No Requests

Five reasons EDM shows are better than rock concerts.

But since you decided to give musicians advice on how to improve themselves, I have a few suggestions for you as well.

Upgrade your crappy sound and light gear...or buy some if you don't have any: Nothing is more irritating than showing up at a bar and finding out our "stage" is a corner where we have to move tables and set up underneath a flatscreen TV that stays on during the entire set.

No sound gear. No lights. Good luck. Ought to be loads of fun putting on a show and "entertaining" people while selling your drinks in a dark-ass corner with no way to control the sound whatsoever.

OG Bobby Trill (right) after winning the recent Red Bull Thr3Style Houston qualifier.
Marco Torres
OG Bobby Trill (right) after winning the recent Red Bull Thr3Style Houston qualifier.

Don't expect me to be some ham-handed used-car salesman up there to push your watered-down "premium" drinks: I will gladly tell people to get their drink on, but I'm not running an infomercial. Demanding that I stand onstage like David Lee Roth circa 1980 crowing about the magical properties of whatever high-dollar cocktail you have to offer is only going to make me less inclined to do it.

You paid me to entertain people, not sell your booze. I know you think it's the same thing. It isn't.

If my band sucks, don't hire us, but don't pretend to be an expert on music: I once had a guy come up to me in between sets at a happy-hour acoustic gig and tell me that we should really play "Margaritaville" because it's "peppy." You stick to drink specials and promoting your business, and let me stick to doing what I do best.

If you think I suck, you are free never to hire me again (or not hire me in the first place), but as John Winger told Sgt. Hulka in Stripes, "If you don't want me in your army, kick me out, but get off my back."

Pay me better: Let's get to the crux of it, shall we? When I started playing in the '80s as a teen, the going rate for a gig was $50-$150 per band member depending on the size of the gig, the venue, the patrons, etc. Care to take a guess what it is today?

If you guess $50-$150 per band member, you would understand my pain. That was 30 years ago, and the pay has not changed. You expect miracles for pocket change. Don't be surprised when you get exactly what you pay for.

Failing better pay, don't try to stiff me at 3a.m: Years ago, I was doing a gig with a popular local band who absolutely packed the venue we were playing. The deal was we either got paid $500 or 80 percent of the door, whichever was more. We easily brought in 200 people at $10 per person, which by my math is more than $500.

Yet when our singer went to collect the money, the bar owner tried to tell us we didn't make more than $500 at the door. After a few verbal threats were exchanged and the cash register was yanked off the bar, the bar owner wisely paid us our money. Be smart and, more importantly, don't be a crook.

Old People

The Pilgrim's Next Chapter
Kris Kristofferson says he's Feeling Mortal.

Creg Lovett

Rocks Off spoke to Kris Kristofferson by phone recently from his home in Hawaii, where he describes living a life as spare and literal as the records he makes with producer Don Was, such as the brand-new Feeling Mortal. Twice he told us that he's old, once he told us that he's brain-damaged and then he told us that his favorite place on Earth is in Texas.

Rocks Off: I've been listening to your new record all week.

Kris Kristofferson: That's more than I've listened to it.

RO: In the first couple of lines of the first song, "Feeling Mortal," you say something about having a shaky self-esteem. Is that possible? Do you really have a shaky self-esteem?

KK: No. I don't think I do. I think everybody does when they're honest. You know? But I would certainly not think that I was too shaky because I've had so much reinforcement over the years with people liking whatever I'm doing.

But listen, when you get old, you're not as good at everything as you were, and I think most people are probably more critical of themselves than other people are, anyway.

RO: I can really relate to the song "Bread for the Body" because I've got a day job and a mortgage and I do feel like I'm on a treadmill sometimes. Do you?

KK: Well, I'll tell you. I have not felt like I was on that treadmill since I decided to go follow my heart and be a songwriter in Nashville, and got out of the military and all of that other stuff that I was prepared for. And I've felt free ever since.

RO: The record shows a lot of the beauty of life, but there's still a melancholy to it. Do the beautiful things in life make you feel sadness?

KK: I think it all comes together. I think life is a beautiful thing, and yet there's sadness in every life. One of the sadnesses is that you know it's going to end. And I think it's God's blessing that keeps us from thinking about that constantly.

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After reading through this article, I am more convinced that "EDM" has absolutely gone down the toilet.  First of all, I absolutely hate that abbreviation.  You are part of the problem.  This article doesn't offer a shred of knowledge or evidence, yet somehow it got published.  Basically, your editor told you to "write an article about EDM so we can get some page views."  You've only been following the scene for a year and somehow you believe that you have the right to write about something you barely have scratched the surface on.  I would urge you to attend something outside the festival scene, whatever is at Stereo Live, or a dayglow.  If somehow you ever get the chance to write another article, and I sincerely hope you don't, please add some substance to the article and teach people about the scene.  What you have written offers nothing.  As a writer, you should push yourself to do better.  This is trash.

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