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bassjones
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Post by bassjones »

I play for enjoyment every time I play. I charge for load-in, set-up, tear down, and load-out...
"brad!
...your tunes and your playing sound really great... all the best to you and god bless-
adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

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Post by sevesd93 »

I don't think if some bands start playing for nothing, they are going to dirty up the market and bands that charge money are going to become obsolete.


If you have a good band, you will get paid what you are worth...

I have never had a problem getting a gig and getting paid well for it, then again, I guess am a sell out and I play covers that people enjoy.
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tiny
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Post by tiny »

You may be right, Seve. It might not hurt anyone to have some bands play for cheap, or free.

On the other hand, if all bands charged at least a minimum wage price to play, would there be fewer places to play? I can't help but think that even if you're playing screaming emo death metal, there have to be fifty people that would come, buy a drink (even Pepsi), and give a dollar cover to hear them. I know for a fact that most bands and DJs are getting about the same kind of pay around these parts that they got twenty or more years ago. Meanwhile, my 65 cent Falstaff longneck has been replaced by a 4.00 Newcastle. There's gotta be some parity.

Playing for nothing is great, in theory....but how do you pay for new strings? New cymbals? A new microphone to replace the one you dropped in the pitcher of free beer? Everything has a value. Everything has a cost. I realize playing for free beats not playing, but wouldn't it be nice to be recognized monetarily for your contribution?

A rising tide lifts all boats.....Ask for SOMETHING for your talent, time, and the wear and tear on your equipment. It will help you, your fellow musicians, and the people that come after you to play.

Just my .02.
TINY....
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also occasionally on 92.3 The Fort

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sevesd93
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Post by sevesd93 »

I see your side of things Tiny, and I agree with you. If musicians could set a standard minimum wage and all agree to stick to it, then bars would eventually become used to the fact of paying all bands.

I rarely play free. Exceptions would be benefit shows and private parties for friends. I love to play, but I also have a lot of gear to haul around and I need more than free beer to setup.
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bassjones
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Post by bassjones »

Thanks Tiny. I thought I was the only one who thought that. I'm going home with about the same amount of pay on a Friday night as I was 15 years ago. Meanwhile the gas to get there costs more, my strings cost more, my amp will cost a lot more to replace, etc...

I don't mind playing for free for a good cause, in fact, I try to do charity gigs at least 2-3 times a year, and I put in 3-4 hours 2 Sunday mornings a month at my church because I love doing it. I refuse to play for free when the venue's making damn good money from all the people that came out to see me play. I'm not going to protest the venue or raise a stink about it, but I won't be playing there. I swear musicians are the only creatures on the planet that would voluntarily help make someone else a fortune while getting paid nothing or next to nothing. Let me get this straight, you want me to play for $10 and free beer - pardon me, free domestic beer - meanwhile, I'll bring 150-200 people out to see my band, they'll buy $10-$20 worth of beer each and you'll easily make $1500-$2000 for the night, meanwhile I'll walk out with $10 and a belly full of cheap beer - unless I take the music really seriously, in which case I'll drink 3-4 beers max. Sure thing, sign me up. Would you like me to come mow your lawn or shovel your driveway for you too?
"brad!
...your tunes and your playing sound really great... all the best to you and god bless-
adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

www.bradjonesbass.com
http://groups.myspace.com/northeastindianabassplayers
www.myspace.com/bassjones
www.myspace.com/whitehotnoise
www.esession.com/bradjones - hire me for your session from anywhere in the world.
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Post by LC Pwince »

