“Joke Bands”. Lately I’ve been pondering this term and what it means to me versus everyone else out there. I’ve heard a ‘joke band’ defined as a band that’s not ‘serious’ but is just there to make you laugh. If that is true, or close to true, or even the most accepted definition of the term then, for me at least, it leaves a lot to be desired. First off, with music being art and art being a matter of perception and how it makes you feel then how do you define the term ‘serious’? Let’s first try to dissect what makes a band serious verses one that is not.
A ‘serious’ band, if I may say, is one that practices regularly, writes their own music and records it for fans of their seriousness to own, plays live shows regularly, and even tours. If we accept that as the definition of a serious band then what makes a band not ‘serious’ would be the exact opposite of these things meaning they don’t’ practice, play live with any regularity, record or tour, but they sure will make you laugh. I don’t know about you but if I saw a band that embodied these qualities the last thing I would do is laugh. Now, I realize it may be taken by some that I am writing this from inside the fish bowl, so to speak, since I play in a band that has been accused of being a ‘joke band’. This label has always stuck in my craw and sent a shiver down my spine when I hear people describe the band I play in, Letters to Voltron, with this term.