Rock Band + Decent Shows = Lots of Work

Listen, communication is the key to any run. Whether it be a run for political office, a run to pick up a carryout pizza order, or a run to being in a moderately successful band.

The more shows you do, the more albums you release, the more popular you get the more emails, phone calls, and *gasp* physical conversations you’re demanded to get/have. It’s a necessary side to being involved in something that has the potential to be bigger than you. And for the typically socially inept member of a band that’s a frightening concept. Not only do you have to “interact” with unfamiliar faces but you must keep track of each band members schedule and coordinate availability. It’s no fun, no fun at all.

Recently I’ve been attempting to help some out-of-town bands with a few Detroit shows. Usually this is a simple task. I’ll get the requested dates from the out-of-towner, contact some venues in/around the city with the dates, follow-up with adjustments/reminders and respond back to the out-of-towner with the results. It’s not until I begin attempting to fill out the bill with a few local bands that the trouble begins. Chances are, if the out-of-towner is to the point of booking out-of-state shows they’ll (somewhat) have their sh*t together. But “locals” on the other hand are a crap shoot. Either they possess an overpowering need to remain local by not having any organizational skills (or bow skills) or they’re communication just sucks (which is piggybacked from the former, only reworded). Seriously people. A message has a shelf life of 24 hours! If there’s no response by then, chances are the sender is moving on. I’m not even talking about a response with conclusion. Just a f*^king response! “Sorry man, can’t do it.” “Hey, sounds good. Let me check with the other guys.” Easy, quick. No more than 30 seconds per message. Just let me know you’re there. That buys you another 24-48 hours. At that point you better have your ducks in a row. If not, decline because you’re not ready to run.

There’s no excuse for poor communication. Being in a band is a public enterprise. As soon as you decide to stand on a stage and make an ass of yourself you’ve committed yourself to the game. If you think you’re “above” a show request (chances are you’re not) then respond with a polite declination. Great communication is one of the dividing factors between success and failure. If you don’t believe me, give this a try. Email a large local band in your area with a fake show request. Don’t make it elaborate, just invite them to play a local dive. Wait for a response. I’ll bet, even if this band is on tour, you’ll get something in a number of hours. Hopefully, for your sake it’s to decline the offer. If not, good luck with that. There’s reasons bands get big. They have good songs and can multi-task with great efficiency. If not, they’ve probably hired someone to handle their communications (or write their songs).

Read: The Perils of DIY