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Female singer for classic rock covers some with man-ish lyrics. Does it matter?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I am starting a second band so that I can move it in the direction I want without debate (hopefully).

    I have female lead singers replying to my ad. However, I am in a bit of a quandry b/c I am not sure how it would go over with a woman singing songs like "she shook me all night long" by ac/dc or "with a rebel yell" by billy idol. I suppose one could change the lyrics, but then it would be "He shook me all night long." Sounds kinda stupid.

    Would do you guys think.. can/should a chick sing man-ish songs?

    Maybe I should only consider male lead singers?

    I am building this band from the ground up so in a way I think i shouldnt be too choosey but then again i dont want to regret hasty "hirings" just because I want to get things going.
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Until you've heard a female singer belting out Sir Mix a Lot's "I Like Big Butts", you haven't lived.
  3. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    A really good singer will be able to sing any lyrics and still sound good. I've sung songs written for female singers before and felt only mildly weird doing it. No one has ever mentioned it either.

    Weirdest one: a goth metal band I used to sing for covered "Crucify" by Tori Amos.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You're 'the man'!
    FME, it really depends...somethings can translate over; others will probably sound dumb, silly, &/or funny.
    In the '80s, I was in band fronted by a great female vocalist...Survivor's "High On You" didn't cut it. Changing the word "Girl" to "Guy" only made us get a pain in our side from laughing so hard.
    Another band, all males, did pull off stuff by The Motels & The Pointer Sisters("He's So Shy" became "He's So Shy"...IIRC, that worked).
    No reason you still can't go through with the 'auditions'. You never know(for maybe later down the road).
    Joking aside, ASK them if-
    a)They can even pull of AC/DC or Billy Idol
    b) Would they be comfortable doing so
  5. I see your point. That would imply girl-on-girl action. Nobody'd be interested in that. That's not cool at ...... Hey wait a minute! That's the coolest thing on the whole freakin planet!

  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Can you imagine a rendition of Aerosmith's "Big Ten inch". :D
    But I guess she have to be suffering from strapadictomy. :D
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Boy... you'll be a maaaayyynn soon.
  8. I say go for it.

    Apart from any other considerations, in the UK, the fees you could command would be higher with a female lead vocalist. ;)
  9. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    My current band has a female lead singer and she is waaaaay too uncomfortable with anything that sounds like it might hint at the 'girl-to-girl' thing.

    One of our first practices, the guitarist and I got going on 'Black Magic Woman'. She didn't recognize it at first. When she DID recognize it, her first statement was " I can't sing that. I'm not gay."

    I keep trying to tell she should keep her options open...but that just gets me the 'ugly eye'. :scowl: :rollno: :rolleyes: :p

    What? I meant about singing. :eyebrow:
  10. Unless you're ok with that.... ummm of course I was joking... I meant about the singing!

  11. Same deal for me...My band has a female lead singer and we do a number of male originated songs but she sings them quite well. However she refuses to sing song which have overt male sexual stuff in them becuase changing the lyrics from "she-to He" just makes the songs stupid.
    What we've found by changing a few nuances of the song a little you can use a females voice to a big advantage, such as change up the ska/reggae-ness of some police tunes for more of a jazz feel and message in a bottle, driven to tears work great. Drop the heavy distortion of ZZ top tunes and fill it in w/ slide guitar and a female voice works well above the sound.
    I'm of the opinion that you can make it work in most cases, plus where I am female fronted bands are still a rarity and can be used to the bands advantage
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The female singer I am most interested in says she has 15 years experience. While that level of experience is great, it also tells me she is most likely in her 40s maybe mid 30s. This would mean her sex appeal would dimish. Guess that sounds pretty sexist. Sorry.

    I have also read here on TB of female lead singers causing problems for the band. I am assuming that would depend on the person though.

