Band Just Imploded, Moving Forward?.....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BassGuitard, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. BassGuitard


    Mar 9, 2014
    Hello people, long time lurker, first time poster!

    So after last night it looks like our band has finally come to end. We've been together since around 2008 but had a two year break ending last year. We basically went on a break after our vocalist kept cancelling on us the day of a show, basically putting us in the 'black book' with every promoter and venue we played at regularly. When the vocalist finally quit we were almost forced into hiatus as we couldn't find anyone to give us a gig (even playing for free) due to our bad reputation.

    Fast forward two years and we reformed with our drummer on vocals and a new drummer. The old drummer/new vocalist assumed the position of BL and worked extremely hard to rebuild the bridges we had previously burned and start getting us some shows again. It wasn't as hard as we thought due to a number of people in other bands remembering us and going out of their way to help us out. Its also worth mentioning that as we had retained a small amount of our following we were getting opening slots at bigger shows than a newly started originals band would.

    Over the past few months our new drummer has been a bit flakey, complaining that we are gigging too much (once a month at most as opposed to once every three or four). Last night we had a show lined up with a national promoter who puts on some fairly big (in the scene) national bands - this was after a lot of effort by our BL, and a lot of persuasion from a guy in another band who used to like us 'back in the day' who was headlining the show.

    So we show up last night as agreed, but our drummer doesn't show up. We can't get hold of him at all, and a long story short have to pull out of the show literally minutes before we were due to go onstage. Naturally the promoter was furious, and the rest of us have never been so embarrassed in our lives. The promoter has told us it was our last chance and that we've blown it. The guy from the headlining band also refused to talk to us after we pulled out.

    As a result our BL has also thrown in the towel, he is fed up with putting in a huge amount of effort trying to pull things together to get let down - i completely sympathise with him and don't blame him at all.

    On the way home we discussed carrying on as three piece with the BL going back on drums, but he is not willing to be BL anymore. I'm quite optimistic as we have always seemed to be the three people with commitment to the band, and have always had trouble finding replacement musicians due to the style of music we play.

    It looks like I'm going to be the one taking on the role of BL, but i'm unsure what to do, and this is where i would love some of your input:

    Do we carry on as the same band, with a bad reputation but a back catalogue, CDs, merch, and at least some kind of following or do we start from scratch? In a way we would all like to start from scratch and do things properly with a clean slate, but is there anything to be said for trying to keep the current band alive, even if it is in name only?

    I'd love your thoughts.......
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Your current band name is tarnished, along with its reputation. I would at the very least change band names.
  3. Start fresh. Have a fire sale on all of your merch and CD's. Get out of the game for a while so you can retool, write, find reliable and professional bandmates, and change your name. Put as much distance between your new band and the old band.

    /food for thought - if you and the drummer stay together, you guys can probably join with an amazing singer and guitarist who 'just can't seem to find a reliable and professional rhythm section'.
  4. BassGuitard


    Mar 9, 2014
    Thanks for your response! Yeah, i think you're right, its just a shame we dumped £500 into CDs and merch at the start of the year.

    The scene associated with the type of music we play is extremely competitive at the moment (much more so than when we formed) and as an unestablished band its very hard to get booked for a gig at all. We're almost in a catch 22 because we can't carry on with the current band name, but will find it very hard to find a show as a new band, and because of the bad reputation we can't even use our old band to get us shows as a new band - if that makes sense.

    I'm thinking at the moment we're going to have to start as a new band, spend a good six months writing songs and rehearsing hard, and then head into the studio to record a demo that we can start sending round. I'm just going to have to hope that the other guys don't find it too hard starting over again, get discouraged and give up. I think that if this doesn't work out we will go our separate ways for good which would be a shame.
  5. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Wow. I would be terminally soured on that entire situation and looking in a totally different direction. But that's just me.

