Six Common Misconceptions That Make Bands Suck

Categories: Nitpick Six

S.C. Axman
You should probably just stick to the video game version of being in a band, really.
For some dumb reason, everyone wants to be in a rock band. Probably because it's a good way to avoid gazing into the inescapable black hole of painful loneliness. That and rock & roll kicks ass, and gets you chicks or dudes or money or something.

The problem with rock music (aside from the talentless assholes with money) is that people don't seem to understand what playing it is really like. Effectively convincing people what being in a band "should actually be" would take a number of expensive hallucinogens and months of intense brain deprogramming. Instead of that, we made a list for you to argue with. Here are six common misconceptions that make bands suck.

Tax Credits

6. You Deserve to Be Paid, a Lot

Don't rely on the same society that put Dave Matthews Band, Metallica and Eminem on Billboard's "most consecutive studio albums to debut at No. 1" to also pay your bar tabs and rent. In return for not expecting shit, you and your friends get to enjoy the $80 that mysteriously ended up in your jacket pocket after you fell asleep next to a pull-tab booth. Frankly, the only people in the music industry who rightfully deserve to be paid are the people who were screwed over back when it was only unrealistic to make money (rather than nearly impossible, as today). Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth probably can't go back to community college to get a temp job as a metal fabricator. However, the bassist in your unknown alt-country band probably can.

Sebastiaan ter Burg

5. Groupies

There are no groupies for you. Well, OK, there are potentially "groupies." But the men and women who would be considered "groupies" are the sexual equivalents of fast-food slobs. In the way a fast-food junkie celebrates the cat's birthday with a Big Mac value meal, groupies are just trying to find any excuse to have sex with someone. That flimsy excuse, if you're "lucky," can be the fact that you were simply standing on a stage at a time when other people weren't -- nothing more. While meaningless sex and greasy food are two things to be regularly enjoyed while trashed, rarely do you feel awesome about yourself the next day.

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I'm doing the whole band thing and I'm the lead singer.  Here's the real truth!

Unfortunately, today, no one cares about your band!  People have 100s of other ways to be entertained.  Your friends want to see you once in a while but soon enough, something tells them... "dude, I've already seen that act before, let's do something else".  We live in a world where EVERYONE is cool now.  It used to be that people didn't have any choice of entertainment other than to follow bands or go out.  Now no one give two shits about you, your rock star image and your music.  The industry is over-saturated.  Every kid with a guitar has a band.  Getting shows ain't easy!  It's a lot of work for very little return.  What makes it all worth it is when you play live and then a couple of your friends think you are cool.  Yes being in a band makes you a little cooler but of course it helps if you are cool to begin with.  To me, it is a way to get my aggression out.  I love to feel that stage energy and vibe.

Finally, the groupie thing is not real from my experience in SoCal.  As the poster below elegantly put it in a fantastic way, "There are much easier ways to get laid!". If a girl really likes you, you could have the worst job in the world and be a bum and she'll still like you.  There is really nothing you can do up on stage that will magically take a dis-interested girl and make her want you.  I'm almost certain that if you score after a show it is because she already liked you and being in a band and playing that show had very little to do with it. 

From my personal experience the same girl that was checking me out before the show (before she knew I was in a band) acts totally dis-interested after she sees me on stage.  They automatically assume that you are douche bag and have a huge ego and are looking to get laid that night.  The groupie thing is only real, IF you are FAMOUS!  Then the girls want to be part of it and tell everyone they were with you.  I'll say it again, "No one gives a shit when you are a nobody". 


Dude, you obviously don't know anything about being in a band. While it isn't the "always exciting, fun, glamorous life" the majority thinks it is, those "shitty qualities" of a band is part of the fun of being in a band. And if you truly are in a band for the music and not just fame, fortune, and sex, then all these experiences are worth it. Any band who truly enjoys it will gladly go through all the shitty experiences to be where they are. The things you've listed are simply what the majority of idiots think the music industry is. When you actually learn something about music, come talk about it.


I have to disagree with some of this, namely the practice. 

3-Practice is very much an important part of being in a band. No, you shouldn't put out a robotic reproduction of your album at every show, but you need to know the songs you're playing well enough to take them further. People don't pay to watch you fuck around on stage, they come for a show.

Work ethic is a good thing. Be it preparing for a show, an interview with a famous musician or simply serving that double-tall nonfat latte with a half pump of vanilla.

4-Bands don't make you cool, but usually, cool people make bands.

5-Groupies very much exist if you want them, providing you're actually good enough to get followers and fans and a consistent audience.

6-Bands absolutely deserve to get paid a lot, if they work on and craft something real...they probably just won't.

1-it's true, it isn't fun all the time, but if it isn't fun most of the time, you are playing with the wrong people.

I must agree with a previous poster, though; if these are the conceptions, you're in it for the wrong reason.


"It's one thing if you're hearing the same consistent piece of criticism over and over again. It's another thing to pay attention to the ham-fisted and ill-informed advice of someone who likely knows even less than you do. "

Completely knocked out of the park homerun on this one!
There is nothing more dangerous than someone who thinks they know something

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

The reality is great artists don't play music for the sex, drugs or even the love of music. The one reason why great artists play music is; They have to. It's like a addiction but worse. Maybe this is the real reason this article was written. If that is the case I lend you my sympathy.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

From the looks of it whoever wrote this article got into music for all the wrong reasons. Granted trying to make it in the music industry in St. Louis is like trying to get to the moon with a step ladder but still this writer should try focusing on why it is so hard to get a successful music scene going in St. Louis rather than bitching about how he/she is not getting what they expected out of being in a band.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

1. If you play in a band for the money get ready for some disappointment. Besides, you should play in a band because you love it, not for money. 2. There are much easier ways to get laid besides playing in a band. Getting a high paying job is one way to do that but good luck having a decent band when you spend the majority of your time at work or chasing girls. 3. Being in a band does not make you cool, that's a personal issue. 4. No comment on the practice thing. 5. Criticism is like poison. You should take just a little bit everyday to build up an immunity to it. 5. Being in a band can be very hard but then again nothing that is worth while is easy.

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