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Do 90's /alt rock cover bands work?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sm49341, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Im currently in a decent variety hobby band, good gigs( mostly weddings, parties, festivals). We really appeal to the 50+ crowd, and frankly they seem to be the people willing to pay us what we ask. Good money for the effort.
    I love the band but a lot of the material is well dated. I love 90's+ material, but we only do ahandfull of those, and one of the guys puts up a fight anytime we try to add more.
    I am considering a side project to explore that 90's /alt rock avenue. I have people in mind to fill the slots. Can the 90s alt ( cake sublime weezer) type of band get jobs? Also considering keping it 20% classic rock and 20% modern/alt acoustic (mayer, sherheen, train) to keep more people (ladies) satisfied. Can this mix work? In our area, it seems our current band is whats getting all the business. But people who listen to us frequently say we are getting stale and theyre bored with a lot of our material.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    In my area, yes. A good friend of mine played in one for a while. They had a good following. My wife told me that was her favorite bar band ever.....including ones I had been in. :sour:

    EddiePlaysBass and sm49341 like this.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Talk to the people who say they are bored with your music. What do THEY want to hear? Those are the only opinions that matter.
    sm49341 likes this.
  4. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    We do a lot of 90's stuff and early 2000's stuff as a jazz trio (so it is rewritten a bit) and that's been our bread and butter to land paying gigs. We also do a few jazz tunes and 70's/80's and originals...People dig the 90's stuff at least in AZ...
    sm49341 likes this.
  5. My originals band does some cover gigs here and there in order to reach new people. In my area if you don't you'll pretty much continue playing to the same people forever and never reach new people unless you can get more exposure opening for touring bands and a lot of those shows have turned into a buy on/pay to play type of deal so we don't open for as many touring bands as we used to. In my area cover bands and original bands don't really play shows together or even at the same venues. So doing cover gigs is the only way play some venues. And playing originals is the only way to play others.

    We mainly stick with 90s to early 2000s material ranging from Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam to Staind, even some nu metal stuff like we played a ballad rendition of crawling by linkin Park last month which I transcribed from their piano version off of YouTube and everyone was singing along. A lot of the cover gigs are done with acoustic guitars as well because they are mainly on restaurant patios and in smaller venues. Occasionally doing both really pays off when it comes to getting on special events because sometimes the more material you can play and the more diverse you can be the better. Like we're playing our areas big haunted trail this year. And we're playing A mix of originals and covers that we've recently played and are comfortable with for that. It's a 3 hour gig, two sets with a break in between. Pay for that gig is also nice. Also playing both originals and cover gigs were not against selling merch including original CDs at cover gigs which can be nice money wise because you get the nice cover band pay not having to split the door with mutplie bands like we do at original shows and we still make money selling merch which is where the majority of the money in the originals shows is at.
    sm49341 likes this.
  6. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    I'm in a 90's/2000 cover band and, yes, it works. We've been gaining a following and I think the 30-40's age demographic that grew up with the music has the discretionary income to spend on a night out. We also get quite a few 20-somethings who like to hear songs like Scotty Doesn't Know and She Hates Me. We are doing well with the genre. All you need is a whiney voiced singer and a Eddy Vetter/Kurt Cobain singer and you are golden!
  7. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    I joined a band that does most songs from that era - it works. We have to remember the age and tastes of the people we want to attract (not necessarily what we want to hear). Not a lot of people in their 50s and 60s hanging out at bars and clubs.
  8. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    It's becoming standard around here.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  9. Ok - so let's take the next logical step.....

    What 90's -early 00's alt rock songs are in your setlists that are working for you? I REALLY want to add some of this era into both of my bands, as this is my 'college' music - so it holds a special place in my heart. But, I realize there is a LOT of mid-tempo/moderate energy music there that doesn't translate well to a bar/club/festival setting....

    Slide by Goo Goo Dolls is a good one - we are adding it right now in Band #1...
  10. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    The few we do go over well, but many 90s tunes we played have had disappointing results.
    Santa Monica, Long December, my own worst enemy, closing time are all hits for us. Voodoo was a good song for us but for some reason we no longer play it. Most black keys songs have been fails, but in my mind it could be were not playing it convincingly enough. Green day songs, meh, dont go over well for us. Once again this could be a personnel issue. I think for my current band the guitarist seems afraid to use enough drive or distortion, and has removed his fuzz pedal. Some of these songs call for outright fuzz and hes just petting them with light breakup overdrive. Not selling the sound imo. To play 90's you have to change your sound a bit. Grunge! Thats why im just looking to a starting a seperate group. I dont think they want that sound or like it. I do.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  11. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Think about the age of the bar crowd. Likely 30's and 40's. Do they want to hear music from the 50's and 60's all night ? I doubt it.
  12. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I'm seeing more and more bands do this in my area. I say go for it, strike while the iron's hot. These are the nostalgia songs for people in their 20's, 30's, and 40's. I think i would enjoy this type of group more so than the classic rock type as long as the cheesier material doesn't make it into the set(some of the one hit type of stuff), although i'm sure other people would even get down with that.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    we would do nirvana, sound garden, marilyn manson, and jesus and marychain which some people liked a lot and others probably just thought it was sludgecore due to all the distortion and od

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