random question

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Member Since: Jan 18, 2003

random question: do you think its easier or harder to keep a functional and viable rock band going the older you get? soon i may have to face the inevitable questions about 'my god man what are you doing with your life?' i was ... haha ...hoping to hear some inspirational stories. if ya got any.

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Bane of All Existence
Since: Mar 27, 2003

May 30, 2003 07:30 pm

seems like the prime requisites for keeping a rock band together is naivete and lack of long-term vision. the older rockers i know that quit the biz did so because it finally occurred to them that driving around in a van, playing in stinky venues, spending tons of money in a recording studio, and signing your life away to suits from the Big Five simply aren't conducive to having a full, happy life (even if you win the rockstar lottery). the way the music business is set up today just uses artists to sell product to 9-18 year olds. the only way you can have a real rock band in today's world is either if you are insanely insanely lucky or if it's like a 2nd job/hobby.

you name a rock band that has "made it" and you will also be naming people who gave up a whole lot to attain the empty dream of stardom and who probably regrets it very much.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

May 30, 2003 07:34 pm

OK, let me prologue this by stating that I am 36 years old, married with two children and a full-time career with which I am very happy, fulfilled and adequately compensated, which may cloud my overall opinion.

I feel that the older you get, depending on the age (and maturity level) of the other band members, the dynamics of the band are easier to deal, with younger folks generally all want the spotlight and have something to prove...as the years go by ya just wanna make good music and have fun.

That said, it's harder to find time with other responsibilities to make a rigorous practice schedule and gigs. It's tough to get up at 5 or 6 AM to go to work when you didn't get home until 3AM that morning from a gig.

I got tired of the routine, the drugs and idiocy of the average music scene and it's avergae participants, I have instead chosen an ulternate career in the music business, that being an engineer/producer/writer/session player. And still find time ocassionaly to jam with old bandmates at the bar if I go see their current bands or in somebodies basement.

And honestly, the route I took is much more rewarding and much less stressful than the whole band thing.

Did that make sense?

Since: Apr 03, 2002

May 31, 2003 03:58 am

im 22 and still plowing away at college, part-time work, and my music. im too young to have any real info on this, but it wont stop me from trying to say something =P

i think a lot of it depends on what you want out of music. to me, being successful is being able to play music in venues and having enough money to feed myself. as long as i can do that, ill be happy. if i can pay the bills simply from the music, then ill consider myself very fortunate and even happier.

i think the other trick is to not get married. that seems to hinder the whole touring part, unless of course they are happy to go along for the ride.

Bane of All Existence
Since: Mar 27, 2003

May 31, 2003 01:36 pm

i'm in a similar position, collapse. i'm 21, in college, part time work, and a rad band. all i really wanted to do was make music and affect kids' minds the way that mine was affected. it's really clear that the music biz is not set up for art or culture at all. if it were, maybe we wouldn't have britney saying "BOYS! (get nasty! get nasty!)" to 12 year old girls.

i think it's key to remember that we've got a whole generation plus of people who have been working in the music fields, and who therefore know the realities behind it. i guess it gets boiled down to accepting and respecting the wisdom of our elders. it's insanity to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results, right albert?

i remember watching shows like Behind the Music and reading biographies and autobiographies on musicians that affected the way i think about music, and wondering how they could let themselves sink into huge heroin addictions and stuff. i always thought "well, there wasn't a precedent for them." but time went on and i figured out about the lives of people like charlie parker and miles davis and all sorts of other jazz greats who got into heroin. the precedent existed, no one was listening.

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Since: May 11, 2002

May 31, 2003 03:58 pm

I', stuck in this same rut myself. I just returned from a 3 month mobilization... and didn't go anywhere cool... (Operation Enduring Fort Campbell)...though it was an interesting experince (unit nick name is now the 391st Intoxicators)


now I'm back and am basically able to do what I want with a lot of extra money...which will now be sunk into rebuilding the transmission of the car I reciently bought... :P (uhh I live in Columbus, Ohio ...I'm in Washington DC...my car is at a shop in Petersburg, VA...get the idea? :P )


I've been bandless and unemployed for about a year exactly and I am now starting in a new band with a respectable home studio (need iso rooms :P )... but I need money and I don't think I can take another season of landscapeing...and I'm returning to college to try (after 6 years) to get my associates degree (big emphasis on psych)

This band I know has potential to do well...at least because in the christian metal/hard rock industry you can still do things by sheer force of will :) but the rythem guitarist is a "band virgin" and will need a lot of work on stage presence...so we're atleast two months away from playing out and recording.

