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Author Topic: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?  (Read 4683 times)

Bob Charest

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 11:46:23 am »

Because one is art and the other is craft. You don't "create" covers.
Hi Woody,

Almost agreed... but not quite for me. As a composer, I appreciate what goes into the original, and the study and effort that goes into an realistic/authentic cover.

I've heard many an original that didn't even rise to the level of craft, never mind art - on many levels, classical and jazz among them. And, I would argue that to use the particular ensemble available  to "cover" something really accurately might be a bit more than craft. Take the multi-keyboard components of Cousin Dupree for example... and undoubtedly the original is at a level that is art for me. To reproduce that means that one has to hear all those layers and find a way to cover them, and if your one keyboard player, it's almost impossible.

To use the classical repetoire as an example, Richard Goode's playing of a Beethoven sonata is definitely art, even though he didn't write it.

Or maybe I've just had too much coffee and am thinking too much after taking off Rod Argent's solo on the Zombies' Time Of The Season  :)
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Brian Elstro

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 03:11:31 pm »

Steve, I have some friends in your area, and some of them could be who you're talking about (I'm not concerned...lol). Alot of it seems to be based on how much the original artist gets paid for their time and effort vs how much time and effort it takes to learn a cover and play it. I've been in both cover and original bands, the cover band played 6-8 times a month, making as much as 150/person a night. The original band played maybe once a month, and got paid much less (embarrasingly less, no joke) for ten times the rehearsal time as the cover band. I never have understood the nihilistic attitude that original 'artists' have. 90% of the time the cover band was there just to have fun and play some tunes that we all enjoyed in our youth.... and I havent met a sobberish drummer yet that can play for 6 hours.... " I leave it all out there in the one set I have...", yeah... maybe so.... play Green Grass And High Tides and Freebird to open the 4th set one time then you can say something to me!
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Chris Davis

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 03:52:46 pm »

Steve, I have some friends in your area, and some of them could be who you're talking about (I'm not concerned...lol). Alot of it seems to be based on how much the original artist gets paid for their time and effort vs how much time and effort it takes to learn a cover and play it. I've been in both cover and original bands, the cover band played 6-8 times a month, making as much as 150/person a night. The original band played maybe once a month, and got paid much less (embarrasingly less, no joke) for ten times the rehearsal time as the cover band. I never have understood the nihilistic attitude that original 'artists' have. 90% of the time the cover band was there just to have fun and play some tunes that we all enjoyed in our youth.... and I havent met a sobberish drummer yet that can play for 6 hours.... " I leave it all out there in the one set I have...", yeah... maybe so.... play Green Grass And High Tides and Freebird to open the 4th set one time then you can say something to me!

Plus a cover band makes more use of the neural pathways of those in the band and in the crowd (songs you have heard before™).  People show up to hear those songs again and to relive certain experiences.

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 04:11:50 pm »

This one I just don't get.  There's a snobbery amongst original musicians towards cover bands.  At least in my area there is, and some things I read online.

I think part of it is the significant difference in how one works to get a crowd reaction.  A local "originals" act is going to have a tougher time because they have to :prove: each song... and that song is somebody's baby; it really hurts if the audience doesn't respond or responds negatively.  To work up enough acceptable material to play a 60 min set (let alone 3) is a significant feat.

Contrast with the cover act that is playing 3 sets of songs people already like.  While the selection process is easier, pulling off a variety of covers that are reasonably faithful to the originals is a lot of work, from working out the arrangement to actually having enough hands/technology to perform the song.  The originals act can choose to limit their production and arrangements to the instruments/people/technology available to them; the cover act needs for the songs to bear more than a passing resemblance to what the audience remembers and that requirement necessitates a different approach to the music as well as a different mindset.

In another post someone said one is "art" and the other "craft".  Not so much, methinks... how about "composer" and "entertainer"?  Think back to tin pan alley for a moment... experienced song writers turning out material for entertainers to present to the public.  Why?  Because *most* songwriters aren't gifted entertainers.  You'd be surprised how many hits are written by people that never set foot on a national stage, composing in their living rooms or studio.

