It can be uncomfortable or downright anxiety-inducing to get up on stage. Where do you think the term “stage fright” came from?
There are many factors that go into good (or bad) stage presence, and no one-size-fits-all solution…
But, we can help!
Listen now to learn eight tips to begin improving your band’s stage presence.
What you’ll learn:
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BBB Breakdown of the above report
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
RMP Magazine Interviews Pat Thetic
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me
Brie Larson in 5 Common Habits That Make People Instantly Dislike You
Welcome to Episode 17 of the Bandhive Podcast.
Hey, everyone. So we just wanted to let you know that this episode was recorded along before the Cove in 19 Outbreak hit the United States. But what we're going to be talking about will absolutely still apply toe live streams, probably even more so just because when you're doing a live stream, you're competing with everything else on the Internet.
Now, of course, this is also a great time to practice what we're talking about, because what else are you going to do if you're stuck at home for who knows how long? So please listen to this episode with the understanding that we recorded it about a month and a half ago before everything got crazy and enjoy. Thanks so much, guys. It is time for another episode of the podcast. I am your co host, James Cross, as always. I don't think my name and for changes. Right. And I have years.
00 my name. Okay, so this year on February 29th, which by the time people here it is, a couple weeks ago, I will have a different name for just the 29th. I okay, but what? What What would my name be, Cross James? Yes. Okay, that that makes me sound bad. But Okay, I'll roll with that. And I have with me, of course. Also, as always, at least when it comes to odd-numbered episodes, Aaron Gingras of Suburban Samurai. How's it going today, man? It's going pretty well. What's going on?
I'm glad to hear that. Yeah, things you get here. And just before we hit record, he told me something exciting about Sub Sam. So by the time this episode airs, Suburban Samurai or its sub, Sam, um would have turned five years old. I think, as a band, we played our first show on March 27 2015. And our birthday show is a little early this year. But both of the states would have come and gone by the time this episode. Years. So we're five years old. And, uh, I don't know how it makes us look.
We're bring ourselves a birthday party, which is a really fun excuse just to get together with a bunch of people who really, like, get some people from out of state in State and play a fun show. That and by the time this episode airs, we would have finished because we're finishing tonight Preproduction on preproduction around two of material. We are queuing up for a new release. So a bunch of stuff going on that's awesome. And definitely a good night to finish things up, because the last couple days we had crazy storms.
So I'm guessing that kind of influenced your Sunday practice instead of other evenings, For better or worse. Uh, okay, we're able to finish it tonight because we've been, uh, working toe. Get us faras. We've come, um, the last couple of nights SZ rain or shine or sleet or freezing rain. But that's good, though. Nice. Well, I'm glad to hear that. It's all coming together, and I'm looking forward to hearing the new product from you guys. That'll be exciting because it's been a while since you put um, album out you had an E p about a year and a half ago, but it's zoo the full length and and even the e p.
It feels so weird. Like that's already like those that that's not the new stuff anymore. And, like stuff that we're recording now, like we've already introduced four out of the five songs into the life set. And it's like getting to the point where oh my God, like those aren't even really like super new to us anymore. Which is cool, though, because that means that they're coming together and, you know, they're a part of the live set. We've tried them out and see how people react. And it's kind of refreshing because, like once we have the pre production done well, it's scheduled to your time.
Go record it on. But it'll be new, like all over again. You just kinda cool. Yeah, that's always exciting when anyone is releasing new music, just the whole process, and unfortunately it is something that can take a long time. But at the same time, it's good that it takes a long time because it gives you an opportunity to really do the best you possibly can with it. So I think it's, ah, perfectly normal for it to seem old to you, even though it's really not. People haven't heard it recorded yet unless they heard, like a little snippet from a live show or something that e think there are a lot more people in the world who have not heard it than have so And I think we've got a lot more work to do before, like that changes.
Yeah, yeah, I think we're safe. We always run into the thing where, like you record something or you do something. And then two weeks later, you come up with something way better And like, I think that's probably a thing across all artistic mediums, that air performance based or recording based or anything. But yeah, this is us trying to like we've got, like, ticked off a bunch because that's always happened to us. So we're trying to minimize that, trying to get multiple rounds of demo ing and listen to the other thing.
Eso trying to get ahead of the curve. Yeah, well, that's great news, and I'm glad that you're finally finishing up with around two of the pre production here and we're not gonna be talking about production too much that I actually we have ah, somewhat different topic that we haven't really covered, not even in passing on past episodes of the podcast, and that is stage presence. Gotta be fully honest. I went Teoh a show the other night bunch of great bands, but one of them literally played their set with their backs to the audience.
Great music. I have no idea why they played the set with their backs to the audience, but it was just weird. And so I said to Aaron, I think we have to dio an episode about stage presence. Well, that's like such a good idea because it like, of course, we dio. But like, I don't know if we would have thought or, I mean, maybe you would have been like, I don't know, that's just one of those ones, Like, of course, we dio and like So, thanks to the person who played their back to you all night for the idea, I guess it was literally the entire band, except the drummer was facing away, and the drum was facing everyone else in the band like I've seen that before, like that's totally a thing.
But like as you pointed out like that definitely doesn't mean it's good. Yeah, it was very strange, and I have to say, like I could appreciate the music of it being a musical person myself. But people who don't speak the language of music might just be like, What is this? What's going on? They weren't the kind of band that's like, Ah, pop band, where they're going to want to be as engaging as possible with the audience. That's not their kind of thing, but at the same time, they still should have some concern for stage presence.
