#1
so my band has been together for around 3 months and we've got about 8 songs written and all sounding pretty awesome so far but we're looking to record a demo and found we have no idea how its going to work!

when we started we were playing stuff like kings of leon and incubus, and then stuff like foo fighters, but now we're really influenced by tool and a perfect circle and bands with that kind of rhythmic powerful feel. so as a result, our songs we have written sound totally different styles! some of them are just straight 4/4, 3 minute rock songs but now we have a couple of 10 minute songs written in stuff like 9/8 and 5/4.
these are probably our best songs at the moment but would that work on a demo? if we use the simple short ones, it wont really represent our sound but if we use the longer complicated ones would people listen to it? what do we do!

and also we're booking gigs soon and found we have another problem. obviously because of the length and complexity of a few of the songs, they're going to fill up the whole set! but we cant exactly leave them out? so then we thought of a few covers and cant decide if we should play songs by bands no one would have heard of but that compliment our music or stuff like teen spirit and creep by radiohead that everyone knows? bearing in mind its a pub setting?

we are so confused. please help!
#2
Is there any way you could do like a 'Radio Edit' of your longer, better songs?
If your demo is intended for A & R people, you need a goo dmix of all your songs, as they aren't going to be interested in you if they like one song you do, but the rest end up as long things that aren't friendly to the whole public.
To them, you arent doing songs. What you call songs, they call product. If the product is not what they think the greater public will want, you'll have a hard time getting them out.
Think GnR. They started out with the 3/4 minute fast energectic songs. Then they went more towards lengthy epics (Estranged, November Rain), although Axl Rose had ideas about them from the begining.
It seems if you want to get anywhere, start public friendly then grow.

As for Pub gigs, they'll mainly be Fridays and Saturdays, correct? Then people will wanna hear covers they know and can enjoy, such as Creep etc because they know them, like them and can dance to them.

Regardless of whether they like the 10 minute epics that you speak of doing, when it gets to friday night, they want to enjoy themselves and they dont wanna hear a song that goes on longer than 3 minutes really, unless its really good and they can dance to it.
You have to play to your audience.

just my $0.02

db
#3
your gonna have to do 'known' cover songs at a Pub and then chuck your songs around them, try not to keep the songs going too long otherwise people will get bored
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#4
If you can try and get a residence slot down your local. This way you can compromise with your setlist play the covers that you play best and you know people loveto dance to, or just to chill out and enjoy a pint to. Have covers as the staple of your set and rotate your own songs play 2 or 3 each show, this will keep the sections where the crowd dont know the songs short and sweet and gives you a chance to truely gauge reactions to your songs.

e.g. song a went down really well last friday, but they didnt seem to keen on song b this week. Play song a more often whilst working on song b at rehersals.

Your set is molded to what people want to hear, you're gigging regularly and if you play your cards right residents get free drinks all night. Who doesn't win?
#5
If the music is good, people will listen. Be careful though, I've seen a lot of bands brag about their super awesome 15 minute progressive masterpieces that just repeat themselves over and over. Don't make it long for the sake of being long and keep it interesting.
#6
Just to continue with the music=product idea, which is entirely true.... even if your product is also art, every piece of art has an audience. Music biz people, including club owners, want to match up your product to their customer base.

This is the exact thinking that says not to put a metal band in a country bar.

So, if you want to help them to help you, it would be useful for you to consider who you want to appeal to. And no, *everybody* is not an option. You also need to think about how this relates to your own goals as a band.

Do you want to appeal to the prog rock people? Don't do Nirvana covers.

Do you want to appeal to the top-40-alternative-Foo-Fighters crowd? Don't do intricate epic prog pieces with multiple time signatures and clever textural changes that require the full 12 minutes to fully realize their compositional goals.

Do you want to play to big crowds on a Friday night? Don't do original stuff hardly at all, play only stuff that practically everyone will know, and make the focus getting people on the dance floor.

Do you want to appeal to audiences with your original material? Don't play to crowds who expect covers.... and don't play a bunch of covers. Those people don't want to hear covers!

And there really is no point in the universe to do an obscure cover that nobody knows except to either please yourself (fine, maybe one song, but you're playing for an audience if there are people there... you can play for yourself all you want at rehearsal), or to help promote the other band. (like when Nirvana covered Meat Puppets on their unplugged album)

CT
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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
thanks for your advice
yeah i think at a pub gig, probably our best bet is to focus on the covers then? to be honest our strongest point is our uniqueness in the sense that we dont follow the crowd, or stick to one limiting style of music. the way we are versatile as a band is our biggest plus, in order to get us gigs at different places and maximise our fan base. we want to play 'rock' not limit ourselves.

so maybe playing songs that everyone knows and then having a few originals every now and then (we'll cut down the long ones for gigs and demos) is the best way to go, so then probably our sound will be appeal to a lot more people anyway?
#8
Quote by darthbuttchin

Think GnR. They started out with the 3/4 minute fast energectic songs. Then they went more towards lengthy epics (Estranged, November Rain), although Axl Rose had ideas about them from the begining.


Sweet Child O' Mine is 5:56 and Paradise City is 6:46, their two biggest hits from Appetite.
#9
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Sweet Child O' Mine is 5:56 and Paradise City is 6:46, their two biggest hits from Appetite.


Im pretty sure Paradise City was cut down some though... but don't quote me on that
#10
Funny you should use G'n'R as an example. I remember when that album first came out. They started with Welcome to the Jungle and It's So Easy. Each song got sporadic play, but never really caught on. The album was headed for the delete bins after being on the market for a few months without practically anyone noticing.

Then they released the comparatively schmaltzy, whistful and sentimental ballad to the top-40 audiences.... and all hell broke loose.

CT
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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Jan 24, 2009,
#11
Decide which you and your band like better, short and sweet 3 minute songs, or epic 10+ minute songs? Choose one, if you would rather do the short songs cut out various parts of each of your long songs, it could make maybe 7-9 more short songs out of those, or you could take the 3 minute songs and put parts of those in the long songs.
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#12
Quote by axemanchris


Do you want to appeal to audiences with your original material? Don't play to crowds who expect covers.... and don't play a bunch of covers. Those people don't want to hear covers!


CT



Exactly! We (my band) got 80 people at karova lounge (a bar in ballarat, Australia) for just our second gig on a thursday night. However, 50% of it was due to the other band we were playing with, but we still like to think we converted them

And to TS, sounds like your band needs to sit down and talk your directions through.
#13
Alright, i wasnt necessarily thinking when i used GnR as an example of fast quick songs. I was thinking more of how on the later albums, there are the epics which Axl had been working on in some form or another since before the first album.

As an aside with music as product, yes the club owners/A&R people/etc will be looking to match your music with the right fanbase, but (certainly with regards to A&R men) if your music appeals to 8 people in a pub in Croydon, they aren't going to be interested in you as a business venture, as the cons vastly outweigh the pros.

Thats it from me

db
#14
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Sweet Child O' Mine is 5:56 and Paradise City is 6:46, their two biggest hits from Appetite.



Yeah, but they're hardly epics, are they? Sweet Child got the **** cut out of it on MTV, anyway.

I thought that was a really good point to illustrate the way of getting yourself known for one thing before doing what you really want to.

Guns built up their club name, almost fitting in with the glam scene of the time, but just maintained their own style enough to not sell out. Then Appetite, then Sweet Child o'Mine, which sent em to No.1. After that, they were free to do November Rain and Estranged.