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Dealing with Psycho Ex-bandmate... [long]

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mrwink, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. mrwink


    Apr 30, 2000
    Los Angeles area
    Sorry – this is long. It’s hard to explain without some background…

    Background: I joined a band a few years back and played about 100 gigs with them in about a year’s time. It became obvious very quickly that the leader of the band had serious social/emotional problems – he would freak out if we questioned anything about what he did as far as bookings. Like booking an out of town weekend of gigs and renting a house (and inviting his parents to stay at the band house) and we make a whopping 50 bucks a night. He called this a “paid vacation”… His dad, who is also a bit out there, also participated in the crap – he’d call clubs a day or two after we played there and rave about how great the band was – this was embarrassing!

    “LeaderGuy” then started losing it on gigs – something would piss him off and he would do the whole gig and not talk to anyone in the band – totally ignore us. We’d load up the PA in his truck after the gig and he’d just get in his truck and peel out into the night.

    He’s a horrible musician – totally crappy guitar player, and totally off pitch when he sings… and he jumps around like a rat on speed – totally embarrassing to play with. Yes, I know – I should have walked when I first saw this stuff… We started losing regular gigs – he said clubs were complaining about our singer’s musicianship. Turns out he was losing our gigs for us by hounding the clubs too much for more dates – and telling us gigs were cancelled by the clubs when they weren’t… making us a no show – we didn’t find this out till a few months after.

    As things progressed our singer, guitarist and I talked and decided to record our own demo and to start planning our separation from the band – we made our demo. And started contacting clubs. I finally had enough of the guy and quit. They continued with the “leader guy” deciding he would play bass… he sucks even worse on bass then on guitar! But his tantrums just got worse till finally the singer and guitarist quit the band.
    We immediately started trying to book dates – and one of the clubs contacted the “leader guy” and told him. Leader Guy send our guitarist an email blaming all lost gigs on the singers musicianship and calling us all back stabbers for trying to book clubs that he had worked so hard to build a relationship with. He is pretty immature and posted updates on Facebook about what backstabbers we all were and how karma was gonna get us. It was rather pathetic.

    So now we’re playing a lot of the places that he said cancelled us because of our singer’s “musicianship”…(who talks like that???) The crowds are digging us and having a blast, the places are staying pretty busy all through closing… even the bartenders and waitresses are dancing and singing along to the music.

    Finally, here’s the issue – a few weeks back we played one of our favorite venues – had a great night – the place was packed with people drinkin’ and dancin’ till closing time – even the staff was dancing and singing along – a totally fun night. A few days later our guitarist calls to follow up on the gig and book some more dates, but he is told that there was a complaint call the day after our gig – no name, number or anything… just a random call. We are assuming it was “leader guy” from the old band, or his crazy dad. We are still in communications with this club in hopes of booking more dates. But we’re not sure how to deal with this guy in the future… has anyone ever had to deal with ex-band mates like this? It’s weird to even consider giving clubs a warning about him – makes us sound paranoid – but we don’t want him and his crazy dad to wreck any of our relationships with our clubs… any suggestions? Killing him is not a realistic option.
  2. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hmmm... sounds like you guys are pretty young (not that I'm particularly old)...

    I've dealt with some loons, and the best route, I would say, is to just ignore him. If your sets are good enough, and your fans are drinking/eating, the clubs will re-book you, despite the "anonymous" complaints.

    Before you know it "leader guy" will become "remember that guy?"

    Play your best and ignore the moron... ingrown hairs go away in time.
  3. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    are you guys still using the same band name? if so, you might need to change that, and discard anything this guy can hang onto.
    Might be a good idea when booking gigs to explain there is a arch rival band whom is trying to stoop to dirty tactics, and ensure that these venue owners only speakk to a designated band representitive and no-one else who makes claims for the band.
    I think if he gets wind of your future events, he might go contacting the venues claiming to represent your band and cancell gigs.
    I suppose if you gain evidence, you could lay a police complaint of some sort.
  4. +1
  5. rosanne


    Sep 30, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Seems like Leader Guy has more than emotional problems. I wouldn't be surprised if he's bi-polar and stuck in the manic mode.

    Give every show your best effort. You can't get rid of him but if you're good enough then people will eventually ignore his calls.
  6. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ummm... if he were BI-polar, he couldn't be "stuck" in "manic mode" -- not in the allotted time mapped out by the OP -- he would eventually, by definition, have to go through even longer stages of depression, which doesn't seem to be the case.

