Published on August 21st, 2014 | by Dylan Lott0
A Sit Down With Daniel Matson of The Home Team
Daniel Matson has seen his share of playing. Having just returned home from a European tour covering the majority of the Eastern continents and countries, he’s a touring veteran and a previous contributor to BandHacks (check out the article he wrote for us about preparing for tour) and he dislikes us only a little bit after all that, so we’re glad to have him back with us for some questions, answers, coffee, and shooting the shit.
DC: You’ve got experience at every level of the circuit, no?
DM: Yeah, I guess.
DC: You just played Russia. Shut the fuck up, you humble bastard.
DM: I’ve done small DIY, pretty successful diy, and now a big time headliner.
DC: Alright, so for the record, let’s hear some about your background. Performing and behind the scenes.
DM: I’ve been playing in bands since 2004, touring since 2009. I’ve played everything from house shows to huge festivals. Some of the bands I’ve toured with include IDOLS, Open Fire, and I Declare War. I’ve managed and booked tours for my own bands, as well as a couple others (Burning Twilight, To The Wind). With the exception of playing arenas, I guess I’ve done most of what you could do as a local musician.
DC: And arenas are next on the list with The Home Team, aren’t they?
DM: Absolutely they are. That’s the goal haha.
DC: At any rate, would you say it’s accurate to say you’ve dealt with all types of promoters, agents and managers alike? For better or for worse.
DM.I’ve seen the best and worst of all three positions haha
DC: Now, what are usually some good warning signs about promoters? These are generally the types that can do the most damage to a tour (besides explosives, what’s up Prestige?), and I’m curious. How long does it usually take you to notice you’re working with a dirty fucking shitbag?
DM: First and foremost, Facebook. It’s SO easy to post things on facebook, that if there’s no event page and you can’t find any advertising on facebook, the show isn’t going to do well. That’s not to say that facebook is everything, but it’s so easy that it’s normally the first step. Second would be how s/he responds. If you don’t get quick responses and it’s hard to get a hold of them, bad news.
DC: Facebook is an interesting point of contention for successful promoters. Now we can’t undermine the importance of social media in music, especially at the DIY level, but what about promoters that drink beer in their underwear and post on Facebook regularly without ever actually telling anyone about their shows? Handshakes and handouts is the idea.
DM: Haha, well would you rather have a guy who’s making an effort or a guy who isn’t. In my experience, the guys who are willing to put in the hours doing handbills ALWAYS make facebook events as well.
DC: That depends, is his effort to put his dick in scene girls haphazardly?
DM: Sounds like some guys I know, haha.
DC: So are you saying the internet isn’t important, or?..
DM: I’ll say this: I’ve never seen a promoter skip the internet and put on a successful show.
DC: Okay, so let’s go a little deeper than that. This is all about how to avoid these fuckbricks. There’s good social media and there’s the bad. What constitutes bad?
DM: Laziness mostly. Not knowing how to get people to actually talk about what you’re doing, failing to make it exciting. Don’t post important information on facebook without a question or a meme attached to it.Sounds ridiculous, but I’ve been using this strategy for over a year now for Idols and The Home Team and it works. If you have a show or an announcement that isn’t really “share” worthy, put a question in the post to get people to talk about it.If you can generate more comments on your status, more people will be able to see it, and that’s how you get people to see the important information. Put a funny picture or a question that gets them to comment
DC: So, Facebook reach mechanics in essence?
DM: Basically. I can post a link to our merch store and get 75 views, or I can post a link while asking “What was the best album of 2013?” and get 3,000.
DC: You just posted a link without a question, you dumb whore.
That statement was totally on the record, I might add. You’re a whore.
DM: Hahaha, it’s different when it’s a video link that people will share and comment/like.
I posted a video for the first time and it’s been getting liked and commented on, so I don’t need the question
DC: So, moving along, before we get caught up in being retarded again (like making a legal document including 200 salmons in your guarantee), let’s talk local promoters. I’m sure you’ve got a rant on these assholes. They’re always assholes. I’m an asshole.
I wanna hear your worst experiences with local promoters. Not just turnout related, but what’s some shit that has happened to you from guys in your locale?
