Advice from this august group!...Band Members Not All On The Same Page

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BuffettBassMan, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. 6 people...been playing since 1995 with a great local and regional following doing Buffett covers. Yeah...I know...I thought it was lame too until you actually do it! Was I surprized just how ravenous "parrotheads" are for this stuff. They will follow you virtually anywhere you play!

    Lead singer, an attorney, gets pregnant, we lose her for most of the year. Vocally, we nose dive...

    Lead guitar, decides to go to Business School for MBA, can only gig once a month. We are used to gigging pretty much every weekend. Now, without lead guitarist and sometimes the lead singer, we're limited to once a month. Turning down gigs left and right is deepening my funk.

    We agreed early on..."we all gig or no gig". I am regretting that decision. Female lead singer is back, well sort of...At her leisure but I'm not a heartless cad so I understand the mother and child gig. Got a wife and two aspiring musicians of my own! At her request, we tried a fill in female which turned into a bloody disaster! Why is it that hot lead singers tend to bring all this baggage with them when? I just want to play and sound good. We collective decided that we'd be better off tenor and baritone for awhile. But the crowd did notice and tell us!

    Another mitigating circumstance for consideration. Being from Charlottesville, the lead guitarist is the brother in law of the road manager for DMB, so we get some bennies from that relationship. Discounts on equipment, free studio time, help with engineering, promos, stuff like that. DMB is "god like" here in Central Virginia, so the name association and contacts from that relationship has been very beneficial to our reputation getting big gigs statewide. So not only is he a real stand up guy, he bring alot to the table as it were.

    Feeling a real sense of loss here. Been playing in bands since my 43. Man, we really used to hang and I hate not playing!

    The question...Should I start the insurrenction and try to "move it on over" with a new, albeit it temporary, guitarist. Or, "move it on over" myself to a new gig, Or, just ride the storm out and hope for the best until next spring when the guy graduates?
  2. I've had experiences similar in my past...I'm also about the same age. I took some time to rethink what I really wanted to get out of playing with a group. Same deal, had a great band, great following, good gigs, and some of the members of the band still lost interest. We tried the fill-in route and after a trying time, finally packed it in. Painful, but necessary.

    I can't live without playing either, so my .02 would be to find a new gig with people who have their heart in it the way you do. I was fortunate enough to find a group that's perfect for me right now...and my it's elevated my playing (old dog, new tricks...imagine that!) and actually injected some enthusiasm into my performances again. Needless to say, now I'm happy this all happened. Time reveals truth.

    Leave the past behind! :bassist:
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you're not playing so much with the band, maybe you could enrol in a second project, perhaps doing something quite different? That way you don't loose what you've done with the existing group (although you'll have to watch to see if less gigs and practises mean your level of performance goes down) but you still get maximum playing time for yourself.

  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yep, I'm with wulf.

    Pesonally I'm in 3 bands at the moment. And have an-other audition this Thursday :)

    I usually find that while one band is active the other two are 'dormant' for a while and I rarely get conflicts.

    The other good thing about this is that you dont get bored of one group so easily. Playing with the same group of people can drive you nuts after a while I find and the more different situations you play in the more different inspiration and influence you pick up :)
  5. Since you have a good base with the current act, but they're less active, find a second project to work on.

    A good friend of mine once observed that as he got older, he got less and less attached to "the band" as a concept and was more willing to work on other projects, whether they were going to be "a band" or not.

    A couple of years ago I found my self in a similar position to you -- the band I was with sort of disintegrated because of personality issues. I eventually got the lead singer from that band working on a new project, but his schedule sometimes requires him to be out of town for extended periods. Also, though we play live, the primary focus has been on writing and recording.

    So I joined up with a second band that gigs more often. I've rarely had any conflicts, though I have had a couple of "two-fers" where I did one gig then rushed across town to the other.

    I'd not burn any bridges by trying to make the Buffet band over in your own image. Just stick with them while there's still some life and move on to something else ... it could be a great time for you to explore playing music that may not play as well, but lets you express your own creativity more.
  6. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Start a second band man! Power trio or something cool like that!