Since I started playing drums age 16, I have always been in a band. More often, I've been in several at the same time. Thats what a lot of us drummers do.... play for a few bands; so long as we can remember the various different songs, speeds and any tech involved, we're in!
I have absolutely loved playing in a band. I love how quickly you form a little family with its own quirks and dynamic.
I've been in VERY dysfunctional bands yet I've also been in the most heavenly and easy going groups too.
There's something I find totally intoxicating about gigging. I love love LOVE being back stage, or especially when I'm onstage before the venue opens. There's something special about being around the techies whilst they assemble the stage and whilst we do sound check. Its like its our secret club and I always enjoy the team work involved to get things ready for show time.
I love how music brings everyone together. You can get the biggest high when you are playing and if you can get "in the zone" whilst on stage then you're probably playing a blinder of a set!
I love how afterwards, still buzzing, you can make lots of friends, just because they loved the show. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of these folks may not go on to become life long friends, but I've certainly made some great friends - all because they happened to be at the gig and start up a conversation. A few gigs down the line and we've gotten to know each other and then I really look forward to them being at shows, for the fun, laughs and their feedback.
I love the recording process with a band, all the discussions leading up to it; click? no click? structure changes? Other instruments? backing vocals?
The collaboration involved is something that can really test a band to see whats working and whats not.
I have certainly been in bands where the teamwork wasn't particularly balanced and so making any kind of group decision was near impossible. Some people don't want to lead but will not be told what to do either - this for a band, is disastrous.
In the past its felt that my whole life has been on a hold for a band. We've been with management and had fantastic tours but for some reason the band dynamic just couldn't hold together and the band broke up.
Getting the right chemistry in a band seems to be like gold dust, its not only finding the right people, with the same mind set and ability its finding those who have the same expectations and commitment.
Some bands have great chemistry on stage but off it they can't stand each other.
I have been in situations where on stage the band have been totally killing it! Every song feels great and the set is really well worked out and everyone appears to be best friends. Off stage things have been so tense that no one talks to eachother!
So throw in a bit of success, egos, money, spouses and suddenly the dream of being in a band can quickly turn into a total nightmare.
Having said that, fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately?!) I am still courting the idea of being in a band and will probably always love the feeling of being in a gang and making bloody good music together!
How will having a baby impact my ability to be in a band?
I'm not too sure but I think I may have just joined one! But that's all for another post!