Monday, December 15, 2014

Open Letter to Club Owners

OPEN LETTER TO CLUB OWNERS:

Dear Club Owner,
      If you are going to run a music venue, then there are a few things you need to do to make it a success for everyone involved:

 1. Pay the musicians! Just like you have to make money to keep your venue running, bands have to make money to sustain themselves. There is equipment to pay for, fuel for the vehicles and oh yeah, they have to eat. I understand that you think all musicians are platinum selling and only play your esteemed venue on Tuesday nights for the fun of it, but the truth of the matter is that most musicians are hard working, dedicated, passionate and well-practiced individuals who are extremely focused on their futures and their craft. Playing Tuesday night's at the local bar/club for free just so you can sell more beer shouldn't be tolerated by anyone. And in any other profession it wouldn't be. Now, if you can't afford to pay the musicians something maybe you shouldn't be hosting live music?

 2. If you are going to have live music at your venue, then do your part to promote it. Don't just leave it up to the bands. They have enough on their plates than to have to worry about doing all the promoting themselves with no help from you. Print some flyers. Post to your social networks. Put flyers with a list of upcoming shows on each table. Update your website on a regular basis. Ask your customers for their email address and in exchange you give them a one time discount on their purchase at your venue (i.e. drinks, food etc). You can then build up an email list that you can send out once a month with a list of upcoming shows. As each show gets closer you send out an email with that week's shows. Be proactive. Don't wait for the customers to visit your website to see who's playing. They won't. If an art gallery has a showing they don't leave it up to the artist to promote the show. The gallery promotes it. Musicians are artists, you are the gallery. If you can't do that, then maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 3. Get a decent sound system. That means get some subwoofers, some monitors, a real mixing board and some actual mains. You see, the better the band sounds, the better the band plays. The better the band plays, the more fun the audience has. The more fun the audience has, the more drinks they buy. The more drinks they buy, the more money you make. And the the more money you make means you can pay the bands. If you don't want to get a better sound system, maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 4. Get a real sound guy! This means someone who actually knows how to run a sound board. Someone that knows what impedance and ohms mean. Someone that doesn't double as the bartender but actually knows how to run a 32 channel board. This means hiring a dedicated sound engineer because YOU know how important it is for the band to sound good (see #3). If you don't want to pay for a dedicated sound engineer, then maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 5. Invest in some lights. No band wants to walk onstage and perform while your house lights are still on. Make it feel like a music venue. Not like the band just walked in from the street and are playing some bedroom somewhere. If you show the music respect then the bands and the fans will show your venue respect. If you don't want to invest in lights, maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 6. For God Sakes, turn off the TVs while the band is performing. There is nothing more disrespectful to a band than to see a bunch of people watching TV while they are performing. It doesn't matter who is onstage. If you have TVs on, people will invariably turn their gaze to the screen. The local news or Duck Dynasty can wait. If you can't respect the bands or the music enough to turn the TVs off, then maybe you shouldn't be hosting live music?

 7. Designate a dedicated merch area for the bands so they can display their merchandise in a professional manner. I'm pretty sure you can allocate a corner or wall where they can set up a table right? And please provide some lighting so people can actually see what the band is selling. All you need is a clip on light just above the merch table. Not only does it help the band but it shows you actually care. If you can't provide a merch area then maybe you shouldn't be hosting live music?

 8. Okay we know not all venues are big enough for a stage, but for those that are, build a proper stage for the band. That doesn't mean just throw some plywood on 2x4s and calling it a day. That means making sure that there are plenty of electrical outlets around the stage so everyone can plug their equipment in and not blow a circuit because now you have a 250 watt bass amp sharing the same circuit as the lighting and the subwoofers (that is if you've installed them). If you don't want to install or build a proper stage then maybe you shouldn't be hosting live music?

