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Shredding: Is forming a band around this style commercially sound idea?


Dr. Ellwood

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Is forming a band that specializes in shred technique a good commercial idea? How many venues are there to play this style in your local areas? I don't know of any in the Detroit area where you can really play much of this style and if there are I think the opportunities for playing allot would be very few. Are there more opportunities to play this style in your local areas? OR is forming this kind of band really just for fun and not meant to work very much or not at all?
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Lee, I know you are in a commercially successful band but that is more the exception than the rule. Whatever the style, it is generally not a sound idea to start a band , especially if you're after financial success :D .

 

This being said, shred music with nothing solid behind it never had much appeal (other than to other guitar players). Shred can be successful only if it complements some other strong elements.

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It's not just shred that is deficient in regards to venue, but other technically demanding forms of music such as the fusion (modern or otherwise) which is very rough to hype venue wise

 

In order to play out and get paid, one needs to be in the matrix of Top 40, Country, Classic/southern Rock. Blues, Straight ahead Jazz (sometimes pays), etc. . . .

 

It just seems that the more musicians give in 100% to the public and club owners' whims , then this matrix will only

grow.

The solution to getting other forms of music in other venues for them is a most complicated one.

Bill Hartzell started a thread called something like "alternative Venues " and the thread just died like the music scene has the past 20 years.

 

I like playing out, but have grown weary of being stonewalled by timid bandmebers worried about "getting signed" or being "commercial", recalcitrant club owners, and a public who has been subliminally conditioned to accept "easy" Art and Entertainment when it comes to playing the stuff i really want to play.

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Hi Rino, and allmost happy new year to ya... Well I guess I was after the input on starting up bands with their main thrust being shred metal style. I think that in other kinds of rock for instance the opportunities are much greater because there is a wider general interest at least from a audience's perspective? I think other forms of rock and blues would be the direction to go IF you are interested in music on any level of commercialism. But I might be wrong here, I think I know the Detroit area market and just don't see many opportunities to play in front of a audience? I also think that it is a good idea to start a band if the players are all experienced and want to do what it takes to be commerically successful.
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Have ya'll heard Avenged Sevenfold? A buddy of mine that works at Bogner turned me on to them. The music is like classic Iron Maiden, complete with twin gtr harmonies, and shredding solos. I heard the record before it was released, and like 2 months latter they were everywhere I looked. So cheers to a commercially succesful shredding band.
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Good comments from everyone! I will say this, and I guarantee it... I can pick four other musicians, go into rehearsal for two weeks, and have them playing gigs at least two or three nights per week or more if they want. This would be forming a band WITHOUT using ANY musicians I personally know. From start up to gigging in three weeks guaranteed. IF they will do what I say! AND I bet they will like at least 75% of the material they will have to play. They will make great money and have tons of fun too.
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Originally posted by ellwood:

Hi Rino, and allmost happy new year to ya... Well I guess I was after the input on starting up bands with their main thrust being shred metal style. I think that in other kinds of rock for instance the opportunities are much greater because there is a wider general interest at least from a audience's perspective? I think other forms of rock and blues would be the direction to go IF you are interested in music on any level of commercialism.

I think that whether the band is rock, metal or blues, shred is not enough to sustain popularity. It needs good songs, or a great frontman, or something more than just shred.

 

And Happy New Year to you, too! :thu:

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Originally posted by Rhino Madness:

Originally posted by GtrWiz:

Have ya'll heard Avenged Sevenfold?

One of their songs is on heavy rotation on the local radio and it's very good (a rare find on the radio :) ). More power to them!
No haven't heard them YET! but I sure hope too! more power to them is right and I bet your are going to hear of one of our own too! I am predicting that FlagShipMile's band WILL break through and soon!! I see some real STRONG potential there.
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Originally posted by Rhino Madness:

By the way Lee, I know you don't play shred but from your soundfiles, you still get to play a lotta notes: good for ya!

Ya sometimes TOO MANY! :D I have to watch that ALL the time.. my background is speed but I can over use it easily... good thing my keyboard guy kicks me in the ass when that starts!!!
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Originally posted by Caputo:

In order to play out and get paid, one needs to be in the matrix of Top 40, Country, Classic/southern Rock. Blues, Straight ahead Jazz (sometimes pays), etc. . . .

