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Which direction to go?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by HamOnTheCob, Dec 23, 2004.


  1. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Hey all, my band Dogwood Tree has a pretty diverse catalog of original tunes. I've only been in the band about a year, writing new material, but the band has been around a few years off and on.

    Because of breaks in action over the years, the band has no real fanbase, but are currently recording an album, and getting ready to hit the clubs.

    I was a founding member of the band Distraught's Son, and played several shows a month for over a year and a half until our guitarist moved, and my local contacts with fans and clubs are all in the metal area, so my pull is limited.

    Anyway, for a band with around 40 original tunes and no fan base, we need to pick a direction, it seems, in order to draw crowds looking for a given type of music, and more importantly, to book clubs. Venues don't usually want a mish-mash of styles, it seems, unless you're playing covers.

    I've thrown several songs on my webspace, and I'd like to hear all your thoughts about which direction you think we ought to go. I like a little of everything, so it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. Have any of you had particularly good/bad responses to the style of music in any of the songs I've uploaded?

    I'm looking for ideas about what sells and what doesn't. It seems to me that the crowds drawn playing heavier stuff are amazing, but I've never been in a mellower style band before, so I'm not sure what to expect.

    Please give all the tunes a listen, as they're all somewhat different, and let me know what you think is a good area to focus on.

    Also, general comments and suggestions are welcome. Note: except for the rough demos of California and Bass On A Board, the recordings were made with bass players other than myself.

    http://users.1st.net/milk/Dogwood_Tree/

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies!

    - Jake
     
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Wow. Rough call. I just gave it all a quick listen. I liked all the songs. Well recorded too. I guess I should be honest here and say I don't have a clue what I'd do if I were you. Thinking out loud: In clubs people seem to go for the heavier, more boppy stuff. Ballads don't go over as well, at least where I've been gigging, and it's way harder to pull off a ballad than it is a song people can move around to. On the other hand though, as much as I liked the other songs they sounded slightly dated so I'm not so sure how they'd go over with a younger crowd. The slower songs sounded more fresh and current IMO.

    I think I'd put a mix of 3 or 4 songs on my promo CD, then just start playing everything and let the people that come to the shows decide. It's also really hard to tell from just listenting to recordings which will work best. A band's live performance has so much more to do with who's going to come to a show than does what's on a recording. Also, I don't know how much the bar owners are really going to care what's on your promo CD - all they care about is whether people are going to come see you or not. Some bars care that you have at least a little talent, but if you can pack a bar nothing else matters.

    I'll add also that while the songs you posted are different, I think they'd sound fine thrown together on one CD becasue the band is consistent. You can tell it's the same band doing it all and it doesn't sound out of left feild, or all that incredibly different to me. Good luck.
     
  3. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    That was quick! hehe Thanks for the reply. I totally know what you mean about the dated thing. It all sounds pretty much early 90s, but that's where all the band's influences lie (including mine, though that's not my only area of influence) and I've actually found that dated sound to be a plus with all my college buddies who are all my age or slightly younger. They all seem to say "I miss that style of music"

    I'm 23, our lead player is 30, singer/acoustic player is 34, and our drummer is about to turn 41. Our performance is very tight and I have no doubts about our ability to put on a good show.

    We did play one gig, and though everything seemed to go over alright, it was about 60 or so friends of ours that we played for just to test the waters several months ago, and we couldn't tell exactly if they loved the music or just loved that WE were playing. Ya know?

    I agree that heavier stuff will probably work better than the mellow to get people moving, but the mellower can give them a breather, and let them get something to drink... maybe even dance a little! I also agree that the songs aren't so different that we can't play them all. I guess my main concern is that we'll have trouble getting certain gigs at clubs who typically have bands of a particular genre, because we don't play JUST that genre.

    I was gonna say something else, but I forget now... it's 9:30 a.m. and I've been up all night.. LoL
     
  4. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Gee, thanks for all the help guys. :)
     
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I've learned from experience that the majority of people here don't like listening to fellow talkbasser's music. They just like to run their mouths (fingers). :) That's why I now started listening to as much as I can when people post their music.


