First time kicking a bandmate out
I need some help with kicking a member out of my band. Its the first time we have ever needed to remove someone and I could really use some support on how to handle it.
We picked up our new rhythm guitarist (we'll call him B) a little over a year ago and he seemed very enthused. We've had maybe 10 or so shows with him and its like every show there is something wrong....equipment, his playing, or both. He shows up to practice needing to relearn a lot of parts to our songs (which at first were very complex until we dumbed it down quite a bit) and he just doesnt play as fast as us. Also there is a sound problem in that he switches guitars every practice and show and doesn't know how to set his EQ on his amp to make it sound right for our music. So every show we sound different and yet almost every show his sound has been awful to listen to and off time, off notes, sour notes, out of tune, etc. Theres that and he also has a lot of personal family problems he needs to focus on that everyone agrees is more important than being in this band. But for him he does not see that. So the rest of the band agreed to kick him out because of all these reasons.
He is not a bad guy by any means and it actually feels really bad to do it but we all agree it must be done. The last two shows were horrible. It sounded like it was day 1 for him all over again. That mixed with lousy practices has made myself and the lead singer not really enthused about coming to shows or practice.
But since this is our first time doing this and we have a show coming up on the 24th (just booked today) and it is a show we actually need to sound good performing.....whats the best way of doing this?
We are gonna be honest and upfront about everything and tone it to the side of he needs to get his life in order before focusing primarily on the band and its affecting his playing and everyone's feelings in the band.
Nothing personal about it but I feel thats how he will take it.
hey man, we like you and all, bit this just isn't a good fit and we'd rather not waste your time or our time.
Thanks for playing.
That is how I want to do it but I believe the other members dont feel the same way unfortunately
sounds like there will be drama then.
Every time I've done it, just went with quick and easy, then out the door.
"Here, I'll help you with your amp back to your car. No hard feelings bro, just not happening. You'll find something, keep at it. "
Did you speak to him and ask him to address the issues?
Don't have time for the lengthy response I'd like to give, but the short version is this. No matter what you do, it's gonna hurt. If you're up front and honest about everything, it will hurt less, and heal better.
Has there been a discussion of the issues with him included, or have you guys been keeping it amongst the rest of the band? A lot of people can be completely oblivious to things that are very evident to their peers.
If you haven't addressed the issues with him you really should give him feedback on what's not working out and give him an opportunity to respond. If you're unsatisfied with his responses you politely show him the door. It sounds like you guys all get on and that something in this guy's life is causing him to slip into disrepair. Perhaps he would be willing to work on improving if he was aware of the stakes.
Quick and easy is the way to do it but at the same time, you can be nice and cool about it. Post #2 and #4 give good advice on how to go about it. Good luck.
He got fired.
A new member was enlisted.
Soon thereafter, they became the most successful band of all-time.
Here's your opportunity!
Here's another thread on the topic: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f67/ho...e-band-466534/
In management terms, you guys failed because the first time a problem happened, it should have been addressed and solutions/expectations set. You could have worked with the guy and told him exactly what was required to remain in your band. Then, if he couldn't provide what you carefully explained to him as to what was required, he basically would have fired himself because he knew he wasn't meeting expectations.
You should have also not let him ruin your gigs by providing poor tone and missing chords and such. He could have been asked to sit out the rest of the gig and then be dealt with later in a band meeting with all the issues on the table.
No sense in creating drama where none need be created. Passivity does that to you. Learn to be proactive and lay out the issues/problems as they come up. Dealing with them later can be more difficult and more involved, even in your non-band life.
We have tried to help him with his guitar problems. We have done one on one practices with him to focus on just his parts and make sure he gets it. We have (every practice) had to readjust his amp settings to get the sound we are looking for and yet it always needs to be readjusted.
As for his personal problems we all agreed a long time ago that personal stays out of band. We dont need those two worlds to collide....the band learned a while ago to keep those separate the hard way.
I agree with you Stumbo about how we should have told him what we needed to remain in the band.
One hard part was our BL was resistant to kicking anyone out of a band no matter what. But we convinced him finally even though he was fully aware of the problems and we have tried so many options to fix them. It was like once the problems were "fixed" another one would appear and the old ones re-emerge.
As for your original question. If there's a problem, just fix it. We strung a bad situation with our old drummer along for months because the BL and guitar player didn't have the balls to fire him. Our gigs suffered because of it, and we missed out on new opportunities. You may be surprised how well the guy takes it -- he may be thrilled to be given an "out". In my experience, I've found that something as simple as "it's just not working out, the vibe isn't there" usually does the trick without too much drama.
I have been in a band that was like that, and tried to be a BL in my own startup, and did exactly the things you stated above, resulting in disaster both times. Hard lessons for me and some level of heartbreak. Nobody came out the winner in either situation. By trying to be the "nice guy", it made things harder than it should have been and a portion of that was my inability or unwillingness to address issues when they first showed up, and "let things slide", hoping it would get better.
For the OP; I have been exactly where you are, EXACTLY. In my last two bands. Exact same type of player(s), exact same problems, same results. Bombed shows. Grueling rehearsals. Not wanting to go to rehearsal, watching the others, and myself, struggle with a player (or players) who just weren't up to the task. But nobody had the guts to take them aside and "nip it" when it first started.
I will never be in that position again. I will never put myself in that position again.
By letting these problems persist for as long as they have, it's made the problem and the drama of what is ultimately the necessary decision much, much harder and bigger. Don't take it as a criticism, I've been in your shoes and have done what you have done, with the same results. And it is hard.
Have one person address the issue, the most even-tempered one of the bunch. If you address it as a band, at this point the guy will feel like he's being ganged up on and picked on. Plus, it has the potential to get ugly when multiple personalities are involved in a dismissal. Let's face it; you don't want to hurt the guy but he's causing the others to suffer unnecessarily. Just call him (don't text, don't e-mail, that's disrespectful), or meet with him in person, and explain that the group feels that it simply isn't working out with him aboard, and as a group they have chosen to ask him to withdraw from the band, and asked that you be the one to speak to him about it.
As far as a "second chance", or explaining what's expected and seeing if he will change, in this situation I don't agree. He's had over a year to step up his game, and if he hasn't by now he either has a lack of talent, a lack of dedication, or a lack of time. Or all three. After a year of not improving, I doubt highly that a conversation is going to cause the light to "turn on".
With what I've learned in my last groups, I've come to the conclusion that if a player doesn't make consistent gains or show some sort of progress week to week, then they probably won't show much progress, ever. I might go as much as a month with someone, but if I don't see where they are improving and learning the material, they never will. This is not to say that they will be perfect, but you should notice them getting better consistently, even in little ways.
When I join a new band I always treat it as though I am auditioning the band as well. I tell them I understand it is a trial period and if it doesn't work out just let me know. Sometimes I am the one that tells the band it isn't working out. Either way, I would rather know the band was not happy with me and I could find a better gig and they could find a better player. We all win...
Do it like in School of Rock when Dewey gets fired which I cannot find an amusing clip of on youtube but you get the idea.
Have you ever had a beloved pet, that needed to be put down? It's never easy, but you know you have to end the suffering...
Don't hesitate, I waffled about cutting out a cancer case and it cost me the whole shooting match. Just go with the no vibe and good luck thing, but do it now!
Not easy to do but it must be done. More importantly....why are you all booking shows when the band is not right??
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