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Audition / Band Choice Dilemma

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by rllefebv, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Long post... Sorry in advance...

    Okay... A little history... Back in April, I quit a Country band that I had been with for 16 months and joined a blues / roots type band that was gearing up to gig. At the time, I was also in another blues band that grew out of a long time jam session with a guitarist from a previous band and some friends... These are both good, fun bands, but neither is gigging much. Lately I have been feeling a sense on ennui with both situations...

    Recently, at work, I heard of a gal that had a country band and was seeking a bass player. I went to check out the group, and they sounded great... Her husband, the band leader, was filling in on bass and doing a credible job... They had recently picked up a hired gun steel player and were a five piece... While talking, I asked if they were certain that they wanted to bring in another person and was told that the band was in agreement that they wanted a 'real' bass player. I auditioned last Saturday and was offered / accepted the position on Monday...

    I notified my two current bands that I would be leaving after honoring outstanding commitments... On Wednesday, I received a call from the Country band leader recinding the offer... Apparently the rest of the band had grown accoustomed to the steel player and were both unwilling to let him go, or take a reduced cut to bring in another player. I was upset, and let the leader know that while I didn't hold it against anyone, I had asked this question several times before auditioning, (and even during the audition)... Also, on Sunday I was in two bands and on Wednesday I was band-less... He was also very bummed because he is a guitar player and has difficulty playing bass and singing...

    After bumming a bit on Thursday, (even to the point of considering hanging up the bass for a few months :eek: ), I answered an ad for a horn band seeking... I was given six songs to learn for tomorrow's audition, and while I think that they may be out of my league, I'm gonna give it my all and have a blast...

    Anyhow, after setting up the audition, the Country band leader calls back and offers me a one-weekend-a-month gig at one of the clubs where they get paid enough to hire an extra member without hurting pockets, (He really, really wants to make this work for both of us. I admit that he's in a bit of a tight spot and don't hold it against him)... While all of the band members dug my playing during the audition, (It was a really good vibe, and I'd enjoy playing with this band), the negative impact on the pocket book would apparently be too great... Hopefully, after playing a few gigs as a hired gun, they'll see thie light...

    What would you do?? Furthermore, what would you do if you were offered a position in the horn band?? (I know it's a long-shot, but just suppose...)

  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    good one
    well depending on your needs, you have a few options. If you really don't need the gig money the once a month deal might be cool short term (3 months?) to see if the actual experience gigging gets you in as a full time member. (there's nothing you can do about it but auditioning for a bass chair and then deciding that you don't want a bass player, not to mention deciding that after you've hired one and they cancelled their gigs is unbelievably unprofessional) :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    I don't see any problem auditioning for the other band, don't be held back by your doubts, too many great opportunities are lost that way, (in all aspects of life). There's always the option of being able to play for both, (schedule permitting), at least in the short run. And of course, there's always other options. Get your name out as a fill in/hired gun for local groups, as well as availability to join something full time.
    Ultimately you have to choose what's best for you, not someone else. :)
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    IvanMIke, Thanks for the reply...

    Yeah, gig money's not as important to me as playing with a good band, (the country drummer is phenomonal)... They schedule about 7 out of every 8 weekends, so the money would be nice for gear and such... During our first conversations, it was my understanding the it was the steel player who was the hired gun. He came on with the understanding that he'd take a higher paying gig if one came along, which is no problem as along as all of the cards are on the table. Apparently this changed when everyone agreed that they needed a dedicated bass player and may do without a steel player. He seems to have become a dedicated member in a hurry, (great steel player too, really adds alot)... I don't fault the leader totally as he has a great band and wants to keep them happy...

    I'm gonna give it my all during the audition today, having the attitude that whether or not I get the position, I'm gonna have a blast supporting a tight horn section... I think that it's high time to reach beyond my comfort zone when it comes to playing situations and see what I can get... Like my wife's always saying... "Can't never did anything... Try does alot" ;)

  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree with Ivanmike in that it was unprofessional to tell you that you had the gig, and then decline a few days later. Still, I do understand their point; I would never join a band any larger than 5 piece, and even for a 5 piece, I would still have to seriously think about it. (I would probaly only join if they were established and making enough money for me to justify playing with them)

    But don't worry, there's always a good gig if you look hard enough.
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Got back from the horn band audition a bit ago and I'm still reeling... What a hoot!! It's a blast laying it down with a tight band like this... 2 female vocalists and an eight-piece band is one wall of sound, lemme tell ya... The drummer, guitar player, and current bass player were all very helpful during the audition, with visual cues and such...

