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1 hour each way commute to jam/rehearse/practice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Gut_Implosion, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. I'm starting a brutal death metal band with two guitarists in Concord, and my friend (el drummer dude) who lives in here in Milpitas (where I live). Its really hard to find people interested in this extreme underground style of music, so needless to say its a great opportunity, but would it really be practical since I'm going to have to get my mom (yes, she has a truck, luckily) or someone to drive my friend and I (and his drum set and my whole rig) to/from el casa de guitarista (about an hour away)?

    I've never traveled with my current rig, or ANYTHING of this size, so I was wondering if anyone who routinely travels around with amps and basses and whatnot how much of a hassle this would be (on a weekly to maybe bi-weekly basis, weekends being weekly)? And I don't want to leave my amp there, because a) its my RIG, b) I don't have any other amp, and c) I'd get WAAAY too paranoid not having my baby at my house :crying: .
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you are relying on someone else for transport, it's likely to get tired really quickly. Could you do something like go and stay for the entire weekend once every couple of weeks?

  3. vbass


    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Sup gut, I used to travel to Oakland every rehearsal (I live in santa rosa if you know where that is) which is basically at least an hour without traffic. It sucked. I had my own car and it still sucked. I eventually had to find a project closer, because it just wasn't working and it took too much time out of the day to commute that far twice, or even once a week. It's definitely POSSIBLE, and maybe even worth it for the right band, but it's not gonna be an easy thing, especially if you have to rely on other people to cart you over there. Good luck though!
  4. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    The Milpitas/Concord route is a killer. Bay Area traffic is an absolute consideration when I make a decision about a project. Here is an example of how bad things can get:

    I was working with a band in Fairfield, which is 34 miles from my house. On average, it took me an hour to get to rehearsal on a good day. One day, it took me 2.5 hours to make the trip. Ask your Mom if she can deal with that!
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts

    If you need to rely on family &/or friends to carry you and the drummer around, you'll have to get used to the reality that you need to find bandmates a LOT closer to home. As vbass mentioned, long drives to rehearsals will get old real fast even when YOU are the driver!

    Yes, it's really frustrating to be unable to find kindred spirits nearby. I was once in a band where the drummer lived in NYC...4 hours at best from Boston (where I live), the bandleader lived near West Point, NY and two members lived near the Mass./VT border. The band was killer but eventually folded because any time we got together whether to rehearse or gig no matter where it was somebody was driving for 3 hours. We had a good run (4 years) but it was only a matter of time before we broke up.
  6. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I dunno - but I like to drive. 35min each way to work every day; it's a little over an hour to my parents house from my place, and I visit them every Thursday (but I leave from work, which is sort-of on the way); over an hour to the lab that does my photography processing and printing (every friday); over an hour to Guitar Center or Interstate Music... and my car's a piece of junk with 170Kmi on it.

    BUT: relying on someone else to cart you around... that's different. Being that it's your Ma, two things come to mind: 1) If she encourages your music, and is pushing you ahead with this, then you should ask her advice and maybe have her take you until you get a car. 2) on the other hand - being your Ma, she might feel obligated to say 'yes', even though it would be a real burden on her - in that case you probably shouldn't.

    You know - I imagine myself to appreciate all sorts of serious music ('serious' would include polka and folky-types and such, but not parodies. It usually really bugs me for someone to make a parody out of music - I guess I can't explain though why for that reason I don't like Zappa, but at the same time like Dred Zeppelin...), but what is Death Metal? Music is such a lively, even living thing to me that have to wonder. Where does the 'death' part of the name come from?

    My brother Writes and performs Metal music (His original 'Cronic Pain' is one of the most intense, heart-wrenching songs I've ever heard). He lives 1000miles from me though - I don't like to drive THAT much.). ..Anyway, he's mentioned to me a couple times when we've talked about music something like "well, I don't care for such-and-such band; they sound too much like Death Metal". I think that he thinks that genre is sort of a parody of Metal music.

  7. vbass


    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Here's a definition for you:

    Death metal is usually identified by extreme brutality, intensity and speed. The vocals, (gutteral roars) or "growls", as they're often called, are rough and often incomprehensible and they usually communicate macabre subject matter. The lyrics tend towards extreme and profound violence. The focus on mortality likely inspired the naming of this genre as "Death" metal.

    If he thinks it's a parody of metal music, then he probably simply does not have an appreciation for it. There are a lot of great bands to come out of the genre.
  8. I just realized something super obvious, it would be 1,000,000,000,000 times easier to .... *drum roll*... just have the two guitar players drive down here to the drummer's house. Haha, I is a smart one, eh?
  9. btw, next time you think about how "silly" death metal vocals are, listen to Hendrix play The Star-Spangled Banner...
  10. bassmcgee


    Sep 8, 2004
    Honestly, you just gotta practise at the drummers house. If not possible, have the drums left there, because its just ridiculous to haul a whole set everywhere, compared to a guitar and an amp or what not.
  11. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Unless the guitar players are as into it as you and the drummer, things are going to get just as old for them commuting... That being said, I recently joined a band that is about an hour away... I really dig it though and can't see myself burning out anytime soon...

