The Red Zone #3 – First Impressions

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«You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.»
– Mark Rogers

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Alright kids, class is now in session. Let’s get down to it. Put your books aside and let’s talk about…..

HEY, YOU DICK!                                                                    PAY ATTENTION!

Alright, we good?

Cool.
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© www.plugin-mag.com

Now, as I was saying, let’s talk about first impressions. If this were a classroom, and you were the kid constantly interrupting me like Chewbacca taking a shit on a washing machine, I would absolutely despise you. You might not be a bad person, but in my mind I’ve already labelled you as a shit stained tortilla. Your ass is grass and I’m the god damn holy mother of lawnmowers.

Catch my drift?

Well, here’s some straight up knowledge for ya, kid.

Playing music really is no different than that.

First impressions last, and you’re only going to get one shot at it. Whether you blow people away or get tossed into the bottomless bin of “WhoGivesARaccoonsTurd?” is entirely up to you.
Wanting to rush things is a mistake a lot of bands make. Do NOT rush. Ever. Just don’t. Seriously, it’s a bad idea. Learning that could actually send you straight to Heaven with 72 (consenting) virgins. Or, at the very least, get people paying attention to your music. Let’s go over this and see a bunch of very real scenarios and issues that are massive NO-NO’s.

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NO-NO FACTS:

1) Showing up to rehearsals is not giving 100%. Showing up prepared, and ready to play is only half the job.

2) Many bands seem to suffer from Premature Musical Ejaculation Syndrome. Just because you recorded a song and got the master, doesn’t mean you should just throw it out into the world. That right there is your baby, not your trash bag to toss outside. Take care of it!

3) You’ve written 2 songs. You decided it was a good idea to book a show in a month. You must’ve lost your head up your own ass. Why… just why?

4) Creating a facebook page without any music is like taking a dump without any toilet paper. You’re supposed to be a band. Having music ready gives you time to plan out a release, and that will drive people to your page. I could create a band page right now and call it “Destructo-Ponies of Asgard” but that doesn’t make me a legit band, does it?

5) No one gives a shit about your shitty quality home recording. Yes, it’s very handy to write songs and use as demos, but unless you’ve got the right gear and the right people to use it, it’s better you wank off to it in your bedroom. Alone.

6) Never leave a song unfinished. Pushing it back to focus on other stuff is just going to mean that song will remain incomplete. You know what happens when you leave pizza in the freezer? NOTHING. And don’t you dare play that song live, either! You’ll just get used to it as it is, until one day you realize how much you hate it.

7) This goes without saying. Don’t play covers. Unless you’re a cover band. Great, you got people to mosh and go crazy for one song. You know what happens after? They go back to normal. That’s awkward. They already know the bigger bands. Let people get to know you instead. Your band. Your music.

8) Live shows are exactly that. A SHOW. If I wanted to go somewhere to see people that look bored or don’t move, I’d go to a freaking museum and look at statues. You’re not made of stone, so let loose and feel what you’re playing, you tight assed little shit! I want to enjoy myself, and I want to enjoy watching a band enjoy themselves, too.

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This stuff isn’t magic. It’s obvious. At least it should be if the world hadn’t become so stupid.

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The bottom line is, you wouldn’t show up to a first date smelling like horse urine, right? If you’re doing this for the long haul then do it right. If you’re willing to write crappy songs that you’re only half satisfied with and record them with the worst quality possible, you’re basically telling everyone that you don’t care. If you don’t give two quarters of an anus particle, why should anyone take you seriously? Why would a booker ever put you on a show, never mind pay you for it?
It’s not an existential question. I’m not trying to make you feel like I just shot your brain with a shotgun. It’s common sense. Figure it out!

Your music is your key to the world. Don’t lock yourself up in a closet with it. Use it. Open up new paths and opportunities. Be proud and confident in what you’re doing so that when you hit the stage for the first time, people will feel like they were the grass, and you were the Messiah lawnmower.
Don’t be the asshat at the back of the classroom. Rip them a new one and give them something to remember.

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Alright, that’s it for today folks. See ya next time!

Class dismissed.

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Nabil
I spend a big part of my time venturing into the realm of free-writing, and challenging myself as a writer. In that respect, I hope to to contribute whatever experience I may have acquired in the music world, and give you a different perspective from the point of view of a musician. I enjoy a wide variety of music, though my preferences lean towards metal, post-rock, and pop-rock. I’m a relatively easy going and simple person, with an awful sense of humour (I love ‘knock-knock jokes), and I hope you’ll enjoy my writings!

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