Your Band Name Here
A career in music requires effort, exposure, and endurance. You might not aim at becoming a true professional rock musician (as in: does nothing but music-related stuff 24/7) - the equations are the same. There’s no safe haven for amateur/indie artists. So why not have a go at something semi-serious. And by that I mean: Start your own band. You live in a city? Great, put up ads in music stores, college, anywhere. You live in the middle of nowhere? Great, people will be happy if you approach them. Plus, there’s less to distract you from rehearsing. In any case, network: Is there a local band you like? Make the musicians join your band. Have a vision. BE ORIGINAL.
Keep in mind that your first songs will suck. Feel free to cover anything you like; this keeps up the morale and improves your skills.
Bonus: Form a band that contains only women (plus you). Women are still lamentably underrepresented in indie rock music.
Costs: Some effort, a dollar for paper, a dollar for printing, a dollar for pins, a few bucks for travelling to record shops, instrument shops, community places, then some more effort and possibly a couple of phone calls. From there on it’s the usual expensive associated with being in a band.
Travis - the two color guy
Pick two colors. They’re your image now. Done.
Bonus: Make your all lyrics about (at least) one of these colors.
Risks: Choose wisely - you might have to deal with this monochrome image for the rest of your career! Also, avoid colors associated with (questionable) causes. Also, don’t choose black and that-gray-that-is-almost-black.
Costs: No initial costs here; eventually, you might have to pay extra to achieve posters, cds and t-shirts in exact the same color (over and over again).
Five Seasons and a Movie
Make your music all about a specific TV series, get a built-in audience for free!
Bonus: Make your music about the Season 1 of Community (optionally about how much the following seasons suck(ed)).
Risks: I have no idea about copyright issues (though the U.S. seem to be fine with fair use etc.), you’ll never become super-duper famous on that route.
Costs: At most a bunch of DVD sets; but seriously, you’ve watched them all on netflix already, haven’t you?
The Thomas Lynley Experience
Same as above, only with a book series - in fact, with crime novels by Elizabeth George. Wrock is so last year - be the trend-setter for once. The audience (middle-aged and older women) has yet to discover YouTube, Bandcamp, Tumblr etc. - so there’s little competition in this market segment.
Bonus: Make each song you write about a particular murder from the books.
Risks: Be prepared that your audience is going to expect detailed accounts of sceneries and wardrobes. It’s going to be 90% females and older than you.
Costs: You should read the books - at least some of them, I guess. Wikipedia summaries are scarce, sorry. Also, say hello to cardigans!
The Cat Reverb Experience
Start playing progressive rock while denying that you play progressive rock with relentless vigor. But instead of copying the 70s stuff, just, well, do you thing, which doesn’t even have to be progressive rock. It did work for Steven Wilson, who seems to be on the cover of every (German) music magazine these days.
Bonus: Get semi-famous prog musicians as guests - they are rather willing to solo here and there.
Risks: You’ll probably end up with an audience that’s 90% males and older than you.
Costs: You might need to get a Mellotron, at least for the photo sessions.