Am I Looking At This Incorrectly or Should I Forget It?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jgbass, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I have not been actively involved with a rock band for awhile because of other obligations, but an ad for bassist popped up, I went to their website, and liked what I heard and saw. Gigging part time band.

    So, I emailed the leader, we have been sending emails for a week or so, and yesterday we had a phone conversation. He was trying to find a time for audition, but the band has some gigs coming up this and next week, so that has to wait a week or two now. Then he dropped a bomb ... I am just looking for a sub right now, it was in the ad. The bass player we have changes his mind about being in the band, but you could be in the band if things change.

    This really annoyed me. First of all, it was NOT in the ad. After spending a week or so back and forth getting to know each other, neither the ad nor he mentioned it was a sub thing until yesterday.

    I really like the band, do not have anything else that sounds good for an audition, and it would be good to learn the material and audition, but I am really on the fence. I cannot stand this indecision stuff, well, he is not sure if he wants to be in the band stuff, and, in the past, every situation like this never turns out to be an opportunity for me. Seems to me, if a band is unhappy with someone that should just get rid or him or her and find someone else. Just do it, you either are 100% about the band or you are out. I am not convinced that this is a bad enough situation to make him get booted. Would I want to be in a band with two bass players, the main guy doing some gigs, and me getting the leftovers? Maybe the lower paid ones too. Not a whole lot of bands around doing the type of setlist they have. If I did not really like what they are doing, I would say forget it. But, if the ad had said sub I would not have answered this. But, a part of time is saying forget it anyway and this is like bait and switch and sheesh, I have not even auditioned and there are already problems.

    Anyone had a situation like this?
  2. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    Think of it this way:

    1. Something is better than nothing
    2. I'll take the crumbs
    3. I'll pass and find something more stable
  3. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003

    Thanks! That really sums it up, doesn't it? OK, well looking at it this way then:

    1. Something is Better Than Nothing - I have other things going on - private lessons, another rehearsal type of band, and going to school and studying music, plus occasional gigs.

    2. I'll Take the Crumbs - No, no, I will not settle for this. All my work on self-empowerment, not putting up with crap. None of the this woman doormat stuff for me anymore. No, no!

    3. I will pass and find something more stable - This one sounds the best to me, even if I feel like I am losing out on an opportunity. Exactly, what kind of this opportunity is this? I have spent years playing in various bands. This band is only currently a bar band with some gigs. Yeah, it has greater aspirations, wants to do the casino circuit and touring, but so did most of the bands I played with. But, again, there is something strong drawing me to this band.

    Totally open to any other thoughts on this.
  4. Joe Murray

    Joe Murray

    May 14, 2008
    Fairfax, VA
    If I could chime in here, I say just go audition. Maybe a good bassist with a good attitude coming in and auditioning will be what drives them to part ways with the current guy*.
    If you like what they're doing and they are a good band, I say go for it.

    *as my disclaimer, I don't want any bass player getting fired from their gig, but if this guy really isnt into it, and someone else is....let them take a shot at it.
  5. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS

    I feel where you're coming from, you have to let go of the "ego" part when dealing with situations like this. Just audition and be okay with and enjoy the gigs that you're able to play with them especially if it's stuff that you're going to enjoy playing. I just had a couple of people call me and I haven't done a gig with them in a year because they usually use someone else for whatever reason. I don't care, if I'm free I'll do them and I'll get paid as well a WIN all around.
  6. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Thanks guys!

    Appreciate your comments so far!
  7. jmattbassplaya


    Jan 13, 2008
    I wouldn`t even bother with them. Anyone who says and does what he did sounds like the same type of person who`ll say something is a paying gig and you end up only bringing home $15 for a night.

    Just my opinion, of course.
  8. It doesn't sound the best way to start a business relationship: a "bait & switch" ad. Though it might have just been a mistake in the ad, the person should have checked the ad after you let him know what it actually said instead of insisting on his point of view.

    One way to perhaps view the situation is to view them the same they'd view you: this would be your "sub" band. You might stick around & you might not, but no commitments.
  9. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I'd auditon and sub. It could lead to networking opportunities to find a stable positon.

  10. Absouluely + 1

    Maybe (as stated above) this'll be the catalsyst for them to get rid of the guy.

    If not, then you might get some sub gigs and then they'll get rid of the guy.

