22 Hopeless Musicians! (when you are a solo-artist)

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In case you didn’t know, I’m not the front figure of a band! In fact I guess you could say that in many ways I am the band, as I’m a solo artist and write and arrange all my music. This means that whenever I do a heavy-metal gig I have to hire session guys to be my backing band!

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I like to have consistency, I hate changes, but sadly when it comes to hiring musicians I’ve experienced many disappointments. I’ve always tried to create a  band spirit with my session guys, but this has often only led to the “illusion of a band”. Musicians have been coming and going, let me therefore present you with : “22 Hopeless Musicians!”

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1) “I really like your music, but this famous guy just offered me a job, soooo I’m quitting your band! Please call me back and hire me again when you are more famous!”-Best quote ever from musician who did not become a rockstar and quit music.

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2) “We really like your music and want to be in the band, but then YOU have to pay our rent & sort out our visa situation!”- 2nd best quote ever, especially since we were living in a shack at the time.

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3) Musician keeps on leaving the rehearsal room repeatedly for all sorts of silly reasons. We are rehearsing in a complex where the likes of Foo Fighters, Ronan Keating & Lady Gaga rehearse. We figure out that the musician in question is actually scouting for stars and distributing business cards, instead of practising which he is actually getting paid for.

4) Musician charge us for the time he spent sitting in a queue to the airport.

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5) Musician with recommendation from a highly regarded music school, comes to the studio only to reveal that he has NEVER played on a professional recording and never set foot in a studio.  He continues by doing all the basic mistakes you could imagine when it comes to “studio behaviour”.This might be romantic when you are a band, but it doesn’t work like that when you are a session musician.

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6) Musician asks to get paid in advance. Obviously hung over the day after we pay him, he invents a sudden flu. He doesn’t want to show up to the ONE day we have available for him to lay down his parts. Said musician miraculously recovers when the producer lets him know, that his parts will be missing on the record unless he shows up on the date he is originally booked. No sign of any flu when he eventually shows up.

7) Musician asks for photo with famous producer, doesn’t care to ask for photo with the musician who actually got him the gig. Doesn’t even say thank you. Post on social media and in bio that he has been working with super-producer, no mention and no thank you to me.

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8) Musician plays with his back to the audience, to such an extent that people in the crowd tells me “You need to fire that guy”.

9) Musicians are informed that the material is difficult and requires lots of work. They show up and ask to run through the songs during sound check as they checked the songs out in the car on their way to the gig.

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10) Musician steals equipment that I’ve received from a brand that sponsors me. He tries to use my gear to pressure my manager and me for more money, double charging us. We only get the gear back once we bill him for 3 months of instrument-rental.

11) Musician has no gear and demands we rent gear and transportation.

12) Musician refuse to help out when it comes to driving, demands to get paid extra to help out driving to gigs.

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13) Musician is notified of dress code, appears on the day of gig looking like he is dressed for a carnival.

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14) Musician doesn’t want to hang out with the rest of us backstage, walks around promoting himself to the other bands on the bill, trying to land his next gig. Needless to say he gets no new gig from me.

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15) Musician shows up sick in the studio without warning us beforehand. I’m gonna lay down vocals the day after he is done. the studio is tiny and we are literally sitting on top of each other.

16) Musician informs us the night before a festival appearance that he has NEVER played a festival before.

17) Musicians complain that they have not been fed.Mind you that they get paid for rehearsals, something I’m not and they get their travel expenses covered as well.

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18) Musician complains to my management  that I’m in his apartment before a gig, when I’m waiting with him for transportation to the gig we are both going to.

19) Musicians will ALWAYS complain about payment no matter how much you pay them! Raise the payment and they’ll just ask for more. They’ll find any excuse, even if they know you are broke.

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20) Musician steals raw footage from music video I’ve directed and he has filmed. After he has been payed. Only to give it to a friend of his, who steals the concept and makes a high budget music video.

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21) Musician with recommendation from another management, shares whatever is going on under our roof with the management that recommended him.

22) Keyboard player shows up to audition only to criticise the songwriting, lecturing me on how I should improve it.

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If craziness in show-biz entertains you, you should check out my previous entry about Crazy Fans! https://thecommanderinchief.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/crazy-fans-my-longest-entry-so-far/Men's T-shirt by The Commander-In-Chief

7 thoughts on “22 Hopeless Musicians! (when you are a solo-artist)

  1. Those are 22 reasons that make me glad I’m just a hack bass player who likes to jam for beer! After all, I write poetry the same way I play bass… pretty much without a clue as to how it’s actually supposed to be done.

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  2. rodking

    Why is it so hard for you to get into a band situation? as long as they know the score that you are the main focus, write the songs etc… All you need is a bass player and a drummer, don’t get me wrong, i know its tricky to get a band together, but you and two other musicians shouldn’t be as hard. You have a fixed location right? also if you advertised for the positions, and people showed up because they were genuinely interested in your music and playing with you, it would mean more to them, it would have value to them, instead of them having zero interest in doing it except for money. Find other people who are passionate about the heavy music you play and you would have a collective commitment from all involved, instead of you just dragging dead wood.

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  3. Lets face it, Most musicians, myself probably included, are a fairly flaky bunch, full of unrealistic expectations, and usually lacking any kind of work ethic…. (i’ll exclude myself on that one….. but….. even i have days of uselessness) . Those who play metal, generally, are the worst examples…… 😉 Most will have a stab at the band thing up to the age of say 24… then go get a job in a guitar shop and be an embittered hack for a few years, then move in to retail management or distribution….. and forget their dreams…… the number of players driven enough to commit to reaching the level of competency necessary to perform at your level , is really quite small, and of those, maybe only one in twenty , has the work ethic bit down as well….. the trouble is, speaking as a former session player…. one really cannot easily get emotionally invested in playing music in which you have no creative input, and no shared glory , or joy in performance… and it’s emotional investment that drives us as artistes to put our heart and soul in to a piece…. I’d echo what i’m sure others have said….. if you want a stable, committed bunch of musical partners, you need to form a proper band, and give them room to breathe …. sadly this still means dealing with egos , and winnowing your way thru the idiots to find the right people…. and sharing some of the writing, to allow them to contribute…. on the upside, it means not having to pay them to rehearse, etc etc, on the downside, it means splitting fees and royalties….. but on the whole, I reckon once you’ve found the right mix of nut cases, you’ll have a lot more fun …… 😀 ….. and frankly, since you’re already having to deal with flaky losers and egomaniacs , you’ve little to lose, and possibly everything to gain.

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    • You see I always change my songs and do my best to put my musicians in the spotlight. That’s why behaviour like this upsets me. I enjoy finding new talent, but you keep asking yourself why. Great comment btw! \m/ and thanks!

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  4. it’s a hard road. You have a pretty good start…. 😉 I know it’s harder than ever to be a successful musician, and when you get in to your “silver” years, it gets even tougher. Keep the flame burning, Kiddo. It’s about the guitar, and the music, and never forget that.

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