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! :)

Band Leader?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jaxom, Mar 22, 2013.


  1. jaxom

    jaxom

    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    I notice allot of threads and/or mentions of Band Leaders. Is this the norm? Maybe I'm just getting the wrong idea of it. Does a band leader choose all the gigs, songs, makes all and any decisions concerning the band? If this is the case I can't see how anyone (in my area) would go for this. We currently have some issues in our band (things that are going to be addressed tonight) about gigs and P.A. support. I can't believe that either of the other three would ever just go along with what another person would decide (without having a say).. Can someone please explain the role of a band leader to me?
     
  2. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    Someone needs to be the "leader" or anarchy often results. A good leader with the support of the rest of the band is a huge advantage. If you don't respect or very often strongly disagree with the BL it might be time to find a new band or to start your own band and be the BL.
     
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Many musical situations, there is one person who assumes the risk/responsibility for the business' profit and loss, and the rest of the band is "hired guns." Musicians "go for this" because it means they can show up, plug in their bass, get paid, go home, and not think about it again until the next gig.

    It sounds like your band is a democracy and everyone gets a say; maybe you are writing/playing your own songs, nothing wrong with that. :)
     
  4. jaxom

    jaxom

    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    Actually it is a cover band, The other three have been in a originals band for 15+ years. I'm kinda the new guy, but we have all expressed the fact that this is a completely different thing from their previous band. Maybe I'm still learning how they operate? So far, I keep asking how they stayed together or got anything done all these years if they did things the way they have been in this band?
     
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    So what's your usual process for settling a dispute? Put it to a vote? Try to find a compromise that everyone can unanimously agree to? What if the vote is split 2-2?
     
  6. jaxom

    jaxom

    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    Really hasn't been a dispute yet? But I feel tonight may be the start of one. We have just started this band in Late Sept./early Oct. Still getting our songs together at this point. We are very close to start booking shows, That is where the discussion of either renting a P.A. or everyone buying a piece of one, That way everyone owns something and there is no argument over ownership of anything. I guess I'm just wond'ring if there was a clear BL these things would be easier to figure out. So far if someone said nay to a song choice, the rest of us said ok, next... no big deal...
     
  7. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Usually it is the bandleader's responsibility (if you have one) to provide the PA.

    I personally would not chip in for PA as a bass player unless I was also the singer.
     
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    From an ongoing review of posts in this forum, it would appear that many, if not most, players seek out help with regard to leadership issues, strategic direction, dispute resolution and the like, only AFTER the band has been created, and a number of default standard operating procedures already established.

    I wonder how many TalkBassers can see that this is a bass-ackwards way of managing a band, and typically leads to nothing but trouble. The proper sequence in which to determine these matters is BEFORE putting the band together: A little foresight goes a long way... :eyebrow:

    If the founder/leader of a band will only think through these matters carefully FIRST, with a clear expression of exactly where his responsibility and his authority starts and stops, THEN recruits accordingly, with players who willingly buy into both his creative vision AND his management style and business model, then there should be very few conflicts - because everyone knew exactly what they were getting into, before they committed themselves.

    Or does that make too much sense? :eyebrow:

    MM
     
  9. jnuts1

    jnuts1

    Nov 13, 2007
    it all depends on the band & goals & such. I am a sometimes BL & what i say goes, if i book & hire everyone they have to listen, but what i say is usually very reasonable & is for the good of the band/sound & i will definitly listen to all ideas & impliment the good ones. i am also a sideman on gig & i listen to the BL in those situations too because i know he is doing what he thinks is best for HIS band.

    now democracies are totally different & everyone gets thier "say" BUT they are rarely ever a democracy, more like a republic with leader, everyone gets their say but one guy usually has the final call. or you can have a real democracy where no decisions ever get made & everyone fights all the time.

    these are mostly what i have run into.
     
  10. jnuts1

    jnuts1

    Nov 13, 2007
    Mushroo, i only play bass but i own & operate my PA when i am a BL. i have to hire random singer/guitarists all the time & don't EVER count on a singer to have any gear
     
  11. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    Democracy tempered with leadership - same as at home - everyone gets a vote and then the BL (or Dad) decides. If your singer has his/her own _mic_ you're doing well...
     
