Note: The following views do not represent the views of Uncivil Revolt or the staff of Uncivil Revolt and are the views of the author themselves.
I’ve got something to get off my chest, here and now! Easy guys, and maybe some of you gals, its most certainly not my bikini top! So sit back, relax, and toss aside your safe-place ‘blankies’, lend me your music loving ears…bitches!”
Let’s address the elephant in the room, or should I say the elephant that everyone sees. Locals acts. True, everyone was a local band once, but the real deal here is the fucking money. If you’re a lucky enough to be able to afford to tour and pay a booker (who will take your money no matter how shitty your band is) you can go anywhere and play for anyone. I would say 95% of bands are not this way, or embody that same mentality. They take shows anywhere at any time, and more often than not, travel in a shitty van trying to sell their wares in order to make a dollar or two. Gas money is always a need, they play sometimes to pay a fucking bar tab; and there’s a good chance that they had to sell 20 to 40 tickets, in a 2 week period, just to get on the bill. But they have to pay their dues and gain experience, and you can see the devotion to do just that, on their faces, and when they bring it to the stages, and any small bars or clubs they book.
What we have here, are the “weekend warriors” who are musicians with day jobs and “tour” only on the weekends, only visiting neighboring towns or cities. Local bands will sometimes cross state lines, many of them! This does not, however let them remove the “local band” status, unless they are getting ready to up their game plan, to pursue bigger and better things. The thing with local bands is, they don’t seem to be able to see the world outside their drink ticket covered face.
The biggest problem, is that most local bands bitch and fucking whine about why they aren’t getting the ‘breaks’ they think they deserve to be getting. In this new age, the digital age of the music business, luck has nothing to do with it. You make your own success, luck is a simple formula of when preparation meets opportunity. Most local bands won’t or don’t have the preparation part down, and frankly, that shit is on them.
To ‘make it’ in music you gotta have the fucking desire to be great, not famous but great. Most musicians are, just not great. Fuck, they are, for the most part, only good enough to bring friends and family out to their fucking shows. They do not just yet, have what it takes to make someone drive 5 hours to come see them. You can have all business skills of a fucking J.P. Morgan, but it means nothing, if you don’t have a fucking product that people demand, in this case, it’s your music. Whether it’s how good the live show is or your recorded music, some aspect of your fucking band needs to be great.!
One more piece of advice, play out as much as you can. Learn and gain experience. You’re not gonna be paid much, because you don’t deserve to be, yet. Don’t take this as “musicians don’t deserve to be paid.” Know your worth. If you literally have no one willing to pay you to play (or buy tickets to watch you play) you are probably not ready. So, stop fucking bitching about not being paid and get better.
To all you fucking asshole pay-to-play promoters out there, this does not give you a pass to tell local bands to pay you, just to get on a stage for experience or exposure. This is a fucked up, bad practice and you know it. Throw at least enough for a fucking tank of gas at them, and promote them first, not yourselves first! The game has changed, so don’t give me that, “I have been doing this for 20 years shit either.”
If you are a touring act that used to play your local clubs, spent time in the trenches, paid your dues and have become great; don’t disrespect the ones trying to do it now. If you have been doing this for 20 years and have only played out of your region 2 to 3 times, you are doing this because you enjoy it. Making money or thinking you will be an overnight rock star, doesn’t drive you, the love of your craft does. (Oh, and by the way, any fucking body can get sponsored by coldcock, don’t think you are a fucking major act because they gave you a couple of t shirts and a banner.)