Candid Camera Audition

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Rune Bivrin, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    tl;dr version: Does this sound like a good gig:

    It's in Swedish, but that doesn't really matter.

    Full story:

    It was a Candid Camera Audition. Well, sort of, in the sense that I was constantly looking for the camera and waiting for someone to jump out from behind a door.

    In short: Since my latest band has petered out I decided to try answering an ad. It was a woman who wanted a bassist that could also play keyboards or guitar in a pinch. The ad said she played folk rock with her own songs. Fine, that could be really cool. Gigs were booked, so that was a bonus.

    We get in touch and arrange to meet at her "studio" this Monday. I ask if she has anything I could listen to in advance, but she says no. OK, we'll just take it from zero then. I'd found some stuff on Spotify which sounded "interesting", but luckily that wasn't her, then.

    We'll have an hour to have a look at the songs and play a little before her buddy Henrik will show up. Apparently he's the main bassist, but plays keys on some songs.

    Sunday evening (or rather Monday morning - 2 AM) she texts me and asks if I could also play some percussion. I answer I'm no Paulinho Da Costa, but I've rattled a few tambourines in my days.

    So I show up and knock on her door way out in nowhere at 16:00. I hear a bit of shuffling behind the door, and she opens after two-three minutes. Things got a little messy, she said.

    So I enter, and it look rather tidy. Small studio corner with an iMac, some MAudio keyboard, bass, acoustic and electric guitar. Not too shabby.

    From then on things sort of started going south. As she started running through the songs I noticed a she had a very - shall we say - unconventional take on tempo and rythm. And yes, the Spotify songs were her.

    The songs were possibly nice, but not clearly laid out on paper, and she didn't exactly follow what was there anyway. Most verses in something which could at best be described as 2/4, but with license to place the "1" anywhere. Choruses in 6/8, it seemed.

    The guitar playing was mainly informed by the pattern of popcorn popping.

    And here's the kicker: For every song, she decided it was probably better if I played "eggs" and tambourine. Quite challenging! It turned out the designated percussion player was unfortunately "busy" on the gig days, so he'd cancelled. I sympathise!

    When the bass player shows up I can hear him struggling too, but he'd played with her before. I couldn't but wonder if he owed her serious money.

    After 4 confusing hours we call it a day. I have at that point percussioned on 8 songs and played guitar on one. She asks me what I think, and as I find it really hard to be unkind I respond a bit wishy-washy and agree to meet again this Thursday.

    Well, I came to my senses and called her today to say I didn't feel it was a good fit for me. She says she's already put my name on posters and what not, but I can only answer "Well, that's too bad."

    Lesson learned: There is such a thing as too much kindness.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  2. wow strange and the songs give off the backwards message vibe, maybe she is a witch ha ha ha
    BassCliff likes this.
  3. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    It seems you didn't say "no" quickly enough. Your name's already on the posters? Wow. Trust your instincts. I'm sure she's a nice lady but I think she would need a lot of musical direction, coaching, instruction, etc, before anything really special could be produced from that project. It just depends on how you want to spend your time, making good music or teaching someone else how to make good music. Both can be rewarding.

    You can even buy this if you want: ♫ Kom igen - Madeleine Ericson. Listen @cdbaby

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  4. Sounds like her backing band is the Shaggs
    zontar and Rune Bivrin like this.
  5. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    Yeah, to me it's almost like she's used two different takes (possibly of different songs) from tape and tried to time the playback for mix down.
  6. Yeah there is some exorcist stuff happening there ha ha ha maybe the bass player is under her spell
  7. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006

    I posted a thread similar to this one just a few hours ago. :D

    Yeah, after what I finally came up with, I'd not only have no problem telling her on the spot that it is not a good fit, but I'd have cut it short - probably the minute I realized she WAS the person on spotify. I'd be polite, but make it clear it is simply not a style I am willing to perform.
    Rune Bivrin likes this.
  8. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    I looked up that thread, and yeah, I'm with you.

    Fool me once - shame on you
    Fool me twice - shame on me.

    Strangely enough, I find what I get most upset with is the lack of preparation. She had a few days to get her ducks in a row; I was there at the appointed time. Why wasn't everything organized? Songs clearly committed to paper, etc? Maybe it's just me, but I really dislike wasting other people's time that way. And I disapprove of having mine wasted.
    Renaissance likes this.
  9. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    Sometimes you just have to experience it to know it the next time you see it. And even then, it is amazing how much we want to believe people's excuses. I've learned that people are on their best behavior in an interview or audition (which is what a first meetup is). If it is bad, I now walk. The reason is simple: They'll be even less motivated to be prepared for future rehearsals/gigs. My last classic rock band audition was something I really learned from. There was clearly some snippets of great musicianship there, but a couple of members (they'd been together for quite a while) were oddly ill-prepared for a few of the songs we'd picked. They were also squishy on the songs we were going to play even though the BL had given me a list of 7 songs before I auditioned.

    I learned it was because they didn't really practice. They just sorta jammed together when they rehearsed. And it showed in the one gig I did with them.

    It is only common sense that if I am auditioning a new band member I'll give him a list of 5-8 songs we'll try. Then, when he shows up, ALL the rest of the band have the exact same list and have nailed their parts in the song. We will then go through the list until it is clear that we need not continue (either he knows them or he's out). When the band is even iffy about this, there is a problem. And it is a problem I don't want to have to deal with for the next few years.

    I'm so cold that back in 1975 I was "perpetually" engaged to the girl who was to become my wife and one day I dropped by the convenience store she worked at and caught her smoking. I dumped her like a hot potato. I wish I had stuck with it because we ended up getting married anyway, producing three gorgeous daughters and then, when they were all in their early teens, she decided she wanted to be single. And much of what was going on could be traced way back to her attitude back in 1975. I was just blinded by hormones.

    I'm not anymore, especially as it applies to bands.
  10. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    The Shaggs sound better.
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