Screwing up isn't for everyone, especially all the patient and determined musicians out there. If you're one of those stubborn bastards, then this article is not for you.
There are several things to keep in mind if you want to screw up your band.
1. Play concerts. Immediately.
The number one thing you should do, long before you ever learn to master an instrument, is to start playing concerts.
The following guidelines apply:
2. Always - always - play what others think you should play.
Especially the songs that make you feel like a sad clown with no hopes for the future.
Listen to your mother when she says you should have chosen the piccolo flute instead of the electric guitar.
3. Understand that rehearsals are inconsequential.
If you are truly serious about screwing up your band, it is essential to do drugs and drink beer rather than rehearse. You're the king, man. Should you for some reason consider going to a rehearsal, and you are neither stoned nor drunk, you must immediately proceed to plan B: Visit grandma.
The above is even more important if the room is already paid for.
4. Be late.
Everybody loves to wait for a screw-up. But you already knew this, didn't you?
5. Invest in your image.
You are not truly on the path to screwdom until you've created a sophisticated financial expense sheet where you keep track of what you've spent on hair gel and flashy clothing. Heaven forfend that you accidentally blow that money on inspirational CDs.
6. Call yourself an artist at all times.
That really sounds special, almost as if you're the only one.
7. Fraternize only with other screw-ups.
This last point is crucial.
Don't bother to answer any emails from that awesome drummer who volunteered as a band member. Plenty of more where that came from. Besides, with him on board, you risk sabotaging your true calling as a screw-up.
It is imperative that you find the person you trust the least, preferably your worst enemy. Ask him to produce an album for you. Make sure that he never picks up the phone or shows up as agreed.
Actually, you should generally avoid agreeing on anything.
If you accidentally bump into good people in the music industry it's vital to:
Follow all the recommended steps in this article and you'll achieve your goal, which is to be able to say to your grandchildren, "So, you want to play the guitar, eh? When I was young, I practiced ten hours per day. I was a real go-getter."
You do not - under any circumstances - want to retire rich and famous.
Sander Owen joined his first band at the age of five, was playing weekly at local clubs by the time he was sixteen, and he started landing lucrative tours and gigs about a year later.
Although he is a drummer by profession, he has also done his share of composing for documentaries, television shows, and commercials, and has spent countless hours in studios both as a performer and a technician.
Sander now lives in Los Angeles where he plays with the Hollywood based band, The Gravity Guild.
Send comments or questions to: