And my metal project is done....

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So I need to know if I'm crazy or not. Usually, when I get into a working band, there's a song list of tunes to either already know, or to learn on your own, and maybe a rehearsal to touch on stuff, and then the gig (sometimes that all happens on the same day). Or at least that's how I've been operating for the last 30 years, but today had me second guessing this approach.

As some of you know, I was allowed to play in a heavy metal project which I thought was really cool. The band was happy (apparently they've never had a drummer that could cover the songs they were playing close to note-for-note, much less sing at the same time), and we played a gig after having about four rehearsals. Then they booked a couple more for July.

But what they were really expecting was for me to basically marry to them and actually attend rehearsals every week. I told them when I joined on, I'm busy. They're not my only project I'm working on (I'm also in a Devo tribute band, and I sub for Bermuda in a local rock n roll cover band which is a lot of fun). So, of course, if I don't have anything going on, I fill up my calendar with gigs, and the other projects either try to get together, or at least talk about what needs to happen if we can't actually have one "touch bases" rehearsal.

Since the metal band couldn't rehearse every week with me, they thought it better that I just back out and not be a part of it. At first I was puzzled, but then I said, "I can't give you what you want, and you want what you want". So we parted ways amicably and I even told them if they need a sub, give me a call.

After I hung up the phone, I was still a little puzzled. So apparently, it's more important for people to rehearse to feel like a band than actually book paying gigs to feel like a band? My whole professional career is based on the premise that hey, "time is money". There's a reason studio players make what they make because they'll give you what you want with little or no rehearsal, and with a smile. That's what I've always prepared myself for.

But this led me to another scary thought, "what if I'm not as good as I think I am and they're willing to let me go because I'm not as good as I thought I was in this situation?" The whole "legend in my own mind" idea kinda pitted my stomach, if true. Now I'm wondering if it's true. Rather than try to work with my schedule, they'd rather cut me loose. It could be me? It could be them? Now I'm not so sure. But then again, I'm working in two other bands under my usual operating mode, and they seem to be fine with it.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Are they crazy?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Your approach may be different than theirs. When I was gigging, we rehearsed 3 days a week with a set schedule. Yes it was an original band, only 2 covers, but it also built a comraderie amongst members. We were tight. Everyone knew exactly where we all were in the song. It wasn't about money at all, but the music. Perhaps that's what they want.

Everyone on a team practices together, be it athlete's, pit crews, dancers, circus performers, whatever. Just showing up and performing doesn't necessarily scream commitment. The more you play together, the better you perform together. Metal bands are weird like that. Being metal is a lifestyle, not just some thing you do.

Don't beat yourself up, and definitely don't question your playing. You are a God amongst left handed short folks.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
I've been with my current band for 6 years and 2 weeks. Only had 2 rehearsals and we were playing gigs. We play about 40-50 times a year. We are all seasoned and can learn songs quickly. Most aren't too difficult. We also will try them out at a show. Just this past Sunday Funday, we got a call for Metallica (not our genre) but all of us grew up in the 80's on metal. Well, we killed Seek and Destroy and had 60-70 people cheering the loudest of the day. Who knew?

Point is, it is not unusual to want to play gigs. Time is so compressed for everyone. Weekly practice is often a waste. The "band hang" is THE gig! We all have weekly lives. At what point do you have to spend 3 hours on a weeknight rehashing what you should be learning on your own? We are pretty darn tight due to PLAYING and not practicing.

Are these guys that want recorded perfection in the performance? I'd think most cover bands just play it their way, right or wrong, and add their flavor to it. I know we do. Play the hooks and have fun with the fills I say.

I guess I would say this isn't the right fit for you. No harm and no bridges burnt. Get on with what you like to do.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I think MrInsanePolak nailed it. These guys are probably not doing it for money, they are doing it for fun and camaraderie. You are probably looking to have fun, but being in a working band that gets paid is your priority.

There is nothing wrong with either approach, you simply aren't all on the same page. I doubt very strongly that your ability/playing has anything to do with this situation.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I've been with my current band for 6 years and 2 weeks. Only had 2 rehearsals and we were playing gigs. We play about 40-50 times a year. We are all seasoned and can learn songs quickly. Most aren't too difficult. We also will try them out at a show. Just this past Sunday Funday, we got a call for Metallica (not our genre) but all of us grew up in the 80's on metal. Well, we killed Seek and Destroy and had 60-70 people cheering the loudest of the day. Who knew?

Point is, it is not unusual to want to play gigs. Time is so compressed for everyone. Weekly practice is often a waste. The "band hang" is THE gig! We all have weekly lives. At what point do you have to spend 3 hours on a weeknight rehashing what you should be learning on your own? We are pretty darn tight due to PLAYING and not practicing.