The delima is what do I do with this sudden desire of money and quality of living...and personal stability? Its a hard question. Though to answer your question I will admit that "usually" working with older musicians is a load easier and some times as a group you can decide to take it part time and only do one or two shows a week...which is, I think what my new group will be doing.


Since: Jan 18, 2003

Jun 01, 2003 02:47 pm

i've found you dont need every member to have stage presence. ive seen guys stand still and play guitar in a hat while smoking, and thats just as good as anything. if your frontman's good enough, the rest of the band can face the corner. the worst thing seems to be to fake it!

Since: Dec 16, 2002

Jun 03, 2003 07:18 am

Excellent question:
"random question: do you think its easier or harder to keep a functional and viable rock band going the older you get?"

Easier or harder? Yes and er...yes.

Easier for older guys:
The musicians you work with are mature. Less egocentric - so they are able to reach compromises more easily,
more stable - so less likely to fall out over trivia,
more disciplined - so they are more likely to turn up for gigs/practices and on time and help with the gear,
have day jobs and some money (so they can buy their OWN DRUGS!) - nah, seriously they can purchase good equipment and new toys more often,
are often more competent musicians after years of experience on and off stage
The premadonnas have all given up on music years ago and are out there playing golf, leaving the field free for the sensible guys
Treat other band members with respect.

Harder for older guys:
They have wives and families making demands on their time and they are not as free as young guys - so its harder just to drop everything and renearse or do a show
They have jobs, so are not available during the day and have their energy drained by work
They are getting older - so they MAY not look quite so cool on stage anymore with bald heads and beer bellies, etc,(fine for country, not so good for thrash metal!) and may not be able to move around on stage as they used to do
The dream is over - they know they are never gonna be a 'star' so some ambition and drive is lacking, they may not take an opportunity like a young musician would do

Having been in a pro band circa 1980 at the age of 21 and recently got together with a group of people for fun and playing regular shows now, I'd say it is a lot easier to keep a succesful band going as you get older, By 'succesful' I mean gigging regularly and rehearsing and having fun and not falling out with each other (you notice I didn't include making money there).

When you're young you want to get laid, have a laugh and be the centre of attention. When you're older you've done all that, so you can concentrate on the music.

If I could choose one main difference I'd say it was the reliability thing. Many young musicians cannot be relied upon and that is a killer because its the starting point for everything else. If I had to choose between a great guitar player who was unreliable and an average one who turned up I would take the latter.

BTW I appologise to older guys with bellies and younger guys who want to get laid for the insults!!

Freeleance Producer/Engineer/Gtr
Since: Aug 11, 2002

Jun 03, 2003 11:13 pm

i dread the day that i realize my dreams have not come true...

Since: Jan 18, 2003

Jun 04, 2003 03:44 am

yeah me too thats why i'm asking. i'm sort of tired of worrying about this. really, the problem is 'rock music.' i feel like i'm supposed to hover at age 29 (or, ideally, a bit younger) while i try to get better, in order to have some kind of shot at success while i'm still technically in the age group i'm playing to. at the same time i realize the dumbness of the worry that the desire to 'do this' is instilling in me. the one cool thought is the idea that there are lots of other ways to make music. instrumental stuff, independently released soundscape concept-albums, etc. still, i just hope that when i move to wherever i'm moving, and place an ad in the paper for rock musicians, that it'll still be a cool thing to be doing. i dunno. it already seems kind of weird, though. i guess i just hate: 1. 'time,' and 2. society/jobs.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jun 04, 2003 05:08 am

My first thought is "grow up", and my second thought is "well, that's kinda harsh". So let me elaborate, first rock stardom is every kids dream, it ranks right up there with being a fireman, a policeman and all those other dreams of youth. That isn't to belittle your dreams, I am 36 years old and would love to rock out for a living, but hey, hasn't worked out that way, that's fine.

I could still be trying for stardom, I have friends that are, but about 8ish years ago I looked around and me and my friends and realized that I wanted more from life than a guitar, a band, a sleeping bag and a radio. If you really want to go that route, hey, knock yourself out, more power to ya, but it isn't my idea of fun anymore.

