The dont's of live performance

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by 7 Dying Trees, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    As a 37 year old who's been in gigging bands since before he had his learner's permit to drive a car (15), I've seen so many bands do the whole 0-100 on an empty tank thing, and it never pans out.

    Going on tour with four songs written, even with a nebulous list of other song ideas to write sometime in between, is just silly. But a lot of bands do this. Pretty much every band I've ever seen that tried to do this had no idea what they were getting themselves into.

    I'm sure you have a ton of time invested with these guys, and yes, guitar players are a dime a dozen, but so are metalcore bands. Committing your vacation time, money, and energy to studio time and touring with a dime-a-dozen band without even a notable amount of material written would flat out be a financial mistake. I'm sure people in metalcore bands without material written will try to convince everyone otherwise, but if you have the time, you could probably track down a guitarist in his late 20's or early 30's who went through exactly what they want to put you through, who would advise against it.

    When you start a band, there's no "formula," but, as a rule of thumb:

    1. Settle on personnel.
    2. Settle on musical direction.
    3. Settle on a name.
    4. Write a handful of songs.
    5. Rehearse those songs until they are tight.
    6. Play some basement shows or local shows opening for other bands.
    7. Make a demo.
    8. Write more material.
    9. Then, if you've found a satisfactory level of success after step 8, go on tour or go into the studio.

    Stuff happens, and your band might need to go back to step one at any time. If it's a major upheaval, you might have to repeat through steps 2-8 again. :shrug: That's the part I hate most about being in a band - everything is so fleeting and people are so fickle.

    Is it possible to do this entire list backwards? No, I really don't think so. Maybe you write one song, come up with a name, then find band mates, and make a demo, and then go to the studio to write and record an album, but this only happens if you are independently wealthy, and even then you have virtually zero chance of success (Corey Feldman's musical career in a nutshell).
     
  2. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Well if it makes any difference, im actually the only one in the band that has never played out before. Everyone has played out before in other bands.

    Also, there actually arent too many metalcore bands in this area. Its mainly death/thrash with a select few djent and punk/hardcore bands sprinkled here and there.

    Its even more tough for me to break it off with everyone because we practice at my house. So everyones gear is at my house and i had to tell everyone basically time to pack it up and move on.

    My basement is so empty, all but everyones stuff packed to the side, ready to grab and load the van on saturday. Never to return to my basement.
     
  3. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    Unless you're doing it purely for the passion of doing it (which you're not), then it's a business decision. At least you made the right call to not get involved in what would be a bad decision for yourself. No business is better than bad business.

    However, it sounds like a good time to hit the ground running and learn all you can - including putting on a good show for people even if you don't feel it yourself. Because that'll happen, but the only people who matter are your audience. So rock the fuck out with all you have.

    Edit: you've probably performed already before you read this, but hope it went well regardless.
     
  4. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    We perform tonight. I am nervous, but im excited. Hopefully my nerves go away once we start playing!
     
  5. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    Two shots of whisky.

    Enough to smooth things out... not so much as to make you sloppy.
     
  6. MattThePenguin

    MattThePenguin SS.org Regular

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    It was one of those "there's 5 bands playing in 4 hours" kind of shows so things were pretty hectic. We went on second. If we went on first and I did that I should be exiled to Siberia

    Not trying to make excuses or anything, I know what I did wrong and I owned up to it haha, but it was my first show in 8 or so months.. new lineup... 1 rehearsal.. setup cut into our set because of the 5 band situation.. all things I could normally deal with when I'm in the right mindset playing shows every week or so.

    Also, I was certain it was from the band's perspective. Thank you for clarifying
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  7. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Here's one from my limited gigging experience :

    Don't bill yourself as something you're not / don't book gigs that are inappropriate for your band.


    I was in some kind of heavy fusion band led by the singer, who also had a solo acoustic act on the side. This singer booked a couple gigs as the acoustic act and then decided to bring the rest of us. So two days in a row we show up to 1. A tiny internet radio studio, and 2. A tiny coffee shop / laundromat with a full drum kit, two tiers of keyboards (mine), 1000w of bass amp, a guitarist, and a singer with a massive PA besides. It was embarrassing to say the least.

    I quit the band after that second show (there were other reasons as well, but not wanting to play more shows like that was the main thing), shortly followed by the rest of the band, sans singer. Our guitarist took the lead at that point, but did the same thing. Billed us as "American Rock and Roll", and then we'd show up to wine tastings and farmers markets and play heavy fusion again. His attitude was, "it's rock and roll! Fuck the audience!". I disagreed. So I left.

    I still miss it though. I haven't played out since then, and that was a few years ago. We had only one good gig and it was enough fun I'd do it all again.

    This post was very cathartic.
     
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  8. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    eurgh i can relate to this annoyingly for the last 5 years
     
  9. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    Yeah. Pretty much.
    I also hate to play in front of the wrong audience.

    I mean...there might be the "I dont care if the audience doesn't like our music...that is their fuckin problem, not ours"-attitude that some folks believe in. But I see it completely different.
    It is just discouraging when a great deal of the audience is leaving the room because they just can't relate to the kind of music you're playing.

    I would happily turn down bigger shows with only a half-appropiate audience for a 10-guys-in-the-audience-show where there is at least the chance of someone in there liking it.
     
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  10. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    A perfect example of this would be Van Halen playing at the Billboard Awards in 2015.
     
  11. xAGx

    xAGx SS.org Regular

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    Literally showing zero emotion at all. I'm not saying you have to be like Unearth and jump off your amps but for fucks sake you can crack a smile or make a funny face. I love Anthrax but holy shit John Donais has to be the most lifeless looking guitar player on the face of the earth. Literally stone faced every single show.

    On the other hand there's Adam from Killswitch who is ALWAYS the funnest guy in the room.
     
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  12. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    this x100

    so many local bands Ive seen where they literally act like they dont even like their own band.
    So of course, how can the fans in the audience ?

    screw that. I love throwing down hard but also having a laugh, moving around, singing lines to the crowd, fist bumps etc etc
     
  13. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    I love an energetic stage show. TDEP is probably my favorite live band ever, but I won't go see KSE anymore because Adam D ruins it for me. His shenanigans are the about the equivalent of playing to the wrong crowd, but reversed. More annoying than fun for me, anyways.
     

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