So today, that's why we're gonna be talking about stage presence and just to get things started. Why is it so important? And so we have a few different things here. Do you wanna give us the Listerine stage presence? Whatever pops into your head when you think stage presence, whether it's you know one thing because of one genre. Another thing because of another genre. Assuming we're all talking music here, it gives you a way to connect with the fans or with your audience. It gives you an opportunity to sort of win over new fans or it gives you an opportunity to really reinforce in the people's minds in the audience who are, like, already fans, why they like you.
And it's ah, cool opportunity to I mean, show to show. I'm assuming that you're putting together or if you're not, you should be putting together a new show like a new way to present yourself a stage presence. And you know, that's a new opportunity Every time you do it toe gonna put on your show If you're sort of put together, it just makes your band seem more legitimate. Um, like a unit like you go in, you You're not the show out of the park and then you get off the stage, You're there, you have a mission.
You do it, Um, and you do it well. So when you're sort of putting that show together, when you're sort of coming up with what? Like what your stage presence will be when you're tryingto figure that out, you're also probably cutting away any awkwardness out of your set. Um, we'll get into a few of these a little later, but long pauses. Um, weird banter like song transitions that might not work. It could be anything, and then what you're left with is probably going to be something that will help you build your brand.
Yeah, agreed. And especially with the things about like awkwardness, there's so many things that you can do that just end up being awkward, like cracking inside jokes is great. But if the audience doesn't understand it, then you've failed because you're making the audience feel excluded and awkward because they don't get the joke and they don't realize that it's an inside joke. They might be thinking, Wait, why don't I get it? Because they don't realize that that's something that Onley you and your band mates are going to get.
That's something that for the audience is alienating. And they're not there to like what you talk to yourself, right? Exactly. I mean, unless that's exactly what your show is, and they bought the ticket for that. But I'm assuming it's not what it is. Yeah, I mean, unless you're like Russell Brand or some other comedian, and I'm really bad with comedians names, so like I guess Ah Aziz Ansari or somebody like that people aren't there to see you talk there, there to see you play music. Now can you fill some gaps with talking?
Absolutely. That's totally fine as long as it's coherent and makes sense and is entertaining. And I think that's probably a all of this. One of the more important points is like Lord entertaining like Somebody's there. They want to see you enjoying yourself, like to the point of like, the bend you watched and they're like they had their backs facing you. You got to see the band performing in order to, like, see them perform, Yeah, and even for me, like I like toe watch people as they're playing their instrument.
Like if I can see what a guitarist is doing on the frets, I can appreciate it that much more like I can hear it. But then if I look and I'm like, Well, like he's doing something really complex that you don't hear because the mix is awful because we're playing in a bar like Okay, that's a new appreciation for that guitarist talent, and so we actually kind of already covered the first point on our list, which we have. I believe it is eight points. Let's see Yes, we do.
We have eight points and the first one just figure out what your audience wants to see when it comes to stage presence. So if they're going to a comedy show, which they're probably not, if you're in a band and if you're listening to this podcast I had assumed you're in a band. You're not a comedian, you're you're an artist, you make music, so play songs and give the audience what they want. And so one thing that you could do to help with that is to just look at other bands in your genre and observe what they dio.
And by this I just clarify. Most of the time I'm not talking about local bands. I would be talking about established artists that you look up to your you know, people that has made a career out of it and see what they dio. So, for example, like Aaron before you had mentioned before, you're strong. You know, I would think that if you were going to sit down and figure out your stage presence rather than looking to a band with a couple 1000 likes on Facebook, who's here in Vermont?
You're gonna look it for your strong. You're gonna look at the wonder Years bands that are in the scene and have made a name for themselves. Who are the people who are where you wanna be, like already and like, What do they dio and like? What did they do to get where they are? Yeah, just like, you know, look at a band and set your goals. O e bet they're people too young to get that. Oh, that makes me really sad. But I was hoping that that pun would not go unnoticed.
Hopefully not because that vans awesome. And I miss that. Yeah, it's been a good couple of years. I'm afraid it z, speaking of like, that drummer is good. That's an action word in suburban samurais. I'm gonna Mikey. Ambrose. This okay? That's good. Yeah. Yeah. It's so moving on from bad puns and, uh, you know, setting our sights. That's probably a band name. Set your sights, Set our sights. I'm trying to five different post hardcore bands. I'm sure I'm trying to pun without even knowing what I'm punning.
But so moving on from 50. 1 since we already talked about that is creating your stage persona. To me, that would mean just kind of an extension of yourself. So I'm going to totally put you on the spot here, Erin, and I know it's a little different for you is the drummer. You don't have the same abilities to put yourself out there as a front man or front woman would. But as a drummer, what makes you you How would you amplify yourself to give yourself a good stage presence coming out that from a few different directions, um, to kind of quickly ran them off like my instrument.
Um, I know the instrument has even less of an opportunity to have, like, its own stage presence than I do because I'm alive. But I take care of my instrument, make sure that it sounds good to the best of my ability and looks good to the best of my ability. I care about, like, what's making the sound, Um, and then for me, um, why do we talking about We're like, How do I how, like you're not being a front person, how you amplify your personality and your energy?
