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50 Tips For DIY Touring Musicians

Written by Edward Guglielmino on July 18, 2011

So you’re in one of the most original bands in Australia. Your music is like no one else and you have a large local following and a lot of credibility. Tough biscuits. Your band will never get any support from the unimaginative mainstream industry and you will be D.I.Y. your whole life. Basically you’re fucked. If after this realisation you still want to spend your whole life living on the breadline, here are 50 tips for authentic D.I.Y. Australian bands.

1. Move overseas immediately.

2. If you can get a psychiatrist to sign a document saying you’re insane (which you probably are) then you can get the pension at any age.

3. The first few times you’re caught shop lifting you only get a warning.

4. Look into the NEIS scheme.

5. Have rich parents.

6. Find a rich ugly person and marry them.

7. Find a rich ugly person with a terminal illness and marry them.

8. Start another band which is completely unoriginal to make money on the side (just don’t get caught by your fans).

9. Sleep with the Minister of Arts.

10. Get the ABC or SBS to make a documentary about you.

11. Get a job as a writer.

12. Have a loose connection with Nick Cave.

13. Have a single released in Germany.

14. Have a cameo in a David Lynch film.

15. Start your own wiki page and then flag it for review (on another computer).

16. Read the field of cultural production by Pierre Bordieu.

17. Get a PhD scholarship to do a study of your own band.

18. Get a job in a cool record shop.

19. Get a job at a cafe (in Melbourne).

20. Leave Sydney immediately.

21. People can’t download your record if it is only available on vinyl. (If someone bothers to rip your vinyl take it as a compliment).

22. Hang out with pop stars so they write you into their auto-biography.

23. Find a coke dealer and always have coke on you at industry events.

24. Be funny so people think your art might not be 100 percent serious, this will help Aussies to like you because they don’t like serious art.

25. Centrelink will usually just hand out free money for the first six weeks.

26. After six weeks tell your job officer you’re on the verge of a record deal.

27. Tell your job officer you are going to travel the East Coast several times to ‘look for work fruit picking’.

28. When you get back, get a job shelving for 4 weeks and get off the dole.

29. After four weeks go back to tip #25.

30. If you’re starting to feel insane from repeating the former process go try tip #2.

31. If Centrelink investigate you try tip #2.

32. Hyper inflate your success to the public, privately complain about how no one cares about your ‘art’.

33. Tell people you get a lot of support from community radio, whether it’s true or not, no one will bother checking.

34. No matter how poor you are, you must always have the latest Apple gear and a collection of Fender guitars and amps.

35. If you’re paying for your coffee or booze you’re not D.I.Y.

36. If anyone sees you in David Jones, your career is over.

37. Use PayPal to withdraw money from one of your credit cards without paying for a cash advance.

38. Quote philosophers, because even if you get it wrong no one will notice.

39. Whether he’s dead or alive, raid your Grandfather’s closet for new clothes.

40. While you’re there be really really nice to him and indirectly mention you’re 30k in debt.

41. Complain about modern society while using Facebook, Twitter, etc.

42. Turn up to industry events uninvited and eat all the canapés.

43. If you’re not dependent on at least 5 things you’re not D.I.Y.

44. Write songs which are very unconventional but secretly expect commercial support.

45. It’s not your fault you’re broke, it’s the world’s fault.

46. If only everyone was more like you the world would be awesome.

47. D.I.Y. artists never succeed but they also never fail or retire. So in the end you win.

48. It’s easier to be famous than D.I.Y.

49. You’d rather be D.I.Y. than T.R.Y.

50. Never ever answer your phone.

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