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50 ways to leave your band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by scottfeldstein, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I hate that this is so drama queeny, but I could use some advice or some encouragement or something. I'm in a band that I want to quit, but it's the pet project of an old friend.

    Background. I'm 43, just got back into music six months ago after a 10 year absence. He's 30, been trying to make a band really go for a while. As soon as I bought a bass he called me up and asked me to be in his band.

    After a long struggle for members, he finally has a drummer, a keyboard player and me. No vocalist. And about a dozen original songs.

    I've been rehearsing with him for six months. I even kicked in money for one of the rehearsal spots we were using for a while. But the project is going pretty much nowhere without a vocalist. There are no gigs without one and his efforts to recruit someone have been pretty fruitless.

    Now he wants me to rehearse Tuesday nights and also Saturday mornings. He believes "what we need" is to "get tighter." Or something. I told him what we really need is to record some of this music so it can be used to recruit a higher calibre of talent in a vocalist than the first-timers who've been showing up.

    Anyway, it's all moot now because I just want out. I have another very exciting music project going on--one where I like the music better and which requires me to show up for rehearsal only twice a month.

    How do I bow out of this? I could just tell him that I can't make the time commitment anymore. Maybe I tell him the music was never a great fit for me anyway. I could say that he's wasted more than enough of my time over the last six months. All of which are perfectly true. But how to craft a message that preserves my friendship…
     
  2. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Easiest way: Stop making the rehearsals (can be done gradually, leading up to "I've got too much going on right now")

    More responsible way: Talk to him about your concerns vs committment.
     
  3. thombo

    thombo

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    be honest- tell him you feel like all of the band's efforts are in vain.you wish them the best, but you feel that it is time for you to move on.
     
  4. Old Joe

    Old Joe Guest

    Apr 22, 2011
    You already know what to say. Maybe don't mention the music for the other project is better? If the guy is your friend the least you could do is be honest with him, IMO.
     
  5. Say it to his face and don't back down. You'd be surprised what sort of miracles something that simple can accomplish :D
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep, just be honest and tell him that it's not your thing. Be nice and polite about it.
     
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Here's what I'd like to say:

    "Listen, we've been at this thing for a long time now and we're still here in a basement with the same 12 songs. No gigs, no recordings, nothing. I just can't continue to put my time into it. I would be happy to show up for recording sessions if you wanted to get some of our work documented, but otherwise I'm out. If you want to keep at it, you'll have to get another bass player. Sorry, man. Thanks for helping me get back into music, but this project is just not right for me."
     
  8. When he hears that you're quitting, he'll be desperate to find any way to keep you from leaving. He's going to hear "bad news, bad news, bad news, He won't quit if there's a recording session, bad news, bad news."

    Dumb and Dumber 'There's a Chance' - YouTube

    So you're telling him there's a chance? :meh:

    My advice is to skip the part about showing up for recording.
     
  9. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I hear you on that. Be clear and have a single message: I quit. Lest he try (and perhaps succeed!) in finagling me back into regular rehearsal.

    On the other hand, I really don't want the work on his songs to disappear into the ether. Not to brag, but I think my bass lines genuinely added something to his material. I want him to keep that stuff, use it if he wants to.

    Hell, I could use some of his pre-me recordings and just dub my bass parts into it at home and send it to him, though. If it comes to that.
     
  10. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    If you're going to quit, then quit. Do everything possible to remain friends. When time has passed, and it is very clear that you have moved on with your other band, then you could possibly record some bass tracks.

    It will be better for both you and him if you do not send mixed signals.
     
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Actual email just sent:

    "[friend]:

    Canceling Saturday's rehearsal makes me realize that it's way time that I quit entirely. As much as I have been avoiding it--because I love hanging out with you guys--I think it has to be.

    I've been at this thing with you for a long time now--more than six months!--and we're still in a basement with the same 12 songs. No gigs, no recordings, nothing. I just too busy to continue to put time into a project with no return on investment. I would be happy to show up for a couple of recording sessions if you wanted to get some of our work documented, but otherwise I have to bow out. I really feel awful about it, man. Thanks for helping me get back into music, but this project is just not right for me anymore and I've known it for a while.

    Please don't be too mad about it. I hope we can still be great friends. Please feel free to extend any/all of this message to [drums] and [keys] as you see fit. I would have included them in the email, but thought it was best to go directly to you and let you handle it however you want to.

    Scott"
     
  12. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Just slip out the back Jack,
    Make a new plan Stan,
    Get on the bus Gus,
    Set yourself free...
    ;)
     
  13. Always use something positive when having these kinds of discussions.
     
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    Hi Scott,

    I agree with your approach.

    I would like to see you working with an established working band.

    blue
     
  15. xed

    xed

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    Remember that he probably thinks the same thing as you do "we're still in a basement with the same 12 songs. No gigs, no recordings, nothing" it's just that his perspective is different because it's his baby and that's a tough thing to put down.

    Remember that to you it's quitting a band but to him it may translate as him quitting on himself which is why these things aren't easy for anyone.

    Hope he takes the email well and it all shakes out ok for you.
     
  16. Eh...

    For those keeping score at home, I advise against the offer to do recording sessions, and had I known the plan was to send an email, I would have been against that as well.

    But I hope it works out for you. I'd be glad to be wrong.
     
  17. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    You're probably right about the email thing, Jason. However, my pal is quite the talker. Having conversations with him about it in person are going to go far better after having laid everything out nice and clear without interruption and letting it sink in.

    I still feel that the offer to record is a good idea though :)
     
  18. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    Scott, this sort of a side issue.

    The way I see it, what do you want to do as a bass player in Milwaukee?

    The bad news is if you want to gig, at the end of the day, that's not going to happen in Milwaukee with any originals band or start up project. At age 43 I would think hard about joining any originals band. It's a young man's game.

    Your comment about attracting higher caliber musicians with recordings. Most of the good players if available are looking for gigging bands that are making money.

    Are you looking to gig or are you more of a hobbiest?

    blue
     
  19. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Off the top of my head? I want to play music that I like with people that I like. I want to record it and distribute it. I want to play it for audiences. Not every weekend, but occasionally. I want to be proud of it so that I can invite family and friends to enjoy it.

    I also want to really dig in and have some of that obsessive pleasure one gets out of being a musician. Getting a certain tone, getting a technique right, nailing a riff. And exercising good taste. Creating something that delights others.

    And on a more simple level, it gets me out of the house and occupying my brain with something other than boingboing.net and television.

    I don't care if it's original music or not. Bonus if it is and the band still gets gigs and audiences. If it's covers, fine.

    The great news is, I'm involved in a project that fits all this pretty well. Nearly all original music. A good recording history. A small number of cool gigs. Fun people. And music that I find really interesting. All for the low, low time commitment of two rehearsals a month!

     
  20. Maybe you could start a pet project and invite other musicians, you never know until you ask around. If it's an intriguing and interesting prospect, you might get many candidates. And guitar players grow up under every tree.
     

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