Considering quiting original band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Munroe, May 10, 2012.

  1. Munroe


    Apr 25, 2012
    (Sorry, title should be "quitting", not "quiting")

    I'm a gigging bassist that does most of my gigs with the same group of musicians.

    Several months ago, four of them asked me to join in their original metal band on the side. I'm mostly a funk/soul player, but always dreamed of playing in an original metal band and playing in all those seedy dive bars where I don't normally get to play, so I agreed.

    The problem is that it seems I've bitten off more than I really wanted to chew. The level of investment required is far greater than I was expecting. Instead of spending time playing local shows and having fun (which our gigging schedules don't allow anyway), our dictatorial guitarist demands that we invest lots of time and money into professional photos, websites, fliers, and even tshirts.

    ...Despite all this, we play like one show a month, and just to an audience of our own friends. Now they're talking about touring (on our own dime). Nobody even knows us in our own city. I secretly feel like the band has no future, and even if it did, I'm still not sure I want to be a part.

    When we have meetings, the guitarist often curses the whole band whenever things don't go exactly how he envisions. I hear "**** this, **** that" for 10 minutes straight. I've been personally dragged through the mud behind my back for not sharing their enthusiasm about the band. I dread band meetings, and am beginning to dread rehearsals.

    The music itself is decent. The guys I play with are genuinely good musicians, and I've learned to fit into rock bass playing despite my background. Its made me a better player. That said, its not my preferred style of music, so I could take it or leave it. If you can't enjoy the music, at least enjoy the people, and vice versa. I feel like I'm not enjoying either.

    Anyway, HERE'S THE CATCH: This same band does a cover gig 2 nights a week. It pays about $130 per member, per night, so its a worthwhile gig, especially for in-town. If I quit the original band, it could jeopardize my place in the gigging cover band, which means I would lose money.

    :help::help::help: How should I handle this?
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    That's a tough one. Maybe you could ask them if you can just do the covers that you are not digging the originals and it's taking up to much time?
    I don't understand local originals bands who want to act like national bands but never leave their own backyards. Why by merch just to promote locally? My band (originals) has stayed away from this but did just get stickers to hand out (free) Also allot of Originals bands with no following do these self promoted tours funded by themselves and fall flat on their faces again, Why?
  3. There are many ways to potentially deal with your situation but most of them require people who are listening to reason and willing to compromise for the good of the whole.

    If the BL "...curses the whole band...", he's clearly not being very rational about things. Unless he's willing to be less emotional, you probably won't get very far trying to reason with him.

    That also presumes you (and everyone else) do the same and keep things practical and oriented toward things you can actually do rather than engaging in philosophical debates.

    State your problem as plainly as possible and propose a solution (if you have one) and ask if they have any suggestions for how things could go.

    Don't start criticizing the band, the styles, the songs or the players. Keep your comments focused on your real issues - not perceived personality conflicts. Engage everyone in a very open, matter of fact conversation about things they can all take action to influence. Stay out of the attitude zones and other non-practical bunk.

    See if they are willing to work with you. If so, things will work out. If not, things will work out.
  4. I would avoid original bands where every member does have little to say about the direction. Even if it's headed by a strong-minded genius musician, bad stuff will just happen.
  5. Munroe


    Apr 25, 2012
    I just feel like I'm riding this speeding train to nowhere, and I don't want to be a passenger anymore.

    The guitarist has a bit of an ego. He wrote most of the music before I even joined the band, and he demands super perfection in others, both musically and in terms of attitude. He is legitimately a great guitarist (a top 20 finalist in Guitar Idol), but any working interaction with him which is less than 100% ultra serious and enthusiastic is an offense to his ego. This seriousness comes not from desire to perform well, but from his need to have his ego stroked. He must always get his way no matter what, and when he doesn't, he curses us and threatens to quit our paid gigs. In his mind, if you don't do what he wants, when and how he wants it, you're not respecting his talent.

