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  • Same name or different name for different versions of band?

    Sort of a spin-off of the "Your band is great... BUT-" thread.



    Jeff42 mentioned the idea of adding a fourth member to his band Ostrich Hat, a keyboardist that would also sing and play some guitar.



    I know that I would appreciate someone similar if I were to ever expand our band from a trio to a quartet. I'm not looking for another guitarist, because my cousin can play guitar very well and it's kind of generic to only have two guitars. I'd rather have four different instruments instead since I have the guitar handled well in the band as it is. I attempted to switch between guitar and keyboards in 2011 when the band was a quartet, but it was a big hassle and I felt it blocked me from the audience since I sang most of the songs. On a lot of the small stages we play, it also made things very cramped. And then of course there is the money factor. In 2012, I made almost twice what I made in 2011 due to the bigger split between only three people.



    Another thing about doing both guitar and keyboards was that it was too distracting for me to have to switch between both instruments all the time as well as paying attention to the crowd while singing. I'm better off just singing and playing one instrument only. Also, since my guitar playing is a big part of the sound of the band, I don't want that to be sacrificed. So, I would need someone else to do the keyboards.



    Over the past months, I've been contemplating adding a fourth member only for higher-paying gigs where it would be justified (weddings, special events), keeping it a trio for our bread and butter gigs, which are currently the bars. When I discussed it before with the band, they thought keeping the name the same would be fine. I disagreed, as I think people would be expecting one thing but getting another (most likely expecting the full lineup, but "only" getting the trio and being irritated with that) because people will talk with each other. To prevent that possible situation, I thought maybe the trio should have one name, while the quartet should have a completely different name to avoid confusion.



    What do you guys think?
    (This is my Non-Signature.)

  • #2
    I say you keep the name and offer the product that each client needs. Price accordingly and be up front about the two versions of the band.

    There is one band I know here in FL that can do everything from jazz trio to 8-piece pop-rock wedding/corporate stuff.

    Awesome players and it's all based on client needs/budget.
    "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever" - David St. Hubbins

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    • #3
      I don't think it is a good idea going with two names seeing as though your band name is essentially your brand name. Part of the deal is you have to establish the name to the point where people associate certain things (good product) with the band name.



      I suppose you could add a 4th member for certain gigs, but IMO it just seems like you would be adding unneccessary stress. It is one thing if you're in a big market where there are solid pros you know you can count on then it might work, but it's another thing if you're in a "regular" city hoping the guy can gel at a big gig without much rehearsal.



      The last band I was playing with had a keys guy that would come in as available. He was great and had no problems fitting in, but there would be some communication breakdowns leading into instrumental breaks as the band leader would sometimes be late giving cues because he was busy doing so much (playing guitar, singing, directing, etc). Maybe no one noticed, but this obviously would have been fixed by rehearsals, but the guy was unavailable to rehearse. It wasn't a big deal to anyone in the band, but I don't think it was doing the "product" any favors. Just depends on whether or not you want to sell it I guess.
      http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

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      • #4
        Well for us, if we would add a keyboard player it would be ONLY for some jobs and the name would stay.
        www.ostrichhat.com

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by Yer Blues
          View Post

          I don't think it is a good idea going with two names seeing as though your band name is essentially your brand name. Part of the deal is you have to establish the name to the point where people associate certain things (good product) with the band name.




          I think you're right. I know that the longer period of time a band has the same name, it becomes their 'brand' as well.



          Right now, we are maximizing the amount of $$$ our three-piece band gets from gigs, especially those out-of-town. If we were to add a fourth member for some of those, the price would have to go way up to keep the current shares we are getting and to make it worth their while for playing with us for those gigs. As some bars are closing, being sold/changing hands, and going Karoake, this might not be the time to up our price to such levels.








          I suppose you could add a 4th member for certain gigs, but IMO it just seems like you would be adding unneccessary stress.



          This brings up another good point. Some bands can probably get away with having different configurations in different environments and none is the wiser. What happens if that fourth member can't make it for the higher-paying gig and a sub is out of the question? Play as a trio and give them a discount? Or just cancel it altogether because that particular version of the band isn't going to be available?



          As much as I'd hate to admit it, I'm thinking that adding the fourth member might be more trouble than it would be worth. I'd love the way the band would sound onstage, but everything else leading up to it might be a PITA.
          (This is my Non-Signature.)

