In the ass of show business

Or: how to become the most famous band, fuck all the girls in the world and earn a million dollars.


The simplest things are the hardest to understand.

There was a time, and I was quite naive, and thought it was easy enough - to become famous in the creative field. You just need to have talent. And if you are talented - you can be sure that you will be noticed - if not today, then tomorrow, if not tomorrow, then next year. After all, manuscripts do not burn, asking for something from those who are stronger than you is not commanded by the classics, and in general ... everyone knows that talent must be helped, and mediocrity will break through on its own. Help! They will notice! And everything will be great - a lot of dough, crowds of heifers and a sea of ​​vodka.

And I was waiting for a phone call from a kind producer who heard my records somewhere, and of course, decided to offer me a contract. I hoped that at my concert - like the Doors did! - turns out to be a recruiter for a powerful recording label, and spent the last money on recording demo tapes, drew covers for them, fanned them out to radio stations and to the same labels, and again waited for a call and called himself, and made new records and drew new covers ...

I did not despair - you just need to have talent and everything will be fine. Manuscripts do not burn. We just need to write and rehearse more... We need to play better... We need to make another demo... We need to play another tenth concert, festival, competition...

Day after day, year after year. All new music of varying degrees of mediocrity sounded on the air, all new exaggerated pop projects appeared and disappeared, promoted by who knows who and who knows who are interesting. Styles, approaches, sounds changed. A musical incubator named after Kozyrev appeared, something like decent music finally sounded on the radio waves, each new year gave more and more reasons for hope. But nothing happened!

Everyone with whom we once, full of ambitious ideas, began to play this game, hung the guitars on nails. They were replaced by young and hot, tired in due time. The third call has come and gone...

And I finally realized that everything is not simple, but VERY simple.


Calm down, it's not so sad. In this context, "no one" means people from a narrow stratum of our compatriots who are somehow connected with show business and are on the distribution.

No one will go to rock clubs in search of new stars.

No one will look for new names on the Internet.

No one will even listen to your records, so smashing them to fucking record labels is absolutely no mess. Of course, your recordings don't fly straight into the trash, not everything is so neglected, they are even listened to in some places, but... It won't work anyway. Forget.

And this is explained in an elementary way.


For you, music is life. You spend a meager stipend on strings and renting a rehearsal room, you forego meeting girls for the sake of music, you realize that your music gives you great value. You are proud to be a musician. You are a romantic.

And for any person in business, music is just a commodity. A thing that needs to be beautifully packaged, advertised in the subway and on TV, and then sold with maximum return in order to recoup costs, advertising and stay in the black.

One-time cheap stuff is bought much better and, as a result, much more. The ideology of BIC handles and blades, for example, is built on this. This is all the more true for poor countries - and now we live in a poor country, what can we hide.

Let's say that a rapper will be bought by much fewer people than a blatnyachka performer (shamefully called Russian chanson today). Oz-oz pop sells much cooler than Limp Bizkit. Yes, and Limp Bizkit is only for sale because it was promoted too much.

Indicators of sales of musical products by genre in 2002:

Pop - 40%

Russian chanson - 15%

Dance music: 15%

Rock - 10%

Children's entries - 5%

Author's song - 2%

Classic - 2%

Jazz - 2%

Retro - 1%

Ethnics - 1%

Movie music - 1%

Religious music - 1%

Everything else - 5%

Therefore, a normal businessman interested in selling a product will initially focus on a larger consumer group (and this is dance and chanson). A businessman is interested in money, not romance, and who can reproach him for this? As one music pirate friend of mine said, "Just paint a red rose and barbed wire on the cover and you'll sell at least five thousand discs anyway."


The math is also easy - a young customer rarely buys more than one cassette a month. Therefore, any project can be sold, but not in any quantity. We have one Dolphin - and that's it, this clearing is busy, no one will buy anything more or less similar to this music, even if any brilliant Russian Aphex Twin or Russian Ministry appears. There is no advertising on the one hand, and you have no money on the second tape - on the other.