E. I think it's interesting because I think I'm rather introverted. So when I play, that's like my token 30 minutes of explosion or whatever, but I think a lot of people would say this, but just trying to be really energetic like and I think there's a difference between, um, you know, you can YouTube. So Maney Awesome, awesome drummers, Um, and just talking about drummers because I'm a drummer and all of those awesome drummers are so awesome. But when you see somebody who's like putting in the extra work like the energy, you're going to notice it and like you could watch two drummers like side by side played the same part on do you could close your eyes and, like you would more or less be hearing the same thing.
But one person you know can kind of just not scape by because they're also probably pretty good. But I know there's a way to do it and just kind of like, just play it and, like, technically, it's correct. You're playing all the same stuff, but there's, you know, that like X factor. And so when we're talking about stage presence, we're also talking about like, visual stuff you could do, so I can't really name what I do. I just kind of try to be energetic is a hole.
And then, like I think a lot of stuff probably just comes out. But, like, for me, facial expressions, there are certain opportunities for me to, uh I'm not really want to, like, clap along with the band because we don't have, like, songs that, like I call for that too much. But just in terms of, you know, if there's like a really big symbol accent or something, you know I'll mess with the way that I, you know, I draw my arm up slowly and then just, like, totally beat the crap out of You know, that symbol when I go into the next part.
Or there are little things that I guess I would just have to roll them all up and sort of call it like visual. I'm allowed player Aziz. I've gotten older and as if we've as we've progressed as a man, I've tried to become more energetic, visually as well, and I feel like I've done a lot of work to, and it's been hard, but I've put a lot of work into letting go of, you know there was, like a totally wimpy symbol hat like, I'm not gonna let that, like, ruin the rest of my night like I'm going to try my best.
Like, I'm gonna pay really close attention to that and be like, Oh, I need to pay attention to that, not do that again. But I think more important than not, my whole thing is I need to enjoy myself up there and truly, really enjoy what I'm doing in order for the audience to enjoy watching and listening to what I'm doing in the way that I want them Thio. And so that kind of gets into, like, the kind of people we attract or like, try to attract, you know, kind of being like a band's band.
Like hopefully I am able to That's, like, an honor thing. E feel like I need to be more important than I am to be able to say that. But hopefully and that also gets into the whole reason why you're playing in the first place toe Like try to communicate like a positive experience to people I could go on and on and on and on, but energy the visuals and sort of like the why behind why you're playing and what you're playing to touch on what you said about how you play the instrument to it.
It sounds basically like you're saying you're expressing yourself and your energy through your playing. Since you know, as a drummer, you're playing is literally hitting things, the sticks, Thio oversimplify it. But that actually sparked something because there was another show I went to recently, where it was a small venue. The snare wasn't miked, and most of the bands the snare was just kind of flabby sounding. And then one drummer in one band hit the drums hard and was like the drum sound amazing. They're punchy, they're clear, like this is great.
And that was just his energy. He was putting 110% into the performance and playing as hard as he could, whereas maybe the other drummers, I don't know why they weren't hitting us hard. Maybe they couldn't. Maybe they were trying to make their heads last longer. Who knows what There's probably ah, bunch of reasons that they could do that. I don't even know if heading softer makes the heads last longer. I'm assuming it does since if you beat them up. I'm not a drummer or a drum tech, but it's like if you abuse guitar strings, they're not gonna last long.
If you get them all sweaty, if you'd stretch them by just hitting them hard. And I mean drumsticks like you should be switching your drumsticks guitar strings. You should be switching them like every night. Thankfully, drum heads tend to last a little longer than that. From what I understand, because they're more expensive. A lot of people switch those out every show to that gets Bryce sick. That gets into how much those people make. Yes, yes, absolutely. On. And there's you could argue to, you know, swap the snare head, but you can leave the toms in the kick or something like that.
Man, I'm just think about how pricey that might get. Very his dancer. Yeah, I've had thio assuming you don't get those shipped to you. And they just like, don't magically appear And assuming you have to go to the store and buy them pricey, Yeah, one time had Teoh make a run for some drum heads for a band recording in a studio, and they needed three sets of Tom heads in six sets of snare heads and it was quite expensive. 150 bucks or so. That's what that sounds. Uh, he came up to, like, 2.
12 or so. This was in California, so that sales tax is a little more. It's like seven or 8%. But yeah, it was up there and they were only gonna be in the studio for three days. That was literally snare heads twice a day. Tom. Hence, once a day. Yeah. So it adds up quickly, but yeah, So thank you for sharing your insight there with how you kind of amplify yourself. And I think obviously, yeah, good performance. This is the first thing that matters. But there's so many bands that we see who just stand on stage, and this is absolutely not just a local or D i y artist thing.
There are major acts that do this, and I've seen far too many of them. Now I feel kind of biased because I spent the last 10 to 15 years listening to punk and metal and that kind of stuff where there's typically ah, lot of energy very frequently punk bands. The singer or vocalist does not play an instrument so they can run around like a maniac and jump off of things. Other bands might not have the liberty to do that, or solo projects don't have the liberty to do that, because you're tied down to a mic stand unless you have a headset Mike, which is another interesting topic.
I'm so glad we don't see too many bands with headset mikes, but there are bands like There's Ah, banned in Germany called De Esta, which is the doctors, their drummer, and this is by no means to put down on you Aaron. He plays the entire show standing up and has a headset Mike, and I'm just like, How does he do that? Because, I mean, it's gonna be really tiring. Yeah, getting the leverage on your foot on the kick like it seems a lot easier if you're sitting.
