#1
Hi Bandleading Forum! I'm GrisKy, and I usually hang out in the gear forum, but I've got a question I want to put into more reliable hands.

I'm having a hellova time putting a band together, and I need advice as to how best to go about it.

I've been in bands before, but the case was always either some friends saying "hey, let's make a band..." and it'd fall apart almost as soon as it began, or I'd just show up to an audition and get the gig. I've dealt with bands that were usually drunk or high (not really much for either myself), lazy, egomanical, broke, really ****ing good and didn't need/want me anymore, and just about any other stereotypical pitfall with moderate success, but I've never built a band from scratch.

I'll give you as much useful info as I can think of incase you need it to make your judgement calls/advice... if you're in a hurry, skip the next two paragraphs. BTW, I'm 25 and based out of the central Texas area... also call parts of East Texas home.

To describe what I bring to the table (good and bad): I play guitar pretty well... that is to say, I'm one of (if not the) best guitar player that many people (friends and friends of friends.. not like everyone "people") know, but I'm far from the best guitar player that I know. Make sense? I'm not gonna melt any faces, but I can hold my own and in all likelyhood would hold down the lead slot.
I have a tour-worthy pro rig, I've studdied music theory and composition at The University of North Texas, and I've worked as a guitar tech for a few major touring bands. I've also had the rare but priceless experience of watching 2nd hand as a friend of mine's band went almost over night from gigging here and there to being in the middle of a major label bidding war to completely emploding and breaking up within a matter of months... so I've seen a GLIMPSE of the business side... and I'm generally not an idiot.

ok, downsides: life happened, I wound up in the Army and lost many of my old contacts in the industry, damn-near everyone I would've stolen (or atleast tried to) from other bands are either enjoying their success or have hung up their guns. I'm also now a family man, which I wouldn't trade for anything, but it does mean that there are other people I have to think about first, and I can't run off and play rockstar while bills pile up... Oh, and sometimes I'm not nearly as good at guitar as I think I am (you ever just have one of those days?).

and to top it all off, all I'm looking to do is relatively simple mainstream hard rock (Alterbridge, Flyleaf, Disturbed, etc. kinda' stuff)... when all I can find in the area where I live are country bands and 17 year olds who want to play speed metal (some of them are actually pretty good, gotta admit).

So, how do I lure out the cream of the crop while also warding off the lazy, the egos, etc.? I'm pretty confident that, with the right people, I can guide us to success (or atleast be a valuable asset), but what rocks do I turn? Any advice is appreciated, and sorry if this is the wrong place for this kind of post. Like I said, I usually hang out in UG "gear."
#2
I got lucky, my best friend and I both played bass and I switched to guitar because I have smaller fingers. And it worked, we have almost exactly the same tastes in music. All we needed was a drummer, who is probably the 2nd chillest dude I know besides our old rhythm guitarist. I live in Austin, so I understand the whole country speedmetal thing which is completely true. But you might want to troll around local colleges looking for already existing bands playing at clubs and such. If you can find relatively new one you might get lucky, land a spot and ride up from there.
#3
put out some ads asking for guitar,bass, drummers and such in places where musicians go, like bars, music stores and the like. Then gradually call them and chat, then jam a bit and re-establish some contacts.
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#4
Dude, I live in san antonio and it sucks...all the bands here are gay pop or whatever-core...
Im in an Alternative band and we are gonna move to austin...austin has a large country community..so alternative would be better there than in san antonio...Texas totally sucks for your type of music...sorry to say it...good luck, and maybe L.A.?
#5
Quote by GrisKy
Hi Bandleading Forum! I'm GrisKy, and I usually hang out in the gear forum, but I've got a question I want to put into more reliable hands.

I'm having a hellova time putting a band together, and I need advice as to how best to go about it.

I've been in bands before, but the case was always either some friends saying "hey, let's make a band..." and it'd fall apart almost as soon as it began, or I'd just show up to an audition and get the gig. I've dealt with bands that were usually drunk or high (not really much for either myself), lazy, egomanical, broke, really ****ing good and didn't need/want me anymore, and just about any other stereotypical pitfall with moderate success, but I've never built a band from scratch.

