“Well, we were going to wait until we got a label behind us to tour”
This is an easy one to cure, we understand that it is not feasable for a lot of bands to tour. You may have commitments or whatever, it is understandable. But saying the above statement to a label paints you as someone who waits for things to happen to them rather than someone who is proactive. If you change this to talk about what you have been doing or say something like “we have been concentrating on building a local following first.” It at least sounds like you have have been doing something instead of waiting for the record label fairy to drop a contract under your pillow at night.
“We wanted to shop it around before we released the songs”
Ugh I just looked at the calendar and it is 2009 and there is this thing called the Internet where everyone can listen to music INSTANTLY! No label is going to consider it a deal breaker that you put some songs out to get some hype for your band off a record they may potentially release. If anything they want to see what the worlds reaction to the songs. Keep in mind many label people are simply guessing what people may like and don’t even listen to the genre they work in. Get the songs out there once you have a master, show you are hungry. A band that is too eager is much more welcome in this industry compared to another lazy band waiting for someone to discover them.
“We wanted to get the perfect lineup before we started to promote these songs”
Duh! My head hurt just typing that one. Getting the perfect lineup can take a lifetime, if you are really hungry and by hungry I mean you can’t wait another day for people to hear your music you would never say something this stupid. Get the music out there, go out and socialize, and play shows. If you play out and get a following you will have many more options for great members and the perfect lineup. In the mean time work with the one you have and upgrade on the way.