You certainly would have a better chance of capturing a broader audience. It seems to me that a shred band, especially the type of thrash metal where they are doing all that demonic screaming, would not appeal to women. Not the type of women I would like to see in the crowd anyway. For commercial success, it would be better to appeal to both sexes. If you are going to shred, there better be a song to go with it. A good rhythm with a shred that seems as an extension of that rhythm would be fine in my book. Of course, you would have to realize the venue you are playing and adjust your song mix accordingly.
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I thnk it would be interesting to see shred guitar placed in a different musical context than it has been in the past. Formerly, the shred bandsI've heard seemed to exist as a vehicle for one or two very technically proficient guitar players to show out. As was said above, that is entertaining to guitar players but not many others, and frankly, the bloom is off the shred rose for nmost of them. If you could find a way to employ shred-style playing in a different musical context, that might be a way to draw a new audience to it and, by extention, be commercially successful. Considering the complex and virtuosic elements of shred playing itself, it really ought to lend itself to more than just bombastic neo-classical masturbation from guys who spent more time running scales than learning genuinely engaging musical ways to apply them.

In short, I am saying that if a guy has enough theory and knowledge in his head to really shred, he ought to be able to do more than just go "Weedely weedely weedely" over two and three chord vamps all night long, as has been done before. Why hasn't someone come up with a better use for all that ability? There simply has to be a way to use that skill and style in a new way, and if you could build that kind of mousetrap, I bet the world would beat a path to your door.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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I also think that some of this falls into the 'be careful what you wish for...' territory.

 

I know that a lot of people think that it would be fantastic to make a living doing something that they love.

 

I'm of the opposite opinion... I believe that, no matter how much you love doing something, you'll hate it if you have to do it 24/7.

 

Now, I've been banging around the entertainment industry all of my life, and I do make a living at it. But not just doing one thing. That would drive me nuts. And I have observed that there are niches into which musicians can 'jam' themselves (forgive the pun...) and do quite well.

 

I think that bar bands are not great vehicles for making money.

 

I know that corporate events and parties are great ways to make money.

 

I had an idea for a cover band a couple of years ago... and we've been talking about this recently and I've watched all you guys put down the bands I'm talking about... but a band that played music from what I call the 'rude young men'... bands like the Animals, the Pretty Things, pre-1970 Stones, Kinks, Yardbirds, Vanilla Fudge, Mich Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.... bands like that.... these are the pop acts that took pop music from being Pat Boone and Bobby Rydell to being 'we have come for your daughters'. Circa 1964-1969, they owe a great debt to the 50s pioneers of rock and roll, but these bands were the ones who were lucky enough to be in place when it became acceptable over a wide range of media to say these things, and to poise themselves as slightly arrogant self-asured studs.

 

A band that presented that type of music today? I could book them immediately in a number of venues, I believe that I could get them on PBS, and I could definitely have them working black tie affairs for serious money. And when you are making serious money per gig, you don't have to work so many gigs.

 

Beyond that, I think that it would be fun to play "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", "C.C. Rider", "You Keep Me Hanging On", etc. a few times a month, in hotels and ballrooms where the producers are resonsible for production costs like sound and lights, and all you have to do is to show up with your axe, a low powerred amp, your beatle boots, and play.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I also think that some of this falls into the 'be careful what you wish for...' territory.

 

I know that a lot of people think that it would be fantastic to make a living doing something that they love.

 

I'm of the opposite opinion... I believe that, no matter how much you love doing something, you'll hate it if you have to do it 24/7.

 

Now, I've been banging around the entertainment industry all of my life, and I do make a living at it. But not just doing one thing. That would drive me nuts. And I have observed that there are niches into which musicians can 'jam' themselves (forgive the pun...) and do quite well.

 

I think that bar bands are not great vehicles for making money.

 

I know that corporate events and parties are great ways to make money.

 

I had an idea for a cover band a couple of years ago... and we've been talking about this recently and I've watched all you guys put down the bands I'm talking about... but a band that played music from what I call the 'rude young men'... bands like the Animals, the Pretty Things, pre-1970 Stones, Kinks, Yardbirds, Vanilla Fudge, Mich Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.... bands like that.... these are the pop acts that took pop music from being Pat Boone and Bobby Rydell to being 'we have come for your daughters'. Circa 1964-1969, they owe a great debt to the 50s pioneers of rock and roll, but these bands were the ones who were lucky enough to be in place when it became acceptable over a wide range of media to say these things, and to poise themselves as slightly arrogant self-asured studs.

 

A band that presented that type of music today? I could book them immediately in a number of venues, I believe that I could get them on PBS, and I could definitely have them working black tie affairs for serious money. And when you are making serious money per gig, you don't have to work so many gigs.

 

Beyond that, I think that it would be fun to play "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", "C.C. Rider", "You Keep Me Hanging On", etc. a few times a month, in hotels and ballrooms where the producers are resonsible for production costs like sound and lights, and all you have to do is to show up with your axe, a low powerred amp, your beatle boots, and play.