I'll give you as much useful info as I can think of incase you need it to make your judgement calls/advice... if you're in a hurry, skip the next two paragraphs. BTW, I'm 25 and based out of the central Texas area... also call parts of East Texas home.

To describe what I bring to the table (good and bad): I play guitar pretty well... that is to say, I'm one of (if not the) best guitar player that many people (friends and friends of friends.. not like everyone "people") know, but I'm far from the best guitar player that I know. Make sense? I'm not gonna melt any faces, but I can hold my own and in all likelyhood would hold down the lead slot.
I have a tour-worthy pro rig, I've studdied music theory and composition at The University of North Texas, and I've worked as a guitar tech for a few major touring bands. I've also had the rare but priceless experience of watching 2nd hand as a friend of mine's band went almost over night from gigging here and there to being in the middle of a major label bidding war to completely emploding and breaking up within a matter of months... so I've seen a GLIMPSE of the business side... and I'm generally not an idiot.

ok, downsides: life happened, I wound up in the Army and lost many of my old contacts in the industry, damn-near everyone I would've stolen (or atleast tried to) from other bands are either enjoying their success or have hung up their guns. I'm also now a family man, which I wouldn't trade for anything, but it does mean that there are other people I have to think about first, and I can't run off and play rockstar while bills pile up... Oh, and sometimes I'm not nearly as good at guitar as I think I am (you ever just have one of those days?).

and to top it all off, all I'm looking to do is relatively simple mainstream hard rock (Alterbridge, Flyleaf, Disturbed, etc. kinda' stuff)... when all I can find in the area where I live are country bands and 17 year olds who want to play speed metal (some of them are actually pretty good, gotta admit).

So, how do I lure out the cream of the crop while also warding off the lazy, the egos, etc.? I'm pretty confident that, with the right people, I can guide us to success (or atleast be a valuable asset), but what rocks do I turn? Any advice is appreciated, and sorry if this is the wrong place for this kind of post. Like I said, I usually hang out in UG "gear."


The easiest answer is craigslist.
However, I don't think finding guys is gonna be your problem. The issue is going to be your family. As you said, you have to support them; you have mouths to feed. Making a living in the industry as a rock band is a crap shoot; there are thousands upon thousands of alt-rock bands in the USA, and less than 1% of them get to the point where they even taste success, let alone make a decent living over several years. So you need to ask yourself: are you willing to put your responsibilities to your family on hold for several years while you put all your earnings into financing tours, recording, gear, etc...?
There's nothing wrong with keeping music as part of your life. Put a bar band together and do the weekend warrior thing. At least then you know the level of success you want is attainable. But putting off all responsibilities to make it in a rock band? That's a less than 1% success rate, and the only way to increase odds are to do nothing else but the band.
#6
herrotim
Welcome to the club. you're in my old stomping grounds. Getting anywhere in SA sucks, and if you don't know the "line" in Austin, you're double f'd, unless you play standard crap.
It was enough to drive me out for 25 years. If you really are good, get the F out of TX. I mean it.
#7
Quote by chokmool
herrotim
Welcome to the club. you're in my old stomping grounds. Getting anywhere in SA sucks, and if you don't know the "line" in Austin, you're double f'd, unless you play standard crap.
It was enough to drive me out for 25 years. If you really are good, get the F out of TX. I mean it.

wow really, what kind of music did you play?
and what about austin?
Well im not awesome but I'm 15 and we have book smart and poetic band members so...we will be okay...at least locally..
But ya...texas sucks bad...I just thinks austin will be more forgiving since our rock is based in the blues...
#8
Ah, Austin. Yes, it looks good, or at least better now.

We played originals that were somewhat Punk, and also verged on New Wave. I was in 2 bands from '79--'86. Both primarily worked the I-35 "Corridor", Austin, San Marcos, SA(other small or private venues). On occasion, we'd do a coastal run, from McAllen to Corpus Christi, back to SA, then to Austin. I was a student at UT(Austin) at that time, and its amazing I made it through school. My GPA sucked. Back then, it was Raul's, Duke's Royal Coach Inn, Club Foot, a couple of others. In SA, Skip Willy's, The Country, The Friendly Spot, Bonham Exchange, Raw Power, others. Most are gone now.