 9. Stop telling the band that playing your bar or club is good exposure for them and then turn around and tell them they have to bring 100 people. If it were good exposure for them then YOU would be providing the exposure not the band. So if you don't want tp pay the band then YOU provide the audience. That's only fair right? That means you promote, you advertise, you bring the crowd. Then the band can sell their merch and you wouldn't have to pay them because you provided the exposure. But that's not how it works is it? No it isn't. So how about if you are expecting them to bring the crowd so you can sell them alcohol, then you pay the band. No ifs. Ands. Or buts! How is the band bringing their fans providing good exposure for them? It's not. What it's actually doing is providing exposure for YOUR venue. You get free publicity out of the band and don't even give them a cut of the bar? Shame on you. If you can't stop taking advantage of musicians, maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 10. Update your website with ALL the bands that are performing each show not just the headliners. It takes 30 seconds to update a website and list all the bands. This not only helps the fans of the opening bands know where their favorite band is playing but it makes the opening band feel like you actually give a damn about the music and the band. Also, a website consists of digital text. That means you can include as much text as you want on a page. That means you can include the bio of every band that is going to play your venue on your website. Websites aren't like print. You don't have to pay per word. This isn't 1846. If you can't update your website then maybe you shouldn't host live music?

11. Give the bands proper sound checks. That means letting them run through a song or two BEFORE the audience is in the venue. If you have to let the bands get to your venue a couple hours early then so be it. If it means that the sound is going to be better, then isn't that a good thing? You as a club owner should want only the best for your venue, bands and patrons. This is a great place to start. Yes we know your "sound engineer" doesn't want to get there early for soundcheck because he stayed out late partying with his buds, but that's his job and it's your job to make sure he shows up on time (see #4). If you can't give the bands a proper sound check, then maybe you shouldn't be hosting live music?

 12. Stop treating touring bands like they just drove around the corner to get to your venue. Touring bands drive thousands of miles to get to your esteemed venue and most of the time you are not the first venue on their stop. That means they've been sitting in a van for hours upon hours and the last thing they need is attitude from venue employees who are disgruntled because they have to play a Tuesday night for a show that barely anyone will be at because you didn't bother to print flyers, update your website or social networks. Touring bands can only do so much promoting while on the road. Sure they can update social networks and websites from their smart phones but you are right there in town. You can tell everyone in your venue about the amazing band on tour that you've got coming to play your venue! Imagine how successful each show would be if that happened. If you can't stop giving the bands attitude, then maybe you shouldn't be hosting live music?

 13. (this one is for the bands) Stop walking into the venue like you are the greatest musicians on the planet. You don't own the place and unless you're selling out the local arena, keep your attitude in check. You are a musician and your job is to play your music and entertain the audience. Yes, we understand that you are tired from your long drive, you are hungry, you're broke, you're mad because your girlfriend put too much starch in your jeans etc etc. but you are not God. Don't slam the venue's microphones onto the stage. If you want to do that bring your own. Don't smash their monitors if you can't pay to replace them. They aren't yours. Don't get wasted before a show. That's so cliched and this isn't the 70's. Stop being a stereotype of what people think musicians are. You are a creative individual. Act like it. Don't act like some spoiled little kid. Your audience deserves better. If you can't conduct yourself in a professional manner that the music and the fans deserve, then maybe you shouldn't be playing live music?

 14. (Back to the club owners) If you have a marquee outside then list the bands (all of them) that will be playing that night. The show you have coming up in a month can wait. This is another way you as a club owner can help promote live music and make your venue a live music destination. Marquees are a great form of advertisement and most venues have them. Use them the way they should be used not just to advertise cold beer. If you can't update your marquee, maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 15. End pay to play! This is a scam started in Los Angeles and benefits no one but you, the club owner. Asking a band to sell 250 tickets to your venue on a Monday night and keeping 75% of the money is a disgrace and a slap in the face to the musicians. You tell the bands that if they can sell 250 tickets on a Monday then you'll give them a Friday or Saturday night? You would be hard-pressed to find any local band that could sell 100 tickets let alone 250 on a Monday night. And again, you do no promoting. If you are going to demand pay to play, then we as musicians demand you take out radio ads on your local station. Why would you do that you say? Because if we have to pay to play then so should you. You want us to guarantee how many people we are going to bring through your door but you guarantee us nothing. Even if people buy tickets they don't always come. That's the nature of society. If you aren't going to stop pay to play then maybe you shouldn't host live music?