I can understand. Like I've seen bands where the drummer stands up momentarily to clap along and get the audience going while he's still having a kick. But then he or she sits back down to get into the song, you know, that's why I say it's nothing against you because I think that's incredibly difficult for them to dio. But that is part of their stage presence. The bass player has a towering stack of cabs that are in like a half dome over him. So there It's obviously, like, custom built, and that's getting more into production things rather than stage presence.
But they have their image, and that's what I'm getting at. That being said, one thing that drummers can't dio is move around. So you kind of get a buy for not moving around. But as somebody who, like, totally notices that if I watch you and your band and you like don't try, I will trash talk to you back in the van when I'm driving away jumpers don't get a pass. It's easier to understand. But I mean, you're if you think about it, you're like, arguably, maybe, maybe not all the time.
But like you're arguably the most like acrobatic, depending on what kind of music you're playing of all of your band members. So, like, I don't know, this is getting kind of mean, but I would hope that you could be interesting to look at if you're moving both legs and both arms and, like probably your head because your shoulders removing and coming for you. That's what I'm saying. This might be pure coincidence, but it's very rare to see a drummer who isn't skinny. So I I would agree that what you're saying is drummers air the most acrobatic, uh, members of bands frequently but to move beyond drummers.
I mean you and I'm not afraid to mention names here because these air major act that anyone can notice. We have been talking about Weezer. I love Weezer, but they're like stick figures on a stage they don't really move around. Much as many other bands dio you mentioned Paramore. They're all over the place. You know, I was talking about a F I. They will, like, be playing guitar on bass and jump off of a Negro riser, which, if you don't know what an ego riser is, it's a box at the front of the stage that many punk and rock bands use these days.
Or it doesn't have to be a box could be like a platform held up by metal pipes or something like that. They will jump off the ego risers while still playing and not miss a note. And that's incredibly impressive To me, a band moving around is almost a requirement as long as it fits the music. If you're playing a really sad, depressing song, I would be very upset if you were jumping around as if you're like at a gymnastics competition. That's probably not the right setting for bands like the Airborne Toxic Event.
They have a lot of slower songs where they kind of sit back and do that thing. But then they have some faster upbeat songs. Were there dancing around on the stage, having a blast there, smiling there, you know, dancing with each other. Their former viola player actually would get up on the bass player's shoulders and, like, ride around the stage on the bass player. That's like insane. You know, that's the kind of stuff I like to see. I don't know if I could ever top that. You said that, but I do one thing that popped in my head, and I do want to give them a shout out.
I think some of them were from Mass, but I'm gonna call them Oh, Vermont Band son cooked a number of years ago a band data in the northeast of Vermont. They had a thing, and I'm not like an expert on the sort of genre. So I'm you know, it's very likely that they were not the first ones to come up with this. But one thing that I really liked about them. There was this guy named Ryan, this guy named Jake, who both played guitar and banjo. And I think they had a, well, yeah, calling.
They had a bass players well, and Rye and Jake would each I forget who had what I think Jake had a kick drum and rye had a like a high hat or the other way around, so they were both singing and playing a guitar and a banjo, so they were, like, totally tied down, toe like their position on stage for most of the time. But, like they totally got around that whole, like, just, you know, moving it the hips thing because, like they also played either like a high hat or a kick drum.
And like, obviously like stupid, simple beats, but like more of an accent, what they're playing, but like, just like that's like I would never have thought of doing that. I'm not a guitar player, but I would never have thought of that in a million years. And, like just even something is weird is like that brought, like so much more to their performance. And it was like, Ah, guitar player and a banjo player were like crazy, entertaining toe look at because, like, that was there in two, like express physically and visually, like how into what they were playing.
They were s Oh, I don't know where I was going with that, but I just want to say, like that was like, such a cool thing that I don't know for them totally worked for him and they, like, totally sold me on it. Essentially, from what I get you saying is that, you know, moving around the stage because the stage is a big place that you should fill up. Otherwise, you're just wasting lots of space. But if that doesn't fit your vibe, it's not necessarily what you should be doing.
And so that's again goes back to one of the earlier points where we were talking about. You should understand what your audience wants and to maybe give people an example of what you're saying. Mumford and Sons, who is like a huge band. One of their guys does that. He has a kick and plays can't expand your guitar. That's the coolest thing. Yeah, I mean, that's all Mumford has. They don't have a drummer. They have one guy playing a kick, John. That's why other baits they're just, uh, that's all it iss.
But that's fine, because that works for them now. Thio give another example. On this, unfortunately, is a band that broke up long ago 2014. The only time I ever saw them was their farewell tour, and they did a lot of crowd surfing. And, you know, the guitarist crowd surfed out of the venue and back in while playing guitar since he was wireless. And then, a few nights later, at their absolute final show, they crowd surfed the drummer with his drums. It was insane Now, to be fair, I think was the kick snare, and Tom and a symbol had gone out into the crowd and singing Pure Love s Oh yeah, it's Now they're Singer has gone on to form Frank harder than the rattlesnakes, whose huge in the UK and Europe.
They've opened for food fighters, summer tours, two summers in a row. Like that's how much David role. Like them. He had them come back the next year on I Mean, Pure Loves album is hanging right there on the wall. I finally got that After years of kicking myself for not buying it years ago, I had a chance to, and I passed it up. And then I spent six years trying to find one after that, because, yeah, anyway. So the drummer they had put his drums in the crowd for him to play a song, and I said, Okay, well, for the last song, crowd served him back up here with the drums, and he literally served up to the stage with one arm holding onto a floor, Tom hitting it with a stick in rhythm while crowd surfing.
