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Making Little Bands out of Big Ones.


Cthulhu Fhtagn

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Classic rock project it at the point were it's ready to turn the corner. Two guitars are life-long local performers with tradition and name regcognition. Keys had played professionally with head-line acts. Drummer is the "first call" for second tier local bands when they need a replacement drummer. In the last three years, I have actually become one of the areas better bassist.

 

Aside from things like family and day jobs (this is a side line for all of us), we genuinely like each other and there is little ego or drama in the band. The drawback is that the keys was a ARRA hire and we will probably lose him in September when all the shovel ready money runs out.

 

On to the point. Drummer calls me earlier in the week and says the new guitar has lined up a gig (his orignal band is on hiatus due to health issues - these things happen when everyone is in their 50s). Since the guitars last band is not in a position to perform, he offers us. I'm not busy, so I sez OK. Seems this is a three piece - the new guitar, the drummer and me. The bassist they used last week wasn't available and the drummer would rather work with me anyway. We felt that it would have been inappropriate to call ourselves by the band's name, especially since the singer/songwriter was not part.

 

This is mostly a blues project with just a dusting of classic rock and one or two originals by the guitar. Small venue (the outdoor dining area of a local restaraunt). Small footprint. Small PA (used the guitar's 12" Yami monitors as mains). Low volume. Low impact. Went well enough for the owner to offer a house mouse gig on Friday evenings. The take home is as much as the larger gigs with the full band. We have a committment to get together and do some rehearsal time and hammer out a set list.

 

Most important, I had a great evening. Lots of stuff I've never heard before, but being blues, it wasn't hard to get locked once I had the progession and melody sussed out. Had a few opportunities to so some soloing (doesn't happen in the other band). With the power trio, I'll have to figure how to work my base lines to support the melody during the solos. An excellent opportunity to expand as a bassist.

 

Now to the REAL point. Has the forum any experiences with "side projects" consisting parts of the original band? Is it likely that there could be a train wreck in the future? What strategies can be applied to keep both projects rolling.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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The last band I was in did something like that.

 

We could go from piano & vocalist to 5 vocalists, piano/bass/drums/guitar, 2 piece horn section, sound man and light man. It all depended on the needs and budget of the client.

 

We always used the same name - partly for "Brand" recognition, and because the piano guy was the musical director and always involved.

 

FWIW - here's a link to 2 videos that go from Max to somewhere in-between:

Solid Gold

 

 

Jim

Confirmed RoscoeHead

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It sounds like you are all pros and have sat in with other bands so as long as no egos get buised along the way, and it is understood that it is a side project and the main band is top priority, and you don't try to pawn the side project off as the main band at gigs, I see no problem.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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We always used the same name - partly for "Brand" recognition, and because the piano guy was the musical director and always involved.

 

FWIW - here's a link to 2 videos that go from Max to somewhere in-between:

Solid Gold

 

This most likely won't work. The "featured talent" in the "LC" band is not part of this side project. We fired the original lead guitar about two months ago and picked up this guy. The "featured talent" has a long standing musical and friendship with the new guitar. The side project has this new guitar doing vocals, leads and he has some nice original material. The musical nuance is different enough.

 

We would probably be better served by seeking a diffrent identity.

 

 

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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Fewer members = more pay for the ones who play. Hard to see a downside financially. It does limit repertoire, but there are fewer schedules to work with. Seems like a lot of pluses and only a few minuses to me.

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

 

 

 

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My work band went through a bit of the same thing for the last two gigs.

 

Half of the people (both main singers and drummer) couldn't be there, so the rest of us had to do some shuffling around to make it work. We also brought in one player's wife to sing (she has filled in before and does great). The issue came up whether we us e the band name. Everyone was ok with it except one of the singers- this person made quite a big deal out of the situation.

 

In the end, we used the name. The main factors were 1) several people had been in the band who are not now- the lineup has evolved and revolved. The expectation that any particular people had stake in the name was offset by the fact the people have changed a lot already 2) The person who started the project and came up with the name was in this lineup 3) We were representatives of our company, not necessarily ourselves.

 

Another factor was the fact that this situation will happen again, with people on the road and changing responsibilities, and the band should be able to adapt and adjust with the understanding that no one 'owns' the name, except maybe one person.

 

As far as side projects, one guitar player from the work band and I have a side project that is a blues & gospel project. His wife and old friend and a couple other people along with myself are the core of the project. The drummer from the work band has filled in a couple times, too. We play a lot of the same songs as the work band but a lot more that are different. We have a name separate from the 'work' band.

 

As far as strategies, ours is the work band takes priority. On the side project, we also have an understanding over who 'owns' the name, and have an understanding over the fact we might switch people up now and again based on availability. It could be a train wreck if egos (and money) get too involved

 

Of course, the major caveat, we don't get 'paid', at least not in money- we've gotten free admission to places, food, resort amenities, etc. It's been for work events, charitable causes and favors for certain people. If there is actual money involved, it might be best in your case to just go with a different name- it takes a lot of the drama out.

 

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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