Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!
I will put my $.02 worth here because I see several issues which you should address.
The first, and most important, issue is, can anybody in your band write a decent song? Do you guys, with very little combined experience, have the abilities to write coherent melodies, harmonies, rhythms, etc and put them together into a format that could be considered a song? If you do, and you guys like the way the songs are coming out, and your rhythm guitarist is still not onboard, then it is time to move on.
The other problem I see is that you guys need a defined band leader. The guy who dictates the direction of the band. Usually this guy is your primary songwriter as well, but not always. Sometimes bands can get away with having a couple of leaders, but very rarely does it work out. Bands that try to run on a democracy will usually end up spinning their wheels because its really hard to get four or five people to all think the same way. Think of a band you like, I will almost guarantee one guy is the frontman for that band.
Lastly, play covers during practice and write songs between practices. With only 18 months of experience you just need to play as much as you can. Writing songs during practice is the most surefire way NOT to actually practice. Trust me, after 3 hours of watching the guitarist try and work out the chord progression to link the only two riffs he has ever written, you would kill to play a cover song.