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ggm1960

Do Some Musicians Seem Delusional To You?

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So I'm at work the other day in an area where I'm not typically at and a drummer that I'd been in a band with a number of years ago spotted me and came over to talk. I've always thought the guy to be a bit odd but I don't believe he's stupid. He's telling me all about this band he's been putting together, the idea as he describes it is a 70's glam themed thing. That sounds ok but it strikes me as a bit weird that you come up with the idea for what you expect your band to be before you actually go about finding some players and a vocalist that you think will match your somewhat narrow vision.

 

There is a very active live music scene in this area, however, it's rather modest size wise by national standards and the talent pool is limited by that. It's probably similar to most other areas though in that you do your best to promote your shows and hope that you can get enough of a crowd that the venue can make some profit. This time of year everything is indoors and there aren't any particularly large places to play, if you're booking a band you take what you can get and hope for the best turnout.

 

Anyway he goes on to describe the difficulty he'd had trying to find a vocalist (no, really? I think to myself) but now he's found someone. Silly me I go ahead and ask who it is but he holds back and says he can't really divulge that information. I'm oddly unaffected by that but I don't bother to say that even if I recognized the name it would be very difficult for me to find someone else to tell that would actually care. I go ahead and wish him the best of luck!

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To answer the thread title: Some...? :facepalm:

 

Hey, the guy has a vision...there is nothing wrong with that. :wave:

 

Think about the crazy stuff that sells...this guy may be on to something...who knows? :idk:

 

Won't you feel silly if two years from now his band is opening Lollapalooza...?

Edited by daddymack
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Won't you feel silly if two years from now his band is opening Lollapalooza...?

 

I did wish him the best of luck!

 

 

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There isn't a studio owner, recording engineer or producer on the planet who is going to answer that question in anything but the affirmative... ;)

 

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A few years ago a guy who has since left our praise band told me he'd introduced himself to another musician as our "lead guitarist." I know how well he plays and it's a good thing the guy didn't ask him to sit in.

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I think there are two things going on here that should be considered separately.

 

First, there's the guy who has his own (potentially impractical) artistic vision for a band. Following an impractical vision, or producing something which will probably have a limited appeal, is not necessarily delusional in and of itself. In my experience, real artists have a bubbling fountain of artistic urge inside them which compels them to express themselves through their artistic medium, and in that case, they're going to make their art no matter what. Even people who are not strongly driven artists occasionally have flashes of artistic inspiration that motivate them to do something. Gotta follow that muse.

 

However, one can often find a level of delusion in such people regarding the potential appeal of, or marketability of, such a project. Also, there are lots of musicians who I think are better described as practicing the craft of music, as opposed to making art. It's not hard to find projects which were probably conceived something like this: "Hey, I love [genre X]. I'm going to start a band to play [genre X], and everybody will love it! I'll be a star! At last, the perks of fame and fortune will be mine!" It's hard to admit that nobody wants to hear what you're doing (which may have nothing at all to do with how technically good or bad the project is). Trying to sell people on something they don't like, or even something they don't know they like, is a hard slog, and one for which some people forming bands are not prepared.

 

There's a separate potential level of delusion in the OP, which is whether a given musical community can provide the necessary collaborators to realize a particular artistic vision. That may be a variation on the foregoing situation, i.e., "This music is so self-evidently excellent, everybody will want to play it, even if they've shown no interest in [genre X] before." It may also involve ignoring inconvenient realities like, if there was a singer with the talent and experience to do [whatever], he/she would already be in a band and everyone would know about him/her, but we don't, so it's not realistic to expect such a person to materialize suddenly.

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I think there are two things going on here that should be considered separately.

 

First, there's the guy who has his own (potentially impractical) artistic vision for a band. Following an impractical vision, or producing something which will probably have a limited appeal, is not necessarily delusional in and of itself. In my experience, real artists have a bubbling fountain of artistic urge inside them which compels them to express themselves through their artistic medium, and in that case, they're going to make their art no matter what. Even people who are not strongly driven artists occasionally have flashes of artistic inspiration that motivate them to do something. Gotta follow that muse.

