Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 234 - Building a Music Community: Lessons from EDM and Metal Fusion

Episode 234 - Building a Music Community: Lessons from EDM and Metal Fusion

Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared Judge explores how to create a dedicated fan base and financial stability by examining the success of artists who merge different music genres. Jared shares his experience attending a concert by Sullivan King, an artist who combines EDM and metal, and discusses the importance of building a community around your music. Learn how to make your act captivating, attract the right audience, and potentially transform your music career.

Best Quote

"This artist has created a community where there are certain expectations of being a part of that community."


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What's up, renegade musicians? It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to another episode of the gigging Musician podcast. I want to chat with you guys about something that is, you know, maybe a little bit off of the beaten path of what we typically talk about on this podcast.

But I think it's important for us to be able to analyze and look at what great musician marketers do that basically, you know, financial proof their musical acts and dig themselves a well so deep that no matter how thirsty they get, they're always, you know, able to get water, able to get money and funding for what they do.

And I want to share this through a lens of a concert that I went to a couple weeks ago where I think the artist did a great job of that specific thing. And the thing that they did was, you know, they built a community around their music.

And so most musicians, you know, let's talk about, you know, I guess, three different categories. So this is going to be kind of tricky to talk about just because I don't have a ton of personal experience with it, but I'd love to analyze it. So most musicians, especially the ones that you see a lot performing at bars and that kind of giggle, those are not renegade musicians.

They are just pursuing the same few opportunities that others are pursuing, and as a result, they're getting the same financial results that many other musicians are getting, which is not very satisfactory. So that's like the first category, non renegade musicians. Then I'd say I fall, and you also fall into the category of renegade musician, where we do the opposite of what most musicians do.

We pursue the high end opportunities. And typically that falls into the corporate events, weddings, nonprofit and private party style gigs, where these people have large budgets to perform, large budgets to hire entertainment. That's like the second category of musicians.

But then there is the third category, which are the artists that are really making it big by playing public shows. And I don't know what to call those third ones. I know that I'm not a part of that group, but I went to a concert two weeks ago at Red Rocks, which, Red Rocks is an amazing venue here in Denver.

People say it's the world's most beautiful venue, and I'm privileged to say that I live about a half hour away from it. If anybody wants to go see a concert at Red Rocks with me, let me know. I will happily go with you.

And so my wife was out of town. She was visiting a friend in Florida, and I was left to my own devices, which is dangerous. So I went busking and I made a good amount of money.

I think I made like $180, something like that for a couple hours of work. And then I was like, well, what am I going to do with all this money? And I decided to look on the concert calendars and just see what was in town. And I saw this artist.

I'd never heard their name, but I saw that they played Edm, which I'm a big fan of Edmonton. And the name of this artist is Sullivan King. And I was intrigued because I like Edm.

But then I looked at their music and it was like, wait, this is not just EDM. It's also metal. And I don't know if you know this about me, but back in middle and high school, I was a big metalhead.

My dad raised my brother and I on Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica. And then my brother went on to manage some pretty heavy hitting metal bands. And it was pretty, pretty awesome.

But over time, that interest kind of went away and I switched more towards the classical route and then to the pop route, although not super heavy pop. But then I just went to the EDM category because I really enjoy that style of music. I was listening to testo and all that good stuff.

And then we moved to Denver. Denver is a huge Edmund city. Like people say, it's probably one of the biggest base capitals of the world.

And so Sullivan King seemed interesting because it combined my current interest of EDM and my former interest in metal. So I decided, let's go grab a ticket. I got 7th row at Red Rocks, which was awesome.

And I had no idea what to expect. I listened to a little bit of their music and I listened, watched a YouTube video that kind of convinced me to go, which was they played an EDM song that combined some really cool beats with the Dune soundtrack, you know, the Dune movie. And I thought that was just so cool.

Cause I'm kind of obsessed with Dune as well. But when I got to this concert, I noticed immediately that me wearing my Denver Nuggets sweatshirt and jeans was incredibly out of place because this artist had built a tribe around their music and a community that not just loves the music, but also dresses a certain way.

There was a uniform, and I didn't know about this, obviously, it's not an official uniform, but, you know, most people were wearing it and it was pretty much like black pants and then a black and red EDM jersey with the word king on it for Sullivan King.

And it was variations of that. Some of them had, like, pictures of death holding his scythe on the thing or others was just, like, you know, drops of blood on the outfit. Not real blood, but fake blood.

And I realized, like, this was intentional. This artist has created this community where there are certain expectations of being a part of that community. And so you can easily identify who is a part of this community partially by what they wear.

In the parking lot on the way there, people were tailgating, and they were blasting his music, which is, you know, EDM and metal is kind of a fun combination, and there's a shared love of that music and a shared language to describe it. You know, people were talking about breakdowns and that kind of thing. Blast beats, but also EDM language.

And so the fans of it really, like, embraced their musical offerings and their vibe, and it was a thank people. I was talking to a bunch of people. Like, even though I looked at a place, I'm the kind of person, I'll still talk to you and get to know you, and I can get along with almost everybody.

And so I was chatting with the person sitting next to me, and he was like, oh, yeah, follow this guy around the country. Saw him in Florida, saw him in Chicago. And this guy was really obsessed with the artist.

And, you know, I was, like, thinking, how do we generate this kind of a following where people are obsessed with us, where they'll travel with us from country to country just to see our music? And I don't know the exact answer to it because I'm not a part of that third category of musician. I do think it starts with the music. Right.

