Connecting With Fans & The Dave Matthews Band
(UPDATED) In this interview, Stefan Lessard, the bassist for Dave Matthews Band, talks about the challenges of staying at the forefront of technology and maintaining an identity outside of the group. Early on, fan clubs consisted of mailing a postcard and getting a bit of merch and a form-letter. Beyond that, the incentives for fandom were structured around information. Then, as time went on, Dave Matthews Band was able to engage their fans through the use of their online fan community and other social tools.
Another interesting point that Lessard talks about is the difficultly of releasing a solo record while being tied to the identity of a much larger group. Rather than pitch his project from the angle of “the bassist from the Dave Matthews Band comes out with a record”; he embraced the web and was able to establish a voice for himself and break away. “Now,” he says, “I had a voice with the fans.” This is a subtle, but great point. In the life of his group, often times, they didn’t have a voice with the fans—the barriers to doing so were too high. Today, tweeting out to fans is a common thing. Before, hiring a new publicist was the only thing.