Advice: Learning The Fine Art Of Patience

Hello and welcome to the final ‘Advice’ column of the week. We have been extremely fortunate to have received several article contributions from bands over the last month, and today we are continuing to share the advice sent our way with all of you thanks to a guest blog from Daniel Lancaster of rising pop rock outfit Stages & Stereos. If you have any questions regarding the content of this blog, or if you would like to learn more information about the services offered by Haulix, please email james@haulix.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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Up to this point, the majority of talent we have asked about contributing ‘Advice’ pieces have given us lists and focused editorials about specific aspects of quote/unquote ‘making it.’ These pieces have been great, and a lot of the content included in them has offered insight we could never have written ourselves, but that does not mean that the only way to be informative is through educational writing. Sometimes, all you need to do in order help someone else is share something about yourself.

When we asked Daniel Lancaster of Stages & Stereos for his advice for other artists on the rise, he decided to switch things up a bit and share with readers a story much more personal than anything we have posted through this column in the past. He’s chosen to look at his own career for this article, and in doing has shed light on what it really takes to build a brand in the current music industry. You can read about how he and his fellow bandmates learned to persevere the highs and lows of life in this music industry below.

If you would like to learn more about Daniel Lancaster and everything going on in the Stages & Stereos camp, we highly recommend taking a few moments to follow the group on Twitter. Additional questions and comments can be left at the end of this post.

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I’m writing you today to share the struggles I’ve faced as a career musician. The high’s and extreme low’s. Victory and defeat. 500 words couldn’t possibly be enough, but I will do my best to summarize.

I remember the first time I ever picked up a microphone with the true intention to sing. Honestly I didn’t want to be a singer in the first place. I would have rather been on a skateboard. I was 15 years old making music with a group of guys who didn’t care about the future or even who played what instrument. No thoughts of finding management, a label, or booking agent. It truly was a beautiful thing even if the music was awful. We were completely ignorant to the idea of “the industry.” What I’ve learned in the past 10 years of making music is that the more success you find as an artist the more complicated things become. It never gets easier. Everything is trial and error. Every decision that you make is important if you want to make a career out of being a musician. I can’t say that I have always made the best decisions, but what I can say is that I wouldn’t change anything. Every bad decision is a learning experience. I am lucky enough to share the same goals and passion with every member of Stages and Stereos. The biggest struggle many bands face is getting along when you’re in a van for months at a time surviving on PB&J’s and the dollar menu. Things can get pretty intense in those situations haha. On top of that you have the political side which can get very intense as well. I find comfort in knowing that when times are tough and all of the doors seem to be closed our team will do whatever we can and have to do to open one.

The industry is a beast of a mountain that sometimes seems impossible to climb. I’ve come to grips with the fact that every star has to align in order to beat the odds. I do believe if you create a brand that you believe in. Make music you love (that translates well to people that buy records and come to shows). Find a way to make that music marketable, and have tons of luck. You can make a dream reality. I’m not even close to the top, but it’s not a struggle if you truly are in love with what you are doing. Overnight success its 10 years of hard work. In my case I’m looking at 15……possibly more.

Daniel Lancaster is a member of Stages & Stereos. When not working on new material in the studio he can be found touring the country.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.