    Instead of playing couch psychologists, no matter what the individuals diagnoses may or may not be, the problem is clear: one individuals actions are having a negative effect on another's life.

    If you don't like him, stay away from him. End.
  7. rosanne


    Sep 30, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I've known 4 people who are (so-called) bi-polar, but only one of them has ever gone into depression. The other 3 have only the manic aspect.

    As far as staying away from him goes I agree absolutely. They should stay as far away as they can.
  8. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    I am almost 60 and dudes that did what he did were around then and its still going on. Too bad its true and not a weird rock fiction story. I especially liked the part when they rented a house for the weekend and the parents came along for a vacation....real funny but its not cause its your life. Maybe get the Sopprano's to get rid of this dude with his parents and take over his dates. If you need a replacement dude to keep the authorities quiet, I'm sure you can find one. Make a video, have the dude wacked and sell the vid. .......only kidding..............Don't worry, things will work out....:cool:
  9. 60's Bluesman

    60's Bluesman

    Feb 7, 2010
    ya know two wrongs dont make a right but you could start playing his game of calling clubs and complaining about him, the differnce is it sounds like hes a total buzzkill and im bet the crowd dont have much fun with him having a mental break down on stage. what i getting at is you could drive him outta the scene by complaining since it sounds like its plain for all to see how he is.....
  10. mrwink


    Apr 30, 2000
    Los Angeles area
    Thanks for taking the time to read all of that, and for the replies - we're all in our mid-40's and have been playing out in bands for many years. He is 30-ish... This is a first for all of us in the new band so it's kind of thrown us. We are not using, or even whispering the old band name and haven't used it in any of old clubs we played - we sell ourselves with our new name/demo and they hire us. Then, usually partway through the night someone will say "didn't you play here before?" even then we play it down in hopes of disassociation.

    I do believe the guy has serious psychological probs... bi-polar or psychotic? IDK... I'm concerned about his wife's safety when he goes off and have expressed my concern. I feel bad for him but it's one of those situations where he's blind to his actions so he probably won't deal with it till it costs him something and he has to.

    We're definitely pushing ahead and mending fences and building new relationships. I think part of the problem is that we're bringing his lies into the light by re-booking the clubs he claimed we lost due to our singer and these were our funner, better paying clubs that he can't book because of his past actions. We'll see how things go...
  11. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Wow... he's 30!?

    We'll that's horse of a different monkey...


    Again, just stay as far away from him as possible... which it sounds like you're already doing...
  12. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Ignore him and his phoney phone calls. Play your best, cultivate good relations with the venues and fans, and keep plugging away. He'll con someone else into making a band with him, and then go out and embarrass himself some more. The venues will see his game before too long. If you ignore him and walk the higher path, you will be shining like gold, and he will be stinking like horseapples, in the minds of the venue owners/managers.

  13. I find it odd that the club would refuse to book you because of one anonymous complaint, considering how well the gig went. :confused: What was the nathure of the complaint?
  14. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    FYI: If he is a going through what is called "rapid cycling" then it may appear that he is constantly manic.

    Wouldn't worry too much about it. If you are drawing and the club is making money a call or two isn't going to hurt you guys from getting gigs.
  15. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Anonymous complaint? What was the substance of the complaint? Just ask the club owner if he's actually going to give it any attention at all. He should ignore it as a crank call and move on.
  16. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I don't think a couple of phone calls will change the fact that your band packs the house and brings the club a lot of money. This is all the club owners care about. They want people enjoying themselves and spending money.
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Restraining order? Stalking? Slander? Restraint of trade? If it keeps up, maybe check with a lawyer. Best thing would be to keep a detailed journal of the nonsense for future reference. Copy anything on line that he posts as well.
  18. mcapote


    Sep 9, 2009
    Miami Florida
    I was thinking the same thing, that just don't sound right. I've dealt with many club owners and never would that happen around here.

    on a side note, how long are you playing for $50 a night? they pay $500 a night for 4 sets around here
  19. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    May I ask what this 'leaderguy's name is? I live & work in the area and certainly would not like to work with him.
    Kinda sounds like a guy I used to know/play with.
    You can PM me if you wish not to disclose his name to the whole board.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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