Band splitting up? Probably.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Blue Dragon, May 25, 2017.

  1. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    Setup: 5 piece band. Me, drummer, lead guitar player who is awesomely good (though too loud), 2nd guitar player who sings and is the best singer in the band, keyboard player who is pretty good and sings. (though he has the style of Ric Ocasek. which could be good in the right situation but not exactly right for our style.)

    Before last weekend's gig, the lead guitarist takes me aside and asks if I'd be interested in starting a new band with him and other guitarist.

    My answer was, "Sure!". Because he and other guy are the best in the band IMHO. I've long believed that the vocals ARE the band and all else is embellishment. They mostly want to start a new band without the keyboard player, and WITH the guitar-vocalists' brother who is REALLY REALLY good on vocals.

    I'm not clear on the status of the drummer, but if he joined it would be obvious we're just trying to drop the keyboard player - and he IS a nice guy, though tries to be the BL a bit too much. And after the other thread I just dropped, my feelings about the drummer aren't exactly tip-top right now.

    Anyway, so I am seeing this band breaking up, and it's kinda sad. I really do like all of them. But I'm not married to them, and I never said I'd LEAVE the current band. But the divisions are becoming clear.
  2. Tulsa Teddy

    Tulsa Teddy

    Aug 11, 2016
    So, why not man up and just tell the keyboard player you guys want to go in another direction? With the information given it seems like you're just taking the passive aggressive way out, which is fine I guess. But word gets around and if your straight up with the guy, your band will have a reputation as a straight talking band. If you break up and reform with the same guys but minus the keyboard player and maybe drummer, you'll get a rep as a back stabbers because it will be obvious. Just my opinion. I'd rather you be honest with me if I was the guy getting dropped.
    gregmon79, bobba66, Oddly and 14 others like this.
  3. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    You know, you're right. If the drummer too is going to be in the "new" band, I'll absolutely do that - or better yet get tell the guitar players that they need to tell the keyboard player since it was their idea. But if the drummer is NOT going to be in the "new" band, at that point it's no longer the same band IMHO so it's more of me playing in 2 bands. But in my defense, this wasn't my idea. I was just asked to join another band.
    carsbybigd, Charlzm and Tulsa Teddy like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    your skills as a player are obviously appreciated! :thumbsup:

    hone up on your communication skills, too! if you level with the keyboardist = he'll know what/how you're thinking. i wouldn't be expecting the guitarists to handle things 'honestly'.
    design and smogg like this.
  5. Tulsa Teddy

    Tulsa Teddy

    Aug 11, 2016
    And you're right. It should be their burden. If you're the BL of the current band that might mean you should be there too. But they are the instigators. They should have the talk.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    It has to be said, FIRE THE DRUMMER and the keyboard player already. Don't be passive.

    Take a stand. Tell the guitar player you want get another drummer.

    You have more power than you think since you're wanted in the new band.

    Good luck!
    nixdad likes this.
  7. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    If you are firing the keyboardist then just fire the keyboardist.

    If you are breaking up just to reform the same band without him then that is just lame and unprofessional on so many levels.
    nixdad, Plectrum72 and EdO. like this.
  8. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    People do this all the time. Take the best players and start a new situation without the original members. That happened to me a couple years ago.

    Keep the original band and keyboard player, get a video of the band on your site under that band's name, and ask the guy to go out and book gigs. If he comes back with one, play it!!! You already said he's got BL ambitions, so let him be a BL!

    Simultaneously, do your other thing and get a video of that new group up there with a different name. Be transparent, just make sure the new band is a different style or different somehow that justifies cutting the other two guys out of it.

    Here are reasons I used:

    1. So and so has gigs and wanted to form a band, so I joined it.
    2. This group isn't enthusiastic about playing such and such music or such and such gigs. We are forming a parallel band under a different name to do that stuff.
    3. I can't get gigs at the price players in this band need to go out. So I'm going to keep quoting the rates you want, as well as lower rates for this other band that does a different style of music when I get asked to quote on non-profit and low end bar gigs.
    4. So and so keeps hiring me for gigs and made it a requirement that if he's going to keep sending gigs my way, if I have a gig then he should get invited to play it now and then.
    5. This second band plays about 25% of the same material we play, so that means you guys in the original band have subbing opportunities that might come up.
    6. I've booked two gigs in the past, and then someone can't make it. So, I'm grooming some other players in case you guys aren't available.

    In my groups, I don't even know who is in what band anymore. I just know who the first call musicians are, and its based on the rates they want and the gigs they book.

    Keep the other two guys on good terms in case you need subs. Keep investing in that band and let them know if they book a gig the band is right there with them. Expand, and keep your options open!!!
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
    Stumbo and Blue Dragon like this.
  9. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    If you trust their judgement, believe in their idea and the change makes sense, I'd go with it. Bands sometimes need to be tweaked to realize their potential. Let those who initiated the idea give notice to whoever isn't coming along.
  10. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    +1 to both of these.

    Be straight-up with the keyboardist and have the talk. Be professional about it and explain that y'all just want to go in a different direction. Don't burn bridges if you don't have to. You never know when you might need a good singing keyboard player. Those are gold around here.
  11. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Ah...... Open honest communication could be the answer.

    A brief story about wanna B BL's. Last good band I was BL by default. New guy wanted to be the BL, I suggested he book some gigs. He booked lots of gigs, and I was happy to leave the position. Two others complained about some of the gigs. I asked who stopped you from getting some gigs? That ended the complaints.
    design likes this.
  12. Pumpkin


    May 19, 2016
    Washington, DC
    I think it should be noted that the difference between firing the keyboard and starting a new band with four of the same people can be significant. If there's a major style shift that happens along with the firing and you ditch the old material, it will be clear that there was a stylistic difference involved and not just a personal one.

    If you're not satisfied with the drummer, replace him now when things are in flux. Better to start fresh than to have a messy tie-over and dismissal.
  13. Stewie


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I've fired friends from bands, we are still friends. I've been fired from bands, I'm still friends with the guys who fired me, in fact I'm now in a band with one of the guys who fired me. Don't worry about firing someone, it's okay. But for Pete's sake, don't be a weasel about it, it'll end up biting you in the butt
    Stumbo, Oddly and Pumpkin like this.
  14. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Tremendous Ronnie Baker bass line there, by the way... back to your regularly-scheduled thread. ;)
    design likes this.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    No need for drama. The way it usually works isn't to fire a couple of people if you're forming a new band. Most times the people who want to start the new band quit the existing one and then go start another.

    No need to tell somebody "you're out."

    Far better that the people who are leaving say "I'm out."
    Stumbo likes this.
  16. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    You need to figure out if the lead guitarist is trying to thin the herd in order to increase everyone's slice of the revenue from gigs. If it is, and money is an issue, then you need to figure the root causes on why.

    It maybe marketing, it maybe some members are holding the band back from getting better paying gigs, or other things. Only then, once you feel the keyboard player is holding back the band, you'd feel more comfortable about firing him.

    But then, you need to figure out how to fire him as it pertains to any ownership stake he may have, or severance agreed to beforehand.

    In short, what I am saying is that if money is the problem, that has to be dealt with directly and on the table in front of all. Otherwise, you'll stand a lessor chance of fixing it for good.