The music has and will continually do the talking. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. However, never let the smoke dissipate and always keep that mirror from breaking. But, if you cloud the air too much, your music may never get heard.
Band photos are always a very touchy and subjective issue. So, I won't be speaking much on this matter. However, it would be rather prudent to study the musicians in your genre. How do they look? How do they dress? What's the style of their promo pics? What about their facial expressions? If you play soft rock, don't look like a Viking metal band. A proper image is essential. Don't let your
mother take your picture using her beat up point-and-shoot camera. Find someone with a solid SLR that has a keen eye for musician photography. And that's all that needs to be said here.
I once copied and pasted a local artist's bio into Microsoft Word just to see how long this epic piece of literature was. After changing the size and font to 12 Times Roman, it almost ran into the third page. After consulting with artist managers and A&R reps, they debriefed me on the word that describes all this. You might know it: "Fluff!" A biography is not your EPK. A biography is just one 'part' of your EPK. It should never be that length unless you have legitimately racked up the miles in your career thus far. Otherwise, it needs to be short, concise, and to the point. If you use phrases like "highly anticipated" or "critically acclaimed" and you have never been on tour or can't prove high album sales through SoundScan, there's a good chance that your music will never be taken seriously.
So, let's break it all down.
Your rap sheet should only include four elements: where you are from, a brief 'honest' history of the group, who produced your record, and what genre you fall into. Whether you want to accept the truth or not, your music does fall into a specific category as notated by Billboard. Listing ten different artists in ten different genres as influences is only going to confuse the industry exec. And, oh, jotting down every single band you "opened" for will not get your music on the priority list. Who are you trying to fool? Everyone knows that anyone can get on a national show just as long as you pre-sell a boatload of tickets. And, yes, we know, if you sell the most, you get to open for the real opener, the band that the headliner brought along on tour. Still, only if that national band and/or its management have taken you on the road should you identify it in your credentials. Otherwise, it's all nonsense, kids. This same principle applies to naming a bunch of different venues. Unless you have earned a headlining spot there, it is not advisable to put it down. It's not impressive. Sorry.
Okay. So, you got yourself a well-produced record, a few epic photos, and a succinct write-up. Now you need to get it to a rep's inbox, the 2011 version of their hands.
The final chapter of my discourse is on the horizon. "Did Kevin Bacon Create LinkedIn?" Stay tuned for the answer...
Till next time. Cheers!