A couple weeks ago, we introduced you to some of the best live sound engineers in Dallas. Those people voluntarily run complicated circuits late at night in rooms full of beer and idiots. Our hats are off to them. Alan Ayo, who wrote that post, asked each of them what their pet peeves were. Turns out there are a few that emerge as a general consensus. Here, then, is a quick users' guide to infuriating your sound guy or gal.
Step One: Show up late. "Be on time and be organized," says Dada engineer Chris Carmichael. OR DON'T. It's rock 'n' roll, baby! If you aren't stumbling in 20 minutes before the doors open, asking if you can borrow a snare drum from the opening band, you're not rocking hard enough.
Step Two: Tell him or her how to be a sound engineer. Most people in most professions are big fans of this. In fact, you should probably also tell the bartender how to open your can of Pabst and also offer legal advice to the woman in the front who has to go into the law office tomorrow. How could anyone have an idea that's better than your idea? You joined a rock 'n' roll band!
Step Three: Remember that the world revolves around you. You are a Golden God. So don't bother watching the opening band. Paul Quigg at the Kessler gets especially annoyed when you do that. He also hates it when you don't earn an encore but you just go ahead and play one anyway. Who cares if the people who bought tickets are enjoying themselves? You have art and feelings to express!Step Four: Crank the crap out of all your amps.
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Want to really get to Jason Chamlee, who's currently touring as the sound engineer for George Strait but has spent years mixing around town? Go ahead and blow up that amp. He probably doesn't know the room as well as you do, so it's best if you take away his ability to control the levels through the house PA. No one wants to hear your vocals anyway, right?
Step Five: Play too long. Ever heard the expression "leave 'em wanting less"? No? WELL YOU'RE ABOUT TO MAKE THAT SHIT HAPPEN. This is especially true if you're an opening band. Play that last song for half an hour. Hit that bridge one last time. Jack around on your guitar until everyone's eyes glaze over. Your sound guy will thank you with a swift pull of the plug.
And that's how it's done.