We look at each situation individually. We don't always play for free, and we don't always take the best paying gig. There are also other ways of making a buck off of original music. We're self sufficient as a band: that is, we make enough money buy picks, sticks, strings, replace broken gear, and even buy some recording gear and a PA. We do this by taking into consideration the opportunity to play a certain place, and by selling CDs and T-shirts in addition to whatever we make that night. We've done very well financially at some clubs that pay nothing but a door split. Not to get into the whole originals vs. covers debate, but having the ability to produce, put out, and sell our own CD is a major financial advantage over a cover band. So maybe a cover band has to demand a little more up front.
Our stance from day one is that the band has to have fun. Otherwise, what's the point? If I can go out to a place I would probably be hanging out in anyways, not have to pay for drinks, and have a great time entertaining the crowd, everything else is gravy. The fact that we usually leave at the end of the night with more in our pockets than what we started with makes it even cooler. We'll definitely play Berlin again, we had a blast that night. Hopefully we'll make more next time, but maybe not. That certainly won't be the deciding factor on whether the night was a success or not.
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Post by Aero »

If you're looking for money, one place to stay away from in Fort Wayne is Legends. They need to learn a few things from places like Columbia Street West about how to treat bands.

Also, Jam Crib is nice - they reward performances for 2 hours of free studio time.
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Post by big ben parliament »

To piggyback on what Lou said, we played a few nights before the Berlin show and made several hundred dollars. Then we played Berlin for essentially nothing.
You know what? The Berlin show was 10 times more enjoyable than the one we did the previous weekend.
As far as the "that's what you're worth" argument goes, if you're trying to insult people then come right out and say it. If that wasn't your intention, then please don't be so cryptic. We played this show on the cheap because it's a new bar, and we know that Lee's more than likely still in the hole from buying the place. We knew we weren't going to make any money going into it, but decided to do it anyway because it sounded like fun. We will continue to ask for reasonable money (which, in many cases, is the take from the door). Just because we played one show does not mean that every bar in town will start paying nothing for bands. Don't be so apocalyptic about it.

Also, everyone knows that cover bands will always make more money than original acts in this town, even the really, really good ones. If you want to make more money playing original music, make sure you support the original acts. Even the most popular original bands RARELY bring as much of a crowd as cover bands. Take LLC, for instance. Everyone knows that they are one of the best-liked bands in Fort Wayne. That being said, do you know how many LLC shows I have been to where the only people present were me and the people I came with? This is the case with many original acts here. I also remember having a conversation with a member of a BOTB-winning band, and that person telling me that there were literally 10 people at the next show they played after winning BOTB. Fort Wayne is a conservative town, musically, and most people want to see something familiar. Until people start really supporting these bands that they claim to love,* original acts won't be able to ask for as much money as cover bands.

I respect your opinions, I really do, but I think that saying bands who occasionally play for next to nothing are the reason people can't quit their jobs, to play only local shows, is a bit misdirected.


The only thing I ask is that, if someone reads this and intends to insult me for it, then save it for when you see me in the meat world. Thanks.







*No, I'm not talking about us.
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Post by bassjones »

I get where you're coming from now. Cool. I kind of have the best of both worlds right now. I get to play covers I love in original fashion - i.e. not note for note, but rather "our" interpretation of the song - and do some originals and a whole lot of improvisational playing and still get paid for it. Paid better than doing all originals, not nearly as well as if I was in a 90's cover band (not slamming it, just not my thing), but still I make some money playing music I love with guys I like playing and hanging with. Couldn't ask for more, unless I could figure out a way to make my entire living doing things this way.
"brad!
...your tunes and your playing sound really great... all the best to you and god bless-
adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

www.bradjonesbass.com
http://groups.myspace.com/northeastindianabassplayers
www.myspace.com/bassjones
www.myspace.com/whitehotnoise
www.esession.com/bradjones - hire me for your session from anywhere in the world.
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Post by tiny »

No, Big Ben....the 'what you're worth' wasn't meant as an insult, but as a challenge.

I believe that the time and energy you expend just showing up and playing is worth more than what you bargained for, and got. I applaud your support of Lee and the bar. I really appreciate Tim's Jam Crib--someone that could use the support of all local musicians-- stepping up and giving studio time, and proving that getting appreciated and compensated doesn't always have to be a lot, or about money. I think more of that kind of appreciation would go a long way. Having said that, I still think you're shortchanging yourself playing for ten bucks and beer....even as a favor, or just for shyts and giggles.

Good for you, though, for doing something you enjoy, getting your music out there, and helping out the bar. Hopefully the karma will come back to benefit you.

