When I first met my buddy Quentin was fronting the Austin band, Near Dark, which routinely played down in legendary Austin club, the Back Room
Fast forward to today and he’s now in a band with his wife that manages to combine classical music, violins, industrial music, and robots. The band is called Pony Trap (“Industrial music for modern primitives”), and they’re awesome:
As you can tell from watching the video, Ponytrap’s music is as awesomely strangeÂ as you’d think and as strangely awesome as you could hope.
So what does this matter?
Well, Pony Trap is less than a few years old, and they’re already garnering major attention and playing a ton of live events. Now, you could chalk that up entirely to their awesome music and musicianship.
But let’s face it, Austin is the liveÂ music capital of the world: they are a ton of bands with awesome songs and virtuoso musical talent.
What sets Ponytrap apart is a “schtick,” aka a Tentpole, aka showmanship. Which is to say they’ve got robots helping to play their industrial music.
Because most people don’t care about some random new band. But if you describe a type of music they may not have heard before, but that sounds like it might be awesome, you can gain a bit of their attention. And then introduce the robots, and now you’ve hooked the audience in wanting to see and hear the band.
In other words, for your advertising peeps out there, it’s as simple as AIDA:
- You grab their Attention with Classical Instruments + Industrial Music
- Then you introduce “Robots” and you get Interest and Desire, which leads to
- Action in the form of people going to see the band, either on YouTube or in person.
But the key to it all is the hook and the schtick (or what I call the tentpole).
It’s the kind of thing that a lot of musicians and business owners can overlook — or worse, look down upon — but it really can be the difference between smash success and also-rans (or never-weres).
That’s one of many reasons why I think Quentin is not only an awesome musician, but a savvy businessman, and why I’m thrilled for Ponytrap to be playing at my Halloween house party.
So what’s your schtick?
P.S. Happy Halloween!