Why I HATE your band. Yes, YOUR band.

You might be asking yourself, "Why does Bill hate my band so much?", as I typically hate around 99% of bands.

Now this is a legitimate question, I mean, your band might have hundreds, even thousands of fans. Yet every time someone mentions your band name, you can see my disappointed look in the back of your mind. Me, shaking my head in disgust, long luxurious locks flowing in the breeze as I vigorously try to shake the fart smell of your crappy music out of my brain.

The truth is, I have developed a fool-proof system for quantifying the quality of each band. I have spent years honing this mental tool in order to save my delicate psyche from the garbage that pollutes the airwaves and fiber optic cables of today's popular culture.

In an effort to do a great service to the rest of humanity, I am going to offer you a little insight in to this highly polished mental process.

Let us cover a few basics first:

If you band features members of any of the following you are automatically disqualified:

MxPx, DC Talk, Blink 182, (hate to say it) Motley Crue, any "Nu-Metal" band ever.

There are others, that's just a small taste. If you are ever approached by former or current members of any of those acts make sure to decline requests to "jam". If you accept I will instantly hate you.

Now, let's cover the basics:

1.) Your band has a stupid name.

No, really. A fucking stupid name will KILL your band, at least in my eyes. You could play the most badass music in the history of sound but it doesn't matter if your name is retarded.

Example, "INfliKted", a stupid transposition of one letter takes a mundane, boring band name and makes it ridiculously idiotic. Replacing a "C" with a "K" is like wearing an Ed Hardy shirt, it instantly identifies you as a douchebag.

"Dudes, you have to come and check out my band on Saturday."- Douche

"Oh cool, what are you called?"- Me being polite

"The band's name is "MissStykk"." - Douche

"I hope you have life insurance that covers murder." -Me

The trend of trying to be "clever" and have a band name that is comprised of pidjin English wore off the minute Fred Durst did, which is to say 15 minutes after we heard about him. And that really is the main problem, if you swap a "C" for a "K" you are directly following in the footsteps of Fred Durst and we all know where that road leads....

The best visual metaphor ever created. 
 2.) You play shitty music. 

Ok, so let's say you've sorted out the band name. Changed it from "KandlleKrusH" to something respectable like "Seeger's Beard" or something rad like that. 

Great! You're one step closer to not being a complete waste of time. Now we need to take the ol' magnifying glass to your music, which might also require taking the flamethrower to it as well. 

The vast majority of the bands I hear don't have a fucking clue what music is. Before you start getting worried that I'm going to say it's not music unless it's Metal, that's not the case. A lot of Metal bands I hear nowadays suck just as much as their folk counterparts, because the problem isn't with the genre choices, it's with the actual music writing itself. 

When you listen to a song like "Opium Trail" by Thin Lizzy, you can hear exactly what they were going for. You can feel the desperation in Phil Lynott's voice as he tries to convey a complex message over incredibly well arranged and thought out music. There is something monumental about good song writing, something that transcends the physical and grabs you in the darkest reaches of you mind. 

Then there's this:


Whew. I needed to get that out. 

That is a prime example of writing for the lowest common denominator. The idea of music like that being that you only should write something that lies very close to the surface, something that any idiot with 20 dollars in his wallet would gladly suspend his forthcoming birth control purchase to drop money on (hence creating a whole new generation of idiots for guys like this to rip off when they inevitably become record executives). It's a proven formula for success (or "SukkSekks" as they would probably spell it) that has been going on since recorded music began. There will always be vapid fucking clueless idiots that will listen to whatever TV tell them to and this is not me being jaded, that's the truth (Color Me Badd ring a bell? How the fuck did they have a career?). 

So odds are you write music like that, so I hate your band. If you could take the energy you use tuning your fretless bass to C and make an attempt to write something from the soul I might get on board, but probably not. 

Songwriting is a craft, much like crochet or woodworking, it takes practice and skill with a liberal dose of natural talent to make it work. The difference between songwriting and other crafts is that not every idiot thinks they can crochet a cozy or build a bookshelf. 

Take the time to think about what you're writing, to pull influence from something other than the local Hot Topic and write a fucking song with some depth! Also, don't release every shitty thing you've recorded! 

In this day and age with information being SO prevalent, things you put out there last forever. Inevitably your first songs are going to suck, so don't put them on YouTube! Wait until you've garnered the skills required of the task and keep your early efforts a secret. Speaking of experience...

3.) You missed the fucking boat. 

You heard me! You missed the fucking boat. 

I'm older now, especially in the musical arena, and have gathered a lifetimes worth of failure to look back on and build off of. I've never been THAT successful, but have done much more than the average musician gets to and for that I'm grateful. I have no ideas that I will ever "make it" as once I hit 23 years old I knew that "making it" is bullshit. What that term really means is that you have a HUGE debt to the IRS and possibly debilitating herpes. 