It's like there's a challenge for you. Crowd surf with leader drums. Yeah, I've not got to that point. And that also makes me think of Gogol Bordello. I've only seen him once. It was a really long time ago, but like there are multiple videos where, like they do something similar they send out like big kick drums, I think I think they're kick drums into the audience and, like, they have somebody like on the kick drum. Or like, he might be on the kick drum. Nice. Like I don't know if they're playing it, though.
So Yeah, it was that. Yeah. I mean, with every time I've seen anti Flag, they have the drummer play from the audience. So I'm totally slacking, is what it sounds like. Oh, my God. Well, if you put it that way, 99% of drummers air slacking, but yeah, they're drummer goes in the audience for the encore. He does not crowd surf, but he's also, I'm guessing, in his fifties or so really nice guy. I got a chance to talk to him a few years ago, which totally unrelated side note.
If anybody wants to read on interview that I did with I believe his name is Pat. I'm gonna feel so bad. If that's not his name, I can't remember that is on the RMP magazine website Rock Dash metal dash punk dot org's just search anti flag and it was a really interesting interview. It was February 2017. So if you think about the political situation and timing, February 2017 was a very interesting time to interview a very outspokenly liberal band. And I had a blast talking with Pat. And again, I sincerely hope that that is his name.
Because I would feel awful if I forgot his name. That sounds about right. I think that that's awesome, though. Yeah, it was a blast. And, uh, overall, that was a fun show. It was them with real big fish ballyhoo and one other band. So it was a stacked lineup, but without having too many rabbit holes here. I just felt that that was something I should probably mention because that was a blast. Anyway, you should never let awkward silence bring down the energy level. Total show of drum surfing.
Yeah, absolutely awkward. Silence is a show killer. Drum surfing is a show maker. I mean, if you saw somebody crowd surfing with a drum, you would absolutely go see that band again. Totally buying a t shirt both times to nice hands down. Yeah, So there you go. If you crowd surfed your drums, you could make a sale too. But if you can't crowd serve your drums or don't want to crowd surf. There are also ways toe not be super awkward and silent. First of all, just don't be super awkward and silent as an introvert like I would have a lot of trouble with that.
So one thing you could do is sort of, and we'll get into this a little bit, too, but sort of rehearsal, like come up with, like, personally, we have and Sub Sam three or four go to use that we can talk to. And we don't like super schedule like what we're gonna talk about in between each song. But it's more of like we have a small piggy bank of pre arranged like, Okay, there's the merch plug. There's the, you know, talk about that song plug. There's, you know, the things, the other bands.
I mean, you know, everybody's heard every other band talking about all those things. So those air, like, not hard to talk about Super easy, you know, think the venue blah, blah, blah. So just sort of you can rehearsals or not. But be aware that those are things that you can dip into and sort of fill up what would otherwise maybe become an awkward silence. All right, James, I think we were talking earlier about tire songs together like I'm a super huge fan of that. We have, like, we think I'm not like football person, but substance things of it, like football plays their strategies or something.
Where it's like all right, we have the a play and like that is song 12 and three And then we have the B play and that song four or five and the people s. So we turn multiple songs into like sections and then rearranged the sections. And so, like, obviously you'd have, like, instrumental Segways from song to song, or you can kind of do anything. Just don't be Don't be silent as long as you have a set list. You could totally pull it off, too, because if you're making these little building blocks, let's say imagine it like a prefab home.
You know, you buy a prefab home and doesn't come complete, but you get a wall and they already has, you know, a window on the door in it, or e don't know how to build a prefab home. It might not have the window and door. But you're basically putting together a house from pre assembled elements that enable you to build a house much more quickly than you would if you were building it from scratch like traditional houses were built. And so if you think of it that way, too, that's a really great way to put together a set list, because all you have to do is say Okay, you know which blocks do we want to play?
You know, we're gonna play that block for sure, because that has the most popular songs in it. But you know, which block do we want to open with? Think of it as you're building a Lego set with parts that are already assembled. You've got one Megazord already put together, and then you've got the Dragon Resort over here just kind of doing its own thing. And you can put once it cost. You know what I'm talking about? Like they have no super Mega Dragons ord. It's like a power Rangers.
Oh, mega toys. It's way over my mouth and every got it. Okay, Uh, Power Rangers or TMNT or any of that stuff? I just watched the toys that made us on Netflix. And so that's what I'm thinking. Oh, yeah? Yeah. Okay. Yeah, but I was really though. Yeah, Yeah, that was about my thing. But there's also a place for banter. Like you're saying you have the preset things, but you could also, you know, have some jokes ready to go. Avoid just tuning your guitar. If you have to tune and you don't have a backup, you can switch to talk to the audience while you're tuning.
Or if you're not able to tune and talk at the same time, make sure somebody else is talking. Put them in the spot. Just be like, yeah, you know, Yeah, they should be prepared. Yeah, and say, Hey, you know, I'm no get it talking and tuning at the same time But you know, my bass player over there, all he does is talk. He never practices and then two. And while he's firing shots back at you or something like that, and if that's the kind of environment that you have in your band and that fits, that's great.
