Things we've learned from hanging out with rockstars.
Having your other band members set up your stuff whilst you sit back stage is bullshit. Having them play an intro song so you can walk out after them is double bullshit. Everyone in your band is equal. Just because you’re the singer doesn’t make you the most important member.
If you’re a booker and you aren’t communicating with performers, sending worksheets, constantly sending information, making sure things run on time, helping with promotion and if you aren’t constantly reflecting and saying ‘what can I do better next time?’ then you are the problem and you are holding back a bunch of talented musicians and people who are there to pump money in to your venue. Get organised, get proactive and get friendly otherwise fuck off and think of some other money making scheme.
Being in a band doesn’t give you a right to be rude to anyone. Strumming some guitar strings and singing about your ex-girlfriend doesn’t give you a license to treat people like shit. Be nice, everyone has hobbies. Just because your hobby is being in a band doesn’t make you better than anyone else.
What’s going on with that one band member of every band who feels the need to dress up? Looks odd when 4 members are wearing their normal clothes and one guy is in some rainbow suit with a gasmask and a headband. Was there some kind of miscommunication at band practice?
If you want a show, ask for it. Don’t wait for people to call. Not how shit works. Be active, email and call bookers and remind them that you’re alive. It’s the best way to get shows. Complaining about never getting any shows and then going home and sitting on your couch waiting for the phone to ring is moronic. Take the first step.
One hour to sound check is too much. Hurts the brain and the ears. It’s called a sound check, not a band practice. Check your levels, do half a song and get the fuck off the stage.
Waiting for more people to arrive before you start is super rude to those people who got their early to see you. Don’t punish the early birds by waiting for the lazy unorganised jerks to get to the show.
Hey band, I know you have 7 songs. 6 old classics and a new one that you just gotta show off, but learn to pick your set and understand that you’re only doing yourself a disservice. You could be the greatest band in the world, but too long is too long. Leave us wanting for the next show. Advertise what time the bands will play and stick to those times. Good for everyone. People can plan their night, bands know what’s happening and the show can run smoothly. Nothing worse than leaving a friend’s birthday party early to rush to show to see a band only to learn they are playing in 2 hours time.
When you get an email, just reading it is not enough. Reply to it. Let others know you got it and understand it. Can’t over communicate. Don’t be lazy, yeah.
Yo boys, be nice to your girlfriends. We always see them helping carry gear, sticking around til the end of the show so you can get your money, sitting through your sound check, watching your shitty practices, listening to you talk about your band whilst you do your hair, making red bow ties from paper so you can look nice for 28 minutes on stage and running to All Days to buy you some snacks and a bottle of water.
Yo girls, read the above and then think about whether or not you still want to date a guy in a band.
Get a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your music. Do you like every band you hear? People will share their thoughts and criticisms. Don’t take it too personally. Just because they said ‘new song isn’t as good as your old song’ doesn’t mean ‘you’re a shit person and I hate you’ – just means ‘not digging your new stuff, no problem let’s still be friends!’ And honestly, your new song probably sucks.
Other bands aren’t your competition. Everyone wants the same thing. People at the show having a good time. Work together, yeah. Promote together, be nice to other bands, put on a good show that everyone can enjoy. Don’t sit in the backstage area patting yourself on the back and giving dirty looks to the other bands and pretending to be a rockstar. Support other bands by going out the front and watching them, talking to them, being a generally nice human being. Just because you saw it on a Michael Learns To Rock video doesn’t mean you have to do it at your show.
Drummers; you don’t need to show the crowd how to wave their arms back and fourth; people are people, they’ll do it if they want; don’t treat them like cattle.
Doing an encore when no-one cheered for it may be the worst thing ever.
Thanks for reading!