An interesting question to those in cover bands...perhaps.

Post here anything about the world of drumming. Equipment, music, drum gear, artists, events, gigs, and anything else drum set related!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
racefan33
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:24 am
Location: Sunny So Cal

Post Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:14 pm

I've been playing in coverbands pretty much exclusively for a while now. You have to find the right situation. I'm lucky enough to be in cover bands that try to stick to stuff that's fun for us. Sure we end up having to play Sweet Home Alabama but only when there is no avoiding it and that's usually at a time where the vibe is so up that it ends up be a fun time.

I like the challenge of nailing a groove and feel of diffent songs while still making them my own. Plus the pay and being able to play for 4 hours a night without being rushed on and off stage is great. Also I still get a charge from seeing someone reacting to what I'm playing. Whether it be dancing, taping their feet or just bobbing thier head I'm the one putting that groove out there that they are connecting to.

I live in Los Angeles and I really feel for the guys that are tring to make it here with an original band. It's pretty much exclusively pay to play for new bands here. I pretty much burned out on the rush on stage to play for 35 min and rush off which we all know as a drummer sucks hard.

P.S. This board has been flooded with new topics I just randomly hit one the the old pages and found this topic.
Image
Jeff Porcaro - Lord of Groove
User avatar
BillRayDrums
Member Of The Year 2010
Member Of The Year 2010
Posts: 2009
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:59 am
Location: Lower California

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:04 am

Cover bands=work. I play in cover bands but maintain at the moment 2 or 3 original projects. Keeps the sanity.

And listen carefully kids, because this pertains to YOU- You can chase the $100/night gigs FOREVER and I mean like, until you DIE. Always strive to push outside of your normal situation. Best-case scenario- find a group of players that like to do the original thing AND the cover thing. The tighter you can become with one core circle of people will help to develop your success.

And please, learn to spot when the band (or yourself) is circling the drain and have the presence of mind to save yourself from getting sucked down.
User avatar
Rob Crisp
groove master
groove master
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:19 am

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:23 am

Right now I'm in an original band, my first. Before it was all covers.

I agree with the comments that good music is good music. We all sit down and play along to our favourite songs just for the hell of it, so why should it matter when you sawp the iPod or CD for a few other band mates and then get paid for it?

I actually miss the days of playing in the cover band. It's a hard job writing, practicing and then playing your own material to a room full of people who may or may not think yours is"good music".

With the covers band, it was turn up, set up and play for a couple of hours. Now it's turn up, some ass hole beats your kit about, you play for 40 mins and then have to pack everything down.

Oh then you get paid a pittance if anything at all.

I'd say it's definitely harder to keep your motivation up in original bands.
User avatar
zerodogma
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:40 am
Location: Little Elm, TX

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:00 am

Well... our band plays the local clubs here in Dallas/Ft.Worth (that's TEXAS for y'all foreigners :wink: ) We only play for one reason: It's fun!
All the guys in the band are pushing 40, have families and full time jobs, and aren't looking for our 'big break'. There are TONS of cover/tribute bands in the DFW area, and TONS of all original bands too. Personally I like bands who mix it up (like we do). We currently have about a dozen originals and 25+ covers that we mix up depending on the venue and type of crowd that we will be playing for.
Just like screamkevin stated; on any given night I have to reproduce lots of different drummers chops - Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rush, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, AC/DC, KISS, etc... all crowd-pleaser's for the local rock bar patron. And when we throw our originals into the mix, the crowd has a tendency to pay more attention to what we are playing. We put on a good show, and get asked to come back and play pretty much 100% of the time... pretty much all that matters.

So anyway, you can check out the originals at the bands myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/theblacksheepband

Peace and beer!
Stand back! I have a COWBELL... and I am not afraid to use it.........
Saluda Cymbals - B20 never sounded so good...
Gretz
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:37 am
Location: New York, NY

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:20 am

i have played in more than my share of cover bands over the years and this is my take on it.

To be in a steadily working cover band you have to stay on top of your song list which means learning a lot of songs. Over the years, I developed a series of shorthand notations and shortcuts for learning the details of songs quickly and accurately. I used this to my advantage and now when I get called for original gigs and have to learn a set's worth of songs quickly I'm able to use these things to my advantage.