And that's why we also have so little interesting music.

Producers are not to blame for the fact that talents one by one bury themselves in the ground and go to middle managers. When the country as a whole becomes richer, people will also become richer, more confident in themselves and in their future. And then creativity - in our case, musical - will be in demand. That's when our compatriots will have free time (to have fun) and free money (to pay for it), then the hunt for talents will begin in earnest.

Well, all these loads were only for you to get rid of your illusions in FIG. Now I will try to explain what and how to do in order to appear on the blue (hehe, he said "blue", Beavis) screens already in the next five years.


For starters, forget all the doubts about whether you make interesting music. These are all complexes. It has long been proven that all people are in principle very similar (with the exception of some differences within races and nationalities). And therefore, what makes you excited (I'm talking about your music, dude :-)) will definitely stick a couple of hundred thousand scumbags on the globe. Be confident in yourself and recklessly rot your line. Vaughn Rammstein is an absolutely simple band: no special ideas, no complex music, no mega-performing skills. Just a show, really high quality sound, great promotion and a bit of luck. Forget about luck;), and everything else is within your power.


First, deal with your own ambitions. A huge problem for all novice musicians is that each Jesus Christ (Hallelujah!) Each writes words and music for himself, at the same time he sings and plays, and even tries to make shows and promotions. No fluff, dude. To handle all this, you need to be Marilyn Manson or Alice Cooper - and even then, there is a huge party of professionals behind them.

Therefore, consciously give up ambition. If you are a composer - do not try to get into text writing (and vice versa). If you sing well, chances are you won't be able to play the guitar as well. There are exceptions, but they are rare - so hit one point, and then your chances will increase incredibly.

Then - the team. I mean not just a musical group, get it. Approach this matter professionally. You need: good musicians, good lyrics, good music, and - plus to this - a person who will deal with the routine technical work of distributing your records, calling-taking demos, advertising. Putting together the right team is not so difficult now - you probably have the opportunity to use the Internet (at least through clubs or cafes), and this is a very useful tool if you approach it correctly.

So, you've written several melodies, found (for example, on a good lyricist, brought together musicians from announcements (,, or any other musician's site!). You bought rehearsal time at one of the many bases and got to work.


Rule one: Be very tough. Do you want to be the first? So for this you need to work very selflessly. If a musician beats you up once or twice with a turnip, if he is constantly late or drunk on a railcar, dont boil at first, politely ask him not to do this again ... but start slowly looking for a replacement. Usually "dynamo" is a congenital trait, and it is not treated. So if you are too kind, you risk losing a lot more time, money and nerves in the end.

Conclusion: in the group you should have only specific, self-confident people who are passionate about your common cause. Since a good line-up is far from recruited immediately, you should not take relatives and friends into the team - in such cases it can be difficult to part with a musician who frankly slows down the group. Or, if you still did it, you can make problems of a personal plan. Why?

- Are you going to the rehearsal with vodka?

- Don't... Get drunk with a guitar.

Rule two: rehearsals are work. This is not a booze, not an interest club, not a stupid pastime, like "better than drinking vodka." If your gang doesn't REALLY aspire to be Number One, you'd better just drink vodka around the house and beat up your girlfriends - don't waste your time and rehearsal time.

A brief set of rehearsal laws: no late arrivals are allowed (maximum 15 minutes), a maximum of 10 minutes is allotted for tuning, it makes no sense to disassemble more than two songs in one rehearsal, and it is advisable to play already disassembled at least ten times. Rehearsal (repetition (English) - repetition) is the same school or rocking chair. It has been said: repetition is the mother of learning!

Difficult fragments of the song are analyzed separately until you play them in perfect harmony - you should not move on the material further. Perhaps you should take the whole song apart, and then drive it in its entirety. But don't dig into the material! Many tend to play their entire program in two hours of rehearsal, and as a result, all the songs sound equally monstrous. You play together to improve your skills so that your music sounds unified and whole - remember this.

