My band has been together for about a year and a half now, and we still don't have any "professional" recordings. About half a year ago, we recorded with my friend's dad in his home studio, we had a blast, and we got some decent recordings out of the mix, but nothing that I think people would pay to listen to.
However, I don't feel that's enough. I believe we've hit the point where, in order to move on as a band, we need to get some professional recordings done. Personally, I am not satisfied with playing shows in church basements anymore, or playing gigs at friend's birthday parties for free. This is something that I can definitely see myself doing for the rest of my life, and in order to start making money at it, I feel we need to start investing money, and that means recordings and merchandise.
I see it this way. As a member of a band, you are constantly trying to sell yourself to other people. Whether you're trying to get a gig at a local club, or a spot on a local tour, you've got to have a way to convey your ideas (the music) to others. And that's where recordings come in. The other day, I was talking to a booking agent about doing a small tour in my area (The GTA or "Greater Toronto Area"). He said to me something to the effects of, "Okay, you seem like a great guy, and I think I'd like to get you a spot on the tour, but does your band have a CD that I can listen to, to see if I think you're a good fit for the tour?" All I had to say to that was, "No." I mean, what could I say? We don't have a CD, or any form of decent recordings, and this was a great oppurtunity to take, but I couldn't.
My band just doesn't see it this way. They always talk about how they're ready to move on to bigger and better things, but they aren't prepared to do anything about it. They always say something like, "Oh, I'm sure a break will come our way." or they try to come up with other ways to advertise the band, none of which they ever follow through on.
Now, we've been handed a great oppurtunity to get some good studio time in with a local producer, Justin Zoltek, lead singer of The Knockouts. (I'm not sure if any of you have heard of the band, The Knockouts, but they're a great band out of my hometown, Mississauga, Ontario). He has offered us 2 weekends (two Saturdays, two Sundays, full days) at his studio that he runs with his buddy for $500.00, and he's going to be producing us for free. If you want to hear the recording quality, just listen to The Knockouts MySpace.
I think this is an amazing oppurtunity, I mean, how often does something like this come up? Especially for a band like mine? Not often. The band I'm with is reluctant to do anything about it, and it's frustrating. There's so much potential for us to go places, people we don't know have complimented us on how GOOD our songs are, how tight we are, and how great we are with our instruments. But my band doesn't want to go anywhere with it.
I feel this is a terrible waste of talent, especially when all three of us are considering becoming professional musicians after post-secondary school.
Because of their lack of desire to go anywhere, I have considered leaving the band to focus on my other band (just started), which I also feel is headed towards something good.
Don't get me wrong, I love my bandmates. I think they're great people and stellar musicians, and I've loved every single minute that I've spent with them, both as a band and as friends, but I need more than what they're willing to give.
Does anyone have any advice on what I should do? Should I stick with the band? Or should I find others with similar interests? Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks so much,
PS: For anyone who wishes to hear the band, go to www.myspace.com/thetextbookriot
Listen to the first 3 tracks, This Song Was Imported, Dementia, and Down The Well.