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After a long string of bad decisions I was fired by the band.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Metalbasspro, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    The story can now be told. This went down like 4 weeks ago.

    MORS playing abortion copy. Background: In the Summer of 2015 I joined a Black Metal band, a band of guys who were 22 to 23 years old. The vocalist played bass and wanted to focus on vocals only. I had some conversations with the Drummer about paid gigs with a project I was looking to start when he shared my videos with the band and since they were looking for a bass player I was asked to come meet and play with them. I was then in even though I am twice their age.

    We started working on a set. We then quickly organized and booked a show. After a few shows the Second Guitar player left. We did a few shows with one guitar. We recorded a EP, ordered shirts Etc. We got a second Guitar player at my urging to give him a shot and played out CD release gig. At this point I was a full and respected member. The show was a success but after that there was a decline in my standing. Before that I spent a lot of money on new gear, a van for the band to use and we did some out of town shows and our name got more and more known. Promoters were calling us.

    I did a lot of promotion out of my own pocket, flyers and posting them. Little help from anyone in doing so. Took adds out in the paper for our shows.

    As things were winding down I considered the bad feed back we got on the vocalist. He was a death metal singer in a black metal band and it did not work well and people were vocal in telling me but I don't know if that got to the other members. Meanwhile the main guitar player was doing more and more back up vocals and I could see that he should step into the lead vocal spot and that would mean me exiting so the vocalist could return to bass however I don't know that this is what happened or if its why I was fired.

    Some of the things that were going on to make me think that I could not stay un related to any line up issues was,

    1. Members were dipping into the band funds or getting loans from it.

    2. Merch was being traded for other band merch and then that trade item became the members property rather then the bands.

    3. Merch was being ordered on the basis of one or two people saying they wanted this or that rather then taking more input and making a better informed decision.

    4. They decided to move into a band room costing 375.00 a month but kept booking shows that did not pay or did not promote them so they would pay.

    5. Refused to establish bare minimum booking requirements in pay.

    6. Refused my idea at a band meeting that we no longer dip into the band funds.

    7. Accepted my ideas on what to use band funds for when traveling but then seemed un willing to follow through. Example I bought the van I expected that the band would pay for the gas. Sometimes I got the feeling they resented me not paying for the gas too.

    8. They started to slack off on practice going with the it's good enough attitude when it could have been excellent. This made no sense after moving into a rental that cost 375.00 dollars.

    So it seems that my ideas were less and less appreciated till the point I felt like I was a second class citizen in the band. TO the point I stopped offering my ideas or suggestions. I stopped suggesting we practice more.

    There was some foreshadowing,

    About two months ago the singer was asking me about how to play some of the bass lines under the assumption he might have to fill in if I can't make a show due to work. They were less social around me at the last three gigs. Last gig I walked in and called out to one of the members. He replied "Dad"? I asked did you just call me Dad. The singer said "ya inside joke". I walked out since I was on my way out anyway and thought to myself it was probably time to leave the band if members are talking about you when you are not around and making you an inside joke.

    Because of this I could see that any efforts was a lost cause. I stopped warning them about the consequences of the way they conduct themselves. Example on the last gig at a place we played at twice before I loaded up my SUV rather then the van. They always had a ride before. Drummer's girl friend's car, and the drummer always played another drummer's set. So going with tradition I loaded my SUV as there is no need to waste gas on a van in a 80 mile round trip. Last minute drummer wants to know if he can put the drums in the van. I load a day or two before a show since I work nights and it's more easy to do it that way. We could have used the van but I would have had to un load it all and re load it into the van right before the show.
    The Singer offered a ride before he drove up saying if anyone needs a ride I am leaving in 20 minutes. There was silence in reply. I could see that he would leave and they would still need a ride. That is what happened. I could have warned them about this but I was done baby sitting them. Figured they have to learn to organize better or suffer the problems. Like I said they no longer liked my input so I was no longer giving it.

    Longer story short I offered to un load one cab so we could fit the second Guitar player, his gear and the drummer who did arrange to play another drummer's kit but I was told to worry about myself and that they were going to drive down to us and pick up the drummer and guitarist. I was like suite yourself I offered to pull a cab to make it in my SUV and they wanted to drive down. Other then the SUV already being loaded the van had a cracked windshield and no one was going to give me any gas money to help with the added expense. So I showed up and as they were less talkative I left right after I loaded my gear since I was under some stress at work fearing I would be fired for something I had no done that I thought would be blamed on me.

    The next week end I got a message from main guitar player not to meet at the practice place but the drummer's pad. I knew something was up but not sure if we had just moved out of the too expensive practice place or what. With everyone on the outside deck were we always had band meetings the main guitar player says to me "Well since we don't know how much longer you will be in this band"... I cut him off with my ideas that I probably had to leave so the singer could go back to bass Etc. But they never confirmed that so I don't know what their plans are and they were guarded as to their future plans. Rather then argue I accepted I was no longer part of the band, we all shook hands and I left. No contact with them since. They may have had good cause to dismiss me but I can't help but think there is some reason I have not been told about un related to music. They did make a point to tell me it was not my playing and that they considered me a really good bass player.

