1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

AHHHHHHHHHHH..My band... MY Rant!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassbully43, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    You guys give great advise on this thread to bands and their problems ...here is my rant hope you can help.

    (1) I joined this band almost 8 months ago classic rock covers. The core band had been together for about a year. Drummer..its his band since highschool.Guitar 1#...The main player who has played for 30 + years and also did guitar and amp repair as well as light and sound for bands. Singer...played in various bands since high school never got far rairly played out.This band did one outdoor party in the last year before i joined ..guitar 2 and bassist both left soon after and they rebuilt with myself and new guitar 2#.

    (2) We are very dedicated and hoping to be giging by spring...but we are still working on the songlist about 30-40 and have yet to get it all down...the players are good ..vocals fair. We started work on a demo 3 months ago guitar 1# said he would take it from cassete tape to CD and we could get a demo and press kit together...yea right never seen it again. I could get us 2-3 hours in a local studio and get a pro demo 6 songs done for about $150.00 thats $30.00 a man everytime i bring it up i get the old ...we will do it ourselves and everybody but me and the lead singer agree the studio is best ...the rest act like i asked them to give up a grand. I have been pushing to get out and gig...open up for a friends band who has a great following in a nice club..he's doing us a fav to get out and even introduce the booking mgr to us.I finally get the guys to agree to play...but i hear how much??? ....Nothing.... this band is giving us a hand out and helping us get heard..get experience and meet a booking mgr at a cool club that pays abot $400.00 a night if we get in. I also hear an hour and 15 min is what we will play ...its not long enough i hear from the drummer ..they should give us what time we need since they are getting payed.I tell them we need a press kit to give to the booking mgr the night of the show...i hear well we better get on it then ...after i talked to the local studio and set up a rate..... they say....we can get a recorder and do it ourselves cheaper...back to square one on the demo.

    (3) I have the least amount of experience in this band..have not played a gig since highschool and been playin bass seriously for 3 years. Guitar 1 has been playing by his acount since he was born but if he so great why is he with us?...he gets an attitude at times and we had words last practice over my comments on our setlist...they want more obscure covers not like all the others are doing....90% of our songs are not dance songs and this bothers me. They dont seem to care if people dance or not...they want to play what they like and hope all will enjoy it.I say give the people what they want in reason. Anytime you question the guitar1...its like how dare you question me ...i have been playing for 30 year and I'm king S&*T.

    I like this band i think we are good not great but will continue to improve. For the most part we get along well but im seeing why the others left...they are going nowhere fast...but im trying to push them and getting whining and excuses...im going to give them a while to get it together or walk....problem is we are practicing at my home now...i also fear getting a new gig if i leave...although bassists are hard to get around here...any advise...there is more drama but i dont want to drag on...thanks for hearing me out.
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    It sucks man, but I think we have all gone though some variation of this....
  3. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Thanks...knowing that helps...any advise on how you handled it? I really like this band we are all 40+ and usally have a good time until the band buisness comes up and then we go off in diffrent directions. I have promotion experiece from my past affairs and know the music scene allthough i dont have the giging time..but none of these guys have seen a stage in a long time either.
  4. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    If the others truly believe a classic rock cover band can get away with playing what they want without a following then I think it is time you found another band.

    I play in a few bands myself. One does rock covers and the other is a mix of covers/originals in folk/country/east coast(canada) music.

    In the rock band, although I get asked if there are any tunes I'd like to sing and play I usually get shot down. I don't really care since I don't run the band. Sure I can get upset and whiny but at the end of the day it doesn't change anything. The leader is heavily set on selecting tunes people will dance along to, and I do agree... to a point.

    Point #1
    If you are going to be in a cover band, you must realize that not all people are in the bar to dance. They will stick around and drink all night long because they enjoy the tunes. There is nothing wrong with playing a good tune(not danceable) that is more for the band to enjoy in a throwaway set.

    Point #2
    Your band has to be set straight. You are playing for the crowd, not yourselves. The bar that hires you don't care what you play as long as their patrons stick around and party at their bar. The ringout at the end of the night is what the bar owners observe. The bar owners could care less if you nailed Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson note for note, or if you played Brown-Eyed Girl half-assed.

    As far as the demo thing goes, I've nothing to say except that either the rest of your band is cheap and/or lazy.

    As for the primadonna guitar player, it means a hill of beans to me on what he thinks. If he thinks his prowess will carry the band with no following he has some reality to face.

    There is hope. Why not show them the replies this thread will generate. They may not listen to you, but they might listen to the outsiders looking in.

