Saturday, February 6, 2010

This is Why Your Band Sucks

This Is Why Your Band Sucks…

A monthly column of advice and things I witness over and over again from bands being naïve and just plain stupid.

…Because you guys are assholes.

BE NICE! All I am asking is to just introduce yourself to the other bands you are playing with. Thank the sound guy, bartender, talent buyer, the door guy, people buying merch. Don’t hide in the green room either, walk around, actually watch the other band’s set. If someone says, “Great Set.” Don’t respond with something like, “No it wasn’t a good set, it actually was the worst set we’ve ever played. You must know nothing about music if you liked that set.” Then you just made it the worst set ever. Even if your drummer passed out, your amp caught fire, and your bass player played everything a half step down during your set. You thank the person who congratulated you and start a conversation. Ask them their name. Make a friend. People will like your music 10 times+ more if you aren’t an asshole!

…Because you take more promo pictures and post more You Tube videos than playing shows.

Man, too many bands in this world are like this! Bands today seem to have more of a life on the internet than on a stage performing. NO one likes over exposure of a band. That’s how you become a cliché. LAME CITY!!

…Because you think you are hot shit for selling out a free show at the Whistler.

I can’t stand when bands think because they can fill a room with all their friends that that makes them the best band in their town or city. Try playing one show without mass texting your friends or sending out a facebook invite. Then see how many people show up The idea is to gain fans, not play to your friends who will say they like you regardless because they are a friend

…Because you have never played a show more than 2 hours outside of your city/town.

Again, what’s the point in playing to the same people in the same area. It’s an obvious thing that so many bands do, “over saturate the market.” This is your first step to begin booking small tours. Just a weekend tour is GREAT! Planting seeds is the game and playing shows in new towns is the key to getting your music out the right way. The internet is a great tool to help in booking and promoting these shows, but it is not a tool to gain new real fans face to face.

… Because you want to “MAKE IT” in the music industry.

DUDE! The music industry is dead! Your fantasy doesn’t exist. “Making It” is the dumbest expression EVER! Set some real goals. If your only goal is to move to LA or NYC and make money playing music, then kill yourself or become a stock broker. You will never be happy and you will NEVER MAKE IT!

…You can’t tour because one of your members has a job they can’t take time off from.

Well I understand not everyone wants to make music a career or make music their main focus, but if it is... then you need to move forward without them or maybe just tour with someone who can tour and play locally with the person who has a job. (i.e. Netherfriends) Planting seeds, even if it is for 5 people, those 5 people might tell 5 of their friends about you guys. DUH!


tonyrusniak said...

So true Shawn. Just like we talked about at Schubas. Recently I saw a band at Schubas that could heed your advice. Their sound was tight but they looked like they could care less. No interaction between band members or with the fans, and the place was full. The guitarist had a pristine Rickenbocker he barely played and preened for the guy taking video. Plus a smoke machine and video screen in Schubas!?!

Anonymous said...

That is good advice. I've witnessed a few inter-blog band fights and it just makes me wonder - "why?" Mudhoney didn't like Nirvana but at least they were civil to each other!

Mike Lombardo said...

I live in NY and am a full time musician.
Just sayin. It's not easy but it's definitely not impossible.

Shoham said...

"Because you take more promo pictures and post more You Tube videos than playing shows."

Everything but this was a major problem for me, as getting people out to shows, and getting into even the smallest venues is challenge enough.

Lord of all fevers said...

Now Im not a really big touring musician, but Im still involved in the local scene and I agree whole heartedly about the over saturation by some bands. "Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Checkout our photo shoot!! Watch our lame ass music video we made in our basement!" It gets really annoying really fast. Even for the bands actual fans.

And I cant stand anyone who wants to "make it big" Music is about the music, thats it. We all hate the guy who joins a band to get chicks, its the same thing for the guy who joins for the money. Its juvenile and pathetic and I dont want to deal with it.