Covers vs. Originals

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Casey C., Oct 1, 2003.

  1. Covers

    26 vote(s)
  2. Originals

    46 vote(s)
  3. A mix of both

    56 vote(s)
  1. Casey C.

    Casey C.

    Sep 16, 2000
    Butler, PA, USA
    What would you rather play with your band?

    A simple one or the other. I like playing both but I enjoy playing my own songs. Unless its something kick a$$ and it sounds the same way.\

    But what about yins guys?
  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I'v edited the poll to include "a mix of both" since that's what many local bands will do, especially bar bands.

    I think most musicians would prefer to play original material, but covers will sometimes get a better response from the audience. Depends on the scene really.
  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I like both. Crowds like dancing to songs they know, I like writing basslines to original songs (that's my favorite challenge).

    Hey Adam, congrats for the new band! What kind of music is Fetus? I guess it's death metal? Let me know if you come to play around here! You look like a real badass on the website! :cool: :bassist:
  4. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I voted a mix of both. It could be fun to be in a band only with originals, but I love playing good covers :)
  5. I'll like to play both. All that really matters to me is that the band smokes! If I'm playing a cover tune I wouldn't normally listen to, but the band makes it sound and feel good, then I love playing that song.
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well, I'm in two bands (well, three but one is pretty much dead) and they both play completely originals.
    I'm audtioning for another next Saturday and that's originals too.

    However, I have a mid to long term plan to set up a funk band that does a mixture of both - covers so we can get paid and origainsl so we play to people who wnt to listen, if I can ever find any?! :rolleyes:
  7. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I do both for different reasons, I play in a original band for my creativity side and the whole vibe of recording is awesome, We have 1 Album released and we are working on the follow-up right now. We don't do many gigs, All the guy's are over 40 and work fulltime. It's also hard to get our 35+ crowed to come out to see us on weeknights so Wednesday and Thursday gigs are not that well accepted. We are happy being a recording cellar dwellar band.
    If anybody wants a copy of my original bands disc just pm me.

    I play in a coverband also to make a little extra money and to actually play to a crowed of people on weekends who are shakin there booty and having a great time. Same cover band for 16 years.
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    The only time I consistently got paid was when I was in a band that played all covers.

    The only times I have have consistently not gotten paid was when I was in bands that do all originals.

    I would still rather play originals. :D
  9. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Covers pay, we slip in a couple originals during our show. The key is not to announce it's your song. Just play it, then announce it, play it after a cover that kind of has the same sound and style, most of the time they like it.
  10. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
  11. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I strongy prefer originals as it is more at showing the complete band. I don't hate covers, but the biggest thing I notice (as an audience member at a lot of shows) is that I remember the names of originals bands, but could barely tell you the names of any cover bands.

    In the bar/party scene typically cover bands make more money, but are less memorable. Plus in my view, when you do or hear covers, they are always compared with the original versions of the song, whereas your own originals are just that.

    I am not slamming cover bands, it is just not my thing.
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    it's 2 entierely different worlds for me.

    nothing beats doing the original thing for me. i'm totally on fire when we're doing a nerve show, when it's MY music. i feel real, i feel whole, i feel proud.

    doing covers i enjoy also, (especially for the money part) but it weirds me out. i think it might be the crowds. i've seen them drool over cover bands or our singer as if they were the guys who made the songs famous, and i lose my respect for them. i just can't hold my head as high playing covers as i do playing my own thing. the people in the cover scene here in NY are not my kind of people either. i take that back, the one's I've encounered thus far. i'm sure there's some great people doing it, i think i've just been unfortunate and fallen into the wrong circles.

    i'm heading back out into that world again today - quit my last cover band a couple of months ago, but realizing the money came in real handy. goin searchin for a new one.
  13. same here.

    I get the impression that most people can't get into live music unless it's very familiar to them, either covers, or very similar to what's in the charts currently.
    - or 12-bar blues....

    I've come to enjoy playing covers more, mainly as playing original gigs is usually a lot of hard work for very little, if any return.

    although I'd enjoy playing original material more if I was in a band with people I could get on with :rolleyes: -
    or if I was a solo bassist....
  14. I like originals way better but it is good to do what other people said and slip in an original and if they cheer be like"oh and by the way, that was an origianl" but I think it kinda sucks having to do covers but they can be fun.
  15. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Our band does 90% originals, but we like to slip in at least one cover a set. The covers we do are usually a little obscure and showcase our influences, i.e. "Let him Dangle" by Elvis Costello, or "1000 dollar car" by the Bottle Rockets.

    Sometimes we do covers that we just have fun playing like "Death or Glory" by the Clash, or "Substitute" by the Who.

    We do covers purely to liven up our set a little bit.

  16. After a decade of doing solely originals, I like covers for two reasons -

    > I like to have dinner
    > I like to meet my mortgage payments
  17. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    You are not a typical audience member. You know this. You sound like the musicians I meet who are way better musicians than me. It seems that as we move closer to genius, and the better we get, the smaller the audience, the fewer the venues, but the more satisfaction we musicians have. The closer we move to mainstream/cover, the bigger the audience, and the more satisfaction the dancers have.
    Arg! I hear this from musicians all the time. You compare. They dance. They drink. They have fun. Hey! Yo! You guys rock! You sound just like the guys on the radio! Who plays that song? That Rocks! Is that a guitar? Those sure are big strings! Boy, your drummer is loud!...And you think those people are comparing to the song on the CD? My friend can tell you the name of the song, the name of the CD, the number of the track, and if you are playing it wrong. He is no fun. What happened to fun? Do we remember fun?
    I hear you, but to some original band members, there is a defacto pecking order, a belief that all should strive to be as good as them, as good as Jaco, to be creative. Hey, I bought a car to get me from one place to another. Hey I bought a bass to play rock music. My favorate originals band sounds like they could be on the radio, and they have a good following, but when they play a cover, the place comes alive! Everybody moves and sings the words. That is what I want from my band. That is why I play bass. I remember that band. The originals band I saw last month that was really really good, I have no idea what their name is.

    No bass solos.
    No originals.
  18. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If I could find an originals project as satisfying as a couple I've been a part of in the past, then I'd pick originals. I don't hold out a lot of hope for that kind of project to present itself anytime soon, so I'm voting for covers.

    Like many bassists, I'm not a songwriter, even if my parts sometimes strongly define the tune. As such, playing in any given originals band amounts to serving someone else's (songwriter) artistic vision. Yeah, that's maybe a bit of a cynical view, but I'll bet that if a lot of bassists are honest with themselves, they'll admit that they're draw to play originals because it's perceived by others to be "cooler" rather than because it allows them free artistic expression. If I want real artistic expression, I'll break down and buy ProTools and/or a looper...

    Originals bands often have more ego problems, totally unrealistic expectations (delusions of grandeur), often create debt for the members, and are frequently characterized by silly and juvenile disagreements.

    That said, what's emerging as my new "A" gig is an originals project. I'm strictly a sideman/hired gun however. They've made the big investments in recording an album and paying for promotion. If they become big and famous, I'm sure I'll kick myself for not committing more fully. Odds that I'll eat crow on my current decision? Let's just say I'm comfortable with those odds...


    Gee, I'm a cynical old barstid, ain't I? Seriously, I know full well that playing in an originals band is going to be the most rewarding choice for a lot of folks, and I wish them all the success and fulfillment they can find...

  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Orginals. I write a lot of music and feel the need to inflct it on others.
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia

    I'm burnt with the originals thing. Record companies SUCK!
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