The more I got in to the whole gigging, recording, going from bar to bar and stuff like that the less I enjoyed it. The gigs are a lot of fun (usually) but everything else blows...in my opinion. For me the whole thing fell under the "be careful what you wish for" category.

Just food for thought. I am happy working for a living doing something I enjoy, and making music during my downtime, whether or not anyone hears it.

...bringing sexy back
Since: Jul 01, 2002

Jun 04, 2003 05:17 am

i think pretty much everyone here will have some sort of musical interest, writing recording playing, for the rest of their lives, regardless of whether they make a living from it or not.

we're all music-heads at the end of the day, and its something that will always be there!

Since: Dec 16, 2002

Jun 04, 2003 06:39 am

"i dread the day that i realize my dreams have not come true..."

Well, by the time that happens you will hopefully have the experience and maturity in order to handle it. If your ambition is no longer achievable then don't start crying about it...just change your ambition. There's a famous saying along the lines of '...grant me the courage to accept the things i cannot change, and the wisdom to know what they are.' If you are 40 and still hoping to be the next big pop star then that is very sad. If you are 40 and still hope to write and record your music and play it in bars to entertain audiences, then that is admiriable, go for it.

I have regrets. I remeber hitting 23 and thinking my idol John Lennon was a household name when he was my age and thinking i was a failure. 20 years later i look back and think how stupid I was. 23 is still a kid. If you are 35 you can still play music in clubs and bars, you can still write, you can still feel the warmth of audience reaction, the only thing you are unlikely to achieve is superstardom - so you have to learn to accept that and not look back, You are a long time dead, so live for now, not what might have been with hindsight.

Now in my 40s I have an ambition to record and professionaly publish my own CD of my songs, something I've never done before - a new challenge, a new ambition. Life is good.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jun 04, 2003 06:56 am

Very well stated glynb, I agree 110%. You stated very eloquantly what I could not.

Thank you.

Freeleance Producer/Engineer/Gtr
Since: Aug 11, 2002

Jun 04, 2003 12:31 pm

ok, some elaboration on my statement: the day i realize that my dreams have not come true will follow when i have stopped trying to acheive them... and that "quiting" will be a sad thing. what's life without goals? i love making music, whether i'm strapped to a guitar or sitting in front of my console helping others turn emotion into audio. if i can make 50k a year doing this then my dream has come true...

Since: Jan 18, 2003

Jun 04, 2003 01:48 pm

i never had the dream of being a rock star when i was a kid. i thought music was "stupid" for the first 18 years of my life. my one friend ( a punk) was like "how can you not like music, thats the weirdest thing i've ever heard." so i got a late start.

it shouldnt be sad for a 40 year old to be trying to be a pop star. maybe if we get rid of all these damn kids the music would be better :)

as for having a problem with time and society/jobs, well, lets just say i would hope it wouldn't be "weird" for a 35 year old to still be trying, and that i think youre all pretty lucky to have found something you enjoy doing for a living. i think thats great.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jun 04, 2003 02:23 pm

I guess really it depends on your definitions of various words and phrases we are using here...If "trying to make" means concentrating on only that and sacrificing the rest of what life has to offer, then I think it is sad to see a 35-40 year old person, living in mom and dads basement working a part-time job to fulfill long-lived dreams of stardom that have never happened yet, well, I find that sad, but, at the same time, if mom and dad don't care and the person is honestly happy (not just proclaiming to be) then who am I to judge.

However, I know a few folks that choose to work full-time jobs though they don't "like" the job, just to support themselves and allows them the freedom to persue these dreams, hey, thats a personal decision, and whatever work for ya, God bless ya.

I can only speak for myself, but if I was still living the life I was living a few years back I would be very unfulfilled. Actually, being very bored, disillusioned and unfulfilled after years of jammin, gigging, recording, dealing with egos (including my own), irresponsible bandmates, psycho bandmates mates, and all the other crap that goes along with the job just didn't seem worth it anymore...maybe it's just me, but as I recall from other conversations on these forums through the years (these forums and previous forums of HRC's which are not around anymore) it seems many of us have turned to home recording and online collaboration for the same reason.

As a whole I think glynb expressed my person feelings better than I have expressed them.

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