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Anyone with advice for a upcoming band

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BassMisfit, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. BassMisfit


    Dec 31, 2000
    Irwin, PA
    Ok well heres the situation. I am currently in a progressive/heavy (Iron Maiden/Testament type stuff) Metal band that is just now getting on its feet and is soon to be playing. We for some reason have a reputation for being the best "unheard of" band in our area. We are getting offers from managers, show directors, and many local bands for shows, and it all seems so easy yet I know that in reality once we start playing it wont be as easy as it may seems. We all take music very seriously and in my opinion have some of the most talented musicians in our area all in one band. Me being the youngest (17, while their all 21) I feel a certain responsibility to make sure everything we attempt becomes a positive, and not a negative for the band. Everyone is expecting alot when we start playing and I hope to live up to their expectations. If you have any suggestions please do tell because i'll take any that come my way. Thanks a million.
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
  3. The advice that works with products also works with bands and musicians:

    Under promise, over deliver.

    Even though you've got the talent, don't blow yer own horn quite as hard as the other bands in your area. I don't mean don't advertise and promote, just be humble in your opinion of your show. Then, when you perform, really kill in all aspects of the show - sound, lighting, stage presence, song selection, etc.

    And always, always, maintain an impeccable business like attitude when dealing with others interested in hiring you. Under promise, over deliver. Things like show up early, heed volume requests, do anything within reason that can make the customer's deal better as long as it doesn't take money out of your pocket. Pretty soon, your rep will be impervious to the badmouthing that you will inevitably draw from the other, less successful and more jealous groups that compete for work in your area.
  4. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I'm not really an expert, but I am a fan of local music. I saw a show a few months ago. These guys were a metal band, kind of like Mudvayne etc. They were a very talented group of guys. I got to hear a few of the guys play some solo stuff at a talent show a few months before the show. I was really looking forward to seeign what they could do together.
    They had the music and the skills, but, they had NO stage presence or energy. This ruined the show for me.
    Whatever you do, do it with energy and passion. Especially if its heavier music. Thats what the audience wants. The appreciate thrills over skills.


    PS: Make sure the skills are there too. To keep you and the band happy.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Never, ever show up to a gig stoned or drunk and never play a gig stoned or drunk. That may be part of the myth and image or rock and roll, but for a young band getting started, you cannot afford the luxury of being stupid.

    Be as professional as possible with those who deal with you and pay you. Don't ever deal with such people in an impaired state. You need your wits about you to put on a good show, show the fans and management what you are worth and get paid what you are worth.

    Don't blow a wonderful opportunity by acting like rock stars this early. Don't do it...not even once. And if one of your band members tries to be a big-headed, egotistical or stoned rock star pretender, take him aside and remind him of the reality. The road to fame and fortune is long and hard. Don't stumble on the way up the ladder by indulging in counter-productive behavior.

    By the way, best of luck. If you have as much talent and determination as you say, your band may go very far.
  6. A good point. If you don't look like you're enjoying it, then the chances are neither will the audience. You just have to get stuck in, have a good time, and let the music flow naturally.
  7. BassMisfit


    Dec 31, 2000
    Irwin, PA
    Thank you all very much for your responses, I just wanted to comment on the advice that Travis gave. One of the places that we rehearse at is run by a man who over the years has seen many different local bands play, and he was telling me "Every d*mn bassist I've seen is the same way, you are always the ones who stand on stage and dont attract attention". My comment to him was "Well I'd rather be the best bassist I can, rather then the best headbanger". Personally I would rather watch a fellow musician blow me away with his ability, regardless of how well he can make an a** of of himself. Although I do understand that the energy of the band definately has an effect on the crowd, and I have been making attempts to to bring up the energy yet still being able to play as best as I can. Again thanks for all the comments I will keep them in mind.
  8. I attract a lot of attention just by playing. I rarely jump around or anything, I just groove and give dirty looks.
    I let our singer do all of that stumble around and fall about on stage crap.
    But our violinist steals the show when she pees in an empty beer pitcher.

    If it is your first show you will probably be sort of nervous. Just focus on playing until you get comfortable in front of an audience. You'll have plenty of time to jump around later, first you have to be able to look out there at people and not at the ground like a lot do!

  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    A few points that haven't been mentioned:

    - Do you really need a manager? Talk about this with your bandmates. The only circumstances in which I find managers, agents etc. to be of use is if you are moving into a new area and need some promotion fast. In the long run, you could do the job just as well, given time to make the contacts.

    - Make good contacts with other local bands. Don't start any feuds. Local scenes are usually very small, and local acts have to sink or swim together.

    - Advertise on a community or college radio station/paper if available. They should have cheapo ad rates, and if you do this with other bands it'll work out even cheaper.

    - Put up flyers. Lots and lots of them. Stand on street corners and give them out if you have to.

    - Remember that you're in the process of getting your name out there, so you WILL have to be pushy once in a while! Tell EVERYONE about your band. You wouldn't think this ever works, but it does!

    - Have a stage gimmick if possible. Good music is good music, but even non-musicians remember a cool stage show.

    - Don't gripe over money. Chances are, as a metal band just starting out, you're not going to make enough to cover gas money. Hate to say it, but most metal bands suffer for years before anything happens (if it does). Getting signed these days is ridiculously hard (exception: selling out and playing pop music).

    - Oh yeah, and if you do get a label offer, get a lawyer to read it over with you before you even THINK of signing it.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Lots of good advice already.

    I'd add;

    ---> Never buy into the hype! You're only as good as that last song you played.

    ---> by all means try get a video of one of your gigs/sets
    - when you see it, ask yourself, "Would I pay to see/hear this band ?" Example: Is anyone making eye contact with the audience or is it a band of shoegazers???
    - it's usually humbling, IME.

    ---> make sure the monitor(s) you, ("you," individually, that is), will be relying on is/are giving you what you need to hear before the band ever starts. Even the audience can tell when a musician is trying to find their way back into the song.

    ---> don't skimp on mics. Nothing spoils good playing like vocals sung into cheap mics.

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