We all had dreams of being a famous rock star, because it looks rad and seems easy! The truth is, very few people reach that status because that kind of success is so reliant on luck. There is no marketable formula for who gets to be the rockstar and who ends up the session musician, if there was we'd all be rockstars. 

What there is out there is loyalty, which is thousands of times better than stardom. Take for example Brett Michaels. In his prime, he strutted around stages in front of thousands and thousands of fans. Getting blowjobs, drinking Coors and farting in the face of the established scene. Yeah right. Well anyway...
Fuck off.

During the late Eighties this motherfucker was on top. If it wasn't for Axl Rose and Sebastian Bach this douche would have fucked every bleach blonde girl on the planet.

Then it all came crashing down, fast. The bottom fell out of that comfortable lifestyle and guys like BM (haha!) were left to wipe the cum off of their own bellies. No more Perrier in the limo, no more lines of crazy groupies. Everybody put on a flannel and fucked these dumbasses right off.

So BM (haha pt.2) went "underground" which is to say no one called him for a few years and then, he became ironic. That's when shit got really sad. 

VH1 called and up and I assume the conversation went something like this:

"Uh, Hey, Brett Michaels?"- VH1 producer

"Speaking. Is this CC?"- BM (haha pt.3)

"Um, no sir. This is the producer of Flavor of Love. We were interested in trying to get a few bucks out of the fact that you are so not cool that you are kind of becoming cool again." -Prodoucher.

"Will I get to fuck strippers?"- BM (not this time)

"Of course, that's the whole premise of the show."- VH1 guy

"Sign me up!"- BM (ok, this time. HAHAH)

To a guy like Brett, this was awesome news! To the rest of the world its just sad as fuck. 

His latest "Poison" is botox.
The point being, that even if you do make it to the TOP, the top turns out to be the bottom of something else. Only Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Huey Lewis ever made money off of music. You're too fucking late.

Also, if you are in your late thirties or early forties and trying to start the "next big thing", fucking give up. Just write music that you'd like to hear. Don't cultivate an image, don't recruit guys that are in their twenties to back you up. Just find dudes your own age that play the way you like, jam and have fun. 

If you are  25 or above and still trying to "make it", make a noose and fucking hang yourself. At least you'll succeed at that.

4.) Nobody cares.

That's right! Nobody gives a flying fuck about your band! 

"But we're trying so hard!"
In a world where nearly every album that has ever been recorded can be found within the touch of a button, no one will ever give two fucks about "Wykked Warlokk"s debut album.

Since all the good shit is available anywhere, any time, most people won't be intrigued by variations on a theme. You need to be doing some original shit to get anyone to notice and you have to do it well.
"We missed that last part."

You can't just keep putting out the same shit that the guy down the street is doing and expect everyone to just jump right on board. You need to craft your songs with expertise (no matter what kind of music you play) and forge your stage show in the fires of creation!

I hear so many bands that I confuse the crappy late-era Metallica albums it's starting to get ridiculous. Why don't those bands try to do something original you ask? Because they don't know how, because that involves skill. As I mentioned before, making GOOD music is hard, really fucking hard. Writing something that your friends like is one thing, writing something thousands of people like is nearly impossible.

The best thing to do, like I also said earlier, is to write something YOU like to listen to. It won't be perfect, but if you like it, it will be perfect for you. And let's be honest, since no one else gives a shit, that's all that matters.

The greatest bands just "are". You can't recreate that, no matter how much you bite their sound or gimmick. Just stick with what you know and I won't throw bottles of warm piss at you. Much.

5.) Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Now that everyone has a computer and audio software is cheap as fuck, most people think they are some kind of engineer. The truth is, they pay people to do that for a reason. So unless you are a total audiophile or big nerd for engineering, don't bother. You will always fuck it up and most likely take any chance you had of getting fans and fucking it right off. 

It was nice when it costs thousands of dollars to record, it kept bands like "Cyklikal Cirkis" from putting out ten albums. They'd do one and then fail and rightfully hang it the fuck up.

Now those same cunts will put out three hundred singles and ten albums. It's getting stupid, real stupid. 

I love the availability of independent music and great albums, but the vast majority of bands riding this digital wave are absolute shit. You have to wade through metric tons of diarrhea to get to the one gem in the bunch. You used to only have to wade through a cowpie at best, it's getting out of hand. 
My suggestion; Don't fucking start. Do the garage band thing (not the recording program either). 

I guess my whole point is this; you do NOT need to make every band you play in THE band. It's ok to just jam with friends and to rock out in private. If you get to play some shows, rad. If not, that's ok. If you want to record a CD and give it out to your friends, rad. If you want to record a CD and present it to labels, don't bother. 

The listeners will tell you if you've got something. If you don't have listeners, you obviously don't have shit. So do your thing, have fun and don't sweat it.

No comments:

Post a Comment