We all talk about the cottage industry of the music business and how the best way to survive and have longevity is to do as much as you can yourself. I totally agree with this and we use a lot of these DIY ethics within our band Skunk Anansie. I believe with all successful businesses as well as bands, the key is having a great team. We understand this fully in Skunk and have a skeleton staff that really understands what we are doing and is fighting our cause all of the time.
We also believe that with our is success we are in a good position to help giveback to emerging artists and talent This is one of the main reasons that I work at ACM and I have been doing workshops in music ever since I had my first hit. Mark, our drummer also works in ACM within the educational guidance department when he is not doing stuff in the band.
When we take a support band out on tour we hand pick them ourselves. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have a record deal, management or large financial support, it’s just about if we like them, their music and if it suits us on tour. We believe in giving the chance to new bands to help them try to break through.
The last European tour we did we took out Bones who were an ACM alumini three-piece band containing Carmen Vandenberg on guitar and Nathan on drums. Their crew will also ACM grads.
This tour we have done the same by taking out The Pearl Harts with us, a rock duo, who include the alumnus Kirsty Lowrey on vocals and guitar. They are having a great time playing to huge audiences in sold out venues each night.
Our on tour social media campaign is being is facilitated by a current second year Business degree student at Guildford ACM called Zac Smith. A good little earner is for him to help along with his student life and nice experience to deal with a proper successful band with a fanbase. It’s great to be able to give a chance to young artists and ACM students at this level.
Our latest single that we are promoting on this tour from the new album it has a video that is directed by our drummer Mark which includes ACM vocal alumnus Ashleigh the main character in the story line. The director of Photography was ACM tutor Adam Paine and the special FX were done by Ex-ACM IT guy Matt Stoolman.
…And to top it all we have a backing vocalist and Keys player on this tour and the last acoustic tour who is Vocal degree alumnus Erika Footman. Who incidentally is now an artist in her own right and teaches part time at ACM.
Talk about keeping it in the family… What I think this illustrates is not only is it important to build a strong trustworthy productive team around you that understands what you are doing, - but just look at all of the talent that is coming out of ACM constantly. It’s all around us. Everywhere I go within the industry from bands to studios to music businesses, I am meeting and working with ACM alumni!
Definitely gives you something to think about…and definitely tells me that I am in the right place too.