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Old 03-06-2006, 04:13 PM   #1
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Starting Up a Band

I'm trying to start up a U2 tribute band and I need some help with the technical equipment and other tips on starting a band. Any information would be helpful and I would really appreciate it.
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:59 PM   #2
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Forget equipment, first comes finding the right people. That is the hardest job. While a coverband can get away with not nailing U2's music right, a tribute band needs to be spot on. Getting Edge;s sound right means lots of expensive gear.
You don't want to be the one left with all the bills because one or more of you decide this isn't his or her cup of tea after all.
So better not settle for people who aren't as enthusiastic as you are or who are looking for something on the side lines just because you want to get out playing. This may take a while. Get to know your canidates. Check out their CD collections. Interview them well. Probe their motivations. Your building a home here and its foundations need to be rock solid before you can start building the rest.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:57 PM   #3
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What's the difference between a cover band and a tribute band?
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Old 03-09-2006, 04:59 PM   #4
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I short, the cover band is easy does it, the tribute band is anal retentive.

A cover band plays songs from other bands, usually from several bands, although you can go for just one. Usually the objective is to play the songs as best and true as possible, sometimes its all about giving it your own spin. Having fun together is the main objective.

The tribute band dedicates itself to just a single band. It tries to be that band, going for not only playing the songs as true their heroes, not only sounding as true to their heroes, but also looking as true as their heroes. Its a most serious affair. And although I've never been to a U2 tribute band show I've seen enough websites of them. All dressed as the fab four, sporting as much of their equipment and sometimes even trying to bring some U2-esque audio visuals to the stage. Because of the commitment needed to pull it off one must be sure to choose the right bandmembers. Usually little is lost in a coverband if one member drops out. But if everybody has to spend a lot of money on gear, clothes and audiovisuals, losing a member will be a severe blow.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:06 PM   #5
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I think that that is a fairly reasonable description. I don't agree with anal retentive. I prefer to look at it as a pride in what we put on stage. From the beginning, my guys said, we are going to try to do everything as accurately as we could or we shouldn't even bother at all.

I see cover bands as the one who are just playing the songs. There are some that even do U2 that bill themselves as a "tribute" but do little more than play the songs. On the tribute side, the better ones strive to get the both the look and the sound as accurate as possible.

As a guitar player myself, I use a VOX AC30 as well as similar guitars and a rack of pedals and effects that Edge uses to get my sounds close.

I aslo agree that for a tribute, if that is what you want to do, the bandmembers are more important that the gear, to start. You can play Edge's rig, but if you cannot play his style of guitar it will not sound like U2. It may be my bias as a guitar player, but you need a good Edge and a good Bono and you should be fine. You can havd a less than stellar Adam or Larry if you have the two focal points of U2 covered.

Joey788. If you are interested in see a good U2 Tribute, check out Unforgettable Fire in New York.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheEdge U2JT
I don't agree with anal retentive. I prefer to look at it as a pride in what we put on stage. From the beginning, my guys said, we are going to try to do everything as accurately as we could or we shouldn't even bother at all.
I never meant it as an insult. More a sign of the amount dedication to the music and detail you need to pull it off.

Quote:
As a guitar player myself, I use a VOX AC30 as well as similar guitars and a rack of pedals and effects that Edge uses to get my sounds close.

I'm an FX whore myself so what kind of gear do you pack?
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muad'zin


I'm an FX whore myself so what kind of gear do you pack?
Current Rack:
GCX system w/
GCX Ground Control Pro

Line 6 Echo Pro
TC 2290
Korg A3
Lexicon Reverb
Line 6 Filter Pro
Line 6 DM4
Keeley Moded TS9
AnalogMan Moded TS9
SD1
Fulltone Fat Boost
DHP33
SPX90
Digitech Whammy
Sennheiser Wireless
Shure wireless in-ears

VOC AC30TB

2 Fender Strats
1 Fender Tele
3 Gibson LP's (cream,
1 Sheraton
1 Variax 700 acoustic
1 Rickenbacker Fireglow 360-12
1 Fernandez Native Pro
1 Epi. Explorer (gonna sell this one)
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muad'zin


I never meant it as an insult. More a sign of the amount dedication to the music and detail you need to pull it off.

Not seen as an insult.

It only bothers me when someone bashes tributes than admit they have never seen one.

I admit, there are some very bad ones out there that would have turned me off the the idea if they were the only ones I ever saw. But there are good ones that are fun to watch.

I guess it is like any other area of music. There are good bands and crap bands. Just because you see a crappy Rock band, it does not make you think ALL rock bands are crap. The same can be said for tributes...or even cover bands. Seek out the good and do not become jaded by the bad.
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheEdge U2JT


Current Rack:
GCX system w/
GCX Ground Control Pro

Line 6 Echo Pro
TC 2290
Korg A3
Lexicon Reverb
Line 6 Filter Pro
Line 6 DM4
Keeley Moded TS9
AnalogMan Moded TS9
SD1
Fulltone Fat Boost
DHP33
SPX90
Digitech Whammy
Sennheiser Wireless
Shure wireless in-ears

VOC AC30TB

2 Fender Strats
1 Fender Tele
3 Gibson LP's (cream,
1 Sheraton
1 Variax 700 acoustic
1 Rickenbacker Fireglow 360-12
1 Fernandez Native Pro
1 Epi. Explorer (gonna sell this one)
Kinda off topic but, I was just thinking about getting an Epi Explorer but see you're gonna sell it. Is it because it's not a good guitar? I'm in my early teens and don't have a lot of money, so the next guitar I get is one I wanna keep for a long time without swappin it out. Are the Epi. Explorer's any good?
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheEdge U2JT


Not seen as an insult.

