How to be a Good Bandmate:
- Be a fan: It’s really important that you like the artistic style of your bandmates playing/singing/writing/producing. Otherwise you’ll be arguing about every creative choice. When you have the same artistic taste, it just flows. Yutaka was always a big fan of what Joz does, and I was a big fan of Yutaka’s since the first time I saw him play live.
- It’s a serious relationship: Being in a band is a long term commitment. Members quitting or needing to be replaced is a huge upheaval that will end up affecting everything, including, most importantly, the art itself. It can sometimes even result in starting at square one. If you want to be in a band, make sure you can commit and prioritize it. If it’s not a priority, nothing will ever get done.
- Leave the drama for your mama: While your bandmates are your friends, they’re not your therapists. We all have challenges that come up from time to time, and your bandmates probably love to lend and ear, but don’t show up to rehearsal frazzled and distracted and unable to focus. Leave the drama at the door. You’re doing yourself a favor too. Your band is your place away from all of that.
- Be open-minded: The creative process is unpredictable. You can’t always control it. So, don’t let your need for control control you. Be open to others ideas, mistakes, and explore paths that might be unexpected. A good idea can come from anywhere.
- Anticipate your bandmates needs: This is an important one, and a tough one. It’s as important off stage as it is on stage. It happens naturally when you have cultivated general compassion for your bandmate- When their happiness is your happiness, their well-being is your well-being. You have to be really receptive. Are they struggling with something on stage? Go to their side of the stage and give them some love. Remind them that whatever happens during a show, we have to have fun at all costs! Are they struggling with a stack of merch boxes? Run over and get the door. Did they lose their phone at the venue? Call it, start asking the employees. One person’s problem is everyone’s problem.
- Give it your all: Give the band your best, all the time, every time. You’re best ideas, your most preparedness. Don’t hoard your best ideas for your side project. If you’re sitting on a hit and the band is feeling it, let’s GO! A win for the band is a win for you.
- Have fun: Don’t take yourself or your band so seriously that you forget to have fun. It totally defeats the purpose of having a band in the first place. Even if you have big dreams, there’s no point to achieving them if you’re going to hate the process.
Did I forget anything? Let me know! Leave it in the comments!