THE SCENE ISN’T DEAD, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG – RAGE SADLER (BLOG POST)

KaineKast CodPast Podcast Episode 4 – Promotion Commotion (25/3/22)

The challenges we face as bands, musicians, venues, and promoters are numerous right now, but as proven in recent weeks, many are still doing well. The question is, how?

Before we can get to that, we need to understand how the climate has changed and adapt.

What we have to remember is that for the underground Rock and Metal scene in the UK to continue to thrive and grow is that we have to create a culture of encouraging people to come out to live music events on Friday and Saturday nights again.

That means we as bands have to not only promote ourselves effectively, both online and offline but also be good enough live, and engaging enough to draw people out and continue to draw people out. The challenge for venues/promoters is to adequately communicate to their natural audience what type of events they are running and to be engaged and understanding to their audience and to tailor their bookings to meet their taste.

So what are we competing with in 2022?

Up until the early 2000’s, there was a culture in this country of going out Friday and Saturday nights, which meant many venues didn’t have to work as hard to draw people out, especially for live music, as they had a natural audience who came out of habit to their venue or events because that was what they did in their leisure time. A bit like how football fans will watch their team’s home games every other Saturday. It’s a habit, they turn out, and thus the games have a natural audience. We in Rock/Metal have failed to achieve that same mentality with our core audience.

Since the old days, the world has changed, and now we are competing with Netflix, YouTube, PlayStation, and cheap store-bought alcohol. The natural behavior for people, especially in the under 30’s demographic, is to stay inside rather than go out to a venue for a drink, let alone live music. People don’t go out to meet a potential partner in the same way as before either, most dating is done online rather than out in bars and pubs like generations past. The current audience habit is many who do love Rock and Metal will prefer to save up for say a Bloodstock/Download style event once or twice a year and see a handful of bigger bands when they play their hometown. It’s more cost-effective to do it that way, especially with major festivals, because you get a lot of bang for your buck and can see a ton of bands over 3 days.

The question you need to ask is, why would people come out to see my band/event over what they can do at home for free?

Some certain promoters and venues are presently unable to understand these challenges and frankly have fallen so far behind the times it is damaging the efforts of those trying to buck the trend. They don’t even use a mailing list to communicate the events to their audience.

The scene needs to move away from using Facebook events and poorly designed, and often pixelated gig posters as a cover photo-only style promotion. We need to invest in the promotion, using mediums such as Google Ads, Meta (Facebook/Instagram), TikTok promotion, and so on as well as posters in the venue and flyers if you are able. We need to target our campaigns to those people who actually will most likely attend the events and continue to remind them the event is happening. We need to use tools like Bandcamp, and Postcodes to target those people who have already bought from us as bands to alter them of the events happening in their area.

We can not rely on any free promotion on social media as the algorithms are designed to hide the posts and push forward those who are paying for them. Posting events in a 1000 Facebook groups with no paid promotion will result in poor attendance as nobody will see it.

Moving away from Facebook is important, most people under 40 aren’t using Facebook and have moved over to TikTok and Instagram, even for messages, they use WhatsApp and not Facebook. By all means, keep up with Facebook but use the other tools as well. If people aren’t responding, do some research, learn how to use the new tools, it’s simple enough and be ready to spend some money to push your events.

We as a scene need to have professionally designed posters, and promotion that communicates the event in simple terms, and to survive we have to engage with the younger audience by matching the level of quality they are used to from their favorite bands, YouTubers, podcasters and so on. If you fail to do that, and your promotion looks cheap, dated, and lazy by comparison you will not get this group out. If the promotional material looks poor quality, people will assume the event will be of low quality also.

Four band logos on a black background with a date and time doesn’t tell the audience anything. 99% of people won’t know who the bands are, so won’t turn out, however, if you are running a Black Metal night, you can promote that first and foremost and target Black Metal fans in the local area and that is the draw, rather than the bands who won’t be known to the audience. Bands themselves are also naïve in thinking that people know who they are. Sticking your name and a date/time on a Facebook event is not enough information.

