Please tell me that you aren’t the band that I hate. You know the one. The guys who show up late, with tons of complicated guitar and drum rigs to set up. The band that won’t play the allotted time slot because it’s “too early” and the crowd isn’t enthusiastic enough. The guys that bring their own sound guy to a venue with an in house engineer. These guys are the most irritating people in the music world.
The world doesn’t owe you anything and music was here long before you were. Nothing you do is going to change that fact. Act as if you know what’s going on and be a person who’s easy to work with. Every time that someone extends the offer to use their stage, you are obligated to give them what they are looking for. Otherwise, you shouldn’t accept the show.
Be grateful that you have a gig. There are too many good bands who don’t get the right opportunities to shine and get discouraged for that crappy band with good networking skills to bring an attitude. You don’t have anything that approximately 29 other bands don’t already have. You aren’t special. I don’t care how much of a virtuoso you may be, there is always somebody who is more talented and nobody is obligated to bend over backwards to satisfy your whim.
Shelf your attitude. Nobody wants to deal with it. If you are more trouble than you’re worth, you won’t get booked. Doesn’t matter how you sound. I’ve seen it way too many times. A band that shows up late and then expects everyone to accommodate their “wants and needs.” It’s annoying. Quit it. You are not special and if you were, you would get crayons and a helmet, not special treatment.
So much work goes into pulling off a show behind the scenes and it’s ungrateful to be that way. The poor guy that booked you looks like an ass for bringing you in. The bartender has to explain to the customers why you aren’t playing yet. If you did bring in a few people (which is doubtful) they’re probably gonna leave early because you didn’t start on time. Why be that guy or band?
It reflects poorly on you and makes you look like an ass. The world of music is already populated with enough arrogant, pompous and needy individuals. Why not try being punctual, polite and efficient? It seems like you would meet more people like this but unfortunately, “divas” dot the musical landscape with scary frequency. Understand that you have an opportunity that many people never get and treat it with respect or you will wind up losing that opportunity.
If you haven’t sold enough albums to have a Grammy, you don’t have a right to expect preferential treatment. Let’s be real here. The odds are in my favor that if you’re a musician and you’re reading this, you probably aren’t a nationally recognized act and until you are, you haven’t paid your dues. I’ve been performing for almost 20 years and I don’t feel like I’ve paid all of my dues yet. Nobody likes you if you’re “that guy”. Nobody. Even your “fans” (girlfriend, lackeys, flunkies) are probably fed up with it.
Consider how lucky you are to be given the ability to rock a show. Act like you know what it means, even if you don’t. There are 600 kids that look up to you and feel like they want to trade places with you. They are the ones that something is owed to. They’re the ones paying $5 a head to come in and listen to you. They’re the ones paying $20 for a shitty t shirt. They are the ones that give you the opportunity to play on stage.
So be punctual. Be gracious. Give them a fair trade for their money. Be happy to be so lucky, don’t be that “starving artist” asshat who is so difficult that it makes a show torturous to put on. Understand that venue owners and booking agents will like you more and the work will continue to get better if you do. Please don’t be that band, the rest of us will thank you for it. Well, maybe not thank you but we won’t talk shit about you and sometimes that’s good enough.