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Old 08-15-2010, 05:56 AM
1 posts, read 1,070 times
Reputation: 10


I'll put this out there for anyone who comes across this forum down the road. I can say as a rock musician, don't EVER move to LA, or most of CA for that matter... not anytime soon anyway. I am from a band out here and we're doing everything we can to get out. The scene is horribly overcrowded with bands, the club goers are jaded and have little interest in new bands (why care about any one band when there are so many to choose from? You can always have your flavor of the week.), Even if your polished musically, have a great show and look, and have some nice merch like a real CD and Shirts etc.; if you're not doing punk, metal, hip hop or R&B, there is actually a small potential fan base coming to the gigs anyway.

The worst thing though is that any venue worth playing knows that they are worth it and is going to charge pre-sale tickets for your show. They usually require 30-60 tickets depending on the place at $10 a piece to be sold, and pre-sale means that if you don't sell the tickets to someone, you have to pay the difference! That means if you agree to do a show requiring 30 tickets and everyone is too busy to come out, you could end up paying $300 to play to an empty room!!! And people DO flake out here a lot, so while 30 fans may not sound like much in some places, out here it can be a struggle to get 15 heads to your show. With so many bands struggling for any visibility at all, places can and do get away with this all over the place. The only venues that don't charge are start-ups or struggling bars etc that need you to bring in your friends to get heads in the door. That means you're always playing to the same crowd because no one is at the bar that you didn't bring to potentially win over. Even the places that require presale tickets usually aren't worth it because amazingly, people around here aren't interested in staying for another band than the one they came to see... even though they paid for a ticket! I'm not talking about your band playing for awhile and then people don't like it and decide to leave, I mean they are leaving right after "their" band finishes, as the next band after is still setting up. This place is horrible and I would avoid it like the plague!

Is it worth it under any circumstances? Only if you have a very fat bank account. There are a lot of industry types around here and if you can actually afford to buy your way onto the right venues and purchase exposure then you can make something work here, but it's going to cost you, ALOT. All in all it's a dead zone for rock bands who aren't already nationally known.

I'm not saying all this as a jaded musician who is mad because his band isn't good enough. I'm not from CA originally, I'm from the east coast and have always been amazed at how apathetic the people are to new bands around here. I've taken my hard knocks and used the ravenous competition to really improve musically but even the industry contacts I have managed to make over time all say CA is a dead zone for rock and the sooner you get out the better for your act. I have seen some darn amazing groups that would have people going crazy at many places I've been to on the east coast get nothing but the cold shoulder out here, even to the point to where people are talking when the song is over and don't have the courtesy to clap. CA might be a great place to come to if your a famous act already, or on your vacation as a music enthusiast who is just a listener, but I wouldn't come here as a musician expecting to do something. This state is the touch of death!!! I don't want anyone else to get stuck out here like I have for so long. Trust me, there are a lot of better places to build a rock, indie, or almost any other band, and the money you save on the cost of living alone could finance enough recordings and promotion to make you a successful regional act elsewhere!
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:17 AM
26,125 posts, read 29,606,900 times
Reputation: 27105
Interestingly, we were just sort of discussing this the other day. When Slash formed Slash's Blues Ball.Slash's Blues Ball toured as a cover band for two years following he departure of Slash from Guns N' Roses...The band did not release any albums.

They pretty much did the big 'up yours' to corporate management and record companies and just went out and jammed wherever and whenever they wanted to. Many were small venues all over the country. Playing what they wanted to and didn't pigeonhole themselves into the genres they were all known for or familiar with.

Not being a musician, only a music lover, I can only say I appreciated this type of attitude and endevour as a mark of good musicians who played because they LOVED to play and for no other reason.

This was from 'The House of Blues" in New Orleans

YouTube - Slash's Blues Ball - Use Me

There is also a thread on this forum about the 70's 80's concert experience and the same theme that seems to run through all the posts is at that time there wasn't these big productions it was just you and the band in their street clothes and it made the whole concert experience so much more personal. Sadly, those type of concerts have gone by the way-side of large scale productions, stage video, pyrotechnics, choreography, etc. and not to mention the skyrocketing expense of tickets for the concert goers. Today you need a second mortgage to go to a concert.


The Midwest and places like Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans are excellent places for bands because it isn't so spread out. There is usually a good "District" and people go for the music - not just to go out. And they can walk from one place to another. Places like LA are so spread out.
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:55 PM
Status: "Elon: Making Twitter great again!" (set 18 hours ago)
Location: Suburban Dallas
51,070 posts, read 44,085,756 times
Reputation: 31301
Default Consider Austin

Here's a great suggestion if live music is your thing: Take your gig to Austin, Texas. Really. It's the "Live Music Capital of the World". I mean, they've got it on every corner in town, and in every imaginable place, including their airport. No joke. It'd be a great place to really get seen and possibly get noticed by potential record producers and companies, and it would provide an opportunity for good connections. The city even has a local radio station (KGSR 93.3) that focuses a lot on local Austin talent. You really should consider this rather than Los Angeles. You'd have to move, as well, but this venture would be worth it.

Last edited by case44; 08-15-2010 at 04:06 PM..
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