This is a tale of two bands, very different but in many ways, exactly the same -- NoStar and False Flag.
Both are from Augusta and can be seen in local venues. False Flag plays melancholy melodic metal and NoStar is an experimental trio known for taking classic rock structure and noising it up. Fair comparisons, respectively, are probably Sabbath and Sonic Youth.
Despite the differences, members of both share something important: They understand that playing songs is a small part of being in a band.
Certainly, being able to write, record and play is the foundation, but when it comes to hours expended, it pales in comparison to the more mundane.
Ask members of False Flag and NoStar how much time they spend on the phone with club owners and booking agents lining up gigs. Ask how much effort goes into sending out tracks in the hopes that a radio station, blogger or newspaper writer might recognize them as worthy.
There are posters to produce and press kits to assemble. There are countless hours driving from gig to gig, arguing over whose stellar road mix gets played next. It's hard, uncomfortable and economically ridiculous.
Success is far from guaranteed, even for the most talented.
Hard work will get an act much further than talent. I've encountered plenty of talented acts that, because they could only be bothered to play instead of work, never managed to find the audience they deserved.
Neither NoStar and False Flag are not my favorite Augusta acts, but they stand the best chance, currently, of succeeding. They understand that the privilege to play means a lot of work.
SAY HEY, SHAY
It's been awhile since we heard from former Augustan Shay Roundtree.
Roundtree, who had significant roles in the movie Drumline and the exceptional but exceptionally short-lived TV series Kingpin has been keeping himself busy with appearances in episodic television (Everyone Hates Chris, Shark ) and films (Nobody Smiling, Shooter ).
He also has been making an occasional commercial. He dropped me a line recently to say he would be featured in one of the marquee Super Bowl ads, Light House , the Bud Light commercial about a family home built of cans of beer.
A house built out of beer. Shay Roundtree, you are living the dream.
SEE IT: Check out Shay Roundtree in the video for the Bud Light commercial at Pop Rocks at blogs.augusta.com.