Kristy Wandmaker knows how to grab people’s attention. Take one look at the website for her music promotions company – B-List Media – and you’re greeted with the headline of: “Sick of seeing bands shittier than yours getting all the media attention?”
As a former musician, Wandmaker has been in this position and knows exactly how hard it is to get products out there in the fickle entertainment biz. So, she formed B-List Media – which offers promotions services to bands, such as media releases and artist bio’s, at a price that still lets struggling acts make room for noodles in their weekly budget.
Music Feeds speaks to Kristy to find out her motives for starting up the business and making the switch from musician to publicist.
MF: So, what made you get into music promotions?
BLM: Music is the love of my life, and always has been. As most people know, however, it rarely pays bills. My day job was in media marketing and I was a regular contributor to street press, so it all melded together nicely. Plus I can never sit still, so once the idea lodged in my brain, I had to act.
MF: Who are your products tailored towards – and why that particular market?
BLM: B List Media offers off-the-shelf packages for bands that want to generate some media coverage for their new release/tour/milestone but aren’t signed to a promotions company and don’t have the time to do it themselves. Each package is itemized so you know exactly what you pay for. It can be difficult when you have won a few band comps or recorded a few EPs but you’re not yet signed to a manager/agency/label. Plus it’s cheap, so I guess we cater for tight arses too.
MF: What annoys you about the Australian music industry at the moment?
BLM: The curse of surrounding yourself with music is hearing a thousand songs with any given chord progression. It can all start to get same same. I often find myself frustrated by the shitty manufactured acts that get most of the mainstream media attention, that buy their way into the charts, but it’s always been that way. In fact, it was a lot worse and more centrally controlled in the 60s, 80s, even 90s. Rather than relent to the way the machine has always worked, I try to remember that good music will always be heard eventually.
MF: Do you think more could be done to support independent acts?
BLM: I think there’s always a lot of griping about “the state of the industry” no matter what era, scene or region you’re in (see mine above!). Things could always be better, but we have to make it better. In some ways independent acts have never had it so easy. It’s simple to get your stuff to a wide audience, but it’s hard to jump from putting a few tracks up online to being valued by a management/label/publicity team that truly have your interests at heart. B List Media is one option for an in-between step – to promote your gig/tour/release without having to be signed, and without having to pay too much.
MF: How hard was it for you to get media attention as a performer?
BLM: Are you saying you don’t know who I am?
MF: Finally, what are your goals for the business?
BLM: To be the media service that any bedroom performer can use as a stepping stone.