The Unsigned Guide 2007
So you're in a band and you want your name in lights. Where do you start? Well, the second edition of what is known as the bible for unsigned bands is out now. BBC Berkshire chats to editor Louise Dodgson.
If you want to kick-start your music career, it's hard to know where to start and how to send your demos to the right people who won't immediately fling them in the bin. With the second edition of The Unsigned Guide just out, editor Louise Dodgson explains the importance of the book.
So tell us then, how was the first edition received?
"The first UK edition has gone down really well. We have had some excellent feedback, and all copies sold out so hopefully we're doing something right!"
What differences are there in the second edition? And why?
"Every year we revise the book so all the industry contact information is up to date and as accurate as possible.
"We have also added three new sections to this edition, as a response to feedback we had received.
"The new sections are Producers, UK Festivals, and Industry Seminars & Conventions.
Editor Louise Dodgson
"Our Distributors section also now includes listings for digital distributors, and MySpace profiles have been added to the whole book, as these days many businesses and bands use this as one of their primary forms of communication.
"We have also expanded on the forewords in this edition, and have introduced contributions from some really well respected industry professionals from the IFPI, Musicians' Union, MCPS-PRS Alliance, BPI, Glastonbury Festival, Sunday Best Recordings, Steeles Law and TRC Management, amongst others."
What sort of benefits to local musicians does The Unsigned Guide provide?
"Most sections of the book contain listings which are organised regionally so users can quickly refer to a service in their area, from venues, promoters, festivals, recording and rehearsal studios to photographers, equipment hire firms, press/PR companies, regional publications and radio stations, video promo companies and so on."
Can it potentially save the musicians a lot of time and money?
"Definitely! The aim of the book has always been that we will do the leg work for the bands.
"Bands and musicians should be spending their time making the music, recording it, playing gigs and so on, not wasting time and money by sitting on the end of the phone calling round management companies, for instance, that may turn out not be looking to take on any new artists.
"Everyone listed in the book is keen to hear from and work with unsigned talent.
"The information included in the listings will also enable bands to make informed choices about who to approach, so they can look up and pick out record labels, management companies, publishers etc who deal with the particular genre of music they are making, rather than pressing and sending out loads of demos which may just end up in the bin if they're not addressed to the correct person.
"We hope The Unsigned Guide will help to cut out unnecessary spending by allowing bands and musicians to pinpoint the industry contacts most suitable to them."
Why was the book created in the first place - in your research did you find that there was a need for a comprehensive guide of this nature?
"The idea stemmed from our directors, who used to run The Boardwalk rehearsal rooms in Manchester, where Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and Oasis all rehearsed.
"Obviously, there were many bands that came through the doors over the years, and they were often asked for any contact details they had for people at record labels, radio stations, promoters in other cities and so on, so they began creating an A4 sheet of contacts for Boardwalk.
"From the response to this, they realised emerging bands and musicians did not have access to any kind of resource regulars to put them in touch with the right people to further their music careers, so the idea for the directory was born.
"We approached the Musicians' Union, who loved it, and it grew from there!"
The Unsigned Guide team offers a seven day free trial of the book, so bands can look over the book themselves in their own home for seven days, with no obligation to buy.
For more information, visit the Guide's websites below:
last updated: 06/09/07
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