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A question involving bands, influences, dispositions and toast.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Brendan, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I appear to have lied about the toast.

    Okay, I've got a question that I'm really not sure where it fits, so I'ma put it here first, and wherever it ends up, it ends up.

    Right, so I respond to a local ad for a metal vocalist, because, y'know, I do that sort of thing. They're a death/grind act, influenced (so they say) by Monstrosity, Morbid Angel, Malevolent creation.

    So, I shoot them an e-mail with my influences, yes? I listed in my reply Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, Watch Them Die, Cynic, Between the Buried and Me, Mastodon, Ion Dissonance, Origin, and Dillinger Escape Plan.

    I heard back, and the guy says "Origin is good, I haven't heard of the others you mentioned." I immediatly said "forget these clowns." Then I stopped, and my querry began.

    Why did I say that? Does not having heard of such bands make them lesser musicians? Does it make me a lesser person for dumping on them for not knowing them? It just struck me that if you're playing "a lot off blasts and heavy drops.very fast, very heavy. [sic]" and you haven't heard of Cynic, or Meshuggah, or DEP, does that say something about you as a person? SHouldn't a lover of metal here of such bands have heard of these people?

    I found it rather odd that my knee jerk reaction was to dismiss them out of hand like that for not having heard of these bands. Admittedly, the bands I listed fall out of the death/grind camp, but shouldn't a self respecting metalhead at least know of them? What does that say about me for saying "forget these guys" for it? What sorta percolated in my head was the mental image of someone listening to nothing but Morbid Angel and Dying Fetus. Obviously, you have your nitches; am I being super-judgemental because others don't have as diverse tastes in metal as I do?

    What do you think about such things? I guess it's not a particularly direct question, but I'm hoping you get the thrust of it.
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I hate the whole "what are your influences?" game. Throwing out a long list of names doesn't mean anything until you can demonstrate what that means in regard to your playing and understanding of music. I know that my collection has got a whole bunch of excellent musicians who many people will never have heard of.

    Case in point - at a rehearsal last night for a two week event I'm playing for in September, they asked about my bass influences. I started off with Patitucci, since he'd already come up in conversation and then moved onto Michael Manring, who no-one else had heard of. Of course, while I love listening to both of them, it doesn't mean I can play anywhere near the standard of either of them!

    Forget the listed influences - check these guys out and see what they are like as musicians rather than relying on a smattering of titles from their CD collection.

  3. Damn, and I really wanted to have a deep and meaningfull discussion about toast ... :bawl:
    Zodion likes this.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I know. That's why I sorta started the thread. Not because I should dismiss them, but why I did.
  5. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I read ads like this all the time.
    Band looking for bass player. We fired our last bass player because his girlfriend wanted to paint our faces like our zodiak signs. Must have pro gear and transportation. Must look the part, no egos. We have a sound like *****,****,*** *****,and *********. If you don't know who these bands are then do us both a favor and don't contact us.

    I guess some bands have an idea about how they want to sound. There are a lot of bands out there that I have never heard of. I might even dig them if I was exposed to them. On the other hand I listen to a lot of stuff that the guys in my band have never heard but we all get along just fine.
  6. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Oh yeah, thanks a lot Brendan. Now I am on a quest for buttered toast. :D
  7. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree 100% I mean, many drummers are going to say that Neil Peart is an influence, but chances are, most of them aren't going to play like Neil Peart.

    Another question that always got me, is when I'm talking to a potential band and (and keep in my mind, I already know what style of music they play) they'll ask me what type of music I like jamming to. Well, if I weren't interested in playing their type of music, I wouldn't be talking to them, would I? Besides, what my personal tastes are is irrelevant, your hiring me to play bass; as long as I play well, it shouldn't matter. If I'm not enjoying what I'm doing, I'll walk.
  8. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    Out of all those I have only heard of Morbid Angel, I wonder what that makes me? :D
  9. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    Whoa, Dying Fetus sounds pretty um.... heavy.
  10. So do I. You don't really know until you play with them, so just go down and jam - it'll only take a couple hours, if that.
  11. I do not respond to ads that say anything resembling "I like x,y, and z." Seriously, what do I care? I don't want to form a fanclub. Can you play? Can you write a song? You know how I might determine if I like your songs? If you POST THEM ON YOUR WEBSITE. It takes a few minutes, and costs a few dollars at most. If you have never recorded a song in your life, chances are we aren't compatible. My grandmother likes Duke Ellington. I like Duke Ellington. Should I therefore form a band with my grandmother?
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
  13. Exactly. This band my friend Luke and I are making was supposed to be a metal band. We tried out a drummer and his friend who plays guitar and when we asked them out of curiosity what kind of music they listened to, they said hardcore punk. When we jammed, we got along so well and the jam sounded so good with our two styles mixing in that it didn't matter what our influences were, what mattered was the fact that we were making good music.
  14. You apparently haven't heard her sing. :eek:
  15. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK


  16. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings

    Lists of influences nearly always miss soemthing. Also, one would hope that the music and/or players are offering something new and are not simply clones of the bands they listed (as is often the case).

    A good player will be able to adapt their style to help fit in with that of others. If one can do that, a list of influences is totally meaningless.
  17. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    The band I recently joined hadn't heard of any of the stuff I really like, but they spend so much time in the studio that they hadn't explored much. Their tastes seemed a little tame and common for me, but I'm glad I didn't dismiss them. Turns out we fit perfectly, musically. The best unit I've ever worked with, and it feels really natural.

    Plus, now I get a chance to educate them!
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
  19. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    So, you learn from the advert that the advertiser is a musical bigot. By not responding, you probably have done your self a favour - it's a win/win situation :D

    The guy who was the starting point for my most recent project, The Elusive Teeth, is a big Yes fan. I, meanwhile, could tell you facts about Yes (Chris Squire played a Rickenbacker bass, forging a distinctive and widely influential role for himself with his sound and approach) but couldn't quantify that in terms of music.

    Fortunately, we still got together and jammed, even though a lot of the names we threw each other didn't really link up. I'm learning the songs by listening to what the other guys play and responding by blending their suggestions and the approach I have developed over the years and we're having a ball. I'm also getting into Yes, as the group leader is letting me work through his collection.

    That's an even better win/win situation to be in!

  20. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    On the other hand, when I'm checking out the bass player want ads, I want to be able to see what kind of band it is that wants a bass player. It's nice to have a little something to go on. I don't want to waste anyone's including my time calling for a job when it might be a style that I don't want to play. I have nothing against country, hip hop, R&B, or Oldies, but I prefer to play mostly modern rock to heavy rock. I need to bang my head and stand with my feet wider than shoulder width, knees bent more than slightly and wear black.

    I would look silly wearing a cowboy hat, or a bunch of bling-bling and baggy pants that are falling down.
    A cool pimp hat wouldn't be out of the question though. :D