... and man, it makes all the difference in the world! The old guy was lazy, had no interest in learning new songs, no stage presence, and was the definition of "getting by". The new guy wants to be here, has been in the local scene for a while, wants to add new stuff, has fun onstage, and it's just night and day.
This band's been going since 1/1/2010... and from then to mid/late 2012, I'd say we maybe added enough songs to almost double the setlist, and practiced maybe once every six months.
In the few months the new guy has been in the band? "Locked Out Of Heaven", "Hard To Handle", "Cruise", "Alcohol", "American Girl", "Lonely Boy", "Beer Money"... I swear we've probably added 10 to 15 new songs, and tightened up the looseness or "rigging" on 20 or so of the previous ones ("Dynamite" and "Forget You" have a whole new life with the cohesiveness).
I look at the songs on the horizon (lots of country, as we took a semi-regular gig at a franchised country bar.. as well as some stuff like "Shots", The Clash's version of "I Fought The Law", "Don't Stop Believin", and more...).. and I'm not groaning about how I'm going to pull it off with a subpar musician (and an overall lack of enthuasm because of it), but I'm eagerly awaiting making it happen!
It's SOOOO nice to actually be playing with three other musicians who, to one extent or another, "get it".. Since we've started, we've always had one (and sometimes two) guys who just weren't a good fit. Some weren't the best musicians, some didn't understand the business of playing in a cover band (and how that differs from an original metal band, or a "play what we like" band), some just had no commitment to the project..... and after three years and a few months of pushing through with this band, I just wanted to share my excitement. Already seeing results too... getting some new rooms, quite a few private party requests at the gigs, and people seem excited about what we're doing again.
Here's hoping I'll have lots more good to post about in the rest of 2013!