Speaking of bands, many are just as guilty of failing to adapt to the times and sometimes fall into the trap of repeating the same mistakes and then complaining it’s not working when nobody attends. The question bands need to ask when a gig fails is, did you do enough to let everyone who might be interested in that area that the gig was on?

It’s hard work being a band in 2022, you not only have to write the music, rehearse, pay for the recording, self-release, and so on, you have to be a promoter as well and you have to keep up with the times. You may feel that you don’t want to do the promotional side of things, and that’s fair enough, but understand if you leave it to others, the results could well be poor.

Bands have to understand that a gig isn’t just a place to perform, it’s a market, it’s your market stall, your performance is an advertisement to encourage people to buy your CDs, vinyl, shirts, and so on from the merch stand. If you are going to quibble about spending a few quid on promotion then why are you printing merch? Would you rather lose a little money on the promotion in the short term and play to a packed venue and potentially sell a ton of merch, or keep that £20 and play to a handful and sell next to nothing? If you are aiming to “go-pro” then you should treat all of this as a business anyway. Advertising is essential for any business and it costs money and takes time to do.

The price of gigs is important as well, especially with a cost of living/fuel crisis squeezing UK residents harder than ever post-pandemic. People’s money for living is not going as far, and thus if you charge over a fiver for events you may restrict your audience further. If you are a bit more established you may get away with charging a bit more, but that depends where you are a lot of the time too. Especially when staying home is free, and people have so many other options now. As stated previously, many people’s habit is to save and go to a bigger festival, so you need to figure out how to draw that audience to your event as well.

Think of it this way, if you were to pay to download a game, would you pay over a fiver for something you had never heard of? Would you pay upwards of £10 to go see a film when you didn’t know what it was or even who the cast was? Would you pay over £20 to see a football match where you didn’t know which either team was or who was even playing? You probably wouldn’t. You need to apply this logic to promoting your music and events.

As well as advertising and pricing, the timing of the event is also important. If you are an unknown band (or are promoting unknown bands) then you need to choose a night of the week the most natural audience will be available to see it, you need to communicate and stick to the start time and it needs to be days/times most people are comfortable coming out. If you have a more popular band on, you can get away with a different day of the week as they will naturally draw people out. If not Friday/Saturday nights are your safest bet.

The quality of the sound is another big issue. Venues need to pay for a good PA and maintain it with a sound person who knows how to operate it. If you do all the work to promote the show, get a good turnout and people pay a fiver to get in and it sounds awful, that audience will not come back and you will have lost all that hard work. That also goes for the quality of bands you book, if they aren’t up to the audience’s taste or expected standard those people you worked so hard to get out won’t likely come back.

Consistently poor sound will result in a dwindling audience. People are used to a higher standard of audio quality these days, and your sound/stage setup needs to meet their expectations if they are going to continue to pay to get into your venue and thus continue to buy drinks. Gigs that have no audible vocals, too much bass, and a ton of feedback are all too common and it drives people away. Also, offer earplugs for loud events, it is cheap, and your audience will appreciate it! Also, hire a good soundperson, not just rely on a mate.

A clean venue also helps, if your toilets look terrible, are broken, and stink that will put people off going. A messy, dirty, old venue won’t encourage a new audience out, keep it clean looking, keep it modern, if it’s a music venue, make it the focus of the venue, not a side attraction, especially if you are booking originals bands.

Also understand while there is some crossover, original bands and covers/tributes have different audiences and tastes. Covers bands can be quite happy to be paid to be just the live music for that night in the pub or venue, however original bands want an engaging audience, potential new fans, and people who will buy the merch. While being paid is good, to be background music for a nights drinking with a disengaged and disinterested audience in a pub isn’t worth it for the originals band. Of course originals bands can avoid this by trying to draw that audience out themselves, but it is something to bear in mind.

So what can be done to improve event turnouts?

