I’ve been lucky enough over the years to join some great bands. I’ve joined bands ranging from Celtic-Rock, to Prog-Rock, to Blues, and most things in between, but in 2012 I put together my own band, and found that there’s some pretty distinct differences between joining a band and starting a band. But one thing stays the same in either situation, and that’s to just be cool.
You don’t have to be the best musician in the world. I certainly am not, but I learned early on that if you want the gig, you gotta be cool.
Now, I’m not talking “cool”. I’m talking about being friendly to people. Respectful to the people you’re stuck in a van with for the next month. Don’t be annoying if you can help it. These little things are more important than you might think.
When you join a band, you’re entering into an existing Ecosystem. It’s important to know your role. Take the “new guy” position in stride. It’s okay to be the new guy. Focus on being so good that they forget about whoever you just replaced or whoever else they may have been considering for your position. Show that you work hard, and can be a team player, and you’ll find your place in the Ecosystem.
When putting together a band, many of the same rules apply. Try to find the people you would want to hang out with. You’re going to be working together, sometimes living together, and creating together. So in my opinion, it’s of course about finding the people that can do the job, but maybe even more important, is this a person I want to spend a lot of time with?
Musicianship is important. Don’t get me wrong here. But, I’ll leave you with this question: Would you rather….
Be in a band with the greatest musicians in the whole world, but you don’t get along with any of them…
Have a great time with your band, and go on an amazing musical journey with cool people, but they are just regular good musicians?
Luckily for me, most of my experience over the years, whether it’s joining a band or starting one, it has been the combination of those two things. That’s the dream! The best musicians, and they’re the coolest people? They exist – you just have to go out and find them.
Kingston, New York’s very own The Grape And The Grain have been making big waves in the Big Apple and beyond with their brand of blues-infused rock & roll. Their self-titled album was released in November via Boneshaker Records and you can stream the excellent opening track, titled “Burnt By The Sun”, below. If you dig what you hear, you can purchase a CD here and stay tuned for an upcoming vinyl release here.