"A Gig is a Gig"

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by scottro202, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Ryan-ZenGtr-

    Ryan-ZenGtr- SS.org Regular

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    Hate to overpost, but THIS IS PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT TOPIC ON HERE...

    The is the essence of a rebuttal from a promoter-type to the article mentioned above...

    "Musicians are lazy and don't promote shows which don't visibly exploit them: pay-to-play is a motivator forcing bands to promote the show"

    I know this angle to be valid, but it is a dangerous crutch for venues. He did say one important thing in his rebuttal:

    Hustle! :D

    Remember: promotion is 99.9% of the entertainment industry.

    Put it this way, if I wrestled a bear shred into the woods.... and there's no one there to .... etc. etc. etc.


    All obvious, I know, but it might help someone. :) Which is why we're all here, right? :)
     
  2. InTheRavensName

    InTheRavensName Dog says yes ^.^ Yes

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    Depends really. For me, Death Knell is more of a hobby than a serious career prospect. I don't really think we're going to get massive, and it's not a prospective career for me, so I'll play anywhere that has the means to put us on, for nothing, or for money...whatever's offered. Wouldn't pay to play though, plenty of free slots out there...
     
  3. petereanima

    petereanima Br00tal Bubbly Mofo

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    A gig is a gig, and thats it. Getting out there and play gigs is why i started this band, and one of the main reasons why i'm still doing this.

    Our standards are:
    .) We dont play with bands who are associated with any Nazishit. NSBM or anything like that can suck it. Nor do we play for bookers/venues who are associated with this kind of stuff. Not because of the music, but because you lose ALL reputation once you are associated with those alikes.

    .) We dont pay to play. We DO sell tickets, thats fine for us and REALLY understandable from the bookers POV. With the bookers we have worked/are working, they do their job fine and promote the hell out of the shows, they just dont want to lose cash and need us as an additional source for getting people to the show. We bring them, so its all fine.

    And thats it. If the rest of the lineup is poppunk...i dont fucking care, if only 2 people in the room like us, we have 2 followers more and it was worth it. Even further: A gig like this is even more important than playing again the same venue as usual, in front of the same 50 people as usual.

    And i really dont want to be a dick here - but if you decline gigs because another band on the bill has breakdowns, or clean emo-vocals, or <insert cliche-trademark here>,...do you have any plans on getting "bigger"? And i dont mean "ZOMGNEXTBROOTALZSUPERSTAR", but just a BIT bigger than you actually are? Because if so, i would drop that attitutde. You dont have to like the music of the other bands on the bill, but with such an attitude you wont get any further, you will keep playing the same 3 gigs every year, in the same 3 venues, with the same 3 other local bands, who are too "true" to play anything else.

    Chances are, that a big part of the audience of a more "trendy" band (with breakdowns and/or...blabla), is also interested in real death metal bands. You dont want to get new listeners? Then you can as well stop gigging.

    Summed up: If you want to get out there, you must prostitute yourself. To death. Other option is to stay in the garage. Its sad, and i dont like it, but thats how it is.
     
  4. Albionic

    Albionic First of the magi

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    money has never been an issue for me. unless you are a well established band with record deal and a decent following there is no money in it where i live (south east of england)we just about covered fuel costs

    if you really want to make good money you have to learn to play a few hundred covers and play weddings and parties.the other guitarist in my band did this and it became a job and not fun at all

    ive played to clubs with 10 people in, played for nothing, played with indie bands,punk bands, black metal bands, even a band that had a drummer bass player and a theramin:lol:.

    bear in mind if you play a club in a town for 10 people if you do a good show those ten will tell their friends and next time you play the town there will be more and so on.

    i have always been prepared to play anywhere to anyone with anyone
     
  5. SD83

    SD83 SS.org Regular

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    Yep. Also, I'm not sure what you guys mean by getting paid... on most gigs, we got drinks for free, sometimes food, most of the gigs there were like 20-40 € per band... there was one gig last year where we got 100€, but that was by far the most we ever got unless we didn't organize the gig. And given the competition in this area, I'm/we're fine with that. Give us something to drink, pay the fuel for our journey and show us where to plug in our amps and place the drumset and we'll play there. There might be exceptions, but yes, a gig is a gig.
     
  6. petereanima

    petereanima Br00tal Bubbly Mofo

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    Exactly. I mean - as always, it depends on the situation. If the gig is good (many (for us: new) people are expected, i would play without gas-money also...we usually get ~ 50,-, and thats totally fine. Some pay us more, thats even better - but meanwhile,a s we played almost every single club in a big part of the country, i know most bookers, and if i see that he had 30 people paying entry, and still has to pay the touring headliner, i tell him to keep the gas-money, and that he can return the favour next time.

