#1
(Note: The type of band I want to run is a heavy metal band. Clean vocals, and odd drum beats. I plan on being the singer and rhythm guitar player.

I have about 100 riffs saved up and one demo without bass and drums. At this point I think I'm ready to start a band. I have a few ideas on lead guitar players and I'm pretty sure who the drummer is going to be. I just need a bass player. I started guitar a year ago but I've advanced very far to the point where other players think I'm ready. I have a few questions. I know this is a cut throat industry. I refuse to quit on it. I'm going for it and there's no talking me out of it.

1. Where do I start? I don't want to pick up a joe shmoe from guitar center. I also plan on enforcing a strict no drugs policy. Problem is drugs seem to be extremely prevalent in the music scene. Thought I found a lead player but he's in that lifestyle. I'm very serious about this band and I don't want to go down the path of the Hendrix, Cobain's, and Joplin's. I don't even want them drinking before shows.

2. How do I run a band? How many times do we practice a week? I'm in college, I don't want to screw up. How do we play shows? Do we have to pay someone to play cover songs?

3. I'm very serious about this. This is what I want to do with my life. I don't want to be on a major label. I don't care about being famous, I just want to make music I like and be able to make a comfortable living off of it. My mind is made up and there is no talking me out of it. I MUST SUCCEED. My plan is to be on an indie label. I know of a few friends who are doing very well on that route. How do I get noticed?

Thanks for reading this long post.
#2
Quote by RiffEmAll
(Note: The type of band I want to run is a heavy metal band. Clean vocals, and odd drum beats. I plan on being the singer and rhythm guitar player.

I have about 100 riffs saved up and one demo without bass and drums. At this point I think I'm ready to start a band. I have a few ideas on lead guitar players and I'm pretty sure who the drummer is going to be. I just need a bass player. I started guitar a year ago but I've advanced very far to the point where other players think I'm ready. I have a few questions. I know this is a cut throat industry. I refuse to quit on it. I'm going for it and there's no talking me out of it.

1. Where do I start? I don't want to pick up a joe shmoe from guitar center. I also plan on enforcing a strict no drugs policy. Problem is drugs seem to be extremely prevalent in the music scene. Thought I found a lead player but he's in that lifestyle. I'm very serious about this band and I don't want to go down the path of the Hendrix, Cobain's, and Joplin's. I don't even want them drinking before shows.

2. How do I run a band? How many times do we practice a week? I'm in college, I don't want to screw up. How do we play shows? Do we have to pay someone to play cover songs?

3. I'm very serious about this. This is what I want to do with my life. I don't want to be on a major label. I don't care about being famous, I just want to make music I like and be able to make a comfortable living off of it. My mind is made up and there is no talking me out of it. I MUST SUCCEED. My plan is to be on an indie label. I know of a few friends who are doing very well on that route. How do I get noticed?

Thanks for reading this long post.


Before addressing your questions, a few comments from the impression i've got from your post.

Riffs saved up =/= songs. Not saying you said that, but be very careful with this. If you come up with a good riff, let that riff set the theme for the song and let it build from there, don't force feed riffs into a song.

I see very many "I"s in the first sections, remember that a band is multiple people coming together to create something. NOT you creating your musical career. You will have to work with people, not get people to work for you.

Onto the questions.

1: You talk to people. Once again, you can't control people. If they are into drugs and/or drinking you will have two choices, leave the band or let them do it, if that is so important to you. I personally don't drink or smoke, but i have been in multiple bands and played hundreds of gigs, and i have had very few bad experiences with people drinking/smoking. That's cause i TALK to my bandmembers, and if we don't get along, we are not in a band together.

2. Once again, you run it TOGETHER, by talking with eachother. You practice as many times as you can/want to. Some of my bands practice once a week, others everyday, some once a month. Often i practice with only be and the drummer, you can always work on stuff together with only parts of the band.

Find gigs in your area. Many bars have gigs, there are often events where you can play with a band etc. Otherwise, organize it yourself.

