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For the modern independent musician looking to gain some attention, there are two viable options. First, the independent artist could advertise locally, play some shows, and then home for some positive local press, followed by growing regional notoriety and so on. The alternative is to publicize on the Internet and hope to build name recognition, which will enhance the possibility of a successful tour (which could lead to positive press on a large-scale level).
Kevin J. Frank, vocalist and guitarist for Chicago's Haymarket Riot played in independent suburban punk and hardcore bands starting in the late 1980's and through the 1990's. Playing with divergent acts with names like the Really Fine Kids, Target, and Gauge, Frank said those bands built large national followings on the merit of their grassroots, sans-the-Internet word-of-mouth. In the last century, local media support was more vital to a local band's chance of success, for Haymarket Riot it is no longer so important. "We haven't assaulted the media here in Chicago," Frank said. "Most of our 'press' has been done over the Internet (web boards, online interviews, etc.) and playing shows.'
Concerning the "spreading of the word for their records and shows," Frank said the Internet "makes the world a whole lot smaller ... It's also a lot cheaper setting up a tour.
"As far as the business aspects of [the band], I don't see what we are doing is anything different than what bands were doing in the eighties or early ninteies. The main differences are the resources that we have, mainly the Internet. Up to now, we've done everything ourselves and there is nothing new about that concept. It's a model that has been used over and over again. Maybe, adapting to these new resources is new within itself."
By being able to reach audiences regardless of geography, independent musicians are able to tour more extensively. So, not only do these musicians earn more revenue from selling their work on the Internet, but they are also to build followings and play shows in cities beyond reach a decade ago. The culture surrounding the independent music landscape has been severely altered by the Internet, but the tradition of "underground networking" remains strongly in place.