David of The Standard Agency – Social Networking Can Help Touring – Q&A INTERVIEW

David Marsh, the CEO/Manager/Project Manager of The Standard Agency LLC, has done an interview with us. The interview can be read after the break.

David Marsh, the CEO/Manager/Project Manager of The Standard Agency LLC, has done an interview with us. The interview can be read after the break.

There are a lot of people that do a lot of behind the scenes stuff in the music industry. David Marsh of The Standard Agency is one of those people that help bands spread the word about what they are doing via the internet and in person! He has worked with bands such as The Maine, Let’s Get It, Every Avenue, and many more. If you’re curious to hear his suggestions about the future of social networking and touring, then  you need to read this…

Digital Tour Bus: Can you please state your name, title, and company name?
The Standard Agency: David Marsh, CEO/Manager/Project Manager of The Standard Agency LLC

DTB: What does The Standard Agency do? What services do you provide to bands?
TSA: The Standard Agency is like the Walmart of Entertainment.  We do a lil bit of it all, we manage talent, we provide media services, design services, we print banners and scrims, eventually we look to expand to all services of Entertainment.  I’m currently looking into cloning so I’ll be able to over-see everything, those Scotts sure are greedy with the whole Sheep experiment.

DTB: Who are some of the bands you have worked with in the past and what did you do for those bands?
TSA: Well I’m more of a behind the scenes type guy, so I guess it would be fair to state that I was brought in to deliver ideas and help execute them.  So now that the disclaimer that I didn’t really do anything but shoot off emails to very important people that actually pulled triggers here’s a short bio:

I helped do a lot, A LOT, of marketing and over-seeing with A Change Of Pace.  I’m luckily best friends with the drummer (there’s a whole high school story behind how we became friends which is pretty awesome but since no one knows me or him I guess I can only say, man are you people missing out) so I got to sit in the passenger seat of their career.  I can proudly say, before all these social sites, I helped get them featured on MP3.com, Launch.com, Youtube.com (with less than 10,000 users mind you), the first band featured on the front page of Myspace.com (which due to an error was supposed to only be two weeks and ended up being six weeks).  And several other sites over the years.

I worked with bands from Peoria, Arizona (home town) called Don’t Let Go & Micah Bentley who went from small shows to a sold out show at (800+) in less than 6 months before both acts dissolved into A Change Of Pace.

I took a year off.  (Took up bird watching, not a lot of activity in Arizona… just saying)

Then I got a call from Fearless Records to help out with the new Maine record.  In which I worked with Fearless’s team and 8123 Management’s Tim Kirch on some great ideas which also shut down Stickam.com’s servers from so much traffic.  I also helped out with Every Avenue and a few other acts getting them familiar with twitter, facebook etc.

After that, I managed Let’s Get It, who I got signed to Fearless Records in less than 6 months of them forming a band.  Then they fired me.  But it’s ok, cause we’re all on good terms now.  But they did fire me.  So if anyone asks, they fired me.  I’m kidding, no but seriously, they fired me.

Currently working with My Girl Friday (mygirlfridayband.com) and helping them record their first official Standard Agency release.

DTB: I want to focus this interview on how social media and touring can complement each other. That being said, do you think that social media and touring can be used in a way to benefit each other?
TSA: Well I think a more important question is what is Touring.  Touring before the internet was a process that brought live entertainment that was yearned for and sought after, from city to city to your fans.  In a day where technology has become a double edged sword it’s killing for us and killing us.  It’s over saturated music and made it so disposable it’s nearly impossible to create a legacy now.  But on the flip side, video chat has made it possible to deliver a live performance anywhere.  So back to the question…

I think social media is in fact a new form of touring, that yes can compliment a physical tour, but in turn can actually be touring in the idea that Social Media gives you access to an entire population that didn’t exist 10 years ago.  You can host a concert anywhere, you can answer questions, be interviewed, be reviewed at any time.  That being said, I think Social Media (outside of actual song writing which is another issue with me we won’t get into) is the key concept for getting yourself out there as an artist.

DTB: In your opinion, is social networking more important than touring? Or vice versa?
TSA: See answer above.

