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bands that hate each other (long rant warning)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, May 28, 2005.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I keep goin back and forth with whether I should post this or not.... and well, I'm throwing the towel in. Here goes my dirty laundry once more...

    The Nerve! consists of pretty much me and randy (the guitarist/singer). we do all the work, take care of all the expenses, write all the music, and deal with whatever drummer situations arise. Just for the record - we have a regular drummer, Santo - but we often need fill ins because of 1000 assorted reasons. that ain't the problem - problem is -

    Randy and I pretty much hate each others guts. In about 12 years time we went from friends to brothers to brothers who fight to 2 people who can't stand being in the same room together. We've had lenghty discussions, we both put everything we've got on the table, we've consulted with others, we've worked on our own crap individually - we've done pretty much everything under the sun that can be done to heal a relationship, and bottom line is we basically can't stand each other any more. I can write a book of gripes I have with him, and of course I'M RIGHT, and I know his side of the story would be almost equally convincing.

    One of the main things that's gotten in the way of our friendship is that I've been the transportation for the 2 of us for the past 5 years - and I hate driving. He doesn't want the responsibility of car, so I pay insurance, I go 1/2 an hour out of my way both ways to get him for almost every gig, I sit in traffic while he sleeps, etc. etc. For the past year he's been throwing me a 20 here and there, but it still bugs me. Anyhow - our drummer took off to arizona this weekend but lent him his car so we could transport this other guy we play with's drums. Randy drove Santo to the airport, picked up the other drummer, drove him to the gig we had tonight which was about an hour away, andI got there on my own. he's going to pick me up for a show we have tomorrow, and he told me tonight as we're packing up that he and I should chip in to fill up santo's gas tank when we're done with it all.

    5 years of $160 a month car insurance, about $1000 a year in car repairs cuz my car sucks, gas for about 5,000 miles that I never asked him for... that's what I've been putting out - and when I tell him I'm not giving him any money for the gas used, he starts calling me a selfish #@$% .

    That was just the camel that broke my straw back - the whle night was pretty bad btwn the 2 of us. I think it's hopeless. We've got so much goin for us right now, yet we're becoming really miserable. I know we're not the first band to feel this way. With soo much invested, and things going better than they ever have, it's so hard to pack it in.

    Any one wanna share their experience, strength and hope???
  2. Hey Joe,

    I know we have entirely different experiences here... Just based on the one time I visited my sister in Brooklyn, I wouldn't want to drive or have a car in the New York City area.
    'Round these parts, if you don't have access to personal transportation and you have the responsibility of getting yourself and your gear someplace, you're a dud.

    I haven't had the pleasure of playing with the same guy for 12 years, but at the end of around 7 the relationship between a guitar player and I (and the drummer) really soured quickly- that too was over money. Personally, I think it had to do with 3 issues. One, he didn't think he needed to pay rent on the practice studio. That was the major problem. (he also didn't think he needed to pay for a guitar that he ostensibly "bought" from the drummer- and got real pissed when the drummer repo-ed it... the same thing with another guitar player from a prominent local band- he didn't pay him for a guitar he "bought" and it got repo-ed out of my apartment- again, he was pissed.) Two, we were a good band, but we drew flies. It was the mid-late 90's and the Descendants/All/Big Drill Car type thing wasn't going too well around these parts, but yet he viewed "pop/rock" as "high art" and didn't understand why people didn't take him or his "art" seriously. (he actually was a really talented artist as well...) The third and last thing, which makes me honestly believe it wasn't just the drummer and I going nutty and blaming the guitarist for the problems... The guitarist got all into weight lifting (and perhaps hittin 'the juice'). Seriously, when we started he was a 110 lb skinny short drunk. Then within the space of say... June to January the guy went from maybe 115 to 180, and his biceps were so big there was no way he could touch the back of his neck. We got sort of evicted from our practice studio in Dec/Jan, and I had his 4x12 cab and wouldn't give it back to him unless he paid the $180 or so that he owed me for back rent. He hollered and screamed that I was holding his **** hostage, and I was. He threatened to beat me up. He gave me $80 and we haven't talked since. That was more than 6 years ago, we were tight once.