DM: Locally I honestly don’t really deal with promoters. I use in house booking agents or just rent the venue myself because I promote the show and we can make more money. On tour though, my only pet peeve is the word “guarantee.”
DC: So, you’re not delusional. Hopefully that’s apparent after the last couple years of touring.
DM: A TON of promoters use that word without meaning it. I want a promoter to be straight up with me. If they say “I can guarantee you $25,” I expect $25 in my hand when I show up.
DC: I would guarantee you 25 bucks.
DM: Doesn’t matter if there’s 5 or 5,000 people. If we agree on a guarantee, that money should be in my hand when I show up. Do you know how many shows I’ve turned down because a promoter couldn’t offer a guarantee, but said he would promote and gave us a door deal?
DC: I feel like I’ve given you a door deal before. Watchoo tryna say?
DM: The number is 0.I’ve never turned down a promoter who was straight up and said we weren’t worth a guarantee, but he would book the show for a door deal.
Do you know how many shows I’ve had where I was given a “guarantee” that fell through or we didn’t get anything?
Probably 30. And that’s with playing like 40-50 shows a year for the past 6 years
DC: So, one in every 8 events?
DM: At least. Closer to 1 in 5.
DC: Now on a 12 date tour, that’s kind of intimidating. How should bands just hitting the tour circuit prepare for that?
DM: Don’t leave home without money saved in the bank.
DC: Think back to your biggest flop of a tour. How much would you put in the account to be prepared for it if you left today?
DM: I’d collectively have $3,000 between all band members.$600 each isn’t hard to save up.
Quit buying cigarettes and weed, save your money.I never go on tour without having enough money to make sure I can buy a train or plane ticket home if everything goes to shit.
DC: So, you mean to tell me as a musician I’m gonna be broke as fuck and never make money on tour.
DM: Hahaha, I just did a fucking tour to Europe with I Declare War for a month and I made less than I make in a week at home.You have to be HUGE to make any money in this industry.
DC: It’s kind of fun to picture Jamie [Hanks, I Declare War] working in a call center.
DM: I CALLED, YOU FUCKING ANSWERED
DC: Alright, so I feel like this is derailing pretty quick, so I’m gonna move towards a close here. Let’s hear what you have coming up for 2014. Any new Idols shit you wanna premiere onbandhacks.com? No pressure, but if you don’t, we’ll call you rude names on social media networks.
DM: Hahaha. No new Idols shit yet. It’ll be coming by the end of the year. Working on a new EP.
The Home Team is going to write a new album this summer. New single coming in September.
We’ve got tours in July and September.I’m just home working for Naked Juice until October, then we’ll see what happens with the bands haha
DC: Let’s hear about the new material and where you’re touring. What can we expect out of Home Team and Idols? If you say “our new shit is so heavy,” I will punch myself in the balls.
DM: The Home Team is going to be hitting the West Coast into the ground. Touring the same route every 2-3 months to build up a following. The new Idols stuff isn’t heavier, it’s more ignorant.
DC: More ignorant…? Elaborate on that a little, Daniel.
DM: hahaha, simplified stuff. Less chaotic, more controlled and straight to the point
DC: So it’s the new whitechapel record. Got it.
DM: Hahaha, more along the line of Last Ten Stuff like that, with fast deathmetal stuff as always.
I got so good playin the IDW [I Declare War] set every night. New Idols is going to have insane double kick.
DC: Alright, now I’m excited. I’m sure our fan will be excited when he hears about it too. Heartfelt shit time. What do you have for advice to up and coming musicians?
DM: Practice your instrument. Take the time to make sure you KILL your instrument. Nobody wants to see you suck. So if you’re not playing your set perfectly, you shouldn’t be playing shows, and you DEFINITELY shouldn’t be touring.Kill it in your practice space, then bring people out to see you play.
DC: Classy words from a man with an always classy performance. I can dig it. Anything else you want included in this?
DM: Haha, thank you. Listen to The Home Team (Facebook) & @TheHomeTeamNW (Twitter)
Daniel Matson has been touring for the past several years in IDOLS and The Home Team. He’s an occasional contributor to BandHacks. If you liked this article, make sure to follow his band on Twitter