  5. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Dcat...man you hit it on the head in many ways. I do intend on showing the band replies i recieve from this thread. I agree dancing is not the main objective here...getting customers to stay listen and drink is what brings the mgr to give us a booking after all. I dont think half the crowd cares if we nail a song music wise or vocal wise 100%..we are a cover band not a tribute...we had an arguement last week when guitar1 wanted to change a song we have played the same way since i started the band...why? asked the drummer he said ...i dont know...again i say we are a cover band ...so we change a bit of a lead or intro so what... if i wanted a tribute band i'd be in one. And yes i think they are cheap...all they want is to play and get paid..nobody wants to put anything in to get ahead...i sware with no rep or playing experience in our area ..no name they expect top pay...i'm not stupid we will have to pay our dues to get there....drummer said .....yea...we will do this show for free but no more after this one...this is too much work not to get payed....all this from a band that when they offered me the gig said they were not about the money only playing and having fun.
  6. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I have been in this boat, and if changes are not made, the sea *will* get rough.

    Since you are going to show our responses to the band, I shall speak to them directly, here. So...my words are aimed at them, not you, sug.

    Obscure Covers: I hear ya...I like 'em, too. But you have to have *balance*. Balance the number of obscure things that you want to play against songs a crowd will recognize and enjoy. Mix them up. You will be, at once, familiar and creative, and people dig that.

    Recording: DO NOT do it yourself! Not if you want to impress a venue or booking agent. Spend the $30 each, get a decent recording, and get some good gigs. Quit being pinche...you only cheat yourselves.

    Getting Paid: Take some free gigs if they get you good exposure and make contacts for you. When no one knows you, you have to be willing to play a few free shows. People will hear you and remember you, and *then* you'll get paid.

    Attitude: Just because Guitar 1 and some others have been playing longer, doesn't mean that you know everything, or that less-experienced members have no wisdom. My guitarist played for 25 years, but her head was stuck in the 70's/80's, during the oil boom, when you could make $700 a show. It took me, with less-but-more-recent experience, three years of arguing to convince her that you *can't* do that in Texas anymore, and that she needed to change her attitude!

    If you can't play with someone less experienced w/o having to feel superior, then find a bunch of people just like you, and play with them. Otherwise, give your other band members' opinions respect...you are playing with them, so they deserve it. My husband's band had a guitarist with a superior attitude. Now, he is playing with *no one at all*. High horses make for a long fall.

    So...Hon, you show them these words, and the words of others. If no one wants to change, then find other people to play with. People who want to get out there and really play, not just sit around making themselves feel good.

    Too harsh? Maybe. But its my o-pin-yun.

  7. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005

    Wow...Thanks very well done and very true!! Thats why i posted this here you guys and gals rock...this has been a big help to me already.
  8. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Thanks and you're welcome! Man, I have soooo been there. Perhaps hearing this from other people, not yourself, will help them realize that they need to be more flexible, open their minds.

    Let us know how it goes!

    Cherie :)
  9. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    No problem...i'd like to think i help sometimes around here. I don't want to quit this band. In all they are pretty good guys..I get along with the drummer real well and singer... 2nd guitarist is cool but unstable...guitar 1 is ok but has a chip on his shoulder and is a massive EOE...my wife even thinks he shows off in his playing and hogs song parts and she's only seen us twice and heard maybe 3 songs.Guitar 2 had issues with him also but they are better now. I just want to play and stay together but I'm more professional then them and I wont expect to get to the top of gigdom in our area thinking we dont need a demo or presskit and think we are God's gift to covers and expect top$$. We need to evolve and take what we get until we get more experience..there are alot of cover bands in this area and not alot of clubs to play. I also have improved as a player from this band and have more confidence in my playing than i did 8 months ago but dont want to go thru the tryouts again...at least not yet.
  10. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Well, you are doing everything you can to influence your band in a positive way. If everyone can get on the same page, and have the same goal, you will be able to keep that band together. They need to remember...you have to stand out from your competition, and that takes work and creativity, and an open mind. I hope everything will work out for you...you are working hard to make your band the best it can be!

  11. It seems to me that you are the only one pushing the wagon.

    I thought about this subject a lot and in my opinion to be in a band that you can enjoy being in, you need to have 2 things
    1) Everybody has to be satisfied with everybody else's level of playing. (this does not mean you have to have the same level). Seems to me that in your band, this is true.
    2) Everybody has to have about the same level of ambition. This, in our band, does not seem to be true. Unless you can agree on some common goal/ambition, I think it will be very difficult for you to enjoy playing in this band.

    For example, our singer used to be in a band which got very well along at rehersals but as soon as the topic 'gigging' was discussed, half of the band was very excited because they wanted to get out and play while the other half of the band got very nervous because they just wanted to enjoy their once-a-week rehersal. There is nothing wrong with both ambitions as long as they do not happen in 1 band. In the end, they split.

