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  • Band Killers and Avoiding bad situations

    Many of us would agree that band killers mostly involve the THE 3Ds: Drugs, Drama,  and Disorganization. I just got out of a band that suffered 2 out of 3. But I'm frustrated because too many of my current prospects appear to suffer from the same 2. I'm trying to gracefully back out of invitations to a time-wasting situations. Am I too critical because I'm a little older or are there a greater pct of bands these days that just don't have their sh*t together?.

    Did I say that out loud ?!?

  • #2

    Not sure if there's a 4th but one band killer is the one guy who just isn't on board with anything, yet is needed because of practice space, PA, or whatever.  Not so much disorganization as much as defiance.. 

    Sig Fail

    Comment


    • Jmarcus2
      Jmarcus2 commented
      Editing a comment

      " Not sure if there's a 4th but one band killer is the one guy who just isn't on board with anything, yet is needed because of practice space, PA, or whatever."

      I'm talking with one of those, but in this case I thnk he may be the weak link.

       

      (BTW what is the accept as solution button?)

       

       


  • #3
    At the core, you have to all have the same goals. That way when you argue, at least you know you're just arguing over the best way to get there, not arguing over where you're going.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

    Comment


    • SpaceNorman
      SpaceNorman commented
      Editing a comment

      SLScott86 wrote:
      At the core, you have to all have the same goals. That way when you argue, at least you know you're just arguing over the best way to get there, not arguing over where you're going.

      Discussions about goals always make me a little uncomfortable.  All to often they (the goals) are expressed in nebulous terms that are focused on grand "long term" wants and wishes.  When goals are expressed in that manner - it's virtually impossible to find a bandful of folks who "all have the same goals".  

      I agree that shared goals are necessary, however I prefer them to be expressed as short(er) term goals - with measurable results.   Hammering out agreement on short term goals such as "add X new tunes each month", "consistently play X paying gigs per month" or "play one new venue each month" are far more valuable in terms of motivating and moving a band forward - than nebulous discussions about grand "long term" wants and wishes.

      At the risk of offending "conventional wisdom" - I don't think it's critical that everybody be on the exact same page in terms of "long term" goals.   If I'm a guy who's long term goal is to be working in a situation that has me playing X gigs per month at a minimum of X dollars per gig - I can easily get along with a guy who's long term goals may be something else - as long as we can both agree on what our shorter term goals are. 


  • #4
    This is why I totally represent myself as a Solo Artist nowadays. Puts a lot more on my shoulders, but ensures that my goals remain the direction for the project. And sidemen, are just that, and paid to do a job.

    I know that doesn't help if you're just a sideman but works better for me these days as opposed to making a group maintain the same priorities.

    Comment


    • Jmarcus2
      Jmarcus2 commented
      Editing a comment

      Oh, jcpatte, if I encounter the situation as a sideman and get that "I want your input on the direction and content...", and end up rehearsing forever with no specific gig set, then I'm gone ASAP.


    • WynnD
      WynnD commented
      Editing a comment
      My Wife described a band as a marriage of 5 people who don't have sex with each other. We've got 7 in the band now, so that probably needs some adjustment.

  • #5
    I forget sometimes that a lot of the issues of original bands are totally different than those of cover bands.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

    Comment


    • Jmarcus2
      Jmarcus2 commented
      Editing a comment

      I was specifically referring to cover bands, but much the same can be said about an originals, or a cover band mixing in originals, etc.  But beware when folks start talking too much about lofty goals and intent without focusing on what's needed now to get the next gig.


    • SpaceNorman
      SpaceNorman commented
      Editing a comment

      SLScott86 wrote:
      I forget sometimes that a lot of the issues of original bands are totally different than those of cover bands.

      These sentiments are expressed pretty regularly.   I still struggle to see how the challenges faced by originals bands are all that much different than those faced by cover bands.   The details of each challenge - and the approaches/options/solutions typically available for those issues are no doubt different - but the issues themselves?  Regardless of whether you're a cover band or an originals act - you still have decide what songs you're going to play and put together a show, you still have create an administrative framework for your band (dealing with scheduling rehearsals, dealing with production (i.e., PA, Lights, etc.)), you still have to have a marketing strategy (i.e., figuring out where to play - and getting in the door).   Sure the source of song material is different, the venues are diffferent, the payment method is likely different, etc. - but each of these are simply different twists on the same issues.

      Personally - I think we're alot more alike than we are different.


  • #6
    PA? Rarely
    Lights? Rarely

    More often it's worrying about things like merchandise to actually make money, who is recording when, where to market your music, WHO to market your music, live shows amid writing and recording new material. When to tour. These are pretty exclusive to original bands, and these are the things that are affected by individuals' long-term goals.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

    Comment


    • Jmarcus2
      Jmarcus2 commented
      Editing a comment

      SL, A high level cover band should be concerned about every point  (even touring) you made except writing and recording new material.


