"A Gig is a Gig"

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

  1. Ill-Gotten James

    Ill-Gotten James SS.org Regular

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    For me personally I prefer to play shows that pay a set amount. Having to worry about pre-selling tickets, or a head count can be a pain in the ass. The band I am in will play shows for free, but only if the venue will generate a decent amount of new exposure for our band. Hence, being a coattail rider for an evening. Last, ideally while I love the stage, audience satisfaction of the music really drives me to preform better and put my all into the show. Playing a venue with bands of the same genre, or sub-genre really helps. If you're metalcore, try finding some other metalcore bands to play with, if the music is post-punk, then look for other bands in that scene to play with. Yeah I like the music that I play, but I want other people to enjoy it too. What I don't want is a bunch of people just standing there cringing, waiting for the next act, that happens to play music that is a polar opposite of the music that I play. However, depending on what your goals of the band are, a gig might just be a gig. If a gig is just a gig to you, then play every show you can. Otherwise, it does not hurt to be a little picky... but not too picky.

    This is just my 2 cents.
     
  2. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    When it comes to rock and many metal variants, most people I know are cool with most of it but there is definitely a divide when it comes to 'extreme' styles. 99% of my friends are more 'rock' fans than 'metal' and will never like stuff with blastbeats or growlies or super tech-y/prog-y shit that's hard to follow. They're the type who will make comments like 'that shit's not even music!' so it's really hard to get them to come out to any metal show ever. This is why we're thinking of booking shows with regular rock bands and starting to call ourselves hard rock instead of metal.
     
  3. krypter

    krypter SS.org Regular

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    good note. Extreme styles aren't always applicable to my "umbrella" rule. Being a "classic american metal" kind of sound we don't fit well on "extreme" bills. But in smaller local areas you'll be hard pressed to find a bill 100% made up of "extreme" bands.

    Anyway, your point stands though. Good exception.
     
  4. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    So, that venue, I refused to book in the OP.

    Guess who just sent them an email when they posted they want a rock/hard rock band for a show next month? :lol:
     
  5. McKay

    McKay ʎɐʞɔW

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    :lol:

    Good luck not making every promoter in the area despise you for being arrogant and greedy. It's shit but that's the way it is.
     
  6. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    Depends on your motivations, actually. Have I accepted non-paying gigs in front of large-ish audiences as a fanbase builder? Yes, since being "good" has very little to do with, as a club owner friend of mine says all the time, "putting assess in the seats". If you kick ass on those shows, you usually make a pretty decent merch turn, anyway.

    Then again, I have one band that ONLY plays when it gets paid, but that's a different kettle of fish. So it all depends on long-term goals.

    That said, there's nothing I hate more than Pay To Play - I will NOT pay for tickets in advance and then get stuck with them. Our usual arrangement during ticket sales is we get paid $X.XX per ticket sold, but we don't pay anything upfront. I don't like ticket sales much - it allows a promoter to be lazy simply because they have venue control, in a lot of cases - but I'm not against the idea if it benefits us as well.
     
  7. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Hmm.

    That is such a weird attitude. Why would someone who understands that it's a business think that you're greedy for also looking after your bottom line?

    When I was playing music as a full-time pro, I was earning to support a family, not just getting my jollies by wanking on stage. *That* is probably one of the best explanations for the differences in attitude in this thread, the fact that it was my main job.

    I never had a problem with paying for a booking agent, instead of doing that myself. The agent was more plugged in, and earned her keep by getting paying jobs for us. Was *she* greedy? *laugh*

    I like the idea that anyone would be judged as greedy for getting a decent job.

    ----

    Look, as I believe I pointed out earlier, it all depends on what your looking for. If you're looking to earn a living as a musician, it's an entirely different mindset from thinking about getting on stage and playing in front of people. If you're seriously pursuing music as a living, then although you will be perfroming for people, that isn't the main goal. Playing a vanity show, where you're paying some promoter to play on some stage, isn't putting food in front of your kid.

    Incidentally, that kid I worked to feed is now making money by playing music on stage. That kid doesn't pay to play, but instead finds out how much something would pay, and makes choices based on that. Well-run and -managed bands, booking agents, contracts, the whole nine yards.

    Now, with that in mind... how much credence do you think "pay to play" holds with me, when we're talking on the phone about upcoming gigs?

    Paying to play a gig, instead of getting paid... in my opinion, you're doing it wrong.

    But I could be wrong. How is that working out for ya?
     
  8. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    What are you playing that's actually making money? I'm guessing it's not what 99% of the people on this forum play (original metal) because you'd need to be a well-known name internationally to make a living at it. As far as I know you aren't unless you're hiding your identity :lol:
     
  9. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Assuming that question was directed at me, I think I noted that I no longer play professionally. I was in the DC area at the time.

    I did talk to my kid today, as he called me to talk about an upcoming road tour he'll be doing. I asked him if he ever plays for free. He said he occasionally will do charity gigs, but that he couldn't afford to work for nothing. Otherwise he'd have to get a day job, and do music as a hobby....

    Anyway, I'm out of the conversation. I'm sure there are lots of good arguments for the other side, even though I never bought into it.

    Cheers!
     
