Radio Marketing

Regardless of genre, radio airplay is still one of the key steps of marketing a band. It creates awareness and drives sales, and hopefully finds fans. Of course, being a metal band creates interesting waters to navigate through.

Iron Thrones received a radio promotion campaign as part of winning the No Label Needed contest and series. On a marketing level, radio promotion compliments a PR campaign very nicely. It’s all part of the puzzle to see a band online or in print and then to be able to hear the songs on the radio.

The first obvious hurdle is to find out which radio stations play metal. There is only one 24-hour radio station that plays metal, but there are plenty of college and commercial radio stations that play metal in blocks. Commercial stations will usually have one show per week, like KROX/Austin, for example. College radio stations may have block shows, include metal in their regular programming, or both. And of course, there are national outlets, like SiriusXM’s “Hard Attack” and cable service Music Choice that play metal all the time as well.

Similar to a PR campaign, you need to know who your fanbase is and be available to them. Metalheads know where to find music – whether it’s on on the internet, magazines, clubs or the radio.

Getting your music played on the radio isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that you can take into your own hands by learning who the DJ’s and music directors are in your town. You can find out as easily as going into shows or calling the radio station. Everything starts in your home market. For Iron Thrones these stations would be commercial stations like KXXR (93X) and college stations like KFAI and WMCN

As you tour the next best step is to promote your band in the markets you’re playing. Club promoters can often help as they work with many of these radio stations to promote their shows. In addition to attempting to get airplay, you can also try to do an interview to promote an upcoming show and possibly give away tickets. As with every facet of promotion, every fan you make from promoting yourself at radio should come with you on your career as a band.

In the interest of full disclosure, Metal Insider’s parent company, The Syndicate, has had a radio promotion division for over 12 years and uses all of the techniques described above.

No Label Needed: How To Make Your Own Website

As part of winning the No Label Needed Contest and Series, Iron Thrones received a new website that they can easily manage. The site was built using the Sons of Nero artwork and Wordpress content management system (CMS) as that is one of the easiest to update and manage. The Syndicate’s Bill Shouldis explains how any band can create their own, inexpensive website below and provides more detailed information after the jump.

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Iron Thrones Gets Merchandise

As the winner of the No Label Needed Contest and Series, Iron Thrones received several merch designs based on The Wretched Sun EP artwork done by Sons of Nero. With item options ranging from baseball caps to booty shorts, the band opted to keep it simple, going with T-shirt and a zip hoodie.

This being the No Label Needed series, we could show how bands could screen print their own shirts but truth be told, if you’re an active and touring band or you have full time jobs that don’t give you the freedom to print your own merch, you might need some help. Much like the chat with Will and Machine from The Machine shop, we’re taking you inside the process, and MerchNow – as you can see from the video below, was happy to walk through the steps that go into creating merch.

As with everything else in this series, Iron Thrones oversaw the process to make sure everything was as they wanted.

Both t-shirt and hoodie are available individually or as part of pre-sale bundles at the Iron Thrones webstore via MerchNow.

Iron Thrones Gets A New Website & MySpace

Among the many prizes given to the winner of the Scion No Label Needed Contest and series was a digital makeover, or redesign of their website and MySpace page.

Contest winner Iron Thrones unveiled their new website and MySpace designs this week to coincide with a pre-sale of The Wretched Sun, the EP they recorded at the Machine Shop as a result of winning the contest. Check out the designs below or go to the respective sites.

The next No Label Needed video & blog will be from The Syndicate with tips on how to build your own professional looking website and merch store.

Web design by The Syndicate

MySpace Design by Sons of Nero

Benjamin Weinman From The Dillinger Escape Plan Talks About Self-Managing

As part of the No Label Needed series, The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Benjamin Weinman shared some thoughts on management. The Dillinger Escape Plan have acted as their own management for their entire career.

Why does Benjamin self-manage?  That’s the kinda guy he is and always has been.

Is taking things into your own hands the best thing for your band, or would you feel better trusting your career with professional management?

Iron Thrones In Studio – Vocals

We continue to look at production of the Iron Thrones EP.  The final piece to the recording is the vocals.

We’ll take a look and listen to vocalist Adam Clemans screaming.   We’ll also hear from guitarist Steve Henningsgard about not screaming at times.

Once again, Will Putney continues to oversee things in the studio for Machine Shop Productions.

If you missed the Justin TV chat with Machine and Will Putney from the Machine Shop you can still watch it on the No Label Needed series page.

Iron Thrones In Studio – Guitar and Bass

We continue to look at production of the Iron Thrones EP with a look at guitar and bass tracking.  Steve Henningsgard will show us some of the things he used while laying down guitars while Curtis Parker will take us through tracking bass.  Will Putney continues to oversee things in the studio for Machine Shop Productions.

If you missed the Justin TV chat with Machine and Will Putney from the Machine Shop you can still watch it on the No Label Needed series page.

Iron Thones In Studio – Drums

On the heels of last night’s Justin TV chat with Machine and Will Putney (which you can still watch) from Machine Shop Productions the No Label Needed series continues to look at production of the Iron Thrones EP.

We start with a look at drum tracking with Peter Clark of Iron Thrones and Will Putney.

Chat with Machine and Will From Machine Shop Productions

The No Label Needed series will be holding a chat with producers Machine and Will from Machine Shop Productions is at 8pm EST tonight. You can view the stream below.

The chat is going to be with the crew of Machine Shop Productions. This includes Will Putney (Reign Supreme, Upon a Burning Body) who produced and recorded Iron Thrones, the No Label Needed, contest winner and “Machine” (Lamb of God, King Crimson, Clutch) owner of MSP. They will be discussing and answering questions about their experience with Iron Thrones and all that it exemplifies. They will discuss the idea of the “Do It Yourself” attitude and approach to making and breaking a band in 2010 and beyond. They will also share insider techniques and secrets to DIY recording with basic consumer recording gear.

Iron Thrones Photo Shoot

One of the prizes Iron Thrones won was the chance for a photo shoot from a professional photographer with the No Label Needed contest and series.  Jeremy Saffer has taken photos of some of the best metal bands around; Every Time I Die and All That Remains for example.

Iron Thrones was able to apply marketing and imaging lessons from their shopping trip with Maria Brink and Blasko as well as their discussion with Big Machine Media.

We’ve consolidated a 12 hour shoot into 2 minutes for you so you get an idea of how the day went.

Head over to Iron Thrones MySpace to see the first picture chosen to represent the band.