Choosing your band members is one of the most important decisions you can make and not one that should be rushed or taken lightly. You need to look correct together, blend musically and also be able to spend long periods of time in each others company while writing, recording, touring and promoting. There are bound to be clashes during a band’s lifetime but by getting the correct blend of people you can ensure that you can create great musical output and to overcome many of the issues and challenges that will arise.
Many bands are formed between childhood or college friends and this can work very well as you already know each other’s humour, moods, musical tastes, etc. However sometimes it’s necessary to audition band members in order to get the right mix. Don’t feel obligated to pick the first person that shows an interest or make any hasty decisions, work carefully on getting the right team together.
It’s important for a band to make decisions democratically and to all contribute equally. You may have different skills but everyone needs to pull their weight in order for a band to be able to work as a unit. Decide from day one how things will be run, whether you will have a PayPal account for all band funds, whether you will initially put all earnings back into the band to help you grow, who will do which tasks, etc to avoid any arguments and complications further down the line.
Forget the instant fame that you see many artists trying to attain nowadays, instead aim to create something artistically credible and with the potential for longevity. Spend as much time as possible jamming and writing together and see what kind of sound starts to develop. Do as many gigs as you can to hone your performance skills. Don’t rush into the studio too soon, make sure you are operating as a unit first, sort out the intros and endings, the dynamics – create interesting arrangements, push one another to be better musicians.
If you work hard to grow as a band in this way then it will show in your live performances. You will know the songs inside out and trust your team members so much that you will be able to give a much more relaxed and fun performance and the audience will notice this and react accordingly.
All bands are going to have ups and downs but by selecting a strong team, laying down the ground rules and developing a strong work ethic, you are much more likely to achieve success in the business and to attract the attention of the people that can help to advance your career. And above all else, have fun!