Minatox69 is a metal band based in Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza – Italy) and officially formed in 2010. The main purpose of the band is to propose an aggressive musical style that diversifies itself from the normal concept of metal by adding different influences, going from hard rock to funky, an arduous work expressed trough continuous research of a new sound along with a mathematical approach in drawing up the pieces. The result is an explosive sound “seasoned“ by energetic live performances, a concentration of skills and power with eccentric changes of the rhythm and melody accompanied by a true metal voice. In December 2010 the band released its first self-produced seven tracks demo-cd, titled “La foca nel deserto”. In June 2011, the band reached the 2nd position at Metal Battle, a contest that gives the opportunity to perform at Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. A month later, the song "The Things You Can not Change" was included in the Mp3 Goes Metal Compilation, released by Noloser Records/UndergroundZine Webzine. In October 2012, the group releaseda self-produced EP, titled "Hot Line". 

1. What are the main challenges that you had to go through as a musician and how did you manage to overcome them?

Well, we will need to go way back in order to answer this question, haha! Probably, the first challenge that we have faced was during our childhood, when very few people were supporting our choice of the genre of music that we have wanted to practice, which is often associated with violence, so showcasing our Italian culture through our music was definitely a tough road to cross. Let’s just say that once you find the right people that you can create your own art with, you just need to focus on thinking, behaving and growing personally and professionally, through continuous improvement, both in the artistic and professional aspect of your career.

2. What are the main opportunities that you acknowledge as promising for developing a career in music in the current landscape of the business? 

We truly believe that the most important thing nowadays is finding the right industry professionals to collaborate and work with. It is a complex process, because you need to find that team that is not only the best and most proficient one, but the one that is suitable for you as well. There is no doubt that nowadays communication can be considered as one of the main factors in the music industry, in terms of utilizing social media, advertising, press releases, articles, reviews, live gigs and so on.

3. What are the main struggles that the artists are facing nowadays in terms of music promotion and what is the best approach that can be utilized in this area?

Basically, due to the highly over-saturated music business market, we need to face thousands of bands that want to promote their own product and are striving for the results that every artist is aiming for on a daily basis, so the main challenge is to present yourself better than anyone else. 

4. Discuss the challenges and the opportunities in terms of fan engagement, retention and growth that you – as a participant in the music business – are facing at the moment.

Among the main challenges nowadays, artists probably mostly need to focus on the ability to interact as much as possible with their fans. For us, our fans are truly our family and they play a crucial role in it. You should never let them get bored, so you must always try to maintain the existing listeners' attention and attract new fans to learn more about your music, as well as to always make sure that you are acknowledging their feedback and preferences as well.

5. How do you expand and retain your fan base? What should artists do to retain their fans?

We are trying to have a clear, smart, concise and well-structured social media performance, with frequent updates concerning the promotion of the band (gigs info, videos, photos, merchandise, interviews and so on). It is also very important to maintain and increase a stable, high level brand and make sure that the fans are always interested in it.

6. How should an artist approach the process of developing a stable live profile nowadays? What are the main problems, which an artist is facing when it comes to preparing tours, organizing their own shows and so on?

Fortunately, we are in a position where we can delegate the logistic organization of our live profile to our management, since there are too many aspects of work in this sphere that - as a band - we don't have the opportunity to control. This market is quickly growing and you need to keep yourself updated with its constantly changing requirements, if you want to be successful in it. Let's just say that we - personally - prefer to focus more in our respective tasks as performers and ensuring that we are giving the best show possible to our fans.

7. What is the mind set and mentality that an artist should concentrate on in terms of the business performance of their respective career, considering the specifics of the music industry?

Throughout our experience, we very often came across bands that truly believed that they are the best one in the genre, which is always a negative indication, as if you want to be as successful as possible, you need to be able to objectively see the constant need for improvement, which you need to dedicate yourself to, if you want to develop a good career. We truly believe that an artist should never stop growing; you need to be proactive, enthusiastic, always trust your guts, but make sure that you are listening and appreciating the advice given by professionals and people that might understand certain things better than yourself. Listen to your friends and family, as they will always tell you the true. Regardless, you must never surrender.

8. What are the key things that are required in order to build a stable and successful music career and get a sustainable music-related income?

That’s easy: have a high-quality production level, have a good management that understands the real needs and opportunities for your brand, keep on working on your image, as much as on the promotion of the band, search for all the necessary channels that would increase your publicity. Moreover, maintain a friendly relationship and especially a professional behavior on all levels and always seek harmony and fun in every project and challenge that you get the opportunity to be involved in.

9. What do you think is the business skill that most of the artists are lacking the most nowadays?​

Well, this might be the fact that most of the bands nowadays believe that they can do everything on their own. In the beginning of your career you might be able to multitask, but if you truly want to step forward as a professional band you really must accept the idea of having a prepared team that will deal with all the issues that are relevant to managing a complex project. As a band, you only need to put all of your energy and creativity in your music and that’s all.

10. What is the situation that you have experienced as a professional, which you would like to handle differently than you did, if you could?

Fortunately, we have never had experienced a situation that bad. We have had some problematic moments during our tour experiences, but any inconvenience that may occur when you are on tour will definitely help you to improve in the future, so wouldn't say that we would change anything, since every moment we have experienced has helped us to improve and develop our activity in one way or another. Let's say that we are lucky in this sense. :)

11. What is the toughest lesson that the music industry taught you?

The toughest lesson that we still keep learning every day is that if you don't have the right method and the right mentality you will always keep on failing. Making music is not just performing live gigs, beautiful girls, autographs, selling merch, traveling and so on, but is what represent you as a human being, so you must never let go of it. Music is what keeps your soul alive, so you need to keep doing it until your last breathe, regardless if you are successful or not.

12. What is the one thing that every musician should never forget and should always keep on top of their head?

You should never forget where you came from, the people who helped you reach your actual results and the people who stood by you when times were difficult. Never take your fans for granted, never forget about your friends, your family and never stop thanking everyone (good or bad), as every piece of experience helped you to be the person that you are today.