FAQs cropped 2Choosing a band can be a big decision. There is an excellent guide here to help you. Hopefully this FAQ will address many questions about Mixology, but please feel free to contact us with additional queries!

What kind of music does Mixology play?

In short, we do almost anything. Our musicians are versatile professionals who play many styles of music. During cocktails we usually have a trio playing background jazz. During dinner we often add vocals, playing a mix of jazz and soft pop/rock. For dancing, we play anything from Motown to current Top 40. We always actively monitor the tastes and age group of our audience, adapting as we go. Typically we have found that people are less concerned with the genre/song selection, and more responsive to high energy and good beats!

What advantages does a band have over a DJ?

As musicians, we love live music. We believe strongly in the value we add through spontaneity, energy, customization and interaction. For some there are venue or budget constraints, but most of the time we have found the choice of having a live band is one of personal preference. Our clients love live music as much as we do!

Both DJs and live bands have pros and cons, and some are better suited toward different functions than others. Mixology is most interested in helping you find the right solution for your event than getting a gig! For many people, having live musicians adds to the specialness of the event; live bands like Mixology can be a highlight of the night!

Do you take requests?

Of course! Taking requests is what Mixologists do. Please try to make requests by a month prior to the event, as sometimes music need to be written and we will typically learn requests in a scheduled rehearsal. We are happy to learn 2-3 songs (depending on complexity) at no additional cost. Typically this is for first dances. Additional requests are usually $50/song.

Occasionally it makes more sense to use a recording for some first dance songs, particularly if the instrumentation is unusual or we don’t believe it will work as well with our vocalists. It depends on how close to the original clients want the song to sound. We strongly recommend keeping first dance songs around or shorter than three minutes, and we can usually find ways to shorten songs if necessary.

Do you do ceremonies as well?

Yes! This is an upside to hiring a single versatile band: we do ceremonies, jazz for cocktails, etc., usually at a lower cost than hiring people to do these things individually. Typically for ceremonies we recommend either solo piano or solo + vocalist. We also do Catholic ceremonies and masses.

Can we use your PA for toasts, etc?

Definitely! Provided toasts and speeches are in the same location as the band, speakers are more than welcome to use our sound system. For a small extra fee we can also provide small PAs to be used during ceremonies or for receptions in different rooms.

How loud are you?

We aim to be at appropriate volume levels for every situation. For cocktails and dinner we are very careful to keep levels low enough that people can comfortably talk and enjoy their meals. Dance music is typically louder. We have live acoustic drums, amps and speakers – we want you to feel the beat! At the same time, we don’t want to lose our hearing any more than you do, so we try our best to keep our dance levels reasonable.

For smaller, rustic and elegant weddings, we recommend a smaller configuration of the group – The Susie Pepper Quartet. This is a less expensive acoustic-style group that is a good fit if you want light dancing and are concerned about volume.

How many breaks do you take?

Standard breaks for musicians are 15-20 minutes for every hour, though we try to keep things going as much as possible. Usually by the time we take a break, dancers are ready to catch their breath as well! Typically breaks work into the regular flow of events – around toasts, presentations, cake cutting, etc. – so they are barely noticed.

We always have recorded music to play through our PA between sets – appropriate for cocktails, dinner or dancing – so the energy and ambience is sustained throughout the event.

What is your fee?

Fees vary so much that we do not post a fixed rate schedule. Many factors work into the price, such as: travel, special requests, choices for ceremony/cocktails/dinner, etc. As a five-piece band, Mixology is usually somewhere in the middle when it comes to pricing; more than a DJ, but less than larger bands.

Are there any additional expenses?

Our quotes are generally all-inclusive. All equipment/travel/rehearsal is built into the price. The only possible added expenses are:

* Dinner for the band. We usually add this into the contract. Our day often starts early and ends with us unloading gear at 2am, so we try to make sure to some calories at some point!

* Special song requests, beyond the first 2-3 that we offer for free.

* Additional equipment – if clients want us to set up additional PA equipment in different locations than where the band is playing. (for speeches, presentations, etc.)

* Credit card fee – while uncommon, some clients prefer pay with a credit card, for which we add a 3% processing fee.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, holding a date requires a 50% nonrefundable deposit, with the other 50% due one week prior to the event. The musicians in Mixology are in high demand, and they will turn down work once a date is booked, so this is an important part of booking the band.

How much space do you need?

While we may be able to adapt for small venues, we usually request a minimum of 20’x10′.

Do you need a stage?

A stage is not required, but is recommended for outdoor weddings especially. If we are playing under a tent and there is rain, the instruments and sound equipment will be better protected from water on a stage, and it can greatly limit the disruption.

Companies that rent dance floors will often rent stages as well. Some of our more handy clients have built their own at a fraction of the rental price!

How much power do you need?

Ideally we would have two 20AMP circuits, 120 volts. That said, we are not a large band and we have very modern, efficient gear – class D amps and LED lighting – so we have never blown a fuse.

Regardless, we try to check with venues – particularly older farmhouse types – to make sure that their power supply is adequate. It is a good idea to try to put the band on its own circuit, not have us share a power supply with lights and cooking equipment etc.

Do you bring your own sound/lights?

Mixology has high-end audio equipment suitable for just about any venue. We also bring our own lighting which is adequate for us and small-to-medium dance spaces.

Where can we hear you play?

Mixology does not do many public performances, but when we do we are sure to post about it on our FaceBook page! Primarily we are a function/wedding band, and we feel it would be unprofessional to invite prospective clients to another client’s event. Rehearsals are also a poor environment to hear a band, as they are typically in small rooms with minimal equipment.

We continuously work to improve our online demo material, and every clip we have online comes directly from a live performance. Susie also has several weekly shows around Portland with smaller groups, and that can be a great way to hear and meet her. If you are interested, send us a message and we’ll find a way for you to hear us and perhaps meet in person!

Can we meet in person?

Of course! We live in the Portland area and are always happy to meet clients in person to discuss your event over coffee. This is a great way to talk through the details and get to know each other.