The music business can be a fickle beast. Many bands are lucky to make it through their first tour, with most breaking up long before that. So what is the secret to a long and prosperous career in a heavy band? We asked a few aging Doom Metal musicians to see what they attribute their success to.
As you get older, your hands move slower and your memory gets worse, so why fight it? If anything, the Doom crowd might love it more than ever. Play slower. Instead of playing 10 songs in a set, play three and stretch them out as long as possible. Instead of playing a mid-tempo heavy hitter with multiple parts to a song, play the same riff over and over for nine minutes. You’ll look like a genius, but little do they know you just didn’t want to remember more than one riff.
If there’s one thing Doom Metal fans enjoy more than playing slow, it’s playing loud. And, let’s face it, you can barely hear that shit at this point anyway. Turn it up louder. You’ll finally be able to hear yourself and the music you’re playing, and the fans will think you are the heaviest band out right now.
Take More Naps
Now that you’ve slowed things down and turned things up, you should have some extra time in between riffs to re-energize. Sleep is very important for longevity, and it improves your mood, your memory, and your overall physical health. After you play the opening riff, take a quick nap before that second riff. Your body—and your bandmates—will thank you. Just be sure to wake up before you turn into a Drone Metal band!
Adjust Your Drug Use
Let’s be honest, no matter how hard you try, you can’t party like you used to… and it only gets more difficult. Stop trying to party like Mötley Crüe, and manage your alcohol and drug use. No more hangovers, no more drunken fighting, and you’ll maximize your energy and health. Instead of cocaine and Jägerbombs, try some weed and a Viagra. You’ll feel better and you’ll still be able to please the hundreds and hundreds of groupies trying to hang backstage.
Write About What You Know
Many aging bands lose perspective on what once made their band great. Maybe they wrote about their frustration with the world, trying to get laid, and partying, but as they age, these subjects seem forced. Write about what you know. Take the verse below for example:
These bones, they break and crack
Agony, runs through my back
I try to see, but all is black
So much pain, no going back
This seems like a dark and heavy verse from a classic Doom Metal song, right? Not quite. It’s actually about getting old and your body hurting constantly… Write about what you know.
Explore New Hobbies Together
Touring as a band can be tough. You spend lots of time together in very small spaces, and you might be malnourished, dehydrated, hungover, tired, and grumpy. You need to find some new hobbies together aside from drugs and alcohol. You might want to try something a little less taxing on the body, such as knitting, pinochle, bird watching, or sacrificing a young animal.
There you have it: all the secrets to a long and prosperous career in your Doom Metal band. As Doom Metal enthusiast Walt Disney once said, “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” What are some of your tips for growing older in the Doom Metal scene?