No disrespect meant--just an effort to get everyone a little taste of the pie, and keep everyone afloat in their musical endeavors.

Rock on!
See you in the meat world....
TINY....
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TINY TUNES Event and Entertainment Services -Mobile Music, Pro Sound, Booking and Event Planning
tinytunesdjs.com

also occasionally on 92.3 The Fort

Still waiting on confirmation of my new Harrison Square condominium purchase.
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Post by Al Quandt »

When we started out, we knew that as a completely original band we would have to play places like legends and such for little pay and free beer. We were glad to do so because we know how it goes when starting a new band.

When we got more structured with our old style of music we had a 4 hour set of original music that had enough variety to play cover bars. We would pull anywhere from 200-500 a night. Compared to a $20 night at Legends (although I will admit Legends has got a lot better lately).

Then when we shifted our music direction our music was less appealing to everyone and we had to start over in a way, playing cheap shows to get our name out.

Well honestly now (i say this with as much modesty possible) with us getting very popular around town we ask for more money. We dont personally think we are better then any other group in town but we do know that we bring a hell of a crowd most nights and they are without a doubt a drinking crowd.

We recently have been getting shafted on pay, and we are going to buckle down on it. I would venture to say that even on a slow night we probably bring 1k of sales to the bar. That deserves something. On normal nights, sky's the limit.

So now because of that we are going to have to blacklist a few venues that havent treated us well compared to how we treat them. That doesnt make us assholes either, just makes us smart. We have a tour coming up that we are funding completely on our own along with a recording time, and a CD release to worry about.

I dont like that fact that bands are playing for less then they are worth, because it does set the bar lower for other bands, you are undercutting them.

If you are new, or you just dont really have a crowd then that is one thing but I agree with tiny, show your worth and act your worth. That doesnt make you a dickhead either, and if a bar thinks it does well then they dont deserve your entertainment anyway.
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Post by Steve »

Makes me happy I'm in one of those evil cover bands.
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Post by big ben parliament »

Kimaliz,
I agree with a lot of what you said, but please remember that I also said before that this is not a regular thing for us. If we played every show for this amount of money, then I would agree 100% with you about undercutting other bands. The fact is, though, that this is a rarity.

We have also decided to stop playing at certain places for the same reasons you mentioned in your post, but I don't think that playing the occasional* low-paying show is such a bad thing. We're not trying to ask for less money than other people are getting. We're just trying to have a good time, and that's what this show sounded like to us. If that really has a negative effect on other bands, then I sincerely apologize. That was not our intention.

If and when we do play Berlin again, we will definitely be requesting more loot, and will give the success of our last show as evidence for that.
I hope this makes my point a little more clear. Trust me, we're not trying to compete with anyone, or charge less so that we get more shows. We don't have enough guile** for that.




Lastly, for the record, I also did not to intend for my previous post to imply that I have a negative opinion of cover bands. If that's what blows your hair back, then by all means go for it.




*I cannot stress this part enough.
**Or smarts, for that matter.
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Al Quandt
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Post by Al Quandt »

Actually I was just making a general statement on my experience I guess I wasnt completely directing it at you. Sorry if it came off that way.

We play cheap shows sometimes. Hell we destroyed the Rail Sat. we had that placed wall to wall packed with less then a days notice of the show. We didnt get paid anything because it was a friends bday party and we agreed to do it for free.

Now with that though I would hope that the Rail realizes our draw and pays accordingly next time we do a normal show there. Its only fair.

I am ready for contracts though, I am getting so frustrated with a few bars and promotors. It sucks because we have always had a rep for being easy going and nice guys, its possible that we will loose our rep. but then again it was probablt that rep that made people think they could d*ck us around too...

who knows for sure
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Post by Al Quandt »

As for berlin. I have never played there. My band did while I was away for a year, when it was still the River and had poor experiences. I saw a show there early on when it first became Berlin and was not totally impressed.

I have heard much better things now though. I would be willing to try it again but I think my band is still salty on it.
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