You know, I wouldn't do that if you're super serious band, but if you're kind of like a happy go lucky punk band like no effects or blank one of the two. To an extent, something like that, you could make jokes at each other's expense. As long as you're all cool with that, just don't make anyone feel bad. Don't belittle people. Don't put anyone down. Don't do that to the audience. If you guys air. Okay, doing that to each other in the band, as long as it's clear to everyone else that it's a joke and you guys are all having fun, Okay, but you don't want it to be like somebody thinks you're a jerk or your mean or anything like that because that's going to kill your band faster than anything else.
I'd have a hard time thinking of a specific situation where this has happened. But it's totally happened where, like I've been, watching a show like I may or may not not have been like playing the show, too. But I just I'm sure I've been in a show where I just have that like, Oh, that's awkward that moment. Like where you kind of like hold your breath and, like, kind of look around and try to figure out what's happening. E totally don't do that to people. You know, I had this similar situation.
I saw a very well known band a few years ago and they weren't headlining. Technically, they were go ahead lining. But they're set was like half a zloty as the headliners there banter between sets was just kind of telling stories, and the vocalist said some really off putting stuff, jeering that. And I wasn't really impressed with their music in the first place, But then when he said that was like, You know, I'm not ever listening to this band And to be fair, there was a back story there That's a long time ago.
A friend of mine had shown me some Twitter dms that he sent her out of the blue, and so I already kind of had this thing going in of, like, that dude seem sketchy on Duh. So, yeah, I would not be surprised if that band would be one of the next ones to go down for doing sketchy stuff and disrespecting women. And obviously I'm not going to name them because this is a tely sta this point to me here, say like but you should be careful with what you say, because it can strike people the wrong way.
And it sounds like it be super easy to go like completely the opposite direction. Like instead of like saying messed up stuff, or even if it may not be messed up, like to you think about what you're going to say. That's another like, great thing that could come from thinking about something before you do it. Maybe is like, we're not gonna play this cover because that guy just passed away or because that guy or lady, whoever was like, just like something came out and like, they're totally messed up and they're gone.
Or is there something or totally taking that in the opposite direction? Like you could totally enhance your show by saying something that's not messed up, like telling people like a cool story about your song? Or, you know, if nothing else, like, there's probably gonna be one person in the audience that's going to be like putting in that little extra effort. Thio understand your lyrics or, you know, blah, blah, blah by the T shirt with the lyrics on it. Yeah, that's a great point. And The main thing is, just be a good person and be sociable.
I'm going to name Drop the YouTube channel. It's called charisma on command. So if you're not really somebody who is comfortable interacting with people, maybe give a look at charisma on command and look them up on YouTube and they have different types of videos. Some may be more appropriate than others for what you're trying to dio, but it never hurts, even if you're very comfortable talking to people. Just look at that kind of stuff because they'll do breakdowns. There was one with because I think it's Brie Larson.
Is she in the in Marvel? Oh, Captain Marvel. Yeah, and apparently a lot of people online were asking, like to her co cast members Not like her. Like this is weird. She looks weird in interviews with them and basically went through there like, Yeah, she's like she's probably not doing this intentionally, but she's like, kind of dissing them bond. So they see that as an attack, and her actions are causing this tension, which probably is not intentional. But she's just getting defensive then, and it's kind of escalating, so check out that channel.
If you feel like you might be able to benefit a little bit from that because you can see some of their tips on how to improve how you interact with people but also some of their tips on what you should not dio. So you don't upset people because that's really something that you don't want. Thio upset people because you are an extension of your band. So if people think you're a jerk, they're gonna think your band is full of jerks. They're not going to differentiate that. They're just gonna say, Oh yeah, that band, He's a jerk moving on from that point, it is kind of important to dress appropriately for whatever style of music you're playing, whatever show you're putting on.
So to be honest, I'm a hoody kind of guy. I wear hoodies when it's below, like 65 degrees all the time. 65 up T shirt. No problem. That being said, I see way too many rock bands, especially on the local level, who wear hoodies and baggy like jeans or sweatpants or something, and baggy hoodies. The hoodies themselves are baggy on stage, which to me for rock that is not really the look that somebody's going for, because you have to remember that your band is a brand and you are an extension of that brand.
So if you're doing pop music or something like that, like if you look at Billy, I'll ish all her clothes. They're really baggy, and that's her look, and it works amazingly for her. But if you are in a band site, Jimmy World, if you look at them, they're all wearing like button up shirts with skinny jeans. I was going to say, I imagine, like a light brown suit jacket or a button up shirt or something. Yeah, maybe not E don't think they're dressing like they're in office space, but there's something in that direction.
Like E don't even know where they're from. But like the Midwest email kind of look, you know, and so if you're in a punk band, maybe like a flannel and skinny jeans or something, or if you're in a indie band, you know, similar type of clothing, maybe even a suit, depending on what kind of indie band you're in. Yeah, I mean, you've got the point about the Midwestern sort of indie look, but there's one band. Or actually I've got a couple of bands that come to mind who, like maybe don't totally 100% like fit the like, pre authorized, like mold or whatever.
And that's propaganda or propaganda. E. I'm pretty sure I'm thinking of the right person. I think they're bass Player is like, totally obscenely jacked. So, like there's like an outlier in that, like, he's not totally like a skinny, you know? But anybody would know that band because they've been around for forever. They bend D I Y. They're very vocal about the things vocal about. He's probably not going to be caught dead in skinny jeans and like a skinny tie or something. But like they do their own thing and they have their own image, like within punk culture.
