A large percentile of the people working in the music industry are trained and paid to primp and present musicians in a marketable fashion. A stronger claim is that the music industry is in fact a sub-sector of the marketing sector.
It is a struggle for an unsigned band to construct an image that simultaneously preserves a respectable modicum of integrity. The fear of ‘selling out’ looms like Damocles’ sword, so a band breaking into the UK Top 40 under the moniker The Coca Colas is at best unlikely.
With what then can bands connotate themselves, without selling out?
Beer is an infallible product in the heady world of rock ‘n’ roll. The bands drink it. The venues sell it. The fans drink it. The bands drink a bit more. However, it tends to be festivals that best lend themselves for sponsorship from breweries, and even then the whole arrangement seems a little…forced.
Critically-acclaimed Scottish brewer Brewdog has created a dynasty on what may appear to be the prime example of the difficulty described herein. The brand and marketing of Brewdog relies heavily on a non-conformist attitude, and punk ethos, with alternative bands such as Radiohead lending song-titles to beer names, and phraseology which propagates this association:
‘Our approach has the same contempt of the mass market that the old-school punks had for pop-culture.’
In sum, a band would do well to be sponsored by Brewdog, and Brewdog would do well for their brand integrity to sponsor a band, as thus far the two realms are mutually contingent. But just as musicians have to be careful with which ‘band’wagon they jump on, brewers of beer surely have to be careful which bands they associate with.
But is all this marketing spiel and being careful really the ethos of punk?
So without further ado, the music. Drinking a beer is optional.