Things You Should Know Before You Start A Band
A few weeks back we asked our round table what advice they would give other bands in town. Their answers ranged from solidly DIY nuggets from April Brem Patrick to smart business ethos from Andrew Karnavas. Now Rocks Off even feels like we could be in a band.
Our powerviolence/noise project, Christian Bale's Batman Voice, has been a secret too long.
Anyhow, these guys and one girl came up with some stellar advice for anyone with a promising young band in Houston. From their own experiences, they also laid down out some harsh realities.
We only write about music, it's these people who do the biggest part by creating and performing it. They have it a lot harder than those of us in the peanut gallery who rarely have to stand in front of others to pour out our art. All we have to do is tweet or post some words and hide behind a computer with a cup of coffee.
We guess if we had any advice for bands today, it's to remember why you first picked up your instrument in the first place. If you keep ahold of that spirit, everything else should come easy. Bringing joy or understanding to someone with a song is a gift.
Oh, and don't be a dickhead. You sing songs, people. You aren't pulling people out of fires, carrying an M-16 in Afghanistan, or working with babies and gunshot victims in the Ben Taub emergency room. We love what you do, almost to the point that people may call it hero worship at times, but it's not the whole world.
At the end of the day, it's how you treat people that matters the most. It's something we struggle with daily.
Don't be afraid to get out there and meet other musicians or go to shows, especially here in Houston. One of the things I love about this town is the variety of bands, people, and styles that cross over regularly without anyone thinking twice.
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A great recent example would be the Free Press' New Years Eve Show. Fat Tony, Brains For Dinner, B L A C K I E, Hamamatsu Tom, LIMB, Golden Axe, Wild Moccasins, and Weird Party all sharing a club together, all vastly different from each other, and all inspirational.
Shows with odd lineups are a regular occurrence in this town, and always serve to kick me in the ass to get out and play. If a guy like me that's been kicking around town for a few years can be inspired by what I see, then a new musician should be equally blown away by what's going on in Houston.
If you're new to Houston's music scene, don't be afraid to introduce yourself to the guys playing in the bands. For the most part, everyone is really friendly and supportive of each other, and we will generally welcome you into our dumb little incestuous community with open arms. It's like our own take on [Six] Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
If you get to know a few people, pretty soon it all opens up and you will be turned on to all other kinds of great bands, which in turn are inspiring and are great chance to let people know about your own brand new dumb band.
Oh, yeah, one more thing, if you're doing this for money, stop now or you will not be happy. Money is great if it can be made, but the reward must be the music. Music is No. 1, always.