You need to target the correct demographics for the events you are running. Use keywords and targets that relate to the bands/events you have booked. Target the local area, don’t be so broad brush, keep it as defined as possible. Use Google Ads, Meta Business Suite, and TikTok promotions to target your audience on social media. Be as clear as day with the communication. Tell people EXACTLY what the event is and what the bands may sound like. You can target an audience’s taste right down to the genre and the bands they like, and even directly to the postcode areas where the venue is.

In terms of free promotion, have a well-designed professional poster/s to be sent to the venues ahead of the gig, design flyers for handing out in that town, or use a mailing list to send them to those in that area who you know might like the event. You need good branding and good image quality. Do not ever use jpegs for images as the quality is atrocious, and if you are doing anything with audio, NEVER use mp3’s as they sound terrible.

Use an emailing tool like MailChimp to send email reminders promoting the show and encourage as many pre-sales as possible. Bandcamp allows bands to export all their sales and Excel can separate the sales right down to the postcode area. Be good at data management and it will pay off.

As for Facebook, you can still run Facebook events, but remember to invite the people who might actually attend the event, sometimes people either invite no one, or blanket invite people 100’s of miles away from the venue which is just lazy.

It takes a combination of tools to make an event a success.

Understanding your audience is also important. Trying to promote an NWOBHM event to the under 40’s that isn’t say Iron Maiden won’t be as successful, in the same way promoting a Metalcore gig to people over 40 isn’t likely to be successful. Know your audience, know who might like the music, and work to get those people out. Don’t waste your time and money on people who will never attend the show. Don’t believe everyone is going to like your music/event just because you do. Some people do like everything, but they are a minority.

Ultimately if you are not spending to advertise, aren’t communicating to anyone directly what your event is when it is, and doing the bare minimum promotional wise then you will not get a good turnout. The scene isn’t dead, many are doing very well right now, but they have adapted to the times, they know their audience and they working hard to get a good turnout.

I realise I have written a lot of thoughts down here, so I will stop but I hope my blog post has been useful to you!

Love,

Rage

KAINE TO SUPPORT BAPHOMET IN NUNEATON ON APRIL 15TH 2022

Kaine will be supporting Baphomet at The Crew Bar in Nuneaton of Friday, April 15th 2022 (doors at 7:30pm). Kev ‘skidz’ Riddles was an original member of Angel Witch, involved in the conception and recording of the first classic album “Angel Witch”, until leaving in 1982 to form Tytan. The Crew is a Rock Bar with genuine slices of rock history including a signed Oasis guitar amongst the seemingly endless signed memorabilia plastered across its walls.

The band was formed in May 2021 to revisit the idea of gigging the 1st iconic Angel Witch album and other tracks from his era with the band, 1977 – 82, staying true to the original old school sound. You can read their interview with MetalTalk here.

VOCALS Tony Coldham (Tytan/The Deep)

BASS Kev “Skidz” Riddles (original member of Angel Witch/Tytan/Paul Samsons Empire)

GUITAR Chris Borsberry (Medicine Hat/Swamp Truck)

DRUMS Magpie (Medicine Hat/Magpie/Satans Empire)

Free entry – click here for more information.

THIS WEEKENDS SHOW IN NUNEATON CANCELLED DUE TO POOR TICKET SALES

This weekends all day NWOBHM event at the Queens Hall, Nuneaton has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Kaine were due to play alongside Airforce (featuring Doug Sampson of Iron Maiden fame), Mythra, Sacriledge, Snatch-Back, Sulvain and WKD. Kaine will seek out an alternate activity for the forthcoming weekend.

KAINE ADDED TO NWOBHM LEGENDS EVENTS AS THE BAND RETURN TO GRAVESEND AND NEWCASTLE IN OCTOBER 2021

Kaine will be playing back to back NWOBHM legends events on the 30th and 31st of October 2021. Kaine will return to Gravesend, Kent for the first time since 2019 at Leo’s Red Lion and will be making their first appearance in Newcastle since 2014 with their first ever gig at the legendary Trillian’s venue there.

