With over 1 billion active users worldwide and an impressive set of unique creative tools, Instagram is a great social media platform to find new fans of your music. But building an online community as an independent artist can get tough. Writing new music, practicing, recording, booking, touring, and marketing on your own, all while keeping a day job, is no joke.

We’ve talked to Before I Die, a metalcore band from Baia Mare, Romania, about overcoming the promotion challenges with the help of Combin, creating music for both enjoyment and protest, and veiling the members’ identities to make the art’s message stand out.

How did Before I Die start? What’s the idea behind it?

There was an idea to create music that balances aggressive and melodic sound, with lyrics that call for the need of balance in the world, in our society. We wanted to form a band of like-minded people that share love for extreme music and urge to speak up about the problems most prefer to dismiss.

The project started in 2014, but it’s been a while before the current line-up formed. Though it was a struggle to find the right people, it eventually happened. We rehearsed a few times together with some guys we knew, and we all felt like this was it. This was the perfect match, this was the real beginning of Before I Die.

In your music videos and live shows you appear wearing masks. Why?

We wear masks to express that it doesn’t matter who we are. In our opinion, the music and the atmosphere are the main reasons why people love live shows. The masks are also meant to convey certain messages. In Bucharest, for example, we dressed in formal wear and wore black thug masks in light of the recent corruption-related events which happened in our country and about which everyone seems to forget disturbingly quickly.

Is music rather a medium for you to express a political stance or a way to channel your creative voice?

Both. It is one of the strongest methods of protesting injustice and delivering something that is pleasant to listen to. We seek to inspire people to adhere to this “art of protest”, so to speak.

You are from Baia Mare, a smaller city and the way music bands form and progress must be quite different from how it is in, say, Bucharest. What are the main differences and hardships?

Things are indeed very much different in Baia Mare compared to Bucharest, and not only Bucharest but other countries as well. Everything is bigger there: the way you go around marketing your product, the opportunities you are able to find, the festivals you get to go to — that is why we are currently trying to reach other countries through Combin. In order to achieve strong internal development, you need to swim with bigger fish.

Are you signed to a label? Does it take care of marketing or you have to look out for new listeners and promote your events and records yourselves?

Everything is done in-house. That includes marketing with all of its aspects.

How does Instagram help you to reach a wider audience?

Initially, we started on Facebook and quickly noticed a big problem: the reach. Instagram has got a much bigger reach than Facebook nowadays, which is why it is better to invest your resources there.

Where did you learn about Combin? What made you stick with it?

We actually just searched on Google for a reliable tool that can help finding potential Instagram followers and conveniently interact with them.

Did you use any Instagram growth applications?

We haven’t used any other services besides Combin because it’s free and we are struggling to raise funds for our projects.

What did you like most about working with Combin?

It’s great that you can structuralize tasks plus you can add filters to avoid any awkward situations by not commenting to the same user or on the same post twice.

Could you please elaborate on your strategy?

Our focus is mainly on searching and engaging audiences of other music bands similar to us. We also use hashtags like #metalcore #hardcore #metal #deathcore #melodicmetal #undergroundromania #undergroundromanianmusic. We schedule unfollowing, liking and commenting tasks through Combin, but following is usually done manually via the Instagram mobile app.

How many new followers did you gain thus far with Combin? Would you continue using it?

Yes, we would. Combin is a great tool to promote your art. We would recommend it to anyone who wants to grow their Instagram audience organically.

In 6 months of using free version of Combin we’ve been able to achieve 1700 new followers which is pretty good. Other bands that precede us haven’t been able to reach that number.

Try free Combin version to attract new fans and manage current audience of your Instagram account.