There’s a new band in town that’s got media and fans buzzing. We Three and the Death Rattle, a 3 piece band from Leicester, has captured the attention of BBC Radio, NME Radio and more, with a raw sound that dances through indie, alternative, and post-punk genres. Their debut single “Hey Detonator!” through their label pAw//PuRR just hit stores, and they’re currently recording a full album. Read on to learn how they’ve been getting radio play, why getting signed isn’t their end goal, and how they’re using social media to promote their band.
Tell us about the band’s formation, sound, and release(s).
WTATDR has been together about a year and a half. Our sound is minimal, stripped down, raw. One guitar, vocals, theremin, and drums. We formed the band for fun, to enjoy the process of making music in a room with like-minded people. We sent out our first demo to XFM to gauge a reaction. They played it and invited us to come in and play live on air—from there things have gone pretty well. We’ve just released our debut single “Hey Detonator!” on our own label pAw//PuRR.
What are the band’s goals?
Our only goals are to play exceptional live shows that send people home changed, and to record great records. If we keep doing that and stay utterly focused on both those things as a band, you’d be surprised how quickly people start take notice and good things start to happen around you.
What are you doing to achieve these goals?
We respect our art and enjoy the process of making music rather than waiting for a pat on the back from the industry for the end result. Don’t rush playing shows. We stayed in a practice space writing and honing our sound for months and months, so when we played it was like a huge explosion and we were ready to be there. Same goes for recording. Take your time and make the music you absolutely love and want to make. First and foremost this should be fun. Don’t expect to make a living from your art right away, perhaps never! If you depend on this for your income it’s likely you’ll have less freedom and have to compromise almost immediately. If you work a day job then at least you can invest in your band to begin with and pay for the things you need for it to function properly.
Is getting signed the big goal?
No. I mean we’re not anti working with a label, and it’s great if you find a label that wants to work with you, but don’t make it a goal because you can do most of that stuff yourself rather than pay someone else to do it. Treat the music industry like a girl who knows (thinks) everyone has the hots for her. You go knocking on her door too often she’s just going to get bored of you. Do your own thing. The music industry (what’s left of it) plays a waiting game with artists. You can wait around and do nothing, or you can get involved in some DIY. The more control you have, and the more you know about each aspect of making and releasing records, the more valuable the whole process is. Also, the more you do for yourself, the more offers of help you tend to get.
We’d love to hear your impression of using TuneCore.
TuneCore was perfect for us because we were looking to set up our own label without having to go to a distributor who probably wouldn’t have bought into
a new label with one band on their debut release. We were thinking there must be something out there to solve this distribution problem and there
you were. So, THANKS! It was simple to use, didn’t cripple us financially, and was really efficient.
How does it fit into your goal?
It’s been great for us to be able to reach a worldwide audience digitally, and it was instrumental in our being able to start our own label.
What has been the key to your PR campaign?
We started with a set period of free downloads, then dropped the video, and a remix, all leading up to the release date, so it built really well and gained momentum over about 8 weeks prior to the single’s release. I think the main thing is timing. Make sure your press and release tie in. If people read about something, they usually need it to be available NOW or very soon.
How are you going about getting radio play?
We’ve had a lot of support from John Kennedy at XFM and various other BBC DJs. Building up a relationship with those DJs that liked the band has proven WAY more successful than spending money on a radio plugger. Initially we just contacted them directly, then those people talked to each other and passed the track on which resulted in quite a lot of airplay. We gave people time to get the track and listen to it before ever chasing it up. We’re registered with PRS at the moment and we’ve had a lot of radio play so far so we do need to keep on top of it as we get more play.
Are your social media efforts planned out ahead of time?
Yes, we do this. As an example, we offer guest list places or free tickets to fans who re-post or share an event or release on Twitter/FB. Also, other websites are usually very keen on running competitions if it’s a good prize being offered. Not every thing that we post is planned out, but we try to make everything we post of interest and we don’t post too much. We find it best to post two or three big things a month on FB (unless you’re in the middle of a campaign in which case it’s a lot more than that) and at least one thing per day on Twitter. The big mistake is bands posting too much on their Facebook pages and having people just get annoyed or bored. If you post a news story, try and attach some media of interest like a video or a picture. Also, read the best practice for posting on Facebook for times of day and when a post is less likely to get swallowed up. There’s a ton out there similar to this article.
Is there a team behind the band, and if so, how did they get assembled?
There is starting to be now. It was just us for quite a while doing everything, but as I said, the more you do and do well the more people want to be involved with you. We have people who manage much bigger acts who will answer questions for us and unofficially advise us. We had a PR person and a radio plugger for the single and we have a live booking agent now. All of these people came through our own hard work. We only wanted to work with people who really liked the band and had a lot a natural enthusiasm for music because then it feels like they become part of the band.
What steps were taken prior to releasing music for sale?
We waited a long time to release a single because we wanted it to be right and because we were working out how to do this in a way that meant we didn’t feel compromised. If you can record your own music or get together with someone who does, it will be invaluable. We have a friend with a home studio who over time became our producer, and that has been such an amazing experience—watching him work, finding our sound, and saving huge amounts in recording costs along the way.
Have you signed a publishing admin deal? How are you exploiting your songs/copyrights?
The short answer to this is no we haven’t gotten to this at all yet. However, the more you do, the more the pieces start to come together. Just this week at our London show someone approached us about publishing. When our full length album is ready perhaps this will be a world we’ll begin to step into a bit more. Financially I’m sure it would be advantageous, it’s just something we’d need to be comfortable doing with our music with the right people and in the right places.