Why do 'original' bands hold 'cover' bands in such low regard?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by dacookster, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. dacookster

    dacookster SS.org Regular

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    Just curious---there seems to be a slight degree of

    'I play original music therefore everyone that plays covers is lowlife' sentiment.

    Why?
     
  2. metal_sam14

    metal_sam14 Tard

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    My best guess is because it is really hard to make any kind of decent money off of original music that you put all your hard work into.

    yet it is a lot easier to start a cover band and make a killing off playing other peoples songs.

    my opinion anyway
     
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  3. Riffer

    Riffer PRS SE Inspector

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    Honestly I don't know. I play in a cover band to have fun and make some extra cash on the side. It actually takes a lot of skill to play covers. You're playing 50 songs a night that span a variety of genres and you have to learn the in's and out's of the songs. I love being in an original band though as well. Theres nothing like playing your own music that you wrote and having people dig it. I don't know where this hatred comes from. I think some of it is jealousy and part of it is that people think that a cover band is in some way cheating since you're playing other peoples songs or degrading to your musicianship. Whatever though, it's a ton of fun playing both originals and covers :agreed:
     
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  4. getaway_fromme

    getaway_fromme SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't call everyone who plays covers a "lowlife", but as a musician who makes a living off of music, who also wants to promote my OWN music, it takes talent to make music, and some skill....but more talent..

    Covers, on the other hand, take skill. You don't have to be uber talented, you have to be able to practice practice practice until you get it right the way someone else made it..

    I have a problem with it because of the money part, quite honestly. I will not go out to see a cover band. or a tribute band. Ever. I pay money to see original music or some Western music from a composer. That's not the same thing as a band.

    Fuck ya I'm jealous. Someone else learns someone else's song and makes more money than the people who are making original music and can't get any gigs?

    Come on. Original music takes so so so much time to create, master, teach other people in your band. And with covers, you just learn it off the cd. I'm sorry but that is ass backwards to me.

    I also realize people want to go and see cover bands doing some great music that they are familiar with.

    But yes, the composer in me is pissed off. Especially since you're making money off the band's music and they don't see a cut of it. CD sales do not count.

    Hell fuckin ya I'm jealous :) It doesn't mean they suck, but yes, I lose respect for "cover bands". Write your own fucking music. :)
     
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  5. dacookster

    dacookster SS.org Regular

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    Good opinion. Yet there are several factors that come into play. I've been on both sides of the stick.

    1) Any band is difficult to start. Finding the right personnel is always a struggle

    2) For making decent money---a cover band, at least in this area, has to provide it's own sound and lighting. I've got $20k invested in our sound/light rig.

    Myself, I love playing music, be it original or covers. And I view musicians as musicians---I judge based upon how good it sounds and how well they play and perform.
     
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  6. metal_sam14

    metal_sam14 Tard

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    I should have added, that is not totally my opinion, it is how I think a number of people see the whole original vs cover thing, I could be totally wrong :)
     
  7. SpaceDock

    SpaceDock Shred till your dead

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    I always had a harder time with covers.
     
  8. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings No like the floppy

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    If I starting making Picasso style paintings that used the same colors and techniques and you think it is "good" then you ignore the fundamental foundation that is art for a cheap forgery that mimics the expressions and emotions of the original artist.

    Unless it is better, then that is ok...

    lol
     
  9. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Most of the population can't play a musical instrument. That means that any band is full of people with skill beyond most of the audience.

    If an originals band wants to say something insulting about my taking the wedding gig or bar gig away from them... I'll never know, because I'm working.

    I know that bands sometimes work covers, and then go on to write and record original material. A lot of people do the gigs because they pay while letting someone work their chops.

    As far as I know, Frank Sinatra didn't write his own material. Audiences didn't care.

    Originals bands might well be correct that cover bands suck. That's why relatively unknown groups like the Beatles never worked to the point where they had the chops and credibility to record their own stuff. If only they had avoided that covers route and just played in the basement, who knows what they might have achieved?
     
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  10. 3074326

    3074326 Local Astronaut

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    I don't have a problem with them, other than the three cover bands that won money in a battle of the bands when my old band played in one. We were under the impression it was all-originals. Nope. Three cover bands won all the prize money that we really needed for an upcoming tour. Not to say we would have won, but still.

    I don't have a problem with them unless it's a situation like that.
     
  11. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    For me, it's because playing an instrument is pretty easy if you have the time. It's writing the songs that takes talent.

    Also, where I live, people always hold shitty cover bands in higher regard than original music, and it just pisses me off.
     
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  12. hutchman

    hutchman El' Lamo

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    I just hate that really good musicians and bands play to no one and get paid shit, where as a very mediocre cover band will have a place rocking and get paid heaps, purely on the fact that people recognize the songs.

    I have actually started a cover band to pay for my real band. I guarantee you that I will make a fortune of this cover thing and I also guarantee you that the cover act will be pretty bad.
     
  13. dacookster

    dacookster SS.org Regular

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    How is a cover band any different from a theater group that performs Shakespeare?

