Drummer quit before he could be fired! lead singer follows suit

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by morgansterne, Oct 6, 2022.

  1. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    We are a rock cover band with an alter ego yacht rock band. Our new(ish) lead singer pushed us to develop the yacht rock band in January and got us two gigs out of it. We got paid well for them.

    Old drummer is a weird dude. Never seemed to smile or laugh. Frequently on his laptop working during every break during rehearsal; tended to miss conversations because of this. Very skilled guy at the drums, but insists on playing to a click track. We don't use backing tracks so there was never a need for this. He doesn't like to really learn songs, just beginnings and endings with the beat in between, and overplayed fills not from the song. He smashed the heck out of his china cymbal during the Christopher Cross song "Ride like the Wind." I have the recordings, it's quite inexplicable. Can play quietly or loudly, but you have to pick one for the whole night -- no dynamics.

    After he joined our band, he restarted an old band of his and became pretty busy with gigs. We've had to get a drummer sub three times. We don't do subs otherwise, our set list is too weird. For two shows -- including our first yacht rock gig -- he played the first half and then left to do his other bands gig. The gig was hastily planned, booked even though drummer was marked busy on the calendar -- not his fault. But considering we got paid three times our usual fee, he could have cancelled his other band's show. There simply wasn't enough rehearsal time for the sub to learn the whole show.

    Meanwhile Old Drummer got a sub for his other band for times when when he was playing with us.

    On a thursday before a Saturday gig, he texts us all to say that his other band's sub fell through and he is playing his other band's show. He realized this was crossing a line with us and "this is probably the end of the road with you guys." The sub drummer who played with us a couple times is recovering from serious illness and not able to play at all right now. New drummer had been learning the yacht rock material, not the rock band stuff. Gig is cancelled with two days notice to the venue.

    Unbeknownst to old drummer, we'd been talking about replacing him. We went shopping around among acquaintances quietly, and did a couple run-throughs with another drummer when old drummer was on vacation or busy with his other band. But after we leaned on old drummer to learn songs better, he had really made an effort and we waffled on it. New guy can't play like old drummer could, but he learns songs, doesn't need a click track, and is so much easier to be around. We knew him from running sound for us sometimes. So when Old Drummer bailed, we didn't have to be the bad guys.

    Our new singer is also recovering from surgery, planned to be out for six weeks. Instead he quit on us a week after the drummer did. Unbeknownst to him we'd been talking about replacing him as well -- we'd heard over and over from people that he was not a good frontman, stares at the ipad to sing like it's karaoke. (Great singer though, in my opinion! Crazy range!) P.S. does it really take six weeks to recover from shoulder surgery -- like to the point you can't even sing? Honestly asking this.

    The way he quit was pretty low class -- he texted our de facto bandleader. I don't need a face to face conversation -- we all communicate over group text. He could have texted all of us to say "thanks for developing the yacht rock thing I wanted to do, it's been nice working with you. I'm leaving the band because of such and such reasons. Wish you all the best etc." Our previous lead singer is visiting town for a month so we'll have him on the next couple shows.


    we'd been thinking of replacing the drummer, who was too busy, and the lead singer, who people said was not an entertaining frontman, but each of them quit on us first! We had a new drummer eager to step in. Lead singer's pet project was developing a yacht rock "alter ego band, and we put a lot of effort into it this year. With him gone, that project might be . . . sunk.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2022
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Sorry for your loss. The loss of getting to fire the drummer.
  3. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    Oly Pen
    Sounds like the joys of band life... Many of us have been in similar positions.

    Sounds like new opportunities exist though, and that's exciting, whatever they may be.

    And yes, it can take 6 weeks or more to recover from shoulder surgery.
    4SG, MrLenny1, Sub-Frequency and 3 others like this.
  4. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    if can take months to recover from shoulder surgery. my friend's wife started lifting things early. both her doctor and physical therapist told her to wait at least 6 months, but she started carrying things at 3 months (her art supplies and portfolio, not bricks or heavy weights), and ended up needing surgery again with less likelihood of full or near-full recovery.
  5. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Get rid of dead wood and any legacy.
    If the band has a decent profile and gigs...AND the motivation, get in new blood.
    If the band is done...bury it and move on.
  6. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Nope, not a skilled drummer. Just because he's got a lot of licks and fills doesn't make him a skilled drummer.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Everything about your story seems fine EXCEPT taking a gig when your drummer was already booked. Just because it pays well, that doesn't mean you do something silly like taking a gig your drummer can only do half of. He was not in the wrong THAT TIME for honoring his prior commitments. Of course, canceling on you last minute the other time was on him.

    Either way, best of luck moving forward.
  8. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Maybe he thought you guys were playing “China Grove.”
  9. db59

    db59 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2015
    Appling Georgia
    Netflix needs a new series on band life... quite the entertainment.
  10. themickster


    Oct 4, 2015
    I had a steel plate fitted to mend a badly-broken collar bone. I was in a sling for 6 weeks but could have sung within days, had I been in a band at the time.
  11. MultiScaleMale

    MultiScaleMale Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    You were going to fire the drummer and singer. People get the vibes and find other things.
  12. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Had a similar thing happen with our old singer...he bought an expensive floor lyrics monitor, you know, the same type of thing you would see on a huge arena tour, and stared at it the whole time like karaoke. Except, he also wasnt that great of a singer. He bailed before we could fire him too...which worked out amazingly because we now have a great singer and are gigging like crazy.
    pcake and DJ Bebop like this.
  13. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Netflix might have a problem with having to sign contracts with 10 people for a series about a 4 piece band. But yeah, they would get a lot of drama for their dollar.
    Bill Whitehurst and DJ Bebop like this.
  14. bassfran

    bassfran Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    :roflmao: LMFAO.

    (Srsly, my Dude- nearly spit my coffee all over the screen.)
  15. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I have a labrum issue of some kind happening. There's been pain for about four months, bad enough to make certain arm motions uncomfortable. Doc says if I choose surgery, 6 months of severely restricted movement in recovery at minimum. Given that choice I'm going to let it ride.
    pcake and EdO. like this.
  16. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    I have to ask why you would have a problem with this?
  17. db59

    db59 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2015
    Appling Georgia
    And all for exposure price of $0
    instrumentlevel likes this.
  18. Michael Stanley 2112

    Michael Stanley 2112 Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2020
    I don't know exactly how to explain this ...

    When I sing, I put my whole body into it.

    I'm not talking about running around the stage, "throwing shapes". I'm talking about deep breaths, using the diaphragm correctly, certain (almost) involuntary movements of all kinds of other body parts (shoulders, back, etc.). So, I can see six weeks being a "general rule" for recovery.

    Honestly, I am of two minds on the over-all situation:

    Sometimes, people can get a "vibe" that the axe is about to fall and both of these people might have had that ability.

    There is a second possibility. They might have "teamed up" in the drummers new/old project ?
    pcake, dkelley and DJ Bebop like this.
  19. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Whole thing sounds like a train wreck to me.
    bassbully likes this.
  20. stubborne


    Oct 22, 2009
    Rock Hill, SC
    Reminds me of my last date... every damn thing was premature.
    oldrocker and DJ Bebop like this.