I would have guessed that I hadn't much left to say about Voxrot these days. But I realized last Friday, as I was walking around a nearly full Webster Hall, that it had been a really long time since I've seen them live. I didn't see them at South By Southwest this year and missed their Bowery shows...had it really been since last April? At those 2 shows at Merc? I'm sure there was another show since then? I can't think of it.
Regardless of when the last time was, I do remember the first time time I saw them, at a surprisingly packed Rothko on a Saturday night, where I showed up a song late and they played a short set that ended with a cover of Just Like Heaven.
What's remarkable about this is how long it took a band I knew was going to someday make it big to actually...make it big. And big is of course a relative term, as nearly selling out Webster Hall, signing to an established indie label and getting some MSM attention does not quite make them the Rolling Stones. But it's been 2 and a half years since that first Rothko show. 2 and a half years! How many bands have come and gone since then? Beirut formed, blew up, broke down, broke up and got back together in half the time. Some bands seemed to come out of nowhere overnight to become massive successes, and with the internet as an vehicle, it seems like every week some unknown band is atop the elbows chart. But it is clearly not so automatic, even today. Those are still the exceptions, even as they encourage band after band to try and make their impression felt within the first 3 months of forming.
No matter what your manager or your label or your PR team tells you, you don't need to be overaggressive and pushy to get your name out there. You just need to be good. The blogs and the critics and, lest we forget, the fans will find you. At the very least one person will, and it can grow organically from there. Slowly. And only if you're got something worth talking about. But there's really no need to force it. Voxtrot is proof. You've just gotta be patient. And have a lot of talent.
(pic via Ryan Tomorrow's Flickr)