Dinners With Dan #16 - Why be in a band?

Hey, so this week I’m looking at BANDS and what it means to be in a band, how hard it is to be a band!

Now, to be fair, I don’t know where to start. Maybe it’s the fact I’ve written 15 more articles then I expected. Maybe it’s the fact I’m coming off 5 vodka lime sodas, maybe it’s the fact I’m running out of shit to talk about (doubtful) OR maybe it’s the fact I asked Byron and this is what he came up with.

But what does it mean to be in a band?

I can only speak for myself (obviously) but being in a band is ALMOST the greatest thing you can do. Now, I haven’t done EVERYTHING in my almost 30 years I’ve been alive. But I have had a child and married the best person (or was it the only person who could put up with me). Not a lot will top the first time I held my daughter, despite the fact my wife was dying, half cut open on an operating table, I was in a different place. No matter what song I play, who I play in front of, nothing will be able to top that (maybe Wembley sold out would – but I’ll never know).

But being in a band, what does it really mean? It means giving your all to something that more than likely will get you nowhere in a hurry apart from sweaty, tired and broke. The lucky ones get something out of it and that’s something you should never take for granted if you are one of the lucky ones. Be thankful that you get to do what thousands only dream of doing. I’ve been in my band for over 10 years now. 10 long years of sweat and alcohol. I wouldn’t change a second of it though, well maybe I would. To record more music – but that’s an expensive game and with life getting in the way unfortunately we can’t just drop everything and put 100% of our time and money into the band. We would all love to, but realistically we (I) can’t.

Aside from money being in a band is something different. I've played a tonne of sport and been involved in teams but being in a band is something else. You literally lock yourself away in rooms with the family that is your band and give 100% of yourself away. Writing music with others is weird. I've always found writing to be a pretty personal thing, but when you are in that room with those other people, you all come together. It's like some weird Jedi mind trick. You get on these wavelengths where what you are thinking is exactly what the other is thinking and BAM you come out with something special. It's always a crazy feeling when you all just GET something and it works. There's been times where my band have all connected at the exact same time - something we like to call FUSION *Cue Sci-Fi Sounds*. It's great and a really special connection you make - because music is such a personal thing the people in your band really know who you are, what makes you tick and what gets under your skin. Sure sometimes you can argue over shit, the direction of a song or whose doing what. But all that means nothing when you play a song you all had input with.

You get to learn so much not only about yourself but about the other people in your band and they truly do become something other then best friends. You can share beers and laughs and then the next moment be sharing lyrics that you wrote when you were a sad little shit and there is never any judgement.

So go and get your mates together, learn the basics on your instrument of choice and then go from there. You'll be shit to begin with. You always are when you are trying something new but stick at it and you will have some of best and most fun times of your life. You'll be hot, sweaty, tired and over worked and under paid. But you'll love every fucking second of it, and if you don't, you're doing something wrong.

One last thing. Promoters/Venues/People who fuck over bands for any reason. Pull your head out of your asses. We are all in this scene together and by fucking over the people who put beer in your taps, light in your electricity and bums on your seats - you're being real stupid because if you fuck bands over enough, you're gunna be sitting around every Friday and Saturday night wondering where the night life is. We don't earn big dollars from this. So don't take the little we need. Support us and we will always be respectful and try and get as many people through your doors and onto your bar as possible.

Dan's nostalgic track of the week: Black Sabbath // War Pigs -

Dan's local track of the week: Dune Rats // Dalai Lama, Big Banana, Marijuana


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