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Old 12-07-2013, 08:34 PM   #1
Blackst4r
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Location: Sweden
3 years of band life have taught me this.....

About three years ago after leaving a job, which had me working nights and week-ends, at the tender age of 35 I decided to finally get my ass out of the basement and start a band....a coverband, but still a band. We started out in my livingroom, me carrying shit up and down, blowing every speaker I owned because we didn´t have a PA and the "know-how" and trying to get enough songs together with a bunch of credins that had never played in a band before. So basically....I found myself being the band leader, singer, guitarist, manager and transport provider. We´ve been through a few line-up changes, have upgraded from my livingroom to 2 different rehearsal rooms and are now sporting enough wattage to ruin the ears of about 350-500 people and have gone from 5 songs to about 4 hours of music.

We even get paid now....and pretty well too....our next gig is bringing in about 15000kr, 2500$ and allows us to rent in a profesional sound and lighting crew...so we just basically role up with our amps and axes, plug-in, play and then drink whatever is handed too us. Of course we all still have real jobs and that´s a good thing...because being a weekend warrior is cool every once in a while....but playing other peoples songs , full-time (which I can see a market for) would probably leave me wanting to hang myself with my guitar strap.

I´m even starting a second band now, funded by my cover band....where my lead guitarist and myself are working on handpicking musicians we´ve met along the way....so that I can play my own music, how I want and never have to worry about financing....the rig is sorted, the rehearsal room is sorted, the truck is sorted and I now have enough contacts that finding gigs won´t be hard since I myself have a good reputation among the venues seeing that I worked my ass off and made sure my cover band delivered quality music.....I even worked through my stage fright as did my lead guitarist....and really this is a more of a studio-Project with no real thought put into going out and delivering to an audience....sure nice if it works.....but if not we´ll have put enough songs together to record a cd and I can be proud of it when I grow older...and just not be left with 50 video´s on you-tube of "Sweet home Alabama";-)

It has been a learning experience, trying if you will and it has in no way been economically viable...even if we have done well.....being a guitarist I am a tone-slut....as is the rest of the band, we now have an excuse to buy the equipment we´ve always wanted...just for the sake of sounding better...and it really is a never ending story Playing with other people is fun....but putting up your rig, making sure everybody is on time, schedualing practice, dealing with sound techs and venue owners is a pain in the ass..if at least 1 of your band members doesn´t have goals, organizational skills, some basic people skills and an ability to handle stress.....stay in your basement and just jam until you find a guy like that.

...basically just my story..

...now lets hear what got the rest of you guys/gals into it!!
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
nugiboy
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Congrats man, you've living the dream of myself and many others. I hope to be able to balance my musical endeavours with my professional and personal life one day.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:18 AM   #3
soundgarden6742
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Very cool story. You are making me want to quit my job, form a band and hit the road.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
Papabear505
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My 40 years of playing music. (the condensed version)

Started playing at 7, serious about it at 13.

Started playing in bars when I was 16 (parents not very happy)

Joined the army at 18, and basically practiced and garage bands for 10 years.

Got out of the Army at 28 and hit the road playing music full time. Guitar in my hand 8 to 10 hours a day, traveled to at least 40 of the lower 48 states, "Livin' the Dream"

At 31 figured out it was a Bad Idea, for me. Not much money for equipment or Living for that matter and it turned something that I loved, into a job and I started to not enjoy it very much.

Now I'm 49, I've been in numerous bands in the last 10 or 15 years. We play out on weekends, and stay fairly local... I've got a good day job that means I can afford better equipment than I ever had playing on the road and once again, I love playing, just for the enjoyment of it, and I love performing.

Now, I'm not, nor will I ever try to sway anyone from pursuing a dream of playing music for a living. This was my experience and a lot went into turning music into work for me. and most of that was me. My attitude, and the people that I came into contact with made my experience what it was. It just wasn't for me. It's not easy, for me it wasn't very glamorous, and it wasn't fun when we weren't on stage.

I wish anyone that wants to pursue music as a career the best of luck. Keep your eyes open, and one hand on your wallet. Most importantly, be true to yourself, your art. Never "Get Good". If you "Get Good", you won't learn any more. Most of all, have fun. That's what it should be about.

Peace...
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #5
axemanchris
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26 years in bands here.... many bands that never got off the ground, one that got play on commercial radio and TV, main stages at local festivals, etc., and my latest one that keeps my Gear Acquisition Fund in an active state.

