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Drummer gave notice last night

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by invader3k, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Hey guys. I've been really busy and not much time to post lately. Needed to come back though with an update.

    Some of you might remember, but I'm in a three piece rock cover band. Classic and modern rock.

    Our current drummer joined a little over a year ago...he was a big step up for us. Pro level drummer who could also SING. He now handled roughly half our set list, while the guitarist sings most of the other stuff (guitarist is also in the name of our band).

    We had a show last night at a venue that was new for us, and that went pretty well. A few sound issues, but we handled things fine.

    Anyway, I woke up this morning to find drummer had emailed us at 2:30 this morning (probably right after he got home from the gig). He said he wasn't getting enough "fulfillment" from the band and wants to focus on his originals project.

    I'm not totally shocked. I feel like he had too much other stuff going on, as he had reformed his old cover band a few months back, and has an originals band going too. I thought he was satisfied with us though, as we gig regularly and get paid market rate.

    OK, drummers come and go, right? Well, the problem is that he has added so much and changed the direction of the band since he came on. We went to using in ear monitors because of him. We started doing material our guitarist couldn't sing because of him. He brought us a great stage presence and I feel took us from being "just another cover band" to something a bit more.

    This is going to be a doozy for us to overcome. We have several paying gigs on the books from early November through April. He did offer to stay on at least until January 1st to give us some time.

    I have to talk with the guitarist and see what we want to do. I'm not going to bother today, though. Too frustrated. Frankly, this week kind of sucked for me (I actually spent four hours in the hospital yesterday and still did the gig), and this was sort of a cherry on top of the manure pile.

    Just want to hear from others who have gone through losing a band member who was more than "just another guy" and how you handled it.
  2. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    The solution is to practice more and step up your game. Good musicians want to play with good musicians.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Might want to ask him what fulfillment he's seeking. Are you doing any of his originals? Could be a worthwhile compromise for all parties. The cover band has its collective foot in many doors (regular gig schedule); his originals project may not. This would (IMO) be a great way to provide some exposure for his material while retaining, as you stated, one of the better drummers around. He's agreed to stay on until January which is a good sign...now's the time to sit down and chart a new course for the band as a whole.

    Edit:...unless his stuff is really bad.

  4. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Could that be adding to the problem? Sounds like the drummer is half the singing talent of the band yet the band name is after the guitarist. Perhaps the drummer needs some recognition.
  5. Wow that’s a total bummer. Yeah, it sounds like he had to many projects burning simultaneously and needed to drop one and unfortunately he picked your band. Oh well, that can happen - anyway, you've just got to get over it already and keep marching forward. Good luck and best wishes.
  6. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Wish him well.

    Thank him for helping you guys step up your game.

    Ask him if he knows anyone who would be willing to take his slot.

    You have until January to become more "fulfilling" convince him that he should stay.
  7. Yeah, um...no. The musicianship in this band is fine. We aren't virtuosos, but we are competent.

    Unless the guitarist feels otherwise (and I doubt he will), I won't be trying to convince the drummer to stay. In my mind, once someone gives notice, they've already mentally checked out. I don't find it productive to keep people like that around longer than necessary.
  8. NickTej22


    Feb 17, 2013
    Largo FL
    Hate to say it but that's the issue I face in my band, I'm not the greatest bassist, however I feel like I've didn't too much time, and effort to be around some of the musicians in my band. They're not bad.. just that kind I said, if like to find someone a little more on my level.
  9. re: The band name, we'd already been using that name for a year before the drummer joined, and had paying gigs on the calendar when he joined.

    Well, everything else aside, the more I'm thinking about it, our band has basically three choices:

    1) Breakup completely (probably won't happen, but it's an option).
    2) Find another drummer who's "just a drummer", and go back to being probably a very average-ish cover band.
    3) Re-form either under a new name, or revamp to a lineup with a dedicated front person.

    We'll see. I have to talk to the guitarist and get his feelings on where he wants to go from here. After the week I've had, I don't feel like dealing with this right now.
  10. From my experience, that's how it goes for us "weekend warriors". Bands and bandmates come and go. You find yourself in a combination and circumstances where everything is great then the cycle comes around and for a period of time things seem in the doldrums.

    Just keep at it, find another drummer (or find yourself another band?), and enjoy yourself...
  11. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Not always true. It may have been a hard decision and you might be able to talk him out of it *if* you address his problems. Of course, you have to find out what they are. And maybe just talking to him will help. Who have a lot to lose, why not give it a shot?

    But on the bright side, you have gigs lined up. This will make it much easier to find a good bassist.
  13. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    Sorry, upon rereading I said that in a confrontational way. What I mean is can't you two shed the good tunes and get them up to speed instead of tossing them and becoming and "average" band?
  14. The problem isn't playing ability on the songs. The issue is that neither of us have the vocal chops the drummer has. He's really good. And obviously, most drummers don't sing lead. He was a rare commodity.
  15. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Option #3 sounds prudent.
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Funny I see this post right now. As it turns out I may be going through a somewhat similar situation. I started this band 3 years ago. About 2 years ago I fired our drummer in favor of the guy who is now ( or was) our current drummer. He doesn't do much singing, nor did he have much to do with the material we play, but he is a great drummer and has a great rehearsal studio and is now one of my best friends. Anyway, we haven't gotten together since our last gig ( Saturday the 12th) and this Friday he tells me that he thinks he's done. His shoulders are hurting him from years of drumming and the whole gigging thing is just not fun for him anymore. I'm only a year younger then he ( I am 45) is and the thought crossed my mind to just throw in the towel as well. I think I'll just try to find another drummer though. My drummer waited to tell me because he was afraid I would hate him and as I said, we are good friends.

    Sorry for the hi-jack. I guess my only advice is to figure out what it is you want to do and start moving in that direction.
  17. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    If you stick with live music in your life, this is going to happen many, many more times. It comes with the territory.

    If your area is anywhere like mine, there are a million drummers out there who are good and will take the spot. But sounds like you do need a 4th member so that you can have a front person.
  18. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Why would you have to Re-form under a new name?
    I mean, unless your band name is: "2 mediocre guys and a great singing drummer" or something like that.

    why not just get a new drummer and find a singer?
  19. Yep. I've dealt with drummers and others leaving many times. This time just feels different, though.

    And I agree we may need to discuss switching to being a four piece.
  20. Going through the same thing myself, only my drummer is also my nephew. While I have said from the beginning that this is just for fun, it is still a bummer. His interests have changed and he would much rather go on World of Warcraft raids then play in a cover band. To each his own. I recognize that I am not happy if I'm not playing, so I will find a replacement or join a different band. I might even do both.

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