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Punk Rock Etiquette: The Ultimate How-to Guide for DIY, Punk, Indie, and Underground Bands

Punk Rock Etiquette: The Ultimate How-to Guide for DIY, Punk, Indie, and Underground Bands

3.7 4
by Travis Nichols

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Looking to start an underground band? Don't make a move until you've read this book!

So you KNOW you are destined to rock... well you're in luck -- all you need is this book! (Please note musical talent, bandmates, a car for touring, and an uncle who owns a record label might also help.) An original blend of nonfiction how-to's about all things DIY rock


Looking to start an underground band? Don't make a move until you've read this book!

So you KNOW you are destined to rock... well you're in luck -- all you need is this book! (Please note musical talent, bandmates, a car for touring, and an uncle who owns a record label might also help.) An original blend of nonfiction how-to's about all things DIY rock created by an indie-circuit veteran with a knack for hysterical snark, PUNK ROCK ETIQUETTE teaches you everything from how to pick your bandmates and choose a name (Never deliberately misspell your band's name. C how lame it lookz?), to detailed guides on screenprinting your own merch, and interviews and advice from studio owners about the do's and don'ts of recording. PUNK ROCK ETIQUETTE is an unfiltered peek backstage that will appeal to aspiring musicians and anyone who's curious about what goes on in the hours between the last chord and the next big show.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Sophie Brookover
Lively, knowledgeable, witty, and wise, this title offers a sound foundation in the social economics of indie rock. Call it "Emily Post for Death Cab Fans." From how to put together a band that functions rather than fights, to designing and creating appealing merchandise and running a successful tour, this heavily illustrated guide covers every aspect of how to be a bona fide DIY rock star for the twenty-first century. The two major section of the book-The Basics and Touring-include subtopics such as forming the band, stage etiquette, recording and selling your music, and packing for and funding a tour. A resource list page points readers to a tie-in Web site http://www.punkrocketiquette.com, which includes information for bookstore owners looking to host a band night, a discussion forum, and promises a blog and list of links in the future. The tone throughout both the book and Web site is note-perfect-enthusiastic, experienced, practical-and is sweetened with a charm and sardonic humor that makes it easier to swallow the bitter truths of how tough life in a band can be. For example, a veteran studio engineer offers such sobering nuggets as "leave your ego at the door" and "I've seen recording break up more than one band." Ouch. On every page, Nichols strikes a balance between encouragement and toughness that is all the more appealing for its apparent effortlessness. This book is all killer, no filler. Reviewer: Sophie Brookover
Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Bands need to know to make their dreams come true. This is the book that every want-to-be punk rocker must have. It is a do-it-yourself handbook for those who desire to start their own band even if they cannot sing or play an instrument. The key to a great band is getting the right people to be in the band. Each person in the band plays an important role, and it is best to select people who can actually sing and play instruments and it is in this book that one learns what to do if this is not possible. Once the band has been assembled the next step is to find a place to practice. The garage or basement of a member's house is the preferred place so there is no cost for practice time. The time of practice sessions is also important as they may disturb neighbors or family members. The band is together, the songs and sound is rocking, and it's time to make a final decision on a band name, look, and find an advertising hook to market the band. Now that all of these decisions are made, it is time to book dates, go on tour, and do recordings. All of these events can be pitfalls for bands, but this handbook provides its readers with sound advice about how to get through the good times and difficult times of being a successful punk rocker. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

From the first steps of forming a band through going on tour, Punk Rock Etiquette provides how-to advice on aspects of the indie and underground music scene. Nichols's narrative has a "been there and done that" tone and borders on the cheesy, as it at times tries too hard to use teen slang, but his advice is valuable even beyond the rock environment. Suggestions are offered for silk screening posters and T-shirts, designing Web pages, and using social networking sites to help create a brand, all of which could apply as easily to poetry-slam hosts and other creative groups as to rockers. For would-be performers, the author provides sage advice on recording and tips on touring, from what vehicles to use to what to pack. Parents and advisors should be aware that tour tips include sleeping in cars while traveling cross country or staying at the homes of strangers, practices that seem unsafe, particularly for teens. In areas where many students are hoping to make their way in the music world, however, the good advice is valuable and will appeal to a broad audience. The illustrations, spread throughout, are most successful in the comic of one band's road trip in the middle of the book. In other places, the animal characters are so cute that it is hard to tell if Nichols is being ironic, which would appeal to his audience, or if he felt that the cuteness would gel with the punk rock style.-Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT

Kirkus Reviews
In a breezy but firm tone, Nichols dispenses his message of what being in a self-made band is all about-definitely not a gig for conceited poseurs craving audience adoration. Pulling no punches, the author warns, "In the underground music scene, you'll be carrying your own equipment." Practical recommendations about promoting, organizing and touring mingle with advice that moves quickly from copyrighting music to building websites and selling original T-shirts along with other merchandise. The author knows his turf; many segments are anecdotal, but he also seems to be looking back with a degree of nostalgia, which results in a few hiccups. MySpace is briefly mentioned as a promotional tool but equal attention is given to paper flyers, and the how-to-pack-a-van section fails to mention including a laptop. The slim volume's most worthwhile advice zeroes in on organizing setups, knowing the guy running the soundboard and courtesy to other bands. Geared to musicians with a passion for shredding, the work's coolest message is, "You came to rock, so ROCK!" (Nonfiction. YA)

Product Details

Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
Sold by:
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Travis Nichols is a cartoonist whose comics appear in Nickelodeon Magazine (RIP). He's also an artist and former elementary school teacher, and has played in more than a dozen bands you've probably never heard of (how's THAT for indie cred?). A lifelong Texan, he now lives in New York.

A former member of Austin indie bands The Needies and Omega Monster Patrol, Travis Nichols is all too familiar with the joys and heartaches of starting a band. He has also authored Punk Rock Etiquette: The Ultimate How-To Guide for D.I.Y., Punk, Indie, and Underground Bands for Roaring Brook Press. He lives in New York.

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Punk Rock Etiquette: The Ultimate How-to-Guide for DIY, Punk, Indie, and Underground Bands 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
.... having some one else tell you how to be punk.
earthDrummer More than 1 year ago
Probably one of the most helpful, easy to read, how-to books on the market. Punk Rock Etiquette is great for freetime reading, or for actually trying to get a band up and going. I saw this in the public library in my city and thought it looked interesting. I read it in 2 days. IT's easy to read, and entertaining. HUmor is very well mixed in to it. I think this may be one of the BEST books I had EVER read. WEll, thats biased because I myself am the drummer in a band (The Earth Puppets)and this is going to be a major part of our bands system. It will help with all aspects of our bands future. I think every band out there that is striving to become big should own a copy or at least read it once. I know I'm definitely going to buy one.
abrassea More than 1 year ago
"Punk Rock Etiquette" is the ultimate guide for anyone looking to start a band. It gives the basics on everything from finding and choosing bandmates, findings gigs, making your own merchandise, and touring. The book is full of useful advice on stage and touring etiquette, and tells you why these guidelines are so important. The biggest thing that makes this book stand out from other books on these topics, is that it is entertaining. There are many books on how to start a band and how to print your own shirts, but they tend to be very dry and clinical. That's not punk rock! Travis Nichols doesn't dwell on a topic longer than necessary, and the book flows nicely. The writing has the feel of a friend who has been there sitting you down and telling you what you need to know.