Bands come in all shapes, sizes and denominations.
The definition of what constitutes a group of musicians & singers recording and performing together over a period of time is as varied as there are musical genres. Very rarely is there a purely democratic situation.
Often One or Two members maintain the band’s direction and everyone else plays supporting roles –or perhaps there is an employer\employee relationship which navigates necessary personnel changes per project. Whatever configuration your group falls into, it’s extremely difficult to function as a band without at least three elements engaged:
1) A Shared Vision
2) A Love for the Music
3) A Mutual Respect for Each Member
Even under the direction of an employer, If you are unable to capture–and buy into–the Leader(s) and his/her/their overall vision, it’s going to be extremely hard to convey and express their wishes in the studio and on stage. If you are dealing with music that you feel is ‘beneath you,’ unprofessional or even perhaps, counters your personal convictions, it will be a constant struggle to perform at your best. The issue of respecting the people you work with or for, runs so deep that even the world’s best studio musicians are not able to perform their best if they have to bite and chew their tongues during a session.
Furthermore, your ability to travel from city to city, sharing personal space with anyone you can hardly stand for more than 17 minutes takes a huge toll. The best bands, regardless of their status, fame or organizational structure have learned how to bring out the best in each other, quell tensions in tough situations and overcome disagreements.
At the outset, they believe in what they are doing. They believe in each other and despite what may be obvious differences, they have learned to lay them down for the benefit of all concerned. The best bands hang out like family. Because They Are. The perils of the road, long nights and layovers in strange cities create emotional security, strengthen relationships and ultimately the music. A Genuine Appreciation for One Another and a High Regard for the Work You are creating together are the essential ingredients for success and longevity.
Music is Spirit. The Listener can hear beyond the Rhythms, Harmonies & Melody. They tap into the Soul and complex synergy of musicians who are on one accord. An Audience can tell when something doesn’t “feel” right on stage. We can sense the tension between members and immediately know when the act is ‘phoning the performance in,’ no matter how perfectly they play the notes.
A Band that transparently expresses Love, Commitment and Unity to its fan base even before the very first note is struck will ignite an audience instantly and have no trouble bringing the house down because Unity is Contagious!
Are You in a Band of Sisters and/or Brothers or are you just a Group of Others?