    • SpaceNorman
      SpaceNorman commented
      Editing a comment

      SLScott86 wrote:
      PA? Rarely
      Lights? Rarely

      More often it's worrying about things like merchandise to actually make money, who is recording when, where to market your music, WHO to market your music, live shows amid writing and recording new material. When to tour. These are pretty exclusive to original bands, and these are the things that are affected by individuals' long-term goals.

      Aside from anything associated with "writing" - everything you've mentioned are things that cross a cover band's path as well.  While the originals guys look to merchandise to generate revenue - cover bands often debate investment in name bearing "swag" to help grow their name recognition and following. 

      Recording?  Also a cover band concern - selling in today's market (especially the private event market) pretty much makes having recorded demo material a necessity (at a minimum audio - and obviously much preferrably video).   What kind of demo?  Where and when to record it?  What snippets of what tunes should be included in the 4-5 minute video in order to market effectively?  These are all questions we cover folks have to deal with as well.

      Who to market to?  That's right up there on the cover band list of concerns.  Deciding what venues to target (based on musical fit, crowd opportunities, earnings potential, likelihood of selling a gig, etc.) are clearly something that cover bands wrestle with.

      When to tour?  Granted, few cover bands call it touring - but deciding just how far afield you're will to travel to perform IS a question that many cover bands have to consider.  Are we willing to take "up north" wedding gigs?  Are we willing to drive for an hour or more for a bar gig?  (It's not all that tough for a good suburban based band to put together a decent circuit of venues located an hour or so out of town - with just a little work.  Such venues tend to have a consistent crowd of regulars (by virtue of the fact that it's the only venue that's local for many folks in that area) - which can easily be converted into fans if the band is good.)  

      Again - how an originals band approaches these issues may very well be different than how a cover band goes about it .... but the issues themselves aren't all that different. 


  • #7
    Well, obviously, you would bail as a sideman, if nothing materializes in a timely fashion. I've learned that lesson well. That's why I don't even bother pulling out my musicians Rolodex anymore unless I need someone. In such case, I give the ample notice to be prepared.

    One thing I've learned from my recent experiences in praise and worship is that given ample time to learn the songs, rehearsals are really not that needed. Quality musicians SHOULD be able to learn aongs on their own and be prepared to perform them with little to no rehearsal.

    There's another thread started by JPaul I think going right now where he outlined what he needs to know before a gig. Give a good player a set list, charts, a recording, and special instructions about endings, etc and you should be good to go. IMHO.

    Comment


    • TIMKEYS
      TIMKEYS commented
      Editing a comment

      jcpatte2 wrote:
      Well, obviously, you would bail as a sideman, if nothing materializes in a timely fashion. I've learned that lesson well. That's why I don't even bother pulling out my musicians Rolodex anymore unless I need someone. In such case, I give the ample notice to be prepared.

      One thing I've learned from my recent experiences in praise and worship is that given ample time to learn the songs, rehearsals are really not that needed. Quality musicians SHOULD be able to learn aongs on their own and be prepared to perform them with little to no rehearsal.

      There's another thread started by JPaul I think going right now where he outlined what he needs to know before a gig. Give a good player a set list, charts, a recording, and special instructions about endings, etc and you should be good to go. IMHO.

      Yea you very little if any prep time in the band I play in.   Lots of stuff gets done live on the fly ,, and we introduce new stuff on the fly.   I just picked up a tue night with a pick up classic rock trio.   Got emailed a set list , and the key sigs.   Played the first show cold.   If you cant operate like that its apretty rough road in our music scene.  You are expected to be really quick on the up take and know how to jsut show up and play.  is it ideal ,, no but with people who play 4 to 6 nights a week ,, there is no time for band practice. 


  • #8

    I've heard the "a band is like an marriage between X people" and the multitude of folks talking about the need for everybody to be on the same page in terms of goals.   Once I again I'll challenge conventional wisdom is this respect and call bullsh*t on this. 

    I work for a Fortune 500 company with roughly 12,000 employees.  There are roughly 200 folks that are part of my "team" which itself is just a part of the IS group.   Rest assured that nobody that I work with in my day gig views our collective relationship as a "marriage between 200 people".   Nor do we have "shared goals".  There are 1000's of very successful organizations across the country where nobody is part of a "group marriage" and in which each of the individuals working there have their own personal goals.   They and the organization is successful because they're willing to commit to meeting very specific, short term goals. 

    What IS important for an organization to be successful - is to have members that recognize that they can be successful when the organization is successful - and who are willing to make the series of short term commitments that are asked of them - and truly mean it.