On the bills will be bands such as Sacriledge, Rhabstallion, Witchfynde, Troyen, Millennium, Battleaxe and Airforce.

More information to be announced.  

THE WAYSTONE SELLS OUT ON CD FOR FINAL TIME

The album, originally released in 2014 has sold out for the 4th and final time on CD with vinyl version having sold out a number of years ago. A full statement on how many copies were sold/streamed will be released at a later date. The Waystone is Kaine’s best selling album and best known for the lead single “Iron Lady”.

The 2020 version of Iron Lady

There will be no further print runs of this album, it has been removed from digital platforms and will become a Bandcamp Members only release which can be found here along with many other exclusives including the bands debut album Falling Through Freedom, which is also no longer available to buy. Some copies remain on re-sellers sites such as Discogs which can be found here.

The band re-recorded for of the songs from the album for a limited edition EP release which can still be bought on CD here. Less than a 100 copies remain to buy on CD. A handful of Waystone patches are also available to order here. Both of these were released to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of the original album.

Metal Talk reviews Burr Fest 2020

MetalTalk.Net reviewed Burr Fest 2020 *SOLD OUT* saying that “Colchester, Essex based Kaine got proceedings off to a rousing start with a thumping half hour set of steel-studded compositions which you just couldn’t not be impressed with. ‘Reforge The Steel’ is Kaine’s motto and although the heavy Metallica influence is plain for all to see, they cut it as their own entity with blisteringly passionate songs that they perform with a gusto.”

http://www.metaltalk.net/burr-fest-comes-back-swinging-for-…

TOTAL ROCK reviews BURR FEST 2020

Burr Fest 2020 *SOLD OUT* has been reviewed by TotalRock which can be read on the link below.

“[Kaine] put in a confident performance, certainly making sure that even though they only had half an hour to play, they were going to make the most of it. “

https://totalrock.com/burrfest-2020-the-dome-tufnell-park…/…

Black – Live from Kaine X is now on YouTube

Footage taken from limited edition Kaine X DVD

We’ve uploaded footage of Black from Kaine X onto our YouTube channel. Black is from our brand new album Reforge The Steel available to order from our bandcamp page.

You can watch the video by clicking the play icon in the box above.

Kaine interviewed by Metal Talk for Burr Fest this Saturday

The event is now sold out.

Kaine were recently interviewed for Burr Fest by Metal Talk which can be read by clicking the links below. Burr Fest takes place this Saturday from a sold out Dome in Tufnell Park, London.

“It’s definitely been a period of rebirth and revival for the band with Liam, Toby and Isaac coming in and then writing and recording ‘Reforge The Steel’. It’s a cliché but this is very much a new band, but equally because of the calibre of the previous line-ups we’ve also still got a lot to prove to people and people to win back who may have written us off. “

The X Files – When former members have re-joined Kaine for one off appearances

The new live album available from our Bandcamp

December 29th, 2012 – Hole in the Wall, Colchester

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Dan Mailer: Bass/Vocals
Anthony Murch: Lead Guitars
Josh Moreton: Drums

Background: The band were offered a slot as a last-minute support for Coronach at the Hole in the Wall. Chris MacKinnon who had recently joined the band was unavailable for the gig so original drummer Josh Moreton filled in for the night where the band played its debut album Falling Through Freedom in its entirety for the first and only time.

May 16th, 2014 – The Barfly, Camden, London

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Dan Mailer: Bass/Vocals
Anthony Murch: Lead Guitars
James Balcombe: Drums

Background: James joined the band on the final show of the Renegades Tour with Monument when Chris had to perform for his university exams finals in Colchester on the same day. James joined the band for what was the most intense nights in the history of Kaine, as they dropped their association with MGR for management and as a record label that day due to incidents that occurred on that tour.

