How to Create a DOPE as HELL EPK

         Before you are able to book most places, you’ll need a dope as hell Electronic Press Kit, or as its better know, the EPK. How do you know if the EPK is good? Its kind of like Jazz, you will hear it, you’ll know it is awful. Ask yourself these question, “Is this easy for me to navigate, does it look like my ten-year-old nephew made it?”If the answer is, no and yes. Then your EPK is not dope as hell, it needs to be remade. If you don’t have the things in this list, don’t worry cuz! This then becomes a quick To-do list for the group! It is straightforward! I promise this will help your group start snagging more gigs! Just stay the course.

     An EPK not your website. This is a digital one-page flyer you will send a venue to help get your band through the doors. Primarily, will be seen by these folks. Its a little resume for your group. I’ve whittled this thing down a few times. If you are new to the scene, don’t get overwhelmed. I’ve been hustling for ten years, the best piece of advice I ever got was from a fortune cookie in San Fransico. “Breathe, stupid.” This is an ongoing process. You should regularly be updating this EPK, maybe you don’t have any live videos of your band performing yet. That is ok, make the EPK! Plan out filming a live video. Let this be your guide, start slow, you can book a gig without an EPK. It is tough to get a big gig one without it. So work towards gathering this stuff!

Before we go any further, I highly suggest getting a templet to start you off. If this is your first EPK or if you’re feeling a little skeptical about your EPK right now, I highly suggest using Sonicbids.com or Adobe Spark. They have a few different pricing options.

Adobe Spark

Pulled from their website

  • A free version, Create stunning graphics, web pages, and video stories – Available on desktop, iPhone and iPad – Sync projects across devices

  • a $9.99 a month version where you can Replace the Adobe Spark logo with your own – Add your brand to Spark graphics, web pages, and video stories – Select colors and fonts that reflect your brand -Leverage personalized branded templates – Manage your brand in one place – Update branding across templates in one click – Live phone and chat support

  • a $19.99 per month version that has Company ownership of user license – Consolidated billing for all licenses on the account – Web-based license management tool with the ability to reassign licenses – Dedicated 24/7 technical phone support, email, chat, and forums

It can be a little intimidating to run at first. Here is a how-to video to help you out!

Sonicbids

  • A free version – This helps you to create an EPK, but you will only be able to send your EPK to five times via the free trial.

  • $19 per month or a one time/ a $132 annual subscription – which grants you full access to the Sonicbids domain. They have some connections with SXSW and other huge festivals, as well as smaller local festivals. They said it best on their site.

“…about 150-250 opportunities live at a time for artists to apply to – these are live local venue gigs, massive international festivals, songwriting contests, licensing placements, blog features, and radio opportunities.”

     Where this doesn’t guarantee you will get the gig, it is exciting and puts your band’s name in the race for some big name venues, like SXSW.

     I feel that one problem might be a group is trying to smack it out of the park. The EPK is not the only reason you will get the gig. What we’re trying to create here is something that won’t turn a venue away from your group. Which means all we have to do is not blow it. Just get out of your own way.

Ok, Ok, Ok… Bare bones, what does an EPK need?

  • You need to have high-resolution photos. A lot of high-resolution images.

Get the group together and get some photos taken. Don’t over think this! If it’s your first photo shoot the critical thing is getting the group together and taking the picture. I hear of too many bands that over conceptualize the photoshoot, they have a terrible time, it ends up taking like three hours (that’s WAY too long), and they never want to retake another photo shoot again. I like the idea that you always have a photo shoot date in the calendar. Meaning you have a photoshoot this weekend, then another one set three months down the road, that photoshoot can be excellent and enact some artistic ideas. This takes the pressure off the group. When you get the photos back from the photographer you want them at a minimum of (300 dpi) and lo-res (72 dpi) versions, 600 pixels wide. I like grabbing a 3,000 x 3,000version of the photos as well. That’s the requirement for an album cover. Use a legitimate camera, if no one in the group has one, then one of your friends should have one. If no one you know has one, just pay someone to take the photos. It is that important. We’re just trying to get the EPK made here. We want to have four or five pictures that we can use for this bad boy. Remember, they need to be high-resolution.

  • Contact information

I like putting this somewhere near the top or the bottom of the EPK, it depends on the format of the page. This includes an email address, links to social media pages, a phone number.

  • You need a band biography

     We want two separate pieces here, a short three sentence tagline to get people interested, and a short two paragraph full band bio. – When you write the short tagline piece, I recommend giving your music a scenario that it would be played in. An example would be “An eclectic soundwave, like finally meeting your biological mother” what the hell does it mean? I don’t know. But it sounds cool and better than “We sound like Coldplay mixed with Arctic Monkeys.” Give the reader a situation your music would score and an emotion that you feel your music displays. Paint a quick picture for the gig.

When creating a band bio it’s important to remember this, most people aren’t going to read the whole damn thing. We are sonic storytellers so we can be creative with it, but be sure to include a few facts.

  • Tell them where you are based out of (From Richmond, Virginia)

  • Name the folks in the band (Comprised of Mike (vocals) – Remy (Drums) – Bill (Guitar) – Jerry (Bass) – Jeff (Keys)

  • Mention some of the flagship songs/album you guys have made and if it’s made some traction. Its ok if you haven’t done anything as a group yet. Mention some of the individual member’s accomplishments

  • Just talk about yourself. You don’t have to start from the beginning when you talk about yourself. You wouldn’t approach someone saying “I was based out of Phoenix, Arizona. I have played the piano since I was eight.” You wouldn’t do that. If you told me that I would walk away from you.

     Let me give you an example of every band bio you’ll ever read… “Jack started playing guitar at the age of 12, he quickly developed a love for songwriting. Evan met jack in high school, and the band “Radioactive” was formed. I’m falling asleep writing this thing. Everyone’s band started this way. You’re not Prince, I don’t care where you were born and that you’ve played piano since you were six and listened to the Beatles with your dad growing up. Make it readable and for the love of God, make sure it is grammatically correct and has no typos. The thing is, there is no right way to do this, there are just a lot of wrong ways. It seems like lazy writing on my part, and maybe it is lazy. I don’t know, I don’t care.

  • you need a Live Video (the live part is essential)

     This doesn’t have to be at live at a venue. Just record a quality video of you performing in your practice space. You are just proving that you guys don’t suck live. If you suck live… practice more.

  • You need your Music

     Include a quick preview of your music, or attach a link to a youtube video of a song you have posted. This is different from the live video, it probably should be near the top of the EPK. It is your product! Nike makes shoes, Pizzahut makes pizza, you make music.

  • Some Press Clips/HighlightReel of accomplishments

     Don’t worry if you don’t have any, we will get there! This is a one-sentence press clip, something like a movie review that you would see. To get one of these when you play your next gig, ask the sound guy or owner if you can quote them about your band.

“A must see!” – Lance Dossett, Zest Bar

Maybe you won a battle of the bands, put that up there!

  • A Schedule of your Upcoming Shows 

         I know it seems kind of funny that you have to list shows if you’re creating this to get shows. If you don’t have anything lined up yet, don’t worry we will fill it up! This is a part of the EPK you will regularly update.

    Make your EPK today! Don’t wait for it to be perfect! By simply creating one, you’ve already got a leg up on many other bands. No excuses, make it today!

    Voltaire: “The best is the enemy of the good.” Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

    CHECK OUT MY LAST POST ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

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