Wanted: Creed Tribute Band
Rocks Off is not generally a fan of tribute bands, and even less so of Creed. We did have one guy hear who was a fan, but we left his body in the lobby as a warning to others who would embrace Stapp and Co. with arms wide open.
Courtesy of Codi Rowe Codi Rowe (right) with Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti
But judging from the turnout at last Saturday's concert, there are plenty of people in the Houston area who do. So it wasn't all that surprising to find a listing for someone wanting to start a Creed tribute act on Craigslist this week.
What was surprising was just how sensible an act that now seems after sitting down to talk with the project's founder, Codi Rowe.
Codi Rowe: First off, I would like to thank you for giving me the chance to explain myself a little and for helping drive some interest for me.
Rocks Off: No problem. Why do Creed covers instead of original music heavily influenced by Creed?
CR: Many of us musicians do not have access to tons of money (notice I didn't say "have tons of money"), which is what you need to break out onto the national scene. Radio stations like The Buzz aren't really interested in playing music from local up-and-coming-bands.
I know, I know...they have the Texas Buzz, but you have to be at least on the regional radar before you'll get airplay with those guys. You have to have an agent that's willing to throw some money to them to play your music. They're a terrible station for anyone trying to make a living making music in this town. They offer minimal support for local music.
These big-time radio stations owned by media conglomerates like Clear Channel get paid by the big record labels to play that record label's music. Every second of airtime on those radio stations is some form of an advertisement. The songs are advertisements for the record labels that released them just as much as the commercials promising you an extra inch of girth and an extra three inches of length you-know-where. It's all about the dollar.
Now, if I went to that station and told them I would pay them every time they spun my track, they might pass the idea up the ranks and have their regional director shoot it down because Warner probably pays them an ungodly amount of money that makes him just laugh at my offer. Look at the iheartradio app.
That's a lot of stations that these record labels get their tracks to all across America for what seems like an unfathomable amount of money to me, but is a drop in the bucket compared to the other promotion expenses these labels incur. Why would Clear Channel be interested in the little bit of money I might offer - maybe $50 [per] time, if everybody in the band was throwing in money for promotions - a radio station every time they play my song?
That was the first reason. The second reason is that Houstonians as a whole are not interested in original music that they haven't heard already. They don't want to pay the $5 cover and have the chance of not liking what the band on stage will put out. What those people don't understand is that the bars listen to demos of the bands or call other bar managers for references before they let them onstage.
They aren't going to take a gig from the Kentucky Travelers without hearing their music first and hearing a good review. You'll never see a bar owner horrified when the band gets on stage at a rock club because one guy is playing a washtub bass, another is playing a banjo and you got a fellow up there playing the spoons. That bar manager has heard that band's recording and believed it would be a good fit for his target clientele.
But the too-cheap-to-pay-the-$5-cover-without-knowing-what-he's-hearing-guy doesn't realize this, and doesn't realize he just might like it. The bar owners/manager also recognize this, so it can be difficult to get in without knowing someone on the inside.
Since I've only been in town for a year and have just finally established myself, I haven't had much of a social life, so I don't know many people - so original music is out of the question until I hit the Mega Millions jackpot.