  12. jnuts1

    jnuts1

    Nov 13, 2007
    "If your singer has his/her own _mic_ you're doing well..." ha ha it's funny cause it's true
     
  13. jaxom

    jaxom

    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    Yeah, That's all good input. I see problems down the road because of this. I have so things to say/suggest tonight. I will see how that goes over. I think I'm dealing with some pretty big/sensitive Egos (Is that the same thing?). Should be interesting.
     
  14. jaxom

    jaxom

    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    That is funny! We all sing, And we all have our own Mic's. That being said, I've always believed that everyone should own their own means to a P.A. Meaning you sing, you own a mic, cable & stand, You play Bass, you have your own D.I. You Play drums, you have Mic's for your kit. Guitar, mic for amp.
     
  15. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I agree:

     
  16. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    In the real world, this is the way it shakes out - 99.9% of the time. A pure democracy that genuinely functions at a high level of efficiency and effectiveness is about as common as snow storms in Key West. :meh:

    MM
     
  17. Phantasm

    Phantasm I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

    Sep 16, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    The "Band Leader" is usually the one that steers the direction of the band and makes it profitable. This person has control usually by virtue of their ability to muster resources the band needs and be sure that everyone has enough money in their hands to tolerate that person's demands.

    The last cover band that I was in, I owned the PA, the lights, the trailer, and my wife ran sound. I tried to be very frank about my opinions on the song list and I gave in a lot to the others because they had good points with a lot of the songs. However, the singer fancied himself the 'band leader,' and eventually he decided that I was holding them back. We were playing 4-6 times a month and we made $100-$200 per man per gig.

    After I released, in the last calendar year I counted somewhere between 6-10 gigs for the year - and several were last-minute fill ins so I'm not sure if that "counts." But, he is the leader of the band. He got what he wanted!
     
  18. Another hot topic here.

    My view is this;

    If you are in a band where the end goal is to play professionally (as in we play for people, we get paid), then I think a BL is necessary. Someone has to be the spokesperson for the group, and once you get to the gigging level someone has to be the one to make certain decisions. I have played in groups with no BL, where it's a "democracy" and those groups never got out of the garage.

    Maybe that's just my experience, though.

    Being a BL is a lot of work and a lot of headaches. I did it in my last band, which went down in flames quickly because I was so inexperienced, and I'd have to think long and hard before wanting to do it again.

    In my opinion, the best BL's will be level-headed people who are patient, have common sense, and should be well experienced in the music business. They may not necessarily be the best performers, and they should be aware that much of what they do and the time they invest will go unnoticed. It's handling the business end of things, which not everyone has the ability to do effectively. A BL should be someone who establishes the direction the group is going to take, forms the concept of the band, and finds/recruits/retains the proper people in the proper spots.

    To be a good BL you probably have to be comfortable doing all the things that most people generally hate to do; market the band, promote the band, book shows, deal with venue owners or agents, negotiate money, manage any band funds, you have to be the band psychiatrist, you need to arrange for practice space, often times own/manage a PA system, and consistently show the band members that you are a good representative for the group. You may be faced with firing or replacing band members and finding people. Basically, you need to constantly work to earn and keep the respect of those you are leading. Often times musicians like to focus on the music (imagine that....), so having someone who can handle all the other BS is one of the keys to having a good band, IMO.

    Someone needs to do it.

    Now if you're just putting together a recreational jam band or a garage band, no BL is necessary or warranted. Just rock out and have fun.
     
  19. tycobb73

    tycobb73

    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    The PA is shared by the whole band. Everything is going out the mains. If someone pulled the "I only show up with my bass and DI' stuff I'd be like "ok, you can skip the DI because I'm not putting you through the system." Look at the board and see what inputs are being used. That's who's using hte PA.

    I own a sub and lights because each menber of a band bought pieces of PA. When I left I took it with me. It's either someone owns the whole thing or everyone owns pieces.
     

Share This Page