If someone feels invested in your success, you've got a fan for life. A quality band bio connects with people. It gives them a glimpse inside your personality and insight into your process as a musician. Your music speaks volumes as to who you are as a band, but an effective bio can give booking agents and fans an idea of who you are as a person, what you stand for as an artist and what you hope to accomplish with your music.
When writing a band bio it's best to go with the “less is more” approach. In this age of rapid texts and 140 character tweets, people want to receive their information through quick and effective wording.
What to Include in Your Band Bio
Where you've been – Be sure to mention your previous successes, any previous albums or collaborations, as well as any pivotal performances. If you are a brand new artist, talk about the well-known musicians that inspired you to pick up your guitar for the first time.
Where you're going – Do you have an album in the works? Are you getting ready for a tour? It's important to involve readers in your future plans so they feel compelled to follow your career for years to come.
Descriptions – Tell readers what vibe you are going for in terms that they will understand. For instance, “Johnny X uses his painful past to bring a refreshing honesty to hip-hop.” In this short sentence, readers become connected with Johnny X, because they now know that he had a painful past, and they gain an understanding that his music is based on personal experience.
What Not to Include in Your Band Bio
Family anecdotes – Don't tell a story of how your uncle gave you bass lessons when you were in fifth grade… unless your uncle is Flea. It's tempting to include personal stories like these in your band bio because they may have sentimental value to you as a musician, but if you do you risk sounding a bit like a novice. These stories are better suited for candid interviews and liner notes.
Obscure references – My Bloody Valentine may be your biggest influence, but you don't want to cite them in your bio. Most people have not heard of My Bloody Valentine and you risk alienating potential fans by associating your band with such a niche artist. If you want to compare your sound to another artist pick a well known group, like Radiohead or Arcade Fire. This will make you much more accessible to perspective fans.
Broad goals – Do not include lines like “Band X plans to revolutionize rock and roll all over the globe.” This sounds a bit novice and you risk being dismissed by the reader as someone with a pipe dream. It is much better to say something specific like, “Band X will be touring the Chicago-area in 2014 in support of their gritty new “Band X EP.” This makes readers anticipate the tour and the EP, further investing them in your success.
Remember when writing your band/artist bio keep it short and sweet. For example, Jay Z, an artist who has won 10 Grammys in his almost 20 year career, has a Facebook bio that is less than 200 words. If he can do it, you can too!
Guest post by: Laurie Fanelli has worked with artists of many genres, including rock, hip-hop, metal and instrumental, to create interesting and engaging band bios. She is also the founder of the website veggiefans.net and she reviews and photographs concerts for examiner.com. To contact her head over to contact-veggiefans or fiverr.com.