Originally Posted by arsalanxaidi
do you guys agree that covers are THE only way a band can really gel together or trying different new stuff can help just as much
Depends what you mean by "trying new stuff". There's a difference between writing music and playing music. If whoever writes the music in your band has got enough songs for the band to be busy all the time then great: if, however, there are times when the band is standing around waiting for inspiration to strike, then at that point simply playing - i.e. playing someone else's music - can help to get the ball rolling. Typically, in popular music, playing something with a little structure will lead to a more cohesive atmosphere than just jamming/improvising. If anyone wants to have a little wander off the script then perhaps play a song you all know and then jam out the ending, rather than trying to conjure a jam out of thin air.
I guess one really needs to decide what one wants from a band. If you are interested in playing functions/weddings/birthday parties etc then I doubt anyone hiring a band for that purpose will be interested in your original music. If you want to sell original songs via record sales/live performance etc then whilst that should be your main focus, it doesn't mean that playing other people's music has to get in the way. Of the 24 songs on The Rolling Stones' first two albums, only 4 were written by anyone in the band. As far as I know, the first significant hits for The Black Crowes and Muse were songs that had already been hits for other people.
I guess my main recommendation is just to play. Especially considering none of you have been playing for very long. Quite apart from anything else, learning other people's songs and studying different styles of music can only help make you better songwriters and better musicians.
Good luck and have fun.