I’m just not sure what to do about finding a band.
Each day I think that the only way to find one will be having to drive to Harrisburg, Baltimore or even the Philadelphia area.
Metal, metal, metal, that’s all you can find in my area. It’s like every balding, overweight 40 something rock star wanna be has settled here. Probably more like never left here. All they want is to relive or recreate their glory days in the 80’s and 90’s, the hair bands and the metal bands.
It feels like every club is metal and large majority of any friends on Facebook in this area who are “musicians” are metal heads. Oh there are a few “musician” friends who consider themselves “Americana” singer song writers. But most of them seem to be 20 and 30 somethings who wish they could be hippies from the sixties.
I’m starting to remember why I left this area so many years ago.
When I returned to this area in 1989 it still had the small town feel and I love that having come from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a major city but was still small enough that within a half hour or so you could be out in some open area. It was a nice size for me but I still love the small town. Someday I’m going to find my Mayberry and move there.
But now in my area I am seeing many of the same “big” city problems but without the big city cultural and other benefits. There is plenty of traffic, congestion and crime but no real music scene.
If I go online and look at the clubs it’s pretty much one local metal act after another. If a quality act does come in from out of town the ticket prices are outrageous and the larger clubs have no seating. The other type of entertainment would be the “singer/song writers” who are neither.
I don’t want to give up at this point but I have never had to deal with not being able to find a band. Usually they found me. How times have changed.
All the times I moved back from Pittsburgh in my younger days usually within a week or so of my return I would get a phone call from a band in need of a drummer.
Most all of those referrals came from word of mouth. There was no internet back then.
A majority of those referrals came from my drum teacher. He was the premier teacher in the area. Everybody knew of him so every band called him looking for names and I was at the top of his list.
So he’s pretty much gone from the scene, I’ve been out of the scene, and there really isn’t the same scene as there was 30 years ago. There were a lot more venues and clubs for local music back in the day before the DJ came onto the scene. Now most bar owners and club owners just won’t pay the kind of money that good bands deserve. It’s a new situation for this old drummer.
I have tried posts on Facebook and that was a major disappointment. Sure most of my friends “like” that I’m looking for a band but what good does that do anyone?
I was skeptical about posting on Facebook to start with. In the past on a few occasions I did post a question hoping to get some good feedback . The responses I did get usually had nothing to do with my question. It would be someone telling me about something they did but really had no significance to my question.
I’ve also tried posting ad’s on Craigslist and in the local musician’s magazine, which pretty much features the same (metal) bands at the same (metal) spots each month. I did get some responses from that but they were all too far to travel to rehearse in both time and expense. One wanted me to drive two hours one way just to rehearse.
And I’ve stopped going to the open mics. Same guys playing the same songs with the same people and way too many amateurs. I can only stand so much of three guitar players all banging away at the same chords with no regard for the audience, the musicians or song they are playing.
For now I’ll just keep posting and checking the ads.
In the meantime I want to pursue getting some decent recording equipment and just start laying down some tracks to see what I can do and get creative.
I figure it will help me learn more about recording and the studio. It will also open the door for on line collaboration which may be my ticket out of this lackluster music scene.
So if a band comes along and it’s the right situation great, if not I’ll keep working at home. Maybe something new that I never thought about will come from that.
© 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.