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Guiterrorizer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
5 WAYS FOR BANDS TO AVOID COMPLAINING ABOUT the LAME GIG SITUATION.

from Gorehound at: 5 WAYS FOR BANDS TO AVOID COMPLAINING ABOUT the LAME GIG SITUATION. Gorehound's Roots Guitar Tips

Paid to play? Got stuck with the bill for the hall rental? Outraged the the sound and poster guys are considered a legitimate expense but the actual bands that customers pay money to see, get paid last and least? Paying for bad sound or Promo? It happens because musicians let it happen.

You have to ask questions when you get offered a gig. Make sure that if you expect to be paid, you talk about that first, before you talk about dates, stage times and posters. Self managed bands are notoriously slack when it comes to "taking care of business". If the only questions you ask are; "when and where", you should not be handling any business matters.

#1- Know what the Promoters responsibilities are. Paying for a Hall/Venue, PA/soundguy, supplying a backline, posters and stage management is the promotors job. Not yours! When a promoter asks you to play without a guarantee, ask him who's gear(Amps, Drums) you will be using? Because moving amplifiers and drumsets cost money! Playing for free is one thing but equipment doesn't move itself. I'd recommend showing up with acoustic Guitars and a set of Bongos at non-guaranteed shows.

From my experience, nobody in their right mind, would ask you to play a party at their residence, quote the band a fee, and then give you some lame explanation about why they can't pay what they offered. Your average person would not have the nerve. But this happens all the time with "professional" promoters at club and hall gigs that are handled with oral agreements.

When one of the other bands that he hired, doesn't show up(or shows up minus an amp or drumset), this is not your bands problem. We are not obligated to change our stage-time or lend gear. "Oh this band came a from out of town, do you mind if we pay them, and not give you the guarantee we promised"? Yes, I mind. That is entirely the promotors problem.

Unexpected expenses? That's too bad, the promoter should probably have thought about that before you offered us the gig.

#2- Don't be desperate/EASY. If you need experience, get it on your own terms. Don't exploit yourself, thinking it will pay off eventually. It doesn't. Sound guys don't work for free, promotors don't work for free, and clubs are making a profit from your hard work. It's marginally better to be a whore, than a slut.

#3- Promote yourself. Everyone tries to, to some degree. Don't be humble, promotors count on bands having an "awe, shucks, do you really like us?" approach. If you can guarantee a good performance and promote yourself, you will be in a much better position to deal with someone that wants to exploit you.

Think cross-promotion, never just promote one artist, event or piece of merch. Every gig is an opportunity to promote your next gig, your disc, t-shirts ect. Shameless self-promoters, are the ones that succeed.

#4- Know what you are worth. Experience is the only way to separate amateurs from professionals. There is nothing wrong with being semi-pro. Just because you have to work at a day job, does not mean that you should play for free because you don't need the money. If you are playing music as a hobby, then don't ask people to pay money for tickets and a cover charge. Unless it is clearly billed as a talent show, it is unethical to charge money for something that you offer for free. Play Charity events, jams or talent shows. If you don't think that what you do is worth money, what are you doing on a stage?

Music is a business. If you give your product or service away, you will not be in business very long.

#5- Look up or google "offer and acceptance" and "oral agreement". When you accept a bogus offer, with no details regarding payment, other acts, exact stage times, sound-checks or promotion/, you are the one agreeing to a slanted situation! Any promoter that will not offer an agreement in writing, is planning to rip you off. Tell them that you don't deal with illegitimate offers. And tell every other musician/band that you know, who the shady promoters/venues are.

Building a network of professionals, that can help you spot the unprofessional promoters, will save you a lot of time. Clubs and promoters blackball musicians for stupid things like playing at competing venues, and playing too frequently. Musicians need to share this info, with musicians and club-goers.

Ever notice that a large percentage of promoters are washed-up, former musicians? They know exactly what they are doing, they have been through it before. Incompetent musicians usually make very incompetent businessmen. We have to learn how to be assertive without seeming aggressive. They gave up on performing because there is too much competition from great players that will work for free. They are counting on this situation continuing!

It's a "BUYER BEWARE" situation. You can't complain about eating shit, when you ordered it from the menu!
 

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When a promoter asks you to play without a guarantee, ask him who's gear(Amps, Drums) you will be using? Because moving amplifiers and drumsets cost money! Playing for free is one thing but equipment doesn't move itself.
Thats bullshit. If i'd have ever showed up with just my guitar, I'd have been fucked 7 ways from sunday at EVERY single show i've ever played. Ive even seen some decent sized tours where the bands move their own shit. Like when i saw Goatwhore and vader in 2003...
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The article's point is that if that people said "no guarantee; so who's gear do I use?" and said it consistently, there would be a lot more guaranteed shows :yesway: you're kind of proving the point I think (?).
 

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I am Groot
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That might have worked as late as '99, but that is definitely not the case anymore. If bands consistently petitioned to play for guaranteed pay gigs, the few remaining clubs would simply close down, turning into sports bars, retail stores, or another Chipotle. Live music is just about dead in this country, so while I can appreciate the boldness and attitude of the author, some of that simply does not apply anymore. Plus, promoters don't tend to be former musicians; they tend to be some moron off the street who has no clue what they are doing, and they turn over monthly.

