Rules for Bands
- Never be in a band with a married couple.
- Your manager's not helping you. Fire him/her.
- Before you sign a record deal, look up the word "recoupable"
in the dictionary.
- No one cares who you've opened for.
- A string section does not make your songs sound any more "important."
- If your band has gone through more than 4 bass players, it's time
to break up.
- When you talk on stage you are never funny.
- If you sound like another band, don't act like you're unfamiliar
with their music ("Oh, does Rage Against The Machine also do
rap-rock with political lyrics?")
- Asking a crowd how they're doing is just amplified small talk. Don't
- Don't say your video's being played if it's only on the Austin Music
- When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract
ever. Mention "artistic freedom" and "a guaranteed
3 record deal."
- When you get dropped insist that it was the worst contract ever
and you asked to be let go.
- Never name a song after your band.
- Never name your band after a song.
- When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to perform one of
them, begin looking for a new drummer IMMEDIATELY!
- Never enter a "battle of the bands" contest. If you do
you're already a loser.
- Learn to recognize scary word pairings: "rock opera",
"white rapper", "blues jam", "swing band",
"open mike", etc.
- Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but
- Listen, either break it to your parents or we will: it's rock 'n'
roll, not a soccer game. They've gotta stop coming to your shows.
- It's not a "showcase". It's a gig that doesn't pay.
- No one cares that you have a web site.
- Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to your feet.
- Don't hire a publicist.
- Playing in Portsmouth and Nashua doesn't mean you're on tour.
- Don't join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In fact, don't join
a cover band.
- Although they come in different styles and colors, electric guitars
all sound the same. Why do you keep changing them between songs?
- Don't stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That's what
girlfriends are for.
- If you use a smoke machine, your music stinks.
- We can tell the difference between a professionally produced album
cover and one you made with the iMac your mom got you for Christmas.
- Remember: if blues solos are so difficult, why can so many 16 year
olds play them?
- If you ever take a publicity photo, destroy it. You never know where
or when it will turn up.
- Cut your hair, but do not shave your head.
- Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
- Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat.
- Rock oxymorons: "major label interest", "demo deal","
blues genius", "$500 guarantee", and "Fastball's
- 3 things that are never coming back: a)gongs, b) headbands, and
c) playing slide guitar with a beer bottle.
— contributed by Bob Dolan