Frustration

As you may know, I’m in a band called Tamakaze. We’ve been together for about 2 years now and playing the odd gig around about. We’ve played in various towns and cities around the Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire area, and a couple of gig in Newport.

We generally try to achieve something a little bit different in what we do and, as far as I can tell, it’s not that easy to ‘pigeonhole’ us as being of a particular style. Sometimes this takes a lot of effort, and there are loads of ideas we’ve gone through and decided that they don’t really work so they get abandoned.

I know that there are probably loads of people out there that unfortunately don’t like what we do; we’re never going to please everyone but we hope that some people genuinely like the music we produce or at least appreciate what we’re trying to do.

Over the last couple of years we’ve generally found it not exactly easy to get gigs. As we play original music rather than covers that rules out quite a lot of places and, as I mentioned above, there are probably some people who just don’t like what we do!

Speaking personally though, and not on behalf of my bandmates, what really frustrates me is that I see and hear comments about how brilliant some other bands are, or particular songs they’ve done that have been played on the radio, and keep hearing about the gigs they’re getting.

To my ears though many of these bands are just trotting out the same old musical styles that have been done to death over the last 40 years or so, namely classic and prog rock.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that way; some time ago we had a comment after one of our gigs. We’d played at the same show with two other bands, one classic rock, and one heavy metal. The person who said it shall remain nameless obviously, but the gist of it was that he said we were the only band who played that night that was doing anything different whereas he couldn’t really see any difference between the other two bands and the hundreds of others in the area doing the same sort of thing. That one comment has really had an impact on me and it’s the thought that there are others out there who think the same thing that really helps to keep me motivated.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think for a minute that I was criticising anyone’s musicianship; some of these guys have superb musical skills and really know what they’re doing on their instruments but I am, of course, jealous of the success they’re having at getting gigs.

‘Original’ though can be defined as “new; fresh; inventive; novel”. I believe we’re an originals band – at least we try to be.

2 thoughts on “Frustration

  1. John, as someone who has been round the block a few times i have to say you personally should reassess why you are doing it. Be honest with yourself. Set realistic targets and then try and achieve them. If you want bigger gigs and you have to play covers to do it then the choice is simple. If you want to play originals to 5000 people then you are going to have to “press the flesh” and create a buzz. Meaning investing a bugger load of time. Working full time is a huge disadvantage to being a successful musician.
    We supported Del Amitri, Dodgy (remember them?), toured with Crowded House, did some shows with World Party, TV like The Funny Farm and The James Whale Show….and all while we were all working in the real world….and it was bloody impossible. In the end we made an album and split. We were knackered.
    Point is we wanted to be famous and do it full time… while working in normal jobs Reality is tough. I wish I had just settled for playing good music with my mates. In the end we were worn out by each other.
    How far do you want to compromise? Bigger gigs but a couple of your own songs hidden in a set of covers?
    I am trying to help out with some experiences and I don’t want to say I know it all. I know how unfair it is and I am sorry you feel so frustrated. It comes down to why you do it.

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