 

However, one can often find a level of delusion in such people regarding the potential appeal of, or marketability of, such a project. Also, there are lots of musicians who I think are better described as practicing the craft of music, as opposed to making art. It's not hard to find projects which were probably conceived something like this: "Hey, I love [genre X]. I'm going to start a band to play [genre X], and everybody will love it! I'll be a star! At last, the perks of fame and fortune will be mine!" It's hard to admit that nobody wants to hear what you're doing (which may have nothing at all to do with how technically good or bad the project is). Trying to sell people on something they don't like, or even something they don't know they like, is a hard slog, and one for which some people forming bands are not prepared.

 

There's a separate potential level of delusion in the OP, which is whether a given musical community can provide the necessary collaborators to realize a particular artistic vision. That may be a variation on the foregoing situation, i.e., "This music is so self-evidently excellent, everybody will want to play it, even if they've shown no interest in [genre X] before." It may also involve ignoring inconvenient realities like, if there was a singer with the talent and experience to do [whatever], he/she would already be in a band and everyone would know about him/her, but we don't, so it's not realistic to expect such a person to materialize suddenly.

 

some valid points, but if i may, stating anything as “a reality” may or may not be valid... the inconvenient reality is not reality at all but purely conjecture. making broad statements that sound plausible on the surface are convincing until you stop and apply a bit of critical thought... you have critiqued everyone in a 50 mile radius on their musical abilities with an unbiased standard? as far as innately “knowing” about these elusive, magical beings that suddenly materialize, it actually takes about 9 months and out of the 360,000 births yesterday, im betting there are a couple musical prodigies that are as of yet undiscovered by you or me... one may be living next door to you now... so its more of a reality that yes, indeed! most miraculously they materialize without our permission or knowledge... imagine that!

 

knowledge and skill are nothing compared to imagination.

Edited by Voltan
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Exactly why I got into recording. (and a large part of why I got out of it)

I don't care how awesome your band is or how many records you sell. I'll do the best job I can and you can pay me by the hour.

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I would go beyond "some" and say "all' date=' to some extent". But I'm quite cynical.[/quote']

 

It's my belief that cynical attitudes come with age and the constant struggle of dealing with reality. In my case where I'm at least as much of a biker as a musician I have a no BS approach to life that generally serves me pretty well.

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I'm pretty sure that when a bunch of guys sat around and decided that they were going to form an 80's glam metal band and to make it obnoxious and offensive, that everyone rolled their eyes at them too.

 

And now we have Steel Panther :)

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I think that probably every wildly successful musician has suffered from delusions of grandeur at some point. To be hugely successful---especially those have broken new ground and were considered visionary---how could they not have?

 

And for every one of them? There are probably 10,000 who simply suffered from them. Who had the ideas but with no concept of how to make them work or no understanding whatsoever of some very real-world limitations.

 

 

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Well anyone that straps a guitar on or sits behind a drum kit thinks it might happen someday. Once you reach middle age you might have to look around and realize it's probably not going to happen. Some people have a hard time with that acceptance.

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Well anyone that straps a guitar on or sits behind a drum kit thinks it might happen someday. Once you reach middle age you might have to look around and realize it's probably not going to happen. Some people have a hard time with that acceptance.

 

That's pretty much the perspective I was originally writing from, I'm a few years older than that guy but we're both in our 50's here. I suppose the upside to this particular story is that we have technical degrees and long term steady employment at a huge corporation. With marketable skills at something you find interesting, electronics in our case, working for "the man" can actually be a pretty good thing.

 

I don't recall a time when I wasn't a musician, from the age of five my mother had us taking piano lessons and later I became a proficient and studied guitar player as well. I often think I probably could have done real well in the music business but at the age where I should have been pursuing it I was extremely unfocused and irresponsible.

 

I still enjoy writing songs and I believe some of them are pretty good. I was really into recording back in the 90's when computers were beginning to make it possible for people to do that at home. I posted a lot of them but they got lost in the huge influx of others doing the same thing of course. I sometimes think I should try to find a capable group of younger musicians to mentor and perhaps promote but finding (or perhaps more appropriately, making) the time is difficult. I have a number of other hobbies and interests besides the time consuming business of working full time and maintaining a home, etc..