    I can see nothing ahead for this band but bad experiences, failure, and frustration. Your optimism is commendable and seemingly undefeatable. Good luck. :D
  6. BassGuitard


    Mar 9, 2014
    Do you know what, in my heart of hearts i think you're right. But when i think about it logically the band has consisted of a core of three people who write all of the songs, finance the entire operation and are committed, it is the people who have joined afterwards that have let us down and resulted in where we are today.

    In a way I'm prepared for the worst, we know we will never make it big or even make a living from the band, but the three of us can get together, have fun and create something special, at least to us anyway.

    Sometimes i think of the band as that family pet that needs to be put down, but nobody wants to commit to making that decision just in case it gets better
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'm actually kind of shocked you didn't change the name after the reformation. It was tarnished before, it's ruined now.
  8. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    That sucks...
    Why not change the name, use a few of the old tunes to keep some of the origonallity if you want, plus it will give the new members something to audition with. Once you guys get a solid reputation again you can advertise with members of or formerly known as..then you can maybe sell of some of the old merch.
    Or ignore the above and start fresh. I'm courios to know the name and style?
  9. You have to start fresh with a new band name. It's sort of like when a restaurant repeatedly gives people bad food and bad service. It doesn't matter after a while if the personnel or management changes. People will associate the place with its bad reputation if they try to retain the same name.

    Keep the songs if you want, but start fresh with a new name. Maybe take some time off.

    If also be tempted to kick the drummer's rear end, but that's just me
  10. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Many bands go through these cycles, think Pete Best. I am impressed that they players haven't left for other projects!

    Agree, take a page from politicians worldwide and change your name and continue

  11. I speak from experience here - The band I was in in the summer of 2012 had been together for 15 years. Gone through a few lineup changes and evolved musically to be a completely different band than when it started. There was no implosion, like you…but this town just didn't care one way or the other about the band. It had run its course.

    We stopped in Oct 2012. Recorded an EP in November. Changed the name, established a new online presence, ordered merchandise, and had our first show March 2013.

    It's been my best year musically. We've been reborn and had better success, better gigs, and a better reception. We absolutely made the right choice.
  12. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    ^^^ This. Your band, at least under the current name is finished. Form a new band if viable, and give all old merch away for free at future gig(s). Or, move on to greener pastures.

    Couldn't the BL/ex drummer have jumped on the kit (or loaner) to save the show? It's shocking to me that a band member would just not show up for a booked gig, pure class :rollno:
  13. Drunk Heffalump

    Drunk Heffalump Tone that I have. Skill? Oh, that? Well....

    Feb 28, 2009
    Great White North
    Merch + CD's etc, damn that makes it complicated doesn't it. Just throwing it all away in a fire sale seems so counterproductive, but can you recover if you still use the name? Yes but it's going to be a long slog thru some dark places to get there. The question you have to ask is that if we continue with the name do we have the fortitude to stick it out? Answer carefully......

    To your ex bandmate:
    I really don't get this in that you do all this work with a goal in mind and when it starts happening you quit? Overlook something perhaps, seriously WT*? Did you not know this was going to get complicated and potentially time demanding when it actually started to move, gain traction? Even then could you not find it in your heart to do the show as booked then say 'Hey I'm done cuz, whatever..."

    So having been there done that here's what usually goes through my head

    Angel on my shoulder side, and the one I strive for:
    WTH is it with people just bailing? There was a time when you manned up said what you needed to say, IN PERSON, and then left without burning bridges, sometimes you'd hang in till a replacement is found, or you knew somebody and would introduce them to fill your shoes. I can't help wondering if the 'net has somehow made it OK to be an asshat, has it given everyone ADD or ADHD etc? Dunno, but it seems to be getting worse and the only way this can be countered is for you, as an individual, to always take the higher path and hope that others see the example and are inspired as well......

    Devil side where sometimes I slip:
    I'd accept two valid excuses from you at this point one your in the hospital and two you're in the morgue, cuz if we meet up? one WILL follow the other.