Not to burst your bubble, but Austin was a tough city then, and from what I've seen, it is even tougher now. There are many places to play, but getting in is not easy. Even with a large number of places to play, there are still far more bands than venues. I hate to say it, but at 15, you don't have much of a chance. Of course, you could prove me wrong. Just keep in mind, Austin audiences are very demanding, and often not very forgiving. They have many choices. You have to be really good.
#9
Kos: you're definately right about the crap shoot... a decent amount of my determination is coming from the relative certainty that I can get an A&R rep out to one of my future band's shows atleast once. So, that's my litmus test... wait 'til we're ready, make a few calls (there's a handful of contacts I'll never let go of ), and find out after the show if we're going somewhere or just spinning ou wheels.

There's more to the whole logistical side of it. It's quite a bit of typing, so I'll ask you to take it on faith that I'd round the dice before making a crap shoot of my life.

I've seen several posts for craigslist, and I've played that game before... sometimes you stumble across a hidden gem, but more often than not it turns out to be a waste of time... some dude who wants to start a band because he got kicked out of his last one and now he's pissed.

I'm a little scared of the flyer idea. I've been to many a guitar center, and I can just imagine holding auditions for all those cats playing "Eruption"

To all you guys in TX with me... yeah, you couldn't be more right. Infact, I'm glad so many of you are from TX so that you know exactly what I'm looking at musician-wise. I mean, we all want gigs right? and if they're going to the counrty or blues artists... well, kinda makes sense to be a country or blues artist I suppose. A part of me clings to the notion that if you put together a tight set of catchy rock, you'll draw a crowd as word spreads, and thus land more gigs/grow your band. Idealistic? yeah, maybe, but it still makes sense.

Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I really appreciate it. Also, just to make sure I don't come across wrong from my original post, I have NO problems with doing the neccessary leg work... I'm just looking to maximize the efficiency of my time. Thanks again everyone! I'll lurk incase there are stragglers.
#10
For my next band I'm attempting the Axemanchris approach;

Step 1: Write an entire album.
Step 2: Record it in demo form.
Step 3: Put it on the net
Step 4: Put ads up saying you have a full albums worth of music up, to check out the songs and see if people would like to play with you.
Step 5: Pick the right people.

End result. You have a full albums worth of material and people who are good and obviously like the same sort of music, because you wrote it in the first place

I'm not sure if that's exactly how Axemanchris did it, but it's an awesome plan anyways.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
Quote by GrisKy
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I really appreciate it. Also, just to make sure I don't come across wrong from my original post, I have NO problems with doing the neccessary leg work... I'm just looking to maximize the efficiency of my time. Thanks again everyone! I'll lurk incase there are stragglers.


- Can you sing? If so, that limits who you have to find.
- I'd focus more on knowing what you DONT want to play as opposed to what you do, it makes things easier in the long run.
- Bassists can be hard to find, but unless you play a lot of metal, you might be able to work with a younger one. Ive watched a hundred bassists play root-5th or root-3rd, or just bang the root note.
- Drummers are hard to find, IME, when I find one, I latch on.

Sounds to me like you have the right idea. Gig'n is great. I like the pub scene. playing covers and having fun. making a few bucks to do what I love to do.

- Do you know any musicians? Work with any?
- You could find some at Church, School (College/Night School)/ Work, book club etc...

Ads are tough. Ive always said, "Its more fun to start a band than join a pre-established one. That way I dont get instant friends."
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#12
Quote by AlanHB
For my next band I'm attempting the Axemanchris approach;

Step 1: Write an entire album.
Step 2: Record it in demo form.
Step 3: Put it on the net
Step 4: Put ads up saying you have a full albums worth of music up, to check out the songs and see if people would like to play with you.
Step 5: Pick the right people.

End result. You have a full albums worth of material and people who are good and obviously like the same sort of music, because you wrote it in the first place

I'm not sure if that's exactly how Axemanchris did it, but it's an awesome plan anyways.



that's kinda f'ing brilliant! good call Alan! I like this.
#13
Quote by GrisKy
that's kinda f'ing brilliant! good call Alan! I like this.


Whilst I agree it's awesome - it's not my idea.

