Hey everyone,

Sorry for the melancholic first-post, but me and the band I'm in is in a bit of a problem at the moment and I still don't really know how to deal with it.

First of all, we're a 4-piece band that sound-wise can be related to well, it's seriously hard to define us, but my guess would be a little Biffy Clyro-ish, but with a little more edge and a dash of punk. Anyway, we're currently in the (good) situation of being close to gigging seriously and take on the music world for good, but here's the main problem:

Our lead singer:

1. Does not sing well
(this could be due to the lyrics he write, which are more like poetry than actual singable lyrics, BUT most of the audience we've played for always give us back the same feedback that they A. Could not hear / decipher him. B. Felt that his singing was bad and that alone pulled us down.)

2. Listens to and likes music way, way off our sound.

Well, I won't discriminate music in any way, each bird sings in its own way, but since he tries to advise me to play like what I would define as "not-catchy and plain noise"-music i.o.w. City of Catepillar, Comedra (which to me is bad, knowing the audience that we as a band want to play for, will simply vomit and bail on us if we played like that) or a band like Haram, which is catchy enough sound-wise, but lacks a good singer.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Between the Buried and Me, love their music and creativity, but to him, even though he listens to Iron & Wine occasionally, everything to him is either grindcore, completely gritty hardcore...bottom line: good for a niche-audience, but well-hated and impossible to play at more (though not at all completely) mainstream-oriented audiences. Audiences who prefer catchy music, with understandable vocals though with edge, power and alternativity.

A good example of our vocalist would be the guy from Haram and put him up against Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro (I know it's cheesy, and that BC has a lot more studio production, but we want to in a more popular direction).

A majority of people, varying in age, would without a thought (my hypothesis) choose Simon Neil light years over the vocalist from Haram, which our vocalist sounds (i.m.o) slightly better than, but still...sorry for all the frustration UG'ers, but some of you might know how it feels.

3. He has no depth in his voice and will most likely never be able to add any power to his voice, that will make the audience like his singing.

What I would like (and yes, I am somewhat egocentric here, though the bassist and drummer agrees) then we would be better off with a more powerful voice, again, Simon Neil-ish. I know that I refer to him so much, but we have had such a hard time to clearly define our sound properly, so I really only have this singer to relate to sorry.

Our singer sings and talks very nasally, and his voice gets worn out after say, 3 to a maximum of 4 songs. After that, he's off and has to stay silent the rest of practice.


Now, I've rambled like an idiot, but I am asking for your serious advice out there. We are soon getting together for a band meeting where we will discuss this matter with him, hopefully in a positive on constructive way, but hell, it's always hard to kick someone out, but even worse to be a band in the future whose image is: "They've got a very nice and fresh sound, but forget 'em, their singer can't sing."

Any good ideas before we hit the serious parts with finishing our demo, EP, album, touring & gigging?

If you should need any extra information, feel free to ask. I originally formed the band with my "overall structure" of genre and sound style in mind, whereof the bassist and drummer has always backed up on my guitar playing, though kept silent on our singer's singing.

/ The bassist is a classical / Deep Purple / Pink Floyd kind of guy, who simply hates hardcore in almost all its aspects, while our drummer can seem like the greatest Travis Barker-fanboy ever alive (which I find great, he's a superb guy and will most likely become a noticeable drummer in the future, hopefully as a part of this band).

As a person, the lead singer is alright, we've had our genre clashes, but I feel that he knows less about music than the amount he talks of it. He recommends me T-Rex effect pedals that simply just became a waste of money (at the given time, I did not have a very good sense of effects, to my defense) and bitched completely when I bought a Peavey Valveking instead of a Marshall (regardless of type). To him, there is nothing else than a Marshall or Orange, everything else is just either crap or "metal", a genre he detests along with almost everything else that's "catchy", speaking in terms of the more "popular music" audiences.

I thank you greatly for everything you can help me out with.


Schmidt / Lichine
I didn't read the entire thing, but I say kick him out and find someone new. A band can't sound good without a good singer.
Tell him to G.T.F.O....even if it does mean postponing recording/gigiing etc.... If your gonna do it you may aswell do it right ya know lol? If he is so different then he belongs in either a diffferent band or ina different genre. Put up adds in local papers and hold auditions for new singers..it doesnt cost alot, and for me it worked suprisingly welll.
Thanks for the comment, yeah, you're right. I guess it may come to that, but it's hard to actually set it into motion. Then again, he has "only" written three songs (lyrical part, I make the melodies) while I've begun writing lyrics too.

