Tuesday, December 3, 2013


By Travis Nichols
Published by Roaring Book Press
Copyright © 2008

Review by Anthony Kendrick

Punk lives! Well sort of. There hasn’t been a chart topping punk band probably since the 90’s, but it certainly lives on the local level and on the indie/underground circuit. So do you want to be the next “the Clash” or “the Ramones”? Well then you aren’t punk. If you want to be the next YOU then you might just be ready for this book.

Nichols has written and illustrated a humorous and helpful guide to starting a band, marketing it, and going on tour. This book is not going to teach you how to write or play a cool song; that is something you just have to start doing and learn along the way. But he does help you learn how to play hard, play nice, be prepared, and make a little money. And I do mean a little money. But that doesn’t matter to you, you are punk rock and it is all about the music.

In addition, I really appreciate Nichols advice on staying safe and being healthy. While he does mention the possibility of small bands having to sleep in their car when touring (due to lack of money) he doesn’t recommend things like that. In fact he recommends planning ahead as much as possible so that you don’t run into unsavory situations. And as far as a musician’s health goes, he makes the point that you can’t rock hard for very long if you don’t take care of yourself. Musicians need sleep, they need to eat as well as they can, and drink a lot of water. He definitely discourages drinking and driving, doing drugs, and smoking if for no other reason than they can affect your ability to rock on.

Lastly one of my favorite pieces of advice from the book came from the “Things to do during your set list”: “Do what yo’ momma taught you – be nice to your audience. Nice bands that kind of suck can get pretty far in life.” I think that applies to everyone, no matter what you
do, be nice and you’ll go far.

This is a great book for any teen who aspires to have his/her own band, and it shows that even rocking out takes work, practice, and the desire to melt some faces… among other things.

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