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Am I petty and uptight?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sqlb3rn, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    It seems like there are a lot of small annoying things in my original metal band, stacking up and reducing my enjoyment in the band. But, I seem to be the only one in the band having "issues". For starters, the music is not mine and not exactly my style... I only wrote bass lines to their existing music. I have recorded some of my ideas, but mostly no one even bothers to listens to them. Okay, so this is a gig where I am not a contributing writer, I just write and play bass; fair enough so far I suppose.

    I get a lot of enjoyment from the hobby of music, so I do things like record and produce our garage demo, burn a spool of free garage demo CDs for every show, create our set opening track burn to cd and coordinate it with sound man, and setup our online presence. I read and watch videos about bass, mixing and recording, live sound... you know, all the topics in these forums. But that's me, I do it for fun, and I have the time. The other band members don't do so much.

    Where I start to get annoyed is they don't practice at home or try to get a better sound or do any kind of learning/growing. If we don't have band "practice", they don't practice... despite me uploading backing tracks to our google drive. I practice at home, so my parts are solid... we have been playing together for a year, and at this point it feels like a waste of time to get together to... practice.

    The vocalist is the worst. After a year (he has been in the band longer than me) we still don't have names for half our songs (we only have 8 songs), he has not sent anyone any lyrics so I don't even know what he's screaming, and he just shows up to band practice and gigs with nothing except d*** in hand. I suggested we use some band money to get the vocalist gear, and he looks at me incredulously and asks sarcastically, "what gear do I need?". He's relying on venues to provide his mic, PA, and effects.

    The rhythm guitarist has crappy pedals plugged in a random order/fashion and does things like leave his phaser on while his amp hisses at the end of songs. Blows money on a crappy 8 string he can't even play instead of doing a little research and using that money to improve the band's sound. I try not to get annoyed at that, cuz it's his money... but I can't help it and it makes me feel uptight and petty.

    Lead guitarist brings an ugly stupid cinder block up on stage, just to set his foot on it for solos. Even the soundman was confused who's cinderblock was on stage, and why. It's all up in our videos and picture, so (despite how douchey it is to bring a cinder block to set your foot on for solos) I suggest we at least paint it black or something. Maybe even make it a thing by putting something funny on it or our band initials/logo. The drummer says keep it and don't paint it, he likes the "industrial look"... so I offer to take some steel wool and a spray bottle of water to his drum kit since he likes the industrial look. Needless to say he passed... At this point I am feeling pretty little and petty, I'm trying to be understanding but stuff is stacking up.

    There is all the standard word salad "I'm gonna do X" but it never happens. "I know someone who can..." no you don't. The worst is the way our bandleader emails venues. His opening emails never give any info or links about our band... usually just asking "Do you book metal bands?" and literally that is the whole email.

    He pissed off the owner of our main venue and made us all look like a big goof troop, with his ridiculous emails asking to change dates and add bands to the line-up when they have no room, then questioning them... she was literally getting ready to post the event to facebook and confirmed with our band... then 5 minutes later BL asked to change to the next weekend with some random band from 4 states away that messaged him on facebook. She finally had enough and schooled us... told him how lucky we are to get weekend shows as a new band with no fans, that they usually book 3 months in advance, and the booker has been very nice giving us weekend slots due to cancellations.

    Knowing he will make it worse, I ask him not to reply, but he does anyway. He blames the venue owner for not confirming the date sooner with the random band from 4 states away, and then asks if any weekend slots are available in the next few months. At this point I am furious and thinking about quitting the band... no one else in the band cares or thinks it is a big deal. All they know is they get gigs (for now), and just have to show up with d*** in hand ready to play. Makes me question why I am getting so upset... that I should just show up and play. There is no metal scene here, so it's not like I can just join a different band... but at this point I'm just about to quit and sell my gear. I don't even get paid, it goes into a band fund ie: the band leader's checking account.

    Also one guitarist has a big picture of jesus on his cabinet on stage, which I am not a big fan of, but I don't have the right to ask him to remove it. We are not a religious themed band.

    Here is the wonderful email we received after he jerked the venue around over the course of 35+ emails. This happened a few days ago, I slept on it, and it still bothers the hell out of me, esp when I think about all the other stuff. We are adults in our 30s... and I'm the only one in the band that cares or has issues; I am strongly considering bailing on our out of town gig this weekend, cuz I don't want to spend the money am I just uptight?

    No. those dates are held.

    I just checked w/ you before announcing this show!!! 3/18

    This is getting tiresome.

    You need to understand. [venue name] is booking shows 3 months in advance most of the time.

    You have been very lucky to play on two weekend slots so far for your shows because of cancelations.
    Newer bands are usually put on weeknights but Dan has been kind to you guys.

    If you want a show with your friends band request a weeknight and you will probably get it.

    You need to concentrate on getting some people out to your show on 3/18.

    (BL then replies asking for another weekend show)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    Matthew Fisher likes this.
  2. Runlikegregg


    Dec 31, 2011
    to answer your question - Yes. you are petty and uptight. But only in comparison to your band mates.
    it sounds to me like you need a different band with people who are on the same page as you.
    it's tough to let go.
    let go.
  3. JCooper

    JCooper Shen Qi Jing He Yi Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2009
  4. Oneud


    Apr 16, 2016
    I'd get out. Just reading that your post, it really sounds like you don't want to be in a band with these guys. Sounds like they are unprofessional, not too serious, and the fact that they just ignore the ideas you bring is pretty annoying, too.
  5. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think you're being petty- I think you just take the band more seriously and you have a better grasp on objective reality than your band mates. They may just want to have fun (subjective) without putting in any effort while you want to improve yourself and the group along the way.