It only bothers me when someone bashes tributes than admit they have never seen one.

I admit, there are some very bad ones out there that would have turned me off the the idea if they were the only ones I ever saw. But there are good ones that are fun to watch.

I guess it is like any other area of music. There are good bands and crap bands. Just because you see a crappy Rock band, it does not make you think ALL rock bands are crap. The same can be said for tributes...or even cover bands. Seek out the good and do not become jaded by the bad.
Did I come over as insulting? I only tried to convey that you just cannot simply start a tribute band because it means lots of hard work and dedication.

You have some great gear though. I'm jealous of your TC 2290. How do the Line 6 Echo Pro and Filter Pro work out? I've been thinking of scouring EBay for them but I also read user reviews that they make aren't quit in use. Also your DM4, how good is it?
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:37 AM   #11
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U2JT, so is being in a tribute band pretty much your full time job? How is the pay?
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by IrishDawg


Kinda off topic but, I was just thinking about getting an Epi Explorer but see you're gonna sell it. Is it because it's not a good guitar? I'm in my early teens and don't have a lot of money, so the next guitar I get is one I wanna keep for a long time without swappin it out. Are the Epi. Explorer's any good?
I upgraded the pickups in mine. It is good but I only use it for a few songs and it it a big guitar. The cast is longer and wider so it takes up more room in my SUV. Room is at a premium with all the stuff I have to pack. It is a good guitar if you are looking to get one.
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muad'zin


Did I come over as insulting? I only tried to convey that you just cannot simply start a tribute band because it means lots of hard work and dedication.

You have some great gear though. I'm jealous of your TC 2290. How do the Line 6 Echo Pro and Filter Pro work out? I've been thinking of scouring EBay for them but I also read user reviews that they make aren't quit in use. Also your DM4, how good is it?
NO, you did not come over as insulting....not at all. I'm sorry if it came across that way.

The Line 6 stuff is great. I'm just started getting into the Filter to use it for Elevation and some of the POP stuff. I'm using the Echo Pro for a 2nd delay for stuff like Bad, Pride, ISHFWILF. Line 6 discontinued production so that are a little bit harder to find (that is the Pro versions). The DM4 is awesome. Nice to have tone options.
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by macphisto23
U2JT, so is being in a tribute band pretty much your full time job? How is the pay?
From a pay standpoint it can be really good. We have done large shows that we really good.
However, I cannot see doing this full time. There are bands that do it. They play around several times every week. I know of one band that quit doing originals and became a U2 cover band just to make money.

I am a medical rep durring the day and really like my job. Doing The Joshua Tree in not about the money. Pretty much everything I make I put back into my gear anyhow. I do this because I love U2 and my 1st influence when I started playing guitar in 1985 was The Edge. I have made it clear that, if this was ever no longer fun for me, I'll stop. Playing guitar in this band is fun. If it starts to feel like a job, the I am spending too much time on it. It is why we only play 1 or 2 times a month. I don't want to get burned out.

I know his has all gone a little off topic. For the original poster. When JT started a few years ago we had a few guys some of the better in U2 tributes help us get our feet under us and figure out how to do it. I have been able to do the same for a few guys. If you are serious about starting a U2 tribute, PM me and I will do whatever I can to help.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:04 PM   #15
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You guys have given me a lot of great advice.. I think I'm probably going for a coverband considering my lead guitarist is female and can't really pull off being Edge. I also want to play some stuff besides U2. Thanks for all the info.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joey788
You guys have given me a lot of great advice.. I think I'm probably going for a coverband considering my lead guitarist is female and can't really pull off being Edge. I also want to play some stuff besides U2. Thanks for all the info.
Might be fun though to see a female guitarist dressed up like Edge with a woolie hat and goatee.
Besides, there used to be an all female U2 tribute around the time of the Elevation tour.

Quote:
Originally posted by Joey788
have made it clear that, if this was ever no longer fun for me, I'll stop. Playing guitar in this band is fun. If it starts to feel like a job, the I am spending too much time on it. It is why we only play 1 or 2 times a month. I don't want to get burned out.
Then again, I can think of far worse jobs then playing a U2 tribute band. Having to do backbreaking labor in a factory, writing useless TPS reports in a cubicle for a soulless corporation, flipping burgers at Mickey D. Or playing in a U2 tribute band . I 'd know what I choose, no contest.

It sucks that Line 6 has discontinued the pro version of its modelers. Or has only released a Pro version of the DM4 for Edge. Tapdancing on stompboxes sucks. What were they thinking?
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