What if somebody in the band is a better frontman?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by charlie chitlin, May 20, 2019.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    My band has been together for about 10 years, but only the sax player and I are original.
    It's my band...I write all the tunes, sing them, book all the gigs, corral all the members for rehearsals, got us a record deal....
    Being out front, I'm pretty much THE BAND.
    So...along comes a new sax player...he hasn't gigged with us yet, but he's a killer singer/frontman...head and shoulders above me.
    He's a little more mainstream...likes to do Tobacco Road and Turn on your Love Light...a little "FM radio" for me, but he KILLS them and he will certainly get the bar crowd going in a way that I can't.
    So...I definitely want this guy to do his thing, but it will be very different from what I do (don't get me wrong...I'm no shoe gazer...I have a good rapport with the audience and plenty of energy...but this guy is a firecracker), so I wonder how it will be onstage.
    Is it like 2 frontmen where one does less, but is better?
    Do I start having him take over for me? I LIKE being out front and I feel like I do my songs the way they're meant to be done; but what if he does them...better?
    I'm not worried about him eclipsing me...he's a great guy and he knows whose band it is...but I think he could take over if I let him.
    I just get the idea people are going to be thinking, "How come THAT gut only did a handful of tunes? He's much better than the other guy."
    Whadda y'all think?
     
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  2. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What will get you more gigs or better money?
     
  3. marshman

    marshman Friend of Leo's

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    Well Charlie, I've seen you play and you aren't exactly asleep, but you are tied to your mic, so don't beat yourself up to bad...I say give him some head, see what develops, maybe things find a natural level.
     
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  4. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    ”What if somebody in the band is a better frontman?”

    Take an afront to it to beat the band
     
  5. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Tough call

    Perhaps have him chart out a few of his preferred strong tunes or pen his own and have him do a few that he likes?

    Pretty sure your fans will stay loyal to you fronting the band the bulk of the time no? Musically would mixing it up with a diff singer hurt the performance?

    Keep your mic on for some harmony input? Might be fun to focus on some real crafty guitarring?
     
  6. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe just let him do a few songs at first, aftererall, if he's a sax player can he be singing too?
     
  7. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    If you bring him on, be prepared to let your guitar do most of the talking. It’s hard to let go, but if you really think it will benefit the band and not detract from the vision you have for it, that’s just what you’ll be faced with.
     
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  8. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Embrace your inner Keef.
     
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  9. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Charlie....

    If it were me....
    If he is 'better' from your perspective?

    Paramount.....I would first determine he sees the potential of your band endeavor, truly desires longevity/duration with your band and it's members, has the personality chemistry and understands your genre preference and performance protocols.
    That requires him proving himself over some amount of time first.

    Turning over the front man duties too soon would be imprudent.
    If the new band dynamics fare well over time (your determination) then you could discuss with him the thoughts that you've expressed here.
    He may be game....or just prefer a lesser front man role....that's an unknown currently.

    Hope it works well for you and the other members.....I hope it's a great fit.

    That's my take just shooting from the hip.

    Carry on....
     
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  10. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's

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    I always seek out musicians, players, singers , performers who are better than me. How else do you get better???
    A great leader still has the title , as you would as “leader”. Front man is a position
     
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  11. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Get better!
     
  12. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    It doesn't necessarily have to be one front guy or the other. You hit your high spots, let him hit hit his. I've been in double front man bands before; when it works it can be magical. Work off of each other and play to your strengths. There's no reason that has to alter any power or leadership structure, it just makes you a better band.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Dual frontmen trading songs, or even verses, or co-singing some verses, is awesome.

    Beatles
    Band
    Sonic Youth
    Old 97s
    Eagles
    Louvin Brothers

    You name it.
     
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  14. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been in a number of bands where I did the writing. Sometimes I fronted it, and one band had an lv/frontman. While all situations worked, I really dug having the lv front the band. Made for more creativity, and an overall better band.

    As jondanger typed above, "Embrace your inner keef"!
     
  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    being selfless and letting talent rule the set of choices for frontman is almost impossible. But, if it is you, it is possible. could duane, dickey AND chuck leavell been okay? how about tom johnston AND mike mcdonald? I think if you look hard in the mirror, say your age out loud... and realize you could DOUBLE the years you are effective if you'd 'play fewer minutes' it makes sense... look at how the warriors space Curry's minutes... that could be you!

    I'd also note that three guys I played in bands with who subsequently moved on... were super busy for a year and I think they lost their audience... people got tired of their thing... it was pretty one dimensional... so, I think shaking it up is a good idea... but, it can pound the ego.
     
  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To be honest I appreciate the break when someone else takes one.
     
  17. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    If it will keep the new guy interested/excited to be in the band, give him a spot in the show--2 or 3 songs, do his own intros, sing lead, etc.
    Let him have the lead for a bit. You will know immediately if he will be cool about giving the lead back to you when his spot is done.
    If he won't give it back, it may be trouble.
     
  18. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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  19. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    Are there now two sax players? How old is this guy? Might it be gratifying for you to be seen as sort of the elder statesman/mentor? If he is older than you or roughly your age I could see that seeming condescending as heck though. Some personalities might resent that power structure, too.

    I really enjoy it when bands can deliver a 1,2 punch with vocalists. Good frontmen are hard to find, but finding 2 of em can be awesome. If you can synergize/negotiate each others styles...that could be really fun and musically effective. Entirely worth the thoughtful approach you’re taking.

    You already know that if you sing more tunes than him a few folks in the crowd will pause for a moment to ponder your respective roles. I still don't think I’d immediately rush out and drastically change the identity of the band you’ve been frontman of for so long. Great musicians flake out, too.

    I like chulaivet1966’s thoughts. Maybe some sort of a casual probation period for the new guy, then phase him in more as you have more data points about team chemistry. Playing gigs together will reveal a lot. Would it be at all helpful to suspend some of those judgement until some point down the road?

    I probably wouldn’t give away the vocals on tunes you wrote, unless you really want to. I say who cares if someone else can do it “better.” That is your creation, don’t feel bad about wanting to keep it for your voice. I’d probably hold on to some of my favorite covers, too.

    Is he writing music? If so that might give you a good opportunity to write something together. See what happens. You will likely learn a lot about him from that, too.
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    My first question is.....what is your objective for the band? Do you want to showcase yourself?....or have the BEST band possible?....or maybe both?
    Another question is.....does it have to be only one or the other? After you guys have practiced and played together, what is the chemistry like BETWEEN the two of you? I firmly believe audiences like to see bands that interact with each other. Yes, you should project a personality to the crowd, but you should also "project" to the other band members. I ALWAYS like to have eye contact with my bandmates, for cuing changes (whether on the fly or not) and sharing "energy"......and audiences pick up on stuff like this and get enthusiastic as a result. Pay attention to what HE does when he does it.
    I say....don't be afraid to share the spotlight. Build on this and bring the entire band up a notch or two. EVERYONE will benefit! ;) .....Hope it works for you!
     
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