3. Advertise yourself. Play many shows, make merch, record demos/EPs/albums, be active on social media. Many more artists are going independent these days, cause the internet allows it if you got a fanbase established.

Most important of all is discipline and patience. Work hard and know that it will take time, but with time and discipline you can go far. 7 years ago i didn't know who Periphery where, now they are pretty big in the metal scene, and getting bigger. They worked hard, and it payed of.

Best Regards,
Sickz
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#4
Cheers on having material and drive. You’re further along than most. I’m gonna be honest here because beating around the bush isn’t beneficial for anyone. Just hear what I have to say and take it with a grain of salt. I come from a WAY DIFFERENT philosophy when it comes to music and being in a band.
Quote by RiffEmAll
1. Where do I start? I don't want to pick up a joe shmoe from guitar center. I also plan on enforcing a strict no drugs policy. Problem is drugs seem to be extremely prevalent in the music scene. Thought I found a lead player but he's in that lifestyle. I'm very serious about this band and I don't want to go down the path of the Hendrix, Cobain's, and Joplin's. I don't even want them drinking before shows.

News flash, you are joe shmoe from guitar center. That isn’t a bad thing, everyone is joe schmoe. The idea is to BECOME GOOD as a band.
And a drug policy? What is this school? A job? It’s lame is what it is and I don’t even do drugs. I drink and have fun drinking. This is where my philosophy differs from yours. Unfortunately for you, you’re going to push people away. Further, you don’t have the experience to have such distaste. It’s one thing if you’ve been in a dozen bands and you know all about the junkie bass player or the alcoholic attention seeking singer…but you don’t. You have no reason besides the little bit you know about big names in rock n roll.
Quote by RiffEmAll
How many times do we practice a week?

Practice however much is needed. If you guys are lacking then up the game. If you’re solid once a week is good. I know some guys in a fairly big band and they practice once a month at best. They are living the “rehearse before tour” life. Me and my guys, we’re jamming once a week because that’s all we can do with work schedules.
Quote by RiffEmAll
I don't want to screw up. How do we play shows? Do we have to pay someone to play cover songs?


Don’t worry about screwing up because you’re going to. You’re going to play flop shows and make mistakes. Because you’re so anxious about it, you’ll probably have some noteworthy ones. The point is to learn and pay your dues. The good bands out there have all been in the shit, so to speak. Don’t convince yourself you’re any different. You contact local show bookers. This has become increasingly difficult because they are oriented just toward ticket sales vs giving new bands a chance. Your best bet, and it’s worked for me several times…record a demo and contact a local band that has some shows coming up. Ask if you can open. Chances are they might be looking for an opener. PS. You’re gonna have to be an opening band for a while. Don’t play cover songs. And no you don’t have to pay just to play a cover. Recording is another question.
Quote by RiffEmAll
3. I'm very serious about this. This is what I want to do with my life. I don't want to be on a major label. I don't care about being famous, I just want to make music I like and be able to make a comfortable living off of it. My mind is made up and there is no talking me out of it. I MUST SUCCEED.

You’re not going to make a living off of it. If this is your goal you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Sorry to be a Debbie downer.
Quote by RiffEmAll
My plan is to be on an indie label. I know of a few friends who are doing very well on that route. How do I get noticed?

If you really have friends on an indie label, you should talk about this stuff with them. Also, clarify what types of labels you’re okay with and not okay with. I have many friends on labels, and have played in a couple label supported bands (very briefly). Everyone of them has to work. I remember I met Aaron Marsh (Copeland) one night because he was a friend / client of a Graphic designer friend of mine. He was bummed out before the show because he got a phone call telling him he lost his job while on tour. This is a guy who has been on some of the biggest “indie” labels out there. Don’t be fooled…they all have day jobs.
You get noticed when you do something noticeable. Being a band nazi and boring…and further, looking at this as “your band” and not a collective band, is not interesting or noticeable at all.
Cheers and sorry for the candor. Have fun with it man. Play in a dozen bands and learn about what it’s like to be in a band before you try to lead one.