A very strict rule - first of all, it applies to the drummer and guitarists - silence in the pauses. That is, as soon as you stop - no one dares to make a single extra sound. So you save your ears, brains and get much less tired by the end of the turnip.

Conclusion: drive the material until you turn blue, but in small portions.

Third: you should come to rehearsals already prepared, that is, just to play "on sound". All arrangement, all melodic moves - and even more so harmony - must be done at home. It's easy - the guitarists play unplugged (if there are no amps at home), the vocalist can sing "into the air" perfectly. Even a drummer - if he understands at least something in his business - can come up with his own parts using only sticks and two stools. This way, you'll use your free home time for useful pre-work: arranging arguments, idea generation, and initial acting. Again, if you have a computer, you can hammer something into the sequencer: for example, drums or something else. If possible, record directly from the microphone, listen to the mistakes.

Conclusion: the rehearsal space is not a place for arguments and reflections. We do all this at home. And already prepared - on turnips!

The rumble has died down, I went out on the stage

Your material is already written, clearly played, and you are rushing to the stage.

Here it is worth bearing in mind that as long as you are unknown to anyone, you will not be able to play in good halls on "good" days (this is Friday-Saturday, when all honest people rest and club). At first, your lot is settling tanks specially created for the same losers. Moreover, you will have to work on rotten days - from Monday to Thursday.

Your music - mind you - in the clubs didn't stick to anyone's buoy, and you are provided with a stage only so that you bring more people with you. Your homies, waiting for "their" team to come on stage, are drinking in the bar, rolling balls and all that - and the club is making their money. That is, you are not just a bait, but also a hook, fishing line and fishing rod. The club acts as a fisherman.

I'll tell you what: you won't earn a damn thing in the entry-level group concerts anyway. Checked. On the other hand, concert practice is a necessary thing. So decide for yourself if you need it.


I'll be honest with you. Shake on your mustache: not a single label takes on any project that is not financially secured in advance. Any promotion costs money (advertising, paid interviews in magazines, shooting a video, recording and mixing songs, printing posters and CDs, bribes, etc.) But its hard to predict how the project will play, what kind of money it will bring : studies of this kind are very expensive and unreliable. The situation in the music market is very incomprehensible.

In short: labels just don't want to risk their money. There are chances to get on the bubbles. And since every serious label already has one or two proven, promoted projects in the works that bring good income (Lube and Ivanushki at Matvienko, Leningrad at Gala Records, Nike Borzov at Snegiri, Dolphin at "Cream Records" and so on), then no one wants to take risks. After all, punctures happen even with the most sophisticated producers, who are awesomely confident in their instinct and knowledge of the market - just remember Aizenshpis' Young Guns and Shulgin's Dream.

Therefore, you must have something else besides material and ambition behind you. Namely - connections or money. By the way, there are no miracles, and even the most promoted pop projects, which, in theory, initially had good prospects on the Russian musical horizons, initially had additional support. Look: Stashevsky, Decl, Dima Malikov, Presnyakov Jr., Alsu, Valeria, the Tet-A-Tet ​​group and so on - everyone worked with a reliable rear! Someone has a dad, someone has a husband, someone just has good rich friends.

Well, what if you don't have any of that - but you don't, huh? Then shove your romanticism up the elephant's ass and cynically follow my advice.


Don't spend a lot of money recording an album. That is, it is worth rolling the songs on tape - at least at the rehearsal base, so as not to forget. It can proudly be called an album, and let the sound be terrible, but crap rushing in every measure. Anyway, you will not show this recording to anyone, and if you get an interesting contract, everything will be rewritten again at a good studio. Record really brilliant no more than one or two songs.


