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Canning Someone From the Band - Any Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Valhala, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Valhala


    Mar 22, 2008
    So we need to can one of our band members. He's just not working out and I drew the short straw - so I have to tell him he's out. The news needs to be broken to him ASAP because the new guy's coming in soon. I really like the dude - but to continue being a successful project - we've got to part ways. I've always been in managed bands and the management company took care of the crappy jobs like this. That's not the case here. Any suggestions? I know I'll get a lot of wise crack answers - but seriously - I don't want to be too much of a douche and I don't want to send him some lame a** email saying he's out. Any suggestions/ideas on how to make this go a little smoother would be really appreciated. Thanks.
  2. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    You should, if at all possible, do it in person - not on the phone and not on email. If you can't do it in person, then on the phone.

    I think it's kind of cowardly for band members to make you "draw straws" to do it, but it is what it is.

    You be honest and direct. "It's not working out" and "we're moving in a new direction." "We're sorry - it's not personal, it's business."

    Be ready to have specifics on what he wasn't doing or was doing that makes him a "poor fit." Have good reasons for canning him and BE HONEST.

    And be ready for a firestorm of protest, and potentially, nastiness. Don't react if that happens. He might be hurt. Badly. Deal with it rationally and sensitivity. As you would if you were dumping a lover.

    Bottom-line. Treat him as you would want to be treated in a similar circumstance.
  3. Be honest, be direct, be respectful.
  4. Buzzi


    Nov 19, 2008
    Joinville, Brazil
    (Sorry for my english... I am brazilian, ok?)

    The truth is... there is no good way to do this.
    Fact: He is out of the band... no discussion...

    What I would do would be to call him for a coffe, advinsing to him that I have an important thing to say, but need to be personally

    So he would go prepared for something

    I would try to be nice with him... and start speaking of his good qualities... and.. in a nice way... try to say your ways will separate at that point...

    I would try not point guilts or bad things...
  5. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    Não sinta humilhado de seu inglês. A intenção de sua mensagem era muito desobstruída. Obrigado
  6. Valhala


    Mar 22, 2008
    Drawing straws was just my wording. We didn't really "draw straws". When we were talking it through I strongly advocated for not being douches and doing this the right way - if there is such a way. That's why the rest of the band elected me to do the job. And I honestly like the guy - so it's probably best that I break the news. Just curious how others have handled this problem in the past.
  7. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA

    this says it all!
  8. Buzzi


    Nov 19, 2008
    Joinville, Brazil
    yeah... what I told above is the way I (try) to do these things... fortunately I had to do this just a couple of times... as I can remember

    I think this is the best advise... It is kinda obvious... but we always forget it...:smug:

    hehehe... it is a little weird reading portuguese in this forum.... rsrs.. thanks... usually I do not apologise.. but I was in a hurry to lunch... so...
    "desobstruída": you mean clear??
  9. Skarekrough


    Aug 7, 2006
    Be honest and be respectful.

    Give him time to get his gear together and out of the space when you tell him. Offer to help move it as well.

    Also, if you or the band owes him money from past gigs or even pro-rating the cost of monthly rent on the rehearsal space, be prepared to cough it up on the spot.....none of this "we'll get it to you when we can." Get the keys to the space back then and there and the passwords to any web sites he may maintain for the band. If he has a band email address have someone ready to remove it or change the password to it immediately after he leaves.

    Don't do it over the phone, via email or IM....that's just tactless.
  10. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    yes, clear. Hey, I did the best I could! :)
  11. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    excellent points. if he is owed money on jointly-purchased items, get it to him.

    If you have webpages, etc, change the passwords before you tell him. I've seen people take revenge that way.
  12. Shovelbone

    Shovelbone Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Yonderville Georgia
    Do it face to face. Doing it via e-mail or on the phone is spineless!
  13. YUP, and tell him EXACTLY why he is out, no beating around the bush.
  14. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    I've done this several times. It's always been by phone.

    I call him up, ask him if he has a minute to talk (if he doesn't then call him back), then tell him that it's not working out, and that we have hired another person to take his place.

    Then relay to him that you're sorry it didn't work out, and best of luck in his next band.

    Best not to pussyfoot around. The phone call shouldn't take more than two or three minutes.

    You want to break the news then be able to leave. If you invite him for coffee, it'll drag out too long and to no purpose.
  15. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I happen to agree with this. I have been let go from a band and I am glad they did it over the phone. The last thing I would want to do is waste my time meeting up with someone in person only to get the axe. Im not cool with emails but I think its best to do it on the phone, YMMV.
  16. I lost my best friend when we kicked him from the band(We had been friends since Kindergarten). He was the singer and wasn't showing up to practice.....ever. He was totally obsessed w/ his gf. It went on for 4-5 months and we were calling him before/during practice every time. When we told him we wanted him out he looked at me and said "You're kicking me out of a band I started?" I replied "Yes" My advice is do it in person and be totally honest. If he's mature enough he'll deal with it in a mature way. I'm 28 now and my friend still doesn't talk to me. :scowl:
  17. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    ^ I had a similar situation - kicked a best friend who was also the singer of my band out after a few months. He just didn't have the chops to keep up with the rest of us...

    Let him down slow and be prepared for him to not talk to you for a few months, maybe a year. The good side is, he might find something else to occupy his time - my old friend ended up managing a band that became very successful.

    Turns out he was a better business man than a singer and now he thanks me for letting him go occasionally. We laugh about it now.
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
  19. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I've been on both sides of the situation numerous times. If its a band decision, the band should do it. Electing you to do it makes them pussies in my eyes. No reason for you to take all the blame in this situation ( and trust me, you will be the focal point for anger, dissatisfaction, whatever) as its a group decision. If your self managed, you need to show unity and support for each other. A short sitdown is all it takes: do it at where you rehearse so he can take his stuff out. Have all monies you owe him ready to give him that night. A clean, professional break is whats called for as you are going ahead with someone else.
  20. prokfrog


    Mar 16, 2007
    new jersey
    If you are the one to break the news, then so be it. However all band members should be present. Do it quick, avoid drawn out dialog. Make him know up front the desicion has been made, and will not change. Do it face to face, but do it fast before emotions start to take over.

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