After lurking around TB all the time and reading some of the nightmare auditions some of you guys have had, I felt pretty lucky, as all my auditions have been pretty smooth. That ended today. I responded to a CL ad (I know, don't say it...lol) from a "newly signed" band looking for a bass player. I email them and get a response within an hour. After exchanging emails, we agree to meet up this afternoon. The guy calls and explains to me that they were recently signed by an indie label that is owned by Epic Records and that in a month or 2 they will be touring nationally, which will be sponsored by a major energy drink company. Also, they are sponsored by Jagermeister (which kinda turned me off, as I'm not a drinker, but hey, to each his own). After all that, we decide to get together and jam to see how things go. Cool. So, not knowing exactly where we're practicing, I meet the guys in a nearby town. Long story short, it takes me about an hour and a half to get to the practice spot. I figure if this band is really serious, it might be worth the drive, as there's not really anything near where I live. Let me preface this next section by saying that while I try not to judge people by how they look (as I've been wrong many times before), I couldn't help but notice these guys when I first saw them. The lead singer was covered in what appeared to be prison or homemade tattoos. Nice. Also, dude was missing a tooth... and had a pretty good southern accent. In Ohio. Weird. Anyway, whatever. We get to the practice spot, and I meet the drummer and guitarist. Wow. How can I say this nicely... they were a couple of good ole country boys. Did I mention this was a metal band? Not exactly what I was expecting, but hey, country boys like metal too, so maybe there's something here I'm not seeing. I've been playing with some other guys, so my full rig is a world away, so when I was emailing these guys, I asked if they had an amp I could play through. Dude say yes, they have an ampeg amp that can be heard over their half-stacks. Cool... they have half-stacks, AND a nice little amp to play thorough. Well... I must be a gear snob or something, but man, this was the most pathetic setup I've ever seen. The half-stacks consisted of a Marshall SS stack and a Crate SS stack. Yuck. But again, to each his own. Some people dig the solid state sound. Then, I saw it... or more appropriately, almost tripped over it... the Ampeg amp in all it's glory... was a 1x12 combo!!! I'm like "what"? Then I looked at the controls... 3 knobs were missing, and it was in bad shape altogether. I knew I shoulda brought my Marshall combo, just in case.... jeez. Well, if it isn't obvious, all this stuff combined to create the biggest red flag I've ever seen. I wanted to run far far away at that point, but I figured I'd hear them out and see if thir talent was greater than everything else. Oh goodness. Drummer was okay, but his timing was all over the place. Guitarist's time was all over the place. I had to try and learn the songs by listening to guitar-dude tell me "okay, you start on the 7th fret here, then go up here, then back down here and that's about it". I swear he was out of tune the whole time, which threw me off quite a bit. It was a mess. One guy didn't show up, and through all their apologies they kept saying that they were soooo much tighter with this other guy and that they weren't showing what they truly could do without him...blah blah blah. Honestly, I'm not great, truly, but I blew these guys away. They loved me....lol. In fact, guitar dude, at the end was like "you were awesome.... you're like a professional". Good grief. So I don't know what the deal is with their record deal or sponsorships or whatever, but honestly, these guys are gonna get eaten alive if they go out as-is. I kinda feel bad, especially since they think they're so cool, when in fact they are not. I'm just glad it's over, now I only have to tell them I'm not interested. Fun. Well, that's my rant. Thanks for reading!