Dealing with the fallout from quitting a band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mancefine, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. mancefine


    Jul 7, 2013
    Endorsing Artist: Orange Amplifiers and Spector Basses
    So, I have been in an all originals band in Austin the past 2 years, and I really love the dudes I play with. I just got an unexpected promotion offer at work, but part of me accepting it would mean no touring. I'm OK with that. I've toured several times and I think I'm at the point in my life where I want to make music for me, and not to try and "make it". I also love my job, and frankly if someone offered me $100,000K to go tour and play sold out shows I wouldn't do it if that meant being gone from home and having to quit my job. The band is just now getting to the point that touring was a viable option (perhaps even a necessary one). I already told them a few months ago that I didn't know if I'd want to tour and that they should begin looking for a new bass player so that they could make a smooth transition between myself and the new bassist. After a brief period of looking, they told me there wasn't anyone out there and got really pissy with me about potentially leaving. After some reflecting, I decided to give it a go and try and tour, but that was until I learned of this new job. At this point, I have no choice but to tell them I can't tour and that they should look for someone else, or that we can just play for fun and play locally when everyone has the time. I feel like asking them to do that isn't fair, but I also feel guilty about leaving them without a bassist, especially when my particular playing style is somewhat integral to the sound we've developed. At the end of the day I have to do what's best for myself and my family but it doesn't change the fact that a band is often like a relationship, and I feel like I'm being forced to break up with my friends. I suppose if they really are my friends and want what's best for me they will understand, but I still can't help but feel guilty. Anyone else been through this? Any advice as to how to handle the situation? Apparently when they tried to find my replacement the first time they supposedly had 0 viable candidates (even in Austin good, true bassists are apparently hard to come by), so I'm worried that my leaving may torpedo the band.
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  2. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No bass players in Austin? Really? How hard did they really look?

    TB has had loads of guys from there.

    Ok, they like your fit. Great. But you have to do what works for you personally with respect to your family. Also, growing in a good job professionally is important as well. People who get known for turning down good opportunities get tagged with that label and don't get asked again.

    Worst case, you will have to find, train and transition the new guy if they can't step up to it. Not the worst thing that ever happened in a band.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
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  3. alack


    Nov 20, 2000
    This is a no-brainer in my book. Regardless how you may feel about the music or the musicians, if the band is not a viable way to pay your bills no reasonable person can expect you to make your primary job a secondary consideration. You gave them an acceptable amount of time to find a suitable replacement. You've also given them reasonable parameters they'd have to meet in order for you to stay. Their inability to find a suitable replacement or accept you given the new commitment limitations is on them. I have a friend who would say in similar situations, "they don't have to be happy about it but they do have to get right with it because that's how its going to be." Feel no guilt since you've wronged nobody.
    mrcbass, Tbone76, Munjibunga and 31 others like this.
  4. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    In Austin? How many people did they audition? That's crazy. It sounds more like they are saying "we can't think of anybody off the top of our head without this possibly being inconvenient for us." You gotta do what you gotta do. If I'm reading your post correctly, (1) your career is taking off, (2) they know you do not want to tour, and (3) there are no tour dates actually on the calendar. It's time that they face reality and move on without you.

    Congrats on your promotion. It sounds like you have a level head on your shoulders.
  5. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    My mom and dad were professional entertainers.
    They had fun and made a decent living performing.
    Once they started popping out kids, they chose steady, local non entertainment gigs to comfortably
    pay the bills and be home with us.
    I'm glad they did.
    They instilled in us a love for music and the arts. We carry on the tradition.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    my apologies for not knowing any better, but: you're using the term "touring" and i'm not sure what the term means to you. do you mean 'traveling' band? when i think of 'touring' (i've toured with several bands in the past) i think of promoting a record, on a label, usually on stages with other known acts. i no longer tour, but i still do travel to play gigs.

