Morgothik
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Join date: Mar 2010
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#1
Hey, where you guys live are there metal cover bands that do any good? Around here it seems classic rock/dance bands are the most successful. Actually I can't even name a band that focuses on doing a full night of metal covers. We like metal but most bars don't seem to have that sort of crowd. I know we could do single set shows paired with other bands but those never really seem to pay anything. I am really thinking we need to shift our focus more toward what people want to hear. I hate to say that because we love our metal but we like to play too.
AlanHB
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#2
Play what people want to hear. That's generally not metal.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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swave75
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Join date: Feb 2008
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#3
There's a club around hear that occasionally has a Metallica cover band. But never a Slayer or Gorgoroth cover band. Either one of those would be awesome.
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Jesse0315
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Join date: Mar 2011
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#4
There is a bar around here that pretty much only has metal bands playing at it.
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Morgothik
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2010
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#5
Thanks guys. I’m not sure having one or two venues around is enough. I’m finding the thought that we are better off playing Mustang Sally than Holy Wars to be somewhat unsettling.
AlanHB
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#6
Quote by Morgothik
Thanks guys. I’m not sure having one or two venues around is enough. I’m finding the thought that we are better off playing Mustang Sally than Holy Wars to be somewhat unsettling.


Why do you find this unsettling?
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CelestialGuitar
Celestial Wish Guitarist
Join date: Nov 2011
518 IQ
#7
Quote by Morgothik
Thanks guys. I’m not sure having one or two venues around is enough. I’m finding the thought that we are better off playing Mustang Sally than Holy Wars to be somewhat unsettling.


Why does it have to be Thrash? There are lots of tribute bands that do Metal and cover Judas Priest, Poison, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Steppenwolf, Skid Row and similar bands. Generally, tribute bands for Slayer and Megadeth are kind of pointless, as you can see both at a fairly low price (and nowadays Slayer is a Slayer tribute band, ho ho ho) and they come around almost every year, so there's no demand. If you want distorted guitars and guitar solos, 80s Hair Metal might be the way to go.
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Morgothik
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2010
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#8
We do play a mix of hair/NWOBHM/classic metal and some classic rock too but as I look around I'm just not seeing other bands that do that. I know there are tribute bands around but we aren't really out to do that, at least not when playing full nights. I'm just questioning our potential success vs. playing more dance oriented music.
CelestialGuitar
Celestial Wish Guitarist
Join date: Nov 2011
518 IQ
#9
Well, why not get out there with what you already do? On the bright side, if no other cover band does that kind of thing, you won't be competing for audiences. The worst thing as a cover band is having another cover band in the area that does your setlist better than you do. Besides, Mustang Sally is somewhat of a dead horse when it comes to cover bands!
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Morgothik
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2010
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#10
Maybe we should. We are just finishing up our 3rd hour of material but the more I see other bands in our area the less confidence I have that people will like what we do. I have seen a few bands of 50-60 year olds that played some hits of the 80's that used to get people dancing like crazy fall somewhat flat.
koslack
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2008
624 IQ
#11
Are you playing a metal bar? Or are you just expecting a neighbourhood pub to book a metal cover band? Because if it's a bar that caters to that kind of clientele, you'll do well. If it's a bar that has to cater to a wider demographic, than I'd say to change up your set list to reflect what the majority of people will want to hear.
Look at it from the bar owner's perspective - who are his clients? Are they college kids who want to hear radio hits? Older folks who want to dance to oldies and classic rock hits? Because this might come as a shocker - if those people walk into a bar, wanting to have a few drinks, talk with friends and maybe dance a bit, and they see a metal band up there, they're walking straight out the door. From a business standpoint, the technical terminology for an outcome like that is "really, really bad."
Andalus
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Join date: Mar 2011
617 IQ
#13
Quote by AlanHB
Play what people want to hear. That's generally not metal.

Playing music you enjoy is more important.
Andalus
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Join date: Mar 2011
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#14
OP: Play what you enjoy. Somebody is going to like it. If all else fails, set up your own metal bar and get other metalheads in.
koslack
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Join date: Aug 2008
624 IQ
#15
Quote by Andalus
OP: Play what you enjoy. Somebody is going to like it. If all else fails, set up your own metal bar and get other metalheads in.



"If all else fails, somehow secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank loans that you will be personally liable for, attempt to secure the various liquor, food and music licenses and certificates you will need (each of which is accompanied by its own bureaucratic red tape), find a location, negotiate a mortgage, oversee renovation during which you'll deal with some possibly crooked contractors, pay for promotion and then open your bar, after you've gone through the process of hiring and training bartenders, waitresses, bouncers, and bus boys on top of everything, some of whom will try to steal from you. Then you can play a show."

