There isn’t a cloud in sight for Essex based band The Suburbians. Composed of brothers Ben (lead guitar, vocals) and Mark (lead vocals, guitar) Konstantinovic, Charlie Roberts (bass. vocals) and Ben Nyari (drums), The Suburbians recently won the Indie Week 2011 Festival, scoring them a headlining tour in Canada. Read on for more info on their promo plans surrounding the August release of their debut album, as well as their upcoming Canadian tour.
Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” “rock,” or “hip-hop,” describe your sound.
I’d say it’s an amalgamation of everything we enjoy in guitar based music. Some of its really chilled, and then other tracks you can really move your feet to. It’s very much a plug and play sound, no heavy processing or electronic stuff going on in the background, just guitars, drums and words.
Huge congrats on winning Indie Week Ireland 2011! Can you tell us what happens now as a result of the win?
Thank you! We are being flown out to Canada all expenses paid, to perform a handful of headline shows in and around Toronto. We are also in the process of trying to secure more shows further afield, and we will most likely be coming to New York too.
Do you already have a fan base in Canada?
Yes we do, its very, very small, but we have a dedicated group of people who are enjoying our music over there. We love to interact as much as we can with our fans and they really help promote the band and show us the best places to promote in their local town. It’s amazing that now we get to fly over there and perform for them.
Have you gone on tour before? If so, what were some of the hurdles you came upon while on the road?
Strangely no. This 4-piece lineup has only been going since November ’10 so although we have played about 10 shows together in the UK, we have never toured as a unit. We all have individual touring experience and know what it’s like on the road, so we don’t have any concerns.
What’s your team like now? (Manager? Band members? Marketing team?)
We have a core team of 3 people outside the band. A very dedicated and talented graphic designer named Matt Cass–he has done everything from designing our logo to making our album artwork ideas a reality. We have a PR guy named Raymond Bottone on board who helps me with day to day managing and promotion, and Olly Rowland takes care of show logistics and makes sure everything is running as it should. It’s a small but very efficient team of incredibly dedicated people, that we couldn’t be without!
I see you’ve had a great amount of success from self-promotion. How do you go about it?
I would say it’s all about being creative. Think outside the box all the time, and think of new and interesting ways to promote your band. People always want to hear about new projects, but people get bored with the same ways of promoting. The key to self-promoting is a fresh idea, and putting in a ton of effort to carry out that idea.
Do you have a set marketing/promotion plan in place for the weeks leading up to your debut album release?
We’ve been constructing a giant megaphone for the last year or so… It’s about 100 ft high and pumps out at about 1.2 billion decibels. We plan to airdrop it onto one of the big buildings in London, and just shout really loud down it so everyone knows when our album is done.
Describe some of the challenges you’ve faced as an independent artist. Funding for a start. You have to finance an album yourself, which can be difficult. Although production costs are decreased, it’s still an expensive ordeal. Marketing is sometimes a problem as an independent, but it all comes down to new and cheap ideas. I would say that supporting a tour in the early stages of a career is very hard as an independent. It’s difficult without the contacts and force of a record label backing you.
What are some of the advantages?
Most importantly we own everything. It feels good to be able to go about your business owning everything and calling the shots on every level. You have complete artistic control, and you only answer to yourself at the end of the day. I’d say that’s priceless. It opens doors to many routes that an artist under a major can’t go down.
Any advice for fellow independent artists trying to get their music out?
Network. Learn as much as you can from everyone you meet in the industry. There are no rules, take every bit of advice with a grain of salt, use all the knowledge you have gained to make the best move you can with each decision you need to make, and that’s all you can really do! The rest is a little bit of luck… and for God’s sake get a TuneCore account!