Are these guys that want recorded perfection in the performance? I'd think most cover bands just play it their way, right or wrong, and add their flavor to it. I know we do. Play the hooks and have fun with the fills I say.

I guess I would say this isn't the right fit for you. No harm and no bridges burnt. Get on with what you like to do.
Just wanted to say, when I was playing in a swing band - the only cover band I have played in - we didn't practice that much at all as a band. However, when we played gigs we almost never hung out. Instead, we were typically schmoozing, talking with patrons, etc... The band made a ton of money, but they absolutely were not a close knit band. (They were actually the least connected band I have ever played in.) I hardly knew the keyboard player or the sax player after a year of gigging with them.

I have played in other bands that rehearsed once or twice a week and then gigged a few times a month. They didn't make as much money, but we were certainly a tighter unit - relationship wise, I mean.

At this point in my life, I'd give up making more money to have closer relationships with my bandmates. (That is assuming the music is good and the people were cool.)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Your approach may be different than theirs. When I was gigging, we rehearsed 3 days a week with a set schedule. Yes it was an original band, only 2 covers, but it also built a comraderie amongst members. We were tight. Everyone knew exactly where we all were in the song. It wasn't about money at all, but the music. Perhaps that's what they want.

Everyone on a team practices together, be it athlete's, pit crews, dancers, circus performers, whatever. Just showing up and performing doesn't necessarily scream commitment. The more you play together, the better you perform together. Metal bands are weird like that. Being metal is a lifestyle, not just some thing you do.

Don't beat yourself up, and definitely don't question your playing. You are a God amongst left handed short folks.
I think you're right on this one. They like the camaraderie of being a band, which I get, to a point. But this was also a cover band. If it was their own music, I can see the wanting to dedicate a whole group of people to it as they're the only ones who play that music. But a cover band? Who hasn't played Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, or Ozzy for that matter?

I agree - we are not on the same page. I'm only in it for the money. I can sit around and not make money on my own without involving three other people, right? Makes me wonder if I was brought up wrong - right out of high school I was making a paycheck playing a bass drum for Disney - that was like the ultimate thing: being 19 and making a living playing a drum! I thought that was what it was all about. And yes, I didn't even know alot of the people I ever played with on the bandstands over the ensuing years. We'd all have fun when we were playing though, and over the years I discovered there were alot of musicians I played with that I wouldn't want to hang out with if we weren't playing music - alot of them are just toxic.

It was just puzzling with the metal band, because we'd play a rehearsal, and everyone would be all happy, then a few days go by and I get a phone call asking "where are you really with this band?" Part of me doesn't even want to deal with the high school drama. Can't we just get together, play the friggin' music and make some money?

Now I understand why Miles Copeland said, "it's hard enough being married to your wife, now you have this band in addition to your wife....."

Definitely not on the same page.



But I'm not sure I'm a GOD among short left-handed folks. I leave that to Phil Collins. I'm just a Fun-Sized Snickers bar at Halloween. Thanks for thinking of me though ;)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Bo I'm guessing you are the senior member of the band?

If they are younger, it's the whole cool, I'm in a band factor. Me, I've been gigging for years, and I want as little rehearsal time and as much gig time as possible.

Just tell me the songs to learn, which version, and as long as the other guys do their parts passably, I don't need a rehearsal. We have a similar mindset when it comes to that it seems.

The last major band I was in, I rehearsed just 1 time in 8 years. Our only rehearsal was in the 8th year lol. (I knew all the songs before I joined)

During the 8 years, we learned new songs...all on our own. We would just do them at the gig cold. When you're with good players, this is no problem.

It's not you, it's not your playing, it's the fact that you won't marry them is my take on it.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I think you're right on this one. They like the camaraderie of being a band, which I get, to a point. But this was also a cover band. If it was their own music, I can see the wanting to dedicate a whole group of people to it as they're the only ones who play that music. But a cover band? Who hasn't played Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, or Ozzy for that matter?

I agree - we are not on the same page. I'm only in it for the money. I can sit around and not make money on my own without involving three other people, right? Makes me wonder if I was brought up wrong - right out of high school I was making a paycheck playing a bass drum for Disney - that was like the ultimate thing: being 19 and making a living playing a drum! I thought that was what it was all about. And yes, I didn't even know alot of the people I ever played with on the bandstands over the ensuing years. We'd all have fun when we were playing though, and over the years I discovered there were alot of musicians I played with that I wouldn't want to hang out with if we weren't playing music - alot of them are just toxic.

It was just puzzling with the metal band, because we'd play a rehearsal, and everyone would be all happy, then a few days go by and I get a phone call asking "where are you really with this band?" Part of me doesn't even want to deal with the high school drama. Can't we just get together, play the friggin' music and make some money?

