Submitted by No_Representative_23 t3_zvr138 in Music

Hi, I’m a 19-year-old college student and I wanted to ask what’s better I want to start a rock ‘n’ roll band and take it seriously and I want to start it in a city that has a good scene and I have two choices Seattle in Dallas I want to know which one is better to start a band in which of those two scenes is more supportive of a rock band who are coming up where is the best place to start?



You must log in or register to comment.

RagingLeonard t1_j1qlz3l wrote

Seattle will have a better infrastructure to support struggling artists than Dallas. Also, trust me, Texas sucks and is getting worse. Nobody who enjoys human rights or personal freedom should ever move to Texas.


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qmdzj wrote

I’m in Texas now


RagingLeonard t1_j1qod1n wrote

If you want to stay in Texas, Austin has a large music scene, as I'm sure you know. Not sure why Dallas is a better choice for you.


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qopaa wrote

Bc it’s closer but Seattle is where my heroes came out of


RagingLeonard t1_j1qpvoi wrote

Basing a move on where a music scene used to be is dangerous. How long ago are we talking? Early 90s Grunge? That scene is dead.

Scenes are born from specific sets of circumstances and there's not some sort of fairy dust sprinkled on an area. For example, Detroit was a flashpoint for R&B in the 60s, but imagine moving there to start a Motown-style group today?

If you're looking to plug into a scene, look at where contemporary bands are popping up and move there. Bonus if it's in a community that cares about artists and has a system in place to support their art.


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qqipa wrote

I know but I’m reading I hear there’s a good scene there now not like the 90s but it good


Zalenka t1_j1qrsse wrote

Living in Seattle will be a huge wakeup call to capitalism. I once went to a farmer's market with $15 for lunch and everything was more expensive than that.

Literally any apartment is $1500/mo, so it is onerous. Maybe that's everywhere now though.


No_Comfortable6029 t1_j1qpx6q wrote

your heroes also got famous before everything was at the tip of our fingers at the click of a button. focus more on the product and market the shit out of yourself


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qqlzf wrote

But out of those two what would be better


No_Comfortable6029 t1_j1qrbef wrote

Portland is probably more "Seattle" than Seattle is these days. I moved from Texas five years ago because the writing was already on the wall for the direction it was headed. With that said, Austin is still one of the best cities for live music so it depends on what you are seeking. New Orleans might be the only music city that stays true to its roots, all other local genres/trends come and go with the times.


Sweet_Bang_Tube t1_j1s4p0h wrote

Austin is too expensive for musicians now. It has been for several years.

Source: have lived in Austin for over 40 years.


No_Comfortable6029 t1_j1s6fj4 wrote

for living or for playing? I think there are still plenty of venues to play. Whether it is profitable to tour as a musician is a different conversation


Sweet_Bang_Tube t1_j1s6o9z wrote

For living and playing in the city they live in.


No_Comfortable6029 t1_j1s6ufz wrote

but a 45-60 min drive is normal for just about anyone who lives in Texas and there are plenty of affordable suburbs outside Austin


Sweet_Bang_Tube t1_j1s7mam wrote

I guess you'll need to define "affordable", since that's a bit different for everyone. 45-60 min was never a normal drive for me, in Austin. Maybe in Houston. I just bought a house here this year and it was anything but affordable. The suburbs, like Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Buda, Kyle, Lakeway, Manor, Elgin, Lago Vista, Tyler Georgetown, Jonestown, Leander Hutto, are all in the $400K range now. That isn't affordable to most musicians like the OP who are young and just trying to start out.


No_Comfortable6029 t1_j1s8127 wrote

I get what you are saying but OP prob isn't looking to buy a house yet either. There are apartments and I have plenty of former friends in what I'm guessing is a similar financial situation that have managed to get by; even living in Austin proper.

Edit: are you sure you have lived there for 40 years? lol You could spend 45 mins in Austin traffic alone


Sweet_Bang_Tube t1_j1s8zvf wrote

Yes, I'm sure I was born and raised here. Maybe that is a normal amount of traffic to be in now, but that only started being an issue about 5-8 years ago, when so many people really start migrating here. It was too much, too quickly.