It's Axemanchris' and how he made his last band. Surprised he hasn't popped up in this thread yet
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
GrisKy
We've written a song about playing alt. music in TX. I shouldn't mention it, because I didn't write it, but it is funny. I don't know if we'll ever play it in public, but it makes us feel better YeeeHaaaaw!!!!!
#15
im 16, i live n North carolina, evry one ive evr met has either no musical talent, or plays guitar, i play guitar and do vocals, and as i said earlr, EVRYONE plays guitar, ne advice for me?
#16
Quote by Rosario_kit-kun
im 16, i live n North carolina, evry one ive evr met has either no musical talent, or plays guitar, i play guitar and do vocals, and as i said earlr, EVRYONE plays guitar, ne advice for me?


Learn jazz flute?

kidding... you could try some of the stuff listed earlier.

...and I want to hear the alt rock in TX song!!!
#17
Quote by GrisKy
Learn jazz flute?

kidding... you could try some of the stuff listed earlier.

...and I want to hear the alt rock in TX song!!!


heh heh, nah, ill stick with guitar, jazz isnt my thing, thanks but, im not much for writing albums, tryed that for a bit , my parents burned it all in hopes that i would never play it again, so i yea i suk at that, and as for craiglist, no clue what that is,i dont get online much,and when i do im usualy on a psp,my comp sucks so i find it less agrivating
#18
Quote by Rosario_kit-kun
heh heh, nah, ill stick with guitar, jazz isnt my thing, thanks but, im not much for writing albums, tryed that for a bit , my parents burned it all in hopes that i would never play it again, so i yea i suk at that, and as for craiglist, no clue what that is,i dont get online much,and when i do im usualy on a psp,my comp sucks so i find it less agrivating


Umm your parents burned your album?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#20
As Alan described, that's *exactly* how I did it.

It turned into a project that lasted about four years. We're recording our last three songs in August, basically for the personal archives, and calling it a day, though. It's hard to survive as an original band without a steady stream of original material in the pipe.

With a wife, three kids, and a 50-hr/wk job, plus being in charge of the press/media/promo/management/web presence, it's hard to find the energy, never mind the inspiration - to write.

Four years, though... commercial TV and radio, main stages at festivals, soft-seat theatres, print media, opening for recording acts.... some really good times.

Have a personal standard, as much as possible, that players have a demo they can point you to. Any serious player will have one. If they don't... they just ain't serious enough.

Focus on finding the right *people* with the same priorities and aspirations as you. That's a better bet than finding the best players. Unless you're doing prog metal or something... We're just doing top-40-style hard rock. It turned out, though, that I wound up putting together the best group of musicians I've ever played with. Whether that was luck, or a partial by-product on insisting on a demo, I dunno.

Milk you contacts and connections. Beat those bushes and see what comes out. You never know. Often times, a reputation is more important than a demo.

Speaking of reputation.... do YOU have one? Do YOU have a demo? If you want to be taken seriously, you should have at least one or the other. If you have both, you will NOT have difficulty finding players. (assuming both are good....)

The reason my plan worked for me is I actually had something that showed that I was serious, and that showed where I wanted the project to go... and that I could sing and play. Everything was together. I was also already starting to build up a network of business and media connections, including interest from two small indie labels. It was all part of the package. I tried for years and years (like.... 15?) to get this project off the ground and it never happened - until I had the pieces in place - and then it just fell together almost effortlessly.

Think of this.... when YOU go looking for a musician to fill a spot in your band.... do you want to have some schmuck you hooked up with from Craigslist with no demo, or someone whose name you're familiar with because of the work he/she has done, and/or the people they have worked with, and a strong demo to seal the deal?

Another consideration.... I don't know what you do now, but can you afford to get a record deal? I know it sounds funny, but our band collectively decided to stay local and not pursue that avenue at all, really. A lot of artists get signed and spend 18 months on tour and come back barely breaking even. If I did that, I'd lose my house. Even if I came back with some money, chances are it wouldn't be enough. Being married with three kids and a mortgage.... not an option. I knew a guy with a gold record on his wall who was still living in his parents' basement.

OTOH, I know another guy with gold and platinum albums on his wall from when his band was on Capitol (touring the world, opening for KISS, etc.), and that has enabled him, at least in part, to continue making money and live fairly comfortably (though nothing ostentatious, by any stretch) years after the record deals now as an indie artist.

