What does an unsigned band do to stay active in 2021 during a lockdown?

Underwing header photo

When looking back on the year 2020, one can’t help but wonder what bands/artists do to stay active while facing the current pandemic. While concerts are currently on a hiatus, there’s not much to do for an unsigned band that wants to expand their audience, is there?

Sure, many have found that a long needed break from everyday hectic life have sparked a creative flame inside, which results in great music – but how do you play shows to promote your music when you can’t play shows? 

Pre-save Underwing Spotify

Pre-save “I Am The Sun” (Live from Lockdown Sessions) on Spotify

So what did WE do?

Well, for the first two months we were super ambitious, thinking that this virus thingy wouldn’t impact the world in any significant way. Then it kinda hit us (it probably did hit us before two months in, but we’re a little slow sometimes), and what was usually a very hectic schedule for the band suddenly lost all momentum and we were faced with what many other bands/artists also had to deal with; time to reflect.

We’ve always been very frequent with our social media updates, it’s weird sometimes but it’s what you got to do these days to get people to notice you. You have to scream for people’s attention, and boy have we been experimenting with different styles of content. Like this one, for example:

And while all of our James Corden-inspired adventures have been GREAT fun, and the memories associated with them will stick with us for a lifetime – we felt that all these escapades drew the attention away from what mattered the most all along, you guessed it, the music.

Back to the pandemic outbreak

When shit hit the fan, first we had a tour to cancel. Sadly, many of these venues have since had to temporarily close or shut down for good. It’s really sad to see, because this isn’t just your local pubs that host live music every Friday..no it affects EVERYONE. Everyone from Madison Square Garden to the biggest festivals, to the local sound engineer who makes his honest living working as a freelancer at various events around the area, to the people who struggle with mental health issues (like us!) and use music as a medium to transmute inner demons into..something more manageable. THESE DAYS SUCK – and that’s okay to say. It’s not all doom and gloom, and there is definitely many wholesome moments each day if you maintain that perspective. But for aspiring musicians relying on spreading our name by playing concerts in front of as many people as possible, and this no longer being a realistic goal, we’ve had to improvise.

We were contacted by Arendal Live, a newly established initiative to be able to stream concerts in Arendal on an international level via Tikkio, and they wanted us to play a show..

After a lot of discussions about how to do this the most optimal way, we landed on the date 21st of November, 2020. After some more brainstorming we landed on the name “Lockdown Sessions” for the concept. The next two or three weeks were really hectic in regards to planning it all, creating ads for Facebook, practicing the songs (we were a bit rusty, to say the least😅).

When the day arrived we all met up at Bankgården, which is the same venue that we played when we released our second EP “Spirals” back in the summer of 2019, located in the heart of Arendal. It was really strange coming back to do a show in a place where we had previously torn down the walls, with the good help of 100+ dedicated fans who were sweating and hugging each other while singing along to our songs, and now we couldn’t even properly greet the people who were working on the production, and had to maintain social distancing etc.

So what exactly does an unsigned band like us do during the lockdown, besides writing songs and watch old re-runs of Metalocalypse?

Well, you could repurpose content, which is basically just finding a reason to post something you’ve posted before – just like we’ve done twice during this blog post already 😏

Click here to read a great article about 20 creative ways to repurpose your content, from Hubspot

We have decided to release Lockdown Sessions as a live album on Spotify, dropping one new song + pro-shot video every Friday from the 12th of February till April 23rd!

Now, the thing with this busy instant-gratification-algorithmically-never-ending world that the internet has come to, our efforts in regards to views, likes, shares etc. really means the world to us as an unsigned band, so that we can show the big sharks (Spotify, YouTube – we’re talking about you!) that we can generate some serious hype 😏🦋 That’s where YOU guys come in!

If you pre-save the songs and follow us on Spotifythe song will appear on your “Release Radar” playlist, which is one of Spotify’s own editorial playlists tailored for the music that YOU like to listen to. And you’ll always stay in the loop when we release new music – and that’s pretty cool, too!

Pre-save Paragon on Spotify

 

 

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