Apartments are not any cheaper, unless you share with multiple people and don't own a car. I'm not sure if saying you have "former friends" who you are "guessing" are in similar financial situations is a good supporting statement to make.

But it makes no difference to me either way. People can show to here themselves and see what it is like.


No_Comfortable6029 t1_j1s9wdp wrote

Hah is it because I'm not still friends with them? Not sure why having friends (or former) who have tried to do the same thing is not a good supporting statement. Agreed, your lifestyle ain't gonna cut it as an up and coming musician but not everyone in Austin is living the high life either. Also, I think your memory is a bit short if you think traffic only got worse in the last 5-8 years.


Charming-Twist-7514 t1_j1qww1d wrote

Denton, Texas is another option closer to Dallas. All of the comments have good points


ongoingbox t1_j1r1hz3 wrote

Played a few shows in Denton in 2002 and the venue had a sandwich called the King Chicken sandwich. I had that sandwich twice. Great sandwich, really fun venue. Fond memories of playing music in Denton.


XDenzelMoshingtonX t1_j1ql0ct wrote

You are basing your decision where you wanna live on what city it’s better to start a band in?


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qlqzt wrote

Well I’m near Dallas because of college and Seattle is because my heroes came out of their scene and I was thinking about moving there to start a band after college


XDenzelMoshingtonX t1_j1qmspi wrote

It’s almost 2023, most of your musical journey will be done online on social media/streaming platforms. I don’t think there‘s a particular place where your band will have a bigger shot than elsewhere. In the end the music and the online marketing are way more important than the locality. Getting into a popular playlist on Spotify exposes way more people to your music than you could do via playing locally.


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qn1ef wrote

It’s more for playing shows which place has a better place to gain a better footing locally for rock band? Social media and streaming is important but what good does it do when I can’t play shows you know?


MoogProg t1_j1quck7 wrote

Really depends on what you mean by start a band? Are you a gigging singer-writer who needs a backup band to take things into larger venues? Or are you hoping to find bandmates you get along with, to write songs together, play gigs and build a following from the ground up. These are very different paths.

When I have relocated as a musician, I tend towards joining an existing band more than looking to fill out my own 'roster' of players. Just me, you do you and good luck with all the music!

Vote goes to Dallas. The Seattle 'freeze' is real and can take years to thaw your way into a scene.


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qvnsd wrote

I’m a singer writer who wants to start a rock band and find people


MoogProg t1_j1qxmi0 wrote

Move to Portland. Get a solid bass rig. You play that now. Join as many bands as you can. Sing harmony. Lie about your age until you're 21.


Pure-Masterpiece1986 t1_j1rn8m2 wrote

lol as a Dallas native who lived over a decade in Austin and my fair time in the Denton area due to my college girlfriend/now wife....unless your like SRV you will get lost in Dallas at its size atm, Denton would be better... but obviously Austin is the best TX offers in this... good luck with Austin south in San Marcos or north of Austin I guess for cheaper living.also lol Good luck in general, I have friends in bands that got written articles in reputable papers/great reviews and even they didn't make a little older, but the only band I knew people of "make it" was Explosions in the sky..


FriendOfTheDevil__ t1_j1qle44 wrote



No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qls59 wrote

Too expensive and too much competition


FriendOfTheDevil__ t1_j1qm7wf wrote

I mean this isn’t basketball, if you’re good people will follow. I live inland in socal and there’s plenty of venues nearby, with la being an hour away.

Still, out of your choices, Seattle


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qmh6i wrote

I don’t like living in California either


FriendOfTheDevil__ t1_j1qn1ht wrote

Do you have any music out now? I’d base your decision on which area better supports your music.


No_Representative_23 OP t1_j1qnkh5 wrote

No I’m writing some songs. What I’m asking is what is the better place to base a rock band in out of the two cities I mentioned


thisolddog1 t1_j1qtb8l wrote

Seattle has a good local scene.

Portland, OR has a good scene and is more affordable as well. And its only 3 hours from Seattle, so you could play shows in Seattle while living in Portland


mrxexon t1_j1scy1e wrote

Let's not forget about Eugene. It's kinda the counter-culture capital of the Pacific Northwest.

And we ALL know The Simpsons were really from Springfield Oregon...


