Jump to content

Covers bands - what's the appeal?


Twigman
 Share

Recommended Posts

[quote name='Truckstop' post='974306' date='Oct 1 2010, 04:29 PM']I picked up bass because I wanted to be a bass player. I can play guitar, drums and piano too, but my love is bass. If I can get myself a gig where i'm playing bass live once or twice a week, I could fake my own death happy.

Truckstop[/quote]

You could join a covers band...... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='silddx' post='974278' date='Oct 1 2010, 04:12 PM']That's a fair assessment I suppose Jon.

I'm probably being highly contentious now, but I really do think a large proportion of bassists picked up the instrument because it is easier to play bass with a (simple song-playing) band than it is to play any other stringed instrument. That's not contentious, that is just the truth. However, I do think that a lot of those bassists may have adopted or already held a "second class citizen" attitude, to themselves, the bass, or both and don't even feel worthy or confident to be considered "equal" in their band and have to come on a bass forum to moan about it because they think we are all the same. That may be contentious :)[/quote]
Not my experience (I was inspired to play by bassists who made an upfront, band-defining racket) but I strongly suspect you have a point. The second-class citizen thing does seem pretty endemic in many attitudes - this whole "we only exist to make guitarists/singers sound better" thing, and that "What makes a bad bassist" thread, which has so many variations on the idea that if the audience becomes aware of you, then you're by definition crap.

To be honest, I don't know why people who think like that actually play at all.

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='truckstop' post='974309' date='Oct 1 2010, 04:30 PM']I picked up bass because I wanted to be a bass player. I can play guitar, drums and piano too, but my love is bass. If I can get myself a gig where i'm playing bass live once or twice a week, I could fake my own death happy.

Truckstop[/quote]


[quote name='crez5150' post='974309' date='Oct 1 2010, 04:30 PM']You could join a covers band...... :)[/quote]

worked for me, only faked my own death 3 times this year (tax purposes) :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why covers? Well, why originals?

* Greater financial rewards from song publishing, etc? Unlikely in most instances if you're 'only the bassplayer'.
* Moral superiority? Unproven
* Increased likelihood of being 'signed' - possibly, but only if you're a pretty boy to start off with
* Greater social cachet? Sigh.

Frankly, any collateral 'value' one assigns to simply plucking a bit of wire is entirely in one's own head. Which is why threads that ask "Why don't people like what I like and do what I do, [i]it's so much better[/i]' inevitably come to grief.

The scale of the ensuing disaster is dependent on the initial degree of goodwill and humility exhibited by the OP. If this is absent or lacking, they should prepare to taste leather, reprehensible though such an outcome might be.

Edited by skankdelvar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='wateroftyne' post='973902' date='Oct 1 2010, 01:14 PM']To be fair, this one is a slightly different angle. it's more like:

'I TRAVEL THE WORLD AND GET LOADS OF MONEY FOR PLAYING ORIGINAL MATERIAL. THE REST OF YOU ARE LOSERS.'

:D[/quote]

Precisely!!!

We/I could have brought thisn thread to a screeching halt pages ago if we were all prepared to just say we were jealous of the OP's experience/situation. :)

I think it's called "seeking validation", but I may be wrong.

I can honestly see no other motive for starting the thread.

As for people claiming to be playing "originals", well that's a whole 'nother can of worms IMHO. :lol: :) :)

Self penned would be a [b]much [/b]more honest description I think.

All of the above purely in my own cynical, narrow minded and insanely jealous opinion, naturally. :lol:

Edited by bassicinstinct
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='bassicinstinct' post='974350' date='Oct 1 2010, 05:16 PM']Self penned would be a much more honest description I think.[/quote]
And the stiletto slides gently between the ribs.

Nice work, Sir. :)

Edited by skankdelvar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, excellent. I'd been wondering how much longer we'd have to wait for another thread telling us that covers are a pointless exercise and that those of us not in 100% originals bands are just wasting our time. You're right of course, I don't know why I bother doing it.
Oh hang on, yes I do.
BECAUSE I BLOODY ENJOY IT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' post='974345' date='Oct 1 2010, 05:13 PM']Why covers? Well, why originals?

