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Dealing with LSS...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Justin V, Jan 20, 2003.


  1. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Ok, I've been in this band for about five months now. We've got about six songs down that are all pretty decent (a couple that I love) and a couple of covers that we toss around during practice. Also, last week the other guys in the band finally set us up to play a gig at this big "Rock Show" thing at their school. Things looked to be getting pretty fun in a hurry.

    Then, all of a sudden at practice yesterday my singer started complaining that he didn't like three of our songs (two of which I think are our best pieces for one reason or another). He also started complaining about how we weren't sounding like he originally planned for us to eventually sound like when he started the band (keep in mind that he never stated that he wanted any particular kind of sound when the group started). This starts up a big argument about a bunch of issues. The first one was that some of our songs weren't "sounding right" to him. The drummer and I asked him what about them he didn't like so that we could try to make it better. He couldn't give us a straight answer. Then, my singer starts saying that we're not all in the band for the same reason. So we go out to my truck across the street and sit in the bed to discuss that issue. My drummer, guitarist and I all had very similar reasons for being in a band. We're in it to have fun, express ourselves, and to convey our emotions onstage to an audience. My singer's reason was that he wanted to sound like some nu-metal bands that he likes and for people to like what he makes. This issue got tempers heated in a hurry. It seemed like the band was going to hell in one heck of a hurry. At one point my guitarist, the most level-headed out of all of us, said that we should all calm down and settle it somewhere else. So, we all piled into my singer's car and drove to McDonald's to eat dinner and settle some things. By the time we got to discussing things, my singer was able to tell us something of what he thought we should be doing. My drummer and I were also able get it through to him that he shouldn't expect us to be able to read his mind. We got back to my place in somewhat better spirits and played a couple of our songs a bit differently than usuall. I have to admit I thought they sounded better with the faster tempo. Then my guitarist broke a string and we had to call practice.

    I'm sorry for the long post, but I'm just not sure I like the way my singer is starting to assert his opinions on what we should do as a band. It took us two hours to decide on things as simple as the tempo of a couple of songs and the setlist for our show in about a month and a half. The main reason it took so long is because my singer is being stubourn and not listening to the other member's input. He kept saying that he should be able to dictate exactly how the band should be run because he started it. I just can't deal with that because the drummer and I are coming from somewhat different musical backgrounds as him.

    I'm not sure about what I should do. I definately don't want to be in a band that's going to be relegated to a certain type of music just because that's all the singer listens to. However, I liked where we were headed musically before the whole argument came up. I thought we had the potential to make some really good music.
     
  2. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Two points I'd like to suggest:
    1. Unless the string breakage happened at pretty much the time you would have stopped rehearsing anyway, you might need to work on that. 'Guitarist breaks string' is probably higher up the list of things likely to happen at a gig than 'get called back ed for multiple encores'. You all need to be in the habit of keeping the spares you might need and knowing how to use them with minimal delay - you don't wan't to have to call a stop to a gig just because the guitarist breaks a string.
    2. Do you know any other singers? If three of you want to make music and the singer wants a backing track, you might be best off recruiting a new singer. If he kicks up a fuss about the fact that he started it, then just resign and start a new band together. It would be better if you can just persuade your existing singer to recognise your contributions to the group and to communicate what he is thinking BUT don't waste time being held hostage to his dream of personal glory.
      [/list=1] Wulf
     
  3. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    wulf, the string-breaking thing wouldn't have been too big a deal if it weren't Saturday night and all the stores were closed. For a gig we all know to bring back-up strings and instruments (I've got three basses for a reason you know ;) ).

    I've also thought about mentioning dumping the singer a few times. However, he's a pretty good friend of mine and we go pretty far back (which is how I heard about the band to begin with). I already know who I would bring in to replace him if we needed a new singer. She's my best friend and also has an awesome voice. She's also met the band and we all seem to get along very well. I don't know.
     
  4. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Justin,

    It's still good to get in the habit of being well prepared, even at practices. You can also work on things like whether the rest of you can keep the crowd entertained while the guitarist gets a new string on, and if he can learn how to cope with the fact that a new string is likely to keep dropping out of tune.

    Maybe you should start up a side project with this vocalist and the musicians. Use a different name, learn some new songs, and see if you can find a vibe you're happier with before burning your bridges and leaving the first band.

    Wulf