It does have to start with really good music, but it also has to start with different music. It kind of has to be non standard, maybe even a little polarizing. Right.

This artist combines EDM with metal. He also plays electric guitar on stage while he's djing his EDM music. And, you know, it's polarizing because not everybody likes metal.

I can tell you, like, my mom would hate this concert also. My wife would probably hate it because this kind of music would be very overwhelming for her. So it's polarizing in that, like, some people just have to not be fans of it.

You can't try to appeal to everybody with this style of music and the way that you try to grow this style of career. I also think another cool part of what he did is he combines two genres of music that aren't often combined. Electronic dance music and metal.

There are fans of electronic dance music. Those are your ravers. The ones who, like, my favorite is Zed and nightmare and Avicii and all these great EDM artists.

And typically, those people aren't huge metalheads. They're not listening to Megadeth and whatever. But then on the opposite end, you do have the metal lovers who grew up on bands like Atreyu, and I don't even know, because this isn't my genre.

So I don't know all the big band names. Crown the Empire or capture the crown. Those are some of the bands my brother managed, actually.

But typically, that group of people doesn't necessarily overlap with the EDM, but there is a Venn diagram, and where those two overlap, that's this guy's bread and butter. And that's why it's so polarizing. But it's also so gravitational, so magnetic, because it combines two things that are unique when combined.

So, yeah, that's kind of like, the big thing is he's created this community around it, that it is maybe an underrepresented community, musically speaking, of course. And so he's captured that market and then serves them at an incredibly high level. Like, the music he puts out is very good.

His show was incredibly captivating. The visuals, the way that he sings during the show, the way that he plays electric guitar during the show. There was a lot of fire, and you could feel the heat in the 7th row there.

And I haven't even checked out his social media following, but I imagine that he or his team is pretty active at trying to attract the right kind of people. And just by the very nature of what they post, repel the wrong kind of people. Like, this isn't necessarily for the Taylor Swift fans of the world.

And so, yeah, I mean, I don't really have a fully formulated thought based on this, but I just thought I wanted to share my experience with you guys about, you know, how could we incorporate these kind of elements into what we do?

Is there a way that me, as the electric violinist can create something so captivating and polarizing where I attract one kind of person and repel another? And will that actually be financially impactful to my music career?

I imagine in the short term it would not. It would probably actually harm my prospects because, you know, a lot of the high end gigs, they want music that appeals to a wide audience. And if I started playing, like, metal and EDM on my electric violin, that would definitely turn a lot of them off.

But if you build a fan base large enough, then they start to support you, then, sure, it could pay off. I'm just not sure that I want to do that at this stage of my life. Maybe if I was younger, who knows? So, yeah, those are just all kind of random thoughts.

I do think in a way, like, there are some elements that I can adapt. In fact, while I was watching him play electric guitar, while he was djing, I was like, this is really cool. This is something that I feel like I could build a show around not playing metal, but playing other kinds of music with my electric violin and make it as entertaining.

Obviously, I wouldn't be quite as level, but gotta start somewhere. And, yeah, so I thought I could bring that to the table. And it also kind of inspired me to record a little bit more because one of the other things that I'm interested in doing is making some of my music available for download, for purchase on my website.

Because I don't necessarily think I should just give it all away for free. If I put a price tag on it that is polarizing in itself, which will attract some people, repel others. And it also just makes people see you in a different light when, like, you know, I'm not the free sample person, I'm not the Walmart of electric violinists.

Those are kind of my thoughts. And you got a front row seat to my thoughts. Anyway, check out that artist that I was talking about, Sullivan King.

I think he's really interesting guy. You know, definitely not a concert I would have normally gone to, but I'm so glad that I did. I had such a great time.

I stayed all the way to the end of the concert, got some really fun videos, and then showed my wife a couple of those videos, and she's like, do I have to watch this? So that was kind of fun. So, yeah, check them out.

Let me know what you think and if you have any thoughts related to what I talked about on this episode and ways that we could adapt this model of, you know, building a community around our music and polarizing, I would love to hear that and continue the conversation with you.

Feel free to email me And I would be remiss if I didn't pitch you something at the end of these episodes, because that's what renegade musicians do, is they are unabashed about selling things to people. Then if you're interested in having a website built that makes you look as amazing as you already sound, then check out my service.

It's a done for you service to build your music website. And you could go to and learn more about that.

I actually just released a new video that explains how it works on that. That website. So

and check it out. Anyway, thanks for tuning into another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "Your music will not market itself!".

Bye, everybody.

Episode 238 - Breaking into the Bar Mitzvah Scene: Jared’s Electric Violin Experience

Episode 237 - Mastering the Art of Gigging: From Weddings to Bar Mitzvahs

Episode 236 - Elevate Your Performance: Becoming a High-Paid Gigging Musician

Episode 235 - Embracing the Renegade Musician Mindset: Transform Your Gigging Career

Episode 234 - Building a Music Community: Lessons from EDM and Metal Fusion

Episode 233 - Think Like a DJ: Elevate Your Music Career with High-End Gigs

Episode 232 - From Bar Gigs to High-End Events: The Renegade Musician's Guide to Success

Leadership in the Music Industry: How to Secure High-Profile Gigs and Take Charge of Your Career

Episode 230 - Unlocking the Secrets of Consistent Networking and Modern Sales for Musicians

Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story


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