    I hope my post has given you something to think about.
  12. Well...theres nothing wrong with doing it yourselves if someone in the band KNOWS how to do it properly (i.e. has a degree in it or something) but theres still the issue of gear... if your recording gear is sub par and you havent the money to buy your own proper gear, then just book a studio and save a few bucks by engineering/producing it yourself...
  13. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Yes plenty to think about ...Thank You. The goal of this band is to get out soon, when i joined late last summer we said by spring of 06 we will be ready and be getting out there...well spring is right around the corner and April 8th i pushed to do the opener (free Gig) so i pushed and got the gig in the spring. I know for a fact 3 of us Singer,Drummer and me bassist are raring to go and play out ASAP...guitar1 who can be a pain but is a good guitarist and i get along with most of the time ...talks like he's ready but i think hes alot of talk about everything in life. Guitar 2 is unstable and said we dont practice enough...i did a post awile back about this. He has no kid or job and thinks we wont go anywhere unless we practice more. The band puts in a hard 4hrs a week at one practice and we are getting tighter all the time. So musically we are doing o.k. But i need to push for the demo and getting ready to play this gig and continue getting out. I will not be a once a week practice and play out once or twice a year bassist...i put in to much time and energy into this and i will try to land with a band more dedicated towards playing out.
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    If the members of a band have that much experience, yet only played one gig in the last year, I would have to question them. There's something wrong there.

    If all I had to do was soak $30 into a pro demo, you'd better believe I would be doing it. You have to impress club owners, and quality is what works. Having a poorly made demo is just going to make you look like a hack garage band.

    I normally don't advocate just going out and playing freebies, but if the band's only gigged once in the past couple of years, you need all the help that you can get. Again, it sounds like your bandmates are being prissy primadonnas and they are ignorant about the music business.

    And right there is the reason why I would quit the band. I don't mean to be abrasive with my candor, but YOUR BAND IS GOING TO FAIL. If you are a cover band, your job is to keep people on the dance floor. Again, your dealing with people ignorant of the business. It's one thing for an original band to throw in an obscure cover every now and again, but people aren't going to pay a cover charge to watch three sets of obscure cover material.

    And that's why you should move your boat to more promising waters.
  15. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Thanks LM...i should clear up something...i think i miss spoke on calling are songs obscure...we are a classic rock cover band and do play reg classic rock songs for the most part...i will list some here...i just dont think many are danceable but could be wrong ...let me know

    born to be wild
    brown sugar
    dead flowers
    jumpin jack flash
    secret agent man
    lawyers guns and money
    livin after midnight
    you wreck me
    rockin the free world
    some kind of wonderfull
    road house blues
    comfortly numb
    three steps
    simple man
    mustang sally

    And many more like these...are these very danceable ? my wife said no and shes a dancer...but after a few drinks i think she would dance to the sound of a jackhammer:D I could be wrong...but they are not obscure ...i should not of used that discription. Alot of bands in my area i searched are doing more danceable songs..from the 80's and 90's to mo-town..but again we pride ourselves in being classic rock. I think some of our biker or more honkey -tonk bars would like us.
  16. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Yes...I should have been more clear, but am posting on the fly at work. :-}

    I gather that they don't have the right equipment/knowledge in his band to do that. (Someone please correct me, if I'm wrong.)

    My old bnad tried the "do it yourself" route, with very poor results. Someone had a brother who was a sound engineer. He showed up with some portable equipment, and set us up in a spare bedroom. It echoed like crazy, the mix was very muddy, and the guy refused to listen to any suggestions because he "knew better" than we did. After that experience, unless I know the person really knows what they're doing, I prefer a working studio.

    If the band in question can get a good recording for $30/person, I say, go for it. That's a good price for a demo cd, and in a real studio, not someone's bedroom, you know? :)

  17. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Well guitar 1 says he knows what hes doing and has a mixer and such but he blowing smoke and i know it. If not why are we still waiting for a demo and belive it or not he wanted to make it on cassette tape:eek: I told him this is not 1984 it has to be a CD...he replied ten we need to rent or buy a recorder that can do CD.....:mad: No he is blowing smoke and like i said is a huge EOE...AKA Expert on Everything...gets on my nerves he has his opinion on everything in life most are wrong.WQ need a studio there is a good one in our area andd cheap. Txbasschic what do you think about the songs i listed?
  18. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Cassette? Jeez!

    These are the days of websites with a promo on it. We have a real promo pack ourselves, but we also have a website with everything a prospective club owner would need. Also, if you go this route get your pics done professionally.

    I know you asked TXBassChick, but ditch dead flowers.

    Some 70s stuff that worked for bands I was part of in the past:
    Tonite is a Wonderful Time - April Wine
    Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum
    New York Groove - Hello/Ace Frehley
    I wanna be Sedated - Ramones


    Bully: Check PM
  19. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Those songs are very danceable! Well, except for Comfortably Numb. I've played a lot of those songs, and people never fail to get up and dance. Those are old classics that people dance to all the time.

    Maybe its because we're in Texas and Texans will dance to just about anything. Maybe its the age of my crowd...We tend to have mostly 30-40-somethings, with a few young'uns for good measure. But people dance a *lot* to that stuff.

  20. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    What's wrong with Dead Flowers? People dance and sing along to that song when we play it.

    Spirit In The Sky -- *Very* cool song, but not danceable, IMO.