* Greater financial rewards from song publishing, etc? Unlikely in most instances if you're 'only the bassplayer'.
* Moral superiority? Unproven
* Increased likelihood of being 'signed' - possibly, but only if you're a pretty boy to start off with
* Greater social cachet? Sigh.[/quote]

These are the reason people play what they call originals, but sound the same as other stuff enough that they might as well be covers. Some people play music because they want to play music, as a form of self expression, especially the self part, to rationalise something into a form, if they are lucky, it will strike a resonance in someone else, and that is the bit that makes music worthwhile tome, not because a sound or chord sequence is familiar and comforting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only 'play' bass and for me it's a hobby. I have no pretence of being an artist or in anyway creative, I simply like to play. I don't write any material of my own, never have never will so anything I play will be someone else's composition.

Next week I've got a first practice with a potential new covers band. Why covers? Because it'll be fun. See what Rich posted.

I'll vouch for what Dave Vader has said about Devon. The venues that used to book originals simply aren't there anymore, my old favourite was demolished some time ago (FWIW The Anchor in Westward Ho! - good times). The venues booking covers bands, I can't ever remember booking originals when I used to go to gigs to see for example these guys [url="http://www.myspace.com/cultmaniax"]Cult Maniax[/url], especially The Black Horse in Great Torrington :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Mr. Foxen' post='974385' date='Oct 1 2010, 05:58 PM'][b]Some people play music because they want to play music, as a form of self expression, especially the self part, to rationalise something into a form, if they are lucky, it will strike a resonance in someone else, and that is the bit that makes music worthwhile tome[/b] , not because a sound or chord sequence is familiar and comforting.[/quote]
Y'know the first bit of that rationale could apply just as well to someone playing in a covers band.

As for familiar, comfortable sounds and sequences, well, plenty of orig bands go that route. Which is why there is sometimes greater 'sonic variety' at covers gigs, compared to the linear homogeneity of originals bands output, saddled as they are with genre preconceptions quite as stifling as those of the plump, drunken lady yelling 'Play Mustang Sall-Ouch! "

I would agree with you that 'challenging' music is a good thing when compared to 'over-familiar' music. Comparison is relative and not an absolute measure of worth, but we all know that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='SteveK' post='974420' date='Oct 1 2010, 06:34 PM']I know loads of great and prolific songwriters in bands, who, if they chose to, could fill arenas and make a fortune.


But, instead, they'd rather do Robbie Williams, U2 covers, and play The Dog & Duck once a fortnight for £50




Yeah, right! :)[/quote]

What a small world! You know my mate Bill then? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Twigman' post='973844' date='Oct 1 2010, 12:46 PM']And we have the luxury of most of our gigs being fly aways to the Med for a Fri/Sat show, so we get a weekend away with the lads with someone else footing the bill and come back with more cash than we left with :) - could you do that with a covers band?[/quote]

Yes!

[quote name='Twigman' post='973854' date='Oct 1 2010, 12:54 PM']Not as much fun as playing originals to 1000 diehard fans though, believe me!!

:lol:[/quote]

Which,to me isn't as much fun as sitting onstage in front of 2-3000 people and sight reading the charts first time...and nailing it.

It's all relative. I work with a lot of original artists,but right now I don't feel the need to write music. I can express myself very well
if I'm coming up with complementary lines for someone else's music or if I'm on a Jazz gig where I'm blowing over the changes.
If I'm doing a covers gig,I can express myself by the way I perform,be it some crazy dance move(!) or by playing some little thing
that,at that moment,feels right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I played in an originals band in the 90's, we really thought we were the dogs!

We did quite a few gigs, usually to the same 20 people (mates and their girlfriends) We spent loads of money to do some gigs (does pay to play still exist?) including hiring 3 minibuses to take us and our "crowd" to a monday night gig in Fulham, a 220 mile round trip.

Result, £300 worse off, 3 hours sleep before work the next day and yup, a blinding gig to the same 20 mates and girlfriends! Oh yeah, and a punch up with the drummer on the way home!

Thats why I now play in a covers band......

BTW, I listened to some demo tapes the band did the other day, and they were crap!