I also learned a lot about music in general... as you are learning these cover songs you start to see different arrangement ideas. Maybe some different beats that you wouldn't normally think of that you can alter and use in other things.

One of the bands I was in did a lot of weddings/banquets...playing the polkas, or doing a set of standards at dinner time. Or bizarre requests that the wedding party had... we ended up playing things and styles that normally i would not have had to do. But in researching this stuff in learning it... I gave myself the ability that I can convincingly play some of these styles now if called upon.

The key to being a full-time musician is being able to play a LOT of different stuff.

So... my point is... the key to enjoying a gig like this is looking at what your gaining. Don't worry so much about it not being your own music or that people aren't listening to YOU. And think of it as would you rather be playing drums and getting paid... or waiting tables.

one final note, people DO go to hear the "songs". BUT if you're good... they'll come see YOU play the songs... and not some other band. They do know the difference.
Rockula!
groove master
groove master
Posts: 1053
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Dallas Texass

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:12 pm

RobDrmz wrote: LITTLE SECRET! - Major drummers play in cover bands when they are off the road. Just met a vocalist that plays with Eric Singer!


That's because KISS has pretty much turned into the biggest KISS tribute band in the country

Do we need any more proof tghat we have lapped ourselves when there are tribute bands for any and every band that has even remotely made an impact
Hell
I saw a Black Label Society tribute band in the paper the other day
This shit has gotten way out of hand and one of the reasons it has is because most bands today lack the imagination to play anything that sounds different from their heroes
In addition, the bands that double as cover/originals end usp writing songs that sound just like their covers
I don't really consider it much of an accomplishment when someone exclaims "Dude, they sound just like "________"
Great
So you can emulate somebody doing something that has already been done
There's a difference between playing the songs you like at Tipsy Mc Stagger's on the weekend and spending all of your time perfecting your version of the entire TOOL song library
Maybe you should spend all that time looking for something artistcally productive instead of making a living off some other band's fame

Don't get me wrong
I don't resent these people
I just don't respect it
There's no shame in doing it as a hobby
Just don't expect people to take you seriously as an artist
You say irritant, I say catalyst
User avatar
BillRayDrums
Member Of The Year 2010
Member Of The Year 2010
Posts: 2009
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:59 am
Location: Lower California

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:20 pm

Rockula! wrote:
RobDrmz wrote: LITTLE SECRET! - Major drummers play in cover bands when they are off the road. Just met a vocalist that plays with Eric Singer!


That's because KISS has pretty much turned into the biggest KISS tribute band in the country

Do we need any more proof tghat we have lapped ourselves when there are tribute bands for any and every band that has even remotely made an impact
Hell
I saw a Black Label Society tribute band in the paper the other day
This shit has gotten way out of hand and one of the reasons it has is because most bands today lack the imagination to play anything that sounds different from their heroes
In addition, the bands that double as cover/originals end usp writing songs that sound just like their covers
I don't really consider it much of an accomplishment when someone exclaims "Dude, they sound just like "________"
Great
So you can emulate somebody doing something that has already been done
There's a difference between playing the songs you like at Tipsy Mc Stagger's on the weekend and spending all of your time perfecting your version of the entire TOOL song library
Maybe you should spend all that time looking for something artistcally productive instead of making a living off some other band's fame

Don't get me wrong
I don't resent these people
I just don't respect it
There's no shame in doing it as a hobby
Just don't expect people to take you seriously as an artist


That's all good. However, I prefer being the guy up on stage, playing the drums & getting paid for it rather than being the guy in the crowd, wishing he were on stage.
Rockula!
groove master
groove master
Posts: 1053
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Dallas Texass

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:34 pm

Wishing I had a girlfriend is not enough for me to lower my standards and settling for someone I don't want
Same applies to music
It's hard to be envious of someone doing something that you have no desire to do
Therefore, I wouldn't wish to be a human jukebox just so I can get on stage
Fortunately, there are still people who want to see original music, so there are plenty of opportunities for me to get on a stage
I'd rather make $25 playing for 15 people who want to see me than $100 for people who just want to hear a Papa Roach cover
You say irritant, I say catalyst
User avatar
racefan33
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:24 am
Location: Sunny So Cal