    Having everybody "on the same page" (i.e., in full agreement and support) regarding playlist, wardrobe and any of the other things that bands battle over - is NOT a requirement.   What IS necessary is everybody make the short term commitment to play whatever is on the current setlist and to play it with feeling.  To wear whatever the designated wardrobe is for Saturday - and to do it without whining.   Get folks who are willing to commit to short term goals (regardless of whether or not that short term  goal is 100% congruent with their dream goals) and you'll have a band that is succesfull!

    The SpaceNorman

    www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
    www.souldoutrocks.com

    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
    Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
    Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

    Comment


    • nchangin
      nchangin commented
      Editing a comment

      What Norman said not sure why some consider it a marriage, a relationship yes, marriage no.

      Band killers: saw a band the other night in Branson Mo, they said we are the XX band and we suck. Granted it was sarcasm, however it was also after a 30 min break and it was obvious that had been tipping the bottle a little bit.

      They did the classic 'doodling' before every song too, for the life of me I can't figure out why bands do that.

       


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      SpaceNorman wrote:

       

      I work for a Fortune 500 company with roughly 12,000 employees.  There are roughly 200 folks that are part of my "team" which itself is just a part of the IS group.   Rest assured that nobody that I work with in my day gig views our collective relationship as a "marriage between 200 people".   Nor do we have "shared goals".  There are 1000's of very successful organizations across the country where nobody is part of a "group marriage" and in which each of the individuals working there have their own personal goals.   They and the organization is successful because they're willing to commit to meeting very specific, short term goals.

       



      The reason I use the marriage analogy is specifically to point out what makes being a band different than just a simple work place.  The personal dynamics between band members are much more significant and crucial than they are between people you just see between 9 to 5 Mon thru Fri at your job.   There's no Human Resources division to have handle inter-personal issues for you.  Like a marriage, you've got to deal with that **** yourself.

      For musicians who just show up and play and get paid--who do a lot of casuals and pick up gigs, etc--obviously being in a band is much closer to a regular job.  Because for those sorts of guys, that's all it is.

      If I played in a band with 200 people, it would obviously be much different.  I don't.  There are six of us.  Most of us have been together for years.  Much of it spent travelling, sharing rooms, putting up with each other when we're in bad moods, going through rough personal stuff and everything else.  I've never been in a regular workplace where people are on the verge of fistfights because somebody is constantly late, or isn't handling their job to the satisfaction of the others.  Where dynamics change because a person or two starts drinking too much halfway through the workday.  All the inter-personal stuff gets ramped up much more in a band than in any workplace I've ever been at.  And in my band nobody gets to call in sick.  We don't use subs.    Most bands I've been in have operated in this same fashion.  Much closer to a marriage than simply workmates.


  • #9

    It can be pretty challenging to find the right people. Right now, I'm lucky because the guys in my band are like me. None of us drink a lot, none of us smoke, none of us have a lot of drama, we're all pretty quiet, no drug habits. It's a great match. I've been in a lot of bands, some of which had all three of the D's you mentioned (and some with the 4th one jeff42 brought up).

    I don't think you're too critical. You know what is right for you and what you will or will not put up with when you are in a band. Bands, original or cover, are all about degrees of compromise. I will put up with a bandmember that isn't as available as I would prefer as long as he is musically adept and has a strong work ethic. If defiance or disorganization or drama or drugs were in the picture in any degree, I would walk (or fire them if I were hiring them).

    (This is my Non-Signature.)

    Comment


    • #10
      Like a marriage, it can cost money to end a band as well if there is community property involved. Unless you want out so badly you just walk away and leave everything to the wife.
      _________________________________________________
      band websites:
      http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
      https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
      https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
      http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

      Comment


      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment

        guido61 wrote:
        Like a marriage, it can cost money to end a band as well if there is community property involved. Unless you want out so badly you just walk away and leave everything to the wife.

        I never do community property on bands.   Thats a deal breaker.   I have the gear I need to play a show. 

         


    • #11
      I was going to post a relevant Steel Panther song, but it's a little salty.
      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

      http://www.silentlapse.com

      Comment


      • #12
        Next band I join, I'm signing a Pre-nup.
        _________________________________________________
        band websites:
        http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
        https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
        https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
        http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

        Comment


        • #13
          I'm not saying I agree with the "they didnt earn that" attitude. I'm just saying that's where a lot of the resentment/jealousy comes from and is focused.
          _________________________________________________
          band websites:
          http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
          https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
          https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
          http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

          Comment


          • SpaceNorman
            SpaceNorman commented
            Editing a comment

            guido61 wrote:
            I'm not saying I agree with the "they didnt earn that" attitude. I'm just saying that's where a lot of the resentment/jealousy comes from and is focused.

            ...and I'm simply saying that in many cases the conclusion that "they didn't earn that" - is made without the benefit of any knowledge of what the band in question has actually "earned". 



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