Last weekend in Munich we were hanging out at the aftershow party when I was approached by a guy who came up to me and said that he’s “a big fan” but he’d like to give me “some constructive criticism“. Since he was somewhat polite I decided to listen to what he had to say and he said:
“I don’t like your Nachtmahr remix, I think the original is better!“.
I nodded and asked “So what’s the constructive criticism?”
“The Nachtmahr remix! It’s not as good as the original!”
“Yea, I understand but what’s the constructive criticism?”
“What I said! The original is better!“.
This went on for a minute until I figured out that he probably thought he was giving me constructive criticism.
So since a bunch of stuff happened lately, here’s some actual “constructive criticism” for bands and fans alike:
1) If you are an opening band and you have a set time of 40 minutes, plan your set to be done in 35. This includes talking, breaks, etc. so make sure you have about 30 minutes worth of music. Our opening band in Munich was already 10 minutes over their allotted time (50 instead of 40) and told us “Oh, we’ll just finish this instrumental and then end with a coverversion!”. They ended up being 20 (!!!) minutes over their allotted time. Since for some reason there were 40 minutes of changeover time and the promoter was cool with it, we didn’t mind. Usually you can expect your power to be cut exactly after your time is up.
2) If you meet a musician from a band that you know or like, it’s never a good idea to tell them first that you don’t like their new album/new single/new video – at least not if you would like to have a conversation. Imagine a random stranger coming up to you and saying “I really don’t like how you look!”. For some reason people do this all the time – usually to a) not seem like a fanboy/-girl or b) to pretend that they have an “informed opinion”. Those are usually the same people who later complain on Facebook that “singer so-and-so was just hanging with girls and didn’t wanna talk to me!”.
3) If you are in a local band that opens for a touring band it’s never a good idea to:
a) be in the backstage room 15-20 minutes before and after the touring band’s show – just leave and let the band get ready/relax. I do the same for other bands we’re playing with, especially if the backstage area is small
b) change the position and connections of the gear that’s already set up on stage
c) bring your girlfriend and her friends into the backstage area where they do nothing but take up space
d) ask for pictures (where you pose like a possessed demon) when people are clearly busy doing something else (like packing their gear or doing accounting with the promoter)
e) bitch about how shit the local competing band/club/promoter/DJ is – especially not if it’s likely that the touring band knows the competition too
f) ask a band you just met to remix your stuff for the upcoming awesome EP (unless you are prepared to pay for it)
g) take any drinks/food from catering without checking if it is actually yours – this is especially true for booze
h) expect that you’ll get to use your full setup (lasers, video, pyro, exotic dancers). There’s a 90% chance that won’t happen, so don’t throw a fit – or better yet: ask in advance.
i) talk about how awesome your new CD is and that you used Massive and Sylenth as your main synths
j) talk about the touring band constantly
k) talk about anything regarding concerts, touring, production, albums, the touring band, other bands and DJs
l) ask the touring band about themselves all the time
4) So what is there to talk about? Most bands I know would rather hear about your dog, your job as a trapeze artist, your new painting, your old car, your favorite 80s movies, your newest booze discovery, your favorite clubs in town, your political views … ANYTHING but the stuff they deal with all the time. There are obviously exceptions to this, but you’ll notice those quickly.
5) If you are a girl/dude trying to score with a musician from your favorite band, don’t bring your boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s a stupid move and you’ll later regret it.
6) Don’t say “wearing sunglasses in a club is dumb” when you wear gasmasks, fluffy boots and cyberhair … or ANY sort of clothing that makes you look different from when you are naked.
7) Easiest way (besides being a cool person) to get along with a lot of bands: drugs, booze and skimpy clothes (if you have the body for it). Yes, most of us are that shallow.
DON’T GET MAD UNLESS I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU! ;)