    Free bump. I hope some others take a listen. It's some really good stuff, and well produced too.
     
  6. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Hey thanks bro. :)

    There's no hard feelings for people who don't answer... *fashions voodoo dolls in the forms of all the TBers not answering*

    hehe

    making a voodoo doll of JT and his bass collection is proving difficult. LoL
     
  7. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I just bought a copy of your new CD, by the way. :)
     
  8. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I'm at work now so I can't listen to your stuff until I get home, but I'll definitely give it a whirl this evening. *subscribes to thread*
     
  9. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Still waiting. LoL :)
     
  10. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Sorry, there were no replies until today, so I forgot about this thread.

    Anyway, I've listened to Candle (you're not on this song), and I'm listening to Bass On A Board right now. I like your sound in BOAB, it's snappy.

    As far as what direction to go I really don't know. All I can tell you is so far I'm digging the music.

    I just started Jelloman now. Listening to your music makes me wish I had some people to jam with. Good stuff.

    Sorry I can't help other than to say "Good Tunes Man!".
     
  11. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    hehe thanks buddy.

    I think we're just going to go with having a rockin' set and a mellow set and a set that bridges the two. That way we have a bit of everything.

    The sound on Bass On A Board... I can't remember for certain, but I think I used the post-EQ out on my SWR Mo'Bass, recorded into my laptop using Cool Edit Pro. And I can't remember if I recorded it with my 96 Warwick Corvette Standard 4 w/ EMGs or my 98 Warwick Streamer LX 5. I'd have to say it was the 'Vette, but I really can't remember.
     
  12. Thee

    Thee

    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I gave your tunes a spin, and I would have to say your mellow/ballad type songs seemed to be a lot stronger (mr john, wedding day). Those seemed to be the ones most compelling lyric and instrumentation-wise. You can always focus on that, and throw in some of those more blues influenced tunes to mix it up a bit, if you wanted. Though I am digging this alice-in-chains-esque song, mother.

    And bass on a board, I actually really like this song, california less so. The kind of slap-blues vibe of it is cool. I think the plunky rhythm guitar is really the part that makes that song stand out from your others.

    Man, forget what I said before, make more songs like bass on a board, and I'll buy a cd of that.

    Also, another note on the lack of replies, it's kind of a tall order for people, especially on dial-up, etc. Giving a serious listen to 8 songs, and then giving you honest feedback on it takes a bit more effort than layin down a "ashley[sic] simpson sucks" on the ol' tb. I'm sure you prefer critical opinions on your work as opposed to 10 people saying, "yeah, I dig it," just off the bat from listening to a half of a song here or there, which I don't imagine really helps you?

    At least, that's what I think is going on.

    Keep on rocking man, you've got some chops.
     
  13. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Hey bro, thanks for the feedback. We've got a couple of other songs that are similar in vibe to Bass on a Board.

    And yeah, I wasn't upset about not getting a huge response. The couple I've gotten were helpful though. Thanks again.

    If you're interested, I can send you an mp3 of the way Bass On A Board was originally written (just vocal and acoustic guitar). It definitely got funky when we decided to develop it into a band song.
     
  14. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    In an odd sequence of events that have transpired over the course of a week or so, I have quit the band and so has the lead guitar player. And since we fired our drummer a while back for never showing up for rehearsal, the only person left is the guy who sings and plays acoustic. He's too hard to get a long with. People warned me about him before I got in the band, but I gave him a chance, and he was given a very long leash. Most people who act like he does don't last a day with me. But I gave the band a shot for almost a year. Oh well, life goes on. He's talented but he'll never amount to anything with the attitude and outlook he has.

    Thanks for listening and giving your thoughts, fellas. :)
     
  15. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Well, that sucks.

    No matter what, you still have some good grooves going on in the two songs you played on. I'm sure you'll find another band in no time. :)
     
  16. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Thanks bro. I'm still in Lohio, so all is not lost. :)
     
  17. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I've never spent any time in OH but I've had friends who've lived there and they say that state is a great springboard for new music.

    Best of luck man.