Savage Roads

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Importance of Being a Frontman

The potent and divine art of being a frontman appears to be a dying trade. Long gone are the days of the likes of Jarvis Cocker gyrating gracefully on stage assuring that not one person could focus their eyes elsewhere. The depreciated value of being a frontman is clear to see in the hundreds of unsigned bands playing shy and reserved sets in little sheds across the country. The bands that are picked up by record labels are the ones that have a cult following, which can only be picked up by grabbing the audience by the throat, and letting them know they've been to a gig.

With a coy act, it is easy for the audience to lose focus and end up talking between themselves or slip off for another drink. Too many bands just lately are playing these kind of sets, with little passion and little audience participation, a simple walk on stage, play eight songs, walk off, barely projecting their voice enough to be heard over the crashing of their guitars.

However, a showing of passion and appreciation of the audience rather than a vocal declaration. Diving in the crowd, throwing yourself around the stage getting all sweaty and out of breath is appreciated much more than a 'thank you,' at the close of the set. Demanding an audience's attention and commanding them around makes sure they have their eyes on you and are very aware of the set you're playing.

Stage presence and band dynamics are so important for unsigned acts. An act that looks like a group of friends enjoying themselves is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than one that look like a group of individuals, doing their bit. A love for music is needed to succeed in the music business as well as a belief in your music. The confidence this breeds allows an artist to take control of an audience and force a good gig upon them.

In short, there are two ways you can play a gig: completely independent of the crowd, or as the crowd being feeling an extension of the band. They can get a sense of pride and belonging to the band and help plug them, attract bigger audiences and eventually get a record deal.

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