    You never know who'll be watching/listening - something better may come of it.
  11. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    another +1... if you haven't been playing out in a while especially.

    on the switch to a sub position: who knows the relation they have w/the current bassist? maybe they're longtime friends outside the band (breakin up is hard to do...). maybe the guys truly awesome. the guy saying it was in the 1st ad when it wasn't: maybe your ad wasn't the 1st ad he posted? maybe he was embarrassed about the situation and lost his head. i wouldn't write him off... maybe just pay extra attention to see if it's habitual. good luck.
  12. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Thanks for all your responses! I have decided, if and when I hear from him again, that I will audition and if I am accepted as a sub, I will be a sub. I think the leader has his own levels of confusion about what to do, anyway.

    I will just think of it as a sub position, and they can offer me their time to rehearse as much as they want, i.e. do they want to work up vocals with me too? I am just going to treat this businesslike and I really think it would do me good to get out there, especially since I have not played this genre of music in a band in awhile. I see the value of expanding my repertoire and being able to do gigs of various styles of music anyway, and, as several posters mentioned, who knows where it will lead?

    I probably will not hear from him for a week or so. Will keep you posted.
  13. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    Many bands are always changing memebers, you never know who or when, but it may lead to something. I always treat offers of audtions like an opportunity..go in with a good attitude.
  14. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I just said no to this.

    Yes, yes, I know this is an opportunity, I hear that loud and clear with many of these posts, but too many red flags for me. But, am still bothered that the original advertisement made absolutely no mention of this being just sub work. I think the band is still conflicted about the other bass player. Really, if they were not, they would just fire him, but they have not done that.

    Thanks for all your input. There are always other opportunities.
  15. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    Yeah, I think this scenario is more typical than we think.

    Ever audition and the leader tells you, our bass player will stay with us till we get a replacement he's in no hurry to leave.

    I go with"Something is Better Than Nothing". You might come off as the stable more seasoned player.
  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    If the guy can't be forth coming with the basic info regarding his band and its needs, you're exactly right in not getting involved.

    The guy actually lied to you about what was in the CL ad that was easily verified(sub work). Obviously he lies when the truth would do just as well.

    I know several people like that and there's no way I'd be in business with them, no matter how much potential there is. I've observed them over the years and everything they get involved with always ends badly. Friendships, businesses, jobs, etc.

    Run, Forest, run!

    Good luck.
  17. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    bands are like romantic relationships -- when a relationship starts off almost immediately on the basis of deception, that's not a good sign.

    They are like a guy who has a GF, but isn't sure he wants to give her up yet, or at least not until he finds out if there is something better out there.

    So they are lying to both you and their current bassist.

    You don't have much to lose by auditioning, but honestly, would you be able to trust people like this? What they are doing to their current bassist, they will probably do to you.

    I hate dishonest people. I have to deal with that right now, and it sucks.

    I would say "thanks, but no thanks"
  18. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    My approach to these types of things is be as detached as possible because in the end I'm either playing the gig or I'm not and that's really what it's all about. I don't care if they don't want to embrace me as a band member, that doesn't matter to me. I also don't waste a lot of time trying to figure out what their actions mean again, I'm either on the gig or not, it's the bottom line. Part of being easy to work with, which results in people calling you back to do stuff, is being immune to the drama that accompanies many groups of players.

    The only time or way that I say that I'm not going to play with someone i.e. turn down a gig, is if I have a conflict i.e. I'm not available.
  19. I had a similar situation arise about a year-and-a-half ago. A local blues band advertised for a bass player and I was selected from the auditioners. The band emembers all raved about how much better I was than their prior bass player and I was excited to get going. I took my CD of new material to learn and started working on bass parts and background vocals.

    I didn't hear any more from the band for nearly a week, so I called the leader and asked when rehearsal was scheduled. "Oh, I'm sure I left you a message last week" said the leader. "Our old bass player decided not to retire after all and has rejoined the band." There was no message left, of course.

    If a band isn't going to deal with you in an honest and straightforward manner, you're better off knowing sooner rather than later. As others have said, the situation isn't without value. Sub fior them, but make sure they know you're doing it. Audition for others, sub for others and let this band know you're available to the first band that calls you with a gig.
  20. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Well, here we go again. Email from band leader. The bass player is definitely out of the band right after the next gig and, yes, they are looking for a full member bassist.

    OK, realizing how difficult these touchy situations are about firing people and wanting to give the to-be-fired person a final chance, which is what they did, I am going to audition. I respect that they gave him a chance and time to shape up. That was fair. I would want the same.

    And, if I audition, and nothing further happens, I will have had the experience and a bunch of new tunes in my repertoire.

    Maybe he was wishy washy just because he did want to give the other guy a chance, and, really was floundering on how to handle this delicate situation. That, in and of itself, is a good thing. I have no idea, but, the truth is that I like what this band does and I would like to be in it.
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