    In the end: t must be FAIR. If i see that the booker has several 100s of people paying entry, drinks are running at the bar, i insist on the money of course.

    Actually, there was only 1 time i got angry, which was when the booker didnt even provide water for the supporting bands, but had to PAY for it. Thats the only time i started a bit of a "fight", but besides that? Nah, its usually all cool.
     
  7. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I don't remember if I made this distinction earlier, but I'll say it now.

    "Gig" has the understanding that one is getting paid.

    Otherwise, you might as well play for free at an open mic event.

    And, if you have to *pay* to play at that open mic, then you're even worse off.

    ----

    Before someone mentions that there are times that one can play for free as a charitable act, I have done this as well. I still have a written contract with the performing conditions, with the value of our playing on the contract as a donation. The people still have to return a signed copy, so that I can use the contract as a receipt of having made a charitable donation.

    Doing this means I don't get treated like shit, like a lot of people who play for nothing but *don't* have a contract.

    The best part about *knowing* I'm making a charitable donation is that I can choose the organizations I want to donate to. It won't be to some scumbag who is making money off my donation....
     
    Ryan-ZenGtr- likes this.
  8. jamsea

    jamsea SS.org Regular

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    As someone who books shows (and works closely with the medium to large scale club promoter in my area) having bands sell tickets is a legitimate way to raise attendance. It's also the only way to get most local bands off their ass to promote.

    Being a "good" band doesn't matter because everyone's definition of "good" is different, and everyone thinks their band is good whether they're good or not. My friends in a progressive metal band think they're good because they have a million odd time signatures in their songs, my friends in a hardcore punk band think their good because their recordings are 100% DIY, and my friends in a pop punk band think they're good because they sing. You can't pay venue rental fees or out of town band guarantee's with cool riffs and good times.

    Concert promoters are the last person to get paid at the end of the night, put the most financial risk into a show. Sure there's a bunch of sleazy ones, but try backing a $3000+ show with your own money and losing $1000 and see how many 12 band/$10 ticket all local shows you throw together after to try to make some of your money back. I've seen a show that had prime time radio ads run twice a day for a month and the band appearing on Much Music (Canadian equivalent of MTV) the day before tank.

    TL;DR It's the smaller pay to play shows that pay for the bigger flops.
     
  9. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    I'm not against playing a bill of bands unlike our music, I'm more concerned with the fact if we're a straight-ahead rock band, would a venue put us on the same bill as a bunch of metalcore bands? Or would a metalcore venue even BOOK a straight-ahead rock group? That's why the style of music is an issue to me, not because I don't dig the music on the bill.
     
  10. petereanima

    petereanima Br00tal Bubbly Mofo

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    Over here, it happens. Not very often, but it happens. End of last year, we have been booked together with a straight rock band and a black metal band. Strange lineup, but it worked! Oh, and I was of course not referring to you with my previous post!

    For me, a "Gig" implies nothing but "my band can play on that bill that evening". But again - it always depends on the situation! If the gig is a big "chance", lets say a support slot for a big band out of the same genre as you are (read: lots of new people, your "target group" mainly, who havent heard of you yet), than honestly: getting paid is not my main-concern. If its a locals-only show, and i know we are responsible or a big part of the audience, i expect to get paid, and of course we settle those things straight in advance!
     
  11. SD83

    SD83 SS.org Regular

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    If having a written contract is mandatory to call it "a gig", then I never played one. At least I can't remember ever having one. Even for those gigs that my band organized, we never had a written contract with the venue...
     
  12. Albionic

    Albionic First of the magi

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    what used to happen in this country is a club/pub will have a band/metal/rock night which is generally full of locals who are there for the social scene and turn up whoever plays and no matter how good you are they will not follow you to other venues.

    most bands can get a small following but most people in this country will really only pay over about £5 to see a band who they listen to at home.

    if you really want people to know who you are you have to be prepared to play for nothing and practically give cd's away.

    in our town we could play to a crowd of about 150 people in one club and would have the place jumping and get loads of compliments but the next week we'd be 10 miles down the road and not one person turn up from the other place they'd be still at the same club with their mates complaining about the terrible band that had turned up to "their" club this week.

    we found the best way to do it was to book a club night get about 6+ bands to play call it a festival and promote it as if it was ozzfest well in advance. having the night on a holiday (especially halloween) helps.

    but i guess you can't really do that every weeek
     
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  13. rotebass

    rotebass SS.org Regular

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    Lol, every show at the Blind Dog? :wavey:
     
  14. Joeywilson

    Joeywilson Banned

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    I think its kind of insulting to play a show and not get paid, bands should at least get gas money so they arn't losing out. Paying to play is lame.
     
