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Tribute bands... What would you do?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by zachoff, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. I've wanted a Nirvana cover band for a long damn time but have tried it and failed for lack of a good Kurt. Sounds silly for the people that hate him, but it's a distinctive sound (both guitar and vox) that not many can cop (none that I've found).

    I'd also be really into a Replacements tribute band. They're fun and Tommy Stinson is rad.
  2. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Depends what your aspirations for the band are.

    Tribute band audiences are a tough market to crack successfully. If you're looking to play out and make some money, you obviously want to choose not just a band that you like, but one that will have some cache with the public. Kinda pointless to cover material no one's interested in if your goal is to work the band.

    How extensive is the band's "songbook"? Bands that only released 2 or 3 albums are probably limited in their appeal.

    How obscure is the band or their material? Yeah, Nirvana is pretty well known, but how much of their catalog is widely known? Is there enough of an audience that is into the deeper cuts?

    If you just wanna do it for the fun of it, or jam the stuff in your garage, it'll matter a lot less.

    Just a couple of things to think about...
  3. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Shakira. I even have the singer. We could turn our band into a Shakira tribute without too much trouble, the two of us already know over a dozen songs, but we'd need a different guitarist and also keys.
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I'm thinking AC/DC. Finding the right singer would be tough. Other than that, the songs are easy, meaning you could learn a whole bunch of 'em in a short amount of time, and audiences (around these parts at least) go crazy for anything by them. And they inspire drinking, which is good for bar business.
  5. My personal choice would be Sabbath, particularly the original Ozzy years and Dio's first run, so circa 70-81.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I know a guy who can cop a great Bon Scott, but around here AC/DC tribute bands are a dime a dozen, at this point you need to have a schtick on top of your AC/DC, we have one group "whole lotta angus" or something like that, the whole band dresses up like angus young.
  7. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I've seen a couple of really good tributte bands. IMHO, I couldn't do it. It is one thing to play a cover here and there, but a tribute. I really am very happy being myself playing my own way. Props to those who can do the tribute thing..
  8. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    There is a great AC/DC Tribute called Dirty Deeds that plays in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

    Check them out.


    There is also a very good Aerosmith Tribute called Draw The Line that is based south of Boston but plays all over the world.

  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    That's funny right there. :D
    And I just found some videographic evidence:
  10. Auditioning for a Steely Dan trib in January, on drums.

    Curious to see where it takes me. I love the Dan and have my whole life.... but I wonder if playing it to death will make me rethink it later.

    I'd only ever do it for two bands - them and Rush.
  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I'm doing a Pink Floyd thing, we have our first gig in a week or so. I've never really done too many covers in 30+ years of playing, but this should be fun.
  12. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Boston or the Police. Both very popular, both pretty much not yet done in my neck of the woods. Not to mention, they'd both be really fun to do!
  13. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    I'm not their biggest fan and I've never had a cover band but I would totally do a Weezer tribute band in a heartbeat.

    Tons of fun and catchy songs and plenty of casual and hardcore bands.
  14. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I'd need to do something that wouldn't be too hard to book. First thoughts are
    • The Eagles
    • Pearl Jam
    • Def Leppard
  15. Bon Jovi. I wanna make money! :)
  16. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Well, I wanna make my own music, but if I ever would play in a cover band, I would play in a Adagio cover band! :hyper:
  17. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    A Nirvana tribute may be successful; although I don't think you'd be real busy with that sort of thing as compared to, say, an AC/DC or KISS tribute.

    I'm afraid that a Replacements tribute would, to steal a line from a certain drummer with the last name of the Earth's only satellite, go down like a lead zeppelin.
  18. There's a group of guys around here that do several tributes. They change it up to keep from getting bored with it. In the past they've done:

    Van Halen
    The Cars
    The Ramones
    several others that aren't coming to mind right now

    If you have the right group of guys, you can probably pull off whatever you feel like doing. They don't really do it for the money, just to put on a show once in a while for the fun of it, usually holidays like the 4th of July and Halloween. A couple of them put together a live band karaoke thing they do weekly at a couple of places in town too, and that's gotten fairly popular.

    I've been a part of a Guided By Voices tribute band for years. It's mainly for fun. Our guitarist is one of their roadies.
  19. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I could pull off Tom in a slayer tribute, but finding drums would be difficult.
    As for obscure, how about a Captain Beefheart tribute?
  20. totallywink

    totallywink Supporting Member

    I did an Aerosmith tribute band years ago, right before their big come back ( the Done With Mirrors era) . We did somewhat well because Aerosmith was kinda in retirement mode back then, so to speak. It was fun and a great learning experience in trying to figure out grooves from Tom Hamilton.