Being in a band is a lot of damn work if you do it right. However, this is not something your friends, family members, and coworkers will ever understand. Ever. No matter how big you get.
All of these people will demand 7th Grade Holiday Recital level access to every show you ever play. It’s your job not to be a dick about answering all of these stupid questions so you can keep selling tickets to your Wednesday night show at the local promoter’s D-level club. Because one day, if you work hard enough, he might toss you a bone and let you open for a band that’s never toured through your town before.
If you’re a musician, or a friend of one, you’ve probably fielded or uttered one of these often repeated, yet annoyingly simple questions. I know some of you might get offended if you’ve ended up on the sour side of this rant. All I’m saying is maybe you should think twice before blasting one or all of these questions to your buddy’s phone in the middle of sound check.
What time do you play?
Either first, second, third, fourth, or if the show is really going to be shitty fifth or sixth. Any number of slots higher than that better be a festival, otherwise you’re probably in for an 8 hour marathon of Korn covers.
Why should you not ask this question? Firstly, because usually the band doesn’t know the production schedule until they arrive for load-in. Secondly, because you’re a high grade dick weed if you show up for 30 minutes to see your friends play and then leave.
How much are tickets?
$5 to $20. The venue has a website easily found with one Google search. Fucking use it. If you’re asking because you aren’t sure you can afford the show, maybe buy a couple fewer Chipotle burritos the week of the show?
When does the show start?
Probably around 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm. Again, PLEASE. USE. THE INTERNET. Only grandmothers born before 1960 get a pass on this one.
Your musician friend likely has a full day of work, traffic, rehearsal, loading, sound check, ticket settling, and warm-up to do before he or she goes on stage. There is no time to play secretary for dozens of people in order to provide information that a 3-year-old could easily find using an iPad.
Where do I park?
I don’t fucking know. You’re going to get hammered anyway. Why don’t you take a cab buddy? The venue rarely ever gives bands a place to park their monstrous 15 passenger van. What makes you think you’re going to have a special spot reserved just for you?
Can you get me backstage?
Nope. The backstage is a water closet with a mini fridge. Not to mention the venue can’t afford another security guard to stand around and ensure the bands’ drunk friends don’t puke on the already disgusting carpet. The only thing that happens back stage is a dozen or so fully grown men asking each other if they looked good and sounded okay.
Why are these drinks so expensive?
Because the venue doesn’t make any money, just like the bands. The only thing keeping your local rock club afloat is tacking a couple extra bucks onto your Pabst Blue Ribbon. Drink up, tip your bartender, and maybe grab a t-shirt on your way out.
Do you have any room on the guest list?
I’m not sure who began the myth of an illustrious unlimited guest list, but I’d like to meet this person and introduce his skull to a swiftly-moving Louisville Slugger.
Guest list is generally limited to one person per band member. That means wives, girlfriends, and moms. Unless you have temporarily housed parts or the entirety of one of the band members in your actual vagina, you’re probably not getting a guest list spot.
Exceptions to this rule include media people, record label people, and other industry workers. This does not include Billie’s Band Blog that popped up on LiveJournal last week.
You should do a cover of ______. I love that song.
This is less of a question and more of a request. Listen, I know you really like to get down on Journey and Bon Jovi at Karaoke night. I get it. It goes for a great time, but my band’s show is not your own personal DJ set.
I know a great band who can fulfill your request for “40 Ounces to Freedom.” They are called Sublime with Rome, and they are a pretty good Sublime cover band as Sublime cover bands go.