#1
So, my band has to come to somewhat of a crossroads regarding what to do next.

I'll try and give you guys a (somewhat) brief rundown of the situation.

Me and a guitarist buddy of mine started playing/writing together around March. We're both pretty into the progressive/experimental metal kind of thing. Stuff like Obscura, Nile, Cynic, etc.

We played a sort of one-off instrumental improvised show at a local cookout thing that went over a lot better than expected, so we decided to throw together a band.

We managed to find a vocalist and a drummer without much issue and began putting together short songs and making admittedly low-quality home recordings. The drummer, however couldn't really keep up with the music, and we had to let him go.

The three of us (bass, guitar, and vocals) carried on and kept writing and rehearsing new music for the next few months while looking for a drummer (with no success in that regard).

Eventually, we found a keyboardist to fill out the sound a bit, but soon after him joining, our vocalist quit.

So now we're left as a bass, guitar, and keyboard trio.

Our singer's departure raised a few questions, though, regarding what direction our band should go in. We realized that maybe we don't even want a vocalist. The vast majority of our music is instrumental, and I've always been a fan of instrumental metal groups, like Blotted Science and Scale the Summit stuff.

On the other hand, I know a good singer friend of mine that is willing to join. The only problem is, he is a strictly clean singer. Our previous vocalist used harsh vocals that fit the heavier parts of our music. I think with some effort, he could learn how to growl, and fill the previous vocalist's spot (and then some, he's a much better clean singer).

We would still need to find a drummer, although I have a couple guys in mind.

So, my question to you is, do you think an instrumental metal band composed of 15 year old kids could survive in a local gigging scene? We live in Denton, Texas, which I consider a pretty musical town, due to UNT's music program.

If anyone's interested in what we sound like, here's the Myspace.

http://www.myspace.com/iklwa

The only original song (the Heretic Spawn thing) on there is actually part 1 of 5. It originally had vocals, so keep that in mind. We would rework parts of it if we were to stay instrumental. We have several more written, but our keyboardist is still working out the parts, so no recordings yet. This is probably the most straightforward song we have.

tl;dr

My band's vocalist left and we're considering becoming an instrumental outfit. Do you think that could worK?
#3
TBH, my band (a kinda alt-rock with some prog/thrash metal thrown in) started off as a instrumental band, and at our first show... the crowd was kinda bored. Now, we were not the most engaging band, mostly because our songs were slighlty more technically difficult than permitted me to be dynamic on stage(still threw-in some headbangs and stuff :p). And,
in my experience, a singer can greatly contribute not only to stage presence, but also, if your lyrics are catchy, by the scond chorus the crowd could be singin' along. They just add that "x" factor, of course, this is all assuming you have a strong vocalist, who is also charismatic. Our first show with new singers didn't go great because they were "scared" and didn't engage the crowd very much.

tl;dr: get a good singer who is charismatic or else live shows could be boring.
Arcane Echo

Just call me Ethan
#4
Well, a lot of bands that are PURELY instrumental don't get as much... popularity as bands that have vocals.

It depends on what you really want to head with your band. If you're doing this as a hobby, then sure, do what you wish now (without a vocalist). Otherwise, if you think you guys are gonna stick together even after high school, you should brainstorm this more seriously with your band and weight out the options.

If you do form an instrumental band, however, make sure your recordings (even if they are home made) are somewhat high quality. Not necessarily as good as professionally mastered tracks, but try to push the quality above the threshold.
#5
I think you will have a very, very difficult time finding success if you chose to be an instrumental band. First off, that type of music is not very marketable. You have to be incredible musicians (not saying you aren't) as well as have that special "something" (which, let's face it, almost NEVER happens in bands with members as young as yours). I think if you chose the route of instrumental you will find, in general, people will get bored. While the music may sound good, your "average joe" won't appreciate the music without some sort of vocals to connect with.

I don't really see you having success as an instrumental band in a not very marketable genre, but don't let me stop you. If it's what you want to do, go for it and good luck.
Last edited by CDubDSP at Jul 20, 2009,
#6
We're not exactly aiming for mainstream success. Even with vocals, that's next to impossible to achieve. We all plan on going to college and getting good well-paying jobs. The whole "rockstar dream" doesn't really appeal to us.

Our goal is just to play local venues once or twice a month and maybe record a demo or something.
#7
But will those venues book you if you are not doing something THEIR customers will want?

See, you can call it selling out, but the more accessible your music and presentation are, the more opportunities you have.

Conversely, you can be artsy all you want, but as soon as you want someone to support you either financially or by investing their time - whether it is a member of the public who might be a fan, or a promoter who might book you, or a store that might carry your CD, you have to recognize that music is a business first, and an art form second. Sure, you can refuse to make concessions in the name of art, but that does come with a cost.

You'll get booked once (if you're lucky), scare away the club's clientel, make a name for yourself as a tough sell, and play twice a year at best, while the band down the street who plays Green Day, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand plays every weekend to crowds far larger and far more enthusiastic.

It's almost always a trade-off.

The best balance is when you can find something that you genuinely like (so you're not selling out) but is also an easier sell.

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 Jul 20, 2009,
#8
oh s***!!! i usta' live in Denton when I was at UNT!
hey bro, lem'me tell ya, I've seen weirder stuff survive in Denton much longer than it should have. find yourself a drummer, and practice your asses off... next thing you know, you'll be the next "Fra" or "shaolin death squad"!