I'm in a cover band. We all have careers and family and just want to play in front of people to blow off some steam on the weekends. It is still work to get to a level that we stay booked, but the payoff for a decent crowd is worth it.
Both. At this point I would have a hard time only doing covers, even if that's the safest bet for ensuring paid gigs. Something about the feeling of writing, recording and releasing your own material. As long as it gets to a point where people actually like it and shows it, which luckily we are at now. I more get the feeling that I do something that matters when doing original material, like people could/will actually remember this, not just for enjoying a night out listening to the favorite classics. But it's also really rewarding to surprise an audience with a well-played cover, in-between the originals. Easier to get crowd interaction during a show. And it gives me satisfaction knowing I can play it, at least the harder songs, maybe by bands I've been listening to all my life. But yeah, both is best for me, at this time.
I said both because with the originals the artist may not have a lot of time to learn, arrange, etc. the song. Kerry Livgren wrote "Carry on Wayward Son" the night before they recorded it. With covers the artist has as much time as needed to learn, arrange, etc. the song as wanted. Peace and goodwill.
Covers for the wallet, originals for the soul. Very few of my gigs are originals-only, but we usually get away with most of the first set playing originals, followed by covers the second and third sets. Covers-only gigs make up about 30% of my overall schedule.
90% cover..even then you need to choose wisely for mass appeal..BUT..nothing is more satisfying than throwing in an original tune here and there where the flow doesn't stop and everyone is obviously enjoying it. THAT is an adrenalin boost.
Covers only - for now. I’ve been in the same covers band for the last 11 years, but it’s the only covers band I’ve ever been a member of. Until that point, always originals. I need to scratch the originals itch again.
Other than a Tears For Fears tribute band that I did for about 5 years, every band I've been in (stretching all the way back to the '80s) has been originals. For whatever reason, I have absolutely zero interest in doing covers. Original bands with good musicians is where it's at.
FYI, I was recruited for the tribute band by the singer/guitarist, who I go way back with from other bands. It was a good experience, but I really prefer original music that I have a hand in creating or shaping.