  10. McKay

    McKay ʎɐʞɔW

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    I'll rephrase then, 'if you're playing metal or anything similar'.

    Where I live promoters will blacklist you for asking for anything more than petrol money and a few quid if they're putting you on a good gig. I know this because I know a few pretty well. Fact is, unless you're in a big, popular band, the promoter won't make much money at all. They only give riders and any large sum of money to bands that pull big crowds.
     
  11. Unclemonkel

    Unclemonkel SS.org Regular

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    A lot of local venues are total holes, and it sucks to play in a place where you don't feel valued for the amount of work you put into preparing for the show.
    It sucks standing around a shitty venue, definitely.

    But for me, the moment I start playing is the moment I stop caring about how shitty the venue is, or how much I'm not making that night. Playing music fucking rocks, so I'll take the chances I can to do it.

    Besides, girls love rock stars.
     
  12. noob_pwn

    noob_pwn SS.org Regular

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    My advice: put up with shit shows, not getting paid, playing with shit bands, playing to no crowds. Bands don't die of exposure, that's bullshit. If nobody knows who you are they wont buy your shit or watch you play.
    After 2.5 years of shit, my band got signed today and this is what we had to do to get to this point, all over the country.
    Yeah it matters where you play and who with but take what you can get and don't get ahead of yourself too early, learning to be humble and really appreciating the good shows is very important. If you don't work your ass off and don't take every opportunity you come across, don't expect to get anywhere.
    just my 2c
     
  13. brootalboo

    brootalboo My boo

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    Wow. Just wow. I can't believe some of the stuff I've read in this thread (not in a bad way, just surprised!).

    In Los Angeles, you NEED to sign a contract saying you will sell a fixed amount of tickets before you play for almost EVERY venue if you are a local band. The Whiskey, House of Blues, Viper Room, Troubador, etc, unless you know somebody that's booking the show (and for us those shows come VERY rarely).

    For the people saying you don't play a show unless you are paid (and that you aren't good enough until you start getting paid), where do you start off? Do you just start doing promotion online before you ever get somebody to pay for you?

    I'm very surprised because in my band, a show that you get to play free is a BLESSING. The norm is pay to play around here. I guess it's different depending on what city you live in.
     
  14. BrianUV777BK

    BrianUV777BK Riffmiester General

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    Sooooooooooo effing true!
     
  15. BrianUV777BK

    BrianUV777BK Riffmiester General

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    I've played gigs where we had to sell X amount of tickets for X amount of money and we get to keep $2 from each ticket but we had to sell a minimun amount of tickets or else we were paying for the unsold tix. I've done that opening for Overkill, Black Dahlia Murder, Decapitated, Exodus and some others I can't remember.

    I've also played gigs were there were no tickets but ya got maybe $5 bucks from every head you brought in the door that said your name.

    I've mostly played gigs where there was no money at all.

    Either way you look at it as long as there is a crowd and you get a good response....."a gig is a gig" to me.

    I did just play a suck ass gig this past Saturday where they booked my hard rock/progressive band with 3 pop punk bands. The venue was new and further than most of our limited fan base wanted to travel. They put us on last. THe 3 pop punk bands were all friends and left as soon as they were done and took their few fans with them. So it was one of those "play for your girlfriends" gigs.
     
  16. chronocide

    chronocide Total Grind Hell

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    Varies depending on the band.

    I used to dep for wedding/function gigs. I played pretty much 3 gigs a week, every week, for five years. I rarely did a gig for less than £150, I would do some for a bit less if the band were friends of mine or if I thought it'd lead to more work.

    With bands, one of mine will play pretty much anything.

    Another will do most things so long as we've not played in that area much recently and especially if we think we'll play to people who will likely be into us, or who we can really upset. Yes, that's a genuine statement, we're an extremely hard-left band in terms of vibe and lyrics and play very uncomfortable doom/sludge/noise, and we enjoy playing to people who we can annoy politically or musically.

    Another of mine will only do very specific gigs. If we're asked to play with bands we're big fans of or it's a good opportunity. We live 400 miles apart so the logistics of rehearsing means it really needs to be something worthwhile.
     
  17. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I remember seeing footage of Christian band Dove, the Band of Love, playing at a Republican fundraiser. They spent a long time on the intro to Worried Man, at least 8 minutes, with the singer continually lifting the mic like he was going to sing and then letting another repeat of the intro swing by. It was extremely painful to watch, and I believe Dove, the Band of Love, got pulled off stage and kicked out after a long drawn-out intro that went... nowhere. *laugh*

    Which suited the members of Dove, the Band of Love, just fine, as they were actually Devo extending the Dadaist philosophy behind the band.

    I couldn't find the footage on YouTube, but I know I have it on some Devo video or another....
     
  18. Leuchty

    Leuchty Previously CYBERSYN

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    In short...

    YES. A gig is a gig. You never know WHO is watching.

    My band is still hanging for more and more shows. We take anything and everything. If we get to play live, we're happy.
     
  19. Soubi7string

    Soubi7string WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP

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    my band Wideyedaze would play with yours <3 lol :shred: :shred: :cool:
     
  20. Leuchty

    Leuchty Previously CYBERSYN

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    :wub:
     

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