Singer/Songwriter Jacob Andrew and I were kicking the can around the other day about what he has been up to lately with his bounding music career. We got on to the subject of the local music scene and being a DIY musician. I think the contents of this discussion would relate to just about everybody who has worked hard to get where they are.
“It gets frustrating sometimes putting all of your effort promoting your show and getting people to come out and people for whatever reason don’t want to come or don’t just don’t show up.” he said.
“I’ve played shows in multiple states and cities, and San Antonio is rough. I don’t want to knock on my own city but there is a lack of support in the local scene here.”
This isn’t just in the audience, but with fellow musicians. We see it all the time! You spend hours and hours messaging your friends, putting up fliers, making phone calls, sending texts, spending money on ads to get 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 1,000 people to a local show only to find that your counterparts at the show (be it the promoter or other bands) have done ZILCH and brought ZIP! “I see the other bands bring one or two people and, you know, it’s frustrating because I’ve put a lot of work into it.”
What’s the other side of that though? I mean, we obviously can’t be held responsible for the lack of work that other bands do to get their audience to a show but what happens when you press on through that, take responsibility for your own hard work and continue to kill it (like a boss often does) regardless of whether or not the other bands are going to bring a crowd? Well, basically, you get to open for Anthony Green. “…The owner of the venue that is hosting the show messaged me and said ‘Hey, consider this a thank you’. I didn’t know what he was talking about and then I got a notification on Facebook announcing I had been selected to open up for Anthony Green!“
Okay, maybe that’s just Jacob because, well, he’s the best. But to encourage those that are working really hard to bring people to their shows and getting no reciprocation from fellow musicians, venues, and promoters, keep working hard! As Jacob states, “I have friends in bands that I’ve worked hard to promote their show. If I play shows with them, I work hard to promote it together with them. They realize the effort I put in and they ask me to play more shows with them… if you work hard it definitely pays off!”
Jacob Andrew is no stranger to the ups and downs of working in the local music scene but he has certainly risen above it. Opening up for Anthony Green is one of a myriad of things he’s up to. He recently released his single “Liar, Liar”, is currently writing new music, collaborating with Cady Groves, and has new plans for a 2016 EP. Jacob certainly seems to have created a system that works for him and I expect we’ll only hear more about it as the year comes to a close.
He says more about being a DIY Musician in the local San Antonio scene in our full interview, read more below:
AMN: “Hey man, what’ve you been up to?”
Jacob Andrew: “Uhhh, I guess it’s winter now. But I spent the summer in Colorado and I would go up into the mountains everyday. I would take my guitar and sit and write. I’ve been writing a lot, I’ve got a good batch of songs that I’m working on getting recorded. Life has had some set backs but I’m getting to a point where I’ll be able to get into the studio soon and hopefully get this EP out by 2016.
So been working on new music, and playing new songs in my live set and changing how that goes a little bit too. Really just focusing on my music now.”
AMN: “Still working with Cady Groves?”
Jacob Andrew: “Yeah! I went to the studio with Josh [Flores of Tragus Studio] and we remixed [Glad It’s You] and put some fresh ears to it because it’s been a while since we touched it. We got it finished and I sent it to her and she liked it! Now we just have to figure out how we’re going to go about releasing it.”
AMN: “Do you know when you’ll be releasing it?”
Jacob Andrew: “I want to do it on February 14th which would be the one year anniversary of when the original version of Glad It’s You came out. I haven’t heard from Cady on that though. It’s coming up quickly, we have time but I would need to know pretty soon so I can get things rolling.”
AMN: “What else do you have coming up?”
Jacob Andrew: “I’m playing a few shows coming up here locally. I got selected to open up for Anthony Green in January which is huge! It’s awesome, because, I mean, people love Anthony Green. That will be great for me to play in front of his crowd. It was really cool actually. The owner of the venue that is hosting the show messaged me and said ‘Hey, consider this a thank you’. I didn’t know what he was talking about and then I got a notification on Facebook announcing I had been selected to open up for Anthony Green. He said ‘I really appreciate all of the hard work you do for me and my venue. Your willingness to play any and every show we ask you to whether it’s a huge national touring act or a small local showcase, you always work hard, you always bring people. So this is a reward for your hard work.’ That made me feel really good because I have been focusing a lot on busting my butt and putting all of my effort into music. So it’s nice to know that my hard work paid off a little bit.”
AMN: “That’s awesome!! Let’s expand on that a bit. You’re someone that I know works really hard and has a respect for venues and the hard work they do to give musicians opportunities to play their music. You also have respect for musicians who work hard to get people to those shows and help other musicians gain following by cross promoting to each other’s audiences. Tell me your experience with this both good and bad.”
Jacob Andrew: ” Bad: I see this all the time. I’ve played shows in multiple states and cities, and San Antonio is rough. I don’t want to knock on my own city but there is a lack of support in the local scene here. I’ve tried to put on shows where I spend hours and hours promoting and inviting people, being that annoying guy asking people to come to his show and I work so hard. I see the other bands bring one or two people and you know it’s frustrating because I’ve put a lot of work into it. Then I’ve played other shows where I’ve been asked to play, thinking “okay, I should be able to take it somewhat easy and not have to devote all of my effort into this” and then I’m expected to bring a lot of people. I was asked to play a show for a friend of mine and then he put an expectation on me of needing to sell a certain amount of tickets to his show or he was going to make me pay for any ticket I didn’t sell under that amount.
It gets frustrating sometimes putting all of your effort promoting your show and getting people to come out and people for whatever reason don’t want to come or don’t just don’t show up. But I know that eventually I’m going to get to a point where I don’t have to be the one to promote as hard and those same people I feel like might be begging me for a guest list spot or backstage pass and I can remember back and say ‘well I invited you to my first ever EP release show and you didn’t show up’ or ‘you blew me off every time I invited you to a show or tried to sell you a ticket’ I’m longing for that day.
Good: But there are awesome San Antonio bands out there that I’ve met through playing shows and made friends with them. I can count on them to come to my show. I go to their shows and they come to mine, kind of like a, ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of thing and it’s awesome. I have band friends in Austin like Shadow of Whales that are super supportive of me and friends in Houston that are super supportive of me. So I know if I’m ever in Houston or Austin, I have a select few people I can count on and that’s really cool.
I have friends in bands that I’ve worked hard to promote their show. If I play shows with them, I work hard to promote it together with them. They realize the effort I put in and they ask me to play more shows with them. I had one band that were friends of mine that blew up and went on tour and got signed. They wanted me to open up for them and go on tour with them. Things like that are the upside, if you work hard it definitely pays off and in more ways than one. It’s not just about the show you get to play because you work hard, it’s about making friends, GREAT friends! It’s another great reward.”
AMN: “Liar Liar is your latest track, how’s your fans response been to this?”
Jacob Andrew: “Really good! A lot of people like it. They say it’s catchy and that makes me feel good. It’s just great to hear that people actually like my music.”
AMN: “Do you have any other music you plan to drop soon?”
Jacob Andrew: “I’ve been slowly working on an EP hopefully to come out in 2016. I have got about five songs, potentially one more. I think the songs are really good, it’s definitely a step up from my first EP. I spent a lot of time writing this, the songs are really personal. It’s about things that I’ve needed and wanted to say for so long and I’ve finally been able to put it down into words and write a song about it. I think it’s going to be great.”
Connect with Jacob Andrew on www.facebook.com/thejacobandrew