How hard is it to find like-minded bandmates?

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#1
The answer to this question is "Extremely hard" in this neck of the woods!

Let me rephrase the question. Why is it so hard to find like-minded bandmates?

So, I'm really eager to start a band and getting bored of being a bedroom player but I am not having any luck. Even though there is a very active music scene in my area, it seems that it is very hard to find any musicians that are wanting to play the music I am interested to play.

What I've learnt from posting on websites and looking at local ads is that other musicians of my age group are only interested in,

  • Indie Rock/Pop Punk
  • Metalcore
  • Cover/Wedding Bands
I don't know if I'm being a bit fussy, but I have a specific sound in mind that doesn't fit the above bullet points at all. I'm more into forming a band that has more of a Post Rock/Prog Rock sound, kind of like Oceansize or Karnivool.


I have tried scouting local musicians and going to other bands shows and this leads to another problem of mine. I don't have the courage to contact or go up and speak to them. I know this is all in my head but my anxiety really holds me back in these situations.

Has anyone got any tips, advice, stories or anything else that might help me eventually find bandmates and like-minded people to jam with.

EDIT: I am now using this thread as a 'band finding blog'. So if you want to follow in to my never ending quest to form my own band, you are more than welcome to.
 
Last edited:

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#3
You must find a solution to this. In my experience "networking" is alpha and omega.

And how will people find out what you are all about if they never meet you?
You don't say! ;)

Joking aside, this is the real problem, as most of the musicians that I would love to work with I have seen play with my very own eyes.

I feel if there is a way to combat my anxiety, I have to know as it is really letting me down and making me feel down and depressed inside.
 

MABLUNG

Ain't nobody like me but me.
#4
Sometimes you just have to comprises and join a band, and then enjoy it.
Or at least until it becomes un-enjoyable...

I have been in many bands.
The number of bands that I have been that are like-minded = 0.
It's almost as if NOBODY except me listens to Mad Capsule Markets..

What is WRONG with people??!
Honestly....

But a band is a band. Playing in one can be fun. And you never know- that 'Metal' band you join MIGHT be a little more open minded one day and let itself get a bit Prog. Then maybe a little more...
You are a musician. You have to 'sell'* your written music as something worth listening to. Jam it out with your new band- they might enjoy the direction. It might start with one song having a rather Prog-ish Middle eight, or intro/outdo.


*by 'sell' i don't mean For Profit. I mean it in the same sense as 'pitching your good idea' across
 

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#5
Sometimes you just have to comprises and join a band, and then enjoy it.
Or at least until it becomes un-enjoyable...

I have been in many bands.
The number of bands that I have been that are like-minded = 0.
It's almost as if NOBODY except me listens to Mad Capsule Markets..

What is WRONG with people??!
Honestly....

But a band is a band. Playing in one can be fun. And you never know- that 'Metal' band you join MIGHT be a little more open minded one day and let itself get a bit Prog. Then maybe a little more...
You are a musician. You have to 'sell'* your written music as something worth listening to. Jam it out with your new band- they might enjoy the direction. It might start with one song having a rather Prog-ish Middle eight, or intro/outdo.


*by 'sell' i don't mean For Profit. I mean it in the same sense as 'pitching your good idea' across
I have compromised a lot in the past and tried to play outside my bedroom as much as possible, attending jam sessions and open mics which have been brilliant to help my confidence, playing along to easy songs I don't like with other, friendly musicians and having a geeky chat about my influences and what I listen to etc.

But I think it's time for a change. Time to be me and do what I want to do and that is to write and perform music with a few other people with the same mindset as me, rather than just playing cover songs all the time.
 

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#6
It's almost as if NOBODY except me listens to Mad Capsule Markets..

What is WRONG with people??!
Honestly....
I was intrigued so I checked out Osc-Dis. Crazy shit man, it's like Senser, Shitmat, Sex Pistols, The Wildhearts and Biohazard had a sonic baby! I like it, it reminds me of a lot of stuff I used to listen to in the the mid nineties.
 
