I was thrilled to see the following press release last week:
GUITAR CENTER PRESENTS YOUR NEXT RECORD WITH SLASH
RECEIVES MORE THAN 8,000 UNSIGNED BAND SUBMISSIONS IN FIRST MONTH
Submissions Open Through April 30th
Westlake Village, CA, March 3, 2010 -Guitar Center (www.guitarcenter.com), the world's largest musical instrument retailer, today announced that Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash, a first-of-its-kind unsigned band competition, has received more than 8,000 submissions from unsigned bands across the country, in its first month alone. The competition provides emerging artists the chance to win the ultimate career-altering opportunity: record a 3-song EP with legendary producer, Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth) and have Slash write, record and perform on the winning artists' single. Through April 30th, 2010, unsigned bands across the United States are still invited to submit their music at YourNextRecord.com for a chance to win the aforementioned prize package, which also includes:
"The response so far has been tremendous and a lot of the music we've received sounds amazing but I still want to hear more," said Slash. "We're looking to find a great band with some kick ass songs and good energy, who hasn't been able to get their foot in the door otherwise, and take them to the next level."
Why did this thrill me? Because it means there are still artists out there that believe in their music and themselves. Every year, I try to visit a bar or club and check out some local talent that no one has ever heard of. Most times, the bands are really good. When you ask them why they aren’t on more of a national level, they claim that it’s because they can never get the right break.
Personally, I think a lot of motivation and ambition is lacking in artists that are unsigned, but not always. Let’s face it, most people who set out to do (whatever) in life, never get very far because they give up too soon. Take this blog for example. What if I gave up after three months because I didn’t have a large enough audience? Hell, what if I gave up now for that reason? I would always be sitting around wondering what if…? Instead, I am looking to move forward as furious as I can to continue to keep this blog growing and gaining readership. The hard work is paying off.
The same is true for those unsigned bands. The ones that actually took the time to send in their demos in the hope that they will be picked are the bands that I admire the most. To make it in today’s music industry takes a passion and dedication that not many performers have. Some acts are happy being the local talent, but others are much more ambitious. That ambition could be the difference between national success and obscurity.
To all of the bands that took the time to send in their work to Slash, wishful for a record contract, I say congratulations. Even if your band is not the one picked, you’ve already won. You’ve already done more than 85% of the other acts out there that are still sitting and hoping and wishing.
And to all those bands that ultimately end up not winning this contest, don’t give up hope. Keep promoting your work, keep playing live music whether it be at a backyard BBQ or at a packed house nightclub. The more you get your name and your music out there and the more live shows you play, the more you are going to be known and perhaps one day, break into the big time. I applaud your effort.
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