#124: Brian Thompson – Get Your Music Heard

brian thompson thorny bleederThis week on the DIY Musician podcast, Brian Thompson (also known online as Thorny Bleeder) joins us to talk about online music promotion and how the music business has changed over the course of his career. Brian started his own record label (Thorny Bleeder Records) in 2006 along with Jonathan Hetherington, and Greg Bradley (founders of Art Of Dying). As the company evolved it went from a label  to an artist consultancy and Brian became a sought after social media guru, blogger, podcaster, and artist advocate. Listen, learn, and find out why Brian goes by “Thorny Bleeder” in the first place.

Have a question or comment for the show? Email us at podcast at cdbabypodcast.com, or call our listener line at 360-524-2209


  • Ronnie

    Another great show. With a recurring theme on how much your story factors in. Problem is , when it comes to my story, I’m a pretty regular guy, not much to see here. This part is really hard.

  • Les Merquita

    PS: Brian Thompson is true to his word. In fact, he has actually replied to my tweets. It was really exciting to read replies from all of you. =)

  • john cox

    great show…

  • I just discovered the CD Baby podcast 2 days ago and I’ve already listened to about 7 of them. This one and the Renman one (#122) are so far my top favs. Love what you are doing! Keep on keeping on!

  • ThornyBleeder

    hey thanks!

  • ThornyBleeder

    hey thanks for listening, I’m glad you enjoyed our chat! hope it was useful for you.

  • ThornyBleeder

    I hear ya’, it’s a tough one sometimes to find the narrative of our story, but we all have one. dig deep and don’t be afraid to share both your struggles and triumphs.

  • Oleg

    Maybe it’s time to stop calling musicians the musicians and start to call them “the storytellers”? Anyway, thanks Brian for sharing this information.

  • Albert Solorio

    Great Info! Thank you.

  • Chance-Erica Williams

    Alright I want to get on board with this story thing, but I cannot honestly say I have ever gave any shits about an artist’s story. If I heard a song and I liked it I found out who it was, then I listened to the rest of the music to find more golden tunes and then I buy the songs I liked from that artist. I’ve never wondered where they came from or what there story was. To make sure that I’m not just strange, I asked about 20 of my co-workers if an artists story influenced their buying or listening decisions. Every one of them answered no and looked at me like I was stupid. I don’t want to be the asshole here, but I really feel like you’re looking at this from a blogger/podcaster/marketer standpoint and so an artists story is VERY important to you. Unfortunately, I don’t think the story is relevant to the consumer…. Therefore, I would say it is important for an artist to have a story simply so they do not miss out on a SMALL crowd that happens to care about the story.

    Additionally, for an artist like me that has no album out or single at all. Should I release an EP first and then build hype and collect fans for my actual album release? Or should I try to attract people now with zero material. I feel like I would lose potential fans if I drew them now with no material because they’d have nothing to hang on to you know what I mean? It just doesn’t make much sense. I don’t know that you guys ever specifically addressed how an artist with NO material should enter the music scene. Please let me know what you think.

  • kbreuner

    I couldn’t disagree more with your take on story. Your poll of co-workers was very unscientific, as of course that’s what they would say. That’s like asking people if they were influenced by advertising on their way into work. Everyone will say, “No!” But unless they drove with the radio off and their eyes closed, they were influenced in some way, it’s just very subtle at times. Don’t forget, building an artist story is about a persona and character, not just a boring list of the places you’ve lived or where you were born. It separates you as an individual and points to your uniqueness over everyone else out there. As you approach your album release, assuming you’ll be trying to get press, you’ll see first hand why it’s so important. They’ll want some sort of hook that makes you newsworthy.

    As far as doing an EP first before the full album, I think that depends on how much music will be on the album that isn’t on the EP. If the EP has all your best songs, and then you’re just adding a few more to make the album, I would just wait. If the full album will have a lot more music that people will get excited about both, then do both.

    One might say that your desire to do an EP first is because you know that will help build the story of the band as you move to the full album release 😉

  • Chance-Erica Williams

    So, should I begin building my websites and gather a following now with no material? Or should I wait for a small release and then collect from there? Sorry I just want to clarify.