How Music History Can Help Your Band

Music history has seemingly become something of a poopooed expertise in the world of underground music, when in fact it remains one of the most important things you can study if you want to be able to improve your network and be able to help grow your brand in a meaningful and sustainable way. This is perhaps the best way to open doors, show that you are the real deal, grow friendships and to help prove to other people that despite it all you still have a strong respect for your roots and your musical ancestors. If you can show ties to these things then people are going to be able to connect to you on a more meaningful and profound way. They are going to be impressed by your approach and want to work with you as you start to grow and you will start to learn from the past. This is a hard way to be and it requires dedication from you as a fan but if you show that you are dedicated and interested and willing to help grow then you know that it’s going to continue to expand.

So I’m a younger guy and this means that people think that I don’t have as deep an understanding of the old stuff. So many people have kind of cast me aside over the years because they assumed I wouldn’t know the history. They were right ,which is why I made a commitment to discovering 40 new records a week through my curated listening rotation and dedicating a ton of time to reading more about the history of music in order to be able to prove my knowledge on a higher level. This is the sort of thing that rapidly allowed me to build a name for myself as someone who was a music nerd. It’s so important to remember that we are all music nerds out there and if you can’t connect to the other nerds in the room who do you think you are going to connect with at all? It’s fucking tricky guys, you need to show you are the real deal so that the old heads want to connect.

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On top of this, having a deep knowledge of music history encourages deeper friendships. I am working every day to make myself an expert in the fields of high art classical music, punk, blues, jazz, metal and rock. I know this is a lot and a big part of why I can do this is because I work from home so I get to spend all day curating my listening. What this also means though is that with a lot of the other folks in the music world, no matter what they are into I can have a somewhat intelligent conversation. If they are into the classical thing then we can discuss baroque, if they are into blues I would love to sit down and talk Freddie King. It’s all just part of how I focus my networking, it allows you to differentiate yourself and to show people that you have a real sense of this whole things history. It strengthens your relationships and the stronger the relationships that you have with other people the more cool shit you will be able to do.

Not only that though, but having a deep knowledge of music history is valuable because these deepened friendships through your shared music dorkery are also going to be able to strengthen and enhance your place in the community. If people in the community, especially in rock and metal, see that you are really tied into, for example hardcore, then you will much more rapidly gain peoples respect and be and to obtain a status as a scene elder. If you can start to do that then there is a lot of traction that you are going to be able to leverage for everyones benefit in the future. You just want to be a part of the larger machine, the greater overall approach and the push for long term success. This goes beyond just the networking value by the way, but also simply seeing how bands have done things over the years and figuring out what does and does not resonate with people. If you are someone coming up and you don’t understand the roots of this entire machine then people aren’t going to be willing to put their trust in you.

Which brings us to the real reason this is important, that it shows respect for the roots of the music and the scene and n understanding of why this matters. The people who only listen to more recent music and only do it on a superficial level simply aren’t interested in diving into the length history any sort of modern popular music probably has and that’s okay, but they need to be aware of that. I think in a lot of cases you can probably launch yourself to a place of much more respect simply buy showing you have a deep understanding not of modern bands but rather of their ancestors. Of course it’s important to know modern bands, but for me it’s about knowing where things come from. There are definitely some people who prefer to focus on the modern stuff and that’s fine, but I feel knowing the history allows you to better engage with the scene and better understand where some of these ideas are coming from. This allows you to better implement your own ideas and incorporate them into your long term growth. Or maybe I’m just an elitist.

So yes, I’m aware of how snobby I sound, but I legitimately believe that studying your genres history isn’t just good for your career but for the community as a whole. I think that when we all show a deep understanding of the world we are operating in we are blessed with better music, smarter approaches and a more integral direct of growth for the community. In a scene that can frequently be fractured, by studying the scenes of the past we can ensure we do not repeat the same mistakes but rather work towards grandiose goals of hope and power that will allow us to grow together. If we can walk together then we can rock together, and if you don’t get that reference then you had best educate yourself.

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