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Cover band transition, one band or two.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RyanHutchison9, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. RyanHutchison9


    Mar 25, 2014
    I've been posting quite a bit on the forums lately due to the fact that my band is about to kick it up a notch in terms of schedule... Focusing on getting a good cover list solid within the next month or two and then hitting the pub/club/party/wedding scene hard. My question comes from an idea our drummer had... He suggested we had two bands, one for covers and one for originals. Personally I think it would be difficult to manage, we've already came up with a pretty awesome name (in my opinion) that we like for the band but do you guys think having the one band do covers and transition to originals at a later as the logical way to do things? I know there are countless examples of bands who started out doing covers like the Beatles but times have changed and I'm wondering if anyone else has any comments.

    As always thanks in advance to anyone who chimes in, and to anyone who has had to read through my other posts I apologise for all the questions. :facepalm:
  2. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    If it was good enough for the Beatles...

    Would the same players be in both bands? Would you have two different band names?

    I think a lot of bands have gone this way, transitioning from covers to self-written material. I think that it makes perfect sense--get your foot in the door, show you can deliver the goods, then start mixing in self-written material over time.
    RyanHutchison9 likes this.
  3. RyanHutchison9


    Mar 25, 2014
    Same lineup and different name, yeah exactly what I thought. Hde an original song and see how the crowd reacted... if they like it we tell them it's one of ours. :smug:
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I had a feeling that drummer had ulterior motives.

    Why different names/different bands? Start working a few originals into the setlist, depending on the gig. If it works, keep 'em. If you use different names, you just lose the fans you have. It's gonna be a while before you have anywhere enough originals to carry a gig.

    Just like the gear, K.I.S.S.
    hrodbert696 and RyanHutchison9 like this.
  5. RyanHutchison9


    Mar 25, 2014
    Haha, he's quite the character.
  6. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    we usually play two sets, the instrumental drones and then the covers, but we usually play art galleries and museums, more performance art i guess
  7. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Doesn't Hank Williams III do this? He will play an all-nighter with 3 bands, all of which have a distinct sound and (mostly) the same people in the line-up, though not necessarily on the same instrument.
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Never understood why more bands don't learn a bunch of covers and also play originals. Seams like a win to me. Instead of playing 30- 45 minutes with other bands you can play all night and get paid better. That is how the smart bands in my area do it.
    Winfred likes this.
  9. James Halstead

    James Halstead

    Jun 4, 2014
    I'm going against the grain on this thread and saying…DON'T DO IT!! Keep your cover band and original band identities separate! It's a huge mistake to mix the two. The reason is that you will confuse your audience and turn off prospective fans of both "groups". Case in point: I had a band in NYC. We would play the 45-50 minute showcases and feature all original music. Then we would play a regular bar gig (usually upstate) and, because we didn't have enough material for 3 sets, would play a mix of covers and originals. When the upstaters would venture down to NYC, they'd be bummed that we didn't do their favorite covers. When the NYC-types would venture upstate, they were bummed that we watered down our original identity with covers. What you are doing is selling two products under the same name. Never a good business model. Make the groups totally separate (including separate names), so that your friends and fans know what they're getting when they come see you. You can always add an original or two into your cover set (and let folks know about the "original" gigs), and you can always arrange some cool, appropriate, obscure, whatever covers into the original band. If you want people to take you seriously, this is the way to go.
    EddiePlaysBass likes this.
  10. I think James is right, you know. Keep the identities separate.

    There is this local band, it's a cover band, but they do a classic rock act and a country act. Same players, but different shows and names. But in your situation I think you'd want to keep the two separate. I can't add much more than what James said, I think he's right.
  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    It depends on what your set list is going to look like when you gig. If you're going to play some gigs as originals gigs and others as cover gigs, like he's describing, he's probably right that you should have separate names. However, I don't think that's a concern if you're consistently going to play a blend of covers and originals. That would just be the band's formula and no one would be disappointed to hear it.
  12. In my area no most people don't play in different bands as far as originals and covers. Due to a pretty decent original band scene, the way it works here is what venue you play determines the material. The main venues are primarily for originals and occasionally a tribute band they never book cover bands. Cover bands tend to play parties and bars where they have to bring their own PA. So its pretty much common knowledge if the band plays this venue it's going to be covers, and if they play that venue it's going to be originals.

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