This whole Tone Mob project has been a seriously wild ride! I’ve been so fortunate to meet all these awesome new people, and listen to stories from all these incredible builders.
There is one story however, that is really sticking in my craw, so to speak. A story I keep hearing over and over and over again from nearly EVERY company I’ve talked too. It’s a story that I am beginning to experience myself in a slightly different way, and it makes me insane that this exists.
For some reason, there are many, many individuals who think that because they are in a band, they should get free gear.
I mean, it’s just good logic right?
After all, your band plays twice a month at Vickie’s World Famous House of Grits n Grease. And there are, like totally, 17 people in the audience. Plus, you guys have been playing out for like 6 months, and have a rock solid fan base. It’s your Grandmother and that one really cool Aunt, but still, a fan’s a fan.
You might even have 74.5 followers on social media, and 7 downloads on Soundcloud. You may have not been at it very long, but you’ve got passion! And music is your life bro!
It’s just good, sound, scientifically proven fact that if you are bestowed with a free overdrive pedal, that your adoring audience will rush out and buy them by the fistful to achieve your magical, mysterious toanz.
It sounds insane, but the guys running these companies get this kind of idiotic request on an almost daily basis. So if you are that guy, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Also, while your at it, aim your face at the nearest wall and run full speed.
And no, requesting “artist pricing” isn’t much of an improvement. You should know very well if you qualify for artist pricing or not. A good rule of thumb is:
If you have to ask, then the answer is no.
Once you achieve a certain level in your musical career, you will receive artist pricing/free gear automatically. Builders will already be aware of your work, and will be eager to get their pedal/amp/guitar/kazoo in your hand, and in front of your audience.
Despite whatever delusions you may have about the gear industry, the fact is that most companies are very small businesses. They need every sale to continue to produce products and take care of their employees. Even the biggest names in the “boutique” gear business are technically small in the grand scheme of things.
So, to wrap up this little rant, KNOCK IT OFF! No, you can’t have free gear. Go back to your Mom’s basement, and drown your sorrows in Flaming Hot Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
(Friends don’t let friends be sleezebags. Feel free to share this with any moron that needs to read it.)