Band Breakup Drama: The Slow Kill

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SnowCal, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. I was initially pretty excited when my band's lead singer decided to announce that he was quitting. The good news was that we'd spend the next three months playing a handful of already scheduled gigs, finishing an LP, and schedule a CD release / last gig in May. His reason for wanting to leave? He doesn't like gigging or being in a band. Cool. To each their own. The drummer followed him like he usually does and agreed. Cool.

    Then I learned about the agony of the slow kill.

    Tonight we started a recording session by discussing major changes to one song. This was productive enough. Then it morphed into a very one-sided discussion by the drummer and singer about how excited they were that our band was breaking up. We could all now become successful solo artists by making music on our laptops and never gigging again. Instead we'd make lots of music blogs and hang out on Reddit. We'd pursue solo careers as producers. We could send our demos to DFA records and James Murphy would love it and probably sign all of our non-gigging solo acts. Who wouldn't?

    They even suggested we could collaborate on each other's solo projects. For example if the singer needed a real bass to play a line he wrote maybe I could do it. Lucky for me he has no concept of a pocket and 90% of the basslines he writes are root whole notes. Usually he uses the same fill for the entire song. Sometimes he mixes it up with root-viiis. I'm sure he'd write my name in the bandcamp liner notes.

    The drummer and singer also want to purchase sweatshirts for merch so that we can try to sell them for $30+ a pop at our last couple gigs. Maybe I can pitch on that.

    A couple of our last few practices have been like this. I swear, if they can't stop being so tone deaf I'll quit before they can.
  2. It's like your girlfriend promising to break up with you in 3 months cuz she prefers doing it herself and thinks her solo act has a better chance of making things happen. And then she tone deafly rubs it in your face so you can smell the glove. Who wouldn't want to smell the glove?

    Sorry, I gotta vent a bit.
  3. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    I know your post is serious, but it made me smile a bit.
    Luckily, your agony has a scheduled end at may, but you might face some trouble-filled days/gigs until then.
    What made me smile was that my own band does things like this, all the time, but they are never meant seriously. It is just a bunch of nonesence from 5 guys talking/brainstorming after 4 hours practice and a couple of beers. Since I don't drink I sometimes follow those conversations and think by myself "What if someone really means some of this??"

    You might want to ignore all that schizzle. You can leave discussions like that for a smoke or I'don't-know what reason. You can also state that until may the band should just keep going to lay down some very good last gigs/shows that the audience will remember.

    the only thing you should NOT do (in my opinion) is eating the frustration and stay silent. It makes you getting frustrated, no-one has an idea why, it makes you perform less good and makes the rest of the band wondering why the hell you are in such a bad mood.
  4. After that very productive discussion about how the secret to success is music blogs, it was pumpkin hour. We only had a few minutes left to record anything and the singer and guitarist had to leave.

    Lucky for me the part that most needed being recorded is entirely on a fuzz box. Rather than using normal settings I cranked that sucker. And I dimed the boost and gain knobs on my GK. I also boosted the fandango out of the EQ and gave the DI a post-EQ signal. Rather than using my pick I played the bass with the good old open palm slap and a lot of muting. I doubt any of it will be usable but it felt really good.
  5. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    HaHaHa - Good job dude!!!
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Sounds like a waste of time and money to record a CD and then break up.
  7. ++++11111
  8. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    That's what I was thunkin' ..... :confused:
  9. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    This was my initial thought too.
    Why even bother with spending time and money on CD's & sweatshirts as merch when the band will be no more? You may never see those funds recouped.
    Play your scheduled dates and move on.

    Yeah.. "slow death" for sure.
  10. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    Yes, the singer and drummer are delusional, and it's spreading to the other members. A complete waste of time and money IMO.
  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I wouldn't put another nickel into this group, stick a fork in it, it's done. No more studio time, no merch ... nothing. In fact, I'd stop attending rehearsals altogether and just play out the rest of the gig calendar. The only one who stands to gain is the singer (and by extension his minion the drummer). The rest of you are just "the band". IF the band continues you'll be replacing two vital components, and your music will NOT be the same.

    Collaboration? The singer just wants a band on tap for his project. Did he wish you luck with your solo bass project? I thought not.
  12. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    I would probably join in with purposely awful ideas while feigning innocence. Examples:

    - "I'll commission the t-shirts! Should they be pink or plaid?"
    - "I scrapped my bass lines for these three songs because I want to foreshadow my new Country and Western solo career. That's why everything is alternating roots and fifths."
    - "Let's make a gag reel of our studio errors, and sell it as a mashup on Bandcamp!"
  13. Yeah. But that's what originals bands do. They get together, they write some songs, they put out some CDs, and then they break up. The timeframe varies but the story is always the same.

    So why not? We're recording this ourselves. That's free. CDs aren't but I'm comfortable that we can recoup the costs at our CD release and then some. It'll let us end this band at a high mark, which is good for future projects. Helps with booking and promo.

    We just need to prevent internal tensions from affecting our gigs and recording. Our last gig, a couple days after breakup plans were made, was tight but lacked energy. And that missing energy translated to the crowd. Not good.
  14. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic

    I'd watch it. I wouldn't buy it, but I'd watch it... :p
  15. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Ah. Yet another good reason to continue avoiding originals groups. Thanks for the tip! :p
  16. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Listened to some of your songs, and they are actually pretty cool! IMHO
    But your other band members seem extremely deluded...
  17. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    "I played. I recorded. Therefore, I am."

    That's why most original bands squeeze out a CD in their death throws. To prove existence before the memory zaps to black.

    (Maybe the closing sentence should be: "I was.")