As we promised when we were listing these tips individually, here is the full list of five helpful suggestions for getting yourself on herohill in 2011 and beyond. As with any set of rules, there are always exceptions, but we’d like to think these tips will steer you in the right direction as far as submitting music to us goes. So then, on to the tips:
1. Be Canadian.
No, we’re actually serious about that. We’ve found our niche covering Canadian music and it’s very rare that we stray outside of it. And to be honest, in the 5% or so of non-Canadian posts we do, a lot of them aren’t due to any submission we receive, just things we come across that we like. So, to our non-Canadian friends, feel free to send us your music (and by all means, if you have the loose-est of connections to Canada, please do include it in your message, for a trifecta of reasons: A) it shows you aren’t a PR spambot B) we just enjoy reading those C) we realize everyone has to take a crack somewhere, because despite what what any blog or musical web outlet might give as their criteria for submissions, if you’re going to get anywhere, you have to be a musical Lloyd Christmas. Obviously, a lot of other sites don’t have this same geographical bias, but trust me, it’s always a good idea to start contacting sites in your own backyard first, and then gradually work your way outward as you start gaining some momentum.
2. Have Your Shiz Together.
If you’re going to take the trouble to email a bunch of random people (and this may shock you, but music bloggers may not be the most open-minded & forgiving bunch of folks you’ll come across) your music, please ensure you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s. Most importantly, make sure you’re including a link to a site where we can immediately hear your songs with as little effort as possible (and yes, myspace is dead and/or dying, depending on when you read this, so try Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or something similar). Believe me, I’ve heard other bloggers talk about this, and, as a rule, I think the attention span of the average blogger is way shorter than that of my four year old son. You have a small window there, so make sure you have a decent selection of songs as few clicks away from that email as possible. If you do go ahead and send us your album, do us a couple favours:
First, prepare it properly. Make sure all songs are named & tagged (tagged correctly as well), and then put them, along with your bio/onesheet and the album art, in a zip file and send it via the file sharing service of your choice (yousendit, sendspace, drop.io, whatever works). Seriously, if you don’t know how to do this, learn. Consult someone that does if need be. It is not hard. If you’re looking for a way to get an insta-delete, emailing your un-solicited album attached to 10 separate emails is perhaps the number 1 way.
Secondly, tell us the deal with the album. We are an “mp3 blog” as in “we post songs for people to download”, so when you send us music, please let us know what songs we are allowed to post. We almost never post more than 2 songs from an album, so we won’t put up the whole thing, but let us know what songs are cleared for that purpose. Even if nothing is post-able, let us know, we’ve done streaming songs in the past, an we’ll do it again no doubt.
I realize these things seem fairly straightforward, but the number of submissions we get that don’t adhere to these things is far greater than ones that do.
3. Feel Free to Name Drop.
Yes, in a normal social situation, this is a bad thing, but I mean it more in the sense that it will usually help give us some context when we’re figuring out who you are and what you’re all about. If you are close to, or have worked with, bands we’ve covered before, feel free to mention that. We get a lot of submissions these days, so that kind of thing at least gives us a starting point. While we’re on the subject of context, please ensure your email has some of that. Things like where you are from, your past musical endeavors, past releases, upcoming release or tour dates (especially if you’re coming our way) are all details that will be helpful to us. Sure, it’s hilarious if you simply send us an email with one sentence like “YOU KNOW THE DEAL HOMESKILLET”, but more often then not, that will get you the insta-delete. On the flip-side, don’t overdo the name-dropping. While the fact that the drummer from Platinum Blonde frequents your favorite Tim’s is an awesome anecdote, it’s likely not going to increase your chances of getting on the hill. Well, in theory anyway, we have been swayed by less in the past.
4. Do a Little Homework.
Sure, email and the internet makes everything easy. There is nothing stopping you from simply going on the Hype Machine and emailing every single blog you find on there. I know there is nothing stopping you from doing this, because we get a crap-ton of submissions which essentially say exactly that: “I found your blog on the hype machine, and I think you will love this!”. Why do you think that? We are baffled by most of the people that use that line, as we absolutely do not love about 95% of the stuff sent in that manner. Do you see any other Italian house music on herohill? Why would we love yours? So spend a few minutes on the site and see what kind of acts we cover. Why? Well I know I’ve already said there’s always a chance that we’ll take a random flyer on anyone, but really, the bands and artists we’ve established the best rapport and relationships with usually fit in with what we like. Also, try and get a feel for what kind of posts we do, it’ll make things easier when we don’t respond to your request for an interview or to host your new video via our non-existent herohill video player. And please, if you, or your PR folks, have contacted us previously, just do a quick check to see if we’ve already covered your record. Sure, it’s likely just us bloggers being hyper-sensitive, but there is something off-putting about getting a record review request email that includes a quote from our review of the album. “Hey herohill, have you heard what herohill has to say about this album?!?!” Why yes, yes we have. This happens more than you would think.
5. Don’t Be Mad.
Right, so let’s say you follow tips one through four with exact precision, and we still don’t post on your music. Believe me, this does happen, and it likely will continue to happen. But please be aware that it is not personal, and we cover as much music as we possibly can. But at the end of the day we are but two dudes with a blog. We have full-time jobs, wives, kids, etc and so on. We get lazy, we forget things, we miss things, and in the end, we do end up making some random selections around here - oftentimes we’re like Al Davis in the Raiders war room, high on a cocktail of vermouth and illicit Mexican boner pills, barking out orders to draft another fast WR that no one thinks will be any good. So I guess what I’m saying here is just because we don’t respond or post your stuff, don’t get mad. Feel free to follow up with us - sometimes a gentle reminder is all we need - but also keep in mind that we simply don’t have time to respond to every submission. So try us again, try other blogs, just keep at it. There are plenty of other great sites out there run by people far smarter than I, and you might be just what they are looking for.
There you go, hope it helps!