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Thread: Advice/Opinion on marketing Beautiful Friction

  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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    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

    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
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    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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    54321...

    Im pretty sure they were never trying to create a hit single- when they were said to have tried 40 songs and narrowed it down to 11-12 (*wasted via iTunes!). You just have to nominate a song to lead the way-and represent the record... But it does shout out the theme/spirit of life right now better than shaman,cab,etc...

    Has anyone heard any fixx song (new song) played on regular FM radio since Ink 1991? Kinda doubt it- just like Musegirl stated above- "You're either in the (industry's) elite club, or you're not!"

    The whole BF album gels nicely together- even with its extreme versatility- (so i imagine there were songs that were not appropriate to hold hands with the others that made the cut for BF's theme)

    So who wouldn't love to hear the other 25+ songs that didn't make the BF cut? - i'm sure some will surface later on and some will be buried... (Still waiting for lighthouse ehhem!!)

    Singles were a thing of the 80s- by the 90s record companies only cared if you were mikey jackson, metallica, madonna or pop country- (safe bets that land execs zillions)

    Don't lose any more sleep over it- I sure the band isn't.... makes for good (nothing better to do today) conversation though aye? LOL! cheers! <>D3
    "There can be no tradition without innovation."
    - Earle Hitchner, Irish music journalist

  9. #9
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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




  10. #10
    it's confusing to me also as why they dont have more music videos of the new album out also. I mean one vid and that is it ? didn't they in the past put out more vids per album and then tour ? it seems to me they really dont want to make it to the top of the charts this time. Just my opinion since i do recall more vids per album and then tours. Anyways, there are many other ways to promote/advertise their new album. One way would be to make a free website service for their fans. Like fans would get a free website to do what they wanted to with it and at the same time it would have a little advertising of the fixx on it and that way they would get more fans. Anyways, theFIXX are awesome and who really cares how they do all their advertising ! roger and out

  11. #11
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    Hi folks,
    Interesting chat. Lots of great points. To answer some of the above questions. 'Shaman' was written towards the middle/end of our time making the album. (the end of year 2 going into year 3) The band would meet at my studio for 3 days of work. Usually over a weekend, because of other commitments. Generally, we'd get 2 to 3 'songs' out of them during the course of the weekend. The rest of the week, I'd spend arranging, editing, sound replacing and getting general mixes up. We'd then go back and do overdubs on their next visit. Some 'songs' were weeded out early on, when they were mere ideas. Some got finished and then were cut from the final album, when it came to choosing which songs. The band chose the album tracks by each creating an A, B, C list. Obviously, the songs with the highest scores, were then sent off to Stephen to be mixed for the album. 'Shaman' was a no brainer for me. However, it wasn't on everyones A list. So it ended up not making the final list. After the album was mixed, it became obvious that 'Shaman' needed to be on there. Plus, opinions changed after mixes came back and had a chance to sink in. The band then sent it off to Stephen to be mixed. So there you have it.
    As far as a first single choice goes, that was pretty much the record companies decision. A very good one, in my opinion. I think Anyone Else has all the ingredients, strength and scope. The video was an awesome addition, which worked out very well in my opinion. I know Cy gave the director a couple of reference points to work off from, but it was pretty much the directors vision. A superb one.
    As far as songs that didn't make the album go. There are about 5 others that were completed. (including Moving Mountains and Wasted) Probably another 5 or 6 that were roughed out, but never finished. Some attempts at Cy only penned songs, which will be on the forth coming Horse's Mouth album. We also attempted a fast version of Everyone Believes, which didn't work out. Sounded like a 'Less Cities' vibe. We also recorded 4 different versions of Lighthouse. Which again, didn't work out. By this stage, we were all into a 'new song vibe' and decided to keep pushing ahead, rather than trying and drag the past back up.
    The tracks that made the final album, were solely the band's decision. I have my own selection, which slightly differs, but I think the end result of having a diverse album of songs worked out the best. There are 2 that I skip too. lol Can't please everybody all the time.
    Peace,
    Nick. x