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 25, 2009,
#21
Quote by axemanchris
As Alan described, that's *exactly* how I did it.


Yeah - it's an awesome plan!

Inspired me to start working on a concept album which I'm half way through. Due to my anti-metaphor approach in lyrics someone else mentioned I should turn it into a play at some point. Hmm.

I guess the main thing is that most people hate that "wait-for-new-music-to-get-a-set-to-gig" phase at the start of a band. Just eradicate it by writing the music previous to the band forming. Amazing!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#22
well, u've given me alot to think about, what i wanted to accomplish was not to make a record deal or anything like that(sure it wud b nice, but not what im wanting right now, and its definatly not what im ready for) i wanted to just jam with some friends to make the music i want to hear, not the crap u hear on the radio and see on tv, evry one has a diferent taste for music, myn is just a bit harder to satisfy, i dont know what to make of most of what all you ve said,mainly b/c im still a teen
#23
ok, guys srry my psp has a text size limit so i dont always get to say what i want in full, but in addition to my last post i would like to say thanks evry 1 , im guna head 2 bed now, it 2 in the morning, and if im going to be able to use any of your advice, im guna need some sleep, thanks again guys
#24
No prob.

If your ambitions include 'making it' in music - however you define 'making it' - one of the absolute best things you can do is to learn how people work, and how the industry works. Still a teen? Perfect. I can't think of a better time to learn.

For me, I had aspirations of 'making it.' As I look back on it as I approach 40, I know why I didn't. Among those reasons are not understanding the rules of the game I was trying to play until I found myself at the station waiting for a train that had already left without me.

The other main reason I didn't 'make it' is that I didn't make music my full time job. I followed conventional advice of going to school and taking music, making it my study, but not my job. "So I'd have something to fall back on." Once you finish school and have a ticket to a great job, a girl that you're serious about, and are 25, you've pretty well missed the train. Don't get me wrong; I have no regrets. I'm happy.

But the two most important things are:
1. Get to know how the game works. That includes learning a lot about business, marketing, and within that, psychology.
2. Make music your full time job, including actually moving to where the industry is.
3. (sorry... I said two, but this goes with #2).... Always be working on building your base for opportunity, which includes different income streams, and networking.

The reason I'm here is to share with others some of those things I have learned along the way, so they can have that knowledge when they're younger.

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.
#25
CT, couple'a really great and insiteful posts you've got there! Much appreciated...

...also left me with several thing to consider.

I do have a bit of a positive reputation, though it's as a tech, not a player, and I've got a small collection of hired-gun studio work that I suppose I could call a demo... still leaves many points for me to think about very carefully.

Thanks again to all!

Oh, and Rosario, that's a ****in' awful story man! I hope you made a copy... a hundred copies, and left one in every CD player your folks would come into contact with!
#27
Quote by koslack
The easiest answer is craigslist.
However, I don't think finding guys is gonna be your problem. The issue is going to be your family. As you said, you have to support them; you have mouths to feed. Making a living in the industry as a rock band is a crap shoot; there are thousands upon thousands of alt-rock bands in the USA, and less than 1% of them get to the point where they even taste success, let alone make a decent living over several years. So you need to ask yourself: are you willing to put your responsibilities to your family on hold for several years while you put all your earnings into financing tours, recording, gear, etc...?
There's nothing wrong with keeping music as part of your life. Put a bar band together and do the weekend warrior thing. At least then you know the level of success you want is attainable. But putting off all responsibilities to make it in a rock band? That's a less than 1% success rate, and the only way to increase odds are to do nothing else but the band.


actually I don't quite agree to that. I'm a full time engineering student, and so are my band members, but we always find a couple hours in the week to practice and write some stuff. obviously, the TS is at a different platform of life right now and has family, but there is no reason why he cant keep the band a part-time thing until he sees it going somewhere.

my rule of thumb has always been that if you can make it big in your own city,you can start touring. if you haven't made your name in your own town, stay in and keep working on it.