    As far as the cinderblock thing is concerned- it sounds like the guitarist is more concerned with how he looks soloing than getting better at soloing. Which isn't to say there's a problem with theatricality, but with a vocalist who doesn't have their own mic (or ANY equip and can't comprehend why he might want to own his own stuff), a bandleader who seems to have no idea how booking or running local shows goes (from the venue perspective at least), and another guitarist who doesn't care enough to shut off his pedals between songs, you might be in a losing battle.

    And while most of your gripes are subjective (but I agree with you), the rest of the band just doesn't sound like they care about acting and subsequently looking somewhat professional/respectable.

    I'd sit them down and let them all know where you stand and more importantly why you feel how you feel about their handling of band matters, and see what they say. If your goals don't match with them, play your remaining commitments and dip!

    But don't sell your gear!
  6. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    You're getting gigs despite the ridiculous apathy shown by your bandmates? (Even dead fish move downstream.) You show a work ethic and professionalism they do not. Keep your eye out for the opportunity to join or form a new band with dedicated, serious members. Hope this helps.
    Roberto Nunez, Sartori, JRA and 2 others like this.
  7. i hate username

    i hate username

    Jan 9, 2006
    I think the cinderblock thing kinda gives away the guitarists priorities. While the gripes you have may be a bit petty in isolation they do paint a picture i know well. Do you get the feeling the rest are far more interested in looking metal than sounding good?

    If its not too rude a question what age bracket is everyone in? When i was younger and plaing with people my age, we wasted a lot of time and had a lot of these problems but since we were younger i guess we had the time to waste. Just spending 4 hours every weekend getting toasted and seeing how much noise we could make. It was fine at the time because we were all on the same page and doing it for kicks, but if one of us wanted to really put a lot of effort in it would not have ended well.

    I think you need to find people on the same page as you in terms of what you want to do, the others sound like they just want to have a laugh.
    sqlb3rn, Sartori and Danhedonia like this.
  8. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Sounds like the quintessential unsuccessful originals band. Unprofessional with venues, lack of playing ability, and tries too hard to look cool. Just based on the cinder block and jesus picture..i wouldn't want to even be seen with these guys let alone play in a band with them. You are better off playing in the bedroom than with these dudes, by the sound of it.

    Quit now.
  9. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    A cinder block! That's hilarious. They make foot rests for that exact purpose

    The guy in Chevelle always used his tool box, but he probably kept extra strings and stuff that might have had a purpose.
  10. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    T'were me, I would walk.
    If I were Yoda, walk I would.
  11. CB3UK


    Jan 13, 2017
    I agree with you wholeheartedly OP, but it sounds like you and I are very similar in personality. At first i thought maybe you were a teenager and that this was typical of "kids these days" or some such trite nonsense....but I'm 33 and I certainly know what I want and expect. These guys seem to be laid back about it all, and if that works for them great; it wouldn't for me.
    sqlb3rn likes this.
  12. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    An originals band that has written all of eight songs in a year? That don't have names or finalized, written lyrics? You had me right there.

  13. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'd walk...no, run.
    You clearly have a far more professional and business-like approach to the whole band business.
    Put your efforts into setting up your own project and good luck!
  14. PullThePlug


    Jan 8, 2014
    I played in a few death metal/grind/slam bands...

    I found with these groups, you have to find other musicians who share the same values and interests you do.
    Not petty nor uptight, you just have different standards. Now find those musicians with those same standards.
  15. From your description, I can't see why anyone would want to be in this band...
    maxmaroon, Sartori, Buszkock and 4 others like this.
  16. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    It sounds to me like music is pretty important to you. It also sounds like it's not very important to your bandmates. The answer is pretty simple really, find new bandmates. Don't waste anymore time with the clowns you currently play with,they will never put in the effort to be better musicians. I know from experience.
    Sartori likes this.
  17. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    At your age, there are a lot of musicians that are just like the folks in your band. Most of them, 10 years from now, won't be playing music. You need to go find some folks, like you, that recognize that, if you want to be good, you have to work at it. I'm a lot older than you, and I get to play with folks from a lot of different age groups. We all practice at home. When we get together (I play at churches) and rehearse - we work not on our parts and the chord changes (we know whose already), but getting our parts to work together. We go from our first rehearsal together to playing in front of more people than I ever played to in a club in a couple of hours, and we sound better than any bar band I was ever in. Yes, it's only a few tines, but still, no bar band I was ever in could do that.

    None of this is rocket science. There is some talent involved, particularly for singers and such (a crappy voice is not going to go that far). There's a lot of work to get your chops in order. There's persistence in finding the right people to play with. If you keep at it, you can go places. Just don't stick yourself in a bad situation once it becomes clear that....it's a bad situation. Move out, move on.
  18. I would give up on this band, just to save your sanity. Keep playing to stay on the scene, but definitely start looking for another band. Also, I highly suggest a different genre. Metal is not kind to bassists in my opinion.
    sqlb3rn and brbadg like this.
  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I couldn't get through the entire manifesto but it sounds like you are not on the same page as your band. You aren't going to fix all that mess to your satisfaction. Make sure to remember to fire the drummer before you rage quit!
  20. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Maybe stay with this band but start another one to focus your efforts into.
    That way you can also not give a poopie when you play with these guys.
    sqlb3rn, Sartori, OOD and 2 others like this.

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