And then the other group I was thinking about from Australia Parkway Drive. I'm pretty sure most of those guys they're like super jacked as well, and their whole thing is like we're from down under, like we surf and, like we're, like, fit and do outdoorsy things. Maybe other fun people don't or I don't And but like within, like the metal or metal core. Whatever they're calling themselves these days, they've, like, found their own image like fits, you know, within you could look at them. And if I were to tell you Oh, yeah, they're a metal band or their or whatever band, like you're not going to not believe me so like their ways around it.
But I think what we're talking about here is that, like, for whatever kind of music you're playing, probably based on genre and maybe location, you've got to kind of figure your thing out and you've got a one way or another. Maybe figure out how you're all gonna look like you belong together. I'm wondering if maybe almost the most important thing that you look like a unit. It's whatever it is he's doing Exactly. And you know, people always say this about traditional jobs, but you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
So if you wanna be a national touring act in, you know, the pop scene, sure dress like Billy I'll ish or Justin Bieber or someone like that. But if you want to be in ah punk band, dress like anti flag or Green Day or somebody like that. And you know, Green Day is probably a bad example. They're pretty dated with their look. It's definitely stuck in the early two thousands, but you get the idea of what we're saying here, and they're definitely out liners like Look at less than Jake or pretty much any Scot band.
That's a whole other style, too, but they don't all assimilate to that style. So you know, like Chris, the singer of Less Than Jake has a very punky attire. He frequently has, like a faux hawk, or he has his dyed hair and he looks like a punk dude. But then Roger the bass players there with dreads and shorts, and he looks like he's, you know, about to go surfing like you were talking about the Parkway drive. So their band, they kind of have different looks. And then the horn section is also like not cargo shorts, and I think I believe so.
Both of them, Yeah, Buddy and J. R. I believe where cargo shorts, but it works for them. Their look is not having a look because they're less than Jake, and they're like beach bums who don't care, and obviously that's I'm not trying to put them down. I love you. Go hold my drink. Listen to this and then exactly. And they're just having a blast. And to me, it seems like them not caring is part of their laid back vibe of being a Scot. Punk band like that fits what they're doing.
So it kind of ties into by not caring about what they're doing. They fit perfectly into what they're doing, and that's their brand. That's to say, Yeah, like, even if it looks like somebody hasn't really put a lot of thought into something and maybe they haven't. But perhaps depending on who we're talking about, their like handler or their parents or whoever like somebody's probably thought about it at some point. And you know that's how they found themselves looking and appearing the way that they dio, for better or worse, whether that person like to have needed to have thought about that or not, it's probably come up if we're talking about somebody you've seen on tour or just become successful, Yeah, especially when they're on a major label.
I'm sure that was something that was discussed was what's your look. We're getting a little long in the teeth on this topic of apparel, but to me, I think it basically should be summed up as just look appropriate fit the role that you're trying to play. If you're in a punk band, don't show up wearing a hoody that's two sizes too large and baggy. Sweatpants like that's not going to look appealing. Imagine it this way if you were going to go on a first date with somebody now, not necessarily fancy, but somebody in your scene dress like that.
Give them. Give the audience the impression that you would want somebody on a first date to see again. Not necessarily fancy, but you would want to be at least somewhat put together. That's a cool thought, because there are probably people in the audience that, like that's the first time seeing you exactly. That's a good point all about first impressions. And speaking of the audience, one thing that you can do to really keep your stage presence up and keep energy going is get the audience involved. So you know you can teach them to sing along to a song.
I saw a great band with amazing stage presence, and I think I discussed this on a past episode. But they opened the show with a song called No one likes the opening band. Everyone was cracking up. That was an absolutely genius move. That was great stage presence. I didn't even see that show, and I went and I looked that up after you told me about it. Exactly. Awesome. They get people talking about them because of that. As part of their show later on in the set, they taught people a really simple part.
This is the melody, and it's just whoa or whatever it waas. So when I say 123 you guys do this part and they got everyone singing along, or at least many of the people. So that's the kind of thing getting that interaction makes people feel like you are connecting with them. And not only does that help boost their goodwill towards you, but it also makes you look more larger than life because if you have 5100, 205 102,000, 15,000, who knows how many people singing along, that's great, because then people are gonna be like, whoa, everybody else's singing along like they're into this.
Okay, maybe I should be into this to that. Just helps you bridge your show from being something that somebody goes like a movie. I love going to the movie theater, but like, that's me going somewhere and sitting down, watching something and then leaving, but like getting somebody to be interactive in whatever way that you can or they can be there leaving, feeling like they just did something they didn't just watch. There wasn't only input like they were involved and they participated. And I would think that they're much more likely toe give a crap about whatever it is that you are if they feel like they're a part of it, like they have a stake or like some like, tiny amount of like ownership over the night.
Like, Wow, that was super high energy. Everybody was moving around. I was moving around blah, blah, blah, absolutely. And by building that connection, you can make them feel both seen and appreciated. So if you're doing that, then you have a much better chance of having them by some merch or by an album or something like that. On that note about a month ago. By the time this comes out at venue released their annual merch report for 2019 and in our Facebook group, I did a live video breakdown going through that report.
So if you haven't looked at the report yet, you can find it on at Venues website, which will be linked in our show. Notes at Band I've got rocks slash 17 and I also have a link to the post in our Facebook group where I did the video so you can check that out if you do want to join our Facebook group if you aren't already, just visit Bandhive dot rocks slash group and that will redirect you directly to our Facebook group were almost on this list here, 0.