Notinyourbushes t1_j1r4x8t wrote

Had a group of friends that I can say without hyperbole were as good, if not better, as any major act out there. I've seen easily 500 live shows in my life and I count their performances up there with any group I saw on a label. They were making a name for themselves and did a short tour with a major act.

There motto was "we're going to prove a Texas based band can make it."

You've never heard of them because of that.

Big problem was they went with local, indie labels starting out and while they went into the studio at least 3 times, none of the Texas producers were good enough to capture what they were doing live in the studio.

Do some bands make it out of Texas? Yeah, a few but not many and usually not until they relocate. Outside of Spoon, the Old 97s were one of the biggest bands out of Texas in decades and I'm willing to bet more people hadn't heard of them than had when watching the Guardian's of the Galaxy holiday special.

You can start in Texas, but you're going to want to relocate eventually anyways. Just far more opportunities to get discovered on the west coast than by the gulf coast.


Sweet_Bang_Tube t1_j1s606a wrote

No way! Pantera, Butthole Surfers, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Beyonce, The Toadies, Polyphonic Spree, The Mars Volta, Nora Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Usher, The (Dixie) Chicks, Barbara Mandrell, just to name the ones I know, all came out of Texas. I'm not sure if you're talking about a particular era, but all of those musicians were/are wildly popular. And there's many more than that.


Notinyourbushes t1_j1s73ol wrote

You're talking dozens of bands that made vs thousands that tried - and that's not even getting into how many were born and/or started in Texas but relocated to a different scene. Outside of Spoon, name me 10 new Texas bands on major labels from the last decade.


Sweet_Bang_Tube t1_j1s8b6a wrote

I just listed some musicians from this decade, and you just blew them off as not mattering because it wasn't enough. No, I'm not going to waste my time on naming even more, because you'll say you haven't heard of them or find another way to discount it. Calling a record label "major" is also a pretty ambiguous descriptor that would need to be better defined (such as, brings in a certain amount of money per year? Or has a certain number of artists?)


No-Inside769 t1_j1rf59m wrote

Seattleite here and while I don’t know much about the rock scene I would recommend to keep the cost of living in mind when choosing where to move. I have spoken to former patients who are aspiring musicians though and they seemed to really love the scene out here. Best of luck!


Chocolate_Rage t1_j1rij5m wrote

I'd go Seattle personally. You're closer to more places, Seattle is a nicer culture from what I've seen and is more known for music imo


3f2rf3rfrf23r t1_j1s4jwu wrote

Texas is much more business friendly. Seattle is depressing and there's a reason Jimi Hendrix hated it, and so many others from there destroyed themselves.

You really aren't going to make it just going for it like it's 1992. You will make much more with a youtube following, and connect easier with those in the industry. I know that sounds shitty telling someone they can't, but you are better off playing the lotto.

The biggest benefit to social media hustle is you reach an audience beyond the US. Even someone as big as Taylor Swift no longer bothers with the US for new music. It's barely worth her time. There are places in the world where rock music is still popular.

If you are intent on grinding the scene like days of old, you are going to need to move out of the USA to a country where that scene exists. If you fail, you will have a much better perspective and maybe be on the road to success.

Source: I'm old enough to know many people with homes filled with platinum and diamond records. OG pros. It's not the same business model, have to make your own lane. Everything has changed. Anonymity is the new fame.

Edit: Poo poo on the people who downvoted you. I wouldn't want to be 19 right now. That's for sure. On second though too, leave the US. Go to Argentina or something. Go to Germany. People still rock, just not in the US. You're going to fuck up massively anyway in some regard, just don't have it be with substance abuse. All of us have failed at music at some point.


mrxexon t1_j1scjjr wrote

Greetings from the Pacific NW.

I'm not knocking places like Austin, but if you want quality of life as a musician, this area has things Texans can only dream about.

Ski in the morning. Surf in the afternoon kinda stuff...


Gromit801 t1_j1sn4w9 wrote

Between those choices, Seattle is your ONLY choice.


NewAssumption4780 t1_j1u25rk wrote

Seattle is fucking awful for live music venues. I mean, really, really terrible. It went from a decent music city to a wasteland in 25 years.