Does your band have a fixer?
Whether you know it or not, yes, every band has a fixer. If you don’t have a fixer, your band will probably not survive for very long. How do I know this?
For my band, I’m the fixer. I’m not talking about the dodgy dude the band calls when they need their weekly wheelbarrow of cocaine, but if that guy’s around as well he’s welcome to stick around for this story.
Becoming a fixer is not a role that you choose, to be honest. You roll into it because you have no choice. It’s a nagging feeling that doesn’t go away until you start fixing things.
What, exactly, am I fixing? Every. Fucking. Thing.
As soon as your band starts to write and finish songs, a nagging voice will start to burrow its way into your head. What are we going to do? Should we start communicating on social media? Are we going to record a demo? How are we going to afford all of this? Maybe start booking some shows? Do we have a way of getting to gigs? We should set a rehearsal schedule, right guys?
Now, if you’re in a band and are now thinking to yourself, “hm, I never really thought about all of that”, you are not the fixer.
Realizing the facts
It usually starts out pretty simple, setting up the bands first social media accounts and inviting your friends and family to come like it. Your band members will applaud you for it, of course, but they won’t contribute. You’ve pegged yourself in a hole now, my friend.
You see, as a fixer, you’re expected to do it all. Not because your bandmates tell you to but because you’re the only man for the job. If you’re not going to do it, who is?
Soon you’ll notice that nothing gets done if you don’t do it. Absolutely fucking nothing. Yeah sure, everybody will show up at rehearsal, if you’re lucky, you’ll still be playing music. But getting a gig? Phew, no way man. Even though your bass player is in another successful band, playing shows all over the country, he’s absolutely flummoxed when you approach him for booking contacts. He’s not the fixer, you are.
Getting it done
You plow on through, get on the internet, contact your network, send out mail after mail to dive bar after shitty dive bar and then it happens. Your first show gets booked.
Obviously you’re not getting payed but it’s a first gig. That you now realize you can’t get to, because you have no van.
You make arrangements to borrow your mom’s Fiat Panda and cram all the gear in, look up train and bus times for the remaining band members that inevitably can’t fit in the car and head off to your show. Obviously you’ve talked to the other bands and checked that you can use their speaker cabinets and possibly drum kit, bringing your own amps, guitars, effects, cymbals, snare, snare stand, kick pedal and seat. Because you’re not a dick expecting this stuff to be available to you, mighty rock gods, at your first gig.
Also, because you can’t fit jack shit in a Fiat fucking Panda.
Now up until now, you might have noticed that your buddies haven’t really done anything yet. But shit is getting serious. That gig was spectacular and you have a very short window of time to get more shows on merit. More work!
Acceptance, plain and simple
Let me be frank here, you, the fixer, are probably the only one in the band with a job that allows you some spare cash. Why? Because you’re a responsible human being that gets to places on time and finishes tasks and projects that you take on.
Why is this important? Because you’ll be putting most of that “spare cash” …
(read: cash you are not using to purchase items or services that will support your physical and mental well-being such as sustenance and lodgings)
… into the band.
And yeah, of course, you’ll be getting in some paying gigs after a while, catching 50 to 100 bucks now and again. Money that you won’t use on anything as frivolous as gas, insurance or Jezus be my fucking savior, food.
But that’s ok. You’re committed to this, you know this is the way it’s going to be and you accept that in all of its glory.