Wednesday, September 2, 2015

All Things Being Equal

When it comes to the hiring process, friends tend to hire friends, so the saying goes. And when all things are not equal? Well, friends will still prefer to hire friends.

It's happened to me in both directions. I've lost out when a friend of the band members became available. I've also landed gigs because the guys preferred my company to that of the other contender.

This is not peculiar to the music business. During the recruiting process, all businesses are looking for someone with the necessary skills and talent. Once they have a short list of possibles, the next step is to see which candidate will be a good fit with the corporate culture and its values.

Bands too have a culture. Imagine being on a lengthy road trip with people you have nothing in common with, or people you don't like, or people who don't like you! A musical group can be a more stressful and demanding environment than an office. On the road, you're living together. Watch any ‘reality’ show to see what happens when disparate personalities are thrown that close together for any length of time.

I recently had the honour of seeing an impromptu reunion of my brother’s very successful teen rock band of the ‘60s. The three old-timers were thrilled to get together after so many years apart. They were equally thrilled to play. The guitar player summed it up simply: "We were friends". And they remain friends, even though they came through some very tough times as a band. Yes, there were heated debates and plenty of tantrums, but the bottom line is that they were a good mix of personalities, and as dedicated to each other as they were to the music and the job. It’s even possible that the rigours of the road helped make the friendships stronger. It certainly can go either way.

So keep in mind that, in addition to playing, a large part of your job is to get along with your band mates ... and they with you!

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