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Band leaders? Do you believe in appointing a leader?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ImNotJoel, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. ImNotJoel


    Jan 12, 2014
    So a lot of people talk about having or being band leaders.

    In my experience if I was the head leader and writer my band wasn't as invested in other words lazy.

    When someone tried to be a leader they just had an ego and on a power trip.

    I think a bands a TEAM in my band we all have different assets. The guitarist and I write the music mostly the drummer does contribute some which is nice.

    The vocalist and I make lyrics. The drummer and guitarist have more of the connections, bookings, and business side covered.

    The drummer and I make the structures and we all work together on the set list.

    No drama, no egos, we just get the job done.

    Does the band leader dynamic work for some of you?
  2. Twobass


    Aug 12, 2009
    Your band sounds like it's great, unfortunately every band is not like that. If the band leader knows what he or she is doing I have no problem with that. I can't stand a band leader who just wants to be in charge for whatever reason. Then that person isn't really a good leader, shows up to practice and at gigs unprepared.
  3. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    generally, someone has to take care of the business. taxes, travel arrangements, making sure everyone gets paid, has all the information they need to be ready for the next whatever. in many circles that person would be referred to as the leader. often the "own" the band (meaning the business entity).
  4. Sounds like you are not in a cover band. Typically original bands don't have a formal band leader...mostly because we don't make any money ;)
  5. In my experience, talking about "band democracies" is all well and fine, but at the end of the day, someone has to take charge and push the boulder along, or nothing really gets done. In our band, it's me, mainly because I have sales experience so I can handle booking, and I have the most flexible work schedule right now. If I wasn't doing all the stuff I do (booking, printing and distributing flyers, updating Facebook, setting up and hosting practice times), our band would go nowhere.
  6. I'm the same but I wouldn't call myself a band leader. I just happen to be the person that organizes a lot of things. I however do not hire and fire band members, put together set lists, tell people what or how they should play etc.
  7. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    If everyone understands their role in the band and focuses on the big picture, I honestly don't think you need a designated leader
  8. In my current band, the leader is being a the hole that can be found ... well, you know where.
    He's got a huge ego and hates it when I challenge him, especially when I'm right.. Just today he told us we'd be in the studio for TEN HOURS to record ONE SONG.
    I told him he was crazy, needless to say he did not like it.
    I might just quit...

    So, in short, the band leader dynamic does NOT work for me.
    Chriske22 likes this.
  9. I know there are many bands out there where everyone is just naturally like-minded, have the same goals, no competing ideas, everyone has both a musical and administrative strength and it all comes together in one complimentary harmonious entity.

    But that has NEVER been the case for me, in 38 years of playing live music.

    I would much prefer a designated, recognized, experienced, and respected band leader who at least has a strategy/direction/business model in mind and filters the competing ideas to adhere to a defined direction, musically and administratively. I think it's great that everyone has their own ideas, but (again, IME) SOMEONE needs to be the filter/veto/final arbiter of the competing ideas, set the standards, and ensure the band adheres to them.
  10. Whether designated or not, every band has a leader. We're mammals, everything do as a joint venture has a leader. You don't have to call them that, but there will be at one person whose opinion carries more weight, or who does more work, or is more talented or better respected or *something* that makes them the leader. And I think that's fine, it's not an arbitrary power designation, it's just how things are.

    Besides, democracies *do* have leaders.
  11. To me, this much more sounds like you don't like having a *bad* leader, and of course, who the hell would. A good leader would be the one discussing with everyone how long they felt they should be spending per song, what qualified as a good enough etc and would certainly be open to criticism and change.
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    IME, not only does having a leader "work", having a leader is essential.

    Contrary to common misunderstanding, a leader isn't just the person who tells everybody what to do, then soaks up the lion's share of the glory. Neither is a leader the one who does the overwhelming share of the work, while everybody else simply shows up to play.

    Think of a leader - a good leader who really knows what he/she is doing - as the person who provides aesthetic vision and guidance for the music, while coordinating and supervising all the necessary activities that can realize the potential of that aesthetic vision.

    Ideally, most if not all of the mundane business tasks can be turned over to the band's manager, allowing the band leader to focus on developing the repertoire and performance, while also supervising the business activities of the manager. Otherwise, the band leader coordinates the division of business activities among the members, or takes on the additional role of manager - whatever works for the given situation.

  13. That's not how it works for us. All decisions are made as a group especially creative decisions. Yes I take initiative to get the ball rolling but after that it's a group thing.
  14. Muziekschuur


    May 25, 2009
    If the goals are not the same most leaders don't make it. When the team sees the same goal even a weak leader can be succesfull. If the goal shifts differently for bandmembers due to outside pressure a good leader will steer away or into the stream/pressure as he sees fit. Sometimes a group is so strong even with a moderate leader it can withstand outside pressure....

    The goals need to be equal at start wich means the group can grow into.... a group....
  15. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    If band members are lazy enough to need a leader, why have them in the band in the first place?
    Chriske22 likes this.
  16. ImNotJoel


    Jan 12, 2014
    I am the same way the music writing and making tone is more my avenue but not so much the business side.

    So I guess it comes down to what defines a leader in a band.
    The creative? Or the business savvy?
  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  18. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
  19. NO!!! Real band leaders hire their employees.
  20. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Based on what I read on this forum, band leaders seem to be more of a cover band thing.
    Chriske22 likes this.