Here's a common (and very legitimate) question: “what goes in my press kit band bio?” We here at the Sleeping Village enjoy receiving a solid bio, but, beyond that, we enjoy when bands handling their own PR maximize their potential. As such, here's a template and some advice on how to construct a band bio that does its job. A .doc and PDF download are available at the bottom!
In short, the band bio serves two major purposes:
A. introducing your band in a succinct but curiosity-inducing fashion, and
B. providing useful and necessary info to the reviewer/label/distributor/PR firm/etc.
[Insert Album Title]
[Distributor/Label, if applicable]
This first paragraph is your hook. Boil your identity down to its essence. A mission, a coalescence of your sound, a key factor that binds you together. Because you will be listing member's names later in the EPK, don't talk about your extensive lineup changes; no one cares. After you drop info about your band name and where you're from, describe what makes you any different than the many other bands in your target audience's inbox. Do you bring in elements from various genres? Do you have a specific thematic angle? This is the spot for your unique identity to shine. Indeed, if a reviewer opens your press kit and is able to get a feel for your band within reading the first paragraph before even listening to the music, you are doing something right. That said, if you want to throw in bands you sound like/are influenced by, go right ahead--this is very helpful for a discerning audience trying to decide if this is a worthy investment. In fact, I highly recommend being clear about genre categorization and FFO's.
The second paragraph? This bad boy should describe how people have reacted to your music. Prior press, if you have it. If not, you gotta get creative. For example, choice Bandcamp or YouTube comments can be employed. If you are totally new on the scene and don't have previous press or reactions, use this space to talk about your objective. What are you trying to do or accomplish? If you have any affiliations with (ACTUALLY) well-known bands, or if you opened for someone big, that info can go here. That said, it is only worth including if said band(s) are relevant to your genre and/or someone the target audience will recognize.
And then, in the third paragraph, describe what you are submitting. Is this your first effort? Is this a new direction? An affirmation of your established core sound? Most importantly: what will listening to this release do for the reviewer and their audience? Throughout this entire process, remember to maintain consistent branding. If your brand isn't displayed across the breadth of your bio, it's not doing its job. This bio is your opportunity to catch eyes, and, more importantly, ears. Ultimately, the hardest part of writing this damn thing is the last sentence, but if you tie it back to your first paragraph by using similar verbiage, you’ll be golden.
Praise for BAND NAME’s prior releases (if applicable):
“Hey, here’s something nice someone said about your band. 8/10” - Link to Source
“Another nice thing someone said about your band! Yet another piece of valuable social proof.” - Link to Source
“Those other comments were nice, but this comment about your band is fuckin’ awesome! If someone unrelated to your band read this comment, they may very well decide to give your album a listen.” - Link to Source
[Insert Album Title] Tracklist:
1. The first track
2. The second track
3. You get the point
Band Name is:
Person #1 (lead guitar/vocals)
Person #2 (second lead guitar)
Person #3 (third lead guitarist, second vocalist)
Person #4 (prince of percussion)
Band Name can be found:
Short paragraph bio:
This is effectively the first paragraph of the full bio, perhaps trimmed down to be slightly more succinct, with a sentence at the end discussing your forthcoming release, if applicable. This bio is for use in situations where the big guy doesn’t make sense--if, or example, a site asks for info about the band to go along with an interview or press release, this can be used. This can also be applicable in the case of Spotify bios, Facebook “About” pages, and so on.
This is a super succinct version of your short bio, for use in taglines and social media bios. Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, etc. are all good places to use this thing. Keep it consistent across the board.
Or, if you want someone else to write this for you instead, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
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