1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The Official Covers vs Originals Thread

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassbully, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. I rather play with an original band.

    84 vote(s)
  2. I rather play with a copy/cover band.

    42 vote(s)
  3. It doesn’t matter.

    53 vote(s)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Mod edit: this is the official covers vs originals thread where we can hold this discussion without derailing other threads.

    Back to bassbully.......
    I have been a bit bored when I have checked Band management lately and hope to spark it up a bit.:)

    I was reading another post and saw some of the songs a few covers bands had on their setlists and got a sick feeling of " I'm so glad I don't have to play that anymore"

    First off this post is not a slam on cover bands. They are great and I cut my bass playing teeth on them and still perform a few today with both my Originals bands and still enjoy them. But there is an overall feeling that being in an originals band is the kiss of doom to some. Is it? Why do you like, love or prefer Orignals over covers...the good side only please. ;)

    Here are my reasons-

    Playing music I am a part of
    Seeing my name as not a just a member but writer.
    More freedom
    Recording more music
    Promotion and exposure (don't like as much)
    Chance at playing more interesting gigs
    Playing more interesting places
    feedback from the crowd
    Press on the band/reviews
    The feeling that the band is real/mine
    Chance to tour

    There are more but thats all I can think of right now. I'm interested to see what good reason's others have.
    I get a feeling of when I am in my originals band that we are a product and it is ours...we own it. In cover's I have never got that feeling and feel like I am a going thru the motions and will have to play songs I don't like allot.
    I can't at this time in my life see me doing covers again, maybe down the road? ..Who knows?

    I was offered to play in two coverbands in the last month one I played with for 1.5 years and turned both down. I knew the pay would of been good but my heart is in playing my bands music.
    Again this is only a positive thread on the GOOD reasons you play in an originals band. Thanks.
    SeamzKing likes this.
  2. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    There is nothing like doing your own stuff.
  3. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    Ive been playing the same stale covers for 3 years. I just cant find an original band in my area. Boo for me. At least I get paid well.
  4. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If someone doesn't feel the satisfaction of playing music that they wrote, or had a hand in writing, I doubt you could ever explain it to them.

    It's like owning a Harley, if you don't understand, I can't explain it. :D

    For the record, I don't think there is anything wrong with cover bands. I'm playing in one now that I'm very happy with.
  5. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I've never played in a cover band but what I like about writing and performing original tunes is that you can experiment with each new tune and try different approaches, trying to make the most of the musicians you've got and trying to come up with novel sounds. It's the creative process that I really enjoy and to be honest I would probably be content to stop gigging tomorrow if I still got to write, rehearse and record regularly.
  6. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I'm about the least artistic musician ever, but the best things about playing in an originals band were:

    getting away with a lot of silliness like plucking the same open string for five minutes straight

    for the rest of my life being able to say "when I was on tour in Transylvania..."

    being able to talk somebody into spending over 1000 Euros to bring a pair of bellydancers from Slovakia for the band's performance (which was played by my replacement after I quit, but still...)
  7. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Wow! I like this and agree 100%. There is something about getting into a room and just creating and crafting a song with others that does it for me. To see the song go from that room to the stage and then recording it is truly allot of work but so worth it IMO.

    I'm not yet ready to stop gigging but if I did or had to if I could still write, record, play and produce original music it would keep me going and motivated.
  8. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sweet! I'm glad you enjoy it. Seriously. It's all about what makes you happy. Here are a few reasons I LIKE to play in cover bands.

    1) Generally no head cases. There are, of course, exceptions, but EVERY originals band I EVER played in involved very.... "creative" people who wound up being egomaniacs and control freaks.

    2) Getting PAID. I don't need the money. But not getting paid, or even PAYING to play (another thread.... don't even get me started) seems like such a waste.

    3) Crowd feedback. You used this as a reason to play originals. For me, it's a reason to play covers. Everybody likes what they know.

    4) Marketing. I would rather my band's rep, and our set list speak for itself. I'm a forty year old guy with two kids. I ain't standing on the street corner handing out flyers begging anybody to come see me play. Seems like a ridiculous exercise.

