Dear Hunter: Episode 17 — Changes

Dear HunterDear Hunter

Dear Hunter

2014 — here we are. It’s been a little over a year since the world ended (according to the Mayan calendar) and I must say the afterlife is pretty… disappointing. Same shit, different equiniox.

Actually, I just found out that the 2012 solstice more than likely ushered in the Age of Aquarius, but enough about Astrotheology and provable science. I find faith to be the preferred method when trying to figure something complex out.

This is going to be a busy first quarter for me and my band Chimaira. We head to Mexico next week, then a full US tour followed by a full European run. These types of back to back scenarios are never pleasant if you’re a homebody. Luckily, we all seem to get on well as so this run should be a blast.

This is my third trip to Mexico. The fans there are always insane. One of favorite Chimaira shows in our fifteen year career was the first time we played Mexico. I was in awe as I heard an audience sing our riffs! Manic crowds. The only bummer is they frown on leaving the hotel. “Don’t want to get killed” they say. Pleasant. Tranquil are words that come to mind.

Anyway, I’ve decided that in 2014 I will actually use the title of this column, Dear Hunter, as a means for advice. Kind of like Dear Abby, but with testosterone, sarcasm, and more sarcasm. I reached out to my audience for inspiration.

Dear Hunter,
How do I get my band signed?
– Jeff, MA

Hey Jeff. My first question is, why? Are you prepared for what’s to come if you are? There are a ton of benefits to being signed, don’t get me wrong. I’m still working with a label. But before heading down this path, are you 100-percent ready for the life that is to follow? What happens if the band breaks up in the studio and you’ve spent a good chunk of the labels money already? How about being told to get rid of a band member by a label? Touring for years on end while friends and family either move on or die. Starving and discomfort are just a few of the feelings you’ll experience.

Anyway, to answer your question…it used to be “don’t suck.” Then it was how many likes you had on Facebook or YouTube views. Now, it’s a must that you’re initiated during a Satanic ritual at Bohemian Grove. You can also “know someone.” Labels search the web for ‘talent’ but that doesn’t mean they have good taste. Build a strong scene and undeniable presence in your community. Someone will notice.
 

Dear Hunter,
What are royalties?
– Alex, KS

Hey Alex. I don’t know.
 

Dear Hunter,
What’s the scariest place to tour?
– Naomi, U.K.

Hi Naomi. Definitely the U.K. Have you watched the movie “28 Days Later?” That’s what it’s like there after 4 PM. Businesses gate off the doors and windows while pubs spew out droves of wasted, football hooligan zombies ready to fight because their favorite team lost a game once. Infantile? Not in the slightest if you ask me. Seriously, I’d rather hang in Detroit.
 

Dear Hunter,
Who was the worst band to tour with?
– James, TX

Hey James. If I answer this honestly, I might make a few enemies. Considering my perfect track record is in jeopardy, I’ll plead the fifth here. I’ll also mention that this really wouldn’t fall under the category of advice. I’ll give you a hint though…it was 2002.
 

Dear Hunter,
How do I keep my band together?
– Phil, PA

Hey Phil. I’m certainly the expert here. First things first. Communication. If that doesn’t work, bribery and or blackmail.
 

Dear Hunter,
Is a college education required to be a professional musician?
– Debbie, NY

Hi Debbie. YES! I can’t stress this enough. You’d be surprised how many venues want to see your school records before allowing you to play their establishment. Had I not been top of my culinary class, I never would have been able to figure out Rick’s Law Of Trailer Loading Probability.
 
Hope that helps.
 
Till next month! Submit questions to: [email protected]

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