    does the band have a record deal? :)
  7. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    You're handling it the way you should.How about helping them find a bassist? Apparently there are bassists in
    Austin,who knew? I was just about to pack up and head there if that's the case!
    Music is not etched in stone.It's like an amoeba.Another bassist may not play like you,but the songs are the same.
    It sounds like a little laziness on their part to not be receptive to this.
    39-Bassist likes this.
  8. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    You have to look out for you bro bottom line.
    karl_em_all and mancefine like this.
  9. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I bet the problem with finding another bassist is that it's a negative pay situation - most all the original bands hereabouts are "pay to play" - rehearsal space, transportation, equipment, studio time, merch, P2P gigs, tour expenses, etc etc etc. Who in their right mind is gonna go for that abuse? LOL
  10. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    sounds like they simply didn't try very hard to find a replacement; instead they're hoping they can guilt you into derailing your life - and it's sort of working :(
    Munjibunga, brbadg, Sunnburn and 9 others like this.
  11. Madhouse27


    Sep 19, 2016
    Every band I've ever left was..."just about to make it big".

    You know what's best for you brother. Just because something is a business decision, doesn't mean there can't be a lot of emotion involved. Be honest, stay firm and hope for some understanding.

    Now about this tour and imminent international superstardom. Did you mention what kind of music you were doing?
  12. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Whatever their reaction make sure you don't match any negative reactions--stay calm and firm.

    If they are friends & they are upset or worse--they may come around.
    But if you react poorly they may never come around to understanding.
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  13. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009

    They will get over it... or not. get on with your life.
    wintremute, mancefine and Thisguy like this.
  14. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I have never lived in Austin, but several of my music buds have, and according to them, Austin has a thriving music scene. Tell you friends to shake a tree and ten bass players will fall out. :)
    brbadg, Jason Hollar, Thor and 8 others like this.
  15. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    LOL - give me a decent job in Austin and I'm *there* , playin' bass all day long!
    Max Blasto and mancefine like this.
  16. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    No one is your friend if they don't want the best for your family. Also, I'm sure you are a great bass player, but you aren't irreplaceable. Hell, there are guys who could replace Geddy tomorrow and nail half his songs better than he does. It's just a matter of sucking it up and looking.
    Munjibunga, Honch, brbadg and 4 others like this.
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I suggest recording your bass lines for each song and chord charts if you haven't done so already. Give your band bros a definite exit date and wish them well. Gotta move on and take care of your business(and maybe have more family time).
  18. Charlzm

    Charlzm Guest

    Mar 25, 2011
    Echoing what others have said. Be cool but be firm. Give them an end date and offer to work with anyone they bring in before that to ensure a smooth transition. In other words, you've already quit and are agreeing to stay on for a bit to smooth things over.

    I'd make it a take-it-or-leave-it offer. They can have that, or have you not at all starting immediately.

    You've got to look out for #1.
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  19. I feel your pain. Sounds like your mind is pretty well made up, as well it should be, even though that doesn't make it any easier. I wish you the best.

    I have been in a band for a year that is as much fun on a personal and musical level as any I've ever been in. At the same time, I'm seriously considering changing jobs and moving home to the midwest. That would mean unplugging myself from a band I love and putting them in a little bit of a bind. There are other bass players in this area, some of them very good, but stylistically and personally, we've all been a near-perfect match in this band. It will make both the parting of ways and the replacement very difficult. It won't get nasty - if I know my bandmates, it will probably involve a lot of sentiment and probably even a night out on the town - but it's not easy no matter what form it takes.
    brbadg and mancefine like this.
  20. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with the consensus. It sounds like you know what you need to do, and they just haven't come to grips with it. I hate to be mean about people I don't even know, but when they say there aren't any good bass players out there, I wonder if it might really be code for bass players who want to work with them? I wonder if there are issues in music or personality that might be putting up red flags at auditions for those auditioning? Or, as others have suggested, maybe they just haven't really been trying. I don't live in a scene that's anything like Austin's, and I know there are plenty of decent bassists around that a good band could scoop up.
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