 

 

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I have delusional aspirations, so yeah, when I look in the mirror, there's always some delusional guy looking back at me

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I don't think anyone's mentioned this, but I'm always interested in what instrument the person forming the band plays. A drummer is the last person who should be forming a band unless you already have a reputation that can get gigs sight unseen. Good drummers are busy because they can play in multiple projects with less rehearsal time than pretty much anyone else.

 

Most groups will revolve around the lead vocal. That's who should be forming the band, and if they need a musical director, that's the first chair you fill.

 

Depends on what your aspirations are. If you're happy to jam in the basement or play out for gas money, invite guys who can demonstrate that they are comfortable with the genre you're looking for. Around here, the musical landscape is littered with self-taught players who just want to play and don't have delusions about being successful. I'll bet the drummer in the original post doesn't have any recordings to share that will demonstrate that he actually knows how to play.

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Please, no, lead singers, at least, lead singers who do not play an instrument, should be hired only if none of the instrumentalists can sing...and then only if they have their own PA system.

IMHO, of course...and based on decades of experience. The only exception: a beautiful woman with a voice like an angel who actually studied music would be acceptable...

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A drummer is the last person who should be forming a band unless you already have a reputation that can get gigs sight unseen. Good drummers are busy because they can play in multiple projects with less rehearsal time than pretty much anyone else.

 

I'll bet the drummer in the original post doesn't have any recordings to share that will demonstrate that he actually knows how to play.

 

My experience around here is that, with few exceptions, if you start a new band, you start all over in regards to getting booked. There's also what I'd call a "turnover" problem where venues (mostly bars) open,close and/or change hands somewhat frequently.

 

I'd worked with this drummer in the past and found that he doesn't like to um.....stick to a standard beat and could go off the rails with a little, shall we say, improve occasionally. I've talked to others that have worked with him since that time and tell me they find it difficult to work with him for similar reasons.

 

 

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I'd worked with this drummer in the past and found that he doesn't like to um.....stick to a standard beat and could go off the rails with a little, shall we say, improve occasionally. I've talked to others that have worked with him since that time and tell me they find it difficult to work with him for similar reasons.

 

If you want to start a band, you'd better be the musical anchor of the project. Having said that, the lead singer chair is often the most important in a band, and often we avoid them simply because the economics of the circuit you play means you can't afford to pay someone who doesn't also play an instrument. Virtually all the venues up here are simply too small.

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Through the years I got so frustrated with singer problems, that I learned to sing myself.

 

It was harder than learning the saxophone or guitar, because you can't press the right keys or fret and have the right note come out. It's physical, you need conditioning, proper breathing, proper breath support, and countless hours of practice. But it's worth it.

 

I'll never be a great singer, I don't have the physical equipment for that, but I've learned to become a decent singer. Add that I can play sax, wind synth, guitar, bass, drums, flute, and some keys, and it makes it easier for me to be wanted in a band.

 

But back in them late 1970s I was seeing a fantastic singer who was playing in another band. She also played a rhythm guitar. Pardon the cliche but it was love at first sight, we didn't know it then, it was just lust and fun. But it was both relaxing and exciting from day one.

 

Our bands broke up within weeks of each other. We decided to try something together. Got a piano player, a drum machine and played trio gigs. Later we added a drummer and bass player. That band broke up so we went to the "Musician's Exchange" and found new musicians and was gigging in another 5 piece band. Bass player quit for personal reasons, and we replaced him, drummer quit and we replaced her. Total out of work was 3 months to break the new musicians in.

 

Then when we got our first gig, the room was packed, so they opened the accordion pleat wall and set us in the bar. The new drummer said that God wouldn't forgive her if she played in a bar. I said God would have to forgive me for homicide if you don't play tonight.

 

Talk about delusional -- where did she think we were going to play?

 

The next day Leilani and I quit the band. I bought a Teac 4 channel reel-to-reel and I would record backing tracks. 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and when we had enough tracks for a gig, we went out as a duo. That was in 1985 Eventually digital came along and we ditched the tape for various digital formats. I ended up marrying her and we haven't been out of work since our second year as a duo. Once we established a reputation, we get repeat bookings and we're still doing it.

