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After all these years... Is the band done?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dkerwood, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    A little history:

    My sister (bass), our friend Dan (drums) and I (guitar) started this band (Christian rock band) in 2004. My sister and I were playing in bands together for 2 or 3 years before that. We've got material (I wrote it all) from far earlier than that. I've not been sans band for more than 6 months for the last 10 years.

    Although our drummer is different (last drummer joined in 2005, current drummer joined just a month or two ago), my sister and I have been pushing this band forward all along... or so I thought.

    Tonight, she blew off band practice claiming the need to "study." Of course, she didn't decide to tell me this until she was already 20 minutes late to practice. It occurs to me that I've been pushing the band by myself for months. We've been trying to get our new drummer up to speed, but she's been late to almost every rehearsal (except the one rehearsal where our drummer got stuck late at work - she now thinks HE'S the slacker). And, of course, every rehearsal comes with a slew of complaints, sighs, and eye rolls. Tonight might be the last straw.

    Our drummer had already set up his drums, I got my guitar gear set up, and by the time we got her text (she didn't even call), we were already jamming a little. Her text reads, "I'd rather be kicked out of the band than do badly on this test." BS. An adult schedules time appropriately, and knows earlier than 20 minutes AFTER rehearsal was scheduled to start that they can't be there.

    I'm so tired, guys. Training a new drummer has been exhausting enough, and I'm honestly tired of dragging a bassist behind me. Firing her and replacing the bassist/vocalist seems equally exhausting.

    I love being on stage, and I love being able to touch others with my music, but I'm seriously considering disbanding and calling it quits. I'm thinking about cutting back to only playing at church.

    What do you think?
  2. troyus


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Diego, CA.
    Join a band with people that pull their own weight.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    First, get a good night's rest. Maybe a couple or three.

    Last, talk with your sister and listen to her(one on one). Find out what's going on. She's also tired.

    She doesn't want to let you down but she appears to have other things going on in her life that you are obviously not aware of.

    You and her need to get on the same page.

    Then you will be able to make a more rational/reasonable decision.

    Best not to make decisions when you're tired.

    Good luck.
  4. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Thank you. This is the best advice I've gotten yet on the subject.

    It's so hard. We've always been a "performing" band rather than a "rehearsing" band. That is, once we get the basics down, we play a bunch of shows and get tighter that way. This band just hasn't been that way. We got the basics down, but gigs are hard to come by unless I want to take the Christian band out to local bars- I really don't. Before sis got into college and I moved for work, we lived in an area that provided multiple opportunities for gigs. I also had a church gig that let the band play together (non-band material) every Sunday, getting us more in tune musically every week. My church gig also allowed us to perform for the church or for the youth group whenever we had a significant loll in our schedule. Despite being plugged into a church here, we still have none of those advantages. So we just rehearse.

    My sister and I absolutely HATE rehearsing. We've done a lot of the same songs for years- I think our oldest song dates back to 96. And while we have some more recent music, most of our material is 2-6 years old. We've run the licks, we've worked the transitions, and we've polished it until it shined. Unfortunately, we've also had to teach it to 5 drummers now over the years.

    Our drummer came to us tired of the secular rock thing. He played in a metal band before us, and he couldn't stand the scene. Yesterday, though, he mentioned that they were also playing 1-3 gigs a week, which he really missed. He also mentioned that he was getting involved with a second band... :scowl:
  5. ColdSteelRain


    Jul 27, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Based on an insanely small amount of info, it sounds like you're both burnt out from rehearsing the same songs for years and not getting much chance to perform them.

    You probably need to get some (maybe a lot) of new music into the set list, and some gigs, or decide to dis-band and find more interesting projects. At least find some side projects to keep your interest up.
  6. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Here's a question that's going to be hard to answer now, but is worth thinking about anyway if you are really thinking of calling it quits:

    Six months or a year from now, do you think you'll miss playing in this band enough to where you'll try to start it up again?

    If so, then that time in the interim will just be wasted as you'll have the same problems getting things going again then as you do now. Which means that unless you are sure you can walk away and be okay with calling it quits for good, you might as well try to fix things now.

    One thing seems clear - either your sister just has other things weighing on her mind right now or she's just worn down and ready to quit. You need to find out which. And if it's the latter, you could probably convince her to stick it out, but if her hearts not in it, then this will just come up again. Better to let her go and find someone else. And that might not be a bad thing. Getting a new bass player will change the dynamic and may re-energize you as well.
  7. +1000

    Think " HIATUS " you need to get over the burn out, or it WILL kill you and/or the band.
  8. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Here's youre problem, youve been playing the same songs for the past 2-6 years. I would be dead bored of that band as well. The longest band Ive been in lasted 3 years, actually 2 different bands lasted 3 years. If I may ask, have you recorded any of that material? If so, move down to the next point. If not, continue on... Maybe youve missed out on one of the great parts that go along with being in a band. Recording, and Im not talking about the making a CD and selling it part. The recording process allows you to put down your older, more well rehearsed material so that essentially, as a musician/songwriter, you can get it out of your system. The point is, these are old and tired songs, and it frees you up to concentrate on new, fresh, exciting material. In both of my previous 3 year long bands, we went to the studio to get those songs out of our system. A 'theyre on tape (CD) now and we can leave them behind us' sort of mentality.

    If you have recorded your older songs, my next suggestion is to stop playing them, with maybe the exception of 2 or so fan favorites. You have a new drummer, and a tired situation. Rather than try and teach all the tired old songs to your new drummer, use this opportunity and his lack of knowing your previous material to your advantage. Write a whole sets worth of new material! You and your sis hate rehearsing... why do you think that may be? Most likely because youre both tired of playing 6 year old songs! Revitalize your band, man!
  9. WordIsBorn79


    Jan 10, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you're tight with your sister on a family level, make sure you stay that way afterwards. blood is thicker than water, my friend.
  10. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    If you're the guitarist and she's the bassist, then she's right and you're wrong.
  11. 10/4 I failed to recognize that, my bad, furthermore, she is the one that should be on this thread/forum.
  12. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Nah, I taught her everything she knows. I was a bass major in college, and my 4 and 5 strings have brought me more money than my 6 string ever has. I just have musical ADD and have to bounce around between as many instruments as possible. :)

    For what it's worth, we have recorded 7 tunes, but if you've got a CD to sell, you have to play quite a few of the recorded tunes or people won't buy the CD. ...right?

    We have been pulling out some really old tunes that we haven't played for a few years. It's nice to do some different things. The only trouble comes when we need to do a 2 hour headliner gig... Maybe by the time we get around to learning those other songs, they'll be old enough to be interesting again.

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