#1
Hey
I've searched and whatnot, but my question isnt answered in those posts.
Me and my bandmate were having a discussion on what we think a frontman should do, after we played a gig where I (frontman) didnt talk much to the audience, and so the other member came up and talked to the crowd through my mic.
So, my question is, what are your opinions on what a good frontman should do? I'd prefer a frontman who doesnt talk much (just the thank-yous and occasional conversation), while the other member says the more talking the better, kind of thing? Is there a happy medium, and if so, what?
Thanks
#2
I liek it when a singer is a proepr singer who puts an a crazy live show and like interacts with the crowd talking to them and stuff.

yeh..
lmao
#3
It's up to what you and your band prefers.
If you're not the best speaker, let someone else do the talking.
If you like speaking to the audience, then go ahead and talk.

Just remember the cardinal rule: You can't talk about the song longer than the song is.
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#4
if you dont feel like talkin let someone else, maybe tell about the band or the name of the song yer about to play
#5
i like it when two of the band talk to the crowd like Killswitch engage (Howard and adam) and they alwyas put on great shows coz they are so energetic and interactive with the crowd
#6
you you gotta talk and BS get the crowd goin i saw bob dylan i dont even think he said 1 thank u at the end of the show lol
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#7
You guys could all talk a little bit and have some small conversations to get the crowd going. Taking Back Sunday were really good at this. Just DON'T say inside jokes or you'll alienate everyone.
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#8
Yeah basicaly, a frontman intruduces the songs, says 'thankyou' after applause, occasionaly says something entertaining or informative (such as telling the crowd when the new album will be released or where you can check the band's website out or when and where the band will be playing next), and is generaly the voice of the band.
Anyone else who talks on stage, like for instance if you have a little shared banter between the band, is known as a 'stooge' and is regarded as someone who helps the frontman with his job of being the voice of the band but isn't actualy a 'frontman' himself.
A good frontman shouldn't talk too much however because most audiences have come to see a band play music, not to see some guy in the band make a speech or audition as a comedian.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Aug 1, 2008,
#9
Agreed entirely.

Just to elaborate a bit more, though.....

From this basic philosophy is where 'personal style' or 'personality' comes in. There are many types of front-men.

At one end, you have your crazy-@ss wildman who screams and gets the audience all fired up.... like Steven Tyler. This is the person that has you leaving the concert feeling like you've just attended a party. If that's you, and that style of presentation fits your music, then go for it. If it is NOT you (as in, you have to force it), or if doesn't fit your style of music, then do NOT go there. You will be trying too hard, and the audience, despite your best efforts, will think you are lame.

At the other end is your humble appreciative, down-to-earth type. This is the person who goes out and is nothing but themselves, and you leave the concert feeling like you've just made a friend. One who is brilliant like this - and is really genuinely warm and funny (and not a front MAN) is Jann Arden.

CT
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#10
Quote by DopeDanny
you you gotta talk and BS get the crowd goin i saw bob dylan i dont even think he said 1 thank u at the end of the show lol

Well, even if he did talk all you would hear is "mumble mumble" and then he'd chuckle
#11
There is no hand book on how to be a good frontman.

BUT frontmen are the ones who talk for the band most of the time.
Last edited by herman ri2 at Aug 1, 2008,
#12
Thanks for the input guys, its appreciated
I'm probably gonna keep to the latter of axemanchris' examples, its more suited to my character, and the music we play as a band.
#13
Time,

As a frontman, you should get some tight leather pants and learn to twirl the microphone over your head like a helicopter. Just Kidding. Just try to be yourself and act natural... it will sound phony if you try to force anything. Avoid jokes at all costs... unless your name is Jerry Seinfeld or Dane Cook. Good luck.

Dish
#14
Quote by Dishburn
Time,

As a frontman, you should get some tight leather pants and learn to twirl the microphone over your head like a helicopter. Just Kidding. Just try to be yourself and act natural... it will sound phony if you try to force anything. Avoid jokes at all costs... unless your name is Jerry Seinfeld or Dane Cook. Good luck.