Now I understand why Miles Copeland said, "it's hard enough being married to your wife, now you have this band in addition to your wife....."

Definitely not on the same page.



But I'm not sure I'm a GOD among short left-handed folks. I leave that to Phil Collins. I'm just a Fun-Sized Snickers bar at Halloween. Thanks for thinking of me though ;)

Absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make money. It is a necessary evil, like it or not. You are providing a service, and services get paid. And look at what it has done for you. You have a roof over your head. In my mind, nothing is more important than that other than family. And yours has that roof too. It's security. You will always have a place to go. Not everyone can say that. All else is secondary. Bands come and go. Stuff comes and goes. But family and security is comfort, and comfort takes money. I don't think you are doing it wrong at all.

I forgot about Phil Collins. I bet he never banged a drum for the mouse!
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
It was just puzzling with the metal band, because we'd play a rehearsal, and everyone would be all happy, then a few days go by and I get a phone call asking "where are you really with this band?" Part of me doesn't even want to deal with the high school drama. Can't we just get together, play the friggin' music and make some money?
This attitude is much more common, when the experience level is low. They probably haven't played Zeppelin and Ozzy before, or at least not to a high level. Musicians who haven't seen a lot of stage time tend to think that the amount of rehearsals is what makes a band tight. But the hard truth is that individual preparedness and experience, and the organizational skills of the music director/band leader, are what truly makes a band tight, and probably interesting as well.

That said, where you live, there happens to be a very, very deep well of talent, so they might actually be able to find a more committed member that can nail the drum parts (and maybe even sing, too).
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bo I'm guessing you are the senior member of the band?

If they are younger, it's the whole cool, I'm in a band factor. Me, I've been gigging for years, and I want as little rehearsal time and as much gig time as possible.

Just tell me the songs to learn, which version, and as long as the other guys do their parts passably, I don't need a rehearsal. We have a similar mindset when it comes to that it seems.

The last major band I was in, I rehearsed just 1 time in 8 years. Our only rehearsal was in the 8th year lol. (I knew all the songs before I joined)

During the 8 years, we learned new songs...all on our own. We would just do them at the gig cold. When you're with good players, this is no problem.

It's not you, it's not your playing, it's the fact that you won't marry them is my take on it.
I'm actually the youngest guy there. It might just be the mindset of these particular people. I've had other friends tell me that since I was in a metal band, I'll probably be rehearsing all the time. I laughed at first. I guess the stereotype is the stereotype because it's true? I'm with you - just tell me what you want to play and we'll go for it on the bandstand. I've long since learned that if you keep people on the dance floor buying beers then it doesn't matter how good the band is, just keep 'em in the venue!

I understand where they're at. I was there when I was 17 too. But I'm in my 50s now. If I hadn't gotten to another level by now....

The Devo Tribute band is the complete opposite. Those guys are all business. Rehearsal is just two hours, and it's always touching on stuff they don't play right. They never get all the way through a song - that's what the show's for. In fact, we're shooting our promotional video this weekend so I'll be able to direct people to the Facebook page they have when the video's done. The music is almost secondary to getting the word out and getting gigs booked. Weird, eh?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That said, where you live, there happens to be a very, very deep well of talent, so they might actually be able to find a more committed member that can nail the drum parts (and maybe even sing, too).
I certainly think they will get someone more committed. They have a month since they already booked three gigs in July, so I'm sure they'll have someone. Although I offered to help them if they needed it (I am clear on those days in July since I agreed before this conversation today) I'm sure out of pride they'll use their new guy whoever that is.

But it's weird as we get older, I don't mind making new friends, but I think I can do that without spending six hours every weekend doing it. It was different when I was 14.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I certainly think they will get someone more committed. They have a month since they already booked three gigs in July, so I'm sure they'll have someone. Although I offered to help them if they needed it (I am clear on those days in July since I agreed before this conversation today) I'm sure out of pride they'll use their new guy whoever that is.

But it's weird as we get older, I don't mind making new friends, but I think I can do that without spending six hours every weekend doing it. It was different when I was 14.
For sure. Could part of it be that they have children and wives, to temporarily escape? Because that's beneficial for some people. The musical version of a bowling league.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
My musical world is definitely not in the first place about money..

Like, definitely not..

If my musical world in the first place would be about money, i would be very sad and i would quit..

I can understand very well that for a band like this some sort of friendship and commitment comes first..No idea about this one, but most metal-cover-band-musicians are not playing 150 gigs a year and earning $750 each member each gig..

The musicians that i know who play in such bands, play first for the passion of music, second for the free beer and girls and lastly maybe for a little money to cover expenses..

