As I mentioned above, I'm no stranger to being in a band. I am, however, a stranger to being in a band that actually plays shows and practices more than twice before everybody stops returning your phone calls (Austin is a tough place to start a band). Since I moved out here, I've been a "member" in more bands than I'd care to recall, each with their own cringe-worthy name and founding members that give themselves too much credit for their substandard playing ability. None of these bands have worked out though, due to outside factors like the drummer breaking up with his girlfriend and going into seclusion for 8 months only to call me one day and ask if I can practice the next day, or like the bass player who got kicked out of his shantytown apartment complex that decided that he likes working at Hot Topic more than returning phone calls. But, through all of this, I maintained the delicate balance with my wife, convincing her that my being in a band was not a big deal and that she was okay with it.
So how did I do it, you ask?
I'm going to let out the key to living the "in a band" lifestyle right off the bat. It's important, and needs to be approached with subtlety and finesse so that you can get those two or three band practices in unimpeded, and so that your crappy band can implode from inside factors and not because of your crappy wife. The most important thing you can do to be in a band is to convince your wife that you playing a musical instrument is sexy.
Baby, I was thinking of you and this song just...came to me.
Your wife already knows all sorts of unsavory and unsexy things about you. She knows that after a hard night of drinking, your morning bowel movement is likely to set off the smoke detectors in your apartment. She knows that you're likely to fall asleep on the couch and snore loudly through The Notebook on your "stay at home together" night. She knows that when you get home from work, you're going to smell like Bigfoot just crawled out of a vat of his own sweat, which was located in a nearby sewer. But she has to think that your half-witted command of your chosen musical instrument makes you a hot potato. How do you achieve this? The answer is surprisingly easy: write her a song.
Don't be stupid about the song, though. It has to be really, really gay and lame, with lots of over-the-top "feelings" sprinkled throughout. If you're reading this, you probably hate those kinds of songs, but believe me when I say that this is an easy way to get her to like what you do. Never play the song live or even insinuate that you are going to do so; simply use your instrument to tell her that you want to touch her genitalia with yours and she'll immediately consider you to be the next John Mayer, and women love shitty stuff like John Mayer.
I can see your vulva in the moonlight, darlin'. It fills me with feelings.
Once you have reduced your lady to a simmering pool of sex juices, you're ready to hit the scene.
Finding a band can be difficult if your local scene is full of stony boners who say "there is no scene out here, man," and skip every single badass show that comes through because the $5 cover would cut into their weed money. These kinds of dudes also usually want to play something that sounds exactly like Darkest Hour or At the Gates, but with lots of breakdowns and much lamer riffs. But if you tough it out, you'll have a band briefly assembled, and then you have to convince your woman that you are allowed to go to band practice.
Try cooking dinner for the two of you a day or two in advance and passing it off as quality time. Also, make sure you hide the Spaghetti-O's cans really well; you don't want her to know how half-assed your approach to cooking can be. Then suggest watching a movie and try to stay awake through the whole thing; this can be tough, so you'll have to make sure that the movie has at least a couple explosions in it to keep you engaged. When band practice day is approaching, tell your wife IN ADVANCE that you'll be doing band practice. If she puts up any resistance, remind her of the nice evening you spent together and accuse her of never letting you go do things with your friends. Once she relents, you'll have to repeat the process a couple more times until she just accepts band practice as part of the weekly ritual. Then you're golden.
Celebrate! Now you're in a band.
If your band miraculously stays together long enough to do a show, invite your wife to the first one. Make sure that she sees that you are actually creating music when you leave the house, and make sure she has a bad time (most women will). For subsequent shows, DON'T LET YOUR WIFE COME; instead, gently tell her that she doesn't want to come. She's heard all the songs before and she isn't even into the kind of music your band plays; tell her it's okay with you if she just wants to skip out on it, and that you won't be home too late. Let her feel like YOU'RE letting HER off the hook. Then you can go have fun with your friends and do cool stuff, like drink beer and make jokes that she would normally hit you for making were she around.
I can't understand what the singer is saying! Where's that song you wrote me? Play that one!
The best part of all this is that, with the state of the music industry, your band will never make it big, and this will just be a totally sweet ritual that exempts you from having to do dumb stuff like hang around with your wife a few times a month. Put together a Facebook page so that you'll have an avenue to tell your 12 fans that your band is breaking up once the rhythm guitarist gets a job at the Vans outlet.
Repeat the process ad nauseum until your wife accepts your obsession with playing poorly constructed music as one of your unavoidable personality flaws, like forgetting to brush your teeth or accidentally drinking 13 beers alone on a Wednesday night.
Whoops. I forgot I have to go to work in the morning.
And you're welcome.