Friday, October 13, 2006

The importance of flyering

If I haven't stressed this enough, this has been a DIY effort thus far. But there is no possible way that the four guys in Cassavettes could have made the progress that we have if it wasn't for some really special contributions. Today's subject: flyering. It's a two-pronged process of making the flyers and distributing the flyers, both of which we in Cassavettes have little to do with.

When the band first started, Mike would make flyers by taping together pictures he cut out of a cowboy picture book and then just write in all the details by hand. It was a noble effort, but we didn't distribute a whole lot of these flyers and they looked like exactly what they were: handmade. Which is why we go to people with more expertise than ourselves on this one.

Perhaps one of the best things about being a college-aged band is that we have so many resources available to us -- people who are eager to help and know the fields they are studying/looking to enter. Last spring, I asked a girl named MK Fabila who I worked with and who does graphic design to make us some flyers. And boy, did she ever. MK cranked out some seriously amazing work. In fact, I chronicled all (well, most, I'm missing a couple flyers) of her work and other friends' work today by posting links to all the flyers and the shows they correspond with on our detailed history section; just scroll down to right around the time that the band recovers from the doldrums and you'll find perhaps a paralleling storyline.

From our April 26 show at TT the Bear's onward, we saw an incredible leap in attendance at shows. Was this due to the fact that we began properly flyering or was it just time for people to come to Cassavettes' side? MK and I discussed this the other day and agreed it was probably a combination of both. You CAN NOT underestimate the power of advertising. Hell, there are bands I've never seen play a show who I think are big-time bands just because I see their stickers on the T. Putting your name in front of folks is crucial. And flyering, with both the name and specific details and even that these people can check you out, is the best way, in my opinion.

So, with MK, and then Ren, Tim Jacques, plus more recently Ish and Mike's girlfriend Julie, and now our friend Brenna making flyers (for free) for us, we were sitting pretty. But like I said, this is a two-pronged effort. The second leg is distribution of these flyers. That's where Chris comes in.

I have a lot of praise for our fire-headed boy manager, another student who puts in unreasonable amounts of time and effort to help out. In fact, I really could tell Chris got "into" the band late last year when he stopped referring to the group as "you guys" and started saying "we." I like that. We are we. Anyhow, Chris flyers like it's nobodys business. The kid goes everywhere -- Cambridge, Allston, Somerville, Back Bay, wherever. Numerous people have come up to me and said, "I see your flyers everywhere." Hell yes, that's Chris' work they are talking about. The guy hits the streets hard, without being asked, and it is unbelievably important. Plus, it's sooo kind of him. Once in awhile, I'll accompany Chris, but honestly, sometimes I don't even known he's gone on a flyering expedition until either a) I see one of the flyers while walking around town or b) he tells me in his faux-Southern accent, "Oh, I already done that." Sorry, I just wanted the opportunity to make Chris' written voice sound like a hick for my own amusement. But seriously, he gets the job done. I remember when we showed up to play the Random NEST show in June at Great Scott, we walked in to drop off some flyers, but disturbed one of Ben Sisto's meetings. Later, Ben tells us that we were the only band who flyered for the show and, as a DIY guy himself, he appreciated the effort. Pretty cool, eh?

So, important rules about the ever-so-important role of flyering:
1) Make sure the flyers look as professional and good as possible.
2) Make sure you distribute properly, especially if you don't have the luxury of a workhorse like Chris.
3) I didn't talk about this yet, but mind the rules of particular clubs about flyering. For instance, some clubs don't allow you to post on/in government property (mailboxes, etc.). Check with the club first. Also, don't try to walk into a nearby club and put up a flyer for a show at another club. They will yell at you -- it's happened.

Anyhow, that's about it. On a final flyer note, I received Brenna's final copy of the flyer for Tuesday's show at Bill's Bar, but it won't load to any computer properly. This is a big pain, and not her fault. I'll try to post the flyer to MySpace before the weekend is through, but we'll have to see. Either way, not much time left to run off copies of the flyer and distribute. We'll make due.

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