Band with No Name

Hey folks –

Yes, it’s been too long since I’ve blogged. With back to school, back to soccer, a new team at work, and a few speed bumps here and there, I haven’t had the chance to blog much….but I’ll bring you up to date.

I’ve started a band with a freind of mine who used to take lessons from me. She’s a singer and a song writer, and she’s much better at networking than I am. In no time, we got a keyboard player. In fact, we only auditioned one and Bill got the job.

The drummer also was a pretty good choice. Andrew teaches full time and decided it was time to play out again. Since the bass and drums drive and steer the band, Andrew wasn’t sure he would stay with us if we couldn’t get a bassist to compliment his playing.

So we auditioned. And auditioned. And auditioned. Those darn bass players! I guess that’s why my youngest son plays that instrument – they’re a different breed of cat. The first guy canceled on us because his baseball team went into over time, plus he thought the songs were too hard.

(For the record, we auditioned with Cold Shot by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Breakdown by Tom Petty and Black Friday by Steely Dan…so yeah, if you’re just a metal player, this probably is going to be curve ball for you…)

The second guy wanted to ditch bass and become a front man / lead singer. Hey, just stick to the advertisement description please!

Third guy was closer, but didn’t sing.

The fourth guy played well, sang well, but didn’t want to be part of a start up (he was already gigging with another band).

The fifth guy was actually a good fit all the way around. Our drummer liked him, he sang well, and came prepared.

So we just put together like 50 songs and go find a job, right? Hmmm….there’s a bit more to it than that.

When you’re building a band, you’re building a business. I used to hate the thought of music being a “business” but one MBA degree later, I understand that to be completely true.

So we have our line up, what’s next while we’re figuring out our set list?

We needed a name. The name allows us to grab a free MySpace Band page. It helps focus us on what the band picture should look like. And……it will help generate buzz.

I decided that we had ONE WEEK to pick a band name and move forward. Sometimes when everybody is easy going (and our band is) we can churn a bit too long on a decision. I did what I do with any engineer – give them a deadline. Next Sunday we pick a name – you don’t like it, speak up. So it’s part democracy, but with a referree – me in this case.

So, using google docs where we can all collaborate on the same spreadsheet at once, we all put forth our best ideas. I had some “great” names – like “the Agoraphobics”, “4 out of 5 Doctors”, and “Puppy Crack” (my girlfriend has a puppy and chewing shoes are like “crack” to them).

Well, needless to say, no one really liked my names. It had to do with image – it’s about branding. If we were a punk band, Puppy Crack might be appropriate. The Agoraphobics might be hard to spell or remember and many people don’t know what it means (fear of open spaces). “4 out of 5 Doctors” was still considered too much of a joke.

I’ll tell you what we settled on next blog….Stay Tuned!!

Spencer