I’m getting asked more and more about endorsements from bands who want to use my products. Some pretty big ones too. This is flattering and is nice for the ego, but I have always had the same stance on endorsements for my products and services.
If you are a professional, working, paid musician, I DO NOT give away my products or services. I’m happy to give you my time. My reason for this is you are the very people who can afford to buy my stuff and therefore keep the wheels turning. If you are making money from music, you are lucky. If you are making money from music, personally I think you should be spending money in the industry to keep everything ticking over. From practice rooms, studios, street press, tour companies, labels, manufacturers, screen printers etc etc etc. If you are making money from music, YOU need to support these institutions and independent businesses that are the basis of your work (and lives).
I do however endorse my products, services and time to independent, unsigned bands who show initiative, drive and belief in what they do and can convince me of this. These are the bands that NEED endorsements. They NEED better gear, better advice, better people around them to help them get to that point, where, I would hope they come back to me (and other businesses like mine) and spend their money when they’ve “made it”
I have personally spent tens of thousands of dollars of my own (my family’s) money and half my life on small indie bands and the local scene I inhabit. I actively support these scenes to the best of my ability and encourage other independent businesses to do so also. With a healthy scene, we have healthy bands and artists and with healthy bands I have better music, venues and records to buy.
I’m not saying I don’t do stuff for free for “big bands”. I do work and products for free (or cheap) for people who can otherwise afford it but appreciate and understand what it is I do and why. It’s easy to realize who these people are quite quickly. I come from a DIY, “punk” background and I believe I conduct myself and my business very much within these guidelines (and they are guidelines you young punks who don’t know better) with the ultimate outcome of being a mutual respect and appreciation of what it is we all do.
This doesn’t mean if you’re in a big band making money that you shouldn't contact me and talk. I’m ALWAYS open to discussions about how things can be done. It also means that if you’re in a small unsigned band you’re not definitely going to get a Tym endorsement. Like I said, it’s a “mutual” thing. The respect and understanding goes both ways. If you think you have something to offer (preferably great music) then by all means contact me and ask. If however, you’re one of these “bands” that sleeps in till midday, rolls out of bed and packs a bong and spends all afternoon complaining about how hard it is to be an artist, then go ask BOSS or Marshall for some free stuff.
I’m completely open to offers too. If you make great money out of music and you have a local band who you think are worthy, talk to me about buying stuff off me and donating some gear to the local band ? Or, donate the equivalent amount that my stuff cost to a worthy charity and I will give you the gear at a very reduced (or free) rate. Like I said, we can talk about it but for me the bottom line is, the ones who CAN afford it don’t pay for it and the ones who can’t do. You can argue that “you’ve been there” and had to buy your own gear. I don’t buy (no pun intended) it. If we start a process like this within a few years bands who can afford it will be subsidizing gear for upcoming bands who NEED it.
If you support independent businesses that do stuff you like and want, they will flourish and give you more back.If you don't support them, they will wither and die and you will be left with nothing. I work for some pretty big names and ALL of them are courteous, generous and understanding of what I do. That’s why I work with them. That’s why I will continue to work with them. They make great music and in a small way, I’m involved. THAT’S worth more than money.