February 5th, 2016 – The Soundhouse, Colchester

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals

Background: Dan Mailer, who was at that time playing in Ipswich based Death Metal band Daemona joined the band onstage as guest vocalist for Solidarity during the bands set, a song which Rage broke a string and had to perform the final song of the night Quality of Madness as purely a vocalist. It was also the first gig the band played with the new four pieces line-up after Anthony Murch left making it the start of the Crisis of Faith era.

February 24th, 2017 – The Asylum, Chelmsford

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals
Josh Moreton: Drums

Background: This was the night A Crisis of Faith live was recorded the band played a large number of the new album songs before they were even recorded at this show and were joined by Dan Mailer on vocals for Iron Lady and Solidarity and Josh Moreton on drums for the Iron Lady, a song he had never played with the band before. Chris joined Dan Mailer in joint lead vocals for Iron Lady.

April 15th, 2017 – Hope & Anchor, Islington, London

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
James Balcombe: Drums

Background: Chris was unable to do the show, so long time band friend James Balcombe of Osmium Guillotine stepped in to perform on the night for the second time. The set was recorded and is available to bandcamp members here.

May 20th, 2017 – The Smokehouse, Ipswich

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Ant Murch: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals
Josh Moreton: Drums

Background: Kaine were originally due to play with AJ Kemp of Dismanibus fame on Lead Guitar alongside Josh Moreton and Dan Mailer on bass as a special one of show playing songs from the original album. However, Dan was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome (he and Josh were playing with Elimination at that time and on the same night for the bands 10-year celebrations) so had to drop out. Stephen Ellis was then drafted in to play bass, alongside Anthony Murch to play a set comprising of material from the first three albums. It was the first time Josh had performed with the band since 2012 and Anthony, which was 2015.

May 4th, 2018 – Voodoo Lounge, Stamford

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Chris MacKinnon: Vocals

Background: Chris joined the band on stage for Frailty of the Blade on vocals, the second time he had performed solo as a vocalist for the band the first being when he joined Dan Mailer to sing Iron Lady at the Asylum for A Crisis of Faith live. This would also be the last show played with Saxon and Stephen as official members of the band.

May 26th, 2018 – B2, Norwich

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals

Background: Dan Mailer joined the band on stage, coincidently for another new line-up debut at the B2 Norwich for Iron Lady during his tenure as the lead singer of lone time Kaine friends and collaborators Osmium Guillotine.

July 7th, 2018 – B2, Norwich

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Ant Murch: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals

Background: Ant Murch joined Kaine on stage to play an encore of songs from The Waystone and A Crisis of Faith eras including a solo trade off with Toby Woods.

August 11th, 2018 – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Dan Mailer: Vocals

Background: Dan Mailer again joined the band on stage for a rendition of Iron Lady with the Reforge The Steel line-up.

September 14th, 2018 – The Cavern CM7, Braintree

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals
Dan Mailer: Vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass

Background: Liam Etheridge was unable to perform at this show (which was Osmium Guillotine’s album launch) so Chris MacKinnon covered on the drums, Saxon Davids joined as an additional guitarist for a set which was a mixture of Crisis of Faith and The Waystone material which also featured Dan Mailer again on guest vocals for the Iron Lady and Stephen Ellis joined the band for the encore which was The Mind is Willing, the penultimate time that song would be played and that line-up would play together.

December 22nd, 2018 – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Liam Etheridge: Drums
Toby Woods: Lead Guitars
Isaac Healy: Bass
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and Backing Vocals

Background: Saxon Davids joined Kaine on stage for several songs from the A Crisis of Faith album.

April 27th, 2019 – Arts Centre, Colchester

Rage Sadler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Chris MacKinnon: Drums/Vocals
Saxon Davids: Lead Guitars and backing vocals
Stephen Ellis: Bass

Background: After the Reforge The Steel line-up performed, the A Crisis of Faith line up closed the night as that line-ups final gig to celebrate the first 10 years of the band. A double album was recorded and released featuring both sets.