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:56 pm

Rockula! wrote:Wishing I had a girlfriend is not enough for me to lower my standards and settling for someone I don't want
Same applies to music
It's hard to be envious of someone doing something that you have no desire to do
Therefore, I wouldn't wish to be a human jukebox just so I can get on stage
Fortunately, there are still people who want to see original music, so there are plenty of opportunities for me to get on a stage
I'd rather make $25 playing for 15 people who want to see me than $100 for people who just want to hear a Papa Roach cover


Dude you have to chill before Nurse Ratchet calls a code red on you too make you a real "happy" person. C'mon the Cool Aid tastes good, it'll relax you.
Image
Jeff Porcaro - Lord of Groove
User avatar
Majestyfan
beginner
beginner
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:25 pm

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:10 pm

I play in both original and cover bands... plus I've done the mix of the 2 with moderate local sucess. I think the main thing (and the consensus among the forum members) is that we all want to play our instrument, and be the best artist and performer that we can be. If playing in a cover band is how you do it... great. Not all of us can be a smash hit with our original projects. I've been down that road and I'm not trying to make it big... I just want to play. I still get satisfaction writing and recording music with my mates... but when it comes to playing for people, it's the covers that work. Most of the covers my band plays are radio rock... we play some old school favorites, plus the "flavor of the month" songs too. Most of these new songs I've never heard before I have to learn them. So, most of them I don't even care to listen to. (I gave up on radio a long time ago) That being said, listening to that mediocre radio rock song over and over again just to learn it, becomes worth the trouble when the crowd sings along and the girls shake their booty. In the end, if the people are happy, then I'm happy.
Rock on!
Rockula!
groove master
groove master
Posts: 1053
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Dallas Texass

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:51 pm

[quote="racefan33 Dude you have to chill before Nurse Ratchet calls a code red on you too make you a real "happy" person. C'mon the Cool Aid tastes good, it'll relax you.[/quote]

Perhaps you are taking my comments too personally
This is how I see the issue
Just because I have dramatically different vews doesn't mean that I all pissed of about it
I just happen to have very strong opinions and I use very blunt terms to communicate them
That way, there's no confusion about how I feel
Besides, anything critical a person posts on a message board automatically comes across more negative since you do not have the luxury of hearing the tone or inflection of vocal delivery
Plus
Emoticons are gay
:wink:
You say irritant, I say catalyst
User avatar
BillRayDrums
Member Of The Year 2010
Member Of The Year 2010
Posts: 2009
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:59 am
Location: Lower California

Post Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:35 pm

Rockula! wrote:Wishing I had a girlfriend is not enough for me to lower my standards and settling for someone I don't want
Same applies to music
It's hard to be envious of someone doing something that you have no desire to do
Therefore, I wouldn't wish to be a human jukebox just so I can get on stage
Fortunately, there are still people who want to see original music, so there are plenty of opportunities for me to get on a stage
I'd rather make $25 playing for 15 people who want to see me than $100 for people who just want to hear a Papa Roach cover


I guess what I meant to say was that I suffer for the art as much as I play cover tunes. I maintain several original projects and also manage to keep working with a few cover-type bands and that equals cash. But hey, WTG for upholding your standards.
User avatar
racefan33
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:24 am
Location: Sunny So Cal

Post Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:37 am

Rockula! wrote:
racefan33 wrote: Dude you have to chill before Nurse Ratchet calls a code red on you too make you a real "happy" person. C'mon the Cool Aid tastes good, it'll relax you.


Perhaps you are taking my comments too personally
This is how I see the issue
Just because I have dramatically different vews doesn't mean that I all pissed of about it
I just happen to have very strong opinions and I use very blunt terms to communicate them
That way, there's no confusion about how I feel
Besides, anything critical a person posts on a message board automatically comes across more negative since you do not have the luxury of hearing the tone or inflection of vocal delivery
Plus
Emoticons are gay
:wink:


