Making connections through out the music industry is one of my favorite parts of running Indie Band Guru. There are many of us that are in to truly help the artists. So much great music is out there undiscovered. We stick together to share what needs to be heard. Our friend Eric Walden has been through many parts of the industry like I have.
We had the chance to chat with Eric about his coming up in music and his newest project By The Barricade. Enjoy the interview here:
What first drew you to the music and marketing industries?
I saw a lot of bands with great music that wasn’t being heard outside of their hometown. We had started a website called By The Barricade to spotlight aspiring bands and a record label was a great way to put our money where our mouth was. Social media was really saturated with music so our team was forced to find creative ways to get the word out. I really enjoyed the challenge and connecting people with new music.
How would you describe your musical growth through the years?
Originally the website only covered news and interviews but we were too dependent on social media algorithms to keep sustained viewers. The label was started so we could make some money and hire a bigger team but most albums (even with major labels) take several years to break even.
After releasing some albums covid took us over the edge and put everything on hiatus. Luckily the original website has been able to bounce back after a pivot to music education. We’re started writing articles like “how songwriters sell their lyrics” and “differences between a manager and a record label”. That’s been our main focus for over a year now and readers seem to really appreciate it.
Your label Awfully Good Records has discovered some great artists. How does a band catch your attention?
Effort and communication are both key for me. Bands that have spent some time in a studio or booked their first tour seem to appreciate the support we offer a lot more. There have been some great bands that fell off my radar because they refused to use email. I’m pretty accommodating when it comes to communication on Facebook or whatever but ignoring emails is a deal breaker. If I can’t trust that they’ll communicate professionally and promptly to the connections we help foster it’s probably not a good fit.
Check out one of Awfully Good Records bands Firing All Cylinders
You have been in the scene for quite a while. What continues to drive you?
The people I’ve met keep me going. I consider a lot of band members and music fans good friends. I talk to some of them more than some family members. Someone said “friends are the family you choose” and that saying has held true. Mine just headbang a lot more than normal.
In what ways do you hope to help the underground music industry?
I still want to cover occasional news and interviews on the site but our main focus is giving bands the resources to get started. Those first few steps like booking your first gig, finding a solid studio, and booking their first tour all require a lot of googling. We write articles to make sure the answers they find are correct, complete, and easy to understand.
What is the most common mistake you see up and coming bands making?
Buying fake followers or Spotify listeners is a big one. It may help in the short term but KILLS growth over time. It’s really hard to undo those mistakes five years down the road when it’s finally time for the bands to start talking to managers and labels. Most big companies (even indie labels) can see right through it and I’ve seen those early choices destroy potential deals.
What does the future hold for By The Barricade?
We’re getting prepped to FINALLY start a YouTube channel so keep your eyes peeled. There’s no solid launch date yet but the team and I are really excited to start talking about music in front of a camera instead of just behind a keyboard.
Thanks a ton for the interview, I really enjoyed it!
Keep up with more from By The Barricade HERE.