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Dead in the Water (warning rant inside)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SuperDuperStar, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. We all know that if we (the bass player) didn't show up for rehearsal that the show would go on. Lead guitar player skips town for a few days, no problem you won't miss him. BUT if you don't have a drummer then you know you are going to pull the plug on practice.

    I have been trying for near three months to find a drummer for one of my projects. A singer signed to an indie, managment and a completed album. I have not had any drummers come out that can play with confidence, never mind them not comming prepared. I've done the internet, Music store ads, the friends of friends thing. It's getting to the point where it's do or die time. The lable and managment want a band so they can push the album, but the budget does not allow for $$$ for paying guys to come out.

    What do I do next?? Should I resort to head hunting? This band is further along than most get and I may be able to pull a decent drummer away from another band. I find that most people in other bands are in two categories,1. Don't really want to make music a career, or 2. My band is gonna make it so why should I quit and join yours!!

    I think I'm just going to have to get a club and go drummer hunting 'caveman style'.

    :spit: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, much better
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    we had lots and lots of drummer problems. we DID rehearse, many times, early on without a drummer. we programmed drum beats, played without any drum beats, wrote songs, got OUR stuff tighter. the drummer problem actually never ended, and at one point we finally decided nothing was going to stop us. we still feel that way. what did we do? we said skrew it and hired drummers when we had to. i know you said that your budget wasn't allowing for hired guys, but do you really want to let the fact that you can't find a committed drummer stand in the way of your dreams? around here we can find great drummers willing to play for $100 a show. they usually audition for free, then want like $25 a rehearsal. if they're any good, since you have a cd they can learn off of, you should be able to pull off a gig with one or two rehearsals. that would be $150 a show, which would probably be less than you'd spend trying to find and work in drummers who seem to keep flaking out on you anyhow. how much time and money have you already wasted?

    we have a fairly steady drummer now, who we love very much all around, but because of other commitments and things he sometimes thinks are more important than a show - we have backups. along the way we've collected 2 other REALLY SOLID kick butt drummers that know our stuff, and 2 other guys who can cut it if we really need to go there. these guys came along from our persistence, our unwillingness to give up, our constant auditioning, and our treating the drummers who do play with us nicely.

    i don't believe any longer that drummers need to be a problem that can stop us or get in our way. it's all in the decisions WE choose to make.

    that's my 10 cents anyhow.
  3. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    And 10 cents well spent.
    Joe has layed it out the way it is in the real world.
    This should be required reading for every newbie,or semi- on the block with an "original" or cover band in the works.
    Majority of the time if you need a qualified member,you're gonna have to pay him.Guys that can seriously cut it,quickly and efficiently,don't play for free,no matter how much you tell them your band is "gonna make it,cuz we're signed and got the tunes".
    Bottom line is if you have something concrete to offer($$)pro's suddenly appear.
    (And if you had a label and management that really believed in the band($$)they'd find you a guy,tout de suite.;)
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    This doesn't have direct bearing on your question (how do I find a decent drummer?) but I'm not sure I entirely agree with your analysis. In my band, I'm the one who causes the rehearsal to be called off if I can't make it. The only ones I've not been able to make, the manager filled in with some bassing.

    Can't be my good looks and charm - it's probably more to do with the fact that I'm the one who brings along his folder of transcripttions, notes and lyrics and knows what key all the songs are in ;)

    Is there any way your music could be 'retooled' to work without drums?

  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I'll be the one to spout the cliche that if you want something done right, do it yourself.

    Learn the drums. It'll complement your bass playing, and help with your musical career.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You need to sit down with your "management" and get them to HELP YOU find a drummer. After all, no drummer, no band, no $$$ for anybody.

    Good luck.
  7. I thinnk that the main problems my finding a drummer is that the band is not doing material that is the 'flavour of the month' and secondly I am about 45min to 1 hours drive outside of Toronto. We have had guys come out who couldn't even play (IMO) and guys who wanted to get payed but are not good enough to be asking for cash.

    ConU, brianrost- Lable is is in California, Managment is in NYC, Band is in Toronto Area. So it is not like they have connections in the area to get us a drummer. Unless they want to fly one in with a work permit :p

    Wulf- I do not want to go thru the hassel of 'retooling' the songs to work without a drummer then getting everyone to retrain themselves to play the songs with a drummer.

    Christopher- I do play the drums, that's why I'm so hard on the guys that come out. If I can get on the kit and keep up with them or even out play them, I sure as hell don't want them playing drums in a band I'm in. Go knows I can keep better time :D

    Also this is not my main gig. I am acting more or less as the musical director for this band. I want ot get a decent band up and going for CD release, showcases and mini tours. After that I'm out.
  8. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province

    So then you're wasting your time with them.
    If they can't get 1 guy across the border,how are are they gonna do 5?Dude you live in S.Ontario,(8,000,000+pop.)you're telling me you can't find 1 guy that can cut your tunes?I listened to a couple of your MP3'S,you can't be looking that hard.I grew up in Mississauga and TO,Burlington and Brampton,just by sheer population numbers you have to be able to find a solid guy,whether it costs you a couple of bucks or not.
  9. Yeah the link on my profile page is the band that is my main project. That is going great. We are starting to garner alot of attention. That is the only band I've been in where the first guys thru the door made the cut. Well for the exception of the lead guitar. A friend of the singer came out of a major lable deal and the guy we had at the time got his walking papers soon after ;)

    I'm sure we will find a guy for this other project. It's just that it's taking so long and the quality of people comming out has been horrible. It's also funny to see what peoples perceptions of their level of skill is.

    You would think that solid, great timming, in the pocket, plenty of chops and pro gear would not be open to much misinterpertation.

    I blame the crack :D