My band has found itself in an interesting predicament and I'm looking for thoughts and suggestions. The band started, like most bands, as a cover band with a few originals. Over the years we've grown INCREDIBLY tired of playing covers and have built up a pretty fair list of original material (about 30 songs with new ones introduced every couple of weeks-- we're getting much more serious about writing). After much discussion, we decided to drop covers all together (we've only been playing one or two per set lately) and take what gigs we can get as an original band. All members are firm on this commitment and happy to be going this direction. Here's the rub...... We are in the (very) far north Houston suburbs, and 99.9% of the venues that we have access to are covers ONLY! The only original music you will find in this neck of the wood is straight up biker blues and country. We are definitely neither of these (we play melodic rock and harder rock). If you play rock in this neighborhood, it had better be hackneyed classic rock (thus our utter distain of covers). I've suggested that we try our hands at the clubs inside the Loop in Houston (lots of original down there), but the members of the band are legitimately limited in the amount of time they can spend working venues to book gigs (we will also lose any following that we currently carry--they just simply won't drive that far). As the good venues in Houston are an hour (or better) away, and we all have full-time day jobs, going this route just isn't in the cards, yet. Like every other band in town, we were making $300 for our cover shows. We are definitely not getting booked at this price for originals (we don't carry a big following....I know, our own faults). We are now floating the idea of reducing our price to about $100 per gig so that we can play more regularly. I'm really torn on this one. By reducing our price, we undercut all of the musicians in our area. We surely are not trying to torque any of our fellow musicians, but it seem inevitable. On the other hand, we are all in our 30's and 40's and our friends and families aren't generally into the bar scene. As such, we are a bit behind the 8-ball when trying to start a large following (we have a very consistent 20 to 30 folks who come to our small/medium club shows). We have booked gigs with other original and cover bands to try to introduce a broader palate of music, but it has been a much bigger pain in the butt than it was worth in almost every case. Although we may continue this practice to some degree, we are focusing on one-band-only shows. I'm hoping that some of my Forum bretheren have been in this position and may have some positive insight. Flaming me (us) for looking at low-pay gigs won't be of much help (I'm already pretty disgusted by the thought, but may have little choice if we want to gig without turning this into a regional tour). Thanks for any thoughts you may have!! (BTW- tried a search on this, but didn't come up with much outside of the flames to other folks who were playing for free/pittance....). If someone is familiar with a particular thread that covers this, please point me in the right direction!!