What Does “Independent” Really Mean?

Last month bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters played an awesome CMJ show at Brooklyn Bowl to kick off their fall tour.  We got a chance to board their (parked) tour bus before the show, and ask them about touring, marketing and promotion, the financial struggles that often come with being an independent band, and a whole lot more.

Recently we’ve been featuring parts of the interview between TuneCore’s Chris Mooney and Andy Falco (guitar) and Travis Book (bass) of The Infamous Stringdusters.

This clip is all about what it means to be an independent artist…

If you don’t have time to watch the clip, here are some of the key points from the ‘Dusters:

1. Having your music available on streaming services doesn’t have to be thought of as a loss for the artist. You may be gaining more ears and more fans by making your music easily accessible.

2. Being independent means that you decide who you want to work with.  You need to feel good about cutting up the pie.

3. Independence can mean that you have a large team: manager, booking agent, publicists, distribution partners, etc…  You just need to make sure that your team members are all on the same page.

4. Bands develop their identity as time goes on, and that can mean that a team that once worked (like a record label) is no longer a good fit.

5. Maturity leads to independence.