For the first issue of the new Scion AV Journal we asked some of the artists that Scion works with to tell us the best decision and worst mistake they made early in their careers. Here’s what Karl Simon doom monsters The Gates of Slumber told us:
My Best Decision
Early on I decided to invest in decent equipment. When you get to a more pro level, everybody has it, but there’s a reason everybody has it. When you get to the level of touring and releasing albums, you don’t really see a lot of people on beater gear. People play vintage stuff, which is ridiculously expensive, but you don’t see people on bad gear because it doesn’t sound good. It doesn’t have to be a $6000 guitar, but it has to be quality equipment. If you’re a local band or doing covers in bars, it’s fine, but when you start putting it under the microscope of recording, it just doesn’t stand up. It’s not bad equipment, it’s just cheap. A carpenter doesn’t use the tools you’d find at a drug store. He doesn’t have a $4 hammer, he has a $50 to $60 fine finishing hammer because he uses it every day because he wants quality results.
My Worst Mistake
Not advancing shows on tour. Advancing means calling the promoter to reconfirm everything that’s already contracted. If you’re doing ten shows, you need to make ten phone calls two weeks out. Keep calling until you get an actual person on the phone. Let them know you’re coming. Let them know you really meant that you wanted food. Run over the technical specs and run over that rider. Otherwise you might find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a promoter hardly honoring anything they promised you. I hate to attack promoters, but there are some people out there who I don’t understand how they stay in business. When we first started, I figured that if I had it written on a contract and they signed it, then all of sudden, that was what was going to happen. I don’t know if that was a mistake or if it was just ignorance, but if someone says to advance the show and you don’t do it, that’s a big mistake. If you’re doing a self-booked thing playing a bunch of basement shows, you probably are going to have a great time, but that has a whole different ethos than working with a promoter who is expecting to make some sort of profit.
Related: Scion Rock Fest 2013 RSVP Now Open!
The Gates of Slumber will play Scion Rock Fest 2013 on June 1, 2013, in Memphis, Tennessee, and you can download or stream their recent EP
Scion AV Presents: The Gates of Slumber — Stormcrow.