    I had one male respond so far, but I dont know. He seems sort of over-the-top if you know what I mean. He says its great to play fast songs so you can watch the t*tties bounce. This is how he chooses to respond to an ad? Maybe i am being too pruedish?
  13. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    If she's a good singer, try to cater to her comfort level.

    The thing to be wary of when having a female lead singer in an otherwise all guy band is when you end up "diva-sitting." It's just like "babysitting" but for a diva. You get my drift.
  14. Well I guess it all depends what vibe your going after.
    If your looking for a sexpot, then a woman in her 30-40 could still be all together+ have great singing chops. If you looking for a playboy playmate then your typical 30-40 yr old might not cut it for you.
    Now if your into great music, then 15yrs pf experience might put this gal right where you need her to be. Maybe she has a great attitude, comes to practice after doing her homework, knows the material, etc makes her more responsible an mature. Every person is different- so audition her, if she doesn't like you-cool, and viceversa.
    I've not diva-sat nor have i come across specific females being any more divas and then a typical lead male singer being a diva (goes both ways). I've had a great experience w/ our female lead singer, and her 15+yrs of singing experience works to our advantage.
    As for causing problems in a band, meaning shes fooling around w/ the drummer or the like, heck you find that w/ any group of people you put together.
  15. all male band?? :eek: :bag:
  16. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    You're already heading in the direction of debate, unless your goal is to play songs that are complimented by female lead vocals.

    Since you're starting a band to "move in the direction that you want", I would get a list of songs that you want to do, and find a singer that can cover them well.

    I was in a band with a female lead singer for a few years. The band went through several guitar players because, IMO, they were lazy, and didn't want to learn new 'girl' songs, and just wanted to play the same old crap they had been playing for years. When these guitar players joined the band, they were told well in advance that we had a female singer and were given a song list. But, they just lied to themselves and us. Eventually, they would suggest playing songs with testosterone-filled lyrics, and after the suggestions got shot down too many times, they would get frustrated and quit.
    BTW, this was a very popular band that played songs by Aretha Franklin, Chic, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin etc... We were so busy, we were constantly turning down gigs because we were already booked!

    Anyway, my $0.02 is - You can have a great band with a female lead singer, but everyone in the band has to be "on-board" with it. Get a singer (female or male) that fits what you're trying to accomplish, not just the first good singer that answers your ad...

    You obviously already have some ideas of what you want this band to be like, or you wouldn't be starting this 2nd band. So, try to find the right piece that fits the puzzle. Don't just find one that's close and try to force it to fit.
  17. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I'm in a classic rock band with a Girl singer and the audience loves her singing stuff like BigBalls and everything under the sun, There's some stuff she doesn't like to sing so either I or the guitar player takes over. We even do and All KISS set and she sings stuff like SHE, Dr Love, Love Gun it's classic and she does a killer job.
    Don't be afraid you have a better off chance finding a great female vocalist rather than a mediocre Male vocalist.
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    If she's hot and sexy, it won't matter what she sings. :D
  19. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA

    The last thing you should be worried about for your singer is what she looks like. The best singer I played with (and still do) is not a hottie by any stretch of the imagination. She's 41, looks it, and was probably never a hottie.

    I have never seen an audience she can't get going. She has soul, she has rhythm, she has timing, she can hit the notes, she can move, and most importantly, she knows how to get an audience involved.

    The women LOVE her. She sings a lot of "boy" songs.

    Remember, if you are playing classic rock kinda stuff, you are trying to sell drinks at bars. Your audience is women!!! If women get into what you are doing, the men will be there regardless.

    Nothing will drive away an audience quicker than a lousy singer, regardless of how good they look.

    Of course, you need to find someone that can sing the stuff you are interested in playing and fit in with the band, but me thinks you are a fool if you are gonna filter out women based on their age or looks.
  20. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Back when I was a strapping young lad of 18 we had two singers. One distaff for the Motels/Nina Hagen/Fuzzbox stuff.

    One night we had her sing Violent Femme's "Cmon Dad Give me the Car." We got a very good crowd reaction.

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