    The auditions seemed to be setup with two players per session, (or rather, there was one other bass player auditioning while I was there, super-nice guy with a sweet '76 Jazz), which can be a tad intimidating... I went in with an eye towards just having fun and getting into the groove, and things just swung! This is a band that I could easily enjoy...

    The leader asked me back for the Tuesday night rehearsal, which I'm taking as a good sign at this point. I split pretty quickly after playing... I'm a goof with protocol in these types of situations and felt that they may have wanted to work or talk over perceptions after we were out the door...

    Either way, right now, I'm fairly pumped and I think I'm gonna ride this as far as I can!

  6. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Damn - who'd you audition for, Dance Hall Crashers?

    Sounds like an awesome time, Robert, but yeah, make any and all of it work for ya if you can!
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    God! Sometimes I swear this whole industry is in need of a massive enema.

    There was an offer and an acceptance. In most states that constitutes a legally binding verbal contract.

    His actions cost you money. Thats material damage.

    That clown would be in small claims court explaining to a judge just exactly why he isn't paying me full cut of whatever gigs he had between the time he changed his mind and the time I replaced my pre offer income fully.

    Admitedly, I eat, pay my mortgage and everthing else off music and I have ZERO tolerance of anyone getting in my wallet.
  8. ambolina

    ambolina Guest

    Apr 7, 2004
    San Diego, Ca
    That's what I was thinking. Except it's Crashers. =) LOVE them.

    That sounds like an awesome band to play in and the attitude you took about the audition was good too. Hope the Tue. night practice goes well!
  9. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Contract law has a nifty little thing called a 3-day right of recision. Maybe you've heard of it? Basically it gives both parties 3 whole days to think on the contract and to rescind said contract if they decide it's not what they want.

    Now the audition was on Saturday evening and the recision happened on Wednesday so depending on whether you count Sunday (some places consider the 3 day right as 3 business days), the band leader was within his legal right to rescind the contract.

    Anyway, all this, "I'll sue you!!!" stuff is teh crappy. :rollno:
  10. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I'd be inclined to avoid the courts on this one as well, if for no other reason than the aggravation and frustration not being worth the potential recovery.

    But the 3-day "cooling off" laws apply to consumer law, not employment law. Wouldn't apply here.

    You can't, for example, offer someone a job on Monday, motivating them to resign their current job on Tuesday, than rescind the offer on Wednesday, leaving them unemployed.

    Well, you *can*, but you'd expose yourself to suit. :bag:
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I'd take the one weekend a month gig and do it until a conflict arose with the horn band (assuming you get the gig). The country bandleader could fill on bass for any night you couldn't make (and everyone on the gig gets more $$$) so it would probably work out. I've done this sort of thing before.
  12. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Damn, I knew that too. I just typed it wrong. I'll go fix it now!

    I saw them live at UMCP with the Bosstones and Bouncing Souls several years ago - AWESOME show.
  13. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Actually, it's a psuedo Blues Brothers cover gig that does some Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Commitments type stuff... The Blues Broads... I'm pretty pumped after having gotten the gig! So far, the 'hang' vibe is pretty good and all of the members seem to get along very well... The current bass player is still listed on the site. He seems to be a fairly cool guy, just circumstances force him to give up the band commitment... He'll be helping with rehearsals until I get more up to speed...

    I'm playing my last gig with one of my blues bands on Friday night, and I'll help out with the other one until they can find a replacement. I've contacted two of the other bassists who auditioned along with me, and they seem interested in checking out and possibly moving on my old band... I know that the guys are set on not losing the momentum they've built so far...

    As far as the Country band, we've set some dates up and I'll be playing a few sets for free on Saturday, just to see how the stage 'vibe' feels... While the whole situation did have me a bit upset, I understand the leader's position... He and his wife are truly good people and have a great band that they want to keep together... They just fell into the trap of 'Filling In' on the bass and getting another member on another instrument who's become an integral part of their music... I also know that after a few nights of hearing how the band sounds with the full six pieces, (it sounded really good during the audition... great drummer), that they'll want it that way all of the time... Trouble is, I'm lovin' my new band and ain't gonna be leaving!

    I really meant it when I said earlier that money wasn't a factor in my choice of gigs... The Blues Broads have to split 14 ways for each gig, (11 band members... there was a Bari Sax player that wasn't at my first audition, as well as 3 support folks)... All I know for sure is that I've had more fun playing at the two auditions than I have had in recent memory... That works for me :D

  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    very cool - nothing like a good new band