Ever back out of an audition because of what you found out about a band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EXCAV8, Jan 20, 2022.

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  1. EXCAV8


    Dec 15, 2019
    I was supposed to audition for a band this month. I liked their stuff, it was pretty simple, but had really catchy/edgy hooks. I was looking forward to it.

    But then one day after browsing around for more of their stuff on youtube, I found a video they did that was a total tirade against [INSERT UNNAMED SOCIO-POLITICAL AGENDA HERE].

    Well, I just didn't want any part it. As I get older, I've come to realize that life's too short, and I want to spend my remaining years spreading joy, not hatred & discontent. So, I emailed the band leader back, and politely recused myself from the audition. I didn't give any specifics; I just tried to be as polite & tactful as I could.
  2. Gluvhand

    Gluvhand Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2014
    Rockland County, NY
    I've walked out of auditions as they were happening because of things that came to light during the audition.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  3. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Haven't but would if anything about them bothered me.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Nah. I don't care about stuff like that. Fine by me if you do.

    Now, if that kind if thing spilled over into rehearsal, or, even worse, the stage, we would have a problem. But a video on YouTube (even if I vehemently disagreed with it) wouldn't sway me one way or the other.

    It's still all about the music, the hang, and the money for me. As long as you aren't hurting anyone, I don't care about what you do on your own time.
    sonojono, BlueTalon, smogg and 14 others like this.
  5. I backed out of only one. After some email exchanges about the music seemed promising and we had a time lined up I saw a Youtube video and while I'm no pro they were just not good.

    And I left one audition early after seeing the obvious "dis-harmony" that existed between the bandmembers.
  6. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    If they are putting that kind of stuff on YouTube, you will be associated with it. It does matter.

    A couple of the members of the band I'm in now have some very different views of politics and current events, but it is never part of our public face.
    trickyric, Joedog, The Owl and 50 others like this.
  7. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    I guess the Ted Nugent gig is a no go…:D
  8. sean_on_bass

    sean_on_bass Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Curious how far you are willing to go with that. Personally i don't want to even be seen or associated with people that spread hate, even if they aren't "hurting anybody" and are fun to hand out with.
  9. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    There's a time and place for that. For me it was back in college in my originals band.

    Fast forward to today: as far as politics goes, my bandmates are all on the same page as I am, but we very pointedly do not EVER make mention of that at gigs; we play venues that host, oh, let's call it a "diversity of viewpoints" and my bandmates need the gig money, so we just never go there.

    Have run into a few audience members in the last few years who are "true believers" and want to corner and interrogate and try to make sure you're on their team, which is annoying as hell. I just feign total ignorance of politics and the news. I have pretended to be an alcoholic more than once and told them "I don't care about any of that ****, buy me a beer, man, I just wanna get hammered" which always ends up being pretty funny.

    I would not join any band today that makes a practice of spouting political rants unless they can play venues that have legit security. It's frankly too dangerous these days. I have been on the wrong end of an audience member's firearm once and have no desire to repeat the experience. If you think "wow, dude, you're just knuckling under to intimidation" you are correct, I am. People carry guns and increasingly are using them to settle arguments.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Meh. We can't really get into it here. But "hate" is a relative term. Expressing disagreement with someone over their views, even using harsh language amd tone, isn't "hate". It's a strong disagreement. Heck, this country was FOUNDED on what would he considered "hate speech" by today's standards.

    Blast away at my values. I don't care. But if you can groove, and you're kind to me (and others) in person, we can jam. Simple as that.

    Of course, there are limits. If you are posting videos on how to steal babies and prepare them to eat for dinner, we can't hang.

    But if your polar opposite from me politically, I couldn't care less. Heck, many of my best friends are. And I would walk through fire for any of them, as they would for me. If you are staging protests against everything I stand for, I frankly don't care. If you're friendly to me and my family, and show up on time with skills, good gear, and a pro attitude, I say let's make some music.

    And, frankly, I'm bewildered by the fact that all grownups don't feel this way. Since when did that kind of stuff become a filter for friendship? And, certainly, it should have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not we can work together.

    But we're both just stabbing in the dark here. We can't really discuss the particulars in this forum (thankfully). But I would bet you lunch at your favorite restaurant my standards for "hate speech" aren't as serious as yours. Most people are pretty delicate these days. If you disagree with me you "hate" people "like me". That's just about the most ridiculous development in Western society in decades.
  11. 2112

    2112 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    I don't care about your personal politics as long as you keep it out of what we're doing and don't embarrass us publicly. But I'm NOT interested in being part of a project that is trying advance ANY political agenda, whether or not I agree with it. For me, music is an escape from all of that garbage, so no thanks jeff.