I dunno, seems like a bit of a hassle to me. Maybe not the best advice in the world.
sonny bb
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#16
I got a buddy that plays in a metal cover band. They play slayer, slipknot, cannibal corpse, stuff like that. They play with all the members real bands and they seem to have a good time doing it. I've never seen them live, but knowing the guys in the band, I have no doubt that they absolutley dominate those songs There's a market for everything, but usually metal fans want to hear a band play their own music whether it's a national band or a local band.
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Robbgnarly
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Join date: Feb 2011
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#17
Never really seen a Metal cover band. I have seen lots of local original metal bands who might play 1-2 covers.

There is a local band that does Punk covers only and they do extremely well ($900 a night for 4 guys).

I am in the process of doing a 80's-early 90's Hip-hop band, because we can make $2500+ a night doing it, not because I really want to.

Most club owners can careless what you play as long as there are paying customers all night. They listen to the music the cash register makes
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AlanHB
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#18
Quote by Andalus
Playing music you enjoy is more important.


He's already tried that path.

Why is it that in this forum "play what you enjoy" often means "play thrash metal in a cafe"? Having the audience walk out on you doesn't sound very enjoyable to me.
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Morgothik
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2010
470 IQ
#19
It's a tough decision. I know what we would rather play but I look around and most of the top acts aren't doing anything metal like. Our original plan was to play a metal/classic rock mix but as we went went along picking songs we ended up leaning too heavy to the metal side. I'm afraid we aren't going to get enough work. It's not about money. It's just about having places to play.
TNA
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Join date: Jul 2005
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#20
You have to look at why cover bands exist in the first place. They are there when the real thing is either not available (not touring anymore, broken up, dead members) or tours so infrequently that the few times they do come it is very expensive to see them. So that basically is classic rock bands, older pop, and a few hits from various other genres.

Metal has a relatively small audience as it is. Most of the big metal bands are still active and touring fairly regularly. Other than probably the big 4, most of metal bands do not sell out venues, and won't play the largest venues when they tour. So think about it, if (insert random metal band here) comes to town once a year, and they don't even have a big enough audience to sell out a large venue. You're targeting a very small audience to begin with and trying to convince them to see a cover band rather than just wait and see the real thing.
AlanHB
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Join date: Aug 2008
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#21
^^^ That's pretty much right, I'll do my own spin on it though.

Venues get cover bands to make more money. In this respect they are making a bet. They are betting $800 (average for a 4 hour set in my area) that if they get a band in for 4 hours that they will make more than $800 because they brought the band in. This usually means drinks. Lets say a drink is $5 a pop. So they need to sell 160 drinks in 4 hours to break even with the band, and ideally make more than that so that the band pays off. The whole reasoning is that their customers will stay longer because there's a band there, hopefully dancing. If people are dancing they're more likely to get their eyes on someone they like there and spend more time dancing, and importantly more time drinking until they go home with someone in a drunken state.

So the cover band, they're there to keep the customers there. That's their job. How do you do this job? Well they have to play music that appeals to the widest demographic possible, play it well, and hopefully put on a bit of a show. So that's what you need to do.

BUT if you play music badly, or play music that the audience doesn't like, they will leave. The world of cover bands can be especially harsh sometimes.......STORYTIME!


I recall one gig where everything was going well then we played a song that was not in the liking of the audience and they split. Quite literally. I have never seen a dance floor clear that fast, I joked later that it was like Moses played the gig. However at the time it was quite not as funny, as they split roughly 30 seconds into the song, and stood on the outside of the dance floor looking in.

Imagine if there was a circle of people on a dance floor watching a dude breakdance, except there was no breakdance guy, yep that was the audience. I was quite surprised, the place was packed out but through audience cooperation they had managed to clear the entire floor and absolutely fill the outside of it. In fact we had done the audience one so badly they did not return to the floor for another four songs, at which point the band ended that set, the CD player turned on and they flooded the dance floor whilst we did the walk of shame.

Ahh yes. It's a lesson for everyone. Never play Evanescence.

But that does demonstrate the point, the venue is getting a band in to make more money than they would putting on a CD player. CD players don't take breaks, they don't get paid, they just play music more perfectly than any cover band ever could. However they lack the human element of entertainment, and that's pretty much what draws people to live performance of any type.

You cannot please everyone all the time, but a cover band sure has to try, and your song choice is integral to whether the audience is going to enjoy the show or not (and stay and drink etc). If you play songs they don't like they leave. Venue gets angry, they made a loss because they hired you, and you feel like crap because you chased the audience away.

And that's why the metal cover band will not work in most places. If it's a metal bar - go for it, that's your audience. If it's anywhere else, do not do it. I have seen many a thrash metal band literally clean out a pub.
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Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
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#22
you could always try adapting your metal tastes to interesting variations - it's a market that's hardly cornered. metal parody bands like steel panther found a niche and ran with it, and now they're playing regular gigs (with original music) touring and filling up venues in vegas on their off-time. and that's not even original, really, so much as a well-executed spinal tap reboot

then there are a few bluegrass cover bands like hayseed dixie that cover stuff like motorhead and 70s/80s hard rock/metal their own way

if you find a unique niche to exploit in your market, you have exclusivity to keep people on the dance floor and gigs in your address book
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