The struggles in being an unsigned band

37 Struggles Everyone In An Unsigned Band Will Understand

It’s a tough job, but some poor sucker’s got to do it. posted on March 4, 2014 at 6:51am EST
Tim Chester BuzzFeed Contributor

1. Being in a band is hard work. You bust your balls week after week in a dingy rehearsal room.

2. It’s usually in some trading estate in the middle of nowhere, freezing cold, and costs £15 an hour.

3. Although sometimes it’s in a noisy railway arch.

4. And occasionally in the roadie’s garage.

5. Most weeks you’ll spend half the time ‘jamming’ or painstakingly working out an ‘epic outro’ for the set closer.

6. You’ll go for the late slot, either because it’s cheaper or most of you have day jobs.

7. So you won’t finish til at least 12.30am and will just miss the last train home.

8. The drummer will still be late though.

9. If you do finish earlier you’ll probably go to the pub to argue about logos for four hours.

10. Eventually someone will quit, meaning you have to advertise for replacements.

11. It will either be a bassist who insists on adding slap bass to your plaintive indie ditties.

12. Or a guitarist who’s never known a bridge that can’t be improved with noodles.

13. Who probably has some pedals like this.

14. Or a drummer who takes three hours to set up.

15. He’ll offer his own King-Crimson-meets-Boy-George-in-Acapulco kind of thing to jam to, you know, if you fancy it.

16. You’ll agree to stick the drummer’s song in the setlist, but frantically think of ways to avoid playing it live.

17. There will be creative differences.

18. After six months of this you’ll find a local producer, who’s set up shop in his spare room.
Have a look at his face as you lay down your carefully crafted vision: that’s what indifference looks like.

19. You’ll emerge three days and several grand later with a few tracks which you’ll probably release on limited edition cassette.

20. Someone in the band will write a grandiose press release, declaring you a refreshingly new take on [band you sound exactly like]. If you’re in a punk or art rock band this will be a manifesto.

21. You’ll pose for some group shots.

22. Quite often this will be in front of graffiti.

23. Or you’ll be jumping.

24. You’ll send the recording, photos and press release to innumerable magazines, blogs, tastemakers and DJs.

25. You’ll never hear anything back from anyone. Except for maybe John Kennedy.

26. By this point you’re no doubt playing monthly gigs to six people a time.

27. The soundman often doesn’t even hang around past the first song.

28. The guitarist will be oblivious to this fact.

29. You’ll get £1 for every flyer your friends bring, but only if there are more than 30 of them.

30. Still, you’ll get to add your band sticker to the collection in the bogs / green room.

31. The drummer’s song will go down like a lead zeppelin.

32. Each member of the band will develop a thing.

33. Which may or may not fit in with the overall look.

34. You’ll play one of these, which are inevitably always won by a prog quintet with an inexplicably large fanbase.

35. A ‘nationwide tour’ – incorporating three cities visited in the roadie’s mum’s car which will break down in the middle of nowhere – will add an air of success to your CV.

36. You’ll think of quitting many, many times.

37. But just once in a while, you’ll play a blinding gig where you all click, everyone will be watching, and all of the above will be more than worth it.

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