    Joe, I hope you can work this out. Some of the greatest music in rock has come out of tempestous relationships, maybe it's the negative stuff like this that can really be the positive in the relationship.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Thanks man, your expereince and good words are appreciated.

    Most of our crap definitely revolves around money. In his eyes, I'm way too uptight about in, in my eyes he simply doesn't value anything we do. A really drunk woman last night started doing the drunk rant on how great we are and how she could get us a whole bunch of gigs (randy and I have both heard this same drunken gargabe literally 100s of times), and he comes up to me and tells me he's going to sell her a T-shirt, AND CD - for $5. We had agreed we'd sell stuff on a sliding scale, but this was a grown woman, dressed nicely, throwing $20s onto the bar - stuff like that I just don't get. When he saw I was annoyed he said he'd put in the difference out of his pocket because he really believed she could get us gigs. Than I immediately become the bad guy. So I tell him forget throwing in the $15 difference. Just give her the stuff for $5. I blame myself there - I should just say fine, put in $15 and let it go at that.

    I (and Randy) read a lot of self help, spiritual type material and I think it's what's helped us to last as long as we have. Simple affirmations like "I can choose peace, rather than this." are helpful. "I'd rather be happy, than right." And so on and so forth. Ego is a really powerful thing in musicians and when 2 huge one's go against one another... I wind up posting these rants. :)

    He's coming to pick me up in a couple of hours - we walked away from each other pissed last night without even saying goodnight. He's not even going to bring it up today - I know him. It'll be like nothing at all happened.
  4. would be really crap to the Nerve! die :(

    seems like you are doing everything right and everything you can do... but maybe going on a hiatus for a while is worthwhile?

    however this could go both ways, which would suck... :meh:

    best of luck joe, the nerve ROCK! :)
  5. As a fellow Brooklynite I more than understand the driving issues and as a band member and what I guess what some people would call "the a$$-whole" I get it even more. It's never easy to be the one asking for money from people, to be honest it's an awkward situation regardless of who's involved. What makes it easier for me is recognizing the point when people start doing things because they know they can get away with it, or honestly just don't consider anyone else's feelings. Honestly, in every situation someone has to be "that guy," and Im old enough where if no one else can step up to ask for money or start a process moving I will.

    One thing I also realized is that certain situations need a detachment; my close friends get the real me, I don't care about money, my emotions, Im straightforward and as good of a person as I can be. I realize with other people I can't be that way, and it's sad, but necessary to make sure I don't get stepped on. You seem somewhat similar, so don't be afraid to bust out the "the guy" mentality once in a while, sure the person might be mad for a little while, but I'd rather they be mad at me for a few minutes, than me be timid and mad at myself for perpetuating those kind of situations.

    I hope I managed to rant somewhat clearly...
  6. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    maybe its time to move on?
  7. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Joe, I'll probably get killed for this, but the 2 front guys in our band went through the EXACT same thing. They were like brothers. They met in college in Texas, and moved to Atlanta together. After we got signed, for some reason, they literally HATED each other! Being that I've been in this band for 8 years, it was the damnedest thing to watch this unfold. I mean, these guys would die for each other, and now they were willing to kill each other. We would go on tour, and one would sit in the very back of the bus to be away from the other one. Then one day, they loved each other again. Being that I was the confidant of the both of them, it was very uncomfortable to be around them. Everything's cool now, so I'm wondering if you and Randy would be cool after a while. Go have a beer, or soda with him. That's what I made them do. Being the 2 main business handlers in the band, there's an added stress,and I'm wondering if you guys are just channeling it in the wrong direction.
  8. nataku


    Jun 21, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    me and my guitarist are having similar problems right now. all i gotta say is, if you love the music, stick with it. most of the time, i think hes a total a**hole, but the music our band makes is way way way more than worth it. i know that one day we'll work it out and itll be fine.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    We spent an hour and half in taco bell tonight with our stand-in drummer as a mediator of sorts. Got a lot of stuff out, played a really great gig afterwards, and took a long car ride home (he was driving santo's borrowed car). We're fortunate that we're both decent people with fairly functioning brains in our heads. We don't want to mess each other up, and we both work hard to make it good and fun - it's just really rough sometimes. Feels like smoothed thing out a bit for now, we both got a lot off our chests. Things will most definitely erupt again, but I feel we made at least a little headway. I didn't HATE being around him.