 You see Mr/Mrs Club Owner, the live music business could be a much better place if the musicians didn't feel like they were being taken advantage of every time they walked into a venue. Of course not every venue is like this. And not every cub owner is either. There are many owners and promoters that truly care about the bands because they know the bands are the life blood of their venue. Take away live music and you have a couple of salty dogs sitting around your bar on a Friday night. Bring in live music and you have a couple hundred people buying drinks and eating food and coming back again and again.

 The musical landscape has changed over the last decade and most people download their music and no longer buy physical CDs. They no longer hold a tangible product in their hands. Live music is the one tangible item that music fans can experience the way the artist intended it. That feeling of their favorite band standing feet away from them performing their craft to their highest ability. All those years of practice and rehearsals all culminate into that one stage performance at your venue. In one night, venue, band and fans all come together to experience music in its purest and rawest form. The excitement is palpable and like no other feeling in the world. That will never be replaced by digital downloads, YouTube or any other online format. Music is a living breathing entity that excites the soul. We as humans have a right to make sure that experience never goes away. And you, as a club owner have the opportunity to cultivate it.

Sincerely,

Bill Lonero
LoNero
Guitarist, Music Fan, Human Being

Monday, November 10, 2014

US Tour Was Amazing!

Our U.S. Tour with Tony MacAlpine was amazing!!! Had such a great time meeting new people and fans and playing our music to a whole new fan base! Every city had something unique to offer and the people were amazing! Thank you to everyone that made our tour such a success! We look forward to seeing all of you again!!


Thursday, July 03, 2014

LoNero East Coast/Midwest Tour w/Tony MacAlpine

LoNero are excited to announce that we will be heading out on tour with guitar legend Tony MacAlpine. The following are confirmed dates and more will be added soon. This is our first East coast/Midwest tour and we really hope to see all of you that are our there at a show. We will be playing songs from our upcoming CD "The Defiant Machine" and from our past CDs as well. We hope you will join us and Tony MacAlpine for an evening of great music!

October 10, 2014 - Chicago, IL - Reggies
October 11, 2014 - Westland MI - Token Lounge
October 14, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
October 19, 2014 - Washington, DC - Jammin' Java
October 20, 2014 - Raleigh, NC - The Pour House

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NEW SONG PREVIEW: "The Burning of Ideals"

video
NEW SONG PREVIEW: Check out this clip of LoNero drummer Marco Bicca laying down some grooves on a brand new song called "The Burning of Ideals".

Friday, February 14, 2014

Recording Update

The new CD "The Defiant Machine" is coming along great! Here is a video of Bill Lonero recording the chorus for a song called "Perception".

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NEW GUITARIST

LoNero has parted with our guitarist Brandon Hayes. Brandon wanted to pursue other avenues and we wish him nothing but the best. He has been an amazing part of LoNero for four years and his contributions have been great! We are sure you'll hear him on a song or two in the future.

 Please help us welcome our new guitarist James Manalili. James is a very accomplished guitarist with some amazing chops. We auditioned and spoke with quite a few guitarists but none of them quite measured up. James exceeded all of them. We are looking forward to hearing what he brings to LoNero.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

NEW SONG DEBUT! "DEFIANT"

Here is a BRAND NEW song called "Defiant" from our upcoming CD "The Defiant Machine" This is unlike anything we've recorded before. But we wouldn't have it any other way!
https://soundcloud.com/lonero/defiant-from-loneros-upcoming

Written by Bill Lonero

Guitars: Bill Lonero
Drums: Marco Bicca
Bass: Mike McKaigg
Synths: Written by Bill Lonero/Performed by: Neemias Teixeira


Monday, July 22, 2013

So you think music should be free huh?

