Being in a band is tricky. It’s like being married to three or four people, in most cases sweaty guys with a million clashing ideas all pertaining to, “What do we do next?” So for those of you joining your first band or starting your first band or what have you, here’s a list of twenty things to NOT do next, in no particular order. Enjoy.
- Don’t Rush. I know this list is in no particular order, but this probably carries the most weight. See when you rush things in a band, you stress yourself, you stress your band mates, and you cause a huge load of problems. Music is a creative outlet, not a machine pumping out singles for starving hipsters, and your band mates are people not robots. If you rush it, you’re only asking for trouble, if it takes your band a year to write a song then that’s what it takes, the world will still be around when you put it out. Outkast said it best, “…the day by day rule can’t be too long….”
- Don’t Bitch About Money. For some ungodly reason it costs at least one or two hundred dollars to get a CRAPPY recording of just ONE song in some guys basement. For some ungodly reason if you don’t sell enough tickets the day of the show you need to pay the venue tons of cash just to play. For some unholy, villainous, disgusting reason WaWa coffee is not one dollar all year round. Add some rent, phone, car insurance, equipment repairs, new equipment, girlfriends, pets, Etc. Etc. And money becomes a huge issue, so don’t bitch about your tambourine player not having enough to cover his practice room fee, it’s always going to be tight until you open for Motley Crue, that’s just the way it is, be patient.
- Don’t Be A Dictator. Every band has a leader, that’s how things work. Someone always checks the emails, someone always sets up the shows, someone always has all the contacts. Always remember though that every band mate you have is completely capable of managing a local band, it doesn’t take a lot of work, only dedication. So don’t put yourself or anyone else on a pedestal, a band is a home, and no one likes being looked down upon in their own home.
- Don’t Compromise. Okay, I know this one kind of sounds a little weird, but trust me on this, as soon as you start compromising your musical beliefs for the benefit of four other dudes, you’re doomed. Think of it like this, Johnny joins a band named Dead Baby Murder Junkies, but he really wants to play in a band like Sunshine Flowers and the Spunky Monkeys. He’ll stay in DBMJ and put out an album or two, play a bunch of shows, and slowly die inside until he explodes and leaves the band to do what he really wanted to do in the first place. It’s always better when everyone has their heart in the same place, that way no one is hindering the band as a whole by questioning whether he even wants to be there or not.
- Don’t Fake It. If you love music, play it because you love it. If you’re up there on stage for any other reason you’ll be lucky to make it anywhere, you aren’t in Avenged Sevenfold. Don’t do it for a girl, or money, or blah blah blah blah blah, do it because you love it. End of story.