About a year or so ago, I had the opportunity to interview the St. Louis-based band, Last Nights Vice for an extremely small ‘organization’ called Spotlight STL. I had connections with one of the people running the ‘website,’ so he let me interview whoever I wanted. Though the opportunity to write was great for me, as I try to find a place in the world of journalism, that was an even greater opportunity for Last Nights Vice to receive publicity.
Before I wrote the article, they had things published in other, more respectable, publications, but they appreciated the story I wrote on them more than I could’ve imagined. Why? Not only are they one of the most humble and sincere group of guys I have interviewed, but also because, without being sought out, they have to be their own public relations agency. If they do not go out to different places and promote themselves, hand out free EPs of their music or create a Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, nobody knows who they are.
Though I have not actually seen Last Nights Vice Play live (yet), I do know that they have a promotional tool of sorts that “attends” their shows. Speakerhead. He’s abstract. He’s noticeable. And he’s the symbol (more or less) of Last Nights Vice. Something like that catches the eye and makes passersby, who were not even intending on stopping, take a moment and investigate the large speaker man.
These guys are too good (both musically and as people) to stay a St. Louis band for the rest of their career. With the lack of known public relations companies willing to get behind a band that is relatively unknown outside of its home base, they (Last Nights Vice and every other local band) have to pull double-duty—putting out excellent music as well as selling their own hype.
For many, that could be a daunting task. But Last Nights Vice works extremely well getting their message out, recording their own music and self-promoting. It’s just a shame that raw, true talent is forced to work twice as hard as they need to because a public relations official is afraid to take a chance on what could be the biggest break of his or her career.