Edited by 4-string-thing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Twigman' post='973907' date='Oct 1 2010, 01:17 PM']But also I think it's much harder for new originals bands now because too many bands play covers and too many venues think they want covers........covers bands are killing music!![/quote]

Good grief - cover bands are not unique to Basschat Musicians.
Cover bands have been around since the dawn of music.
Armies of Musicians playing traditional tunes, Classical Musicians in an Orchestra playing works from the great composers of years ago.
Big bands in the 40's & 50's playing show tunes...and the list goes on.
And to this point i have not noticed that Music is dead.
Plenty of Musicians play in covers bands and are still writing original stuff for other projects and broadcast or whatever.
Infact their cover work money sometimes finances their original projects.



Garry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Twigman' post='973812' date='Oct 1 2010, 12:26 PM']So many of you play in covers bands, in fact it seems to me that all of you do!!!

What is the appeal of playing in a covers band?

I've never understood it.

I've always played in a band that writes and performs its own material - very very very rarely have we ever thrown a cover into our set and I always felt it was a pointless exercise.

Does anyone here, apart from me, play in a band that writes its own material?[/quote]
Nice one, Twigman - only 6 hours and you're up to 8 pages on this thread! :lol:
If you've never played in a covers band, and have no inclination to, I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. If what you do floats your dinghy, that's great.
I play in both originals and covers bands and have done for most of my musical life (40+ years) and don't feel the need to choose one or the other. I love both, for many of the reasons already stated above. At the end of the day (and night!), I'm out there playing music. Surely, that's what counts? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do get mildly miffed by the snobbery directed towards covers & tribute bands.

You either wrote the music you play or you didn't. Simple as that. I've never heard of Elvis or Sinatra being referred to as covers artists. And being a covers band didn't do the Beatles much harm in the long run did it?

As long as you enjoy what you do, then there's no problem. What's the point in running people down just because they do something different to you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking forward to doing it sometime soon, trying to get a few mates together for a giggle...

I just want to go out and enjoy playing at peoples weddings and stuff.

And my current band doesn't allow me to play much funky gear, and a 70's/80's covers band would.

I like playing bass, don't give a frigg if i'm on Jools Holland next week, or Bob and Charlenes wedding in Sanbach next month. I just like being a bass player.

My band is great fun, when they actually bloody do anything, so in the down times, i want to keep my hand in without the preassure of writing my own parts, just for shits and giggles.

Shouldn't there be more of that about?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Twigman' post='973812' date='Oct 1 2010, 12:26 PM']So many of you play in covers bands, in fact it seems to me that all of you do!!!

What is the appeal of playing in a covers band?

I've never understood it.

I've always played in a band that writes and performs its own material - very very very rarely have we ever thrown a cover into our set and I always felt it was a pointless exercise.

Does anyone here, apart from me, play in a band that writes its own material?[/quote]
I do both. In two originals and one covers. Cos i enjoy both. Why limit yourself. I like whiskey and beer, so do both. I like blonds, i like brunettes so i do both. I like rock i like jazz etc, etc.

What's the point of just playing in an originals band?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='leschirons' post='974578' date='Oct 1 2010, 08:27 PM']Read 90% of the posts on this and have to say the only thing that made me sit up and take notice is[b] silddx's 4lb 1oz Crucian Carp. [/b]

Ergo, I play in a covers band (and enjoy it)[/quote]

Size isn't everything.




































:)

Edited by Marvin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' post='974405' date='Oct 1 2010, 06:17 PM']Y'know the first bit of that rationale could apply just as well to someone playing in a covers band.[/quote]

I think that would be the difference between a covers band, and a band that plays covers. Retaining a band identity that is imprinted on those covers, like playing trad folk songs. Thin Lizzy's best known song is tradition song not penned by themselves, it is still a Thin Lizzy song. I suppose recording has just meant that those familiar folk songs are now those familiar pop songs. This does make me think of a phrase I hate though, 'We play pop songs, but rock them up', bah, stripping them back can be interesting, some of the Motown stuff has lots of chords going on, some are quite funny ones, lots of potential to be interesting, but cramming them into a 'rock' flavoured format kills them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...