In general, the bands that last are the ones that are formed by mates. If you get on well anyway, and are in a band because you like playing together (but like drinking together more), want some fun and maybe pull some women, rather than for muso ego bullshit, then the right ingredients are already in place.
Band auditions with strangers are a waste of time. Get them down the pub instead, see how you get on, then worry about the music.
I agree to an extent but think it is worth figuring out if a person can play/sing first before going to the pub. But the pub test is just as important as the musical skill test for sure. Most people don't make enough money out of music to make it worthwhile dealing with timewasters and egos bigger than the paycheck. If it isn't fun it is wasting time and money. A band is like a business where part (or in some cases all) of the pay is in fun.
There was the guy that auditioned as a guitarist but couldn't play very well. He later auditioned again as a singer but had a freak out accusing me of stealing his lyrics before I'd even heard his audition tape (which turned out to be 30 seconds of unintelligible shit). I never even asked him to write lyrics, to this day I have no idea what he thought was going on. He must have sent me 50 bloody emails in about three weeks as well, he wouldn't leave me alone. He did the same to some one else I know too.
There was the guy that decided that the songs were too hard to play and suggested we change them to be easier and began re writing them on the spot.
The singer that thought he was Zak De La Rocha from Rage Against The Machine. Not only was he mortified that he had to audition, "what's up with this X Factor shit?" as he put it, he even turned down the audition the first time. Did he think he was just going to join the band? When he did turn up he hadn't prepared anything and said "it wasn't his style" and he would "wing it"! He then started "rap" even though we wanted a singer but frankly he sounded more like small dog yaping.`
Another singer that was just dire, no timing, no pitch.
It looks like my band need to find a new singer as well so we'll be going through this shit again very soon!
p.s for what it's worth Jeztone, wah's are not wankerish and I applaude you for having one on your board. If I only had one effect pedal it would be a wah.
I've written about mine before, so I'll cut them down to the condensed versions:
The rhythm guitarist invites a local 'celebrity nutter' (Peter Singh, the 'Singing Sikh', for those that have heard of him), to one of our practices to see if he fancies doing a few numbers at one of our gigs. He sits there watching us practice, then after about an hour announces that we are 'good enough' and that he'll get us a copy of his 'latest CD' for us to learn all his songs. Er.... no mate, you aren't auditioning us, it's the other way round !
Another band, we auditioned a fantastic drummer, who claimed he used to be in Abba and his kit FILLED a LWB Transit. He brought his son to help him setup, and even with the two of them at it, it took over an hour and filled the practice room. Great drummer but definitely not right in the head.
The woman who didn't like our set and proceeded to get us to play "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" whilst she warbled along... That was funny as hell - as we all just kept giving each other "how come we are doing this ?" looks
The bloke who was shit and suddenly stopped singing mid-song and walked out, whilst we carried on playing. He then rang us from his car outside to see if he could still be in the band.
The singer who only had to remember to bring one item of kit, his mic, and would regularly forget it... and his name was Mike.
I had a guy who showed up for a bass audition.
He turned up half and hour late with no apology.
First thing he said was "oohhhh I feel so tired"
Showed no interest in the music and hadn't bothered to learn any of it.
We asked him if it was the type of music he liked or wanted to play and he let out a big sigh and said "ohhhh... it's allright"
Half way through the audition he just said "I'm going now" and walked out.
Phoned up the next day to ask if he'd got the gig.
Went for an audition playing bass.
They wanted to know if I could write so I started showing them something I'd written. Guitarist couldn't get it so I picked up his guitar (piece of shit Epi studio not a Suhr might I add) to show him.
"NOBODY TOUCHES MY GUITAR!!!!" he shouted and stormed out of the room.
After he left the other guitarist solemnly said "I've known him for 5 years and I've never touched his guitar"
Went to an audition with a band made up of bunch of painfully geeky IT people.
Got a call the following day to say I was musically good enough, but didn't get the gig as I wasn't cool enough.
"You'll forgive me for saying you aren't all that cool"
"Yes but we thought if we got someone really cool who looked like they were in the libertines it might make us look better"
Had a really shit drummer turn up for an audition. At the end of the practice he started trying to arrange times for the next rehearsal then kept sending us recommendations for the set even after we told him he hadn't got the gig.
He then told everyone he knew he was in the band (including people we knew).
When we finally got a drummer he told everyone he'd quit because we were rubbish.
I was playing in an original material band on the camden toilet circuit in 2003 every band wanted to be either the Libertines or the Arctic Monkeys.
It was bloody tedious.
Firstly, this thread is brilliant. I feel for the OP and I hope he's taken solace from the similar horror stories recounted here.
As for the point about The Libertines, I was also playing in an originals band around that time and it did my tits in when every band were cutting about in winkle pickers, skinny jeans and floppy haircuts, playing cowboy chords on their Epiphone Sheratons around their chins!