6 was interacting with the audience. We're almost done. We have two more to go and these, I think, are two of the most important but also really two of the easiest to dio we've covered the difficult stuff. This is just implementing it. This thing This is one of my favorite things to dio Record yourself record your practices and your shows on video so you can see how you're doing. Wow, that really work? Do we need to do that more or keep that in the sat as long as possible versus Oh, there is a total silent, awkward part we were not aware of, like a totally didn't register.
But now we know it so we could do something about it for me being a drummer, like I do that it practices to just, like, specifically on my drums so I can hear parts. That's why people demo songs so they can listen to something. This is the same thing. Um, it's kind of like demo ing your performance in a way for the whole band. So nothing bad is going to come out of that. All performers to that. Dancers do that You're on Lee going to get better if you give yourself the opportunity, Thio, learn from yourself.
Yeah, absolutely. And it's also the kind of thing where you can get really detailed about it. You can go to a certain point and say, Hey, how did that joke go over and say, Oh, wow, Look, everybody laughing or yeah, there was silence, so it didn't really go over My Lord. Oh, wow. Like people were actually groaning like that was bad, like we should not use that joke again. So you can kind of judge it by that. And you can. Also, thanks to the time stamps on a video, see how long it was between songs and so you could set yourself a goal.
Say, Hey, you know what? No more than 10 seconds between songs. Unless we're talking, even 10 seconds can seem like forever. I was going to say it's one of those things. Yeah, you should set yourself a goal or a limit and try to achieve that. And there are a few questions that you could ask yourself to like, How is your body language? Or, you know, is everybody in the band being part of this? Like, Is everyone having the same stage presence that you expect of yourself? And if not, how can you work together to give them feedback?
And then, of course, last but not least, does your body language fit the mood of what you're playing? This goes back, Teoh, you know, like the airborne toxic event. They have a slower, sad song. They're all playing their music and focusing on that. They have an upbeat song there, dancing around and riding each other's shoulders. I think it's a good way Thio identify If you do have a member of the band whose wearing baggy sweatpants on the inside but like Really, and maybe it's you and maybe you didn't even notice it and like, that's I'd say like That's probably one of the more valuable things is like sort of critiquing yourself.
And again, I can only speak to my own experience, but, like, I've got to assume that the best way to make sure that you have a good show is the like go into it knowing like I'm going to feel good about what I'm doing. And the best way to do that is to practice. That's what practices like figuring out what works, what doesn't. So it's really just giving yourself the tools, like giving yourself the space and the tools toe figure out what works and what doesn't work for the rest of your band and for yourself.
That was a great segue into Point number eight, which is all about practicing what you see from number seven. There is no awkward silence. There was nothing is just you just kept going. That was perfect. So please tackle Point number eight point number eight is we're calling. It is practice. Your stage presence is much is possible. It's part of your show. It's the visual part of it. It's thestreet banter in between. It's like I was saying before, like you could line two people up side by side and they could play the same thing, but they could be very different.
So it's how you're playing your songs. It's the entire field of what you're doing in front of people. So if you build your stage presence into your band practices, it'll be a lot more natural when it comes to playing the show. I no bands who have literally practice talking to the audience at practice, and that works for them. I also know people who sort of have, like I was saying, really like plays, you know, we have the merch, we have their thinking, the other bands, whether this or that.
And you know, maybe that works for different people for other reasons as well. But point being, figure out what works for you and then practice that so it becomes much more natural when you're doing in front of somebody, and at the end of the day, by doing this, it's going to feel a lot less like you hitting a mental switch. It's going to be much more fluid, and that's going to translate a lot more than you think it would like. People are going to pick up on that.
If it's, you know, Wow, this guy's there's a good wow, this person is really trying And then there's a sort of a cringe e like this guy's really trying, and that's one tool that you can use toe. Make sure you wind up being whichever one of those two that you want to be. Absolutely. It's like if you have the practice and it comes naturally to you, people will tell otherwise it will be like when I dropped that set your goals upon earlier and its just cringe e.
I loved that band that was not cringe e e mean dead puns. They're pretty cringe, but well, yeah, I think it's a great point of what you're saying, how it just makes everything flow more smoothly, and I think that's where we should leave it. But I would say for anyone who's listening, We would love to hear how you interact with the audience, how you keep up your stage presence and what you do to prepare in advance. So if you would like to join the discussion head on over to the group that I mentioned a few minutes ago again, that's at Bandhive dot rocks slash group.
And if you'd like to feel free on joining on the discussion, we will also have a thread just for this episode, which will be linked in the show notes and again, that is banned. I've got rocks slash 17. Okay, Once again, this was recorded long before the Cove in 19 Outbreak had reached the U. S. But what we talk about does still apply when you're doing live streams, and probably even more so since you have to compete with Netflix and Hula and everything else on the Internet. So thanks for checking this episode out.
If you have any questions, let us know. Here's the normal outro that is it for this week's episode of the Podcast. As always, we will be back next Tuesday at 6 a.m. Eastern time in your favorite podcasting app in the meantime, we would love to hear your thoughts about our podcast. If you would be kind enough to go to feedback dot band, I've dot rocks and let us know what you think. We would really appreciate that, and it would mean a lot to us again. That's feedback dot Bandhive dot rocks.
We'll be back next Tuesday, and it will be an episode on the mindset of sales. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you all have an awesome week and keep rocking.
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