So you think music should be free huh? Okay. But before I give you my music let me lay out what it takes to create an independent album and put it to market. Oh and I'm not telling you this to impress you. I'm telling you this to impress upon you the value of music and the value of musicians. If you agree please share this.

Let's start with the conception of a song. How does it start? Well for me it starts with a riff. Once a riff is in my head I grab my guitar (which I paid $1,800 for) and plug into my amp ($3,500) and start to work on it. I try to get it as close as I can to what I hear. This can take anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple days (depending on the complexity of the riff). Once I have the riff down I turn on my computer (which I paid about $1,700 for) and open up my recording software which cost me $700. I start by setting up a click track (metronome) that I can play along to. Sometimes I'll spend hours just playing a riff over and over until it seems like it naturally has a place to go. Once I have the intro riff I'll work on a verse. This can take another few hours. Have to make sure they fit together. It's like a puzzle. The wrong piece in the wrong place will make the whole song sound bad. So far I've spent about two days at around 12-14 hours a day just on these two riffs. Once I'm satisfied that I have a solid foundation to work with I can now focus on the overall feel of the song. Now it's time to work on the chorus, maybe a bridge, solo section etc. This whole process can take weeks to get right as the song has to naturally flow. Once I get this I will write a drum track to play along to. Using my drum software that costs $600 I spend hours creating the right drum beats. The drums are very important to a song as they "drive it". 

Once the rhythmic structure is recorded it's now time to work on the melodies. These are the vocals of the song. This has to tell a story and engage the listener. The melody can take longer than the song itself sometimes. This process can take weeks of just playing the same song over and over until the melody is just right. Once the melody and solo sections are done it's now time to rehearse the song with the band. 

My drummer will count off 1,2,3,4 on his $15,000 drum kit (all those cymbals, stands, drums, throne, sticks are sold separately). My other guitar player will start playing along on his $2,500 guitar and $1,500 amp. My bass player will join in on his $3,000 bass and $1,200 amp. We will rehearse this one song over and over for hours trying to get it right. Maybe tweaking it here and there so it sounds perfect. I may add in some effects using pedals. My wah pedal cost $250. My delay $125. My phaser pedal $135. That's just a few. Sometimes you need to add "flavor" to a song just like you would add spices to a meal. That's what pedals do. 

So we've rehearsed the song and we've got it down. Now what? Well now we do it about 15 more times to create the other songs for the album. This whole process can take a year of 10-12 hour days. Constant writing and rewriting. Constant rehearsals. Constantly having to replace gear and spend more money on things that break. 

Now it's time to record the CD. Studio rental can cost about $150 to $200 per day ($1,500-$2,000). That doesn't include the producer. That can cost about $10,000 just for him. The right producer can make or break a cd. Have to make sure he knows what he's doing. If you're really prepared you can get in and out of the studio in about 10 days. After recording it you have to mix it which can cost another $2,000-$3,000 dollars. Once it's mixed it has to be mastered. This is the process that brings it all together and makes the CD sound "BIG". Mastering is usually about $100 to $150 per song. So a ten song CD will cost about $1,500 to master. 

Almost time to release the CD but first we have to have album artwork. I'll usually start by opening up Photoshop ($700) and playing around with some ideas. Usually this will be about 7 hours a day until I really hit upon something. Once I do I will spend upwards of 15 hours a day working on the artwork. Usually will take about 10 days to finish the artwork for the cd. This includes all the outside and inside art. Also have to compile a list of "thank yous" for the liner notes as well as who did what on the cd. Once the artwork is done we need new promo photos. We will either go down to L.A. to shoot the photos or have a photographer come in. This expense can either be free or upwards of a few thousand dollars. Travel down to L.A. can cost about $600 with food, fuel and hotel. 

Okay artwork and photos are done. Now what? Well we have to print the CDs. 1,000 CDs printed full color will cost around $2,500. This process of printing the CDs takes about three weeks. There are a lot of proofs sent back and forth to the duplicators and a lot of phone calls to iron out details. CDs finally show up and they look great. 