see,you don't have to live,eat and sleep 'band' if you're in one. ofcourse, if i hit inspiration sometime,I cant wait to get home and pick up my guitar and write something. it's not the quantity of hours you put in, it's the quality.
I don't mean what I write in my posts.So don't argue back on it,and don't check me..Because,though I don't mean them,they are the only way I can increase my post count.
#28
Quote by eastern_riffs
actually I don't quite agree to that. I'm a full time engineering student, and so are my band members, but we always find a couple hours in the week to practice and write some stuff. obviously, the TS is at a different platform of life right now and has family, but there is no reason why he cant keep the band a part-time thing until he sees it going somewhere.

my rule of thumb has always been that if you can make it big in your own city,you can start touring. if you haven't made your name in your own town, stay in and keep working on it.

see,you don't have to live,eat and sleep 'band' if you're in one. ofcourse, if i hit inspiration sometime,I cant wait to get home and pick up my guitar and write something. it's not the quantity of hours you put in, it's the quality.



That's the thing. It depends on what level of success you want to achieve. If you don't mind local cult status, then you can have a day job. If you're aspiring to big-time success, you need to be playing at least 100 shows a year, in different markets. Local success means nothing if you plan on making this a living. Local success means 1 insanely packed show a month, for which you get a nice pay day, considering it's 1 night of work. You can't support a family on that. If you want to bust open nationwide, you need to build a fanbase nationwide. Touring is really the only answer.
Anyway, if this rambled, I apologize. Let's just say I'm in the middle of an activity that's all rock n roll, but nothing about music.
#29
eastern_riffs,
I disagree with you a bit.

Not everyone has the support to be an engineering student. I might say you were born into a very stable household, and your parents are good people, who expect you to do well. If that is the case, you're ahead of the game. Not everyone has what you do. We all have to figure out how to navigate this world. Never assume that everyone is like you. Plain and simple, they aren't.
#30
Quote by chokmool
eastern_riffs,
I disagree with you a bit.

Not everyone has the support to be an engineering student. I might say you were born into a very stable household, and your parents are good people, who expect you to do well. If that is the case, you're ahead of the game. Not everyone has what you do. We all have to figure out how to navigate this world. Never assume that everyone is like you. Plain and simple, they aren't.


Ahh, a little off topic but that depends on what country you live in. In the US this statement may be true that you have to come from a well-off family to go to university, but many other countries have government subsidiary plans to allow ANYONE who gets the grades to attend institutes of higher learning without paying upfront, or in some cases, ever.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#31
... although typically, it is the students with stable homes and supportive parents who do best academically. This is proven time and time again through studying standardized testing and comparing that data with socioeconomic data for the same communities.

As a teacher, I also see it first hand within my own classrooms. Parent support is a HUGE part of the package.

And as usual, I agree with everything else chokmool and Alan have said about bands here.

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.
#32
When I started this thread, I had no idea how interresting it would become... way better than telling kids how to fix their amps in the gear threads. I get the sense that this is where the "adults" of UG (by either age or maturity) tend to gravitate.

Ok, back on topic:

I've seen how several bands interract with their management... sometimes positively, other times not so much. I've also seen some managers sit back and cash paychecks while others bust hind-tail, sometimes at a fraction of the bands expense (as compared to the "others" mentioned previously). My question is, to those who have actually hired a manager (also, those who I can see are usuals with trustworthy advice), are they a viable solution to many daily band problems such as lining up promoters, venues, etc.? Do you go for the guy that'll fight tooth and nail for you, or the one who doesn't remember your full name, but had breakfast with your potential A&R rep and a couple top producers?

...ofcourse they (much like a decent lawyer... ugh) CAN BE a solution...

let me re-phrase...

situation: you work for a living, but you're doing ok (more than making ends meet, but not by a landslide). You have the time to dedicate towards song-writing, band practice, keepin' the rust off your chops, etc., but not enough time to scour the state for places to play (as lame as that sounds, I fail to think of a better way to say that. I hope you get what I mean). Short-term travel is not a problem, even touring could be worked out reasonably well (and the fam has dealt with touring before... while I was a tech and twice as a soldier, they know what to do when I'm not around). The know-how to build a press kit is there. A potential (I should say "likely") bandmate is a FullSail grad. Another went to UNT's college of music (me), and yet another (if I cross my finger REEEEAAAALLLLY hard) had more than a cup of coffee and a handshake at Berklee. Gear is a non-issue... everyone seems rather flake-free.

sounds like a pretty good starting point right? So why do I feel like I'm missing a huge piece of the puzzle?