    We agreed there was no hard feelings but there was still some feelings. Like the amount of dedication I gave that seems to be for nothing. I knew the pay off was simply playing shows with them. The problem is going forward how do I dedicate myself to that degree? I can't keep joining up starts only to be dismissed as soon as they figure they don't need me anymore.

    Since then I have met with another up start black metal band. The Guitar player I recognize as one of the guys who went to a lot of our shows as a fan.

    SO don't know what the future holds. I am loath to slug it out in a rehearsal room again waiting for others to get up to speed. ON the covers we played I know them better then they did and I had just learned them. And these guys are younger too. Maybe late 20''s and early 30's. Drummer did not show he was sick but has a bad rap for being un dependable. He was also a member of the band I was fired from before I got there.

    Well you win some lose some I guess......
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  2. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Far to many red flags were ignored before even getting to the “dipping into band funds” part. A band fund is not a great idea to me. Pay me my share of the profit, and I’ll kick in my share of the expenses. Keep receipts for taxes.
  3. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'm sure I said this in other posts about your situation but that band was never a good fit for you.
    You put far more in to it than the rest of them and never got any appreciation or help.
    You are far better off out of the whole mess.
    I wish you much better luck in your next project... You deserve it.
  4. Man, the writing on the wall was visible from Mars. I am surprised you stuck around with those bozos as long as you did. Best of luck getting a band together with adults.
  5. ''Jesus wears Armani'', signed Oscar the Grouch.

    What the hell????
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    when you're the only one putting effort into a band - or probably any kind of group activity - it's time to move on.

    i'm sorry you were fired because that feels bad, but honestly this is a chance to find or form a band where everyone is on the same page and is a contributing member.
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Good read. A sad sight as to how this went down, and I half expect them to come back running when they figure out they just lost the backbone of the band.

    One thing I didn't quite understand was the fans' problem with the singer. Death metal vocals in a black metal band seem perfectly acceptable to me. There is such a thing as genre fusions. Seems a bit too purist to me, I thought black metal has moved on from that with much of it moving in an ambient or post-black direction...
    Beej, pacojas and Mr_Moo like this.
  8. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    Not the band's name that was a head liner's banner that they made all the bands going before them suffer.
  9. Metalbasspro


    Feb 9, 2009
    Well I hope I did not paint myself as the only one who did anything for the band. Though I suppose it was only I and the main guitar player while the others took on the little stuff.

    The Second Guitar player was the booking guy for the band. I did not feel he knew what he was doing but the guitar player felt I was wrong about him. He had no prior experience and this was his first feral band to begin with. But so far as fronting money for anything it was the Main Guitar player and myself.

    I don't think they will ever ask me back, they consider me too old to go the distance though they may well fall apart. On my errands I drive by the practice place and more often then not they are not there rehearsing.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Sometimes, the desire to be in a band makes us join/stay with a band we should not be a part of. Like this one.
    btmpancake, bobunit, pacojas and 18 others like this.
  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    A phrase to remember: return on investment. There was none. I don’t put up my money without some evidence that I’ll get something for it. They used you cuz you had deeper pockets.
  12. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Good luck with your new band. Hope you find mates as motivated as you seem to be. By the way, I might have been gone as soon as they didn’t want to pay for gas for my new van I was letting the band use. Not even accounting for wear and tear. I definitely would have been gone with the songs “good enough” attitudes.
  13. There is just too much Good Music to be made against a background of Bad Drama- I would have walked away much earlier, especially if they couldn't realize that things just don't happen for free!

    Hope the future bodes well for you guy!
    Mr_Moo and MichaelJordan like this.
  14. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    All I ask is that in the movie version your part is played by jack black.

    Thanks for sharing best of luck!
  15. I've been in similar situations, and it does suck to read through that knowing it's just not going to get better. Originals bands are so tough; when you have such a personal relationship to the music it's so easy to lose sight of what makes a band work or not work.
    Mr_Moo and the harp unstrung like this.
  16. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Every band has a ticking time bomb in it. It’s important to identify it early.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t be in a band with such a large age disparity unless the younger members were just lights-out great players and I wanted the challenge.

    As a person of a certain age, one must accept the truth that their problems simply aren’t your problems, and you’ll always be the odd man out, looking in.

    Interesting story. Thanks.
  17. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Well, I think the important lesson learned here is this: it's not that an age gap like that can't work for an original band, it's that it isn't any fun to make work.

    It's better for you now that they're off your dang lawn. You'll have much more fun with a group of people in similar life circumstances who you can relate to.
  18. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    How do you play on a stage covered in cables? I'd quit just for that.
    Seriously- You need a more pro band.
  19. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Never play with people half your age is the lesson here. They’ll either mock you or take advantage of you, or, as in this sad tale, both.

    As much as we would like to pretend age doesn’t matter, it usually does. A lot.
  20. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Expectation is the root of all heartache. —William Shakespeare

    It seems to me that your expectations and theirs were wildly different but never really communicated.

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