Things You Should Know Before You Start A Band

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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.


JOE ORTIZ, CLOCKPOLE

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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.

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.

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9 comments
Diana Taylor
Diana Taylor

ALL IT TAKES IS THE WILL AND DAMNED GOOD WRITING. THE REST WILL FOLLOW, NEVER EVER QUIT

Diana Taylor
Diana Taylor

I am from houston Texas, and I must say "DON'T SLEEP ON HOUSTON TALENT" I NOW AM A FULL TIME MUSICIAN / RECORDING ARTIST. AND AM THE ONLY Diana Taylor on Itunes. mY RECENT ALBUM IS TITLED: "This Kinda Love" please check it out. I started out in the church AND all throughout Texas, as well as the nite clubs and Competitions around the city. i LIVE IN New York City Now and am thriving in the scene here. However, I would'nt trade the preparation and awesome humble beginnings back HOME. I LOVE TEXAS...ESPECIALLY HOUSTON AND AUSTIN. DIANA TAYLOR PS. MY LATEST RELEASE "tHE WORLD AIN'T GONNA END" IS DUE OUT 2012.

Fuckoffdieplz
Fuckoffdieplz

Since when does Rock and Roll involve kissing so much ass? Rich girls with no real life have no idea what is going on. You should write more songs about bubblegum and hairspray instead of talking about others when they are not even around to defend themselves. How lame. Go away.

april5k
april5k

so good i liked it twice!

Marc Brubaker
Marc Brubaker

April Patrick rules my face. So happy to have her in Prairie Cadets.

Hasta Luego
Hasta Luego

Things You Should Know Before Starting a Band: Don't. There are plenty. There is no need for anymore. Thanks. We have heard the song that you will write fifty times already in the last year. The "biz" is saturated with no hope of ever recovering (thanks internet and computer software!). Here's a thought; if you have a creative bone to pick run a mile or two. Whatever urge you had is now gone and you have done yourself and us a real favor.

Hemmroidcules
Hemmroidcules

Naw, there aren't enough bands, if you're really passionate about music as a listener, you'll shift through the loads of stuff you hate to find the few gems you're passionate about. But if people aren't out there pushing it on a daily basis, there will be no innovation to find. I love that there are a billion bands out there, and I love that they all email me, send me invites, and ask me to listen to their songs that I usually don't have time for, cause I've seriously found some amazing people that way and met some cool ass musicians.

My balls itch.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

Not unlike sifting through the mountain of sludge left over from Hurricane Ike knowing that you will eventually find that pear shaped diamond ring.

It's the journey that counts!

Right!

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