Now it's time to do some promo. This involves interviews (which means hours on the phone and emailing answers for email interviews). Just getting an interview to begin with is a task in itself. But with a lot of perseverance it can happen. 

Now we need merch. You know those really cool tshirts you see at shows. These have to be designed and yep, you got it...that means more hours I'll be sitting up late into the night designing. Once the design is done it's time to get these made. At $5.75 per shirt and 100 pieces that's $575. If we can sell these at shows for $15 each we can make a profit of $925!! Hallejulah! A profit! Of course that's just an illusion as this money will go back into the band for touring expenses which you'll see below. By the way, we save a lot of money by me doing the artwork and design as well as the website designs. However most bands don't have that luxury of being able to do it all themselves so they have to pay thousands more to someone else to do it for them.

Now that the cd is done it's time to promote it by playing live. This usually means playing clubs where the venue doesn't want to pay you because as far as their concerned, playing their little hole in the wall venue on some backstreet in the middle of nowhere is "good exposure for you. Going on tour is about spending money. Lots of money. First, there's the van rental. At around $95 per day and for the sake of simplicity lets say a 30 day tour. That's $2,850 just for the van. Fuel costs about $3.85 per gallon and a typical van has a 33 gallon tank. That's $127.05 to fill it up. At 12 miles to the gallon we'll get about 396 miles out of one tank. A tour of 30 days/7,000 miles will costs in fuel roughly $2,245.83. This is a rough estimate of course. Now there's hotel rooms for the band. These prices vary considerably depending on where we are but let's say the average is about $85 a night. Two people per room comes out to $170 per night for four people. That's $5,100 for a 30 day tour. Food for each person per day is about $20. That's $80 per day for four people. That comes out to $2,400. You usually don't get out of the venue until 12 or 1am sometimes which means you either have to drive late into the night to get to the venue the next day or you have to wake up really really early and drive to the venue as fast as you can. Days off are few and far between as you need to maximize your time on tour. Down days mean no merch to sell. So it's onward and upward young man. Go forth and prosper. (whoever said that was never in a band). 

So let's break this down:

Equipment:
Guitars, amps, pedals, drums, recording software, computer Total = $32,010 (this is a one time purchase. These are not purchases that need to be made every album)

Recording Album:
Studio = $2,000
Producer = $10,000
Mixing = $3,000
Mastering = $1,500 
Total = $16,500

CD artwork:
Photoshop = $700
Photos =$600
Total = $1,300

Merch:
Tshirts =$575

Touring (30 days):
Van Rental = $2,850
Fuel = $2,245.83
Hotel = $5,100
Food = $2,400
Total = $12,595.83

So for the average independent band that puts out an album on their own it costs roughly $65,480. 83 to create an album, release it, promote it and tour. These are conservative estimates. For some bands depending on where they are located the prices can be even higher. I haven't even calculated the time involved or the emotional toll all of this can be on a musicians family. The long hours away from home. The financial burden. At this point it's moot.  Musicians do this because they love it! They are passionate about music and performing. Next time you're at work (maybe right now), take a look at your coworkers. They are getting paid to be there. Are they passionate about their jobs? Probably not. Most aren't. Musicians are and most of them do it for free and never see a profit. Don't take advantage of them by thinking music is disposable and asking them to give you their music for free. It is not disposable! It is as viable as any other industry out there and in most circumstances even more viable. You see, most people can live without a flat screen tv or a iPod or iPhone. Most people can live without a Big Mac. But most people can't live without music. Music is what makes this world dance. It's what makes this world sing. It's what makes this world move. It's what makes this world happy. 

And to think some musicians have the audacity to think they should get paid. What nerve! 

Thank you
- Bill Lonero. Proud independent musician



Tuesday, July 09, 2013

LoNero with Gary Hoey

LoNero August 1st 2013 with Gary Hoey

Also on the bill are:
Eric Beard
Michael Cosyns
Points North

We will be debuting some new songs from our next CD "Defiant". This will be a great show with a great lineup!