Keep em coming
Okay, I read the giant wall of text, thank you for making if readable.

Anyhow the simple thing to do is to kick him out, it seems like he wouldn't be missed to much by you guys, but that being said i'm sure you guys don't want to get a new singer, teach him your songs and work to create another chemistry with another singer.

Soooo if you want to keep em and avoid the trouble of finding somone new and all that junk I would tell straight up to work on his vocals, get some vocal lessons. Not everyone can learn to sing and develop their voice on their own. I bet a vocal teacher could fix all of the problems with his voice.
To 666, you're completely right dude. Thanks, to me, I just think his sense of music is way off, even though I respect the hardcore scene despite not understanding why it has to sound like that.

Again, I can just easily be fed up when getting kicked down much of the time I bring up the discussion of what direction we have to take (he's the only one bitching), since to him, it feels like that we MUST NEVER SOUND GOOD, because then we will be mainstream, and oh for the sake of god and humanity, mainstream is just oh so freaking bad. To me, saying something is mainstream today is as overused as saying ****, it has lost it's power and makes some good things stand out bad too easily.

Anyway, keep it up.
To Guitarfreak:

True and thanks for reading :P.

Well, he has attended some vocal lessons for (3 years in the past, but that's like IN THE PAST, like we all know). I've talked to a few of his friends when I did some "research" on his experience and everyone responded blatantly that he sings so well, he has a beautiful voice etc. Sadly, I don't hear that in practice. It could be due to lyrics, but even though our songs are somewhat fast-paced, there is a solid rhythm that any SingStar could sing along to. I just seek that "voice" that matches the good sound of the band, you know.

So maybe it's just all talk, no truth, huh?

Keep em coming. UG
Personally, if i was wanting to make it big, I would find someone else, if not go ahead and try and see what happends.
Can he sing in tune to the songs? That's always a massive factor when thinking about general singing quality.

But still, some people just aren't meant to do certain things.
You've made it very clear to us what sort of a band you are, and very clear that he doesn't have the ability or mentality to work well with it. If he doesn't have a voice that fits your kind of sound, then he will only continue to drag you down.

In my opinion, replacing him would be the most reasonable and productive thing to do.
If he doesn't like what the band does, he should leave.
As far as passing the basic singer test, I'd say he does it alright, but simply to us (our sound, our "genre", which we can't define yet) he lacks the depth and power needed to impress an audience. You know, to be on the same level of the drummer, the bassist and the rhythmic lead guitar (me).

It's just, he's a cool guy, no doubt, but I'm focusing completely on the music here. He sends me music that I feel is pure irritation to hear, while prompting me to take notes on how they play their guitars and adjust my sound to them, while bitching over that we must never sound anyway near Biffy Clyro or anything (you get the point).

I've spoken to the bassist and we've agreed on after talking it through with the drummer, we will discuss this a final time with him and see the outcome. The conclusion to this thread (and thank you for everything), will be that he can sing, though most likely not for us or contribute to the band in any reasonable way, orientation-wise.
He has to go. If he was on the same page as you in terms of musical direction, I would say give him a chance at lessons. God knows, taking lessons helped me immensely. The caution with that, though, is that lessons take time. For me, that was measured in years. How long do you want to wait?

But let's say you did hang on to him while he took lessons for a couple years or more. You're not musically on the same page. You want to be a popular band. He sounds like he is of the (what I like to call) the "indie for indie's sake" variety. "We suck on purpose because we're artists and blah, blah, blah." Whatever. I've always thought you can be good and be artistic, but I never did buy into the indie aesthetic, so maybe I just don't totally get it. This sounds, to me, exactly the problem between you and him or between your band and him.

It's not going to work. Your differences are not only musical, but artistically philosophical as well.

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.
Axemanchris: that exact indie definition was what I've looked for all the time! Thank you! I don't dig that indie thought too, since to me it'll just make me feel like that I have to play bad in order to please a very, very small audience. As a band we do not suck, we actually play so people dance, "mosh" and get a good vibe / feeling when we're off the stage. And that's even though we're new and somewhat inexperienced still.

And I back you up on the thought about being good and artistic, so many bands have accomplished that while still having a sound that doesn't make you want to bail because of all the avantgarde playing, that just HAS to sound like a bad excuse for not actually having any talent or is not serious at all.

I'm taking a big note on that one dude. I'll probably get back in the future to tell about how things are progressing.