Notice this: the very brilliant songs that you'll crack open the showbiz shell with don't have to be yours. Yes, yes, you can buy material from someone who writes better than you. (Cynical? But reliable and practical, hehe!) The main thing: this material must be really killer, it must be in the most relevant and popular radio format, it must be perfectly sung (at least in some places), it must be branded arranged and sung with the highest quality. The fact is that this particular song will be played on the radio, get into collections, a video will be filmed for it, and it will become the "calling card" of the group. There shouldn't be a hole! Consult on this matter with knowledgeable friends, if you have a choice - conduct a survey among relatives, in your office / group. Do the work for the producer - find a hit for yourself. Moreover, immediately start calculating: the song should be relevant (heavy metal, for example, or hard rock, even with all your love for these styles, is far from being on the top right now, and do not hope that you will be lucky with this). Then: do not try to mow down for someone: imitators of "Mumiy-Troll" and "Rammstein" are now inundated with all the studios. This is without a smear: you have to look for your distinctive badge, your zest. Do not regard the resemblance to someone as a plus: this is a MINUS, immediately get rid of everything that can be associated with any hyped (especially fashionable at the moment!) Performer. A lot of people pierce at this stage, and this is the most important thing - after all, everything else will wind on your hit like a spindle!


Order the text from a professional. With this, to be honest, it's hard, but to find a master who will make a memorable, touching text for the finished music and "fish" is still real. Use the net to search, motherfucker!

I want to note that you will have to indicate authorship always and everywhere without fail. Do not try to attribute the material to yourself - remember: almost no consumers look at the authorship, it is enough for them to know which group sings the song. If you look at the real authorship of songs performed by various famous Russian and foreign musicians, you will find a lot of surprises. For example, about a quarter of all American rap is written by a team of five or six people :).

If you don't have enough money, really don't spend it on endless rehearsals and recordings. Work with the dudes to make money, create a group fund and save some amount there every month, if possible - more. If you plan to spend money on yourself, and not on a group, you can forget about success.


Find people who will take on the production of a clip for you - now there are quite a lot of similar offers from various video studios - small and large. At one time, for the amount of 1000 raccoons, the MTV film crew undertook to shoot a video clip on a turnkey basis, with editing and even placement on the air. You need something in this style - without a high-quality video, the team has nothing to catch at all.

Don't be fooled by cheap deals: Lo-Fi clips are no longer in vogue. If they give you some really interesting and original idea that can be implemented with little money - then yes, but in general, put your horn on creating a truly watchable work - otherwise you will spend money, strength and some resource of hope, but the song is just will not be aired, and then what?

Also keep in mind: there are censorship restrictions on TV channels, that is: there should not be murders, naturalistic scenes, explicit sex, realistic garbage dumps, and the like in the frame. If you cant do without this in the video (well, how can you do it! - ed.), then in this case everything needs to be shown as allegorically as possible so that the viewer can think out the rest for himself. Only hints! Remember - Caesar's is Caesar's, and locksmith's is locksmith's: what can be seen in the clip of Prodigy or Rammstein will not necessarily be taken from you.

As a result, you should have a video clip recorded on a cassette of the Beatacam television format (any amateur formats like VHS or SVHS are not taken on TV), and for the archive - the first copy on VHS. You will be able to rewrite this copy in the future, if necessary, for home use and, of course, for distribution to interested parties.


This is the most dreary, but necessary condition: money. In order to interest any label, you must bring money with you for the first time - they themselves will not invest in you ANYTHING, especially at first (and dont spread yourself too much either, artists are really paid a little now). Pieces of five green you need to put aside in the coveted egg, and how you earn them - do not care. Without such a ballast, you can not even try.


And here you are: on the demo CD you have a superbly recorded hit song, on the second CD you have a shitty but still album, and on the videocassette you have a great video for your hit song. Naturally, forget about all the suggestions "leave the material on guard for transfer to the manager Julio Popandopulo" - this is without mazy. Be sure to pass the material from hand to hand to a specific person involved in listening to incoming recordings. Take all contact numbers from him. Call him without hesitation, every day. And best of all, immediately put the question point-blank: "Dude, we have a hit, a video, an album, a non-drinking band played, plus five grand for the initial payment of broadcasts and interviews ... And something else for you personally, if you take care of our question!

From this moment, your ascent to the top of the music charts can begin. But that's a completely, completely different story...