Finally, some acts do both fairly well.  Van Halen made their initial mark with covers of Roy Orbison and other classic rock writers.  There is no shame in performing any music well.
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Scott Shaw

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 05:21:18 pm »


   I think that original bands that hate cover bands are "hate'n" for one of two reasons... either they themselves can't play these covers well enough to get gigs   Or... they are just haters...

I've seen quite a few bands on Conan and SNL that might fit your quote to a t!
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Bob Charest

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 06:14:10 pm »

I think part of it is the significant difference in how one works to get a crowd reaction.  A local "originals" act is going to have a tougher time because they have to :prove: each song... and that song is somebody's baby; it really hurts if the audience doesn't respond or responds negatively.  To work up enough acceptable material to play a 60 min set (let alone 3) is a significant feat.

Contrast with the cover act that is playing 3 sets of songs people already like.  While the selection process is easier, pulling off a variety of covers that are reasonably faithful to the originals is a lot of work, from working out the arrangement to actually having enough hands/technology to perform the song.  The originals act can choose to limit their production and arrangements to the instruments/people/technology available to them; the cover act needs for the songs to bear more than a passing resemblance to what the audience remembers and that requirement necessitates a different approach to the music as well as a different mindset.

In another post someone said one is "art" and the other "craft".  Not so much, methinks... how about "composer" and "entertainer"?  Think back to tin pan alley for a moment... experienced song writers turning out material for entertainers to present to the public.  Why?  Because *most* songwriters aren't gifted entertainers.  You'd be surprised how many hits are written by people that never set foot on a national stage, composing in their living rooms or studio.

Finally, some acts do both fairly well.  Van Halen made their initial mark with covers of Roy Orbison and other classic rock writers.  There is no shame in performing any music well.

Tim - you nailed it. Wish I'd responded as well!
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kristianjohnsen

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 08:55:54 pm »

Because one is art and the other is craft. You don't "create" covers.

When you go to listen to a big orchestra there's a good chance they're playing covers that were written by some stuffy old Austrian guys 300 years ago..I guess that means it's not art  ;)
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Bill Hinds

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2012, 09:53:48 pm »

This one I just don't get.  There's a snobbery amongst original musicians towards cover bands.  At least in my area there is, and some things I read online.

I think if they look deep enough it is jealously. I know, that probably will piss someone off. When I hear this they just can't seek to understand why someone would like to go see a cover band over an original because they just copied and did not create. Which then in turn pays better because the public "generally" support the cover/popular music more so the club owners pay because more butts in the venue = more available $'s.  Just to be clear, this is directed at the Local Music Scene.
  Of course I could be wrong. ::)

Bill
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Lee Brenkman

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2012, 09:57:47 pm »

When you go to listen to a big orchestra there's a good chance they're playing covers that were written by some stuffy old Austrian guys 300 years ago..I guess that means it's not art  ;)

I just recorded the audio for a master class given by jazz pianist Richie Beirach who would certainly disagree with that.

He said that the "job" of the classical musician was to consistently play the piece "the SAME but GREAT" and a jazz musician's goal was to continue to play something "DIFFERENT but GREAT".

As for the whole "art" vs "craft" thing, I have always considered myself a craftsman, not an artist.  My job is to facilitate the artist in presenting their music to an audience.

PS   The more you learn about some of those German and Austrian guys 300 years ago you find a lot of them FAR from "stuffy".   A lot of them were just hustling gigs and commissions, trying to make a living and MAYBE attain some degree of fame, just like musicians nowdays.
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brian maddox

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Re: Why do original musicians hate cover bands?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2012, 11:56:13 pm »

i spent more of my 20s and 30s playing original music.  it was tough.  and took a lot of work.  but it was also artistically satisfying and i really enjoyed it.  i'm now in my 40s and play, essentially, in a cover band.  i play/work at a church and we play popular praise and worship music.  i have found that it is actually more difficult for me to play the 'covers' than it was to play the originals.  it's always nice to be able to write to one's strengths, and avoid one's weaknesses.  with covers you don't have that luxury.

but, it's also a bunch of fun to play covers.  and when we have a concert at our church, our little  church 'cover band' will get 700-800 people.  in my originals days, i'd have been overjoyed to see 50.
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