I have a confession to make. As a young teenager, I had a “thing” for Urban Outfitters leather jackets, Camel No. 9s, and boys in bands. I spent many of my evenings being the cool girl perched on top of an amp in the basement of a coffee shop picking at my black nail polish and sneaking sips of Dr. McGillicuddy’s out of a flask. This infatuation didn’t leave even when I left my Fall Out Boy shirts behind me, oh no. As a music major I spent an astronomical amount of time around guys “really focused on their EP.” Some of them are my close friends even today, while others are mistakes that still, to this day, make me cringe.
But after strolling through record shops, going to local shows, and even just meandering through a campus, it’s become painfully clear that the “boy in a band” appeal is still a thing. This isn’t something revolutionary or earth shattering; I even still get a little twitterpated when I see a guy really rock a piano solo. So I’m going to tell you exactly what to expect if you get with each member of the band. My experiences can be yours. Maybe, in sharing my mistakes, you can avoid making some of your own. Or maybe you’ll just stick your middle finger up at me because I’m ragging on you and your beat up six-string. Well screw you dude; buy a guitar tuner.
For time’s sake, we’re just going to cover the “core four.” Other instruments to follow at a later date.
1. The Lead Singer.
Can we all just say “didn’t get enough attention as a child”? He’s looking for his ego to be stroked just a little…okay A LOT. His favorite part of the show is not, you know, the actual performing part but the part where he gets to moodily linger around the bar and let obviously underage girls fawn over him. The girls nod along and get wide-eyed at everything he says because the front man is just so fucking deep. He gets to say things like, “I just feel like the night is the only thing that gets me,” or “I wonder if anyone is actually ever appreciated while they’re alive” without one girl laughing at him. Lead singers are the type of guys who look really good in jeans and boots, make a lot of promises to rock your world, but instantly blame any to all sexual dysfunction on you being “judgmental” and/or beta blockers.
- Bang-ability: 4/10 (A lot of talk, not a lot of delivery.)
- Arm Candy Status: 8/10 (If you can actually get him to go out with you, have a good time, and stop looking in the mirror to fix the bandana in his hair for one second. Jeeze.)
- Boyfriend Potential: 2/10 (No. Just no.)
2. The Guitarist.
Good guitarists are hella talented, honestly. I’m talking about actual musicians, and not someone who figured out how to pluck out “Good Riddance” senior year of high school. The thing to be wary of when it comes to the guitarists is the potential animosity between him and the lead singer or the bassist. Each member thinks he’s the backbone of the band and no one thinks he’s getting the credit he deserves. And boy will he let you KNOW. He’s the kind of guy who thinks his opinion is the only one that matters. And the kind who has an opinion about everything.
Here’s what you need to know about guitarists: if they’re hot and talented, they fucking know it. They know how to charm their way into your pants and keep you on the hook even though they’re simultaneously ignoring you, stealing 10s out of your wallet, and drinking all of your beer. They are like a bad drug: a really good time while you’re out, but once the sun is back up and you take a look at what you’ve done, you kind of start to hate yourself.
- Bang-ability: 9/10 (Yeah…bad drugs are still fun.)
- Arm Candy Status: 8/10 (Still gorgeous, still great. But all the fighting in bars about the impact Kurt Cobain has had on music today is going to get old.)
- Boyfriend Material: 3/10 (No one wants a boyfriend who will openly tell you he’s better than you.)
3. The Bassist.
You know what Megan Trainor? I too am all about that bass. Bassists are like the Andre the Giant to Mandy Patinkin of the band world. They know they’re doing just as much work, they know they’re under-appreciated, but they kind of just want to be along for the ride and maybe get a burrito after the show. Every now and then things might get heated if one of their original bass lines is criticized, but honestly they’re just so chill it’s going to blow over in two seconds anyway.
Bassists have all of the skills of a guitar player without the need for ego petting. They just want to sit around, get kind of stoned, and talk about John Entwistle. They’re like musical puppies — great to cuddle with and even better to get day drunk in a park with. #notreble
- Bang-ability: 8/10 (If you haven’t yet figured out the perks that come with having to learn something called “fingerstyle,” you are seriously missing out.)
- Arm Candy Status: 6/10 (Not necessarily as stop-in-the-street gorgeous as a guitarist or a front man but still, he’s got some chops. Band tees and flannels to steal are an added bonus.)
- Boyfriend Material: 8/10 (Burritos, basses, and bowls = boyfriend.)
4. The Drummer.
If a band were the cast of Jackass, the Drummer would always be Steve-o. Accident-prone, zero attention span, and probably drunk enough to get a tattoo of himself if someone suggested it. The thing is, the band puts their baby gloves on for him because they know how valuable he is. They’d be lost without him; he’s the heartbeat of the group. But they also know that if they let him throw back one too many shots of Wild Turkey, they may be playing their next show sans rhythm.
The drummer is fun, but take my advice and just be his buddy. Not the chick who finds herself naked in the flannel sheets he hasn’t washed in six months. Be his emergency contact; he needs one.
- Bang-ability: 6/10 (It’ll be entertaining? Maybe?)
- Arm Candy Status: 2/10 (He’s too busy showing off his “parkour” to be arm candy. Come on.)
- Boyfriend Material: 3/10 (See above.)