Tribute Band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jimbob, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    I have a side project that is quickly turning into a monster. It is a Bon Jovi Tribute band my singer and I have started. The website is up and we have gotten some attention from agencies and clubs. As this is my first Tribute Band, I am wide open to some advice from the board on endorsements, promo (we are editing our video now), gigs, showcases etc..

    Here is a link to the site. Thanks for looking.
    Wanted Dead or Alive
  2. Man can I relate!

    About a year and a half ago, a buddy of mine and I accidentally started a KISS tribute band by planning to do a one-off kinda private party gig for halloween.

    Fast forward a bit, and we are shocked SHOCKED to find that our side project has become our main band and we are in fact a KISS tribute band that is in increasingly growing demand in our region.

    I'll be honest. I used to not have a huge amount of respect for tribs, but man... this is by far the most demanding thing I've ever done musically or theatrically. It's also one hell of a lot of fun. Good luck to you guys!

    As for advice. Just put together a slick media kit (your website looks great by the way) and start getting the word out.

    I would give some advice however for your long term plan... Trib bands are events. They need to be promoted as such. Don't overplay your home market just because you can get the gigs. That's a sure way to keep yourself from being able to book a larger venue because people know they can catch you for a five dollar cover next month.

    Think regionally (at least). We are playing a few bar gigs just to get a little stage time on the new additions to our set list, but after that, we are planning on hooking up with other trib bands in our area for double and triple bill shows in order to get a maximum draw for a larger concert style venue - which we will rent at promoter rates and market it ourselves.

    Top tribute bands get fantastic draws and make a hell of a lot of money paying music and protraying characters they love. Go see 1964 as the Beatles, and you'll see what I mean. They routinely sell out a 2800 seat venue here in Tulsa with tickets going for about $25 a pop. That's good money.

    The other thing about being in a trib band... you are equal parts actor and musician. It isn't enough to sound like Bon Jovi. You gotta look like the band, move like the band etc. because people that go to a trib show don't care about how hard it is to get costuming, vintage instruments, the right physical build, hair/wigs, etc. etc. etc. They are fans like you and will tear you apart if they aren't "buying" the illusion you are trying to create.

    Your core demographic should always be the hard core Bon Jovi fan. Screw what anyone else thinks, because those are the people who will judge you most accurately against the originals.

    Anyway, it's still very much an evolving band for us too. But these are some things I am learning as I go.
  3. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Wow! I'll certainly be following this post, if it definitely grows some legs...

    Me and my boyz seem to get a lot of response with our ZZ Top covers:

    Arrested for Driving While Blind
    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
    Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings
    Master of Sparks
    It's Only Love
    Blue Jean Blues
    Hot Blue and Righteous
    Just Got Paid
    La Grange
    Waiting for the Bus / Jesus Just Left Chicago
    Cheap Sunglasses
    I'm Bad and I'm Nationwide
    I Thank You

    ...while we haven't been 'approached' to become a Top tribute band, nor have we even considered calling ourselves one, we've gotten a lot of positve feedback whenever we string several of these songs together within a set...

    ...ya' think we should consider looking around for some long, fake beards, and cheap sunglasses??? :cool: :cool: :cool:
  4. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat

    ...and a 1933 Ford. Oh YEAH!
  5. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Hmmmm... I have a 1965 Cadillac Coupe deVille... Nah! Not quite the same effect... :D
  6. Wouldn't be surprised if your ZZ thing turns into one. It starts out with having a lot of songs by one band in your set list and eventually you decide to do a ZZ show.

    Then you realize that your costumes you put together could be better for the next one. So you start building better costumes.

    Then you realize that to really pull it off, you need to incorporate all the choreographed ZZ moves, so you start working on that!

    And before long, you realize that it's already happened and you are in fact a tribute band.

    But that's OK, because these are growing in popularity and as I mentioned, it tends to pay better than cover band gigs and it gets a better crowd reaction. But I'll say again, don't hurt your draw by overplaying your home market as ZZ. While that builds a following for cover bands, it hurts drawing power for tribs.
  7. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Some great feedback so far and thanks! We just put our video up on the site over the last couple days and we hope to hear some news from an agency shortly. B-Note...I'll PM you as I have some questions Thanks!
  8. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Keeaumoku: A ZZ tribute would Kick butt!!! You should consider it! Great List!