You like metal. And you like nu. Why not try nu-metal?
Everyone likes stuff when it's shiny and nu. Here are the most important things you need to be in a nu-metal (or mallcore) band:
- Ditch your principles. You have to want to sell out, before you even make any music. So your ethics - your dreams and hopes of credibilty - please leave them at reception, thank you.
- OK, welcome to the big rock hotel. The first thing you will need are some really trendy clothes (kind of like raver clothes, only warmer). Most really cool people will want to wear shorts (especially if it's winter, that's the coolest time) and a nice red cap. Oh, and buy a chain - this is a security measure to make sure nobody steals your oversize pants. Without them you will fail.
- Did you bring some friends? You did? Good. Make sure you have:
- A drummer with an unfeasably large drum kit. And try to make sure he has some sticks too, he'll be needing those.
- A girl to play bass. If you don't have a girl (this is quite likely, given your aspirations), try to find a guy with a goatie beard who looks suspiciously like your drummer's slightly fatter younger brother. Yeah, he'll do nicely.
- A genuinely good guitarist. With a bit of luck, they'll be fit enough to play fast too. Maybe try for a punk guitarist, but then you'll have to buy him a meatier guitar and a massive amplifier. We want you to sound loud, but we don't want any top end to the sound, because we'll leave that to:
- A DJ, or a keyboard player. Preferably someone that can do both, and also knows how to work a sampler. They're going to bring all their cool DJ friends along to your gigs too, so make sure they're good. You're going to want some samples of old films and stuff in the mix too, everyone's doing it these days.
- A singer. If it's you, make sure you can scream, yell, bark, bite, whistle, hum, bellow and rap. Don't worry if you can't rap, it's OK because you also need:
- A rapper. Your DJ will start to feel lonely without a kickin' MC to complement him. It's a ying yang thing, they'll get over it.
- Now you're going to need some songs. You can start with a cover of an eighties song. Try to pick one with a meaning. What song was at number one when you were born? That would be a good start. Now pick another cover, but this time make sure none of those pesky punk bands have covered it first.
- Finally you need to write some of your own songs. If you've had an easy life, get someone else to write your songs - you just don't have the background. Try and get some lyrics lifted from old skool hip-hop in there (you may have to go back to before you were born for this). Any reference to self mutilation is good.
- Which brings me neatly to tattoos. You're all going to want lots of these. Henna won't do. You also need to get pierced. Try and have a ratio of 2 piercings for every visible tattoo. Make sure your tattoos have a good meaning. We'll need that for the book when you're famous.
- Now that you have your band and your look, you're going to want to get spotted and find a manager. Don't go recording anything until you've done a photo shoot though. Your songs are worth nothing until people know what you look like. This is where your girl bassist comes in... what? You had to go with the tubby-beardy-bloke? Time to grow dreadlocks. All of you. I mean it.
- Nearly there now. You need a name though. Remember, most of the garage bands which never made it to the garage will have better names than the chart bands, so don't worry. Just avoid gratuitous umlauts, and make sure it looks good written in spray paint.
- Finally, you're going to need some famous friends, and some hangers on from college (remember that freaky looking kid in English class? Meet your new roadie.) And you also need to know some graffiti artists to decorate your bus. And you also need a big shiny tour bus.
Right. If that info doesn't get you where you want to be, maybe you should try europop instead. For that no-one need know what you look like, and your DJ will come in quite useful for promotion.
Good luck, and remember: it can't be too loud, you can't be too cool looking, your drummer's kit can never be big enough, and if your DJ isn't famous before you start - he'd better be good because your band is relying on him.
This How To was brought to you by the letter G, the SI unit Henry, and a slightly tubby, marginally beardy bassist with a brother who drums. Thanks for listening.
There's more of the same, for those interested in this kind of thing, at http://www.entertainment.inuk.com/music/numetalguide.html. Please note that this was written entirely independently of that page.