35 IMPORTANT RULES FOR BANDS
1. Never start a trio with a married couple.
2. Your manager's not helping you.
3. Before you sign a record deal, look up
the word "recoupable" in the dictionary.
4. No one cares who you've opened for.
5. A string section does not make your
songs sound any more "important."
6. If your band has gone through more than
four bass players, it's time to break up.
7. When you talk on stage, you're never as
funny as you think.
8. If you sound like another band, don't act
like you're unfamiliar
with their music ("Oh, does Rage Against
The Machine also do rap-rock with
9. Asking a crowd how they're doing is just
amplified small talk.
10. Don't say your video's being played if
it's only on the Austin Music Network.
11. When you sign to a major label, claim to
have inked the best
contract ever. Mention "artistic freedom"
and a "guaranteed three record deal."
12. When you get dropped, insist that it was
the worst contract ever, and you asked to
be let go.
13. Never name a song after your band.
14. Never name your band after a song.
15. When a drummer brings in his own
songs, and asks to perform one of them,
begin looking for a new drummer
16. Never enter a Battle of the Bands
17. Learn to recognize scary word pairings
such as "rock opera," "white rapper," "blues
jam," "swing band," "open mike," etc.
18. Drummers can take off their shirts or
they can wear gloves, but not both.
19. Break it to your parents: it's rock 'n'
roll, not a soccer game.
They've gotta stop coming to your shows.
20. It's not a "showcase." It's a gig that
21. Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform
shoes to your feet.
22. Don't hire a publicist.
23. Playing in Akron, Ohio doesn't mean
that you're on tour.
24. Don't join a cover band that plays Bush
songs. In fact, don't join a cover band.
25. Although they come in different styles
and colors, electric guitars all sound the
same. It's not necessary to keep changing
them between songs.
26. Don't stop your set to ask that beers be
brought up. That's what girlfriends &
boyfriends are for.
27. If you use a smoke machine, your music
28. We can tell the difference between a
professionally produced album cover and
one you made with the iMac your Mom got
29. Remember: if blues solos are so
difficult, why can so many 16 year olds
30. If you ever take a publicity photo,
destroy it. You may never know where,
when, or how it will turn up.
31. Cut your hair, but don't shave your head.
32. Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
33. Don't wear shorts onstage. Or a suit.
Or a hat.
34. Rock oxymorons: "major label interest,"
"demo deal," "blues
genius," "$500 guarantee," and "Fastball's
35. Three things that are never coming
back: gongs, headbands, and playing slide
guitar with a beer bottle.
Rules For Bands