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need advice on band situation


HORSE

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Here's the deal:

 

I just recently joined a band and I was pretty excited about the whole thing. The music is great and the other musicians are quite talented. I've been rehearsing for about 2 weeks and learning the music for our upcoming gigs (which will average around 2 per week).

 

I started getting a little concerned when the bandleader was talking about how he'd been to a recording studio for those 'band critique' seminars where the band performs for a producer who tells them how to improve their look and onstage image. :rolleyes:

 

I got even more concerned when the bandleader told me how he has enlisted the help of a girlfriend of his to 'dress' each of us in a particular MTV-inspired image. He wants to take some money from the band fund (which is padded by 10% of our earnings) and go shopping for our 'outfits'. :rolleyes:

 

Needless to say, I'm getting a little worried that he might be more concerned with the band image than I really care about. I understand that he wants to be successful and present a marketable image to his fans, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable being in a group where the music seems to be secondary to image.

 

Should I just shut up and play the gigs? There is good money involved...

Or should I tell him that he might want a different bass player who will be ok with making image a priority. That way I can go back to playing jazz with scruffy beatniks for peanuts...

 

Help!

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$.02-- You have to ask yourself: What is this worth to you? For me, the boss is whoever is paying me. If a bandleader has a vision of what/how he wants to sell his act/product then only I can make the decision if it will be worth my time and effort to help them with this in the long run. I'll have to ask myself "What is the big picture here?" and ascertain how I would fit into it in the long haul. There are plusses here: at least this person has an idea/vision of how he wants it to go and has some type of mental blueprint about it. Having a mental 'map' is not a bad thing. If its not really hurting your soul in any way at this point, I would stick with it and see what pans out. If it gets to the point where you are getting frustrated and - most important - it is no longer fun, then its time to bail

 

Good Luck

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$.02-- You have to ask yourself: What is this worth to you? For me, the boss is whoever is paying me. If a bandleader has a vision of what/how he wants to sell his act/product then only I can make the decision if it will be worth my time and effort to help them with this in the long run. I'll have to ask myself "What is the big picture here?" and ascertain how I would fit into it in the long haul. There are plusses here: at least this person has an idea/vision of how he wants it to go and has some type of mental blueprint about it. Having a mental 'map' is not a bad thing. If its not really hurting your soul in any way at this point, I stick with it and see what pans out. If it gets to the point where you are getting frustrated and - most important - it is no longer fun, then its time to bail


Good Luck

 

 

that's one of the best avatars yet:thu:

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I would hang with it and see how things progress. You may end up liking the situation. But, if the girlfriend dresses you up in spandex and uses 2 cans of hairspray on your hair, then I would run like hell, and call Dan Rowka for your replacement. :p

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$.02-- You have to ask yourself: What is this worth to you? For me, the boss is whoever is paying me. If a bandleader has a vision of what/how he wants to sell his act/product then only I can make the decision if it will be worth my time and effort to help them with this in the long run. I'll have to ask myself "What is the big picture here?" and ascertain how I would fit into it in the long haul. There are plusses here: at least this person has an idea/vision of how he wants it to go and has some type of mental blueprint about it. Having a mental 'map' is not a bad thing. If its not really hurting your soul in any way at this point, I would stick with it and see what pans out. If it gets to the point where you are getting frustrated and - most important - it is no longer fun, then its time to bail


Good Luck

 

Another +1 :thu:

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I would hang with it and see how things progress. You may end up liking the situation. But, if the girlfriend dresses you up in spandex and uses 2 cans of hairspray on your hair, then I would run like hell, and call Dan Rowka for your replacement.
:p

 

Yeah, I'm looking for a gig.

 

19396

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The music is pretty standard pop/rock stuff. And I'm not actually a 'hired gun' in this circumstance. He wants a committed bass player who will go the distance and contribute equally to the whole process.

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the music's good, and you like playing with these good musicians, so you say.

 

hell, that's so hard to find in a band that i'd wear lederhosen if they wanted me to. if it ends up making your band that much more successful, what do you care if there's an image associated with it?

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My take - walk away from it. I understand the guys making the "hired hand" comments, but that's really not what's going on here. The money to pay for the cutesy styling crap is coming off of your paycheck, not just out of the band leader's pocket. If you don't mind, that's fine, but if you'd rather have the money being withheld from your paycheck spent on things more meaningful to the music (or you) than stage appearance and fashion, then you ought to say so.

 

If he wasn't taking money out of your pocket to make you pay for things you don't want to wear to begin with, I'd have no issue with it. Me, I'd still walk, anyway, because I find that kind of "done for appearances" stuff to be annoying crap, but that's just me.

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I think it depends on your long-term musical goals. If it's original music and your bandleader is interested in marketing that music to the next level and beyond, then your image is just as important to your band as your music (sadly, in some cases). If your goal is to be in a band that has that sort of ambition, then be ready to compromise...wardrobe is really kinda minor. It's really about what you want as a musician and a person.

 

The other thing...you CAN create your own memorable image without looking like an MTV personality. I'd hope that more thought is given to it than that...like one 80's rocker, one grunger, one Marilyn Manson, one Mark McGrath is not gonna give you a cool image...it'll make you all look like unoriginal wannabes. Now if you're looks are coordinated and compliment each other, then that can really add some sizzle to an already good band.

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If you were a bunch of no-talent hacks, then spending gig money (which at this point, none of which is yours, right?) on appearance would be a waste of time if not counterproductive. But if the band really is talented, then appearance is a reality of today's music scene, and if you're in it to go as far as you can, face the facts.

 

Frankly I wish most of the bar bands I've seen would have spent some time and attention on building a better stage appearance. People pay to be entertained. If all you provide is sound, you may as well just drop off a CD for the venue's jukebox......

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Here's my take... if this is a pop band (i.e. commercial), then your bandleader is probably smart. Its not that image is more important than the music. Not at all...but to be successful in today's market, what you look like is unfortunately a huge part of your package. Now, if this is a creative gig (not commercial, not a money maker), you should tell him to take a hike.

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I think most of you are making valid points. Here's my thoughts so far:

 

I think he will go far with his original music because it is very marketable. If creating an image to accompany his music creates a better performance or enhances the marketablility then I think it is necessary and good. BUT - I don't think my musical goals really match up with that.

I'm going to have a talk with him and see if I'm on the mark with how I'm interpreting his goals with his music. If so, I'm probably going to recommend he start looking for another bass player who is more in-tune with the image idea. I don't think it's fair to him if I'm not willing to do what it takes to be 'succesful' in the pop world.

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If you were a bunch of no-talent hacks, then spending gig money (which at this point, none of which is yours, right?) on appearance would be a waste of time if not counterproductive. But if the band really is talented, then appearance is a reality of today's music scene, and if you're in it to go as far as you can, face the facts.


Frankly I wish most of the bar bands I've seen would have spent some time and attention on building a better stage appearance. People pay to be entertained. If all you provide is sound, you may as well just drop off a CD for the venue's jukebox......

 

mmmmmm doughnuts....

 

um i mean +1

 

:wave:

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