Trying to start a band......the Rant.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by powmetalbassist, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    So posted out to try to start a band. this is not my first trip around the sun...been here before many times.
    Why does it always have to be so hard. *sigh*. So here is the short version of the past 6 months

    6 months ago I posted that I wanted to start a anything.... = crickets.

    2 months ago I posted I wanted to start a 90's tribute band

    6 weeks ago had several guys try to recruit me for their own projects...I get it, someone putting the effort to look can't possibly be a flake so must try to recruit

    5 weeks ago - I get 3 guys (all different instruments) show interest in the 90's tribute thing..we talk for a week via email/social media

    4 weeks ago - crickets again...havn't heard back from them yet

    3 weeks ago - classic rock band tries to recruit me as their current bassist is a flake

    2 weeks ago...try to set up jam/try out with classic rock band our schedules don't work that week

    1 week ago - classic rock band goes on vacation...everyone disappears to the winds...might get started again in the fall

    Really.....crickets (twice), flakes, and a band that tries to recruit and disappears for the summer....

    feeling just annoyed with the lack of musical opportunity and commitment. I know its everywhere (as mentioned before this ain't my first trip), but come on!

    *Breathing deeply into bag*

    Ok...thanks...I just needed to get that off my chest.
    Oddly, Jimmy4string and hrodbert696 like this.
  2. Learn to play drums.

    Then fire yourself.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Yep, sounds about par for the course. Keep at it. My bet is that the classic rock guys may work out sooner or later; if they're conscious of the current bass player being flaky, chances are they are not utterly flaky themselves. But I'm sure they're weekend warriors with wives and jobs and all, and the band is not going to take priority over family vacations. Come September they'll all be back on board.
  4. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Great advice. I love it.
    Stumbo and Jimmy4string like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    It can take time to find the right mix. I spent two years playing in a band where I was not satisfied, while I was looking for something better.


    1. good music
    2. good gigs
    3. "normal" people - good hang

    That's a tough triangle.
    SV777 likes this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sorry to hear that.

    I have the opposite problem. I recently got a new bass. That somehow put the word out to all of my regional musician friends that I'm "back" in the band game. (I took a break from band membership a few years back cuz we started having babies I wanted to see every day.)

    I don't do social media either.

    But now my phone and email have been blowing up with people asking me "Hey, when are we gonna start a band?"

    Most of them I love as humans. But to work with them is torture. I am honestly looking to put something together. But now I am in the position of picking and choosing. Somebody is going to get hurt. Friendships will be tested. Bass players willing to play more than one style/genre are rare around here.

    Hope you get your situation figured out.
  7. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    "Somebody is going to get hurt. Friendships will be tested. Bass players willing to play more than one style/genre are rare around here. " -TFs

    I say go with the highest bidder!
  8. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Your problem is that you haven't created momentum!!! You need to have a moving train. THEN the crickets stop and people want to be part of it.

    if I were you, I'd schedule a video shoot 6 weeks out and then get the band in place for it. Or tell them you have a gig that pays $30 a man to get started, and fund it out of your own pocket. Or approach some dying club that wouldn't hire anyone due to lack of funds. Offer to do the night for drinks and food to get started.

    Don't pee in the pool by going to places that are paying market rates.

    I just started a band 4 weeks ago and we're on our second paid gig at over $100 per person. And we did it without video or anything. Get on the Bill Gates principle -- money on the table first, effort second.

    Crickets will stop. Lions will join your band. You will have cred as a leader and all the good musicians will want to be part of your project.
    electracoyote likes this.
  9. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Good luck and BTW, "Rant" is a good name for 90's band.
    Kun2112 likes this.
  10. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I've said this a million times in this forum. Book paying gigs and the competent musicians crawl out of the woodwork like cockroaches and everyone who is too busy all of a sudden have open schedules. At this point, I don't bother with trying to put together a band unless I have an actual gig to perform.
    RustyAxe, PauFerro and jerry like this.
  11. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member


    1 week ago I get a reply from the guys interested in 90's band stuff. They want to jam on sunday...we pick 6 songs (listed below) and plan to meet sunday afternoon. Sunday morning comes and vocalist backs out because there is no guitarist (red flag right there). we reschedule for next sunday. we will see how this goes

    Song list:

