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Thread: Advice/Opinion on marketing Beautiful Friction

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  1. #1
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    Advice/Opinion on marketing Beautiful Friction

    Up front, I am placing this in "Sign of Fire" because it will likely be argued over. I'm a bit divergent but I hope the debate proves healthy for the board and band going forward.

    As stated in the main post on the new album "Beautiful Friction," I am typically more in tune with listening to the entire album than worrying about which song I personally like, but after nearly 50 listens of the entire album, plus seeing the band perform "Anyone Else" on Jimmy Kimmel live, I simply have to say this:

    The band should stop promoting the song "Anyone Else" as their top/first single for this album. It is clearly a polished song on the CD in some aspects, but it is not single material. In fact, of all the songs on the CD, it is the one that I purposely skip to start the album. When I'm listening to Cy state "...when the song comes back round..." in the song "Small Thoughts," it reminds me that "Anyone Else" is about to repeat and again -- I skip that song. I think the band and any marketing types surrounding the band have not given them a well-rounded critique of what song(s) could be singles, what song(s) should be marketed first, and frankly what "the song" is that helps them build a tie with new listeners. The message of the video for "Anyone Else" seems to be driving the band to release it first. Why? Let's put the music first, the video(s) secondary.

    Go to Jimmy Kimmel live online to see my point -- no one is really excited in that audience to hear the song "Anyone Else." Cy is trying, the band is trying, but the audience simply is not connecting. The music video is all that the song "Anyone Else" has going for it, and that is only toward a niche market, from my vantage point. The song "Anyone Else" in both recorded form and live is not appealing, and it needs to die a quick death in the marketing history of the band.

    So, rather than appear to complain (I'm not, I'm advising) -- what should the band do? Howabout you "Take a Risk" or "Follow that Cab" because you really need to remind a wider audience that you're still a rock band. Aside from that, I think there are many of the atmospheric/mood enhancing songs on the CD that could be radio singles, but the band needs to consider the importance of having "the song" for this album that helps them connect to their audience (not just Fixxtures who will accept almost anything). I simply do not think "Anyone Else" is that song.
    BM
    I've been lurking...

  2. #2
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    (Note: I'm not part of Fixx management, I just run the forum and host theFixx.com, so my opinion is just that of a random fan ;-))

    While I appreciate where you're headed with your analysis, I'm not sure "singles" in the traditional sense matter any more. Even more so for any band who's Top-40 days are way behind them. Even a band like Van Halen can barely really break into the singles charts, and they have a monster following and still sell out arenas.

    So I think what you want in your "new song" is something hook-ridden that simply reminds people of the band - "Yeah, I know that sound - reminds me of another song of theirs I like". For that, I think Anyone Else is pretty decent in reminding people of The Fixx's signature sound.

    Second, non-fans of "older" bands generally never respond well to the new songs. My Aunt recently wrote email to our family list complaining about going to see The Animals and irritated that they kept trying to play newer songs. So the cards are stacked against them in a room full of random people from Jimmy Kimmel's audience. Any song probably would have gotten similar reactions (I though the audience reaction was fine, btw).

    That all said.. best song on the album? Nope. But "Take a Risk" - while I *love* it, is a risky move. Yes, it's more edgy. But it doesn't remind people of the classic Fixx sound (therefore not reminding them of, say, OTLTA or SBZ). That's a dangerous route to go, then you have people thinking "who are these guys, I don't remember them". It sounds more like Stone Temple Pilots. Now you might... *might*... draw a few people into checking out the album, but then they'll be disappointed that they didn't just buy a hard alt-rock album. I'd probably say the same thing about Follow That Cab. Great song. Not sure what the reception would be like.

    Sad to say, but I think the best thing you can do when they get these higher profile gigs is simply to remind people of those songs they love already, and convince them the new stuff is similar and worth purchasing.

    But, man oh man, I'd love to be proven wrong. I could easily imagine Follow That Cab or What God being on the charts back in the day

    jeff "armchair A&R man"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beached Male View Post
    The message of the video for "Anyone Else" seems to be driving the band to release it firs
    BM
    Ooh, can I play?!

    One thing I did want to put out is that, to my knowledge, "Anyone Else" was chosen to be the single first. I believe this decision was made through discussions between the band and the record company (as was the final choice of what songs would be on the record). Then, the record company hired a director to create the video. I recall hearing Cy say, in a radio interview, that they had no input on the concept/direction the video would take, but were happy with how the final product captured the spirit and energy of the song.

    I haven't been scurrying around the periphery of the music business for a very long time, but over the last 5 years or so I have learned this about music marketing: nobody knows anything, really. Yeah, the huge record companies and management companies with wells of money and synergistic relationships with multimedia outlets (radio, TV, internet) can do miraculous things when they anoint an artist to be their next big thing (like Lana Del Ray, for example), but even then they have a percentage of big flops that don't get to make record #2. But that's okay because a big label has run all the numbers and know they can afford a certain amount of loss and attrition and still make their bottom line.

    It's much riskier for smaller labels, boutique labels and indies. They aren't wired into radio conglomerates like ClearChannel. They don't get the big sponsors for tours. They are all duking it out amongst themselves for SXSW showcases and angling for the attention of music supervisors to get a song on a "Gossip Girl" episode and its eventual compilation CD. Everybody is doing what they can, leveraging all of the solid contacts they have and working really hard to get the music elevated above the din for as long as possible. Who knows which song out of 10 might connect with people? Once folks make the best damn record they can make, all they can do is keep breathing life into the process...touring, chatting on the radio with friendly DJs and cultivating press and extending the life of the release so that as many people as possible will know about it. And because you can't market to everyone in the world at once without going broke, you pick your spots, you identify the likely demographic of your audience and you try to be where they are looking and listening. But there are no rules for how to be successful or even marginally decent at this. You can do everything "right" and fail and you can make a series of illogical decisions and trip into success because your video was amazing or some other planetary alignment took place.

