The Every Avenue guide to starting a band

LSY! teen reporter Amy Brooks with Every Avenue’s Josh Withenshaw and the band’s “tour dog,” Noodles.

Hey aspiring rock stars! Whether you’re jammin’ on your guitar in your bedroom, soloing on the drums in the basement, or just singing in the shower, you need to get going if you really want to start your career as a musician. Don’t know how to do that? Well it’s a good thing that Josh Withenshaw from Every Avenue gave us a little inside information on how his band got started.

Step 1: Get a band

It’s not easy being a one man band, so first you need to find more members. When Every Avenue was starting, Josh found his band mates from different bands that were playing in the area. “Just from playing music, playing in other bands and stuff, we found each other,” he said.

Step 2: Write your music

Now that you have your band, you’ll need something to play. Every band’s writing process is a little different, but if you want you can try to do what Every Avenue does.

“We normally write our songs acoustic first, and then from there we’ll get the melodies and the lyrics down, and then from there we’ll get in the room as a band and turn it into a full band thing,” Josh said.

The important thing is to find a process that works for you and your band.

Step 3: Start booking your own shows

Most towns have places where local bands play. Look into your local music scene and find places that will book you. Remember: you won’t go straight to the big arena.

“We started touring regionally and booking our own shows,” Josh explained, “And then over the years we started working with other people and got picked up by a booking agent.”

Step 4: Get a manager

Every Avenue first had a producer and their producer called a manager who flew down to meet the band. A good manager is important to have especially if you, like Josh, don’t know much about the business side of the band.

Step 5: Tour

“We all worked jobs to save up for tour and then after a while we got to the point where we could just do it professionally and live off the money that we made from music,” Josh said.

Although this worked for Every Avenue, Josh explained that tour life might not be for everybody.

“It’s crazy,” he admitted, “but it’s fun.”

For Josh the best part is seeing new places, making music, and hanging out with friends, but, he confided to LSY! that tour life is “not conducive to relationships.” Before you leave, remember that it may be hard to keep up with the people that are staying at home.

WARNING: It’s not easy

“A lot of people think things are going to happen for you,” Josh explained. “You’ve gotta make your own breaks.”

Though it would be ideal for everything to happen for you, being in the music industry, like being in any other job, requires hard work and dedication.

Step 6: Handle the spotlight

Different people have different ways of staying grounded. Josh prefers not to over-think it.

“I just focus on playing music,” he said.

For a musician, it’s good to remember why you are where you are and that you have to keep working to get further.

Step 7: Get a tour dog?

It may not be necessary for your music career but Noodles, Every Avenue’s tour puppy, is definitely a cute and fun addition to the band.

— Amy Brooks
LSY! teen reporter

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