The six worst reasons to start a band

Categories: Commentary

Timothy Norris
Look, you're pretty much definitely not going to be Lorde.
For some dumb reason, everyone wants to be in a rock band. Probably because it's a good way to avoid gazing into the inescapable black hole of painful loneliness. That and rock & roll kicks ass, and gets you chicks or dudes or money or something.

The problem with rock music (aside from the talentless assholes with money) is that people don't seem to understand what playing it is really like. Effectively convincing people what being in a band "should actually be" would take a number of expensive hallucinogens and months of intense brain deprogramming. Instead of that, we made a list for you to argue with.

Tax Credits

6. You Deserve to Be Paid, a Lot

Don't rely on the same society that put Dave Matthews Band, Metallica and Eminem on Billboard's "most consecutive studio albums to debut at No. 1" to also pay your bar tabs and rent. In return for not expecting shit, you and your friends get to enjoy the $80 that mysteriously ended up in your jacket pocket after you fell asleep next to a pull-tab booth. Frankly, the only people in the music industry who rightfully deserve to be paid are the people who were screwed over back when it was only unrealistic to make money (rather than nearly impossible, as today). Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth probably can't go back to community college to get a temp job as a metal fabricator. However, the bassist in your unknown alt-country band probably can.

Sebastiaan ter Burg

5. Groupies

There are no groupies for you. Well, OK, there are potentially "groupies." But the men and women who would be considered "groupies" are the sexual equivalents of fast-food slobs. In the way a fast-food junkie celebrates the cat's birthday with a Big Mac value meal, groupies are just trying to find any excuse to have sex with someone. That flimsy excuse, if you're "lucky," can be the fact that you were simply standing on a stage at a time when other people weren't -- nothing more. While meaningless sex and greasy food are two things to be regularly enjoyed while trashed, rarely do you feel awesome about yourself the next day.

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John Logan Brown
John Logan Brown

This thread has been a somewhat scary reminder of pretty much everything, plus many things not listed, that I've had to go through as a musician. People who haven't lived it just don't know, or are in denial. I play in Grand Lake and it's largely just tourists who think they know everything and want to talk to you during your set break for 20+ minutes about their shitty takamine guitar that they never play. Or their introverted kid who is "getting so good at the ukulele". Now, for the first time, I've integrated a bass player and drummer into the mix for this summer. They don't have much if any stage experience at this point and I find myself having to vicariously relive these horrible experiences through the eyes of novices. I've also become somewhat of a mentor to my new counterparts. I feel like a wise shaman whose only worth is pointing out douchebags who don't know what the fuck they're talking about. Or pointing out when someone is just fucking with you when the local redneck comes up to you thinking he's funny saying "you guys suck, go home" while pounding his red bull. At some point you just have to not give a fuck, smile and pretend the criticism is coming from drunk idiot who's never experienced drinking at a higher altitude. Passion is not a problem when you do what you love. But there are many things that go along with playing professionally that are terrible, uncomfortable and downright creepy. The girls that usually stick around waiting for me when I get done at 2 a.m. are usually creepy, unattractive and homeless because their boyfriend ditched them and drove back to Denver. Sometimes though, a gem gleams through the pile of shitstained shitbags and makes it all worth it.

Kris Topher
Kris Topher

the only reason to start a band is if your passionate about what your doing thats obvious this post is stupid

Dominic Cardoza
Dominic Cardoza

Is that Tonya from the True Blue Band in the top pic? My hair nemesis. ...

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