Interview with Stacey Piggott – (Author) “Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay”

Interview by Stuart Blythe
“Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay” is a book for self-managed artists, budding music managers and music industry students, written by Stacey Piggott; publicist and director of Two Fish Out Of Water. Life Music Media caught up with Stacey for a chat…

LMM: Hi Stacey, you’ve been in the music industry for quite a number of years… how did you get your start in the industry?

Stacey: I was working as a freelance journalist and also in a Mexican Resturant in Bondi on the weekends, and I met Donna Simpson from The Waifs. They were self-managed, self-distributed, self-booked and self-publicized. They had a tour and a new album coming and I started doing their PR as a bit of a joke. I went and sat on the floor of the newsagency and started to make a list of names and numbers from the magazines and papers and then started calling people. Donna and I used to muse over how funny it would be if I ever got them in Rolling Stone or on JJJ, and then a couple of years later we were at the ARIA’s laughing about those conversations because JJJ and Rolling Stone had become such a regular part of their promo schedule. A few bands they were friends with asked me to work with them and things just steam rolled from there, with more and more clients coming from all over the place, labels, different genres, festivals etc.
LMM: Over the years you’ve worked with, nurtured and help build the careers of some very successful bands. Can you name a few that stand outs and your involvement in their success?

Stacey: The Waifs were the first band I ever worked with, and I still work with them now. They are all really special people, incredibly talented and such a great example to other independent bands. Working with them allowed me to be a passenger on a pretty incredible ride that they went on, and every step was pure excitement because there was never any expectation, they are like family to me. I think bands like Cog, and the Drones are special to me too, as both managed to break through to get a mainstream presence without compromising their creative or personal integrity at any point. They are all really hard working, and lovely lovely people. Working with Augie March has been another highlight, it was really good to see such beautifully, complex music get that mainstream exposure and receive so many industry accolades, they are so deserving of them. The Jezabels, another perfect example of a talented, really hard working indie band who have put in the hard yards and are reaping the rewards of that financially and with the industry accolades bestowed upon them. I think now that I have a bit more experience, I am more aware of the relevance of each goal they kick and how much hard work it takes to get to each point. They are also some of the most gorgeous people you will ever meet, which always makes these great things that happen sweeter. I must admit there have been many times over the years where I have had a little quiet tear of joy when bands we work with are on stage at a sell out show at some huge venue, or killing it at a festival to thousands of people. I get really proud of them.
LMM: Who or what helped you decide that being a publicist was the right job for you?

Stacey: I don’t know to be honest, I started as a joke and then woke up 10 years later and am still here, too busy to think about what other options I could or should be looking at career wise. I had aspirations to be a fiction writer when I was a kid, I didn’t even know publicists existed.
LMM: You’ve taken your experience and written a book “Blow Your Own Trumpet : A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay” What made you think about writing the book?

Stacey: I come into contact with a lot of grassroots independent acts who are looking for a publicist, and a lot of them think the need to pay a publicist to get them media coverage, they are not aware that they can call media and do this themselves. I found myself writing the same email over and over again to explain the various ways an artist can do their own PR, and identifying the points when they actually need to get a publicist. So I thought it might be a good idea to document it and add in some real experiences and opinions from acts they may know and respect to illustrate the many things they can do for themselves.
LMM: How long was the book in the making?

Stacey: I think I talked about it, and thought about it for a year or more, and then worked on it sporadically in my spare time for another year and a half.
LMM: How did you go about getting input for your book from band members and managers?

Stacey: I had been speaking to a few of my clients about the idea and they threw in some stories of their own experiences, so I started with those guys and then looked at people from different genres and sectors of the industry who shared that similar worth ethic and had a passion for fostering a healthy industry and just emailed them with the idea and some questions.
LMM: From a publicity viewpoint, how would your book help up and coming artists?

Stacey: It just sheds light on what it is a publicist does, what point you should look at getting one and if you do want one, what you should talk about before they start to ensure you are aware of exactly what they are covering throughout the campaign, how they are covering it and what you can expect at the end. The industry and artists comments show how many differing opinions there are on various components, and the various pathways each one took to get to where they are now. What worked, what didn’t and give the reader some ideas to hopefully inspire them to either get up and start, or continue on, forging their own relationships with the media instead of waiting for someone else to do it for them. There are also really basic things like ideas on how to pitch to media, different platforms of media to think about and examples of press releases, bio’s etc.
LMM: There are so many different avenues that an artist can take to promote themselves like itunes, BandCamp, Spotify etc, which I would think creates some confusion for a lot of artists, would your book help clarify this for them?

Stacey: Each artist needs to find the best promotional avenues for their own needs, experimenting with a few and seeing what feels right and what fits you best, is the only way to really sift though what is worthwhile and what is useless when it comes to this type of self promo. Each of these platforms offers a different benefit or drawback depending on what your needs are.
LMM: Can we expect to see another book from you in the future?

Stacey: Oh I have no idea, I am still surprised I got this one done!

Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay
Available November 12th from
Pre-order your copy now!

Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay is a book for self-managed artists, budding music managers and music industry students. It was written to dispel a few myths and provide a collection of tools to help the reader promote their own music or that of the band they are representing, without handing over cash to a third party. A book of ideas, guidelines, philosophies and stories telling the many pathways one can choose to create a media presence in Australia.

Featuring stories from Henry Rollins, Vikki Thorn (The Waifs), Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), Ray Ahn (The Hard-Ons), Dan Sultan, Carlo Santone (Blue King Brown), Dan Williams (Art vs Science), Lucius Borich (Cog, Floating Me), Mia Dyson, Illy, Kieran Carroll (The Beautiful Few), Ash Grunwald, Stavros Yiannoukas (Bluejuice), Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring), Laughton Kora (Kora) and industry folk Matt Granfield (Memery Digital), Dom Alessio (Triple J), Matty Woo (manager of The Beautiful Girls), Dave Batty (manager of The Jezabels), Nick O’Byrne (AIR).

Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay
Available November 12th from
Pre-order your copy now!