I thought I would take the time to follow up on a previous follow up post about band auditions and one audition in particular.
I made it through the audition stage with the band and they wanted me, but as I’ve said in previous posts the band was also auditioning for me.
How do I know they wanted me, they said point blank to me,” We want you to join our band”.
But I had my reservations about committing to this band. I was honest and up front about it. I told them what caused me to think twice about joining.
The first gig was to be an opening act which would have been a free gig. I have a real hard time justifying dragging my kit, setting it up, playing and then tearing down for no money. But they told me at the first gig the kit would be provided so all I had to do was show up. For one gig, just show up and play one set, well OK I’ll give it a whirl just to get some live playing time.
Then they started to mention that we would probably have to do a number of very low pay or no pay gigs just to get some exposure. They even pointed out that some would be for free beer. I don’t drink beer so I am not up for that. I don’t want to spend hours at home rehearsing plus hours at the rehearsal site (which wasn’t very comfortable) getting ready for no pay/low pay gigs, not to mention the cost and time for gig travel, setup and tear down. Think about the costs like gas, wear and tear on equipment and vehicles and wear and tear on myself. All that for a band the isn’t exactly thrilling me, no thank you.
I expressed my reservations about this right then and there. I was going to be honest right out the gate. There is really no other way to be.
I also expressed my reservation about the fantastic lead singer they supposedly had. I never met the gentleman because at the time of the audition he still had one and a half weeks of his house arrest. Yes, I understand he just caught an unlucky break with his DUI but I’ve heard that story before as well.
But I told them since the opening act gig was coming up in a couple of weeks and they needed a drummer I would help them out. Again I was just looking to at least grab one quick live gig. Maybe the main act would at least check me out and I could get some word of mouth going. I headed home with a CD of songs to learn.
Being the professional that I am I started learning and rehearsing these songs the next day. I was going to be prepared. There were a couple of evenings that I was too tired to practice but the thought of showing up to the first rehearsal not prepared sent me down to my kit.
The first practice was set for a Thursday night one week from the audition date. The rehearsal space was about 15 minutes from my house which was great. Up to this point I usually had to travel 40 minutes to an hour to and from rehearsal.
Well right out of the gate the keyboard player who was the leader of the band remembered that he had some other event he had to attend and had to change the first rehearsal date. He wanted to practice on the weekend.
I had told them up front at the audition I don’t like weekend rehearsals. It’s my time to catch up on all my house and yard work and it was also family time especially with my grandson. I would make exceptions for critical rehearsals right before a gig but this gig was like 4 weeks away.
Weekend gigs were fine and what I expected. They were late and did not interfere with home and family.
I told them any weeknight would be good.
So he says how about Sunday? Did you hear what I just said? I guess you listen to words about as good as you listen to other players in the band.
We settled on Tuesday night, that worked for everyone.
That Sunday evening I get an email. “Sorry we decided to use a different drummer for our gig.” It was polite and so was my response.
Was it my playing? No, when I auditioned they were pretty hot for me to join their band.
I guess they didn’t like my unwillingness to commit to months of rehearsal and no pay or low pay gigs for what could end up to be a bunch of mediocre gigs with marginal pay.
I guess I just wasn’t committed enough for them. At my age and all that I’ve been through its going to take a lot to get me committed to playing bad gigs for bad pay or no pay.
.© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.