Bands Are Hard Work

The idea of being in a band is glamorous to some people. But often they do not realize a band is 90% work and 10% glamour. That ratio is speculative on my part, but whatever the relative proportions of hard work and glamour, they are consistent. That is to say, the more work you put in, the more glamorous the end result. As with anything, there is a Law of Diminishing Returns where additional effort yields little further glamour. The key is to do the right work, that which gives the best results.

When you see an excellent live rocknroll show, a lot of hard work went on behind the scenes to create it. No matter how glamorous the show, the behind the scenes work was undoubtedly very unglamorous.

Learning songs.

Scheduling practices.

Teamwork with bandmates (probably dynamic).

Booking the show.

Promoting the show.

Prepping for the show.

Travel. Lots of travel.

A band is not all fun and games. Successful bands know this. But the rock show is the penultimate outcome of all that hard work and it will rock only as hard as the effort you put in.

Sometimes you work really hard, but then the music venue screws you. Tip: don’t play there again. You will work your ass off only to be let down.

I firmly believe the music venue has a responsibility to work as hard as you do to promote your show, probably harder. You are in charge of the entertainment, they are in charge of getting people in the door. It is cool to help them.

What sucks is when they do not uphold their end of the bargain. You work your arse off to create an entertaining rock show and then hardly anyone shows up. Don’t blame yourself for this. It is the venue’s fault. Not only is it their job to promote and get people in the door, but you can’t be expected to do this. Your friends and fans are great people but they have other competing interests acting on them. The venue should not be relying on you for their draw, and never believe this line of bull when the venue tells you this and tries not to pay you what they said. Just refuse to play their again without a $ guarantee. This ensures they do their job as hard as you are doing yours.

You want to be an artist and create great rocknroll. That’s where most of your hard work should be.

Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.


About Cactus Joe

Cactus Joe is a songwriter, producer, performing musician, and free agent in Madison, WI.

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Journal of Cactus Joe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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