Bummer, my amazingly acerbic wit went flying right over your head. (references-One Flew Over The Cookoo's Net, A Few Good Men, the Reverend Jim Jones)
I understand what your point is. I was just commenting that you seem to be wound a bit tightly and suggest that you might want to relax a bit before you bust an aneurism.
Also no worries about taking a comment personally. I mean how personal can you take a board posting? Really how can someone let what anyone says effect your self-esteem it's got the word self right in it, it's what you think of yourself. It's so amusing to me how people get riled up.
Rock on.
Image
Jeff Porcaro - Lord of Groove
Rockula!
groove master
groove master
Posts: 1053
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Dallas Texass

Post Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:40 am

The central point of this issue is that cover bands and ESPECIALLY tribute bands de-value original music
It is both a cause and a symptom
An overwhealming percentage of musicians get into it for the glory
You can take the whole "noble joy of making music" and say it a million times but most people are in it for the money, fame and pussy
When they realise that this business is no longer interested in anything remotely resembling original music, they find any way to get that high by pandering to the masses
Since you can still kiss the ass of the mainstream music scene (most importantly the local scene) and get nowhere
The path of least resistence dictates "If you can't beat 'em, cover 'em"
That way, you get to pack the house with hot girls that wanna do you and guys that wanna slap you on the back and congratulate you on how well you emulate artists that they would rather be listening to right now instead of your stuff
You know, those "original" songs that give people a chance to go to the bar and get a drink

So, do I take it personally?
You bet your ass I do
I spent a good chunk of my life trying to achieve mainstream success and I believed in all that shit
However, the older I get, the more transparent the real intentions of all the guilty parties become

The music industry has gotten fat, lazy and bloated on a steady diet of high profit margain and un-challenging bands that are willing to roll over and take it in the ass for 1% of the profit
Musicians themselves have abandoned any type of pursuit that does not include "making it"
Can you blame them?
Even the most extreme forms of music have "boy bands" (I saw a thrash boy band video the other day)
The subcultures no longer have the "us against them" atitude
Why bother when you can get farther emulating all the other bands on the Jagermeister tour?
Besides, you get to open for Slayer
Lastly, the music consumer has been fed a steady diet of these empty calories and hasn't bothered to get their asses of the couch to turn the channel to see if anything new is happening
That requires too much effort, so they just swallow whatever sugar coated generic band that they're told is "the next big thing"
Besides, nothing give you comfort like bonding with other people of music and you don't wanna seem different do you?

We are living in an age where you have unlimited access to any type of music you can imagine
And yet, popular music has never been so devoid of any type of variety within each genre
There's no denying that tribute bands are extremely popular
Can you blame people?
Most of those bands were popular when music didn't suck so bad

Musicians at my age (who have not "made it") usually go one of three ways
1-They join a cover or tribute band or constantly troll the musician's classifieds looking for hobby musicians
2-The give up completely, settling for strumming the guitar with their middle aged buddies at the lake on the weekend
3- They become dissillusioned with the whole thing and devote their time to trying to change things

Guess where I ended up?
Right now, I can't think of anything more enjoyable than showing someone that you don't have to swallow that shit
I may only affect a fraction of the musuc going public
But, none of the people I currently respect had any mainstream success to begin with
And yet they affected me deeply
I can't be the only one
You say irritant, I say catalyst
User avatar
screamkevin
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1420
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:43 am
Location: Altoona, PA

Post Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:53 am

If you're playing, and you're enjoying what you play, there is no problem.

I enjoy playing in a cover band.

I enjoy playing the music that I like.

I enjoy the challenge of re-creating 40-60 different drummer's chops in a given night.

I enjoy the fact that a lot of people want to come see my band.

I enjoy the fact that I'm paid well for doing it.

I respect Rocklua's opinions and reasonings for doing what he's doing. There's a lot of passion in that. I understand, relate, and respect that. But don't tell me that I'm any less of a musician for playing in a cover band, or that I devalue music in general for doing so.

I respect and admire original music. I can't write music. I've said that before. I support original bands by going to see as many shows as I can fit into my schedule and home life.

But I play because I enjoy it, and I don't devalue music by playing covers.

Besides...if a lot of original music was decent, there would be 500 people a night seeing an original band in a bar instead of my band. :wink:
Me, My Story, and Pics Of My Drums:
http://www.saludacymbals.com/c/ksiegel.html
Endorsing Saluda Cymbals since 2006!
Howie is my homie. Word.
Image