The DIY Music Guide | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The DIY Music Guide

How to experience rock-band success in four easy steps

Step 1: Setting up local shows

Step 2: Recording a studio-quality album in your own bedroom

Step 3: Getting the Word Out
Step 4: Booking regional tours
How to operate a venue

There's obviously no such thing as an instant-success formula when you're trying to make things happen with your music career. But at the City Paper, we've seen a lot of musicians come and go. Clearly, luck has a lot to do with commercial success, and so does God-given talent. But is there a simpler set of rules and guidelines a group can follow? We'd like to think so. Is there a specific order in which those rules should be tackled? Probably.

But don't take our word for it. After all, we're just journalists -- if we had enough talent to attract groupies and support $200-a-day coke habits, don't you think that's what we'd be doing? Which is why we've teamed up with Developer, a local indie rock band whose three members collectively have about two dozen years of experience playing in various groups, and with varying degrees of success.

Longtime Pittsburghers will probably remember singer and guitarist Corey Layman's previous project, the slowcore band Hovland. Thanks to creative differences (i.e., the drummer wasn't working out), that experiment ended one night on stage, halfway through a concert at Colgate University. But Layman has since chosen to cut his losses and push onward.

Developer also features the former Barrett Black Band player Mac Howison on bass guitar, and Jake Leger -- who also does duty in Landing Strip, Magic Wolf and The Karl Hendricks Rock Band -- on drums.

"The forefront goal [of Developer] is to have fun," says Layman, who readily admits that his band also maintains a number of more success- and career-themed goals. "Like doing some touring," he says.

"I definitely believe that you really have to try to play out of Pittsburgh, which is something Hovland didn't do enough of," Layman adds. "But the main goal, in a nutshell, would be to try to get to that level where we can at least have a couple releases on an indie label. Not that we're looking to be the next Rusted Root or anything ..."

If you're a musician and have similar goals, read on. After all, as Sir Francis Bacon once wisely said, "Knowledge is power." And if you aren't world-famous by the time our next music guide comes out, don't blame us."

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