Forming Down Not Out – I decided to form a cover band in 2018 under the name “New Kinda Tension” with Ryan Stewart as the drummer and myself on rhythm guitar with two other members. It was a band to cover pop-punk bands such as Green Day, All Time Low and Fall Out Boy. Our original lineup gradually changed due to commitment issues and I took Jo Oliver on temporarily as a stand in whilst we found a new member. The whole band ended up with such chemistry that we stayed together permanently which lead to us writing and playing our own songs which then lead to us changing our name to Down Not Out. We then rearranged members and had a switch around so that Jo took over lead guitar which she had never done before, however, Jo and I have always played guitar well together so this change worked well for us, shortly after James Maxwell joined the band as our bass player. In December of 2019 both the band and James mutually agreed that he would leave and in January we took on our newest member of the band Amy Penny who has been with us since. I believe we now have the strongest line up we have had so far when it comes to goals as we’re all driven to wanting the same thing.
Playing Instruments – the first instrument I began playing was the drums. I was doing this for fun from around the age of 11 and then I got properly in to it at the age of 15 when my dad brought me an electric drum kit. I was completely self-taught and used to play drum covers before joining my first band as their drummer, I remained in this band for just over a year before leaving when I joined sixth form. Although I have continued to play drums throughout the years I have become more proficient across other instruments and so started to play drums less.
From here I moved on to bass guitar at the age of 17 and took a few pointers from Jo as we met in sixth form and Jo could already play bass. It was here that Jo and I formed our first band with a fellow classmate and began performing music together in school shows and events under the name “The Full Moon Theory” this continued throughout sixth form however never became a serious venture for us. Around six months after learning how to play bass guitar I made the transition to acoustic and electric guitar and I found myself picking this up the fastest of all the instruments I have learnt. I was self-taught across all instruments and I have always been fast at learning patterns which made guitar easier. Since starting guitar in 2012 this has been my main instrument since and I have been working on progressing my skill level on this over the last 8 years. I have been posting guitar covers on my YouTube channel throughout the last 5 years and recently began posting small clips such as guitar solos and parts of covers on my Instagram page.
Recording Instruments – I began gaining experience with recording studios in 2012 with our recording studio in sixth form, whilst in sixth form I recorded drums, vocals, podcasts and guitars along with a wide range of other instruments. After joining university in 2019 I’ve since had experience with recording with a range of different mics across all three categories of dynamic, condenser and ribbon, I’ve also used USB microphones for streaming and home recording. I’ve recorded two full band covers in university which consisted of guitars, vocals, drums and bass and I want to progress further with recording over my next remaining years of university.
EP – Down Not Out released a debut EP with the original lineup of the band – we began recording in July of 2019, This was recorded with a company called Sound Shack Studios in Cheltenham and distributed through Cygnus Music. The line up at the time consisted of Jo Oliver [lead vocals and lead guitar], myself, Charlotte Lewis [rhythm guitar], Ryan Stewart [drums and backing vocals] and James Maxwell [bass guitar]. This EP was released in November of 2019 across all major streaming sites as well as physical copies, we did a limited version of these as signed and each physical EP is printed with a doughnut on it.
Merch – When we first started out we decided to create some merchandise, this started with our original print logo, we later began developing these in to different designs. I had the idea of creating a dinosaur logo as a pun with our name ‘dinot out’ and we have future designs to release as well as looking at other designs aside from t-shirts and stickers such as caps and we want to do retro designs such as pogs alongside more up to date merchandise such as pop sockets and caps etc..
Livestreams and Vlogs – I created a Twitch channel for Down Not Out in order to stream games to our social media as well as playing with friends and fans trying to get people involved. It is mostly Ryan and myself who stream games such as Dead by Daylight with a few friends but recently we’ve been trying to play full games with the band and get fans involved. Whilst in isolation we all also collectively came up with the idea to begin doing vlogs called “DNO isolation diaries” each week we speak about what we can do a video about and record it through zoom. We give fans the option to suggest topic for us to discuss or do. We want to keep putting content out so we are able to keep fans engaged during this time. we also take the time to ensure we thank our fans when partaking in interviews and put our links where to find us. We want to ensure we’re easy to find and be in contact with.
Streaming Stats – We use the Spotify for artist’s app and website so check our stats and see where our music is most popular around the world. From this, we plan to use it in order to create a tour when we release our album. We planned to release our album this year, however, due to COVID 19 we have had to push it back to next year. Currently, our top 5 countries for plays are the UK, USA, Brazil, Canada and Spain. The top cities/towns from these include Gloucester, Cheltenham, London, Swindon and Chicago. In order to expand our listening countries, we often reach out to playlists with our songs and asked to be featured on them. We have gained many fans through this and we’re constantly growing as a band. I have created listening maps of most listened areas and I have attached these below. By collecting this information, we can use it to find out where we’re most popular worldwide and use this to target the correct people and get in to contact in the areas we could eventually play shows.
The next rung on the ladder would be to move the band into a position to gain a manager who is able to network and begin to get us playing bigger venues with fans and audience members that we have not brought ourselves in places further afield to what we are playing at the moment such as Birmingham, London as well as festivals across the UK. Over the next 2 – 3 years we will ideally be performing in venues such as O2 academies as support acts. Every individual in the creative industry always has individual goals as well as long term. In the future, obviously, we would hopefully eventually be headlining shows and also being able to tour, but one step at a time and the next step as I previously addressed would be to get managed and begin playing shows further afield to build up our gigging portfolio. The aim is to make this band a career and not just a hobby.
Who will be your target audience and
what do they want to see?
The aim of our target audience is to find someone who is able to manage us who already has contacts or has the ability to make contacts with people across different industries and venues. This could even be someone in the music business classes across the 3 years so long as they were serious about helping the band progress to reach the goals we’re working towards. We would, of course, need to provide an extensive collection of what we have achieved since starting with the band including all the shows we’ve performed, the music we’ve released, the merchandise we have available and our social media logs and posts as well as how active we are across over platforms such as twitch game streaming and how we interact with fans, etc.