Would you join a band for popularity?

Woolwich

Silver Member
I’m almost in that situation in the land of the pub gig.
I’ve been in a Classic and Chart Rock band for about three years, in terms of our set, playing ability and singer I’d put us up against all but the very best and longest established of the local pub bands. There’s lots of competition on the local circuit and pretty much every gig we get is hard won in terms of phoning, messaging, calling in person, repeating all those steps.
My other band is a Glam Rock band that’s a little over a year old. There are very few similar bands locally, musical snobs could very easily look down their noses at what we do, pubs have been approaching us and working hard with their diaries to get us back and they also pay us more.
At a stretch you could say that this band has that element of popularity, the whole experience is more “fun” because it’s by no means easy but it’s not quite as crushingly difficult to run the diary.

To address a point that also came up, I realised a while ago that what I enjoy about gigging is the audience response, not just the act of playing the music. A small audience where even one or two people are making eye contact and obviously enjoying it is enough to make a gig a joy, a roomful is obviously the best. I’m only human and as much as I give it my best at all gigs, the fact that a fantastic gig can result in me and the band raising our game to another level has to also mean that there is a level below that which I thought was 100% but isn’t.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Well, I don't think in terms of how many people are there. I like being a professional and giving the same 100% regardless of the audience. I did that when people couldn't even see my face. If you're a real player, it shouldn't matter who's out there - you're hired to do the best job you can, not to give a lot when the house is sold out.

Remember the story when The Police hit the #1 spot in English record sales, they were playing to 10 people in Virginia? They played like it was a full house, took the time to actually meet every person there watching, even. Next day, it turns out one of those ten people was a local radio dj and he began to rotate Police music heavily on his show, really helping their exposure. I took a big lesson from that story.
I always gave 100%, regardless of what band I played with. I love playing the drums, so why would I not want to do the best I could? But, the energy of a sold out show vs. playing to 10-15 is wildly different.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
If they paid me enough to make it worth my while I'll play ANYTHING regardless of how popular they are. Make sure it's worth your while financially. Mortgage companies don't accept popularity as a payment :)

It's nice to be one of those guys who can be relied on to play anything. You'll never be short of work.

As others have said, it's nice to play in front of packed venues. I did a bike rally playing classic rock in front of 2500 people once that was cool. Played to a boy scout festival which was about 2000 people playing pop covers.

Having said that I've played to an empty room and still been paid the same. As long as you can handle to bad gigs you appreciate the really good ones.

Reminds me of a story my dad told me. His mates were all in a band in the early 70s called Athens Wood that never really did much. The drummer took a gig playing strict tempo to packed out dance halls and made good money. The singer did the same thing his name was Rob Halford and joined some local up and coming band called Judas Priest and did fairly well for himself as well.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
If it's a hobby project: If it's fun to play, I'll play it, regardless of whether or not it's something I'd usually listen to myself.

If it's a paid gig (enough to live on): I'd do it, regardless of style. I'd rather make a living playing "crappy" (to me) music to people who want to hear it than sit in an office all day programming business software (which is what I do now). Absolutely no question.
 

V-Four

Senior Member
Well, I don't think in terms of how many people are there. I like being a professional and giving the same 100% regardless of the audience. I did that when people couldn't even see my face. If you're a real player, it shouldn't matter who's out there - you're hired to do the best job you can, not to give a lot when the house is sold out.

Remember the story when The Police hit the #1 spot in English record sales, they were playing to 10 people in Virginia? They played like it was a full house, took the time to actually meet every person there watching, even. Next day, it turns out one of those ten people was a local radio dj and he began to rotate Police music heavily on his show, really helping their exposure. I took a big lesson from that story.
This reminds me of waay back in the day, in a local band I was in.
The saying was "hey, we play the same for one, as we do for....two."
Which was funny, as we didn't really have much but the locals at those lil bars. ;)


Anyway, to the OP:
I say go for it. Besides, they are asking you to "Try Out". Maybe you won't be a good fit , and they won't hire you. ;)

Good luck.


T.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I was poised and ready to join a really great Southern Rock band in the 80's, whose drummer was leaving to do "Godspell". But right before he left....the Country Music craze hit hard. Circa 1982 or thereabouts. We had to change the show to a Country show, because our agent had a whole list of Country Music places that were hiring. I never played or listened to Country. I was a little deflated, as I was a big Southern Rock junkie.
It turned out to be musically one of the best things I ever did, not shying away from a gig I knew nothing about. I still use those experiences to this day. The moral...take the gig. You never know what will come out of it.
 

w3r1_drums

Senior Member
if you like the music enough to enjoy playing it

and can make money from it

and can stand the people you'll be playing/touring/whatnot with

then I say go for it
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I use the example of Philip "Fish" Fisher of Fishbone. Loved them in the 80's and then he got asked to drum for Justin Timberlake when he left N'SYNC.
Many fans thought he'd NEVER take that gig as Justin's music was a 180 from Fishbone's.
Guess what...he's drumming for Justin.

Why? $$$

Fisher ain't no fool and he probably saw the opportunity to play for someone who was already engineer of the popularity train. He also knew playing in small clubs and bars wouldn't take him to the next level in being a professional drummer.

I'd do the same thing were I in his shoes. I've purposely studied (and sometimes played) about every genre of music just so I can be ready if something like this came up.

Do the gig, man. Do it with no delay!
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Exposure!!!! Playing out can sometimes lead to other opportunities. You never know who may be listening. The more people you play in front of the better.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
"What's more abstract than sound?" -Bob Moses

Enjoy the experience and throw everything you have into it!
 

philrudd

Senior Member
I was poised and ready to join a really great Southern Rock band in the 80's, whose drummer was leaving to do "Godspell". But right before he left....the Country Music craze hit hard. Circa 1982 or thereabouts. We had to change the show to a Country show, because our agent had a whole list of Country Music places that were hiring. I never played or listened to Country. I was a little deflated, as I was a big Southern Rock junkie.
It turned out to be musically one of the best things I ever did, not shying away from a gig I knew nothing about. I still use those experiences to this day. The moral...take the gig. You never know what will come out of it.
This.

And I'd only add one thing: when is it NOT fun to play the drums? Is playing music you're not a fan of really such a hardship - especially when you're getting paid for it? I'm not a fan of the Eagles - rather dislike them, actually - but kicking out a 2-and-4 on 'Take It Easy' beats the hell out of staying at home and searching for a new series to watch on Netflix.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Popularity wasn't the term I was going for but recognition is.

The band isn't a signed or paying gig. They are local and have been able to play a few fest but they are not a full time touring band.
 
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