  15. jamsea

    jamsea SS.org Regular

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    :p Blind Dog is all we have for all ages shows, whether we like it or not. It's not a terrible venue though (we either play there or The Coach most months). Waaaay better then the chubby pickle was (especially when it had that stupid inverted circle stage)
     
  16. Soubi7string

    Soubi7string WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP

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    My band gets booked with bands completely outside our genre.we always have booked with core bands and Christian bands(in which I stand outside only to still have someone bother me about either or lol) and then there's the select times we have some actual death metal and grindcore on the bill.
    Nonetheless explorer has the plan, contract and guarantee and if the place doesn't want it then they don't want you.
     
  17. Kride

    Kride Idjit

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    This

    We've got a couple of times like 200EUR for a gig as well but mostly it's gas money, beer, good, etc. Gig is a gig, sometimes we play with rock/pop bands but mostly with metal bands. Always fun times. Starting band shouldn't be too snobby where to play JMO.
     
  18. krypter

    krypter SS.org Regular

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    My policy has always been if its less than a half tank of gas away, we'll play for free.

    Period.

    Two reasons:
    1. Is there anything MORE fun than playing a show? I mean honestly? What am i going to do say "no sir, i will NOT play your show even though its close. If you won't pay me, I'd rather sit at home and play computer games" Negative. PLaying a show is fun! I'd rather do that than anything else on earth. So...yea, i'll play.

    2. Fans. To me the name of the "early game" as i call it, is FANS. Fan base. Building a brigade of fans that will go see you will allow you to get paying gigs else where. Everything...and i mean EVERYTHING in the entertainment industry boils down to fans. The more you have, the better your career is. Thats.....thats the whole point.
    So at the early level i'm far far far more concerned with building a fan base than i am getting $100 to do what i'd want to be doing anyway. If we play a show and get 1 fan then it was successful. Play enough of those and you build a big enough fan base to "headline" and ask for part of the door.

    Besides, if i say "hey mr. venue guy, we'll drive the 10 miles to your place and play for you...for free!" Then, after we rock the joint, bring some folks in, and act like professional, respectable musicians, he'll have us back. And this time we'll ask for a cut.
    If we sell a few shirts and whatever while we're there? All the better.


    On the note of playing shows with different musical styles...well....if it falls (at all) under the genre's larger "umbrella" then sure. we'll play. Example: Black Metal, Prog Metal, Thrash, and metalcore all fall under the "metal" umbrella. We're a metal band. So, count us in. So on and so forth. Even if its punk, hard rock, and Prog rock, we'll play as we're a "classic american metal" type band, and those fall under the "logical extension of musical tastes" umbrella. (example: i like the Ramones, Van Halen, and Dream Theater so we'd fit)
    I mean, does ANYONE know a mass amount of people that ONLY listen to ONE genre? I don't. I listen to all types of stuff. And can appreciate lots of different things.

    Just play man! How bad could it be? Its a chance for you and your buds to hang out, play some rock music, and knock back a few. To hell with paydays and contracts until your career makes that a logical choice. Besides you NEVER know who you'll meet. And what could be more fun on a friday night than hanging out with your buds, playing rock music, and knocking back a few? Nothing.
     
  19. rotebass

    rotebass SS.org Regular

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    I like The Coach, really nasty room but has a good vibe for live bands, I actually don't mind The Chubby Pickle. Blind Dog is very hit or miss for me, if the place is full (Dooms Day Fest last year) it can be fun, but nothing is worse than playing a venue that big when it is empty.
     
  20. lookralphsbak

    lookralphsbak SS.org Regular

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    I get what you're saying but our genre is symphonic death doom. We've gotten billed with hardcore/hardcore influenced bands. We don't mind playing with deathcore/hardcore etc but we would rather not. If we're friends with the band we'll play but as far as bands that attract pit ninjas, that's not our scene. I don't know how familiar you are with the NYC metal scene or NYHC scene, it's violent, especially when you get pitting crews involved.

    I know you won't always get billed with bands you like but I'd rather play with a death metal or black metal band over a deathcore or hardcore band.
    It's not the actual band, it's the fans. I don't support the violence they bring to the pit and I wouldn't want that happening during our set. Our first show our drummer brought his hxc tough guy friends to our show, they were dancing during our set and crowd bashing, a fight started and shit blew up. That was the first turn off, and that was after we warned him not to bring his hxc friends to our shows.
     

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