Hi! We’re Mom Rock, America’s #1 no-frills rock band. Here are five tips to build your b(r)and:
TIP #1: PEOPLE LISTEN WITH THEIR EYES FIRST
Never underestimate the power of a good outfit. When the band was starting out, we were playing a lot of basement shows with four or five different bands on the same bill. Most of the time, attendees weren’t specifically there for the music and just came for the party, and in a sea of skinny jeans and tee shirts, it was almost impossible to stand out.
One day, Curtis bought a purple and gold metallic sweats set off of a friend and wore that on stage, and everything clicked into place. We all found our own monochromatic jumpsuits and wore them every time we played, as well as did photoshoots in them in empty classrooms. Soon enough, the party people began to identify us from the outfits, and we gained a following around our city.
Like Taylor Swift, we had “eras” of our own; the jumpsuits gave way to all-silver numbers (sewn by Curtis’s mom!) and then we pivoted to a retro throwback baseball jersey look. Right now, we’re rocking some NASCAR fire suit-inspired coveralls with logos all over them. We believe our show clothes get us—and our fans—into the “Mom Rock” mindset.
TIP #2: THE BRAND IS BIGGER THAN YOURSELF
We’ve always been a fan of audience participation, so we wanted our fans to become a part of our brand, too. When we were in our “baseball era,” we wanted to give fans the opportunity to feel like they were a part of our “team,” so we sold the jerseys as merch with the opportunity to customize the name and number that appeared on the back. After performances at festivals, we would walk around and hand out baseball cards that doubled as business cards (wallet sized for easy storage!) It’s always so amazing to see showgoers wearing jerseys in the crowds and find some common ground with not only us, but also each other.
Nowadays, we have our NASCAR trading cards and NASCAR-dupe tee shirts, but we’ve been working on new ideas to flesh out the concept with even more opportunities to expand outward with efforts like brand collaborations and multimedia projects. If you have a solid foundation, building on top of it is easy!
TIP #3: BE AWARE OF TRENDS, BUT DON’T FOLLOW THEM
As music lovers, we always want to hear what other artists our fans are listening to. If we notice that our fans seem to like another band that we’ve never heard of, we’ll look into them and their brand, identifying our similarities and differences. If we see a band excelling in an area that we consider to be a weakness of ours, we’ll analyze them to see what they do and how their fans react to it. This is only helpful if you are self-aware enough to identify those weaknesses in the first place, so we try to “take inventory” every so often to gauge what we should be focused on.
That being said, we don’t like to be followers. With attention spans so short, micro-trends dominate the landscape, so if you try to chase a trend, you’ll likely end up missing the boat entirely. Hard-core trend-chasing also takes away the time, energy, and resources necessary to focus on any original concepts that may have been thought of and rolled out in the process.
TIP #4: COMMIT TO THE BIT
We’ve always gravitated toward big, high-concept ideas. Coming up with ideas is one thing; executing them the way we imagine them is a different story, requiring a lot of prior thought and preparation. We aim to align everything we do—stage wear, album art, merch, video content, and even social media posts—to our current aesthetic for a full package cohesive vibe.
We aren’t afraid to draw inspiration from some more unorthodox sources, so beyond music, we look to branding in film, television, literature, fashion, and sports. By diversifying our influence pool, we always have fresh ideas flowing.
Even if an idea seems too involved or difficult to pull off, go for it!
For example, for our debut album Now That’s What I Call Mom Rock, we took a very “meta” approach to its branding, playing with the irony of a musical artist being reduced down to a “brand.” From the parodied infomercial music video to the logomania on our stage outfits to the album art depicting ‘80s editorial-style print ads, we went all out, poking fun at consumerism while indulging in being the thing consumed.
TIP #5: BE YOURSELF, HAVE FUN
The corniest tip on this list, but by far the most important!
In the age of social media, brands are constantly faced with concerns of authenticity and fakeness. Fans can easily sniff out when someone or something is disingenuous, so sticking with ideas and concepts that are natural to you is always the best bet. The more that you genuinely enjoy an idea, the more invested you will become. The more invested you are, the more likely the execution will be better! This of course goes beyond building an image or a brand—sticking to your guns will benefit you immensely in the long run.
We started this band because we were some college kids who loved to play music and entertain people. We didn’t have all of the concepts from the get-go, but the more we got to know each other and the Mom Rock “identity” as a whole, the more naturally they came to us and the more we enjoyed building the brand. –Mom Rock
The Nashville-based trio, MOM ROCK — Curtis Heimburger [vocals, guitar], Tara Maggiulli [bass, vocals], and Wilson Reardon [drums] — craft bouncy rock & roll anthems charged up by airtight pop hooks and one-liners delivered with the swaggering aplomb of an Avenger. Following millions of streams, packed shows, and acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, the band might just rescue you(even for one night) with their 2023 eight-track debut LP — Now That’s What I Call Mom Rock.