    Don't know if I mentioned this already in this thread but I realize I have 3 options. 1. Keep playing and make peace with the way he is. 2. Keep playing and accept misery as part of the package. 3. Leave.

    I'm working hard at option one, living option 2, and if I continue failing at option 1, I'l go to option 3.
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I think your head's in the right place. Sometimes you have to deal with people who really get to you. Its so rare to find a band situation where everything else works that I think you should make the best effort to keep things going possible. Better the a$$hole you know than trying to get into a new band with a whole different bunch of a$$holes.
  11. kilgoja


    May 26, 2005
    i know what you're talking about man....i've been through the same stuff....i wonder if it's unavoidable....me and the lead singer/guitar player of my old band were best friends...we started the band together ...wrote songs together..etc...learned everything about music together and everything....anyways...this was about 9 years ago...then he meets this girl...lol...we vote her into the band as a keyboard player/backup singer...big mistake i guess...but everything was cool for awhile then it's like each passing day me and my best friend get further and further apart....he and her start writing all the songs and the rest of the band kinda gets left out except for our individual parts....although he always was the main creative force in our band...you just start feeling left out....and so a few years go by and things just get worse ...we end up arguing all of the time over the stupidest stuff.....they eventually get married and live happily ever after and start changing our sound and stuff which is ok but then it starts getting ridiculous....it starts feeling more like it's their band and the rest of us are just backup musician's...you know ...they are making all of the decisions and stuff.....so eventually me and the drummer quit ....we are now starting another band....the old band is still together with my old friend playing drums and the girl is now singing lead vocals and of course they found another bass player and they got a small record deal now...which sucks for me and the old drummer because we put in all those years of hard work and stuff to get the band where it is today....well maybe our new band will do good ...who knows....i guess people just grow apart
  12. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    i worked with a drummer for about 5 years on various gig's and tours and had known him for 10+ yr. we were touring with a band in the midwest doing the van thing,it was rough travel,bumping around very close quarters but making good money.i had noticed that he and i had not been getting along as well as we had been for years but he was going through a divorce and financial problems so i gave him a pass.one night in st cloud minn we had word's at sound check,it started out as joking and got real tense all of a sudden.im not a person who backs down from people so we came very close to have a fight(he's a big boy and so am i)but we got away from each other and played the show.and didn't talk to each other for 4 months although we played together 3-4 night a week.i would try to talk to him to clear the air but he wouldn't speak to me and because we are both grown men (30+)that drove me crazy.finally we cleared the air one night right before the gig and he was out of the band a few months later(im not in that band either,another long story)but the sad thing is we don't really talk to this day and i feel like i lost a friend.some of it was his fault, some mine lesson learned
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Thanks for sharing all your experiences guys. This relationship stuff is often difficult whether it be the opposite sex, band members, working partners - even god or our version of god.

    Update on my story: We had another big residual blowout regarding money last night - done in emails, and then he must have gone an talked to a bunch of people. He took complete responsility for everthing dark going on between the 2 of us and wrote this really well thought out and lenghty email of apology and suggestions for making amends and working our stuff out.

    I'm doing my best to see and own up to my part in this all... I know what bugs him about me, I do my best to work at it, but I'm not as succesful as I'd like to be. By the way - his thing with me is he claims I'm always negative about things. I often am as I'm often tired cuz I'm up at 6 AM every day, rehearsing with other bands, driving this band around, doing gigs during the week and getting to bed at 1AM... ahh, I could still have a better attitude.

    Anyhow - he grabbed the ball and made a signifcant play to mend things. "m going to just settle with it for a while.

    Forgot who mentioned it in this thread but I've given a lot of thought to the idea of being happy with jerks I presently have. The idea of newer even worse jerks to deal with in another situation is truly frightening. Randy is a good guy, we just have our crap. Neither of us would ever intentionally hurt th other, regardless of HOW angry we were with one another and that holds a lot of weight.