DTB: Can you list some commonsense ways to use social networking to benefit touring that bands are not currently doing, but EVERY band should be doing?
TSA: From a business stand point there’s a lot of facts about when to twitter, or how a facebook page should be set up or where’s a website, etc.  But I think people get way to focused on logistics and forget what they are actually doing.  The idea here is to build a fan base but to do that I think people often mistake what a fan is.  A fan is someone that not only appreciates the work you do but the life style you live, and I think people forgot how to create that.

Everyone wanted to get close to The Beatles because they were bigger than life.  I think bands have really forgot that, it’s important to use these tools as a way to get that “all access pass” with out giving them all access, no one wants to know about your 9 to 5, they want to escape theirs by listening about your awesome life, not the same life they live.  This is the entertainment business, not a talent show.  You can go to Beal Street in Memphis, TN and find musicians, but they are full of talent, an artists should be just that, someone that’s celebrated for the character that creates the art.  Post pictures of life on the road, not the ups and downs, just the ups, be concious of how you are precieved.

DTB: What are some not-so-commonsense ways that bands could be using social networking to benefit touring that they aren’t using right now?
TSA: I think that if you’re putting on a live show, that you should really push that.  A lot of bands go on tour and play a 30-45 minute set, and walk off and thats it.  But there are some bands, for example The Dangerous Summer, who not only walk on stage, play their songs flawlessly but evoke the crowd into signing along, getting involved and immediately walk off stage and hang out with the fans.  I love those guys but they never get a chance to really capture that.  I almost wish there was more live tweet, streaming, of their show so you could feel the energy.  I guess mostly you want to convey that energy nightly into your social media stream, even if you want to make it a part of your set.

DTB: What is the most interesting form of tour promotion you have seen on a social media site?
TSA: I think Mumford and Sons, granted they had a budget for it, but outside of that their Railroad tour and internet promotion with social media was just killer!  I was lucky enough to score tickets the day of the show and met up with some friends and every girl I talked to, kept talking about these videos, and tweets and behind the scenes.  When I got home I checked up on all these awesome things they were talking about, and low and behold their videos by encompassing all aspects of touring were 8 solid minutes of awesomeness.  I wish bands took more time in to the products they create.  If anyone wants to see it done on a smaller scale with easily obtainable gear?  Check out any of BlessTheFalls videos, my boys kill it in terms of Youtube videos.

DTB: In your opinion, what social networking sites should EVERY band be actively using?
TSA: I think it’s never dependent on one, but I think it would be every bands best interest to learn how to use a Facebook the site has a wealth of features that no bands really dive into.  Youtube as well, and even twitter!

DTB: What are some of the upcoming social networking sites that you think will be important in the future for bands?
TSA: The good guys over at 8123 Management (The Maine, This Century, Austin Gibbs) are currently working on an awesome new tool for bands that should be released shortly!  I think it’ll really help bands out in a HUGE way!  You can watch for @mgfband tweets to include it in the near future as we’re beta testing it!

DTB: What is your opinion on Foursquare as a promotional tool for bands? Have you seen any bands using the service in a cool way to promote their tours?
TSA: I think it’s decent, but also disposable.  Foursquare is pretty hard to navigate outside of location based sites and a tour is more of a living moving thing, it’s not stationary and should never be treated as such.

DTB: If you had to choose a blogging platform for a band to use for tour blogging, which would you choose? (WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, etc.) Why?
TSA: Tumblr, hands down.  It has the chance to go viral and is a great way to see what you can get to trend.

DTB: On top of tour blogging, do you think doing photo and video blogs are good ways for bands to keep their fans up-to-date? Why?
TSA: I think Video and Pictures are great, but not if the fan doesn’t get any thing out of it.  I always encourage bands to keep things “open ended” so you can evoke a response, and it’s not just consumed and lost.

DTB: Do you have any final thoughts or comments to add?
TSA: I’m a promotional whore, with that being said you can follow me on twitter.com/iamdavidmarsh facebook.com/davidmarsh or my company at facebook.com/thestandardagency or twitter.com/getstandard

If you are still reading this, then we should be best friends cause I’m pretty sure my best friends wouldn’t even let me ramble this much.  Thanks!