    If I quit, I'm just going to quit. I'm not in the habit of fixing relationships I'm not interested in. I'll simply tell them that I no longer want to participate in the original band, that I feel that I am not a right personal fit for the band, and that they should begin the search for a new bassist. No insults coming from me. I'll be willing to stick on for a few weeks until the replacement is found. Hopefully I'll be allowed to stay on the paid gigs.
  6. If the guitar player demonstrates his expectations in his own actions - that he both demands and delivers at a high level himself, then he has every reason to expect that from everyone else - and even be a little miffed if some people don't do the same but seem to want to have equal say in things.

    You say "he must always get his way" - which to me sounds a little whiny - but he may feel his way is valid because he puts a lot of effort and thought into what he does and other people may not. If the people who don't put in that level of effort or concern then want have their "thoughts" and "ideas" be considered equally, they should expect that he'd be dismissive and "always want to have his way".

    Think about it. You've already admitted you don't have the time, it's not your favorite style of music, you have listed a litany of reasons you need to do anything other than contribute. Then you use your own view of that world to judge the guy in the band who is taking it seriously and wants other people to do the same.

    As for wanting to have your cake and eat it to - well, who doesn't. But actions have consequences. If you feel the way you do about the original band and it's members and you feel you need to quit because you can't get on the same page, you need to be prepared for the fall out. That may include losing the cover band, it may not. It depends on how well you handle yourself.

    Giving them the respect of being honest and trying to remain as objective as you can when you present your case will at least show them that you trust them to be fair. Make sure you tell them that you really do want to keep the cover gig if you can - but that you understand if they feel they have to find a new player. Just don't expect the world to make the fact that you want to opt out easy on you.
  7. Munroe


    Apr 25, 2012
    I could deal with being in a band with a tyrant if I at least felt the band was moving in a good direction. By the way, a lot of his demands are simply just mood-swings, not well thought-out plans. In addition, I'm not the only one who gets bitched at: the whole band receives these lashings regularly. The guy periodically just freaks the **** out.

    We don't really play shows. We do like one each month, to a small audience of mostly friends, and yet he has demanded that we spend a ton of money on all this ridiculous merchandise we now have. On top of that, we each have to make weekly investments into this ever growing band account.

    Now they want to do a European tour on our own dime. I'm going to have to pay a ton of money on my own just to do this. Nobody ****ing knows us even in our own city.

    I just wanted to play local shows and build a following of tatted out, cigarette smoking, biker-looking people! I never joined the band expecting to get everything EXCEPT FOR what I originally wanted.

    It just goes back to my original point: I feel like I bit off more than I really wanted to chew. The level of investment required doesn't match my level of commitment. In addition, its causing me to hate people I otherwise would like if I just weren't stuck in an original band with them.
  8. Then your next moves are pretty obvious, aren't they?
  9. Munroe


    Apr 25, 2012
    Yes I suppose so...

    I guess I just wanted someone to validate my conclusions.
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Very clearly, you are not a good fit for the metal band. Whether your initial expectations were unrealistic, or the requirements were never sufficiently communicated to you - or some combination of both - isn't at all clear from your posts. But that's water under the bridge now.

    One other thing I will add: Though I can completely understand the guitarist's idealism and perfectionism (someone has to be the guardian of the vision after all, else the whole thing will slide into mediocrity), there is no excuse for his chronic verbal abuse. None.

    Give notice to the metal band ASAP. Offer to take a share of the responsibility for the mis-match (it could smooth ruffled feathers - and might even be accurate). Give a firm, though reasonable, quit date. Offer to cover any pending gigs that come up until that date.

    Explain that you'd love to continue with the funk/soul cover band. Then see what happens.

    Whatever you do, take the initiative and assume control of the situation - now - before it deteriorates more and becomes even more toxic. Longer-term, you will be in a much better position for it... :meh:

  11. if the guitarist curses like he does it means trouble,,,,you dont do that to a volunteer band out of respect

    blow them away
  12. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    How did it turn out?
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Sounds like the BL is a poor business man.
    One of the major things that musicians lack is business savy.
    Your cover band is together because of one thing---Money.
    Original bands are tough to do.
    There are smarter ways to approach gigging exposure.
    Treat it like a business.
  14. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    If it were me I would have to quit the metal band and let the chips fall where they may. The 2nd band sounds like way too much of a headache to be worth enduring.
  15. Davidw351


    Mar 24, 2012
    Out of curiosity does this bloke carry on like this in the cover band as well?
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