If I learned anything, I would say:
- learn the business of it all - you can't win if you don't know how to play
- better to play with great people who are good musicians than douchebags who are awesome musicians
- alignment of goals and expectations is HUGE
- there's no money in original bands, but lots of opportunity for press/reputation; the opposite is true for cover bands.
- great songs are more important than great players
- the public will perceive a mediocre band with a great singer as being much better than a great band with a mediocre singer.
- girls like to dance; metal is almost exclusively guys - pick who you're going to play for.

CT
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Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:10 AM   #6
Blackst4r
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"Gear Acquisition Fund"...

...it´s great here in Sweden you can get a goverment grant for starting a "study group". It´s normally used by larger non profit recreational education organizations and the money goes to funding instruments, studio time, guest lecturers and rent so that the costs will be reduced for people wanting to learn a hobby or skill, they get a certain amount per "student" and can really be for just about anything of interest. You can even apply as a "private-person" and start a study group for knitting, painting and so on. The owner of our local music shop took a course to be able to apply and manage groups which means bands kan start their own "study group" and recieve funding via him...which of course is not just handed out in money seeing that it has too apply for aid in what your studying. This basically means we get about 10,000kr per year (1800$),devided by 4, to buy instruments, strings, skins, sticks, monitors, Pa Equipment, microphones etc. just as long as we fill in an attendance sheet showing that we meet a certain amount of hours a week to study and learn new music
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
axemanchris
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Dammit.... Sweden showing up the rest of the Western world in progressive politics once again.

CT
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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
Blackst4r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
Dammit.... Sweden showing up the rest of the Western world in progressive politics once again.

CT


not too mention all the awesome blondes.....
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:31 PM   #9
axemanchris
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Yes!
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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #10
syobdaed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackst4r
"Gear Acquisition Fund"...

...it´s great here in Sweden you can get a goverment grant for starting a "study group". It´s normally used by larger non profit recreational education organizations and the money goes to funding instruments, studio time, guest lecturers and rent so that the costs will be reduced for people wanting to learn a hobby or skill, they get a certain amount per "student" and can really be for just about anything of interest. You can even apply as a "private-person" and start a study group for knitting, painting and so on. The owner of our local music shop took a course to be able to apply and manage groups which means bands kan start their own "study group" and recieve funding via him...which of course is not just handed out in money seeing that it has too apply for aid in what your studying. This basically means we get about 10,000kr per year (1800$),devided by 4, to buy instruments, strings, skins, sticks, monitors, Pa Equipment, microphones etc. just as long as we fill in an attendance sheet showing that we meet a certain amount of hours a week to study and learn new music



How do you get such a big fund out from your study group if i may ask? I've recently started a study group myself for funding the newstarted band im playing in and we get around 20 swedish kr per rehersed hour wich still is something but not near to fund to get a place to rehearse ( though i live in one of the most expensive communitys in sweden )
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:33 AM   #11
Blackst4r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syobdaed
How do you get such a big fund out from your study group if i may ask? I've recently started a study group myself for funding the newstarted band im playing in and we get around 20 swedish kr per rehersed hour wich still is something but not near to fund to get a place to rehearse ( though i live in one of the most expensive communitys in sweden )



Have you taken the course to apply and manage Groups or are you like me just the "study leader"...if so it really depends on who you go through and what they offer. Normally if you go through "studie-främjandet", bilda or a non-profit organization helping you your not getting the complete amount and alot goes to wages, rent and equipment.

I´ve noticed that none of these sights ever mention how much you can get.....it´s really "a grey area" and I cån´t help but wonder how much gets pocketed by middle-men
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
syobdaed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackst4r
Have you taken the course to apply and manage Groups or are you like me just the "study leader"...if so it really depends on who you go through and what they offer. Normally if you go through "studie-främjandet", bilda or a non-profit organization helping you your not getting the complete amount and alot goes to wages, rent and equipment.

I´ve noticed that none of these sights ever mention how much you can get.....it´s really "a grey area" and I cån´t help but wonder how much gets pocketed by middle-men



I am as you say just they study leader and i think your right, we have went through ''vuxenskolan'' as it is called here wich is i think a non profit organization.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:31 AM   #13
Blackst4r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syobdaed
I am as you say just they study leader and i think your right, we have went through ''vuxenskolan'' as it is called here wich is i think a non profit organization.


Vilken kommun bor du I. Jag skall snacka med han som bedriver studie verksamheten idag eller måndag och jag skall fråga han om den förbundet han går igenom finnes där eller om han vet om nån butik i närhet bedriver samma verksamhet.

Mvh
Mike
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:53 PM   #14
syobdaed
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Lerums kommun i västra götaland.

MvH Syobdaed
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