#1
Just curious what the general vibe is here on this:

You plaster walls, forums, craigslist, etc. with ads saying you're looking for musicians (for our example, let's say you're looking for a guiarist for a folk country band), and you specifically ask for links to their demos if they have them available somewhere. You get e-mails and calls from interrested musicians, they send you links, and the demos are of speed metal, or hooky pop punk, etc.

Do you listen to the tracks and think, "Impressive. They obviously sent these demos to show that they've got chops," and take them at their word that they can contribute within the target genre? Or do you think, "WTF? This is obviously speed metal, not folk country... not interrested."

It could be any equally "off" example, I'm just trying to better explain the situation, like if you were looking for a rock lead singer and a rapper answered your call.

Ok, this one's a two-parter:

What other intangibles do youguys value, and in what order do you place their importance assuming the function of said intangible is not replicated (i.e. you audition a bassist who also has a PA and a trailer, but your singer has a PA and your drummer has a trailer already, so those are less important than other intangibles to your band, but assuming this was not the case what would be more valuable, the trailer or the PA, or great contacts, or free studio time, or a kickass rehersal space, awesome gear, etc.)?

Just curious wat you guys think... also looking to add a little variety to this forum.
#2
Well.... if I'm looking for a guitarist for a folk country band, I want someone who really likes to play folk country. If they don't have a demo that reflects that, I have a hard time believing that they really love that style of music. If they had a new country demo, then okay. I'm listening. If they have a folky-fingerstyle demo, I'm listening. If the best they can come up with is an old recording of their cover band playing Alice In Chains, I ain't listening. I couldn't give half a crap how good he is.

One of the most important things to look for in a band member (really, maybe THE most important!!) is "do they like the material?" If they don't, they're not going to stick with you and be reliable, committed, or even enthusiastic. Things will suck for all of you.

When you're a kid, those intangibles can be a big deal. We all have those stories of when we hired that one drummer because his mom had a van that all the gear could be hauled in. Or a guitarist we hired because his parents were out three nights a week and the band could come in and practice behind their backs.... until the neighbours told on you.

The key there, though, is that in retrospect, we almost always look at that as a mistake. You really should have hired the other drummer who didn't have the van. or the other guitarist who didn't have a practice space. You realize later that hiring them for the wrong reasons was a bad idea.

You want a PA or studio time or whatever? Where there's a will there's a way.

You have to hire people who:
1. Like what you're doing and who are enthusiastic about it.
2. Have the same goals and ambitions as you, and will prioritize the band in a similar way. (not to say you all have to prioritize the band as #1.... for our band, our jobs and families come first, for instance)
3. Have the same expectations of the band and its members.
4. Are competent enough to play the songs. (note, not the best player!!)

.... in THAT order! (oh, and be a personality that you like to work with!!)

And THEN consider things like talent that goes above and beyond, whether they have practice space, or whatever.

Anything else will just fail.

Other demo stuff...... if I'm auditioning for a guitar player, I'm not concerned with sound quality or recording production. A lot of people stress about that. Gimme a webcam recording, or something recorded with your mp3 player or whatever. I'm not hiring a producer - I'm hiring a guitarist. I want to know what kind of things you choose to play, what you sound like (more or less), and whether or not you're competent enough for my Green Day tribute. I don't care, really, whether or not you can shred like Malmsteen. In fact, doing that might be a liability for what I'm looking for. I might also listen for "can he sing well enough to do backup vocals?"

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.
#3
pretty much what axe said but NUMBER 4- Is a big one
At lest for the music I play, I want somebody who is a wiz on thier instrument- technically proficient. I had a situation where I hired a dude because of his confidence, enthusiasm, and marketing, but he was overall a crappy musician so he was useless and hindered our development (was not going to hire this guy as a manager, no connections, and he was into like, pop -rock) Make sure you get people that like you music. Make sure. AND MAKE SURE THEY CAN PLAY IT