  12. I was in a band once with 6 members, split over 3 counties and 2 states. On average, half the band had to drive 30'ish miles on back roads (no interstates) to get to practice (45-50 minutes). We practiced once a week, and a gig every so often (once a month to once a week).

    We had two major practice locations (at the drummer's house and the lead vocalist's house), which were conveniently located for half of the band. We ROTATED our practice locations so the pain of commuting was shared. We also car pooled (obviously). We kept our amps at practice, unless we had something else going on. Since I had extra cabinets, I would just transport my head if necessary (the amp one - I always transport the one attached). We also moved locations according to schedule of upcoming gigs, so we could load up the van from the closest location (and unload at 2:00am Sunday morning - don't forget that one!).

    This worked well for 3-4 years. We finally broke up, but it was not due to driving issues.
  13. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It can work, although having to rely on someone else for transportation adds another obstacle to overcome. It probably would make sense to look at alternating practise locations and also for more local opportunities.

  14. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill

    Dec 30, 2001
    Boston MA
    its important to find people close to you so that you can work out a good schedule, cause I know if I got off work at 6 and had an hour drive to band practice after, I wouldnt be too happy about playing.
  15. I currently commute 30 mins to rehearsal (from work), and then an hour home. I don't mind - they have a bass amp for me there - that is my first suggestion - pick up a cheap 100W amp for practice (used would be better) - this way you only have to bring your axe with you (unless you have 2 of those, too).

    During my drivetime, I listen to the songs from the setlist - I have them all in an MP3 player, and I use one of those cassette adapters to play them on my car stereo (you can also use an FM transmitter - both are available at Radio Shack). This way, I get to learn the songs better, and also I practice my backing vocals.

    I also bring the MP3 player into rehearsal in case anybody wants to hear parts of the song - I always have all of the songs from our set list in it (and I constantly update it).

    Good luck to you!!
    --joe http://www.simple-groove.com/
  16. BassWolf


    Aug 14, 2004
    You should just all squat in an abandoned building, and start a street gang/band ala the Clash.

    by the way, phobophile is a great song!
  17. On a good traffic day in the Bay Area, I can get to my rehearsal studio in 30-35 minutes. On a bad day, it's an hour or two. Not only that but I have to cross the Bay Bridge to get there which sucks sometimes. And, our studio is right in the middle of a less than safe neighborhood. Though, it is isolated and protected by security.

    Plus, some drivers out there just suck and I usually end up just being pissed off by the time I get there. Anyway, I'm considering giving up my band and studio to avoid dealing with the expense and hassle. I'll save over $200 a month and I won't be under as much stress. The band is just contributing to the stress right now.

    I'm sorry, what was the question? ;)

    - Dave
  18. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    One of the bands I'm in (Dogwood Tree) practices about an hour from my house. At first, I didn't mind because I really loved the music AND we made the best of the inconvenience by practicing from 11 a.m. to about 9 p.m. on the only day that all 4 of us have off.

    But, after about 6 months, our drummer started really flaking out and not showing up, etc. I don't know about you guys, but driving 2 hours round trip for no reason really ticks me off. Once this stuff started happening about once a month I started growing less and less enthusiastic about the band. Just last week we decided to fire our drummer because he stood us up 2 rehearsals in a row. Now we're looking for another drummer, and we're right in the middle of recording an album! We've got one lined up to finish the album, but he's already in a band so it will take some persuasion to get him to join us permanently. oops, sorry for rambling...

    Point of my story is, the long drive alone isn't a problem. But it becomes fuel for a bad attitude whenever something bad happens. Kinda like when one of your co-workers is doing his job poorly (leaving you to pick up the slack) so you start to think about all the things you don't like about them personally, even though those personal things wouldn't bug you much on their own... haha maybe that just happens to me. :)

    Also, as everyone else said, if you're relying on someone else to take you, that 2 hour round trip will get on their nerves real quick, especially with gas prices up around $2.00 a gallon!
  19. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    I'm in a blues/rock band. All of us are in our forties and fifties with careers, families, etc. We practice once a week and gig two or three times per month. When I joined the band a year ago, I had about a half hour drive (each way) to the rehearsal. I recently moved farther away. My drive is now an hour minimum each way and longer with any traffic problems. This can make for a long evening after working all day. However, I really don't mind. I enjoy this situation too much and I've made the commitment. The people I'm playing with are all excellent musicians and they're great people as well. I consider them my friends. Like a lot of things in life, it all depends on what you are willing to do to get what you want.