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Dealing with Being in a band with friends..

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MobileHolmes, Aug 13, 2019.


  1. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    I’m in a band with a couple long-standing friends, and a few other guys, and could use some advice managing a situation.

    We are more or less a hobby band, but we treat it fairly seriously (with massive caveat below). Paid gigs, decent money for what’s in our smallish market (there are no full time pros here). Turn out good sized crowds, get positive response from bar owners and invited back. Average about one gig a month, sometimes a little more, sometimes less.

    The problem is scheduling, and in particular, my two friends are the problem. Keys player was out of town for 6 weeks this summer. Singer took 3 weeks of non consecutive vacation this summer. Blew were able to play a few gigs over the summer, but had to turn down a bunch. This is really the best time locally for getting gigs, and fall/winter are slimmer pickings (our favorite venue went out of business recently). This doesn’t seem to bother them much.

    Fast forward to now. We’ve got a couple gigs booked for the fall. Got a text from the singer last week that he wanted to move one of them so he could go out of town. I’ve now been going back and forth with the bar owner trying to find a new date that works for everybody. I’m pissed. We have enough trouble booking gigs, and it is massively unprofessional to cancel once we’ve already committed to and started promoting a gig

    So I’m not sure what to do. Fundamentally; I think playing is more important to me than it is to them. We are going to have to have a band meeting about this, but I’m not sure they are going to change. Were these guys not friends, I’d likely just play out our scheduled gigs and then quit, but I don’t necessarily want to burn those bridges. I am starting to look for other band options, but I’m not sure I have time to play in two bands, and if I do, that just compounds our scheduling issues.

    Advice? Anyone dealt with this sort of thing?
     
  2. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
     
  3. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    That is 100% fair ;)
     
    DrMole, El Thumpo and FretFree like this.
  4. Biffa

    Biffa

    Apr 16, 2019
    County Durham, UK
    It's not up to you to find another band, it's up to them to make a decision, are they in or are they out? It's not easy for any band to get gigs, get paid, get a following etc. So when it happens you need to work it to keep the momentum going. You don't have to fall out with them but if they aren't 100% committed they need to go
     
    Kmonk, Turbo Sparky and MobileHolmes like this.
  5. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Seems to that they would replace YOU if you took that much time off and they wanted to gig.:woot:
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    zon6c-f and Biffa like this.
  6. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    Maybe, I think the issue is, they are fine with gigging at the rate they are
     
    fhm555 and Element Zero like this.
  7. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    Just had a nice chat with drummer. He shares my concerns (also doesn’t think the other guys are going to commit to more). He’s on board with starting a side project
     
  8. Biffa

    Biffa

    Apr 16, 2019
    County Durham, UK
    They are taking advantage BECAUSE you are friends. You're on a three seat tandem and you are doing all the pedalling
     
  9. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    I think this band is already barely a side project.

    How many times will you gig with them this year?
     
  10. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    Have you considered finding a sub singer for when your singing pal can't make it?

    It looks to me like that would be the singer's job, to find a sub, but he doesn't seem to care if he leaves the band hanging.

    Can your band manage without a keyboard? If not, find a sub for him too.
     
  11. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    15 ish. Honestly, if I could put together another band playing 15 a year, that would about cover my needs. I’m a single dad with a girlfriend so I can’t probably do 3 gigs a week or anything
     
  12. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    Keys are integral. Piano, bass, drums, 2 horns , vocals, and I play guitar and somebody else plays bass for maybe 6 songs

    I have a feeling there would be a lot of resistance to subs. Singers name is the one on the band, which kind of presents problems
     
  13. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    If that's how it is it looks like you either have to tolerate it or find another band.
     
    jefkritz, dalkowski and MobileHolmes like this.
  14. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Iowa
    That’s sort of what it’s looking like. The main complication is the whole friend angle. Otherwise, the find another band option would be a no brainer
     
  15. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Whuuut? You're already in a band that gigs 15 times a year.:woot:

    I think you should just let it go and enjoy the time off with your family.:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  16. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I think your current band sounds fine for the others but not for you.

    People being busy in the summer and hindering your band from booking gigs is not that big of a deal. OTOH someone trying to back out of a current date is a big deal.

    Be specific about what you're upset about and don't go trying to change your friends. If they have different commitment levels than you, seek folks that are more like minded.
     
  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Unless you can find subs, you have to choose. What's more important - playing in a band that gigs, or playing in a band with friends?

    If they truly are friends, they will understand you have different priorities, and may be p$ssed if you replace them, but Will quickly come around.
     
    getrhythm and SactoBass like this.
  18. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    This is why I only play with old friends for fun. I don't want to be in business with them.
     
  19. 1. Open honest communications
    2. Find subs
    3. Of course their is always bail Bail.
     
    mikewalker and JRA like this.
  20. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Get subs for when the singer and/or keys player aren't around, and book/advertise under a different name when the singer isn't available. Obviously this is something you'd need to be upfront with everyone about, and everyone needs to be on board.

    There's plenty of bands around here that are essentially all-but-one of the same members and book gigs under different names. Also, subbing is very common among "professional" bands.
     
    MobileHolmes, JRA and BOOG like this.

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