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 our advice on how to construct a band bio that does its job.
In short, the press kit 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.
Press kit band bios need to be brief, which means cutting out the nonsense people will inevitably not care about. Boil your identity down to its essence. A mission, a coalescence of your sound, a key factor that binds you together. It's not easy, I know, but this is your opportunity to catch eyes...so please don't just tell a dumb story. Because you will (hopefully) be listing member's names later in the kit, don't write that Jess loves tacos and Ernie once almost barfed on Lemmy's nephew. Don't talk about your extensive lineup changes; no one cares if Doug isn't in the band anymore. Don't list vague affiliations, or who you opened for, unless they are relevant to your genre and/or someone the reviewer will recognize.
Your press kit bio should be three short paragraphs.
The first is your hook. After you drop info about your band name and where you're from, describe what makes makes you any different than (for example) the other stoner doom bands in your target audience's inbox. Do you bring in elements from various genres? Do you have a specific thematic theme? This is the spot for your (hopefully) unique identity and branding 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 reviewer trying to decide if this is a worthy investment. In fact, I highly recommend being clear about genre categorization and FFO's. Remember, this is a sale, so sell.
The second paragraph should describe how people have reacted to your music. Prior press, if you have it. If not, you NEED to get creative. 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?
And then, in the last 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, and indeed making it more difficult for me (as a reviewer) to do mine.
There's no denyin': as someone deeply embroiled in your band, it is hard look at the big picture and accurately draw out the bits that are most representative. Writing about music is really, really hard. If you have any uncertainty about whether or not your bio works, you need to have someone who isn't in the band look over it. Preferably someone with a solid understanding of copywriting and industry standards. I personally am always willing to be that person, so if you have a question, always feel free to reach out!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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