Last edited:

Paul Wickham

Oh no you didn't!
#7
You wanna try living in darkest County Cavan in rural Ireland where my nearest neighbour is a cow that despite all efforts... Shows no interest in starting a band. Seriously though in all the years I have been playing, all the bands I have formed or been in, those special people? The ones that inspire you and are inspired by you? Rare as rocking horse shite. Like finding a wife, it takes time, then effort and then more effort. The pay back is maybe not quite as good as great sex with a willing and compatible partner, but it can come close (no pun intended) Good luck on your hunt.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#11
Sometimes you just have to comprises and join a band, and then enjoy it.
Or at least until it becomes un-enjoyable...

I have been in many bands.
The number of bands that I have been that are like-minded = 0.
It's almost as if NOBODY except me listens to Mad Capsule Markets..

What is WRONG with people??!
Honestly....

But a band is a band. Playing in one can be fun. And you never know- that 'Metal' band you join MIGHT be a little more open minded one day and let itself get a bit Prog. Then maybe a little more...
@EMM I'm with Mablung here. I'm currently in a band and really enjoy what we do. When we recruited the other guitarist, the only band we had in common was Faith No More. Literally nothing else. Faith No More themselves have a well documented lack of common interests.

In my experience guitarists, bass players, drummers and vocalists are inspired by very different music, for example there aren't many bass players that would be actively seeking to play instrumental guitar music, likewise there aren't a wealth of guitarists longing for a funk/disco band. When I put my current band together, there was no theme, no specific genre other than original rock music. I was really only interested in finding people with the same (lack of) ambition and acceptance that a band will only ever be a hobby to fit in around my shifts/family life. But it doesn't mean that we have to play covers.

I see a lot of adverts from guitarists or even a pair of guitarists seeking band members for a very specific genre and always wonder how well they will do finding the missing parts. One of the main reasons I'm also the lead singer in my band is that guitarists are the most common rock musician. Put an advert online for a guitarist for an otherwise complete band and you'll be inundated with replies, finding bass players, drummers and singer is entirely different.

I'll never get all of my jollies from one musical project. I write and record music by myself for my own selfish enjoyment but I also want to rock out with a band. The band will always be a compromise, unless I'm recruiting people with the promise of money. Other than Faith No More, I also know that Queen and The Devin Townsend Project consisted of members with entirely different musical tastes. Enjoy it for what it is.
 

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#12
@EMM Other than Faith No More, I also know that Queen and The Devin Townsend Project consisted of members with entirely different musical tastes. Enjoy it for what it is.
I would be willing to work with people with completely different musical tastes than me as it might add something to the bands sound, but the problem here is that everyone wanting to start a band around here my age just seems to all have the same taste in music.

They all seem to listen to Indie rock/Pop Punk and that's the sort or music they want to write and play, no exceptions. I feel that I couldn't enjoy playing in an Indie Rock/Pop Punk band and would probably find the writing process boring and unimaginative. Plus I have tonnes of riffs and ideas that would not work in that genre at all.
 

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
#13
I would be willing to work with people with completely different musical tastes than me as it might add something to the bands sound, but the problem here is that everyone wanting to start a band around here my age just seems to all have the same taste in music.

They all seem to listen to Indie rock/Pop Punk and that's the sort or music they want to write and play, no exceptions. I feel that I couldn't enjoy playing in an Indie Rock/Pop Punk band and would probably find the writing process boring and unimaginative. Plus I have tonnes of riffs and ideas that would not work in that genre at all.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I suspect this is where your lack of experience is leading you to the wrong conclusion. I played drums for around 10 years and never played in a band which shared my musical sensibilities. And I still found it fulfilling. "It's not the destination. It's the journey."

