘how do you make that connection?’ …. It would have been a really key component for us, probably moving faster toward being independent. Because it would have even further empowered and encouraged us by being able to communicate with our fan base, and stay really proactive with them, regardless of changing label structures and corporate mergers.”


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