We’ve had heaps of mates come up to us over the years and explain the hardships of being a young artist – the financial insecurity, the exhausting work/life/creative balance and not knowing when the next gig (and pay check) will come. Don’t get us wrong, they love being an artist. They love playing with their band, performing their originals and getting into the studio to work on upcoming releases BUT (and there always is a but) real life gets in the way. It’s expensive to get into the studio, expensive to get on the road for a gig interstate and they find it difficult to budget without knowing when that next pay day is going to come. So inevitably the daily 9 to 5 comes into play. Everyone needs to pay the rent, eat and have a little fun on the side. How then is a young solo artist or band meant to be able to balance this work/life balance and still have enough money and gas in the tank to perform creatively?
Lend us your ears (eyes?) and let us explain how playing covers during the week can fuel your original music career.
You’re being paid to play music.
Okay, let’s first deal with the obvious one. It’s a lucrative stream of consistent gigs every week that will allow you to do what you love, perform, while also keeping your days free to spread your creative wings.
It will make you a better performer.
Practice makes perfect. Getting on stage more often under the pressure of a live audience will hone your skills more than practising alone in your room. If you’re going to mess up, do it here rather than at your big gig in front of all those label scouts. Moreover, you can try out new things you’ve had in the works that you’re ready to unleash on an unsuspecting audience, why not pull out the pedal board and start looping your own beats live? It could be your new secret weapon.
It’s an opportunity to try out some new originals.
You may be hired to play at bars and that generally means they’ll want you to play covers, but you would be doing you and your audience a disservice if you didn’t pepper some originals through your set. Try out some of those new singles that you’ve had locked in the vault and see how they fair while also playing some of your crowd favourite originals so that the audience knows you’re also an original artist. It’s a great spot for some free advertising too if you’ve got a gig coming up as well.
Expand your fan base.
This point ties into the last. If people like your voice and your vibe, odds on they’ll want to see you again. Add this to them experiencing a couple of your originals and bang – you’ve got a new fan. How easy was that?
Oh yes, we dropped that word. You never know who you’ll meet at one of these gigs, networking always happens when you least expect it. You could have someone who wants to book your for their venue, their party or even their wedding – it’s happened before!
This is probably the most important of all the reasons. It’s pure unadulterated fun. Having a packed house swaying along listening to your originals is great but don’t tell us that you haven’t had a great night shouting at the top of your lungs, nearly completely shredding your vocal cords to someone covering “Love Fool” by The Cardigans or “Club Tropicana” by Wham!
So go book that next gig, tell your mates to get down, get those drink cards, get paid and most importantly, have fun.
If you're keen to start booking more gigs to hone your skills but need a leg up, sign up to Muso and start gigging now!
Another release from the north-eastern Melbourne outfit, Death Alley Ghost is a testament to the growth and progression of Mona Bay’s garage rock etiquette.
Words by Peta.
A deep dive into Telescreen's debut EP, Growing Pains.
Words by Peta.
A review of Feelds debut album - Cut Your Teeth
Words by Peta.