Friday, August 22, 2008

Rules and Etiquette When Hiring A Band

I found this--it was written by an anonymous Austin musician whom I tend to agree with quite often.

There are certain things that shouldn't need to be written about but, obviously, they do. So here are a few rules and basic etiquette to follow when hiring a band.

This one is very important. It's what makes us play gooder. Trust me on this one. Provide the band with decent beer and a good time will be had by all. And I'm not talking about the crappy beer either. No Budweiser, Miller, Coors, or "light" version--or any other variety from any of those beer groups. We don't like that stuff. Oh, and don't try to charge us "import" prices for Shiner Bock. Pull out a map--it's in Texas, stupid. Shiner, Texas--ever heard of it? And--to be honest--you shouldn't be charging us to drink. It's part of the deal.

Don't act like it's up to us to pack your place out. If you run a bar that doesn't have enough appeal to bring in a dozen or so people, then maybe you should invest in something like a Ms. Pac Man arcade game or a mechanical bull. And don't give us grief about the attendance if you're located in a city other than Austin. I don't live in (insert name of town here) so you can't really expect me to promote the show. I'll put up a few posts about it on MySpace but I won't be hanging up posters and handing out flyers.

If you own a club in Austin, this is probably a foreign concept to most of you. But, yeah, believe it or not, we like to be compensated for our time. I put more effort into a gig than I put into my day job. Well, I mean, I don't have to haul in a bunch of musical gear to my job. Quit offering some sort of percentage of the bar. There are way too many what-if's and it usually ends up with me saying "what if we just say no"? If you figure out what you're willing to pay and it works out to less than minimum wage per hour per band member--don't insult us. With that being said, it's really a sliding scale when it comes to pay. And it has a lot to do with the level of difficulty. If we're going to have a great time, drink lots of beer, get a meal out of it, and you're providing a working PA--we'll work for cheap. (Note: if you're a restaraunt, two things: 1. just pay the band--you're making money on food and drinks and 2. feed the band...seriously...we get hungry, too.) If we have to load all of our gear, drive to another city (usually in rush hour, right after working all day), bring our own PA, get charged import prices for domestic beer, and pay for parking--then it's gonna cost a whole lot more. I'm sure I don't even have to draw attention to the price of gas these days. But--yeah, that all gets considered when booking a show.

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