What ‘Indie Rock’ Means in Today’s World

Since releasing In Between the Spaces a few weeks ago, I’ve been in “PR mode,” getting the word out online. I expect this process to continue for many weeks and perhaps even months to come. Sure, I’d like to focus on writing and recording new music (which yes, I am working on), but if I don’t do anything to promote this record after almost two years of work, no one will listen to it except friends and family.

Even though I’ve been a marketing writer and creative communications professional for over two decades now, I haven’t promoted a record since the early ‘90s. As I work on updating my song “tags” and social media channels online, I’m still amazed at how much has changed since I was running and managing my own live bands in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in the mid-‘90s. There seems to have been just as many changes in how the music world works since running my band in San Francisco in the early to mid 2000s.

(Cue old man voice… “In my day, we didn’t have THE INTERNET… We had flyers and handbills!”

I remember sourcing vendors through the mail and telephone to print T-shirts and reproduce my band’s “promotional shots.” I spent more time at Kinko’s than my apartment to photocopy my paper press kits. I mailed letters and sent faxes to music journalists, all of whom worked at large newspapers—all of which, of course, are rapidly going extinct.

As I reach out to today’s indie music community, I have to say I think it’s pretty awesome to see all of these blogs on the internet bypassing the gatekeepers and starting their own thing. A lot of these passionate music fans are younger than me—way younger than me. But they’re doing exactly what indie rock is all about, the DIY (Do It Yourself) ethos having been a guiding force in my own life as an artist

DIY/indie rock doesn't wait for permission. It doesn't worry about being the best. Maybe you suck, but you do it anyway. It’s about expressing yourself and owning it. Getting out there and doing it. And I have to say, I love that about the new music community—this community that's formed around music that's online. These are the same people that would've started their own fanzines back when I was a teenager. 

Thank god for the internet, because I don't know else how my music would get heard. I’m sure millions of others out there feel the same. I’ve been putting out records since I was in my early 20s, but I’d guess that more people have heard my record this year—hell, maybe even this month—than probably, like… ever.

And at this point, I’d like to give a huge thank you and shout-out to the good folks supporting the record already. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity these DJs and bloggers haven given me to share my music with listeners all over the world:

When someone picks your music to showcase and shows appreciation, that’s a friend for life.

And thanks all, for listening.