Well, bro, haven't you changed your mind about making music yet? Wasn't it scary? But hundreds and thousands of our comrades in misfortune go through this path, infected with an incurable virus - the desire to create music.

Actually, even Dovlatov wrote: "Creative professions should be avoided if possible. If you can't avoid it, then it's another matter. Then you didn't choose it.


And if you haven't changed your mind, go ahead. Be angrier, more cynical and more confident. Everything is in your hands!

On QuadroDisk, the brought demo discs are glued to the wall as a decoration. They listen to them at Gala Records, but in the end, the cleaning lady takes away the bags full of demos.

No one will go to rock clubs in search of new stars.

No one will look for new names on the Internet.

No one will even listen to your recordings.

We need to act completely differently.

Dude, we've got a hit, a video, an album, five grand for down payment, and a little something extra for you personally if you're really looking into our matter!

In order to quickly and without crap find the right ends, I recommend using the reference book of the Intermedia news agency. This annual publication costs about half a dozen greencuses, includes all sorts of useful information on all branches of show business, and using it you can solve all your problems: find a studio you can afford, invite a string trio or wind quartet to record, unearth a music video maker, ring up all the record labels you are interested in, or simply dig up companies that make CDs. In short: sales department - tel. 248-91-46, address: Moscow, st. m. Arbatskaya, st. Stary Arbat, 35 (Actor's House, in the lane opposite the Turandot fountain), office 565, Intermedia Agency.

Internet addresses of some major record labels

* Art Stars Studio Soyuz

* BMG Russia

* BBB. Records

* Real Records

* S.B.A./Gala Records

* Sony Music

* Studio Monolith

* Universal Music

Phones of some major record labels:

TRIARY: 909-0586 Art. M. Altufyevo.

RECORDS CREAM: 291-7411. Art. m. Arbatskaya.

MONOLITH RECORDS : 719-0255 and 719-0266. m. Academic.

FILI RECORDS: 145-9686 145-9842 and 145-9670. Art. m. Bagrationovskaya.

UNIVERSAL MUSIC: 737-0090 and 737-3327. Art. m. Bagrationovskaya.

GALA RECORDS: 267-0358 and 265-3305. Art. m. Baumanskaya.

FROST RECORDS 267-4434. Art. m. Baumanskaya.

APC RECORDS: 214-0611 Art. m. Belorusskaya.

REAL-RECORDS: 214-4594. Art. m. Belorusskaya.

NEW SOUND: 902-1533 and 407-1974 Art. m. Bibirevo.

MEDIA STAR: 217-9134. Art. M. VDNH.

QUADRO DISC: 107-5194, 452-1782 and 452-5802. Art. m. Water stadium.

ZEKO RECORDS: 454-0039, 454-1459 and 454-3162. Art. m. Water stadium.

VIVA (HRC A. Makarevich): 782-4175 and 240-8743. Art. m. Kyiv.

KNOX Records: 202-6625 and 202-9204. Art. m. Kropotkinskaya.

EXTRAPHONE: 937-5884. Art. metro Rimskaya (Ploshchad Ilyicha).

Bullfinch MUSIC: 257-4061. Art. m. Savelovskaya.

ROFF RECORDS: 210-6561 and 210-0870 Art. m. Timiryazevskaya.

SBI RECORDS : 425-4000 and 761-3043 Art. m. Yasenevo.


Do you play concerts? No money? Is there a little pleasure too? Ah, you hope that one of the bosses of show business will hear you at the concert? Forget it. This is one of the most common misconceptions. NOBODY GOES TO CONCERT in search of new names. The new names fill up the bosses with their CDs and cassettes, and they don't even find time to listen to the first track from the demo CD. You, too, by the way, can follow this path: record a demo with the guys, spending a lot of time, nerves and money on the studio, and then start scattering your discs to record labels. Well, as I said, you will wait for an answer until your gray hair, so I do not advise you to go this way.

In short, leave all hopes for a happy chance and that patience and work will grind everything. Everything needs to be done a little differently...