Advanced tickets $10 (Tickets will be available at Will Call. Make sure the name you purchase with is the name you will be using at Will Call OR please include the name of the person picking the tickets up at checkout)



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fair Compensation to Musicians

ATTENTION ARTISTS:
It is time you stand up for your rights as a musician. For years venues, booking agents, promoters, streaming services etc have been walking all over you telling you lies! They tell you that "playing our venue doesn't pay but it's good exposure". They pay you fractions of a penny to stream your music while generating millions in revenue for themselves. They expect you to do all the hard work and promote the shows at their venue while they do nothing!!

In fact without YOU they are NOTHING!! You as a musician must take more pride and place more value on your life's work. You are not just a musician. You are a creator of something that brings joy to other people. No longer sit back as others take advantage of your work. DEMAND fair compensation for your work just as any other profession would! Get the word out to other musicians! Hold a meeting and tell them we must all stick together.

ATTENTION FANS:
It is YOUR duty as a fan of music to support those that bust their ass day in and day out to bring you the music you love. Bands are being taken advantage of every single day by the very venues you visit to hear your favorite music. Boycott those venues and demand they pay the artists fair compensation. Boycott those streaming services that pay fractions of a penny. It is time VALUE is put back on the music and the musicians that work so hard doing what they love.

We as musicians can not do it without you. We must all stand together and make our voices heard.

Please share this as many places as you can. Thank you

Saturday, April 27, 2013

LoNero and Blue Mouth Promotions!

Everyone in LoNero are very proud to announce that we have joined with Blue Mouth Promotions, LLC to handle all of our booking. BMP's current roster includes The Aristocrats (with Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller and Marco Minneman), Mike Keneally, OHM (with Chris Poland), Freak Kitchen (with Mattias IA EcklundH), Neil Zaza and more. We are really looking forward to what the future holds for us with BMP. Their proven track record and roster of some of the greatest musicians in rock have proved we made the right choice. BMP puts the music and musician first. Integrity is paramount to their business model. www.BlueMouthPromotions.com

Blue Mouth Promotions, LLC (BMP), wants to get an idea from you, our fans, about the best places for bands to play in your area. Sorry, this doesn’t guarantee we’ll be playing in your backyard next time we’re out but if we can help BMP identify great venues and contacts they’ll have the potential to send some fantastic bands your way. We can’t think of any better way to find the best places than to see where you go to listen to music!


Not all venues are right, so here’s what we’re looking for:
1. Venues with approximately 150-400 person capacity

2. Great sound system and sound guy

3. THE place to play in town, even if it’s not quite as described above

4. Links and contact person/number at the venue if you know anyone there

5. City and State of venue

Please reply directly to BMP at lonero@bluemouthpromo.com. They’ll gratefully look into all your suggestions.

Thanks for your help! Hope we see you next time! Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guitar Playing Essentials

Top 10 skills all guitar players should know:

1. Learn to bend in key
2. Develop a good vibrato
3. Learn to play rhythm
4. There's more to guitar playing than arpeggios
5. Learn to play with others
6. Learn to improvise
7. Learn multiple styles
8. Get out of the bedroom and play live
9. Learn scales and modes
10. Play from the heart

Monday, February 04, 2013

Bill Lonero Clinic

Tomorrow (Tuesday Feb. 5th) Bill Lonero will be doing a special clinic at King Amplification in Santa Clara, CA. It will also be a sort of drop in guitar lesson where Bill will do some individual instructions as well. Bill will be discussing playing techniques, playing live, touring, recording, effects and more. There will be a giveaway of some Jim Dunlop Guitar Products (Strings/Guitar Picks). This event will be from 4-7pm. So stop on by. There will be free refreshments as well. King Amplification is located at 2395 De La Cruz Blvd, Santa Clara, CA. (408) 496-6000

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dunlop Artist Page

Check out the new Bill Lonero Dunlop artist page. Dunlop has always been a great company with fantastic products and people. Bill has been a long time user of Dunlop products and is proud to be a part of the Dunlop family! Check out this page to see what great Dunlop products Bill Lonero uses. http://www.jimdunlop.com/artist/bill-lonero