 

Bill

I think you are absolutely right, Bill.

 

If you want to play out and make money, you have to play what the audience wants to hear. They could care less what you want to play or that you want to showcase your playing prowess. That's not what they pay for...they pay to hear the music they want to hear.

 

It would be nice to be able to play whatever you want to play and get paid for it, but it seldom works out that way in reality.

 

Oh..speaking of audiences...here's what I've noticed about today's kids (at least around here)....they have started a trend away from hip-hop and shred metal and death metal and all that other garbage. Now they are listening to Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Kansas, Pink Floyd...all the old stuff we grew up on. I wondered if it was just my kids (because of me) or if it was a trend, so I asked the kid in the record store...he said it's a trend, he sells a BUNCH of it to the kids now.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I think that it would be fun to play "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", "C.C. Rider", "You Keep Me Hanging On", etc. a few times a month, in hotels and ballrooms where the producers are resonsible for production costs like sound and lights, and all you have to do is to show up with your axe, a low powerred amp, your beatle boots, and play.

 

Bill

AMEN, halelujah! Show me a gig like that, and I'm THERE! All I need is a pair of beatle boots...

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Originally posted by Picker:

Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I think that it would be fun to play "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", "C.C. Rider", "You Keep Me Hanging On", etc. a few times a month, in hotels and ballrooms where the producers are resonsible for production costs like sound and lights, and all you have to do is to show up with your axe, a low powerred amp, your beatle boots, and play.

 

Boots for rent here! :D also complete Edwardian garb in all colors :thu:

 

Bill

AMEN, halelujah! Show me a gig like that, and I'm THERE! All I need is a pair of beatle boots...
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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I believe that, no matter how much you love doing something, you'll hate it if you have to do it 24/7.

A friend of mine's band did some shows w/ the band, YES, and told me that Steve Howe, was one of the grumpiest.

During the leg of the tour they were on, he said all he got out of Steve, was a "eh . . " -- on the first Night.

After that, steve would just walk by and say nothing after he would say, "Hey steve"

 

 

Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I know that corporate events and parties are great ways to make money.

Bill [/QB]

I totally agree. If I am going to play covers, pay me !!

I like the hours of the corporate gigs too. No smoke either.

 

The bands you mention, I don't have a peoblem with

The thing is, i don't know where to start as far as how to start this up.

 

I had an idea on how to start, but it seems ridiculous.

 

Go to the convention centers where conventions are held.

 

Tell the Front desk, you want to book something, but need to look at their calendar and see what's available.

 

Then jot down any booking agencies, bands, etc . . . and get some numbers

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Originally posted by RyanVollmer:

nitro had that micheal angelo dude who i hear is one of the fastest....and they blew! im pretty sure it was formed completely around his talent as that was the only thing that put them in that spotlight..not for long though

No doubt, Ryan! Did you know Michael Batio (aka Michael Angelo) was a guitar teacher at Music Gallery in Highland Park before Nitro had their 15 seconds in the spotlight? (And yes, I meant 15 seconds, not minutes. ;) )

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by Caputo:

Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I believe that, no matter how much you love doing something, you'll hate it if you have to do it 24/7.

A friend of mine's band did some shows w/ the band, YES, and told me that Steve Howe, was one of the grumpiest.

During the leg of the tour they were on, he said all he got out of Steve, was a "eh . . " -- on the first Night.

After that, steve would just walk by and say nothing after he would say, "Hey steve"

 

 

Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

I know that corporate events and parties are great ways to make money.

Bill
I totally agree. If I am going to play covers, pay me !!

I like the hours of the corporate gigs too. No smoke either.

 

The bands you mention, I don't have a peoblem with

The thing is, i don't know where to start as far as how to start this up.

 

I had an idea on how to start, but it seems ridiculous.

 

Go to the convention centers where conventions are held.

 

Tell the Front desk, you want to book something, but need to look at their calendar and see what's available.

 

Then jot down any booking agencies, bands, etc . . . and get some numbers [/QB]

 

Well yes, you could do that not a bad idea. How I got in with Ford and GM and Mutual Insurance was talking to my lawyer and doctor about mutual friends that might need entertainment at their functions. I got a phone number through them and simply called the executives screener number using the attorneys and doctors name and they called me back. After the initial call we turned it over to the agency. Once you play these functions it seems you get called for events allot, it's like you are proven and it is just easier for event managers to have you booked and be done with that part of their responsibilities.

