Run for Cover?

June 5, 2008

Dear Dude,

I play drums and am into fast hardcore/metal music like Darkest Hour, Dillinger Escape Plan, Devil Driver, Unearth, etc. l I have been jamming with these dudes recently and they are more interested in covering songs and doing just covers where as I’m more interested in making my own music and possibly playing shows. What advice would you give to me? Should I spend time working on these covers or should I find some dudes to play my own music with?


Run for Cover?

Dear Run for Cover,

First things first, I learned how to play guitar by learning others peoples songs. Learning riffs, solos, techniques, all made me, and continue to make me, a better guitar player, songwriter, and musician. However, too much imitation can lead to creative stagnation. Sounds catchy, I know, but you get the point. You have to learn to balance imitating & creating.

There is not one true path to either stardom or creative satisfaction. Shit, I know numerous musicians that play in cover bands who make more money, have steadier work, and play to bigger audiences then us touring types. And sometimes it’s a path to success; just look at Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrel, and Randy Rhodes for example. All shredders who started playing in full time cover bands.

All that aside, my honest advice is to find some other dudes you can make your own music with and don’t look back. The thing is, you’re probably not going to be able to make a living (or even get a gig) playing covers of Dillinger Escape Plan, Devil Driver, or Unearth. If you truly love metal, punk, and hardcore then you have to reach out and start expressing yourself in the genre. Sure, you can still jam with your dudes who want to play covers, as I said, it’s a great learning tool, but I wouldn’t have it be your only outlet. What it comes down to is it’s always better to try and be yourself then a pretty good copy of someone else.

The Dude