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Does your band have a mission?

December 22, 2011

Every organization has a mission, or purpose, or reason for being, whether stated publicly or not – your band is no exception.  Do you recognize your band’s mission?  And more importantly, do you know how to leverage this mission for the benefit of the band?

Why a mission?

Why not?  Your band is stepping into the public forum.  You might be broadcasting your tunes or publishing lyrics in some obscure corner of cyberspace, and you are most probably performing in public.  You are…public figures.  You have the potential to sway young minds and challenge stodgy conventions.  You wield a form of influence – why wouldn’t you use that?

Once you start to recognize that you could have an effect on the world, the next step is to understand that your mission will have a dramatic effect on your band.  Here are just a few ways your mission will help you:

  • Lyric writing – Every song is a message and when messages are tied together in strands, they form larger themes.  You will struggle less for song ideas when you have a well developed mission.
  • Stage presence – Having a hard time figuring out what to wear on stage?  T-shirt and jeans not cutting it?  Your mission may suggest or inspire a specific uniform, mask, face paint…or certain symbols (see talisman below), or props…or even a logical type of lighting, video backdrop, choreography or more.
  • Talismans – Stepping onto a stage can be a nervous venture for some musicians.  Think about different icons or symbols that represent your mission or theme and wear them for personal strength.  An artifact that you can touch from time to time, like a necklace or body art may help you keep focus.
  • Artwork – All things graphic art will be influenced by a mission.  Your posters, CD design, tattoos, newsletters, and stage props can all be enhanced by embracing a specific theme.
  • For profit…or not – Your band may discover that making income is a trivial pursuit and so participating in a selfless cause that aligns with your mission may be desirable and possibly far more impactful in the long run.

Once established, your mission will influence everything from when and where you decide to play out, to how you will treat your fans, and what kind of show experience they will enjoy.  But most importantly, it will give you a sense of purpose, clarity and consistency…and may even help keep the band together longer.  Now, isn’t that worth a little soul searching?

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