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WHY BEING THE BAND LEADER SUCKS

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment

Patrick Hambrecht
of the unique Brooklyn rock group Flaming Fire has a really wonderfully written article in the latest Vice magazine (published online yesterday) entitled "The Past, Or Three Reasons I Quit My Band and Started Over." In the piece he writes, "I was in a band called Flaming Fire. I recently ended this band." The charismatic center of the self-described "spooky electronic chant" band / metaphysical arts collective has created an extremely entertaining piece of writing in which he draws analogies to the cartoon G-Force and also Syd Barrett. What he wrote follows and will certainly entertain anyone who has ever been in a band:

"When I was a kid, my favorite show was G-Force, an anime about "Five secret agents trained to fly like birds." They traveled around in a huge space plane that could turn into a phoenix, and everyone on the show had a cool vehicle that detached from the phoenix. Mark, the leader, had a jet fighter; the robot sidekick had a subterranean drill; the girl had a scooter; the cool guy had a racecar. The only guy who didn't have a cool vehicle was Tiny. Tiny was the fat dork who drove the big plane, and waited for everyone to come back from their awesome solo missions. When you start a band, you think you're going to be Syd Barrett, and everyone else will let you get drunk, do lots of drugs and be fun while they pack drums and set up gigs and do all the boring stuff. But that's not going to happen. Because you're the band leader, the band is your thing, not theirs. Your drummer may be in eight bands, your bassist may be a painter, your lady vocalist may be a cartoonist, but you won't have time for those things yourself. You have to set up gigs, book tours, cart them around in a van you buy, smooth over arguments between members, try to save money from gigs for recording sessions, mail out promo CDs over your lunchbreak. You're not Syd Barrett; you're a secretary. You're Tiny."