    The Fixx have the blessing and the curse of longevity. Some doors open for them because they are a known quantity and others probably slam shut for the same reason (I have observed that some indie stations don't want to play veteran acts...it's much cooler to break a new band). I think the consistently good reviews they have received on the record, along with the tour and the Kimmel appearance are all positive things that have come together through the deliberate efforts of many people involved in the process. I certainly hope that much good will come of it. I haven't always agreed 100% with the strategy, but I respect that there seems to be one and that they have committed to it.

    I think "Shaman" would have been a more familiar choice for a single. But then, that song, in my head, demands that the band appear in the video and I believe logistics would have prevented that happening...so I am glad they chose something else. My favorite song on the record is probably Follow That Cab, and I have every hope it could get picked for a soundtrack or a commercial or something like that. We shall see. Ok. Rambing done.
    Lisa



  4. #4
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    Cool Shaman should be a single

    Quote Originally Posted by musegirl View Post
    Ooh, can I play?!

    One thing I did want to put out is that, to my knowledge, "Anyone Else" was chosen to be the single first. I believe this decision was made through discussions between the band and the record company (as was the final choice of what songs would be on the record). Then, the record company hired a director to create the video. I recall hearing Cy say, in a radio interview, that they had no input on the concept/direction the video would take, but were happy with how the final product captured the spirit and energy of the song.

    I haven't been scurrying around the periphery of the music business for a very long time, but over the last 5 years or so I have learned this about music marketing: nobody knows anything, really. Yeah, the huge record companies and management companies with wells of money and synergistic relationships with multimedia outlets (radio, TV, internet) can do miraculous things when they anoint an artist to be their next big thing (like Lana Del Ray, for example), but even then they have a percentage of big flops that don't get to make record #2. But that's okay because a big label has run all the numbers and know they can afford a certain amount of loss and attrition and still make their bottom line.

    It's much riskier for smaller labels, boutique labels and indies. They aren't wired into radio conglomerates like ClearChannel. They don't get the big sponsors for tours. They are all duking it out amongst themselves for SXSW showcases and angling for the attention of music supervisors to get a song on a "Gossip Girl" episode and its eventual compilation CD. Everybody is doing what they can, leveraging all of the solid contacts they have and working really hard to get the music elevated above the din for as long as possible. Who knows which song out of 10 might connect with people? Once folks make the best damn record they can make, all they can do is keep breathing life into the process...touring, chatting on the radio with friendly DJs and cultivating press and extending the life of the release so that as many people as possible will know about it. And because you can't market to everyone in the world at once without going broke, you pick your spots, you identify the likely demographic of your audience and you try to be where they are looking and listening. But there are no rules for how to be successful or even marginally decent at this. You can do everything "right" and fail and you can make a series of illogical decisions and trip into success because your video was amazing or some other planetary alignment took place.

    The Fixx have the blessing and the curse of longevity. Some doors open for them because they are a known quantity and others probably slam shut for the same reason (I have observed that some indie stations don't want to play veteran acts...it's much cooler to break a new band). I think the consistently good reviews they have received on the record, along with the tour and the Kimmel appearance are all positive things that have come together through the deliberate efforts of many people involved in the process. I certainly hope that much good will come of it. I haven't always agreed 100% with the strategy, but I respect that there seems to be one and that they have committed to it.

    I think "Shaman" would have been a more familiar choice for a single. But then, that song, in my head, demands that the band appear in the video and I believe logistics would have prevented that happening...so I am glad they chose something else. My favorite song on the record is probably Follow That Cab, and I have every hope it could get picked for a soundtrack or a commercial or something like that. We shall see. Ok. Rambing done.



    I agree that Shaman should have been and should be a single, in my
    opinion it's the closest to the Fixx sound. But I think they chose Anyone Else to attract a newer audience.


    "your amour is love"
    Michael

  5. #5
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    Mar 2000
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    I agree with you 100% about the choice of "Anyone Else."

    These are exciting times to be a Fixxture. Great, great music and national attention for the band we have all felt has been underestimated. Kudos to everyone who has worked hard to take things this far and sincere good wishes for continued good fortune.
    Lisa



  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    33

    Aha!

    Small secret here...

    Shaman was almost an afterthought for the record....

    I fell in love with the track first time I heard it, and was delighted when the band asked me to mix it many months after the rest of the record was completed.

    There, I've said it!!

    SWT

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    94

    Cool I'm glad it wasn't afterthought!

    Quote Originally Posted by stephentayler View Post
    Small secret here...

    Shaman was almost an afterthought for the record....

    I fell in love with the track first time I heard it, and was delighted when the band asked me to mix it many months after the rest of the record was completed.

    There, I've said it!!

    SWT
    I'm glad it ended up on BF. I too fell in love with it! Listened to it at
    least thirty times the first night I had it. So yes it's my favorite cut
    of the album, but I do love all the songs, not one of them I would skip or turn off.


    "your amour is love"
    Michael

  8. #8
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    Shaman

    Quote Originally Posted by stephentayler View Post
    Small secret here...

    Shaman was almost an afterthought for the record....SWT
    Hello Stephen, do you mean it was a late addition/ written late? Or do you mean it almost didn't make the album? I think it would be interesting to get the timeline for each of the songs that made the album.

    Either way, wow, Shaman is the stand out, 'would be single' in my opinion. I loved it instantly, and it continues to grow. I do like it more than Anyone Else, on Joe's point, and if we could get a video out of this one....well

    I don't know what I just said or why.

    From my heart & from my hand
    why don't people understand my intention
    -Weird Science




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