There are no rules in rock and roll. Rock and roll bands have reputations for being loud, drunken, and drug addicts. We smash up hotel rooms and have lines of groupies waiting for us everywhere. We're non-conformists and we do whatever we like whenever we like. Rock and roll is a destructive art form and the rules have been suspended.
Yeah, okay. Maybe in the movies and in autobiographies of 1980s rock stars. (Read "The Dirt" by Motley Crue if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
Truth be told, though, She Eats Planets doesn't have a lot of rules. We do frown upon excessive drug use as we've seen the effects of drugs on former band members. They've sold their gear for drugs leaving them with nothing to use in live performances and we've seen others who use so much that they have no money or ability to play well. We're also the nice band. We make an effort to treat venue owners and bookers well. We help other bands when we can and we try to be punctual. We don't want to get the reputation of another one of those nightmare bands. Those aren't rules, though. They're just practices. There is only one rule in She Eats Planets: no drinking or drugs before a set and no drinking on stage.
The rule came about at the insistence of our former manager who explained that nothing good comes about from a band being even slightly intoxicated before and during a show. Would we show up to our jobs drunk? No. Would we get drunk while at work? No. Then you don't show up or get drunk at shows. While there was some initial resistance because it seemed like a silly rule we've come to realize that it's probably the best rule we could ever impose. And now that we're back on our own handling our own business we've decided to keep the rule.
There's no drinking before our set. There's no drinking during our set. Drinking is only allowed once we have finished playing and our work is done. Case closed.
Sometimes the case isn't so closed. At a recent show we were celebrating our drummer's birthday. Her family and friends all came out and wanted to buy her drinks. She accepted one prior to our set—a beer. Okay. We're gonna be cool about it. It's her birthday. One drink before the show. No big deal.
The one drink before the show turned into one drink before the show, one drink during the first couple songs of our set, and then a call for another drink about half-way through the set.
I put my foot down. It might not have been the best way to do it and I do regret my tone but when I heard the call for "another beer!" I turned and said, possibly a little too close to the microphone, "Absolutely not. We do not drink on stage." Our singer tossed a bottle of water to her to solve the thirst problem.
Don't get me wrong here. I'm all for having a few drinks... after the set. Maybe when we're rich and famous (or touring as a well-known name on a bigger club circuit) we can change the rule. For now, you never know who's in the audience and you never know who that person knows. The ticket to a bigger future could be standing there watching you behave in a less than professional manner. No bottle of beer is worth tossing the future out of the window.
Call us straight edge if you must but that edge disappears when we step off the stage. I, for one, think it should stay that way.
For more about She Eats Planets, visit sheeatsplanets.com.