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Burned by a new band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by fractal0243, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. fractal0243


    Nov 26, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    A few months ago, I posted on craigslist to find a new band to play with. My band at the time was slowing down due to work, family lives, college, etc. After a bunch of try outs with mediocre bands, I chose to focus on a local band who was/is on the uprise, has a big following, and focused more on original music. Their bass player at the time was dragging the band down and had a bad attitude, so they were looking for a replacement. The deal was that I'd fill in as needed, and once I learned all their material and fell into place, I'd take over full time. I was more than ok with it.

    Anway, I spent hundreds of hours learning their songs, rehearsing.. I even contributed heavily to some of their original material. I gave them the first 2 shows for free as a "tryout" period, and got huge compliments by the band members and friends about how I added a whole new level to the band. I played with them on short notice (like hours before shows), and had ridiculous dedication, even though I was only a fill in. Needless to say, I've been gigging less and less with them recently. I became really good friends with the guitar player in the band, so the other day he called me to tell me I probably wouldn't be gigging with them anymore due to the fact that their original bass player quit his other bands and was focuses on this one. Apparently, they were pretty much using me to light a spark under their bass player so he would get his stuff in order and realize they could find someone else.

    So what did I get out of months of time and dedication? A few bucks here and there for gigs, a long list of songs I'll never use, and a serious bitter taste in my mouth. Lesson learned.

    Sorry for the long rant, but I had to vent to someone. Figured someone on here might have experience the same thing.

    Thanks for listening. :)
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Who do you think they`ll be going to when they need a sub? And by the time that rolls around, you can charge them top $$.
  3. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    yea just take what you can from the experience and move on. if they went back to their old guy its their loss. I saw my old band do that way too many times back in the day. because of friendships they keep on giving the unreliable, broke, drug addict keyboardist more and more chances. it just wound up poorly in the end for all.
  4. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    This is the life of a freelancing musician. Think of how much you learned.
  5. Keep your head up.......you have just expanded you musical knowledge.....and learned a life lesson as well. Turnabout is fair play. Guess who might get the shaft when they do need a sub like Matt said.
    Not that you want to play in the other guys shadow, but the other bands that guy was in, are looking. You might find something better than you expect. :cool:
  6. We can all learn something from every situation and i do appriciate that i consider myself a lifetime learner but, the idea of learning a lesson always seems to be the last form of payment and given the choice i think we would all take cash over a lesson. With that said I feel I must comment about playing for free. NEVER do it!!! Especially in these situation. So many bands will promise you that this and that is coming up and that there is this really big gig or this record deal, or a major tour and far to often that just never happens. If you are in the band that is one thing, if you are a sub get the cash!!!

    Far too often we as musicians are expected to work for free or for very little because it is something we love. i have friends who are doctors, lawyers, cab drivers and food service people who love what they do but would never do it for nothing. We all as musicians have to remember that if we supply our service for free than they are worth nothing.

    sorry for the rant, but just a thought.
  7. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    double charge them if they need a sub. If they don't pay you then go to their show and pull aside their replacement who is probably playing for free and tell him your story
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Another lame ass original band going nowhere and wasting a lot of time and energy in the process.

    99.9% of all original bands are doomed to failure. And even those that "make it" may be one hit wonders. Music as a career and business just plain sucks. The people who often make the most money in the music business don't play or sing or write or perform at all.
  9. fractal0243


    Nov 26, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    Thanks for all the kind words. I definitely learned a lot from it, and I'm glad I had the experience... just sucks to waste so much time and dedication to get burned in the end.

    I guess when they do call, and I'm sure they will, I'll get some satisfaction in telling them to get bent. I don't need the money, I just liked playing.
  10. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    Replace band/other bassist with Girl/other guy. Tis life man. You took something away from it... you always do.

    Lots of good advice up top here.
  11. bamabass


    May 30, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have heard this story too many times....here is the truth...any band that says "oh yeah come and play with us and we will eventually fire "X" and then the job is yours"...I would never want to be in. If they are paying me to sub, I will sub and take that pay check all day long, but regardless of the issues they have with "X", that is a crappy way to handle it as a band, and if I were that person, I would want the courtesy of them saying "hey, its not working out, your fired". Guys who do that are kinda screwing the existing guy over, so why do we act surprised when you get screwed over too? They can't be straight with a member of the band, why would they be straight with you?
  12. fractal0243


    Nov 26, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    Absolutely.. I had that talk with them a few different times. I even told them I had no problem just being a fill in and didn't want to step on toes. Oh well, lesson learned, experience gained.. all is well.
  13. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC

    Now, here you are completely correct. I thought you did a couple of gigs free and got paid what they did (maybe not that much). After so many 'exposure' gigs you just wind up with a sunburned butt.
  14. Wow, I've had a couple of "relationships" that were like that
  15. Morning Beer

    Morning Beer

    Oct 2, 2009
    Playing out is better then playing alone.
  16. gregmerrill


    Jul 27, 2009
    No, they will need a sub so keep the connection and don’t burn the bridge. Keep the notes or charts you made and let them know you’re interested in subbing for them and understand that they want to use the original guy. That’s just the way it goes. Someday what happen to you might happen to someone else as a result of you deciding that you wanted to continue with the band you had originally played with. That time you spent is well worth it. The work you put in will pay off in your playing and next band situation. The most important thing is not to burn the bridge they will need you someday for sure. Not to mention recommendations they can give you throughout your community.
  17. lancimouspitt


    Dec 10, 2008
    dayton Ohio
    Every situation,whether good or bad has something to be learned from it.
    And that in itself is a good thing.
    I know it can feel like that whole time was wasted but thats the way bands work a lot of times for most people.
    It will toughen you up though.
    But like someone said above,if they come back wanting you to fill in charge as much as you can.
  18. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Been there. Sucks big time. That's why I started my own band. Takes longer, but it is yours in the long run. Bassists are often viewed as hired guns and not considered core members in bands. :scowl:
  19. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    are you surprised? Most musicians are flakes and can't be trusted. Most band leaders (especially when lead singers) are so utterly self-absorbed that to stick a knife in someone's back makes no impression upon them whatsoever.

    Everyone is a free agent. Don't listen to what band's tell you -- they will tell you what they need to in order to get you to do what they want. Watch how they act. Then you'll know what they are all about.
  20. man, i was asked to join this guys band as a full time member three different times! each time i was told that i was expected to record, tour and basically be ready to go at a moments notice. this was all over a period of about five years. each time i rehearsed and learned tons of material note for note. and each time, when it came down to the wire, the band leader got another "bassist" to do the honors. and this guy wasn't even a very good bassist. he was the lead singer in an pretty well known alternative band. which led me to believe that it was all about image and bragging rights. needless to say, when the bandleader called me the fourth time around and said, "hey buddy...". i just replied with "f%&k you man, i'm not your buddy!". and that was the last i heard of him. and BTW, that band hasn't done anything in about 8 years.

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