    Lit - My own worst enemy
    Temple of a Dog - Hunger Strike
    The Offspring - Self Esteem
    Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy
    Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
    Creep - Radiohead
  12. The singer backed out because you want him to sing Creep.
    Grumry and 2cooltoolz like this.
  13. BigBasserino

    BigBasserino Guest

    Apr 30, 2017

    You're more persistent than I am. ...I think it's almost like a dumber form of dating, which also hasn't worked out. usually I check Craigslist about once every 6 months and go "hmm, my area. ...10 postings, blues, classic rock, or 60s funk. riveting." I guess if I can't beat them I might as well join, right? but it's money each time, playing material I normally wouldn't play over and over again in the car, that nobody's paying these groups for. it just doesn't add up. It's a hard fact that unfortunately, what we build up in our heads isn't going to match with what we meet in the wild by a Longshot. you're into metal, right? look at all the groups where there's usually 3 guys who match up totally and then two guys who aren't "the image". it's a knock on the chin and truthfully so because it's what it looks like that everybody denies seeing after listening to the next "revolution".
  14. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I feel you. I'm trying to put together a group project now not a band but a project focusing on experimental music. I know its not everybody's cup of tea but the action from the ads has been little to none. I did meet, play and record with a couple of guys and it went well but its been crickets from that camp since.
  15. I think an ad is like a mass mailout. You never know what you're going to get.

    Focus instead on a targeted marketing approach. Go to the places where good musicians are known to congregate, and network. Jams, music stores, colleges, etc.

    My best band efforts were never from answering unsolicited ads; they were from associating with, and recruiting known good musicians.
  16. I got lucky with my most recent CL response. Was the most vague posting ive ever read (dont even remember what is was). But 2 1/2 years later still happy i took a chance. Hope you find what your looking for.
  17. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    maybe it's your ad. i usually get tons of replies on CL whether i'm looking for musicians or selling yet another camera or bass... well, except for the hofner shorty.

    want to let us take a shot at tightening your listing up if the 90s band cancels again? which, of course, i hope they don't.
  18. I'm in the last band I'll ever play in, and it's a band I started around two years ago. It's my first start-up and done with the specific intention of avoiding the countless mistakes I've seen bands make over the 40 years I've been performing in public.

    Starting up a band, and getting it to take off, sprout wings, and be truly competitive and successful in your market, is some of the hardest work you'll ever do, even on the weekend warrior level.

    My biggest challenge was getting a lead singer who was a good fit to stay in the damn project. We're on Number Three, and we've played more gigs with a rotating cast of fill-in lead singers than one permanent lead singer who shows for all rehearsals and actually owns the slot. But Number Three appears to be the one.

    Two years really isn't that long, it just feels like a really long time. But over the past year we have been getting repeat invitations and great referrals and building on the backs of every gig we play, so we are headed in the right direction and developing a sizeable client list, which will save me a lot of work with promotion and marketing. Our third singer is really digging in and representing well.


    Perseverance is the key, and take good care of your musicians, because they need to be patient and feel loved while things fall into place.

    All my musicians came from CL, Bandmix, and lead singer Number Three came directly from a friend's band that imploded on him.
  19. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I've seen this advice a lot on this board, but I keep wondering: How do you get gigs booked without a band? I've actually tried this and usually the response from venues was: let's hear some demo of what you guys do first (won't buy the cat in the bag), or a web site with videos on it preferably. Sometimes they want some sort of resumé from us, like what other places have you played.

    And any answers to that I could come up with would be akin to lying straight to their face. There is no band. I can't show you anything. Any audio or video of past bands was (most likely) recorded by completely different people than what you get. I can put together a demo playing all the instruments myself, get someone to sing on them and hire some actors for a video, but that's a really weird thing to do I guess.

    It kind of feels... disingenious?

    Unless you as a BL are a known quantity and can reliably fulfill your contractual obligations (and thus have a reputation in the market), I have a hard time imagining how to do this as a newbie without a band.
  20. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN be fair....

    In most competitive markets, this only works if:

    • You've got a history of putting together successful bands
    • You have a track record with venue owners who are willing to trust your product (even when you don't currently have one), and
    • You've got a local talent pool deep enough to find talent to throw this together quickly.
    Some can do it....most can't.