    I'm glad I have this place to vent and get other people's thoughts. While it might seem on the surface to be useless ranting, it's really productive and helpful.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    This is why I like music as a hobby. It's never about money then. For example, I own the PA(s). I might load and haul a Midas Venice 240, EAW JFX 590 mains, SBX-220 subs, two PLX 2402s, PLX 3402, PLX 1602, 15 to 20 mics, all cables and accessories. That stuff costs a lot of jing, but I have never even mentioned the possibility that I might be compensated for the use of the PA. It's my hobby, and I don't own any Harleys, boats, 4-wheelers, dune buggies, or motorhomes, so it's just the cost of doing something I have to do to stay sane after a long week in the corporate world.

    To be honest, I can't identify with your situation just due to different circumstances. Out here, only homeless people don't have a car (and many of them do). No car, and you're stuck. I joined my current band three years ago because their bass player couldn't drive (too many DUIs). I think I understand your situation though. You and Randy have a lot more at stake than we do. Perhaps a you have higher level of passion for what you do.

    In the end, I'd suggest you evaluate how much of "being right" you're willing to forego to maintain what sounds like an excellent musical situation. Same goes for the money. How much is it worth to you to play in something that is musically gratifying? A lot of times, I get into situations that are comparable, like, "How much am I willing to settle this lawsuit for to avoid the crap-shoot of a jury trial?" This is when we are absolutely not at fault. Ten thousand dollars now is a lot better than eighty thousand to go to trial and let some lay people decide on a very technical issue.

    So how much are you willing to settle for? If you're paying $2,000 a year more for gas and incidentals, is it worth it to play in your current situation? If it's yes, then accept it and forget about it. If you can't let it go, you have to find something else that meets your creative needs but doesn't cut your pot of gold as much.

    This free advice is worth every penny of it.
  15. It sounds like your guitarist is not really interested in the business end of "The Nerve!" In an earlier post, you detailed some numbers relating to costs. Does he really know how much it costs you to drive him around? Split those costs out if you can. If so, he shouldn't take your relationship for granted and kick in regularly without being asked. If not, he should have no problem with "The Nerve!" paying you mileage off the top for those times you are carting him, his gear and maybe the band's gear around town.
    You need to get a firm resolution to this asap as, not to trash your friend at all, talk can be cheap sometimes.
    Good luck.
  16. Have you considered having the band pay for your car expenses? Maybe get a credit card JUST for your band-related car expenses? You can put stuff like gas and oil changes and other repairs/maintenance on it, and have the band pay the bill out of your gig money.
  17. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Another suggestion: incorporate the band, get a corporate credit card and use it to rent a car when transportation is needed. It won't solve the relationship problem but will get you out of being the guy who owns the car.

    Incorporation is way, way cheaper than most people think.

    Bands are more work than relationships. I managed to stay married for 6 years, I've never come close to that long with a band.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    He's buying a van. He says he's willing to make up to me any financial loss I believe I've suffered. I told him "Just pick me up as much as possible when you get the van." Things are on the mend. We have a gig we're doing together tonight where we have to spend a lot of time with each other. I'm feeling positive this time around, despite the fact that we're both physically ill today. :)
  19. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    After reading your post Joe and many of the responses from other posters dealing with the same stuff I have to conclude bands kill friendships!

    My best friend since we were 4 years old and I are in a band for almost three years. We don't hate each other but there is a huge rift in our friendship over our band. First off he is our singer. He thinks he's awesome, he thinks he knows everything about PA's and gear, he thinks he knows everything about everything. The truth is his singing below average, he has ruined gigs because our sound system he insisted on running was all screwed up and wouldn't work, I could go on and on! He has gotten a little better latley due to countless conversations. The thing is I try to be humble and realistic. I can be a arse, but my bandmates and my other friends thinks he sings like crap and nobody get's along with him, so it's not just me.

    To make a long story short I just kind of said fudge it and kind of just threw my hands up. Why get all worked up about a crappy band? We are not all that great anyway. I have been told many times by my muso friends I am the most talented in the group, I play multiple instruments and contribute a ton. Not trying to toot my own horn, serioulsy!! But i felt screw this. So backing off helped our friendship. I started a side project with other more accomplised musicians to sort of pacify myself and give myself another muscal outlet. A little competition is always healthy, it told my current band that I am serious and will walk if stuff don't change.

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