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Rupert the Music Lord's 11 & 1/2 commandments for unsigned bands.

Rules according to the Music Master: The Do's & Dont's of live gigs and common mistakes. Guidelines for musicians stuck up their own arseholes.

We at Emergenza, are happy to have such incredible person giving us his insights, stories and experiences from a carreer in the live music scene he matured over 25 years.
Rupert will not only entertain but shock you giving all of us the honest truth. Sit back, relax and get ready for ride number 1!

As a person who gave up a life of luxury and started treading stages as a teen ager, I still ask myself why I do it. I've been working in the Music field for the past 25 years in 3 different continents, I sometimes find myself amused by the entire live gig atmosphere and all that comes with it. The sheer stupidity , the amateur approach and the all round just idiotic comments that come out of many musician's mouths. I've heard all sorts the past years. No, I'm not cynical but some musicians we should just hit on the head and some we should just tell to give up. Completely.
«just fuck off and change jobs»....that's what I should have said many times.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love seeing live music played in venues, whether big or small but I just wanted to put together a list for musicians in bands to read so that they can understand how stupid they seem to others sometimes. You, the musician, may say: "who gives a shit?", well....many people do. Because if you look stupid (and you act it) then your credibility as a band member is going down the shitter, so just get pen and paper and jot down some points you too, musician with your head up your arse.
Call it a series of commandments or a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to playing in a band but this is necessary. This is from both from the perspective of audience member and stage/P.A. technician so here we go.

1) This first one is: remember, you are there to entertain the crowd. Nobody gives a shit about you. Your duty is to make sure the crowd has a good time so don't show off with long guitar solos or drum solos unless really necessary. Do that when you'll be in front of 50,000 people (or maybe just leave it). Doing long solos is like masturbating on stage and telling everybody how good (you think) you are. The audience don't give a shit. The only person that does is your girlfriend. That is, until your girl leaves you for the other singer who can pull a bigger crowd and is on the way to the top faster than you. (then you start to get insecurities of course). In a gig, you must get to the point. Entertain those buggers. As they in music biz: "don't bore us, get to the chorus". Just fucking leave it and get on with it.

2) During soundcheck please say something into the mic besides "one-two, check, one two!" because you are allowed to....and because you should. Swearing or saying "cock, shit, fuck" and other silly things like these while giggling, does not make you more of a man. They just make you sound like an adolescent, spotty faced idiot. Grow up and do the fucking sound check properly without wasting time.

3) Guitarists, when applying the master volume to your amplifier on stage try to do it while all the other instruments are playing! This way, you get a real level, you egotistical, selfish idiots. How in the hell are you going to know what the levels are going to be otherwise? Your amp will always sound loud when you just hear it by itself. Think! Engage brain before turning volume. Thanks.

3&1/2) The same goes for singers. Yes, singers. Those selfish bastards standing in the middle, up front thinking the world revolves around them. Of course you can hear yourself in the monitors during the “check one-two” part of the soundcheck, be There aren’t two guitars screaming feedback exploding in your ears. Get sorted! Get on with it! Get out of your own arse and learn to listen. You can do the moves you rehearsed in front of the mirror later or another time.

4) The sound check is called that because all you have to do is check!..and not waste anybody else's time. It is not a rehearsal, it is a check. Be ready and listen to the sound guy. Always. I've seen the situation time and time again...the bands "forget" that they are checking and they say: "let's do the 3rd song on the setlist and start from the chorus..." It is not a rehearsal!! get over it! You are not the only band checking so hurry the fuck up and get off! You are cutting into the next band's time you selfish twats.

5) During your gig, avoid dead time between songs. Nothing is more unpleasant than the silence of a room when a band is between songs. Promote your band next gig or CD. Remind everybody your band's name or tell a joke. Do anything but don't give the audience the opportunity to go out for a cigarette and never come back. Yes, never come back.....because they do that. Get a distortion pedal so you can throw feedback on for two minutes and make it a "link" into the next song. Nobody wants to see you tune up! Do Anything. Please. The silence is killing the audience!

6) The wearing of your own Bands T-Shirt debate: This one is an oldie and it gave me days of endless fun talking about it with many tour managers. Is it cool to wear your own bands t-shirt onstage? Most say yes, you are helping to promote the band and more than likely you think the artwork is cool, so why not? If you make a cool band t-shirt then you should wear it everywhere you go. Promote shamelessly and get girls with really large breasts to wear your t-shirts so you get more attention. Not saying you're ugly (yes I am) but large breasts win over anything you may have. Now, if you're a female musician who can rattle your pair, in front of stupid, simple minded guys and show off the t-shirt in the process then you are a winner.

7) Do not go into long and wanky stories about "the next song is about....". You wrote it, so what? A lost love? A betrayal? Who cares? Don't bore us with stories about love and "society"....or your point of view about politics. Nobody wants to hear politics at a gig. You are not The Clash so stick to the songs. Play them and smile. People spend money and get drunk wanting to hear some rock and roll....stick to the plot. The only thing that you should say between songs is thanks or buy our "intelligent" song introductions.

8) I cannot stress this one enough: Don't fucking worry about the levels out there. Worry about your levels on stage. It is the job of the soundguy. The guy behind the board is paid to do his job. Trust him. Don't bother asking the audience "how's the sound out there? Cause I can can't hear myself"....You idiot! Leave it! Besides, the drunk bloke in the audience always thinks it sounds brilliant. As I said, concentrate on what's on stage.

9) Always, always, always, be friendly with the sound-person. He hold the magic keys to your gig. He can make or break you. Piss him off and you'll feel the wrath. Don't underestimate his vendictive powers. The first thing you should do when you walk into the venue before soundcheck is introduce yourself to the sound guy and be friendly ! It also doesn’t hurt to be friendly to the venue staff. Especially the cute bar girl with the huge knockers.

10) Always thank everybody from the stage at the end of the set. Because you have already written down the name of: the club manager, the booker, the sound crew, the bar staff and even the toilet cleaner, If you haven't written down the names of all those people you should stay locked in your rehearsal room forever. You don't deserve the gig. You have to thank everybody! And remind them that you have: more gigs, merch, etc etc. You must say that with a smile on your face but most of all always thank the crowd because they can tell another friend about your band and helping you in create a decent fan-base. If you don't, then fuck off and do something else.

11) The last one is a simple one but one that has been bugging me for over 20 years. I've been: a drummer, a back-liner, a Stage manager, a band manager, a promoter/booker, even an A&R man for a label but the simple thing I'm about to say is just as important so here we go: Just because you are a singer that doesn’t mean you don’t have to help with the loading/unloading of the gear. Pick up an amp, a drum shell. Anything. And no, carrying your microphone doesn’t count, you selfish prick.The girls can wait or they can help you with the gear. After all, you want to involve as many people as possible with your band, don't you?

With this in mind, I want to say that god sent Moses 10 commandments for all to see and we have 11&1/2 here because musicians need more. Not because they are special but because they think, they are special. There are many more that we could write about gigging and setting up before the gig but If you follow these simple set of rules you go far.....or at least get called back by the promoters but remember, the only easy way to get called back for gigs is to bring a decent crowd. But that is another 11 &1/2 commandments.....and we don't have enough time for now.