The folks at Modern Drummer gave me the freedom to write about whatever I want on this here blog. I fought the temptation to write about my desire for the creation of a sequel to the movie Nacho Libre, my musings on the impossible symmetry of Samuel L. Jackson’s bald dome, and my dislike for any store not called Food Maxx, but I decided to try and give some tips to up-and-coming drummers, just like Modern Drummer magazine did for me.
The chlidrens always ask me, “Senior Rico the great, how do I become successful at playing the music”? The answer is simple. Play with people that you like. If you do that, then your experience will be fun and positive no matter what. I have been blessed to be in a band with my best friends. We travel around like a nomadic bunch of rambling barbarians, spreading our music and smiles to the masses. What could be better than that? l get to spend every day hanging out and working with my best friends. On the other side of the coin, what could be worse then spending every single day with people that are a drag to be around?
Being in a band is a ton of work! It’s bizarre, actually. We’re on this team as musicians, but we spend less than ten percent of our time actually playing music! There is a lot of driving, waiting, moving heavy objects, beating Mikel (bass player) at video games, making calls, doing computer work, etc. that must be done every single day. While on tour, being in a band is a twenty-four-hour-a-day job, and you’re only playing music for forty minutes of that entire day! You see, your band members are much more than a bunch of extremely handsome fellas that you play music with; they are also your business partners, bosses, body guards, alarm clocks, counselors, confidants, teammates, and rivals. If one link is weak, then the chain will break. How many bands had an egocentric selfish jerk that caused them to crumble into ruin?
My brother said it best. When looking for people to work with, use the three C’s: Choose someone with character, chemistry, and competence. Those three qualities are listed in order of importance. If someone has strong character but their skill at their instrument (competence) is not very high, it’s okay. You can develop your skills together while enjoying each other’s company and ultimately ending up with a stronger band member than that low-life shred master guitar player that will probably just quit in a month anyway. Chemistry (similarities, common goals, and friendship potential) is vital, because you need to be striving for the same goals in order to better reach them. Use the three C’s when choosing band members (or people to date—maybe I should be writing for Cosmo…) and you will be much happier with your band in the end.
My dad’s a professional motivational speaker, and I tend to take after him, so before I start babbling on and on with my pep talk here, I’m going to stop myself and make a couple points: Check out pkband.com to check out our new EP, The Lost Boys Sessions, and add us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on all that is PK.