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Putting your influences on your band pages - good idea or bad?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    My guitarist is wanting us to put our personal influences on our Facebook page. Personally, I think it's not the best idea for a number of reasons:

    1. There is no way I could post everyone who has influenced me without me ending up writing a novel.
    2. I don't think anyone really cares about knowing who influences us since we're a bunch of nobodies right now.
    3. I always find it more fun to listen to a band and try to figure out their influences without having their Wiki page or Facebook page telling me.
    4. I've noticed that people have a tendency to judge others on their musical tastes. I'd rather people focus on our music and judge it on its own merits instead of seeing our influences and judging us on those.

    Anyways, those are my thoughts - what are yours?
  2. Mackluth


    Jun 9, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    I have to say, I hadn't thought of it the way you describe, though I agree with you now that I am enlightened haha. On the other hand, as somebody checking out local bands that I haven't heard of, that influences list can give a quick idea of what that bands music will sound like.
  3. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    I think it depends. If you have a wide range of influences listed, it can become convoluted and counterproductive. If you can narrow it down to 2 or 3 influences that the band as a whole share, and you can hear those influences in the music, then that's not so bad.

    Of course it's a double edged sword isn't it? When I surf the "Post your facebook" thread, if I see influences as "The Ramones, Bad Religion, and Pennywise", I might spend an extra second listening to those guys. On the other hand if it says "Creed, Tool, and Staind" I'll skip right over it without even giving it a chance. And there are people that would react the exact opposite to those two scenarios.
  4. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Mozart, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Clash, Miles Davis, The Dixie Chicks, Little Feat, Aerosmith, Brahams, Roy Clark, Peter Paul & Mary, The Ink Spots, Robert Johnson, Glen Miller and The Doors.

    Would you listen?
  5. Mackluth


    Jun 9, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    Well now I'm so confused I'm going to have to listen to find out. If it's Clash meets Dixie Chicks I'm buying a CD. Any other combination and I'll be going to a different club the night of your show :bag:
  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Prob not :meh: And it's not even that I dislike any of those artists or composers. I like most of them just fine. It just seems like you threw together such a huge mess of different acts with the hopes that one of them might stick out to someone. And considering the huge range of sounds of those artists I really have no clue what you might sound like.
  7. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    while i agree that i would have to write a novel to list my influences, im more likely to check someone out that may have something in common with artists i like. now if a band list all the usual common popular influences that most people list, it wont sway me much. but if i see something obscure that i like as well then i would really be interested to see what the band has to offer.
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    And actually, that's what our list would end up looking like.

    My guitarist: Phish, John Scofield, and Moe.
    My singer: UGK, Outkast, and Red Hot Chili Peppers
    My drummer: Snarky Puppy, Cake, and The Police
    Me: Jamiroquai, Muse, and Stone Temple Pilots

    I just don't see how anyone can see that and go, "I need to check these guys out!"
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Well, those are a number of my ACTUAL influences.

    If I were to list influences for my old original band, I would pick the ones that shaped my direction.

    For that band, I would say:

    Steely Dan, Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Beatles and maybe throw in one or two classical composers, just so people are aware that we're a mix of blues/rock, psychedelic rock, stadium style rock and have classical influences in the instrumentation. I don't mention Yes because we don't do super high vocals, or have that prog/experimentation thing going, at least not at their level. We're more radio friendly, so I mentioned mostly radio friendly bands.

    Would you listen?

    I also mentioned bands that people who have listened to us have compared us to.

    Now for my cover band, that I'm currently in, it's even easier, because I would take a cross section of the actual artists we cover; choosing the ones that best represent us.

    Aerosmith, Joan Jett, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd, Prince, Little Richard, The Beatles, Guns 'N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    Would you listen?
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I'd be more inclined to listen to your last two lists because they, to me at least, seem more unified and 'together'. Unfortunately, my guitarist is wanting each of us to list our influences out and mix them all together. I don't see how that gives people a good representation of our sound, because we definitely don't sound like any of the artists that I listed in my last post lol. In fact, most people who've talked to me after a show of ours have said that we don't really sound like anyone else, sooooo lol.

    Feel free to check out the link in my signature. I wouldn't mind hearing who you think we sound like, if we sound like anything.
  11. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Well, it definitely sounds like something, but you've enlisted a pretty old guy caught up in the past to do the listening. I have heard bands that sound vaguely like that, but I don't know any of the names. I know if you mention any classic rock influences, they aren't going to reflect much of that sound.

    It sounds like "prog/indie" to me, and I don't know how much that sells today; I know indie was a good thing for awhile, so maybe it still is.

    I would suggest getting some younger dudes to do the listening, and do exactly that; only list bands that directly affect the sounds you're actually making, and not just "mix them all up," like your guitar player says.

    You definitely want to draw the type of listener who would groove on what you are doing.
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks, man. I really appreciate your advice and insight :)

    I think I'll go make a thread to do just that right now lol.
  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Lists of influences seem to serve one of two purposes:

    1. They are a way of indicating your band's genre and style

    2. A chance to be a smart-ass
  14. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I can find no compelling argument to do this - if the idea is to appeal to a mass audience of people who might become fans & followers. There is some rationale to it in the context of recruiting other musicians, so that you can quickly and easily convey a sense of one another's musical taste & approach. But that's about it... :meh:

    Reasons #3 & #4 are the most persuasive to me. Bear in mind, there is real value in cultivating a sense of mystery...if you can do so in a way that's natural and genuine, without becoming completely pretentious about it.

    Present your band on its own terms - not by the light somebody else's glory. Those who are genuinely interested in your musical influences should pretty readily be able to discern them. Nobody else is really interested enough to care... :eyebrow:

    Focus upon the work that you're doing - not the work of the other artists you like.

  15. my bands influences are listed as "beards, breakdowns, and flannel" so take away what you will from that.
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    If you're a cover band, I don't really see the point. A setlist (and some rave reviews from satisfied clients) would be far more valuable to potential clients then knowing who your influences are.

    If you're an originals band, it may help people get a first-blush read on you, but it may also cause others to rule you out prematurely if they don't like your influences. I think the far more advisable thing to do for originals bands is to put your stuff out there and let people judge for themselves.

    If you absolutely must list your influences, then the place to do that is your individual member bios, not anything collectively.

  17. ransombass


    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, Ok
    A trio I play with from time to time lists their influences as such; New Orleans, Memphis, Austin and Tulsa.

    I kinda like that approach. It brings to mind styles and genres without being specific as to artist so much.

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