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August 15, 2017

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Communications

August 15, 2017

 

Something that I don't think enough bands spend time talking about is communication in the studio and as a band. This is the sort of thing that drags countless bands back and keeps them from ever achieving their full potential. Communication for bands is probably the most important topic that never gets addressed because it requires, well, communication. Bands who don't talk to each other always break up, and bands  who don't talk to their producers, or with others they are sharing a rehearsal space with who don't work together on clearly demarcating who does what when will experience similar issues. So I wanted to take some time outlining the sorts of issues that can come up for your band in the studio and beyond if you don't spend time communicating and then some potential solutions that can be used to help establish what will guide you forward so that this entire thing isn't such a goddamn terrifying never-ending struggle and instead the walk in the park we all want it to be.

 

As a band if you are unable to communicate within yourselves then you are going to miss out on countless opportunities. Some of you are probably aware of this, you would be the folks I categorize as the “Main dudes” the ones who guide their bands along. Others of you might not be, and that's fine, you just need to make an effort to ameliorate that. The thing is, if your band can't consistently come together to agree on something, be it a date to play a show, a particular clause in a record contract, or when to plan a tour, within a day or two then you are endlessly going to end up fucked over and ruined. If you can't keep band communication solid then the odds are people won't want to work with a band who they have to wait a week or more to get their shit together, and that's going to make it a helluva lot harder to get any real forward progress made.
 

By the same token if you are unable or unwilling to communicate with your producer or engineer in the studio then things are only going to go south. If you can't clearly articulate the issues you are having with your tone, your production style or your mix then you are going to end up with a product you spent countless hours working on, sounding like shit. You need to be respectful and kind of course, but you also need to be clear. Lack of transparency doesn't get you anywhere and it's worth taking the time to get things properly sorted so that your projects have the desired end state and just wind up as frustrating disappointments. I know that a lot of people get a little nervous in the studio because they paid a lot for a producer and don't want to shit all over him, but if you're not getting the results that you want then it's up to you to speak up.

 

There's a few ways to make sure that communication doesn't end up being an issue for your band though. First and foremost comes with picking the band members. When you're chatting with someone as you consider hiring them you need to be careful that they aren't taking two or three days to respond to even basic messages, that's always a dangerous sign. By the same token a lot of bands that came together as a group of friends usually have a member or two who is pretty much impossible to get in touch with via the group chat or phone calls. If they are seriously slowing down your band then you need to cut them out too. I know that I sound harsh and that I want to get rid of all of these people, but when it comes down to it, you have to make an executive decision about whether or not you want your band to succeed. If you just ant to have fun then it doesn't matter if you don't get these opportunities, but if you do it might be time to reevaluate.

 

Beyond that I think it's also valuable to be very clear about what your goals are with anyone you are working with, I know that this might sound kind of anal and weird but its also the sort of thing that while a bitch to take care of now is probably going to save you a lot of headaches down the line. This is simply because if you end up in a dispute at least you have somewhere in writing something to help clarify what the original idea was and ideally what amendments were made. I'm not saying that you need to have contracts or deals written but merely some sort of record about what the general vibe your going for is and how to develop from there. I think this is especially helpful in the case of creative partnerships because it means that things are nicely laid out and if there are any bits of confusion that come up you are generally able to get things sorted fast enough to not have to worry too hard.

 

Communication is ultimately the thing that reduces stress the most and which helps to ensure that we all have a better time in the music industry. Communication is the path forward that is going to help everyone get a better handle on how we want to move forward and how you want to evolve your projects. If you are incapable of verbally expressing what you want and then following through on t then do everyone a favor and back the fuck out of the music industry because there is no place in it for people like you who pussyfoot around and refuse to understand the inherent value that this sort of thing can have. We all want our projects to grow and it's up to you to help us make sure that these things come to glorious fruition.

 

 

 

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