No matter who you are, or what level you’re at in your musical journey, most likely you will be rejected at some point in your career. Whether it be not getting into the band you auditioned for, being refused a gig by a venue or being dropped by your record label, rejection doesn’t really feel the best!
However with a slight change in mindset and by understanding the real reasons we’ve been “rejected,” we can learn to overcome negative feelings and keep putting ourselves out there.
It’s usually not personal
I’ve used the example so many times before but music mags, venues, touring companies etc. get hundreds and hundreds of emails per week. In the case of Heavy Magazine, we get up to a thousand or more emails each and every week and only have a handful of part time staff available to sort through them and respond.
If you don’t receive a reply from us, it’s only because we literally haven’t seen your email and you should definitely follow up (within a reasonable time frame of course!)
If you’ve applied to be a support on an upcoming international tour, there are many factors as to why your application would be successful. There could be other bands that have applied that have had similar supports in the past and have proven they can sell tickets, you have a different target demographic, the band selected could have a personal relationship with the booking agent etc.
There are so many factors involved and it usually isn’t because the touring company hates you or think you suck.
Prepare for worst but expect the best
When we pitch our bands for opportunities or reach out to a potential manager or booking agent, it’s always a good idea to think positively as if we’re made for the opportunity. If we are expecting to be rejected, sometimes this negative vibe can come across in our emails or in the way we speak, which could in turn consciously or subconsciously influence the person we’re talking to.
But we also want to prepare ourselves mentally for the worst so we’re not completely crushed (or say something we might regret later)! This could be by thinking of aback up plan or some alternatives prior to applying for the opportunity, or simply just preparing ourselves emotionally so it doesn’t come as quite a blow!
Think outside the box
It’s important to never put all our eggs in one basket. If someone doesn’t want to work with you, you probably wouldn’t want to work with them anyway because, at least right now, it’s likely not the best fit.
Do your research, make sure you’re giving yourself options and keep putting yourselves out there. Venturing outside your comfort zone, taking risks and promoting yourself is an essential part of growing an audience on and offline. Also remember, whilst you guys may not be right for one opportunity, you may just be the first band that person or company thinks of when a different opportunity arises!