I actually wonder if you should pick up a bass instead and join one of these bands that plays music you aren't as interested in. Follow a little while before you lead. I hear all the time about how the best way to grow is to put yourself outside of your comfort zone. So just go do it. You may hate it. But you also might gig out and meet tons of interesting people and then put together a band full of people you want to work it after you've done it awhile. Go read Wikipedia on how various bands formed and it's one of two ways. They went to High School/College together. Or they were in other bands, saw each other, and wanted to work together.
 

Paul Wickham

Oh no you didn't!
#16
I have compromised a lot in the past and tried to play outside my bedroom as much as possible, attending jam sessions and open mics which have been brilliant to help my confidence, playing along to easy songs I don't like with other, friendly musicians and having a geeky chat about my influences and what I listen to etc.

But I think it's time for a change. Time to be me and do what I want to do and that is to write and perform music with a few other people with the same mindset as me, rather than just playing cover songs all the time.
Hmm...My best ever working relationship was with someone who had a very different musical background, sure there was some crossover, but we didn't even agree on guitars. The thing is we came to each others songs from different directions and kinda met in the middle. He added to my songs things I would never have thought of, and visa versa. It worked because of our differences not our likeness. The thing we did both agree with from the start? We didn't want to be a covers band. :)
 

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#18
I actually wonder if you should pick up a bass instead and join one of these bands that plays music you aren't as interested in. Follow a little while before you lead.
The problem with that is that I enjoy playing bass just as much if not, more than playing guitar. I have checked out many of the local bands around the area that are after bassists are quite boring and unimaginative when it comes to bass parts. I have also found that the previous bassists in the bands that are advertising have moved on to playing more complicated, less accessible music. Put it this way, if I'm not interested in it, I will not be motivated to do it and will probably end up quitting the band after a month.
 

EMM

I am the cat who walks by himself
#19
Hmm...My best ever working relationship was with someone who had a very different musical background, sure there was some crossover, but we didn't even agree on guitars. The thing is we came to each others songs from different directions and kinda met in the middle. He added to my songs things I would never have thought of, and visa versa. It worked because of our differences not our likeness. The thing we did both agree with from the start? We didn't want to be a covers band. :)
In a way, I would love to work with someone with a completely different taste in music to me, especially in the lead vocal department. It would probably broaden my horizons a lot. Not just someone who is stuck in one genre though (e.g. Most metal heads, which there is a lot of them in my area).

I'd also really like to know more about the differences between you and your bandmate, as it might help me a lot.
 

flawlessandeternal

Double OG with a Skeleton Key
#20
The problem with that is that I enjoy playing bass just as much if not, more than playing guitar. I have checked out many of the local bands around the area that are after bassists are quite boring and unimaginative when it comes to bass parts. I have also found that the previous bassists in the bands that are advertising have moved on to playing more complicated, less accessible music. Put it this way, if I'm not interested in it, I will not be motivated to do it and will probably end up quitting the band after a month.
Thing is, they're only boring and unimaginative if you let them be. My mate plays drums in a Catfish And The Bottleman/Early Arctic Monkeys style indie band, but their bass player is ON FIRE. His basslines are really captivating, his runs are great and if anything, he stands out the more for it. I almost ended up playing bass in a band that were going to play similar music, which I can't stand listening to, but I was looking forward to switching things up and playing in a different setting than I normally do.

Have you ever been in a band before? Like the guys said, it might be a good idea to take a back seat, learn the essentials of performing live and maybe once you've gotten a knack for it, moving up the ladder. If anything, metalcore might be your best avenue. Sure, it's not prog, but it's the closest thing you might have. And like they said, the more involved with a band you are, you might be able to get your foot in the door songwriting-wise and get those influences thrown in the mix.

At the end of the day man, there's bound to be a prog rock band wanting forming somewhere in your area. Try joinmyband.com. I've formed a post-grunge esque band in a city that's also mostly indie bands and pop punk kids, its taken us a while to get off the ground, but we're slowly getting there :)
 
Top