How to kick a drunk out of your band

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

drunkband.jpg
Flickr/VACANT FEVER
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,

Is there a way to kick someone out of your band gently? After a few months with a new synth player, we are all getting tired of his flaky behavior, being late to practice and him being too drunk to load out. He's a nice guy, but we need to find someone else who is as committed and responsible as the rest of the band. I don't want him to think we are judging him or make him feel bad.

The Singing Drummer

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How do I stop my bandmates from hooking up?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Flickr/aerolust
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I think the bassist and singer in my band might be "dating" behind our backs. I've run into them late at night at bars, drunk and flirting with each other and making excuses about how they ended up there. I'm against extra curricular activities that might disrupt our band since we are cutting an album and gigging a ton. Do I have a right to tell them to knock it off? It's the hooking up part that seems like it could end poorly, should I wait it out to see if turns serious? We have put years of hard work into the band already, the bassist is a new addition to the line-up. I don't want anything to screw up our chances of a career.
Corey

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Can guitar-driven bands still make money?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Brandon Marshall. Slideshow
Still a viable business model?
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I am a fantastic and versatile songwriter, an accomplished guitarist and the best male vocalist I know. I'm not bashful enough to downplay the fact that I've worked, focused and sacrificed my ass off to be able to say that. So it would probably come as no surprise to you when I say that yeah, I want to be THE MAN. I want to play festivals. I want to cut pro-sounding albums and tour. I want to play talk shows, SNL, and the motherfucking Super Bowl. Not because I think I deserve it, or because I think I'm currently ready, but because I know that I at least have the tools and work habit to get great at it.


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Do you owe it to your bandmates to stay in town?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Flickr user Harry
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan Landers,

I'm a musician living in Mexico City. I have a band, and we have been playing together for almost three years. We have spent a year and a half making an album and we are finally finishing. We spent all of our money, energy and soul on that album. I think the result is pretty awesome, and I'm sure something good is going to happen when the album is out. But...recently I've been admitted to one of the best conservatories in the U.S., which would mean I would have to leave behind all we've worked for and go to live in Boston.

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Is playing a festival a waste of time for an unknown band?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Nanette Gonzales
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Fan,
We're a nobody Canadian band. Does it still make sense these days to play a showcase with hundreds of other nobodies at a behemoth festival like SXSW or CMJ? It seems to us that unless you're buzzing going in it's just a waste of money (especially if you have to drive from Halifax to Texas). But say we do it anyway (and many do): What is the best way to maximize your time there? Is a festival the best or worst time to approach a booker/promoter/label rep/music supervisor?
Showcase Suckers

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Fan Landers: "They can go listen to the Foo Fighters if they want to hear smooth music."

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Photo by Marco Torres
Rock dad wants you to care what your friends think.
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
As someone who has been working in music since before the great music industry fall of 2008, I have seen folks, including myself, in some pretty desperate times trying to figure out how to keep making a living/spend money wisely. Bands who once could afford a manager, booking agent, licensing, PR, etc, now can only afford one, and try to push the boundaries of their hired help to do as many of those as they can. Part of me wants to help in this way -- sure, I'll help you book a show or two. Sure, I'll help you find a photographer. I care about your band and want it to succeed. However, when do you say no without
offending anyone that you're trying to help, considering they're paying you for completely different services?
Sincerely,
The Publicist

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How to get your band beyond "local"

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Your career! Watch it go. Photo by flickr user Steve Jurvetson
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan Landers:
We've been a band putting out music for just over two years now and have played a few well-received local gigs, but we're struggling with finding a way to take our band to the next level. We've all come to the conclusion that without some kind of representation -- manager, booking, etc -- our band's career will probably stagnate at the "lets play a show for 150 people in our hometown" level. Any advice you have on trying to land a connected and dedicated manager or a booking guy that can actually book us some shows?

Thanks!
Not Famous

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How can my band rebound after a bad tour?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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These two liked it, but...they were the only ones. Photo by Sarah Cordingley via flickr.
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I'm upset that I've sacrificed so much for such little recognition and my last disastrous tour ruined what little credibility I had in the first place. It went like this: six members of my band backed out the day of our tour kick-off and I was stuck with only one new member who played noise. We had rock shows booked around the country for two months straight and our performances did not reflect the work on the record at all so the audiences were disappointed and confused.


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Who owns the social media profile of a band?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

9588505.87.jpg
Brandon Marshall
Everyone's a creator.
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
My previous band broke up over the defection of a member, and a clash of personal moral/ethics. It's been nine months, and we've decided to move on as a duo under a new band name without him. It gives us a chance to explore ideas that felt out of place in our former group or that were resisted by the now-departed member.


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What happens when a '90s star gives up on his music career?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

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Eric Gruneisen. Full slideshow.
Axl Rose (not the subject of this column but clearly relevant here) trying to catch his breath in Denver.

Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
I am not in a band, but I work in music as a manager/assistant. My goal is to eventually be a full-time manager (without a day job to supplement my income). I get paid a monthly fee rather than a percentage of what my artists make; some months I have more work, some less -- although it seems that the busy months far outweigh the non-busy ones.

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