In the last month or so, the search for band members has been brought up in some conversations I've had. Kyle's new band Sound on Sound is looking for a bass player and Ryan is looking to start a new band. In talking with both of them, amusing/odd stories about the responses to "[musician] wanted" ads were brought up. If you've played in a band or wanted to start one, chances are good you have some funny/frustrating stories. Here are a few of mine in recent memory.
Four years ago, the 11:30s were down a bassist and a guitarist. Our fill-in bassist couldn't play with us anymore due to scheduling and our second guitarist moved back to San Antonio. Thinking I could keep the band alive as a trio, I posted a flyer up at Good Records for a bassist. I got a couple of legit responses, but both of the guys didn't return phone calls or e-mails after showing initial interest. (Come on, is it that tough to say you're not interested? I don't do subtle.)
One night I got a call from this rather spunky teenage girl asking if we needed a piano player. She saw the flyer, said she didn't play bass but was offering to play piano/keyboard for us if we supplied the keyboard. I didn't return her phone calls not because I was scared of saying no to her; I just didn't know what the hell to think or say. Though Dave and I never officially broke up the band, the 11:30s just dissolved a short time later.
Not so long after being let go from Voigt, I wanted to start a new band from the ground up. I posted an ad on a website for Dallas-based musicians and waited to see what kinds of responses I would get. My ad was very specific about the kinds of bands I liked and wanted to play music in the style of (the Jam, the Posies, Ride and Braid were just some of them). Most of the responses I got made me wonder if these people even read the kinds of bands I listed. One band was a cover band who played 3 Doors Down, Matchbox Twenty, CCR and Lynyrd Skynyrd covers. Another response was, "Hey, those bands you listed are cool. We're like Radiohead meets the Deftones." Um, not all rock music is the same. I didn't respond to any of these.
A few weeks later, I got a message from my old 11:30s bandmate Goose. He told me he found my new band. He said there was this guy in Dallas named Jason who played in Ashburne Glen. Three years later, I'm still in the band and very happy. But I'll never forget all those false starts and funny responses.