When you think of most bands that first person that will come to mind is the lead singer or front person. It’s not because they are the best musician in the band, but because that is literally the person who is out in front and making the most commotion. The lead singer commands the stage whether that is the band’s intention or not. People are drawn to watch every lyric pour from their lips. I always thought that being the lead of a band would be the coolest thing, until I realized as our success is growing, how much I wish I was still just the drummer of a band.
Everyone turns to you for what to do next, what songs to practice, where are the new songs, how come we didn’t sell out, why aren’t we playing bigger shows… the list goes on. Venues that you are in tight with won’t fault your band if you have an off night with ticket sales, it will all fall back on your shoulders. Your reputation will always land on you. Everything that you do will always have an impact on your band. You have to watch every move you make and make sure that is the right move to please everyone else, even if you are left in the shadows. Sometimes the leader is actually the one that is left behind.
You agree to play shows that maybe you don’t want to because let’s face it, without the singer, the band can’t play a show. You take the heat from all angles. Your management team has separate meetings with you to remind you of how YOU should look and how YOU should be a better leader. I never thought of myself as fat. I was always average or a little under weight, but when your manager tells you that you need to drop some weight, you do it.
Your band slowly beings to recent you. People don’t always want a full band on the cover of a magazine, especially if it has to do with a little sex appeal. If you do end up getting more attention from the media, the rest of your band is silently pissed at you with half ass congratulations….”But, I thought we are a band.” As if you specifically told the people that wrote the article on you to pay more attention to you than the rest of the group…
So you are left to play a part that maybe you are not comfortable playing. You are supposed to dress in a way, that maybe isn’t truly your way of dressing, but all eyes are on you. So as a female, smaller waist and less clothes. Just a little more make up, but not enough to look like a porn star. There is no messing up for you. There are no bad days. Your off days will be an off day for the entire band.
So the next time you look at the lead singer or the front person of the band, it’s not as wonderful and amazing as you think. They are probably in more turmoil than you could imagine, because it’s rarely ever about them. They are usually last on the list, but hey, isn’t that what makes a great leader. Someone who can direct, but still put the needs of others before them? People are in love with you and they don’t even know. People love you as much as they hate you.
Some days, I wish I never played an instrument at all even though in my heart I know I could never live with out it.