Dish


And make him look like an idiot

TS, do what you want to do, you don't have to interact with the audience if you don't want to. Thanking them and everything is fine.
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#15
It depends on what you talk about, and how you deliever it. For example, Shinedown's Brent Smith talks A LOT, more than any one I've ever seen, but it works for them. It really adds to their live shows. But if he was just saying something like "Hey guys, we're shinedown. This next song is a cool song, I like it. It's like, really cool and stuff. And it's new, so you probably don't know it, but if you do thats sweet. So we're going to do this ok...." you get the point.

EDIT:
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Shinedown's cover of Simple Man...perfect example
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Last edited by alienboy18241 at Aug 1, 2008,
#16
Quote by axemanchris
Agreed entirely.

Just to elaborate a bit more, though.....

From this basic philosophy is where 'personal style' or 'personality' comes in. There are many types of front-men.

At one end, you have your crazy-@ss wildman who screams and gets the audience all fired up.... like Steven Tyler. This is the person that has you leaving the concert feeling like you've just attended a party. If that's you, and that style of presentation fits your music, then go for it. If it is NOT you (as in, you have to force it), or if doesn't fit your style of music, then do NOT go there. You will be trying too hard, and the audience, despite your best efforts, will think you are lame.
CT


Agreed, and just to elaborate further.....
I'm obviously of the Ozzy Osbourne school of fronting a band, which is basicaly to run around like an escaped mental patient, act the goat and get up to all sorts of tricks while the band are playing, headbang as hard as you can to all the best bits of music, then when you do actualy talk to the audience, speak in a clear, concise and friendly manner, but to be honest I actualy had my act down waaaaay before I joined a Sabbath tribute.
That's one of the reasons why I was accepted into the band, because they all knew what I was like on stage and that it would suit the roll very well.
I'll use anything to hand just to get a bit of a laugh.
For instance, when Slack Babbath played at Whithaven Civic Hall, we were given a security guard who had to stand on stage with us at all times for our own protection, (I kid you not, don't ask, but I think it was something to do with the insurance. He had this belt with about 5 walkie talkies fastened to it, so we christened him 'Whitehaven's telecomunications centre.') so I found an old bucket backstage, spent ages ripping up every bit of paper I could find and filling the bucket with home made confetti, then I took it onstage with me and ran at the guy with it (Whitehaven is such a large stage, it made the 'running at him' bit look really affective) as if it was full of water, then threw it all over the guy, who actualy screamed 'Noooooooo!'
This was all during a song, and with many bands you just wouldn't get away with doing something so offputting to the other band members, but they're used to me now and they know that as far as the Ozzy act goes, it's fairly appropriate behaviour.

Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Aug 1, 2008,
#17
Quote by axemanchris
Agreed entirely.

Just to elaborate a bit more, though.....

From this basic philosophy is where 'personal style' or 'personality' comes in. There are many types of front-men.

At one end, you have your crazy-@ss wildman who screams and gets the audience all fired up.... like Steven Tyler. This is the person that has you leaving the concert feeling like you've just attended a party. If that's you, and that style of presentation fits your music, then go for it. If it is NOT you (as in, you have to force it), or if doesn't fit your style of music, then do NOT go there. You will be trying too hard, and the audience, despite your best efforts, will think you are lame.

At the other end is your humble appreciative, down-to-earth type. This is the person who goes out and is nothing but themselves, and you leave the concert feeling like you've just made a friend. One who is brilliant like this - and is really genuinely warm and funny (and not a front MAN) is Jann Arden.

CT


on this, i would also point out that context is an important thing. i think its generally better to be the latter when you're starting out and playing shows. there's nothing more cringeworthy than a guy treating a room with fifty people in like its wembley stadium or something. sure, 'star quality' is nice, but don't become parody.
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#18
Frontmen don't need to talk

One gig i went to had one band in particular

The rest of the band were solid, knew what they were doing musically just wrote awful music

The frontwoman (in this case) was totally absorbing, energetic, controled an audience perfectly and only said hello and goodbye to the crowd

And in other gigs thee frontmen/women are friendly with the crowd which gets people onside and gets them into the band more as the frontman is seen as friend type person
#19
I have absolutely no personal experience fronting a band, but from what I glean, I would say the less an act your frontman act is, the better. The frontmen I enjoy the most are those whose offstage personality is just the same as their onstage personality, with the volume turned down a little.
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#20
well to keep a equal sharing band happy, A frontman shouldnt hog all the glory, I.E Alexi Laiho, Dave Mustaine, i like both bands but c'mon they ARE the bands.