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tookarisk View Post
    it's confusing to me also as why they dont have more music videos of the new album out also. I mean one vid and that is it ? didn't they in the past put out more vids per album and then tour ? it seems to me they really dont want to make it to the top of the charts this time. Just my opinion since i do recall more vids per album and then tours. Anyways, there are many other ways to promote/advertise their new album. One way would be to make a free website service for their fans. Like fans would get a free website to do what they wanted to with it and at the same time it would have a little advertising of the fixx on it and that way they would get more fans. Anyways, theFIXX are awesome and who really cares how they do all their advertising ! roger and out
    Videos are generally made to back the single(s). I'm pretty sure there will be a second single and most probably a video to go with it. It isn't over yet! lol

  13. #13
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    Cool Maybe another lost tracks cd could be done

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceroad View Post
    Hi folks,
    Interesting chat. Lots of great points. To answer some of the above questions. 'Shaman' was written towards the middle/end of our time making the album. (the end of year 2 going into year 3) The band would meet at my studio for 3 days of work. Usually over a weekend, because of other commitments. Generally, we'd get 2 to 3 'songs' out of them during the course of the weekend. The rest of the week, I'd spend arranging, editing, sound replacing and getting general mixes up. We'd then go back and do overdubs on their next visit. Some 'songs' were weeded out early on, when they were mere ideas. Some got finished and then were cut from the final album, when it came to choosing which songs. The band chose the album tracks by each creating an A, B, C list. Obviously, the songs with the highest scores, were then sent off to Stephen to be mixed for the album. 'Shaman' was a no brainer for me. However, it wasn't on everyones A list. So it ended up not making the final list. After the album was mixed, it became obvious that 'Shaman' needed to be on there. Plus, opinions changed after mixes came back and had a chance to sink in. The band then sent it off to Stephen to be mixed. So there you have it.
    As far as a first single choice goes, that was pretty much the record companies decision. A very good one, in my opinion. I think Anyone Else has all the ingredients, strength and scope. The video was an awesome addition, which worked out very well in my opinion. I know Cy gave the director a couple of reference points to work off from, but it was pretty much the directors vision. A superb one.
    As far as songs that didn't make the album go. There are about 5 others that were completed. (including Moving Mountains and Wasted) Probably another 5 or 6 that were roughed out, but never finished. Some attempts at Cy only penned songs, which will be on the forth coming Horse's Mouth album. We also attempted a fast version of Everyone Believes, which didn't work out. Sounded like a 'Less Cities' vibe. We also recorded 4 different versions of Lighthouse. Which again, didn't work out. By this stage, we were all into a 'new song vibe' and decided to keep pushing ahead, rather than trying and drag the past back up.
    The tracks that made the final album, were solely the band's decision. I have my own selection, which slightly differs, but I think the end result of having a diverse album of songs worked out the best. There are 2 that I skip too. lol Can't please everybody all the time.
    Peace,
    Nick. x



    Maybe another lost tracks cd could be done. One with the songs
    you mentioned that didn't make the BF cut. Even add "Wasted".
    And songs that have been sung live. Cy told somebody Everyone
    Believes was in the working for release. I know everyone here
    would buy it. BF is the main concern right not, but a future release
    would be cool.




    "your amour is love"
    Michael

  14. #14
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    That's news to me regarding 'Everyone Believes'. At the moment there's only 2 or 3 that could be released, the others would need serious work. Not sure if they are worth attempting, when so much better new stuff seems to be coming out of them. Who knows maybe some of them will turn up down the road in some shape or form. Like I said, most of them aren't even complete songs. Cheers, Nick.

  15. #15
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    Cool someone mention that about Everyone Believes

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceroad View Post
    That's news to me regarding 'Everyone Believes'. At the moment there's only 2 or 3 that could be released, the others would need serious work. Not sure if they are worth attempting, when so much better new stuff seems to be coming out of them. Who knows maybe some of them will turn up down the road in some shape or form. Like I said, most of them aren't even complete songs. Cheers, Nick.

    I don't remember who said it. They just mentioned they had talked to
    Cy before a recent concert and that he had said EB was in the working for release. Can't confirm it was said, sorry! You would know
    better. It did sound like great info. I like the song. Hope they do
    release it.


    "your amour is love"
    Michael

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