    And there's nothing in regards to talent that determines how successful anyone is in this industry.

    The market determines what musicians do.
     
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  14. M3CHK1LLA

    M3CHK1LLA angel sword guardian

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    i think covers are cool for the most part...if done right.

    reminds me of when someone does the star spangled banner at a sporting event...

    ...some can do it justice while others slaughter it. we usually hear about the latter.
     
  15. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    One thought about covers, and popular music in general: We're perceiving such music through the Filter of Time. A old friend on Sonic State talked about it this way:

    Filter of Time Theory predicts that music/art from a particular period will look/sound better than it actually was. That's because the stuff which didn't cut it after that time period doesn't make a comeback.

    The FoTT means that a covers band will have nothing but proven music on its playlist.

    In contrast, an originals band will have music which not only hasn't been through the Filter of Time, but which hasn't even succeeded in its contemporary marketplace.

    How rare is it that one likes every song on an album? It's a pretty rare artist for which I like even half the pieces.

    Yet, many original bands think that their music is at the level of what charted and is now being covered. They're upset at the competition, yet completely miss why a covers band has the gig: they're playing 100% good music as was judged by the marketplace. They might even play less than 100% covers, and slip in a few originals, so they get that exposure and stage time on their own stuff as well.

    I know, it's about the art as opposed to making a living for some, but whenever those accusations of selling out are made, I have to remember the words of Bill Withers: "Regarding selling out, if you see a store saying 'Sold out!'... that's a bad thing? Only a fool thinks the store didn't have what people wanted. Only a fool tries to make a living by selling what people don't want."

    I have to laugh. You can't sell out if no one wants what you're selling.
     
  16. pentecost

    pentecost SS.org Regular

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    i built my musical chops as a classically trained pianist...
    i guess you could say i was a Rachmaninoff cover artist :lol:

    honestly though, i'm impressed when i hear good music whether it's the original artist or not. talent is talent... unless you're trying to cover Sinatra :nono:
     
  17. flavenstein

    flavenstein SS.org Regular

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    This is a good point, and there's an even closer analogy in the classical music world. For instance, I'd be a pretty lucky guy if I could see Marc-André Hamelin premiere one of his own compositions. On the other hand, on any given week with little effort I could find an orchestra playing Beethoven or Mahler.

    Point is, people want to hear what they know and are familiar with. The classical music performance industry would not survive if it limited itself to premiering works by contemporary composers.

    As for all the negative sentiments in this forum about cover bands, I would suspect there is some bias because a lot of the members here are original artists who want their music to be heard (which is a good thing).
     
  18. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    For those who are afraid to discuss their views publicly, and would rather let me know privately: It's a forum. It's for discussion, and everyone (well, the well adjusted at least) aren't expecting others to have the same views.

    Private communications have their place, but really, post your viewpoint. If you're afraid to talk publicly about why your originals band is better than a cover band... that says a lot about your ability to handle your band's promotional efforts. *laugh*
     
  19. Varcolac

    Varcolac Frets? What frets?

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    I have no problem with cover bands. Hell, I played for a year in a jazz big band; asides from the solos it was 100% reading off the lead sheets and doing our best to sound like Glenn bloody Miller. I do open mic blues jams every now and then as well, and that's 100% old songs in an easily-recycled format.

    As for bands that start as cover bands and attempt to grow from there, I've had some bad experiences. One band started as a '60s ska and reggae cover band. It was good music. People enjoyed it, we had fairly huge crowds at our shows, and this despite the fact that the people we were playing to weren't familiar with the material (the youth of today aren't exactly known for their '60s Jamaican vinyl collections). I wanted the band to go somewhere though; I wrote some songs, pretty good songs, I thought. Half of the band were too far inside their comfort zone of playing the same covers every night. Nobody really took up on my writing initiative, and so we played a set of ten covers and one or two originals for months. The band eventually disbanded due to this conflict between the warm fuzzy comfort zone of covers and making the step into the uncharted voids of original material. Ah well. Good times while it lasted.

    I still don't have anything against cover bands; I just have some issues with the transition from covers to originals, and that's entirely due to my own experience.
     
  20. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I would like to add also that how you view this is a matter of age, maturity and understanding of situations. It has to do with your expectations, misconceptions, ambitions and genre of music you play.
    For example if going out for a drink with friend and going to a bar that has live music with no ticket where a band plays cool rock/pop/known songs very very well is something that would be acceptable from most people. In this case it is not "required" by the audience to listen to original pieces. You can play original pieces and "test" them in a way. Going to a concert expecting original songs and listening to covers is not usually accepted by the audience but it is also rather uncommon. I have only witnessed that in very topic events with bands that are just starting out and usually playing metal.
    I agree with Explorer on this and having witnessed how most musicians struggle for a living I would say that I have nothing against cover bands as long as they play the songs well. It is a way to play more frequently live, play fun songs and get some money in your pocket.
    Don't forget that some people are not interested in composing music, they just want to play music and have fun.
     

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