Again, thank you (all).
Not all (or many) indie bands want to sound bad and don't want to be popular. Lots of indie bands do sound good, and if they don't to you then they do to themselves. It's kindof close minded to say an entire genre is like that, when there are so many popular indie bands who make songs that people like.

I agree that some people who listen to music that isn't popular listen to just just because it isn't popular, but this is true for any type of music that isn't pop.
No, no, you misunderstand. It's not that type of "Indie" as you may know it. What we're discussing are more the indie hardcore scene / grindcore-ish scene, which the person I'm talking about has roots in and likes very much.

I have respect for all genres, don't get a wrong picture of me, I just do not understand some of them. If you mean indie like indie pop or indie rock, then I'm also a fan of those sounds. Our singer though kicks down anything that does not involve strange, non-catchy riffs (not abstract riffs, pretty simple riffs just played over and over again at shredding speed) and very experimental lyrics that are just on the verge of open mic poetry.

Sorry for giving you a wrong impression dude. To me, I respect any genre of music even though I do not understand it completely and in some cases not have the interest in understanding them.
Well, the simple solution: Kick him out. Find someone who can sing, and, more importantly write their own melodies.

However, I would bet good money that a part of the reason he doesn't "sound good" or interesting is because of your melodies, man. Has he ever tried writing the melodies? Maybe you want to try that. Writing good melodies can be tough, so when you find a new singer, make sure he/she is interested in it.
Trust me, I (and all members of the band) have their say when it comes to the melodies. I just create "it" and then it develops into a final version through the entire band's effort. He has written a base riff once, but well, we modified it a lot after discovering how it sounded so much close to AFI's Miss Murder.

What I am talking it about is mostly the "technical" part of his singing. All the feedback we get is that we sound really well, but it's a shame that our vocalist drags us down. My bet would be that he would be better off in a band that suits his musical interests and allows him to develop his way of singing into what is "good" in those scenes, you know?

Melody-wise, they are very easy to write cliché-ish, but singable lyrics to, but his lyrics are extremely avant-garde. I like them though, but the composition of his lyrics are so complex that it makes it hard for him to actually sing out loud. Again, when he does allow himself the opportunity, it simply does not sound great.

What we have decided on for the future (I just recently spoke to the drummer) is that we will work more on that the lyric / melody-making will be much more a team-effort than just a one-man-show (speaking more of the lyrics than the melodies though). To make it all more democratic, so it becomes "our" music instead of "this guy's lyrics and our melodies".

But definitely, we will hold some pretty dense auditions so we can get someone who we connect to, while sharing somewhat the same musical direction.
The singer pulls a band together. Without a decent singer you'll never get the feedback you want. In my previous band our singer was the same way. He lacked power, tone, pitch and lyrics were also to poetic to be sung. He would sing songs in this voice that sounded like Kermit the Frog mixed with Isaac Slade from the Fray. It was awful, but he thought it was good. My advice being to tell him what you are telling everyone here and see if he can improve and if he can't meet your standards then look for another singer. Good luck.
Your opinion is just that, YOUR opinion. It doesn't make you right. It doesn't make you better. It doesn't make you god. Everyone has their own view and that view is neither right or wrong.

Ignorance destroys music.
Quote by samick007
I didn't read the entire thing, but I say kick him out and find someone new. A band can't sound good without a good singer.

+1 to that.
I didn't read the whole thing either. But i did get where u were going with it.
If you don't like the vocalist and he's not fitting into the band, let go of him. Find a better vocalist.
Thank you, we will. The band meeting will be tomorrow, where we will also decide on a new and well...most likely a final name. Thanks for the comments everyone.
Band is actually built around a singer. He doesn't have to be composer, but he is the front man. You've got to understand that anyone who is not an instrument player will first focus on your singer. He stands out and that's a period. If you guys suck, he will get the most of the blame, if you guys rock, he will get the most of the praise. So I say ditch him and find more compatible person to fit your musical genre and your needs, and do not forget that that person has to be someone who will fit in with you guys on a personal relationship level.
I say boot his ass. The same thing happened to Iron Maiden with their original singer, Paul Diano (sp?), and look where they are now.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
same thing happened to me...no one in my area was up for singing except one guy and well..it was way off

so i kicked his ass out and now i do vocals and play lead guitar

its kinda hard but we kinda do a pink floyd thing (i sing some parts and the rhythm guitarist sings the other parts)