Ramblings of a metal vocalist
Heyyyyy guys! It's been a hot minute! I hope you're all doing well and staying safe out there!
I am back today to bring you a blog that i have been absolutely itching to write as i experience it. as you all know, i was a solo artist (but i still work solo on my youtube channel). but, as of late i am happy to announce that i am now in a forming band called:
so as this project has been in development from the ground up, i have been wanting to describe what the experience has been like. giving birth to a project with a team is much different than pursuing the career as a solo act. there has been a lot of work involved. so sit down and enjoy this story in development!
so, the idea of starting a band started up about 4 years ago as i started the long search to join a band or find members to join a band started by me. i sent many auditions out including one to Helion Prime and another for the band feridea. i was not chosen for either band, nor was i chosen for any of the other bands i auditioned for. so i decided that i was going to stop auditioning once and for all and focus on starting my own group. this proved to be pretty hard. i would make posters, put out ads on facebook and craigslist, i created videos to promote the idea of a symphonic/ power metal group, and i even tried for awhile to send out random emails directly to musicians who were looking for a group to join. finally years after waiting for a reply, i got a few who were willing to give me a shot.
out of the replies, i got brad hendry and mark clark. both of them proved themselves to be amazing guitarists and learned my song, point of no return, within days of even saying hello to me. i was in shock! i finally found 2 people willing to create something awesome with me and i was going to make the best of it.
upon meeting for the first time with us 3, brad suggested the name, Sun Lay Silent, which is a line from the inferno from the divine comedy.
"as one who is eager for gain, weeps, and is afflicted in his thoughts, if the moment arrives when he loses, so that creature, without rest, made me like him: and coming at me, little by little, drove me back to where the sun is silent." -Inferno canto i:I-60 The Dark Wood and the Hill."
we all dug the idea, thus the band name was born. :). so we began to work a little bit on getting some already written drafts, learned and on planning our first cover to post on our new youtube channel. brad, however, left the lineup due to personal reasons, which mark and i both understood. he also said he did not mind us keeping the name that he came up with and is still in touch with us and helps when he can. this was a lesson as far as forming concerned. the first thing people need to realize when forming a band is:
1. Sometimes, life can get in the way, when that happens, lineup changes need to change. There also should not be ANY pressure as far as when a band member leaves. ALL members of the band should be able to come and go as they please. BAND MEMBERS ARE PEOPLE. And PEOPLE have lives.
i have always heard stories from other bands that are already popular about drama backstage and whatnot. this was not the case. and i also always say:
2. Leave the drama for your mama. Do not bring your personal problems to the band unless they can affect your being in the lineup or if you are feeling depressed and need a shoulder to lean on. If it is beef with other members, COMMUNICATION IS KEY.
anywhoooo, back to the story!
we continued to write music and also to practice some potential covers. we also put out 2 little rehearsal space videos of just mark and i playing some of the music. we have been putting out audition ads and many people began to express interest.
we have been auditioning people to join, but among the auditions also came some disrespect...
as a part of the process, we ask for videos to be sent over. we also ask for a short bio of the experience of the band member candidate and also what kind of equipment setup they have. why? we want to see the candidate play their instrument and see how they would perform. we also want to know what you have as far as recording equipment and performance gear the candidate has because if we are gonna build a studio to make the music, every person should have the gear needed to record their instrument. and we want to know you as a performer and as a person and what you have done musically. makes sense, right? not to a lot of the people. many potential candidates automatically wrote themselves off of having a chance by not following that simple instruction. then when i would politely ask for a video, a lot of the time they say something rude or they ignore my message.
"why the hell would you need a video? can't you just accept the audio file and let it be?"
"why put in the effort for a video when my soundcloud has all my work?"
"why are you being so demanding?"
so the lesson on this one is simple.
3. IF THE PERSON YOU ARE AUDITIONING IS NOT WILLING TO PUT IN WORK ON THEIR END, THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN YOUR BAND. ALL members of the band should be willing to contribute their part to making the music, rehearsals, and other band related matters. Those auditioning should at least be motivated enough to follow your audition instructions as well. If they aren't, IT MEANS THEY DON'T RESPECT YOUR BAND OR EVEN REALLY CARE ABOUT JOINING. THIS ALSO APPLIES TO BAND MEMBERS. IF A BAND MEMBER IS NOT WILLING TO HELP, THEY DO NOT BELONG IN YOUR BAND.
another thing i'd like to mention about the issue of respect....
ego is a huge issue when it comes to bands. each person is a different personality. and even when you're barely forming or auditioning, you have to be ready to accept that at least one person is gonna have an ego in your group. and not to mention in the process of formation, people are bound to not take you seriously. however, none of my guys have this issue and i don't either. we believe that ego should be left at the door. i would like to mention that as a girl who is fronting a band, i have already been experiencing bullshit from people (mostly men) who are trying to join the project.
what do i mean? welp *big sigh*, i have RECEIVED a couple of eye-rolling/ cringey emails asking about who is in charge. (at the moment, that person is me, but i am only in charge because the current WORK is stuff i wrote on my own that we are writing now as a band. when those pieces finish, we are 100% going to be a team.) when i say it is me at the moment, i immediately get a response of "well, that's about to change." or "you? really?" or "who are you to be in charge?" i'll answer those responses:
1. i don't think so.
2. yes, really.
3. i'm the bitch who started this project and i respect this project too much to have it be overtaken by an egotistical weenie waver.
not to sound big headed myself, but if you are coming into an already started project saying you're gonna lead it, then you're a jerk. that is not the way to join a band. it is like walking up to the smart person in the room during the last 10 minutes of a test and being like "ok, man. i'll take it from here." not only does that affect the results of the test, it just makes you look like an asshat. same with a band. going in with that "i'll take it from here" mentality will get you THE BOOT!
so enough about the rude people in the audition process. there is a little more about this story!
during the whole process of looking for members, we determined that the hardest members to find in the lineup would be the keyboardist, the bassist, and the drummer. as of the moment, i have been the keyboardist for the band, but i really would like to just contribute vocals. we set our priorities in looking in that direction first since they'd be the hardest. a lot of the people who showed interest were far away, though. pretty worrisome... but after a while of prodding, we finally found a bassist right under our noses. :) (we are going to be announcing him pretty soon, so keep an eye out for the details in my instagram!)
the band is going thru a lot already in its infant stages, but we are going forward with the following lessons in mind:
1. life happens. it is a process. and band members are humans.
2. being in a drama free band is the way to go. but communication is also the key to making things work.
3. respect is everything. negativity from any member or potential members shouldn't be allowed. and all members should respect each other.
4. being in a band is a lot of work. so if someone starts to slack, get em motivated, or tell them to leave.
The Story Shall Continue soon! Thanks for your patience!!! KEEP IT METAL!!!
ArwenStarsong is a singer, songwriter, lyricist, Youtuber, and multi- instrumentalist from Fresno, California. She is an enthusiast of the metal genre, and a lover of poetry, art, and writing. She also livestreams video games for fun sometimes. She is an artist of the Symphonic/ Power metal genre that is beginning to bud in the community. She recently helped found a new Symphonic Power Metal band called Sun Lay Silent.