Music Marketing With David LeDuc
David LeDuc is a Minnesota-based bassist, songwriter, and musical entrepreneur who has played in numerous bands in the midwest and has toured nationally.
David LeDuc In His Own Words
David LeDuc’s Musical Journey
I used to say it started in 10th grade when I started playing bass in my friend’s basement band but really it was elementary music class that sparked my interest in music. I remember getting an evaluation of the trombone, the drums and the bells.
Can you guess which one was the best/worst? Drums, one; trombone, then bells. Seventh, eighth-grade choir was really fun, too, and I had a great voice before puberty.
Sang all the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC songs I could. And even had a solo for Shut de do: “Shut the door, keep out the devil/Light the candle, everything’s alright/Oh, satan is an evil charmer.”
Ninth grade, I hated my choir teacher so I quit. I couldn’t stop laughing, because Stormbreaker singer Chris Sele kept making me laugh. I’d later be in a high school back with Chris but never actually gigged with him.
So after a couple battle of the bands, maybe my third high school, I teamed up with Joe Carlson who was a badass drummer and we went looking for a singer/guitarist. And found one in who would become a longtime bandmate for me in The MTVs, Ted Anderson.
Toast (my first real band) was born. We had early success selling our demos to friends at school and did quite a few runs. We sold out shows at the Seque Cafe and The Depot in St. Cloud.
We won a couple Battle of the Bands and always drew a crowd. It was so fun. I definitely thought we were gonna make it. Eventually around 2004, Joe left and we never had the magic again.
I joined a band called Half Act. Gigged and drank at Blarneys because they thought I was in the band and 21, so for my actual twenty-first birthday, it was my twenty-second and red-eyed it to Vegas. It was pretty baller.
Played in Johnny Rook, The Farewell Curcuit, Illusive, Edward the Confessor. Then I played a little bit with what became McKinley Place and Tyler Hornby introduced me to Holiday, my first full time gig. That was prob 2006/2007.
I toured the region playing clubs and universities and for an energetic, outgoing kid like me, I was in heaven. My first taste of tour… and first time playing First Ave opening for Quietdrive.
When that band ended I learned a valuable lesson. Be the booker. When our singer Nick Emmel left, so went our booking agent.
I started my career in the service industry. Hosting at Applebee’s. What a fall from grace. I hated it and quickly landed a serving gig at Broadway Pizza in Maple Grove. Small joint; worked closely with Sam Patel. Learned about investing from him.
Joined my first touring band, which was a dream of mine, called Pictures of Then. We toured around the country. Didn’t make shit but that turned into Enemy Planes in 2012, who I still record bass lines for them; this year, even. Our big highlights were opening for the Meat Puppets for a couple tours and winning Hard Rock Cafe’s international competition called Hard Rock Rising. We got to play a festival in Barcelona, Spain, with Lenny Kravitz and Kings of Leon. It was the best week of my life.
In 2009, I started writing my own songs more seriously and started a YouTube channel. Inspired by Julia Nunes, Jonathan Maan’s Song A Day Challenge channel, and Mystery Guitar Man, and Pomplamoose, Jack Conte, Ryan Lerman, Vlogbrothers, etc.
I started my own project with Ted Anderson called The Less Complex. It was our home for originals but we soon got cover gigs and decided to pivot the band and focus on helping bars make money.
It was a smart move because I was the booker and Ted was the artwork and we were a fulltime force from 2011-2017.
I went full time with Pop Rocks in 2017 and have played four USO tours for the troops overseas and have toured full time every year, except Covid. We played the Super Bowl 52 volunteer party at Xcel Center. We’re booked pretty solid this summer, so if you are looking for a national-caliber show and a good time, come see me in Pop Rocks. You’ll be entertained, I promise you that.
I post on the socials when I have a gig. Word of mouth. I did runs of merch and CDs and usually sell well at places. I have my songs on all the steaming platforms.
I was big on this in 2009-2012; my YouTube days. My first viral video was a tribute original parody of Accidentally In Love by Counting Crows. Julia Nunes put it in her favorites and I literally had 2,000 subscribers in a week. It was bonkers and gave me fuel to create like crazy for years.
I always thought collabs were the way to go because it sounds better, usually, and we cross-promote each other. I did a few local collaborations like Sunday Bloody Sunday with Harley Wood.
And some bigger ones with Internet-famous people like Daniela Andrade. I started an online band with her when she had 10,000 subs. Now she has over a million streams on Spotify per month. She still replies to me on Twitter!! Yay I’m famous .
Why they are awesome? So many variables.
- What kind of gig, cover, original?
- What does it sound like?
- Does the crowd know the band?
- Or does the band have to win over the crowd?
Those are the shows I’m most familiar with, with the MTVs. We got a name around town as a band that wouldn’t pack a place but would definitely do well with foot traffic.
We took a Thursday $100 gig at Glueks and after a Twins game filled the bar and they gave us weekend gigs after that for full band rate.
Enemy Planes usually had a good turnout, too, but the downfall with that band was our setup and soundcheck was waaaaaay too long. Really kills the flow if you go too long between bands.
Being in the zone. It’s like sports; when it’s working, you’re flying. You’re not thinking; you’re just experiencing the moments and it’s beautiful.
I’ve crowd funded my own solo album in 2013. Just through my website and socials.
Enemy planes did a crowdsource from PledgeMusic and that was a bust. I’m thinking about doing a Kickstarter or something for my board game I’ve been working on for four years now. So I’ll let ya know.
Surviving The Pandemic
Overnight, losing my job that I loved. Wondering if the industry was damaged beyond repair and what I would do instead of music????
End of 2019, I split with my ex of ten years and then lost my mom in August of 2020. So that year was the most trying and mentally draining year of my life.
I flirted with some live streams and did well in tips. Started driving for Jet’s Pizza because I tried snow removal for a buddy’s company and was like: nooooooope, not me.
Luckily, I did take some unemployment and my renters both were able to work so that kept me afloat. I’m so glad that music is coming back with a vengeance.
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