Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!
Hi, guys. This is my first post, and I'm sorry to make it giving other people advice! :)
As far as writing originals, do you play an instrument besides drums? If you can write the lyrics and the rhythm to the song, it will help things along if everyone knows the basic beat and chord progressions. If you don't play guitar or piano or something, then I would recommend getting with one of your other guitar players and work it out first. (Maybe it would give your rhythm player some "buy in" if he was contributing at such an early creative level like that.) Get something ready, record it, and give it to everyone.
Trying to do it with the whole band at once, well; I find collaboration can be a lengthy process. Some people want to add stuff, but maybe that's not going to be the way you hear it, egos can clash and tempers flash :) Although some people can make it work, it can take someone a long time at practice just to work out their own parts.
I think you have a good approach to do an original along with a (few) cover(s) and when one gets tight (whichever one) then move on to the next and keep working on the other. Another way might be to get a whole set of covers down first, which is what I usually do. I can find out first if everyone is sticking and gelling, then we are at least ready for open mic sets and go from there.
If you have your heart set on originals, then make sure everyone is clear that they will be at least "down the road" or you'll be replacing someone, then waiting for the new guy to learn all your stuff.