Indie rock band Golden State played at SXSW this year, had a song featured on Deadliest Catch, and had another song used as BBC's official theme for its royal wedding coverage – and the band hasn't even put out a full-length album yet. (Their debut LP, "Division," drops in July.) Somewhere in their insane schedule, the band also found time to check out Tag, use it to connect with fans, and even distribute a free song. Bassist Alex Parnell told me about his experience with Tag via email.
"We first saw the light at this year's SXSW music conference," Alex says. "We plastered the city with posters and stickers containing our Tag and specific instructions: 'Smartphone this sh*t.' It linked to our show times and locations for the festival, and a free download of our song 'World On Fire.' With technology so new [and] in a discovery phase, we were thrilled to put it to work because we stuck out like a sore thumb. Golden State gained a lot of new fans who would've never noticed us amidst the blur of insignificance held up by duct tape and staple guns."
The band even put together short video showing how they used Tag at SXSW, with a Tag at the end that links you to a free download of "World on Fire" – watch:
What's next for Golden State and Tag? "We are just finishing up our album, 'Division,' and plan on using Tag here in L.A. and beyond to alert the masses: Golden State is here. As far as we're concerned, Tag is the perfect weapon to add to the arsenal of Independents like us who, thanks to all you digital geniuses, have taken the power back."
So how did Golden State hear about Tag? "I was introduced to Tag by a very good friend who happens to be the most soulful tech genius I've ever encountered, a special agent to Microsoft...Ms. Nicole Peterson," Alex writes. "I had no idea what a [2D barcode] was, myself having just wrapped my head around something called 'text messaging.' Nicole insisted Tag was a great tool for bands, and she was right."
"It took us a while to embrace technology, and some of us are better with it than others, but to us it's always been first about the song," he continues. "And now that the dust has settled from music's digital revolution, we find ourselves at the controls, which beats being at the mercy of the old record business machine."
Turns out, Golden State is one of several bands, including Blyndfold using guerrilla marketing to put a fire under their fan base. Would you scan a band's Tag to get things like a free song and access to tour dates? What do you think of Golden State's implementation? (One more question.) Are there other ideas bands could use to connect with fans? Let us know in the comments below or on Tag’s Facebook or Twitter pages.