...beside the fact that we're still short a bassist, ofcourse, but that's in the works, and the guy I'm trying to land for the slot has more time on tour than the rest of us combined in any capacity.

On a side note, and to help contribute towards the cause of my own thread, I took some of the advice give. I've made an effort to re-establish those old contacts, and I can't help but to think how it's so much like college football... land one big prospect and the rest seem to fall into place (and a "big prospect" could just mean having someone in the band who's not you!). And not that I expected them to be harsh by anymeans (we are talking about friends here), but they all seemed way more receptive than I had imagined! Guess I wasn't the only one "lookin' to do somethin'."

sorry for the novel... my head pours out words unevenly from time to time.
#33
Quote by GrisKy

sounds like a pretty good starting point right? So why do I feel like I'm missing a huge piece of the puzzle?


Well you don't have that whole "music" thing yet.

Or it may just be the first time where you have to take a "bandleader" role, having to co-ordinate everyone and not knowing how to go about it/seeking self-motivation to do it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#34
I went to a lecture put on by one of the biggest music managers in the world. Among the many pearls of wisdom (his own personal arrogance aside, which was both aggravating and entertaining at the same time) was, "a manager is only as good as his Rolodex."

You want the person with the contacts. But yes, you don't want to be the guy the manager never calls back. You want him/her to work for you. Ask yourself this... can he/she offer anything that I can't otherwise do myself? Essentially, that will come down to their contacts.

I self-managed our original band. In retrospect, had we opted to go with an outside manager, I might have had more time and energy to, you know, actually write some songs, meaning we still might be looking to the future as opposed to archiving our last three songs.

They charge a %age, generally. There are two things at work here:
1. You have to make it worth their while to work for you. If he/she is going to spend 8 hours doing stuff for you, how much is 15% or whatever of that income going to translate to an hourly wage for their time?
2. They don't make *anything* unless they actually do some work.

Somewhere in there is the balance between whether you have management, and what kind of representation you're looking for.

A well-connected person could get you some really great shows with only a few minutes of their time on the phone or in front of a computer. 15% of $5000 is $750. Not bad for a phone call that took ten minutes. (all numbers completely arbitrary, but you get the idea...)

One way or another, you NEED someone on your side who understands the business end of things who can help your project navigate that end of things. You can't win the game if you don't even know how the game is played.

The pieces of the puzzle, as I see it, that you haven't mentioned are:
1. What do you intend to sell? It's one thing to have a team of people who can build a product. It's another thing to have a product for them to build. Where will this music come from? A crappy band with great songs will do 1000x better than a great band with crappy songs.

which leads me to....
2. Nobody, other than the people in your band, care about how good these musicians are, unless you're doing something like prog metal or whatever. (in which case, your product is a tough sell) The people who are going to help you do business (managers, record labels, promoters, etc. - even fans) could really care less who went to Berklee or MIT or whatever. What they care about is whether you have great songs.

given that...
3. A band that gets along and has the same musical and personal priorities, aspirations, and philosophies will work. A band that does not will bust up sooner than later. So-and-so graduated from Berklee. Who cares? He's an arrogant prick with a drug habit. Such-and-such player used to be in a band with Paul Gilbert. That's nice. He hates your songs and talks trash about you behind your back. Oh, and the other guy... he wants to move to LA and make it, but too bad nobody else in the band is in a position to make that level of commitment. Know what I mean?

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.
#35
I know what you mean, I guess I listed the musical achievements of those guys because it's way more concrete and easier to convey than, "yeah, this one time in Oklahoma, so and so sprung me out'a jail," or "hey, whatever happened to that chick he set you up with? WHAT? You're married?" But I totally get what you're saying, and making good music is where our heads are at. As long as I've known these guys, I've kinda' built up in my head who can contribute what, and what that final outcome will be... and I'd always opt for less talent if it also comes with less baggage and off-stage troubles. I think Alan might've nailed it with the whole first time in the driver's seat thing... guess I just want to make sure I have my ducks in a row.

Thanks for the answer about the manager situation, and once again you've thrown down a very insiteful and contemplative reponse! That goes for both of you!