I front a band, and talk to crowd, because im the singer, im expected to do it, but i wouldnt expect everyone to expect me to be the entire band.
jesus im bull****ting now lol
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#21
and yes above guy, Frontman are usually centres of media attention, that shouldnt be, try have it like the way Maiden is, everyone is noticed xD
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#22
Quote by toweringdeath
and yes above guy, Frontman are usually centres of media attention, that shouldnt be, try have it like the way Maiden is, everyone is noticed xD

You make it sound as if most frontmen actualy purposly set out to become the centre of media attention for their band, that's not the way it usualy works though.
You start a band, someone has to sing, you're the best singer, so you do it.
Because you're the singer, you become the frontman,
Because you're the frontman, you're expected to talk to the audience,
Because you talked to the audience, then the audience, including any media that are present, assume you are the spokesperson for he band.
Because they assume this, they ask to interview you.
Because you and the rest of your band really want the exposure, you agree to it.
Suddenly you're the centre of media attention.

If a journalist interviews an entire band and everyone apart from the singer is a little shy (which often happens, that's why the singer is the frontperson anyway, because he's the least shy of the band) then that singer will come across as having a lot more interesting things to say than the rest of his band. The journalist will practicaly ignore the rest of the band and concentrate on the one member who seems to have something to say in order to make their written piece as interesting to their readers as is humanly possible.

Each member of Iron Maiden are 'media friendly' because each member of Iron Maiden has been a professional musician for the past 25-30 years, and if they weren't media friendly when they started off, then they have learned to be over many years of being in the business and have all developed a 'gift of the gab.' Something that the average vocalist/frontman generaly has because it usualy comes along with the confidence one must have in order to sing in public in the first place.
#23
Quote by toweringdeath
well to keep a equal sharing band happy, A frontman shouldnt hog all the glory,


...and the key there is keeping everyone happy.

With our band, I have basically 'fallen in' to the role of being the spokesperson for media and stuff. I set up the media interviews - print, TV, radio - for the most part, so I'm the guy that gets asked to speak.

However.... whenever I can, I try to bring at least someone else out with me. We only once had a radio interview where all of us were on. The rest of the radio and TV stuff has just been me. Either people can't make it, or they're just not really all that into it. Not that they're not into the band - just that they don't really have much desire to talk to press.

So I try to make sure at the very least that I mention the other band members, and the notion that we're a group and it's not all about me, even though I'm the only one talking.

And then (and this may be related to our situation, I don't really know) there are the people who are maybe uncomfortable with the whole thing and would otherwise wind up saying something stupid. I know one band where they used to try to interview together and one guy said something really inappropriate on a highly-watched show on national TV. After that, their management suggested, and the band agreed, that they would have one person who did TV/Radio to avoid that in the future.

As a spokesperson, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing media:
-promoting the band; mention an upcoming show, your web address, where to buy your CD, etc. - obvious
-who is watching/listening? Talk to your audience! A college radio audience is slightly different from a network TV audience.
-speak intelligently and articulately - not suggesting you have to use big words, but for most people, this is their one and only opportunity to get an impression of THE BAND - and you don't want everyone thinking your whole band is a bunch of idiots
-you are speaking for the band, not just for you (see immediately above)
-try to be endearing - be warm, honest, down-to-earth, etc. If people like you, they will be left with a positive impression.

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
One of the best things a front man can do as far as talking to the audience is to talk about what you think of as the meaning to a particular song while one of the other band members plays the opening riff over and over again to introduce it. This sounds especially cool when the front man is speaking in way that coincides rhythmically with the riff but not really singing. This is effective because it builds up expectation from the audience before the song actually starts and allows the front man to get a feel for the tempo.