So yeah, I suppose this is venting but i know that getting it out will help me and there are lessons to be learnt from this story that may benefit somone. Im in a 4 peice rock band called Interception (Theres a badly posted hyperlink to our Facebook page below, make your own judgements, We are all under 18 so we still have lots to learn gigwise). From this experience i have learnt several lessons... First gig, A reasonably sized music festival near Stafford. Lesson 1. After driving for half a hour to a gig that is almost certainly going to be poor, with a small audience and without getting payed is a pointless experience Lesson 2. Vocalists must always warm up. Both guitarists and the drummer were forgetting words and breaking voices, which is really not a great thing to have happening. Lesson 3. Check the gear your given. We were told not to bring a backline or a drumkit. The guitarists were allright but i was only able to get a mushy sound out of a fossilised Trace Elliot combo (Which is impressive for a P bass with two 500k pots and a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder) and the drummer was landed with a cheap made in China kit with one leg missing. We had to nail wood into the floor of the trailer we were playing in to stop it tipping, even then it carried on sliding forward through the gig. Lesson 4. Check your own gear. My P bass suffered a major earthing problem in the E/A Pickups and our Lead Guitarist's pedal decided to jump channels randomly a couple of times. Its always worth trying to solve any problems that come up or that you know might come up before the gig or during the soundcheck Lesson 5. Talk to the soundman. Half the Trace Elliot sounding Mushy could of been solved if i had only of plucked up the courage to talk to him and ask him if he could turn the treble up a tad. Although, admitedly, he was pretty clueless. Lesson 6. Engage the Audience. After fumbling with words, Dropping notes left right and center, and sounding like crap, we were too scared to move, Moving is good because it gives the audience something to look at, Even if your scared, Nothing can hurt you. You are whoever you want to be onstage, Just Imagine that your Frank Bello and your set. Also, Make sure that the singer doesnt faff with words. Its a sure fire way to end up with atleast a minute of dead air in the set. Any dead air is too much dead air. Lesson 7. Make sure you plan your set and make sure you know how long the set is before you do so. We were told 4 days before the gig and because our drummer was still in Secondary School at the time, We had to balance practice time around him. As a result, we had one practice to sort things out and that was a day before we even knew the set was 30 minutes, not the 45 we planned on. So we found ourselves being cut short with 3 more songs to spare, Forcing us to end on a painful cover of Toxicity by System of a Down. Lesson 8. Straplocks. Nuff said. After the gig Lesson 9. Do not Shout, Say, Mutter, Mumble or even Whisper any Obscenities near two high gain microphones. Knowing we sounded bad and knowing about a potential second gig that our guitarist might feel unsure about i decided to let out a little bit by muttering the phrase "For F***s sake". Our manager said that apparently he heard it as he was returning from the toilet. Which was even worse when i looked out and saw the audience was made up mostly of familys with small children. (About 3 familys i guess) Lesson 10. Do not take your anger out on objects. I kicked a half empty bottle of pepsi max into orbit and it almost came down directly on top of somone. Also do not take anger out on instruments, the drummer kicked a bag of spares and accidently bent the spare rod that is used to operate the high hat. Doing such things is generally not advisable. Lesson 11. Being stressed and angry to the point of kicking bottles of Pepsi Max solves nothing. It just annoys bandmates and everyone else. Even if the band is as stressed and as angry as you. Before i carry on i must explain about gig number 2. There is a place in Stoke, near to where i live called "The Rigger". Its a brilliant venue for Rock and we had been asked to fill a gap on Saturday night. We would be the only band playing. We can play well (Check the facebook and check out the EP track) apparently and after listening to the EP they wanted to see us however, because everyone else had pulled out we were all that was left and we were the last choice because they have a policy of no under 18's. Inculding under 18 bands (Fair enough really). We were dropped in it the day before the gig and at the time we were all up for it apart from our Rythmn guitarist/Vocalist. We said that if we felt better after the gig maybe we would do it. Obviously things werent better... Lesson 12. Do not act pissed around the guitarist who has forced us out of a good gig because he just doesnt feel that he is up to it. It might make them feel alienated and make them feel that they do not want to do it anymore. Lesson 13. Being stressed and Angry to the point of shouting at parents, pushing away bandmates, tearing at hair, swearing at full whack is not worth it over a gig. Like lesson 11, Stress is not good. Like lesson 11 only you just look more like an idiot when you do it. Its safe to say that, we are never, not a chance in hell, Ever gonna get the oppertunity to play such a gig so because the guitarist just doesnt feel like it is a valid reason to get stressed. However getting it out like that doesnt do you or anyone else (Especially if you are a bottle of Pepsi Max) any good. Lesson 14. Getting stressed when the Guitarist is oblivious to how the other band are feeling is a valid reason to get stressed, but not great if you are trying to avoid it. Lesson 15. Let the closest people to band members do the talking. "Ol, we need to talk to you. We feel that we need to talk to you about this as friends and as bandmates". Is useless in our situation. In a real band situation as adults, maybe. But when your only 16 and you mum, who also feels the same feelings about the gig as everyone else (Albeit no way near as furious i was) is on hand to offer advice and sympathy, we do not stand a chance, considering he has known her from birth and us for less than 3 years. Lesson 16. It is impossible to talk somone with a one track mind out of a descision. After almost a day of talks it was impossible to convince him that we should do the gig. Lesson 17. Give and take is the key. Sometimes, descisions can go the opposite way to how we want them to go, even when the band calls a vote and your out voted by X to 1. Having Empathy is the key and understanding the descisions of fellow band mates is the way to get far. It ensures a broader spectrum of music, with nobody holding anyone back. The only issue is that it can also lead to instability in smaller bands, especially when two Egos collide. (I am fortunate to be in this band where there are no Egocentrics, thankfully). Lesson 18. Empathy. We must also empathise with him, even though it is his fault and he is an idiot for letting such an amazing oppertunity pass us by. But, we must try to understand our bandmates. Lesson 19. Talk to your bandmates. We have had this before, Yet another gig. Keele University is one hell of a venue and is one of the best venues a small band in the area can play, We missed this because he didnt feel like playing it. I honestly dont get him sometimes. Thats everything. I have learnt my lessons well from today. I just hope we get another chance to play the Rigger, and i hope that we can avoid another gig that turns out like this. I also hope that maybe somone will take something out of this, i know, some of these things are obvious but to young musicians like me, You never know. JJ.