You may not know it, but there’s a cultural context that forms the way all bands perform. The community determines everything from how you and your bandmates communicate with each other to the method in which you make tough decisions. You may think about culture as an unwritten social consensus that informs musicians in bands what activities are all right and which are not. It’s not easy, but if you don’t like the existing culture that exists in your band, there are things you can do to change it from within.
Recognize how the band affects society
After musicians have spent years together in recording studios, green rooms, and buses, their habits of behaviour can sound so normal and set in stone that they’re hard to remember, let alone alter. But to change the way your band performs, the first step is to do a hard job of recognising the culture that already persists. You’ll need to raise difficult questions about how you and your bandmates handle each other, who does what and why, and how one of you has slipped into those behavioural trends over the years.
It’s important to keep everyone on the same page through this period and to be prepared to potentially learn some ugly truths about your band and yourself.
Define the culture that your band needs to adopt.
When you and your bandmates look at the ethos that drives your band, you will make a move to nailing down what a better one feels like to you. For certain bands, it’s a matter of trying to be kinder and more polite with each other. Others can describe a healthy and constructive culture as one that enables each performer to have a fair say when it comes to artistic and business decisions. Speak about who your band is, what your ambitions are, and how society will motivate you to succeed. When you think of the modern society that you want to adopt, bear in mind the behavioural trends that you want to leave behind, if it’s a persistent disagreement, certain voices in the band not being heard, or other issues.
Put it in action
To make a positive difference, you’re going to have to do more than just dream about starting new when it comes to your band’s culture. This is just like when you are going to start a new brand then you first need to work on a proper website for your brand promotion.
When you and your bandmates are on the same page to bring new attitudes and aspirations into the way you work, you need to continue developing ways to prevent bad old habits and promote new constructive ones. Doing this seems a bit different for everyone, but shifting the culture of your band positively means making you and your bandmates responsible. The more you make music together, the tougher this task will be, so it’s worth it.
To keep it polite and constructive, try voicing your thoughts and questions about the actions of your bandmates at a band meeting and not in a reactionary manner. If someone in your band calls you out to do something that goes against the philosophy you’ve chosen to follow, do your hardest to be polite, willing, and to embrace what they have to say. If you’ve been with the same band for years, that’s presumably because you and your bandmates are profoundly socially and emotionally linked, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take a job to be active and stable for the long term.
Modifying the culture of your band requires modesty, sacrifice, and relentless upkeep, but what you’re giving yourself for is a healthy way to work together for the long term. Chances are there have been days when the band didn’t want to perform, so you did so anyway because you realised it would make you happier and more trained. The hard work of reforming the culture of your band is identical in that it’s not easy to do, but it’s important.