I started with my 1st real band really in 2005. The Scott Wiggins Band. I love those guys. My old drummer John Diaz is now a successfull High School coach. My old bass player runs his own digital repair shop. I’ve had many guitar players, but the main one used to be Austin Gilliam and he’s out there trying a solo career. I wish him the best. We all parted ways around 2011 after a lot of years of 3-4 nights a week shows accross Texas playing small crappy bars to opening for Texas music stars like Pat Green, Eli Young Band, Jason Boland, Cory Morrow, Josh Abbott, Casey Donahew, and many more. We had some good times and some stories I’ll never forget. I’ll be blogging about some of those in future dates. It was just time for us to go our separate ways. We didn’t quite get to the status we dreamed of, and it’s because of a lot of reasons and shoulda woulda coulda moments. I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Right now I have a set of players I like to pull from for my full band shows, but they also play with other bands to make money. Sometimes I have to say no to shows because they are not available, and I don’t want to just get some random players do butcher my live show becasue they are just in it for a paycheck and don’t really give a shit if I become the “next big thing”. In a perfect world they would not play with the other bands and we could focus on really getting my schedule filled up, but we are all in our late 20s and well into our 30s and they need to be booked and making money playing every weekend.
So it’s kind of a catch 22. They would play with me full time if I had a full schedule, but I can’t get a full schedule ( with these exact guys) because they play with other people and I can’t always book them. It’s kind of a 1st come 1st serve when it comes to the other artists like myself booking these guys. It’s just the way it is in the scene.
I’m in the process of finding some other players who can pull the show off if needed when my other dudes can’t make it. I’d like to start playing a lot more in 2018, but not just taking every gig. I’d like to just take the smart ones. The days of driving 8 hours for $500 and a 3-4 hour set are kind of impossible unless I do it solo. If you’ve ever wondered how much it costs to hire musicans, it’s about $100-$200+ a man per night.(These are good players though) That’s if you’re in the “Guns for hire” stage that I’m in.
If you’re just a 4 to 5 piece band splitting everything down the middle like my orignal band then you may come to an agreement where you take those less paying gigs, and gigs for “exposure” in hopes of breaking out into the scene. I did that for years. We would get some really good paying gigs with some really crappy paying gigs in the same week. We just wanted to play anywhwere we could. This was in the myspace days, pre FB and Instagram. Well, they weren’t the giant platforms they are now.
So, my goal is to email as many venues as I can and try to get about 3-6 months ahead of the game so I can book my dudes on some good gigs. A booking agent would help, but they don’t want to touch you unless you already have a full schedule. Another catch 22. It’s ok, I’ll just email venues all day, while I’m also writing, recording, mixing, and handleing all the marketing I’m about to heavily dive into, as well as try and be a family man and work a full time job. Who needs sleep!
I’m very optimisitc though. With the state of the internet and all the marketing I’ve been learning how to do, (which I didn’t know how to do in my first band) I believe I can still make some noise and find some success. If you’re good enough you can do it. I believe I’m good enough, and for the talent I lack I’ll just put in some extra work. What’s the alternative? Work a full time job I hate and then sit on my ass and think about what I could of done? No thanks. I’d rather go out swinging.
I’m going to use social media marketing ( Youtube, Facebook, Instagram etc.. etc..) and try to reach more people online than I would playing for scraps in some dive bar on a Thursday night.
I’ll take the shows that make sense, and use the internet for the rest. I have a plan, and this is me telling whoever will listen. If you’ve been a fan of mine over the years I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you’re brand new to me and my music, this is just a breif backstory and the mission I’m on.