Change... Not So Scary You Know
I’ll start by saying our events page probably looks pretty scarce right now since we converted all our cover gigs to our other project. When people asked me what kind of band is Feel Good Jacket, I found myself describing us by the covers we played, not our own music. Whether you know anything about the music business or not, you probably can understand why that’s a bad thing. Seemingly, it worked at shows. People loved our original songs that we played in between all the covers, but anytime there was a video shared to our page (even on a night where we played all of our original material followed by one single cover to finish it off) it was always the cover. That’s not meaning our originals are not good enough, nor it is saying our fans are wrong for posting videos of the cover. They post the videos because it’s familiar. So it got me thinking, how do we make our music familiar enough to warrant being shared in video form? People would have to listen to our music before the show and really love it so they listen a few times before coming out. If people knew the words... well that would be something. We’re very proud of our lyrics. We know the second album could and will be better than the first. Battle Rock is not a masterpiece, but it’s a starting point. Lyrically though, I believe it is pretty sound. So if someone showed up to a show and actually knew the words and took the time to really think about what we are trying to say, that would blow us away.
So we’re not playing any covers for a while... unless you come out to a 90’s/00’s themed Two Bad Apples show. You’ll hear all your favourite bands like Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Green Day, Sum 41, Paramore... it’s starting to sound like it’s a Feel Good Jacket show isn’t it? Well, it is. Obviously. Except now the “brand” is that we do everything - we’ll play the lighter 90’s because we’re not thinking about how it will reflect on the FGJ brand. We’re excited to add some Third Eye Blind, Sugar Ray, Wheatus, and that sort of stuff that is maybe a bit lighter, but totally awesome 90’s. Will you still hear FGJ tunes at a Two Bad Apples show? Oh probably. If it’s a country cabaret or oldies night we’ve been hired to play, then probably not. But if we’re doing a variety night or 90’s/00’s rock night then you bet we’ll do some - after all, we play everything, including covers of FGJ songs.
What’s next for FGJ if we’re not playing full time in that project? Like I said, we need people to become familiar with our tunes ahead of time. We thought playing bills was the answer. Get in a room with a whole bunch of people who are hungry for new music. The only problem we’ve been finding is trying to get those people in a room. 4 bands on a bill, 3 local and then us... still played for the bar staff this past Saturday in Winnipeg because no one stays if you put the touring band last. To me it seems the only way we are going to accomplish anything is the same way we’ve done everything else up to now; by ourselves. Little Red Hen, here we go again. So what can we do ourselves to make sure when we drive out to Winnipeg once again, we have a huge crowd of OUR fans waiting for us? Well luckily we have the internet and a whole bunch of people stuck to their phones. Online marketing will be our best friend for a while. $1000 in gas or $1000 in marketing... We already did the first one with no luck, so here we go to try the second.
I’m writing this post because our fan base has been created so far on touring and playing as much as possible. We are still playing as much as possible in another form, but I don’t want anyone to think we are giving up or bowing out. Everyone I talk to tells me how tough it is out there. There are other rock duos that are trying to make it and they’re having a tough time... Anyone see the movie “The Departed”? In one of the early scenes Jack Nicholson’s character asks a guy “how’s your mother?” The guy’s response is “she’s on her way out” - to which Jack responds - “we all are, act accordingly.” I laugh when I think of this. To those who say duos are having a tough time, I say - everyone is having a tough time, act accordingly. We’re not giving up and we’re not going anywhere. We’re not kids, so it’s not fun for us to just play for the sake of playing when there’s no one around to appreciate it. It’s probably not fun for anyone to play just for the sake of playing, but I feel like if we have some ideas that could potentially improve our crowds if we hold off for a moment and do some leg work before the next show, it will be a much more enjoyable and worthwhile experience. Anyone that has had even the smallest conversation with me can probably sense that I view “the band” as a business. Rob makes the art and I figure out how to get it to people. If there’s no people, there’s no one hearing the art and so why would we continue to make it... The business of it has to make sense, and that’s why we’re switching gears here. What’s the difference between an independent and a label release? My guess is a couple million dollars and that’s it. How many people will hear our music on Facebook per dollar? Let’s find out.
So to FGJ fans, come out to a Two Bad Apples show. We’ll still be promoting our album and have shirts etc for sale at all the shows. Watch for FGJ shows - they’ll be popping up here and there in places where we will start targeting our marketing or that we already have a fanbase. And in the meantime, we have a ton of work to do to get Two Bad Apples up and running in an electric sense. There will be a few shows still in acoustic form, but Rob is hoping to have as many tracks done as possible so we can play electric guitar and bass still. As soon as he has a handle on that, then work on the second FGJ album will resume and we’ll have new music out as soon as we can. We talk about all this and more in our Vlog this past week - Episode 13 - it’ll be released in a few weeks so watch for it.