Friday, 18 March 2011

Something a bit different: Why I hate bands!

OK now this has become a sports blog, I know that, you know that. It didn't intend it to be that way, honest. I am a more well rounded person, I have other interests. One particular interest is music. You may be surprised to learn I play the wonderfully undervalued instrument that is the bass. You may find even more intriguing is that I used to be in bands. 2 to be exact, possibly soon to be 3.
However, you may also learn that I, most of the time, don't enjoy being in bands. So basically, this is why I hate in bands!

A bit of back history is needed for my link with bands and local music. My first band as a bright eyed 17 year old was King Simian, we were minorly successful (by that I mean we played gigs outside the Teesside area, I know ambitious!) I was with them roughly 3 years, until, after an incident at a Halloween fancy dress gig, we decided to part ways. I went around for a bit missing it, longing to be in a band, then my mate Ste set me up with the Purnells, on a temporary basis because I was already going travelling. Lasted 6 months with them and they found a new bassist who was better than me, and they all lived happily ever after. (They are still going and are good. Listen here)
Now after this, I realised that while I am in a band I don't like a vast majority of what goes on in a band. I was content without it, until a mate recently asked me to help him out (I have become the Paul Hart of bass players).
So what do I hate about a band? Lots of things, should probably start with what I like, writing songs and playing live, both give a buzz that is undescribable, both are the most important parts of a band, if you dont like that then you're doing the wrong thing.
OK so the first thing I don't like, arguments! It seems like the natural walk of life that bands argue, I don't like it or see the point of it, its supposed to be fun.
Next, travelling to and from gigs, there is a difference between travelling to and from gigs and generally travelling. Most of the time, I find, travelling is fun. You get in your transport, whatever it may be, and there is an excitement to go where you are going or an excitement to come home again. However, gigs are different. You go nervous because of many reasons, you don't want to be late, you dont want to have forgotten anything, you want to play well, you hope the venue is not shit, you hope there will be people in to see you, are we going to get lost? etc. Coming back is just a knackered dull silence that means you are bored or it goes on to another reason, analysis.
You analyse yourselves, was this good? Was that good? Did that song work well? What was our stage presence like? I hate analysing things, especially something I have just done and can not change. I also hate the level of bullshit theory and comparisons to other bands people put on you. "I think we sound like a cat writing Shakespeare, like a mixture of indie and soap opera themes from 1962." And other such rubbish, there isn't a need for it, just do your songs and let other people like or dislike you.
I don't like the fact it takes over your life, it becomes the most important part of it, something that you think about often, this unnerves me.
I don't like recording, I don't like the process going to a building, having to do everything perfect in front of a bloke you have just met and then you are inevitably unhappy with the mix because it sounds different to what you thought. It isn't a fluid process, it doesn't capture what its all about I don't think.
The same goes for soundchecks, playing to an empty room to the other bands and the sound man. Sound man couldn't give a shit in making you sound good, as long as he gets his money, and the other band are eyeing you up, comparing themselves to you and seeing who is better.
I hate people who don't know anything about music saying things like "You should do some covers" or "If you sounded like Oasis then more people would like you" I did not ask for your opinion and I will not take it.
The thing I hate most though, politics. Between band members and between other bands. Constantly bitching and back-stabbing and the obligatory "That was good that mate" even if you thought they were shit. It's just painfully horrible.
So I hate bands. Would I be without bands? No. Would I say yes to another band? Yes. Its weirdly addictive, like Pringles. Once you pop you just can't stop!

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