What I do agree with is the part about communication. You should know exactly what you are getting into. If possible, you should scope out a place before you agree to play there. See what they have, where you'll be setting up, what the regular crowd looks like, and what other bands have to put up with.

Bands should have their own PA, if at all possible. Otherwise, you're going to constantly see $100+ taken from the door and given to the drunk moron that they're calling a soundman this week. Refuse to play that game, and bring your own with you if you have to, refusing to use the house soundman.

Promoting yourself to a club is good, but hardly anyone does it to the fans. It's not like the promoter is going to do that. Remember, we already established that he's an idiot.
 

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That might have worked as late as '99, but that is definitely not the case anymore. If bands consistently petitioned to play for guaranteed pay gigs, the few remaining clubs would simply close down, turning into sports bars, retail stores, or another Chipotle. Live music is just about dead in this country, so while I can appreciate the boldness and attitude of the author, some of that simply does not apply anymore. Plus, promoters don't tend to be former musicians; they tend to be some moron off the street who has no clue what they are doing, and they turn over monthly.
Honestly, the clubs closing down would be a good thing. If there were enough good bands to keep them open, they'd stay open. The vast majority of bands are not good, and I don't mean "not my style" but "not able to play their songs competently". If there were more good bands than clubs, someone would open a club to showcase those bands.
 

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I am Groot
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Honestly, the clubs closing down would be a good thing. If there were enough good bands to keep them open, they'd stay open. The vast majority of bands are not good, and I don't mean "not my style" but "not able to play their songs competently". If there were more good bands than clubs, someone would open a club to showcase those bands.
Sadly, I cannot argue with that. Bands that would not have been considered good enough to gig in the 80s are now the norm. I cannot believe that more of these guys don't feel embarrassed to be up there.
 

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Sadly, I cannot argue with that. Bands that would not have been considered good enough to gig in the 80s are now the norm. I cannot believe that more of these guys don't feel embarrassed to be up there.
The one plus side of each band being worse than the one before it, is that each band can feel better about themselves by watching the band that follows them.
 

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During my time with Division, I watched as the bands we played with got worse and worse. It used to be that a bill of all "locals" would have all good bands on it. By the time I quit, it would be unusual for one band to be good.
 

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I am Groot
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<----- doing his part to bring down Division to the level of other locals.
 

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During my time with Division, I watched as the bands we played with got worse and worse. It used to be that a bill of all "locals" would have all good bands on it. By the time I quit, it would be unusual for one band to be good.
Even the, it sounds like now the best band Division routinely plays with, Cab Ride Home, is good precisely because they're bad, but they do it with style and panache. :D
 

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I am Groot
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Even the, it sounds like now the best band Division routinely plays with, Cab Ride Home, is good precisely because they're bad, but they do it with style and panache. :D
Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for that flipped out and was fired for it. They've lost a lot of that charm in the process.

The best band we routinely play with is Iris Divine, who are loads better than their recorded work. We'll definitely be doing more Saturday shows with them, and you absolutely must see them. They're right up your alley.
 

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Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for that flipped out and was fired for it. They've lost a lot of that charm in the process.

The best band we routinely play with is Iris Divine, who are loads better than their recorded work. We'll definitely be doing more Saturday shows with them, and you absolutely must see them. They're right up your alley.
I remember checking them out a while ago, and while only one song really did it for me ("Unspoken Tragedy"), that song was good enough to find its way into my regular rotation :yesway:
 

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I am Groot
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I remember checking them out a while ago, and while only one song really did it for me ("Unspoken Tragedy"), that song was good enough to find its way into my regular rotation :yesway:
Wait until they get done with the album, the new stuff is amazing.
 

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Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for that flipped out and was fired for it. They've lost a lot of that charm in the process.

The best band we routinely play with is Iris Divine, who are loads better than their recorded work. We'll definitely be doing more Saturday shows with them, and you absolutely must see them. They're right up your alley.
Aw fuck, I really wanted to catch a show with you two and then lose myself in Jaegar shots afterwards. :lol:

I'll check out some of the Isis Divine, keeping in mind they're better live, and definitely try to get down there for a show. :yesway:
 

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I am Groot
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Aw fuck, I really wanted to catch a show with you two and then lose myself in Jaegar shots afterwards. :lol:

I'll check out some of the Iris Divine, keeping in mind they're better live, and definitely try to get down there for a show. :yesway:
Oh, we still do shows with them. They're just missing one of the two clowns that made that a laugh before.

ID will level you live. They're national touring prog act good. Actually, they're opening for Orphaned Land on October 7th. If it wasn't a Thursday, I'd tell you to come down for that one.
 

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The article's point is that if that people said "no guarantee; so who's gear do I use?" and said it consistently, there would be a lot more guaranteed shows :yesway: you're kind of proving the point I think (?).
Guarantees =/= not using your own gear. its a guarantee for a certain amount of money after you play. Besides, I've never seen house gear or other bands' gear that I'd use.
 

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Guarantees =/= not using your own gear. its a guarantee for a certain amount of money after you play. Besides, I've never seen house gear or other bands' gear that I'd use.
I think the point he's making is "If you're not paying us, we're not bringing our expensive gear, and doing all the setup work. It's our job to make sure we have everything we need, and it's your job to pay us."
 
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