Then why treat a band that brings a few times a year $50-100 in the pocket as a completely professional gig or as being a, i really hate the term, professional hired gun..?

That would have been the question i would have asked myself in this case..
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't think they are wrong.

I don't think you are wrong.

MrInsanePolack pretty much nails it; you're coming from different viewpoints.

For them, they formed the band because they love playing metal music. The gigs and money aren't their primary objective, their objective is to play the music they love. And because they love it, they want to play it once a week, gig or no gig. So they call it "rehearsal" to get the chance to play the music they love once a week.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
My best guess? You have an image/ attitude problem (from THEIR perspective).

Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the way you look or that you have a bad attitude (or that you lack attitude while playing) but I think that playing for the mouse might be working against you in this instance since all Disney employees must be nice, presentable and clean-cut?
(Hardly the image of your average metal band member)

As for your playing- I'm sure you're absolutely nailing the songs without breaking a sweat but are you just sitting back with a smile on your face or are you really laying into it while doing your best 80's Lars impression?

I have to say I'm jealous of your opportunity to do such a gig.
There is absolutely ZERO call for metal cover bands here in Oz (except for the odd professional tribute band) so if I knew that one of the band members was just there for a paycheck and had no passion for the music, it would kind of piss me off since that spot could have gone to someone who appreciated the chance to play this genre.

All speculation on my part of course!
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Every band is different. My main band (The Varukers) never practice. We are constantly on the road & if we want to introduce a new or old song then we tit about with it at sound check. Sometimes we have to use a stand in so that's the only time we ever go near a rehearsal room (We all hate practicing). Even when we record albums we do it all in the studio & write on the spot.
The other band I play in are in London & I am 130 miles north so again, we never rehearse together. 3 of them all rehearse with a backing track of my drums & I just practice at home from memory.
The band I was in up until this time last year had to rehearse every week by request of the guitarist. I was happy not to rehearse but he wanted to be "tight" He usually spent half the practice getting "His sound" which wound me up as it was a 150 mile round trip for me every week.
I find seasoned players don't really need to rehearse as a band very often. Part timers etc do.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
You're a pro musician. What you describe is how most of my friends approach it as well...when I mention rehearsal, they politely chuckle. Learning a new song? Do that on your own, and work it out at soundcheck. :)

The band(s) I've been in the last few years have tried to rehearse once every few weeks or so, but much more like you describe with your tribute band, if we go 90 minutes, that's a lot. We need to do it more that you and yours do, just not as experienced. Just to tighten stuff up, really. We have taken the approach of learning the stuff on our own and just working out the details during our infrequent rehearsals now, at least, and more than once have just learned them and ran them cold at the gig (like "real" musicians, heh).

I do know some folks who really wanna work stuff out regularly. I'm not certain that it shows any more than the working musicians that I see, but if that's what works for them, more power to them.

It's not you.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You're a pro musician. What you describe is how most of my friends approach it as well...when I mention rehearsal, they politely chuckle. Learning a new song? Do that on your own, and work it out at soundcheck. :)

The band(s) I've been in the last few years have tried to rehearse once every few weeks or so, but much more like you describe with your tribute band, if we go 90 minutes, that's a lot. We need to do it more that you and yours do, just not as experienced. Just to tighten stuff up, really. We have taken the approach of learning the stuff on our own and just working out the details during our infrequent rehearsals now, at least, and more than once have just learned them and ran them cold at the gig (like "real" musicians, heh).

I do know some folks who really wanna work stuff out regularly. I'm not certain that it shows any more than the working musicians that I see, but if that's what works for them, more power to them.

It's not you.
I hear you. I have a particular “notes to dollars” ratio I must maintain ;)
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Y
I do know some folks who really wanna work stuff out regularly. I'm not certain that it shows any more than the working musicians that I see,
Because usually, it's a group of unexperienced players, instructing themselves on things that are of little importance to the gig: weird endings, crazy tones/effects, strange cues, etc. It's different when there's an experienced MD who can keep people accountable for learning their parts, and offer guidance.

Things like elaborate vocal harmony, or choreography, will necessitate rehearsals, for obvious reasons.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Again, I think it comes down to the reason you are doing the gig. Are you doing it because you love the music and the people involved? Or are you primarily doing it for the money?

As a teacher, I don't want to even see my co-workers unless I'm working and getting paid. I have done this job long enough to not need much (any) training or practice. If someone suggested we get together to "practice" or go over things, there is literally no way I would do that unless I was getting paid. Even then, I'm not sure I would do it.

On the other hand, I play hockey at a fairly high level with people I really enjoy being around. For that activity, we have games once a week, but we practice a couple of times a week simply because we love it.

This isn't necessarily about whether or not someone is good at something, rather it is about the motivation for what they are doing.
 
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