Marketing Tip: Does Size Matter?
Now more than ever, bands need to be thinking about their marketing edge before they start making music, for most bands unfortunately. Hands down, if you’re good, you’re good, but look at the landscape of indie/DIY music, and a lot of bands have a shtick or a gimmick to make them stand out, i.e. Insane Clown Posse, Atlas Sound, Crispy on the Mic, etc. This doesn’t mean every band looking to make an impact has to dress like a chicken or strictly rap about potatoes; sometimes the size is all it comes down to.
Music Think Tank argues that it either comes down to having a really small band, 1 or 2, or a really big band, 8+. Arguably, when you think about the small bands, it’s really the girl-boy duo (Phantogram, Purity Ring, Handsome Furs, We Are the Wilderness etc) that’s really hot, but that doesn’t really make a difference if you can’t play a lick. Same goes for the super bands like Broken Social Scene or Arcade Fire, so you can’t say size really makes that much of a difference. What makes more of a difference is the presentation; band themes, color coordination, instrumentation, politics at hand, fashion sense, etc. The abundance of two-piece bands mostly has to do with the saturation of synth-pop anyway.
What the article is really saying is the average 4-piece band has been done before and looks average at first glimpse, but a two-piece or an 8-piece might garner a second look. Is it valid? Barely, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.