    5) Headache - Every time I have been in a original band, the band splits up and then the knives come out. Everybody thinks they own the music, the name, the club contacts, etc. Oy. Just not worth it. I have literally sat in a meeting with attorneys.

    6) Club owners. They take advantage of you guys and you let them. You are so excited about sharing your "art" that you willingly let them. I would rather poke myself in the eye with an ice pick than try to put together a show that involved 5 other bands who have to sell so many tickets a piece to get on stage. And then AFTER you organize the basically free show and plan all the marketing you STILL have to talk the owner into it. And he acts as though he's doing you a favor? No thanks.

    Nope. Put me in the column of people who like to play mostly covers and write a song just for fun every now and then. The whole originals band thing is a PITA from the start.

    Hey, you said you were bored. There's something to occupy your mind. I'm really glad you like doing the originals thing. Really. I wish everyone here the very level of success they desire in whatever their endeavors. I have just reached a point in my life where the whole "starving artist for the love of music" thing isn't worth it. I really enjoy playing with the right PEOPLE. The music, oddly enough, is almost secondary. I'll play music that I don't ever listen to if the band is easy to get along with. Playing live with some good people is reward enough in and of itself. Playing public festivals where my three year old can dance in front of her daddy, wedding where the gratitude of all involved (not to mention the $5K paycheck) is great, club gigs where you are able to help people get their troubles off their minds, help them celebrate birthdays and other joyous occasions...... These are enough for me.

    But, hey, I'm glad you guys are out there. If you weren't there wouldn't be ANY new music, right? Keep at it and best of luck!
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    :rolleyes: Ummm.... thanks for the post but this was GOOD reasons you like to play in ORIGINALS bands. I don't want a flame war on this thread.
  10. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sorry. I didn't realize that offering the view form the other side was prohibited. I didn't flame. Maybe..... oh never mind. Cheers.
  11. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Cause its freaking fun! :bassist::bassist::bassist: Covers are fun to but not on the same level.
    The process of writing a song is awesome to. Trying to figure out arrangements, even away from the instrument, is just awesome. People look at you funny when you are headbanging to a song that is still just in your head though.:D
    It increases musical appreciation (at least for me).
  12. HeadyVan Halen

    HeadyVan Halen

    Jun 11, 2010
    We play obscure covers and tell people it 'ours'.

    You know songs like:
    Purple Haze
    Pride and Joy
    Sex Machine

    Works out well.
  13. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    It's cool :D
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yes and I tried to point that out in my first post. This is for the good reasons you decide to play in an originals band.
  15. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I think if you get any group of people together it's going to be hard to avoid at least one of them becoming unbearable within the first year or two. I've been lucky and so far only been in two bands that had one of those people in. Actually I guess in all the other bands that person was probably me. :meh:

    I also find bass players in cover bands always seem to get the short end of the stick. Most of the tunes are guitar-centric. I mean I do still play with guitarists because it's difficult not to, but I take an equal footing in the music and I guess with covers it's harder to do that because historically most bass players haven't been that forward.
  16. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    It's really just the drive to create for me. Whether I've written some, all or none of a song, it's infinitely more rewarding to me to play my basslines.

    I'd been spending a lot of time in the past month playing along to stuff in the Jammit app for practicing, and it can be a lot of fun. But last night I spent a few hours constructing some bass parts for my original material - it's just another level of music fulfillment. My hope is always that others will enjoy what I've created, but ultimately enjoying it myself is the priority.
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Depends what you want out of your band experience.

    For me, I love and need attention, so I have need to be gigging every Friday & Saturday night to a crowd, that's what gets me off. I also require pay for my work.

    Plain and simple I could not get that from an Originals band in Milwaukee.

    When guys are making this covers or originals decision for themselves you really have to understand and be honest as to what do you want.

  18. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    The question here goes back to us as individuals.

    Awesome to who? Writing songs is not an awesome experience for me. I couldn't write a good song it my life depended on it.

  19. Freez


    Nov 8, 2008
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Because you want to.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.