#1
Hi guys!

Here's my situation: I started this metal/prog-rock band 5 years ago with my mates and had not too bad local success as far as gigs and record reviews go.

I am the lead singer and one of two guitarists and also write the songs/program electronics, but lately I'm starting to feel like I'm "not good enough" as a frontman. Here's what I mean: I've never been particularly good looking or athletic, and while I'm rarely nervous, I'm very cautious on stage which sometimes means I'm not the "in-your-face-frontman" the band needs.

At least that's how I feel. I tried talking to the guys about it but they just dismiss it saying it's just in my head and that they just want to play music with me. But I've always been the sort of the quality control guy when it comes to making stylistic choices and I know that they would be better off without me. I mean what if I'm holding them back and with a more charismatic singer they would have had twice the success? After all, it's the happiness of 4 people against mine.

So now I'm thinking of quitting (actually more like firing myself if you think about it ), but before I do, I want to get someone better/more suited to their needs to replace me. How would you handle something like this? Should I start auditioning singers without telling anyone or what?

Respond if you can! Cheers!
#2
So you could say you've had a pretty good reception as a band, yes? Have people ever mentioned your frontman skills (whether to your face, in a review, whatever)?

I reckon it probably just comes down to how you feel. If you want to make a change then make it. Lack of self confidence (because that is what this is) can be destructive. Don't let it stop you doing something you enjoy.

Don't start auditioning anyone. Start addressing your personnal issues.
#3
Get a new singer and stay in the band as a guitarist. Though getting a new singer may change your band's sound pretty much.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 29, 2013,
#6
You can learn to be a frontman, it's a skill to learn. Post us some clips of you guys playing?
#7
The is no such thing as a "typical frontman". There is no cookie cutter approach. Be the frontman you are comfortable being- the audience will appreciate your honesty.

Side note- when the Doors began- Jim Morrison would play whole gigs with his back to the audience because he was so shy.

You sound like a great guy and a deep thinker. Your bandmates dont have a problem with you. You've had success with the band. Youve had good reviews. Keep doing what you are doing.
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#8
Wow. You really value yourself so little that you think it would be better for the band to replace yourself in secret than stay in the band?

I think you'd be screwing the band over if you quit. There's absolutely no question that you should remain in the band, because you're clearly an important member. On the other hand, you should be honest with yourself about whether you want things to stay how they are or not. Your options are to stay as the singer/guitarist, or become exclusively a vocalist and work on your stage presence (you can have good stage presence in an understated way. You don't have to be going crazy during songs and performing stand-up comedy inbetween! You could even find a guitarist with an outgoing personality and they could be the frontman, or indeed you could both be frontmen) or stick to guitar and find a different singer. It's entirely up to you and what makes you feel comfortable on stage. But do *not* quit the band altogether because you feel like you're not a good "frontman".

Also, you should speak to your bandmates and ask them if they wouldn't mind talking a bit more on stage and working on their own stage presences! Within my band, all four of us have a distinctive stage presence and the three of us at the front tend to make jokes and interact with each other.
#9
Dude, if it's what you love to do, and you're solid, who cares what you look like. Just have fun and be yourself. 91RG was right, the audience will love it if you're sincere
#10
Physical looks mean little when it comes to working the audience. Learning to work the stage/audience is a skill that can be learnt and practiced. May sound goofy but practice your stagecraft at home and at band practice, you'll get more comfortable with it over time.

I think having a good frontperson is pretty important, but it's not just up to the singer to engage the audience. Have some practices where the entire band is improving their stage movements etc.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#11
Frontmanship is a skill (one that I will never have, as the day I become lead vocalist is the day that the world ends) that is learned, honed, and mastered through practice. Yeah, you're not good at it now, so just keep practicing. Get comfortable on the stage. Interact with the audience.

And for the sake of all that is holy, just have fun.

Oh yeah, don't leave the band either. Bad idea, yjah?
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#12
Yeah well I guess it is partly a personal issue. I suspect I have some form of social anxiety disorder, borderline self-hate coupled with a general perfectionism in everything I do.

But my point is this: does it matter? I don't think it's possible to change so much, certainly not overnight. Don't get me wrong, it would be great, I just don't see it. I hate the person that I am but at least I have the decency to not inflict it on others. I just don't like doing a bad job at the expense of others.

And not being a good frontman is the least of my problems right now, believe me. But I never complain to anyone cause who likes the ****ing loser who winges all the time. I just go on. But having it bottled up is not helping me socialise with/entertain people who I frankly don't even like or would want to be around anyway. In fact, putting myself out there is only making my self-confidence worse.

Fortunately, I have recently discovered how easy it is to get fit through exercise and diet and I've been getting good results. But I can't rewrite my personality. I would gladly trade 30-40 points of IQ for more social skills/looks (I guess that's what alcohol is for?? ).

If you claim that being more likeable is a skill you can learn, the burden of proof is on you. I would be happy to be proven wrong. But right now a direct replacement sounds like a more effective solution. I wouldn't want to stay in the band as a guitarist only cause then there would be 6 of us...ouch... So yeah, anyone actually ever solved an issue like this before?
#13
^^^^ Yes I have solved a problem like this before. It was fixed through practice.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14
It's totally possible. I mean, hell, look at James Hetfield. He's a great frontman. He started out being entirely incapable of being able to talk to the audience, and it was Dave Mustaine who had to be the frontman for a while. It's something you have to practice, and get used to. It'll be harder for you than some, but it's totally possible. There's no need to quit over it.
#17
OK, we're obviously not on the same page here. So. Let's just pretend I never said anything about me and my relationship with the band. All you need to know there's a band in need of a kickass metalcore singer. How does one get the creme de la creme? How do you make your band an attractive choice to them? What is to be avoided when auditioning? Have you any experience with getting singers to join your band who are already in a pretty successful band themselves?

I don't need snarky comments about my position. Big thanks to the people with genuine constructive thoughts though! Ask anything in return.