 

We are both stable, hard-working, professional, and we haven't had personnel problems since.

 

Notes

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delusional... i’ll show you delusional, mister! watch and learn...wait, artists arguing about reality?

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Fantasy is reality when you are in the entertainment business, Voltan ;)

 

In fact, to escape from fantasy, we read non-fiction books.

 

Notes

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Posted (edited)
Through the years I got so frustrated with singer problems, that I learned to sing myself.

 

It was harder than learning the saxophone or guitar, because you can't press the right keys or fret and have the right note come out. It's physical, you need conditioning, proper breathing, proper breath support, and countless hours of practice. But it's worth it.

 

I'll never be a great singer, I don't have the physical equipment for that, but I've learned to become a decent singer. Add that I can play sax, wind synth, guitar, bass, drums, flute, and some keys, and it makes it easier for me to be wanted in a band.

 

But back in them late 1970s I was seeing a fantastic singer who was playing in another band. She also played a rhythm guitar. Pardon the cliche but it was love at first sight, we didn't know it then, it was just lust and fun. But it was both relaxing and exciting from day one.

 

Our bands broke up within weeks of each other. We decided to try something together. Got a piano player, a drum machine and played trio gigs. Later we added a drummer and bass player. That band broke up so we went to the "Musician's Exchange" and found new musicians and was gigging in another 5 piece band. Bass player quit for personal reasons, and we replaced him, drummer quit and we replaced her. Total out of work was 3 months to break the new musicians in.

 

Then when we got our first gig, the room was packed, so they opened the accordion pleat wall and set us in the bar. The new drummer said that God wouldn't forgive her if she played in a bar. I said God would have to forgive me for homicide if you don't play tonight.

 

Talk about delusional -- where did she think we were going to play?

 

The next day Leilani and I quit the band. I bought a Teac 4 channel reel-to-reel and I would record backing tracks. 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and when we had enough tracks for a gig, we went out as a duo. That was in 1985 Eventually digital came along and we ditched the tape for various digital formats. I ended up marrying her and we haven't been out of work since our second year as a duo. Once we established a reputation, we get repeat bookings and we're still doing it.

 

We are both stable, hard-working, professional, and we haven't had personnel problems since.

 

Notes

 

Congrats, that in my opinion is success, even if you don't have platnium records on your wall or do you ? :freak:

 

When I moved to the Fairfax district in L.A. , I met great people like Michael Fell and Gina Zamparelli ( God Rest that Angel's soul ) , they introduced me to world class Rock musicians to play with

I didn't become an MTV star, but I had great Musicians to play with / learn from, had a car with a full tank, a fridge full of food, rent paid on time and blessing of a Life time .... To me , I was fulfilled and happy.

The most I hoped for was to make a living as a hiredgun Guitarist.

 

 

Edited by AJ6stringsting

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Congrats, that in my opinion is success, even if you don't have platnium records on your wall or do you ? :freak:<...snip...>

 

I wake up in the morning, go to bed at night and in between do what I want to do. I'm a success.

 

I've made my living doing music and nothing but music most of my life. Got close to that record deal and spent a year or two being the opening act for headliners in concert. The deal fell through because the label didn't want to pay, but that's OK.

 

I'm in a duo with my wife. She is a great singer and plays guitar and synth. I play sax, wind synth, guitar, bass, drums, keys and make our own backing tracks. We have a great time playing music for our audiences, and at the end of the night they give us money. (How cool is that!!!)

 

I started my own business making aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and sell them to musicians in over 100 different countries. A few times here and overseas I've walked into music stores and when they asked my name and I responded they asked if I was THE Bob Norton. That's a nice ego boost.

 

I'm not a wage slave to some faceless corporation, I have no boss telling me what to do either. I profit by my good decisions and hopefully learn from the bad ones. I'm living my life on my own terms.

 

The mortgage is paid, I take vacations every year and have been to every continent but Antarctica, I'm healthy, happy and gigging with my wife/best-friend/lover.

 

AJ6, it sounds like you are successful too.

 

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