So many FanBridgers have been out on the road this summer, but Hollis Brown has really made a splash. They’ve been out on tour supporting Counting Crows, meeting new fans, and still somehow keeping up with all of their marketing efforts in the process! Hollis Brown is proof that a tweet like this:
— Hollis Brown (@HollisBrown) August 26, 2015
Can produce tweets like this:
— Garreth Browne (@garrethbrowne) August 26, 2015
We thought we’d ask HB about their summer experiences in a little Q&A! Careful, you might just learn something from a hard-working band like them!
FB: Congratulations on this tour opening for Counting Crows and Citizen Cope; what an incredible experience! What have you learned from spending time with these other artists?
HB: This whole tour has been a really huge learning experience for us so far. From little things like seeing how the band carries themselves and handles the crew, etc., we have been learning how to connect to an audience with such a big stage as well. On smaller stages, people are right on you in a club, so you can really look right at them. On these big stages there are people wayyyyy out there and all over, and you have to work the stage very differently.
FB: As an opening act on a tour, it’s a great way to find new audiences and fans that haven’t heard of you before. What have you learned about how to connect with an audience that isn’t familiar with you?
HB: I think that getting out there and just walking around and hanging after you play is big. People want to come up and talk to you and ask questions and get to know the band. I also think telling them from the stage about the band and the songs and getting as much info to them as you can in a short span of time is important
FB: You guys have added a lot of new subscribers to your mailing list this summer! What have been some of the best ways you’ve found to get fans to join?
HB: We have been trying to build our mailing list. That has become a big priority for us because it is our network where we can directly talk to our core audience. Anyone who buys a record or a piece of merch we ask to sign. We have been trying to come up with new ways to get people to sign up, like a free song, or a personal message.
FB: I loved how you featured a fan in your most recent newsletter! What made you decide to do that?
HB: It was just a really cool and moving thing for us that we thought everyone should be able to connect with. Music is about connection, and that experience was the reason we are out on the road. We thought we would share it because it was cool for us.
FB: Congrats is also in order for your recent record release! What were some of the key elements of promoting “3 Shots” when it was released in May?
HB: Man, this record has certainly been a journey for us. It has been the hardest thing we had to do as artists. Raising the capitol ourselves, writing and recording until we were happy, getting a label, management, PR, booking radio all together for the push at the same time. It really has to be all systems go at the same time for it to work. We are also on the road non-stop promoting it. We are opening for the Counting Crows and Citizen Cope across the entire U.S, and then we jump to Europe and headline there. Working hard.
FB: You used crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic to fund this project; how did that change the way the album was made in comparison to previous records?
HB: Well it was a giant pain in the ass, for one. It was a lot harder logistically. Secondly, and positively it gave us a chance to make the album that we wanted to make, the way we wanted to make it. There was no labels or industry with an agenda. It was liberating, and we got to make the art we wanted, which was great.
FB: Did running your PledgeMusic campaign change your relationship with your fans? If yes, how so?
HB: I’m not sure. I think it brought some people into the experience a little more. We try and be very hands on and direct with our fans all the time so I don’t know if I have the answer for that, we do all our own social media, and really like meeting as many people as we can on tour.
FB: How has FanBridge helped you stay connected with your fans?
HB: FanBridge has been a great connector for us. It is a simple and efficient way to get what you want to say to people who want to hear it.
FB: Can you share some of your favorite fan experiences over the course of your career?
HB: Oh man, that’s tough. I just had a really awesome one in St. Augustine where a girl made a giant painting of me with my D’Angelico Guitar. I always wanted a painting of me performing and finally it happened. She is shipping it to me today which will go right in my living room.