    Other stuff... it is very difficult to truly offend me, but if I did find something offensive that couldn't be easily corrected, yeah, I'd probably pull up stakes.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  12. At audition they weren’t too loud and seemed organised. First rehearsal was stupidly loud and I had tinnitus for 4 days afterwards. I left very quickly.
  13. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    In 2015, I'd just moved from North Carolina to central Massachusetts. I did the CL thing, and was asked to audition for a touring band being put together for what I took to be a second-tier country singer/songwriter. He'd had a couple singles recorded in Nashville that were in the Billboard country top 200. Way down there, but there...you know? When I showed up at his studio, about an hour north of where I live, his manager asked me if I could play rhythm guitar. I told him I could, but I came to audition as a bassist. When he persisted, I picked up an acoustic/electric that was sitting on a chair, and discovered I was playing backup for another bassist and drummer who were there to audition. The whole scene was kind of chaotic. I finally went over to the manager and told him it was pretty clear that I was not needed, and I took my bass and left, admiring his brand new tour bus on my way out. Five weeks later, the manager called me again, saying he'd made some bad decisions and would I come back and audition again? I said I'd think about it. He e-mailed me a contract to play for this guy. I showed it to a lawyer friend who said "As long as you don't mind being an indentured servant for the next two years, go ahead." The manager called yet again and asked if I could come up and help him audition a keyboard player. I declined.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Yes, I've avoided some bands based on things they've posted online. For me, it's part of "the hang" portion of the equation. I don't really care about "the money" as long as we're equally being paid crap and "the music" portion is invariably going to be a mi of 70's, 80's and some 90's so they can say they're playing "new stuff". Maybe I'm a walking cancel culture living in an echo chamber, so be it.
  15. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    I won't play with misogynists, atho' misanthropes can be OK.

    I won't play with those whose views require compromise of my core values.

    While straight edge is OK, I won't play with anti-drinkers. (Drinking is one of my core values. :smug:)

    Mostly I find, the above don't wanna play with me, either.
  16. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive Suspended

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    Part of my audition screening process is making sure they don’t talk politics during rehearsals. I almost left the best band I was ever in because they wouldn’t shut up about politics. Every rehearsal it was the same nonsense.
  17. Ralph Manak

    Ralph Manak Raking Light Studio Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Shortly after moving to Austin I had an audition with a band that had a number of decent gig videos on YT. Before the audition, they wanted to meet and talk. They chose a tea shop for the meeting, and when I arrived they were all sitting at an outside table. We said our hellos, and I asked if anyone wanted anything as I went in to order a tea. None of them wanted anything. To me, this was red flag: meet at a business (this was a small business, mom and pop variety), use their space and a table for an hour—but don't patronize it.

    I went ahead with the audition, which included numerous statements and actions the built upon the earlier tea shop warning. After the audition, I thanked them for their time and said I was going to pass on the project. It was all cordial, at least by appearance.

    Aside: The book The Gift of Fear has application in these circumstances. Great resource for perceiving what's what, learning to listen to your gut.
    Shalto, Btbp, trickyric and 7 others like this.
  18. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    This happened to me; I've shared the story before. I don't care much about your views, though we'll likely have a better hang if we're all roughly in the same universe because there is some weird stuff out there these days. But musically, I just want to play music. I don't go to musical events to hear a tirade about the latest political talking points on cable news, and I really don't go to these events to be insulted by someone who really, really dislikes people who believe things I believe. Life's too short to waste my time around those people.

    So yes, I've had those sorts of experiences and I have walked away from a couple of situations in which it was clear I was dealing with people whose behavior I couldn't respect, not so much their views. If they didn't want to rant angrily about it continuously, I might not have cared so much. Leave that stuff at the door and let's enjoy making music.
  19. Sounds like a ‘Dear playboy…’ but lol back in the day...

    A singer I'd seen at open mics asked if I wanted to join their group. It wasn’t phrased as an audition by her as she’d seen me play i guess felt like there was no question I could play as needed. But it was an audition in my mind of them anyway, she could sing, but I knew nothing of the other two.

    in the course of the phone call to talk about material to prepare/gear to bring she explained that writing original music together was a very intimate thing for her and she wanted to know if I was cool with getting high and having sex as a band.

    The other girl and guy already in the group apparently were.

    Ya not that I'm a prude or anything but that was not sounding like my jam.
  20. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I backed out of an audition once because I found out that the band in question had absolutely unacceptable taste in music. No groove, no thank you. :)
    J_Bass, Btbp, The Owl and 6 others like this.
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