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Band Drama

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by John Ruiz, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    I have been playing in a band for 3 years, and it has just sort of come to be my routine to go to practice twice a week, jam and have fun with my bandmates, and play an occasional show. The reason I tolerate the fact that we really don't play that often (I've been in the band for 3 years, and played maybe 20 shows) is because I am friends with my bandmates and I really dig the music. But now, our singer is quitting and when I couldn't come up with a single counter point to any of his reasons, it got me to thinking. The band really isn't ever going to go anywhere, barely anyone in our own home town (Dallas, Tx) knows who we are, but those who do wonder why we hardly play, and why no one else is at our shows besides the same 10 people. The guitarist and drummer seem perfectly content with that, and just enjoy jamming in practice, which is fine for them, but I am the youngest member of the band at 23 falling a good 7 years short of the next youngest and 14 years short of the oldest. I would like to "make it" in music if the opportunity is there.

    I have plans to move to Austin in a little under a year, which I have not told them about yet. I had been debating whether to go to Austin (moving in with GF of 3 years) or stay in Dallas, play in my band and wait for her to finish school (she has about 2 years left at UT). I have come to the decision that the former is better for me, because the way things are going, and have gone with my band, it is really not worth my staying in Dallas just for that. The Problem is that I was going to coast it out a few more months and let them know once we had gotten our newest member (the singer only joined the band a couple mof months ago) broken in and securely in the band so it wouldn't be one of those "if he's leaving, I'm leaving" type of situations. But with the singer quitting anyways, I am faced with a new dilemma. I can either quit now, and leave them with no singer AND no bass player, which I'm sure would piss them off, but it would also be avoiding future issues on my part. Or I can stick it out with them for a few more months, but really that won't do them any good because if we find another singer, then they will just be without a bass player and be back at square one again. AAAARGH!!! This sucks... :eek: it'd be one thing if these guys weren't my friends, but they are and the last thing I want to do is screw them over. Sorry for the rant, but I am really between a rock and a hard spot here.... Any advice/experience
  2. bman


    Dec 4, 2000
    Sandown, N.H., USA
    Explain it to them exactly the way you've explained it here. They're your friends... Discuss it with them so they see your dilemma.
  3. fireworks_god


    Oct 30, 2002
    Hi. I am currently in a band that just started a couple of months ago. We've been faced with a lot of problems already, including some of your own. I'm going to organize my thoughts and list all of them, to help me and to maybe help you.
    We've all known each other for awhile. It is Mike on drums, me on bass, Chris on rhythm guitar, and Matt on lead guitar. We are working on cover songs right now, my idea to get the band to focus on something and to gain some experience playing together. We really sound great when we are all on the same wavelength.
    But Matt wants to write originals right now. I am going to Norway for a year, and we need a lot of time to set the foundation for this band, because you need to put a lot of time and legwork and practice in as a band before you can start playing shows and trying to get somewhere. I figured we would work on these cover songs until summer, then I'm in Norway for a year. That will give us all more time to work on our individual techniques. We are also going to come up with ideas for songs, and send them back and forth over the net as mp3's to put them together.
    We need a singer, and I don't want just some average singer. We need a really talented and uniques singer, because that is the first thing that people pay attention to when they listen to your band, the singer. So, while they are back here at home working together and coming up with some jams and some song ideas, I am in Norway, working with a singer and working on the song ideas they come up with. Then, after a year, I am back from Norway with a ****ing awesome singer, we all move in to the same house and practice on our songs for 5 hours a day, every day, for a few months, then we record a demo and start touring.

    I think this is the best plan for us. It will set a good foundation, give us a lot of time to grow as musicians together and piece together that 'connectivity' that is needed, and gives us time to work on good, original songs. We have no need to rush anything.
    Matt doesn't like to do cover songs. He also isn't that great at playing. He doesn't put enough heart and time into it. So we started working with another guy, Josh, who taught our amazing rhythm player, Chris, and is really great, dedicated, and focused. Unfortunately, he has little time to practice, he tries everything to make time, but his parents are controlling everything he does. I mean, he got grounded for three days from going anywhere for not folding his clothes and putting them away.
    Then we have Mike, our drummer who is good, but whose loud, annoying personality clashes with everyone's. He needs duct tape. I can deal with it, though, and Chris can most of the time (unless Mike deliberately breaks Chris' drumsticks during practice), but Matt can't stand him.
    He has almost no experience whatsoever in music except for drums. He has no idea how a band works or how songs are made, but yet he tries to control the band's creative output.
    I am basically the leader, me and Chris, and we are trying to pull this all together. Me and him need this band more than anything. I believe we will end up using Josh as the lead guitarist and Mike will either shut his mouth and drum or be replaced.
    So , that's my story.
  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    My band is like that. Played for years, same low key shows, no motivation to do more. I'm content with it for a little while longer, but not forever. When life loosens it's strangle-hold a little I'll be moving on. Best of luck to you, go to Austin! I agree with bman, BTW.
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I was in a band that wanted to rehearse all the time but seldom gigged. I finally told them I wasn't going to rehearse unless we had gigs booked.

    What happened?...

    I found a new band, and I don't think the other members have gigged since I left.
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Whether you're going to do originals, or covers, try to "make it big" or just gig locally occasionally, your band should have a mission statement beyond "just having fun".

    I am playing in a cheezy cover band. I acknowledge that I am not using all my talent, and that I am not doing justice to some songs we cover, but as a band we REALIZE this and continue anyway because that's the arena we're voluntarily in. We make decent $$$ doing it, and that is our primary goal.

    Just being in a band to be with friends is fine, but you have to have a direction. Whether it's writing originals and presenting them to an audience, or acknowledge to yourselves that you are going to hide out and kill anyone who hears your music.

    Otherwise you'll use up alot of time, maybe having some fun jamming, but what is your ultimate goal? what is the bands objective?

    And do they co-exist or coincide with each other?

    Is what you're doing fulfilling musically to you?
  7. Good post PAaron; very honest.

    See I have the perfect band situation regarding drama. I don't have to put up with any drama because my bass playing is so poor you would have to be insane to want me as your bass player. I mean, I'm better than Sid Vicious :D, but MAN I SUCK...

    LOL :p
  8. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    Thanks for the advice and shared experiences! I gave your post alot of thought P. Aaron, and I am definitely not entirely happy with my band. I feel like it fulfills me musically and I have fun, but I feel like there is no direction, no plan. I have a plan in my life, and hopefully that plan involves me making music for a living. That is clearly not going to happen with these guys, even though I really like the music. I am not leaving empty handed though. I spent almost 2 years searching for a band that could push my limits and I found one, and now I am a much better bassist than I was when I started with them. And I guess that will be the ultimate reward of this band in the long run, and I'm becoming ok with that.

    It's wierd how quitting a band that you have been in for 3 years is like breaking up with a long term girlfriend. Only you have to worry about 3 other people's feelings instead of just one! :)

    For anyone who is curious, my band is called Krommodon, you can check out the new website at www.krommodon.com , and if you like progressive death metal, give the track suffered enough a listen. Let me know what you think.

    I find it frustrating, because I know that we could be successful, even if only on a local or overseas (for some reason, we constantly get international e mail asking for interviews, tour dates (I wish!) etc... Which is really cool, but unfortunately, useless at the time) but these guys just won't "make it happen"

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