How Making It Works: Antigone Rising

Road to Stardom

If you peruse the arts or music section of your local book store, you will find scads of books about the music business, self promotion and the key to "making it." They will all outline a path to cracking the music "biz" that looks something like this:
  1. Start a band or solo project.
  2. Write several two-to-three-minute, "radio friendly" songs.
  3. Play shows in the appropriate local markets.
  4. Cultivate a following, and grow that following on a regional level.
  5. Make enough money to record a demo.
  6. Shop that demo to managers, labels and showcases.
  7. Use attorneys and managers to help you get signed to a major label record company.
  8. Make a hit record.
  9. Take a supermodel to the MTV music awards.
  10. Count your money.
This sounds very logical, but in reality, there is no tried-and-true method to "making it". If there were, then everybody would do it. Still, many would-be rock stars use this "text book" method as if it were a treasure map that is meant to be followed step by step. The realization that the well-beaten path was not for them is what unified the members of Antigone Rising into one singular vision for how the band should work.

Photo courtesy Antigone Rising and Lava Records
Early press photo

Kristen elaborates:

    We had all done like, the typical ... we made a demo, we worked with this producer who helped us write all the songs, that producer shopped the demo, that demo got rejected by every major label ...

    So, we sort of all got together and looked at each other and ... we all just decided, you know what, that doesn't work, at least not for the way we want to do things. And the artists who do get signed that way we sort of felt like ended up getting told how their careers are going to unfold. We wanted to have control. And so ... rather than doing what a lot of bands and artists do, the only thing we cared about was getting the business up and running on our own; making it so that we could make a living doing it our way. So that if and when the time comes to partner up with a bigger partner, we will have some say in how the business runs. And that's exactly what ended up happening. We thought that was the best approach.

This unified vision has always been the backbone of how Antigone Rising conducts their business. And no matter what artists may think, the music business is just that -- a business.