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by tim_7string
            View Post

            What do you guys think?




            I would be worried that you think people would give two hoots about how many members are in your band. <G. I play with a band that goes from a trio to a octet to a myriad of singers and players depending on the gig. I am the contact for everything - I run the business - so people call I offer them the configuration they need or want....and price out accordingly.



            The only comment I've heard is when we are at the largest configuration is from a Corporate planner who said - Wow you guys are versatile.

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            • #7
              Keep the same name if it is just going to be a 'bigger' version of the same band. McDonald's doesn't change the name of the Big Mac just because they add fries to it and call it a meal. It's all part of the same brand you're trying to build/sell.
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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by Papanate
                View Post

                I would be worried that you think people would give two hoots about how many members are in your band. <G. I play with a band that goes from a trio to a octet to a myriad of singers and players depending on the gig. I am the contact for everything - I run the business - so people call I offer them the configuration they need or want....and price out accordingly.



                The only comment I've heard is when we are at the largest configuration is from a Corporate planner who said - Wow you guys are versatile.




                I'm guessing you live in a larger metropolitan area as well? Out here in a town of 50,000, it's difficult to find just the right people for the job. Maybe I can be optimistic and start looking for some outside players that might fit the bill. If I can find them, I would be willing to add/subtract people as necessary, as long as everyone understands how it all works.
                (This is my Non-Signature.)

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                • #9
                  Unless you're doing completely different music or targeting a different market and want to avoid any association with your three piece band, I would use the same name. If you have concerns about perceptions, market the four man shows as "big band" or "XXX with keys"
                  "That's what the internet is for, slandering other people anonymously." -Banky Edwards

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                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by ckcondon
                    View Post

                    I say you keep the name and offer the product that each client needs. Price accordingly and be up front about the two versions of the band.

                    There is one band I know here in FL that can do everything from jazz trio to 8-piece pop-rock wedding/corporate stuff.

                    Awesome players and it's all based on client needs/budget.




                    ^^^ ^^^
                    Music, music, I hear music

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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by chadd
                      View Post

                      Unless you're doing completely different music or targeting a different market and want to avoid any association with your three piece band, I would use the same name. If you have concerns about perceptions, market the four man shows as "big band" or "XXX with keys"




                      There's a band up here that sometimes plays with a horn section. Sometimes the are "Cover band," Other times "Cover band and the horntones"
                      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

                      http://www.silentlapse.com

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                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by chadd
                        View Post

                        Unless you're doing completely different music or targeting a different market and want to avoid any association with your three piece band, I would use the same name. If you have concerns about perceptions, market the four man shows as "big band" or "XXX with keys"




                        There's a band up here that sometimes plays with a horn section. Sometimes the are "Cover band," Other times "Cover band and the horntones"
                        Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

                        http://www.silentlapse.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My rock band uses a couple of different names depending on the gig. But, we play different genres of music. Our new project as all country and decided to use a different name as to not confuse people as to what they are getting or coming out to see.
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                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by Old Fart Rocker
                            View Post

                            My rock band uses a couple of different names depending on the gig. But, we play different genres of music. Our new project as all country and decided to use a different name as to not confuse people as to what they are getting or coming out to see.




                            Yeah, different genres, different names. That makes sense. I considered doing that with this band as well, having one name for the mellower rock and country, while having another name for playing heavier music, same lineup in both situations.
                            (This is my Non-Signature.)

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                            • #15
                              I'm in the different lineups - same name name camp. One of my current projects - "Soul'd Out" - plays in two or three different configurations depending on the $$$ and the venue - but always under the same name. At our smallest - we've played as 5 piece (guitar, keys, bass, drums and a female lead vocalist). Our "standard" base config is to play as a six piece (guitar, keys, bass, drums, sax and a female lead vocalist). We have gigged as a 5 piece (no sax) once or twice when space constraints and/or availability issues made it expedient. We often add trombone and trumpet/flugelhorn player and book as a 8 piece.



                              I'll be honest and say that these days - we'll bend over backwards ($$$ wise) to sell our 8 piece version. I have sooo much more fun playing with a horn section that I'm willing to take less $$$ myself. We're a solid act in both of the 5 and 6 piece configuration - but damn, add all three horns and we're instantly a show band playing at another level. The schwwinnngggg factor is worth a few bucks!
                              The SpaceNorman

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