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Originally posted by Caputo:

...I had an idea on how to start, but it seems ridiculous.

 

Go to the convention centers where conventions are held.

 

Tell the Front desk, you want to book something, but need to look at their calendar and see what's available.

 

Then jot down any booking agencies, bands, etc . . . and get some numbers

Nice try, but it ain't gonna happen. This isn't a front desk job at a convention center and they certainly won't be sharing their information regarding clients and agencies with you that way.

 

I work for a corporate event production company. We produce corporate events from start to finish, providing or subcontracting their general sessions, entertainment (name acts and unknowns) sets and props, audio, lighting, video, and more.

 

It's very difficult to break in to this market for several reasons.

 

Being a lucrative business, there are bands that have spent years creating a reputation and tailoring their shows to the corporate market. Sure, there are those who simply play music for corporate parties. But the ones that really make a killing are those with a show that can easily incorporate the client into what they do. Some are pretty straight ahead acts. Others, like the Pink Flamingoes, are over the top party bands who get just as cheesy as can be because they're there to hype up attendees inbetween sessions that, as often as not, are as mind-numbing to the attendees as to us, the production crew. ;)

 

Most of the bands we deal with, if not name acts booked through William Morris, CAA, etc., are either known within the corporate event community or, in our specific instance, made up of musicians connected with various members of our staff. About half our office staff came from or are otherwise connected with the former Opryland USA themepark. As you might imagine, we have considerable ties with musicians who played the park and those who played with those who played the park for convention entertainment. It's pretty close knit, though that will change in a generation since Opryland USA closed in 1998.

 

The point is, Lee's experience is more common for corporate event bands in places where there isn't a theme park full of musicians networking corporate gigs at the hotels and convention centers in the area. Word of mouth.

 

Otherwise, I suggest you find an agency in your area that books musicians on gigs. (But for this you'll need to read music or at least know how to follow "fake book" charts. Here in Nashville there really aren't agencies that provide musicians this way, simply because several musicians have become contractors of musical groups themselves, again coming out of Opryland since the Opryland Hotel is the largest provider or venue providing these gigs in Nashville. (When I worked there, 10 years ago, it was the largest hotel and convention center outside Las Vegas, though I suspect either other Gaylord developments in Texas and Orlando may have eclipsed it. Still, almost 4,000 rooms, 4 huge ballrooms that can be further divided and scores of smaller meeting rooms that are large enough for parties, etc., and you have a steady need of corporate entertainment.)

 

In other cities the musician's union can probably suggest agencies of this type. When I was married we used an agency outside Chicago to book a pianist and flautest for the wedding. When the pianist went ill, though they couldn't find another pianist, they provided a guitarist instead. The point; This is a source of work and networking for musicians who can read or follow charts.

 

What might work, along the lines of your original idea, would be to phone the convention center offices and find out if they work with specific booking agencies. If you approach them in a professional manner, stating up front that you would like to serve their clients, they may give you contacts to call. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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We just got clear of a union to union or local to local dispute with US in the middle of it all! We worked one of the big casinos here a few times about 2 years ago. I have a travel card from a local in Pontiac Mich. the casino was within the city limits of Detroit! CONFLICT!! big time, one represented by the PFM and the other by the DFM, we had no problem untill someone on the wait staff (a steward) called and complained that she could not find my name on the DFM roster of members in good standing (dues up to date) they let us finish up that date and stopped us from doing six more gigs there. The two locals fought it out for almost two years. Because of our case NOW any bands carrying a valid PFM card CAN work the DFM venues and only pay stewards dues for the first date of a multi date contract. It can get complicated ... yes Neil is right you must read notation.
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Originally posted by Caputo:

Thank God, i got over the hump on reading.

No prob.

 

You should see some of the charts I get thrown at me at church. You would be surprised

Would NOT be suprised at all Caputo! I know that can be challengeing! material. and your ultimate boss CAN make you pay!! if ya mess up!! :thu:
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In our town, there is a local meeting planners association. It costs something to join, but not much. This puts you in touch with the local people who plan events.

 

Then there is the convention and visitors bureau. It costs $500 a year to join, but you get advance notice of all of the events booked at all of the hotels and convention centers and event spaces in your area, with contact numbers. (You will be amazed at how much comes through your town, that you never hear about.)

 

Two easy to get at ways of booking yourself outside of bars.

 

Now, you can't just join and expect instant work. The first is like networking, and you might have to hang a while, go to a few luncheons and such, before you get a shot. The second is going to require a lot of letters, with some press material (NOT full press kits unless they ask!!!) along with maybe a sample of the music and a review or two.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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