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Very modern (pop dance) cover band: anyone done it?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by belzebass, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    Hello, low-enders!

    IS anyone here playing (or played) in a modern pop cover band? Things like Katy Perry, Bieber and other Taylor Swift? Or more pop dance covers like Major Lazer, Calvin Harris or Tyga?

    I would like to start a cover band with a modern twist (
    think 2010 and later).

    As far as instrumentation:
    guitar, bass, drum machine and vocals (who would ideally touch a keyboard). Somewhat like Boyce Avenue with more energy and a drum machine or Scary Pockets with a worse bassist :)

    By the way, check out Scary Pockets, they are great!.

    I would like to do some style crossing too (like put a song in a reggae or bachata version) and do a couple of medleys.

    Anyone has done it? How did it go? Do you good feedback from the listeners?
    What kind of venues do you play? I'm going with a drum machine to target smaller venues and easier setup.
    Did the idea go well with the singer and the band members?
    What kind of songs do you play?

    I'm afraid of getting into middle ground between acoustic guitar-vocal coffeehouse gig and a full-on band. How do you manage the energy in it?

    Special mention to @pklima who covered Sean Paul!

    Thanks a lot!
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    I was in a band that did about 1/3 of that In the set list. But if that's all you do, you are limited to dance venues frequented by all younger people. Is that market available where you live?
  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I have a nephew who does it, but with a full band. They play high-profile gigs in luxurious hotels in Asia. There's good money to be made. However, he seems to have a problem with keeping lead singers.

    Prepare to work hard on arrangements and keeping your set list fresh.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i played a little, but mostly managed/produced a pop/dance group around the turn of the century ( :laugh: ). that act had live players, but we used a lot of tracks in addition. the focus was 4 dancers/singers. it worked: made some money, traveled a bit, yada yada. it was fun...but a lot of work.

    you may need more than a keyboard "toucher" --- i wouldn't rule out a couple of keyboard players unless you go with some backing tracks. good luck with your idea! :thumbsup:
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've done it very recently, and it was very successful. The only thing that took the band down was a massive ego holding a mic in the front.
  6. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    I'd say DJ with laptop is better than a drum machine. You can either program tracks, structure and all, or have a few loops which somebody is responsible for selecting and mixing live.

    I've done this kind of thing more recently with mostly originals, until the singer moved out of town for college. We ended up with a setup where if we had a pianist and a drummer we'd do a few more ballady songs, covers an an encore 100% live with no computer. I'd DJ and play guitar, through an amp sim also running in the computer, and some songs also had synced effects automation which got pretty complex in one case, with delays that would bloom and clear every bar during the hook. We'd also have alternate versions for gigs with no piano, and optional drum tracks for gigs that the drummer couldn't make. I also prepped backing tracks for a few songs for the singer to have a full backing track, and for a fashion show where did one song at an intermission with me starting it, counting the singer down, and playing double bass, to look cool. Flexibility.

    We did covers of everything from "Stand By Me" to recent indie-ish Polish pop such as the Dumplings, and Rihanna, too, but those were mostly 100% live because it took less time to get them ready that way, except for I think one song.

    The backing tracks took a few hours each to get to a nice shape, got revised between gigs, and one eventually evolved into a properly produced recording:

    Got two more mostly done since then, too, but not yet 100% finished and released.

    I'm all for it. I'd also throw some Billie Eilish in there, too. If you're gonna be modern, might as well go all the way.

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