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friends before bandmates? or visa versa

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by fenderx55, Aug 21, 2005.


  1. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    This is gonna be long:

    About 3 years ago or so i was a pretty crappy guitarist but i played saxophone rather decently and knew a bunch of people in band class but i didn't have alot (any) friends. These guys in band (drummer and sax/guitarist) had a jam-group; you know, they got together, ate chips and played some metallica...poorly. They needed a bassist, and I was willing to switch. Frankly low notes always appealed to me (i switched from Alto to tenor sax for this reason) so i've spent the last three years loving the bass and being really good friends with these guys.

    initially, that is, from 8th grade to 10th grade, i hated these guys by association; their friends made my life not easy. But i got to figure out they were ok. But you know how over time you get sick of people and you kind of realize what people are really like and you're tired of dealing with it? I'm there. While we used to take the piss out of each other, it feels mean now. I think we have different philosophies on stage (i don't mind being ironic and humble...i wanna cover rap songs in an ironic manner, the drummer insists on having a mic so he can say, "i'm tired" or "i'm sweaty" then sending me jabs for plugging our upcoming show). They think that they're Bon Jovi and can be prima donnas, they think the show is all for them, without thanking the band that put us on the bill and not staying around for the other band(s). the other bands are ppl i know so i stay.

    Long story short... haha right... I can continue playing in this band... i've started just keeping my mouth shut, but i don't really feel the need to converse with themoutside of this anymore. The guitarist and the singer's gf are really the only ones i feel comfortable talking to on any level because they aren't complete douches all the time. It's hard to convey my complete sense of confusion about this. It's like, we went a long time without playing more than school talent shows and jsut kind of jamming, now that I booked a few shows this summer (and did the leg work, the phone calls, most of the promoting, the sweating, etc) I'm treated like the public whipping post. maybe i'm just sick of my friends and ready to go back to relative annonymity at school in the city.

    sorry. I don't really have anyone to vent about this to. my gf used to be friends with them, but knew better and told me so when i first started freaking out that sh-- changed and i thought they were gonna kick me out. do i stay in a band that's starting to write decent songs and get a following but not deal with anyone? Can you be creative but secretly hate everyone in the room? I've been going to band practice and not wanting to be there. that used to be the highlight of my week.

    i just needed to vent about this. thanks,
    chris
     
  2. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Chris:

    Yes, you can be in a band that musically satisfies you with out being close to any of the members, but it is more difficult to do that. I'm sure you've heard of the saying, "...make beautiful music together." It usually has a sexual connotation, but you should get the point.

    Music is supposed to be fun. If you are no longer getting enjoyment out of these guys, then you have to decide if you want to find new bandmates to enjoy the music again.

    I would suggest that you stick with this a little longer. Meanwhile, you can start looking around for other bands. If they are not in your school, look at the local music store board. You can also advertise yourself on posters, newspapers or at other bands' gigs. Let them know you are available-- if not for them, then for any other band that might be looking for a bass player.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I've known my guitarist for about 12 years, we've been great friends for life. I feel priveledged to have someone like that, we always have great fun playing together and have a good laugh. The only downside to having such a relaxed atmosphere is we tend to end up doing anything but write or rehearse songs but we get there in the end. We're far less close to our drummer as we only met him a few weeks before he joined but he's a really cool guy as well and someone you can feel at ease with. I think it certainly helps to count your bandmates as friends, I know one band where they all just swear at each other every time they screw up during rehersals. We just have a good laugh and go for it again till it works.

    I think you could work with those guys but it all depends if you want to really because it doesn't sound like an enjoyable enviroment. May I recommend you read the farting whilst playing thread for advice on how to deal with that drummer.
     
  4. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    You won't be able to hold that "aloof" position long, If there was alot of money involved, then that would be an incentive, but no one can keep there dislike of an individual hidden for long, guaranteed...... ;)
     
  5. johnvice

    johnvice

    Sep 7, 2004
    How many great bands of the past could regroup and tour to make a lot of fans happy (and themselves a lot of money in the process).... if only they could stop hating each other ?

    I use to be annoyed by my band mates personal and musical idiosyncrasies until I realized I'd have a lot more fun if I let them be and just played bass.

    It's a lot better than having the band dissolve and/or me not being friends with them
     
  6. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    The 3 originators of the band, myself, the lead singer and the drummer were mere casual acquaintances. Now, 26 years later, we about as close of friends as there are and that can be separated by 200 or so miles.
     
  7. i have friends that are friends and bandmates and then i have bandmates that should really just be friends. sit down. plan things out with the group on "where do you want to be when..."
    if they care enough, they'll straighten out
     
  8. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    you would think so...

    i was about to write 3 pages complaining about the drummer, but it's just rude...and no one wants to read that. I'm picking up my stuff tomorrow, i'm not gonna say anytnig about quitting, but i am going to actively look fora new band once i get to school.

    For a quick assessment: In Anthony Kiedis' book, he said that some of jons problems stemmed from his good natured ribbing. The ribbing's turned from good natured to mean. I'm done.

    If anyone needs a bassist in the NYU area, PM me. I play sax as well
     
  9. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    To be honest I don't think that it's worth sticking around with these guys if your unsatisified in the band. You could stick around if it's the music thats paying the bills, is your livley hood but when your 18/19 I don't think thats what music should be all about.

    In fact not so long ago(just over a year) I was playing with guys just having an occaisional gig and jamming in a garage and going nowhere fast with the band. I didn't mind that we were going nowhere because I was and still am good friends with all the members from that band and I was enjoying what we were doing.

    I think your better off without all of this hassle remember what would the band be doing without your work on getting the gigs would they still be at square one?

    Remember being a bass player there should be no shortage of work you. It's not like this is going to be the last band you're ever going to be in.

    A year and a half after the band I was in going no where playing in a garage broke up I'm with another band which may give me the possibility to go pro within the next few months if I so choose. I don't mean to blow my own horn here but it's an example of how well things can work out you just have to keep moving forward and a little bit of luck goes a long way

    Oh and one more observation. I've always said that being in a band is like having a girlfriend. If you leave its like your breaking up. If someone else joins another band it's like she's cheated on you etc. Maybe not 100% relevant but I thought I'd throw it in. Food for thought
     
  10. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    UK
    your call... if the music or money you make is worth the hassle of being in a band with people you dislike, then the decision is made.. stick with it... if it ain't then ditch them

    just remember that if you can't stand them now, you're likely to stand them even less if things picked up and you went out for a few months on the road with them... so where's it gonna lead to?
     
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    This one is actually very simple. You've been hit by a case of latent maturation, and have outgrown them. Shag off, bomb out, and don't look back. They're taking all the enjoyment and growth out of it for you.
     
  12. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    wow...munjibunga...you're right...and here i was thinking i was the least mature...except my problem is that i'm tired of how long island they are. and that doesn't make sense to anyone who isn't from the immediate area. thanks alot for the constructive input.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I consider all my bandmates friends, but we very rarely socialize. Most of us are married and spend our time at home with our wives or husbands and kids. That's probably why we're still friends.

    It really all depends on what you're looking to get out of music. If all you want is a good time and some camaraderie, then be friends first. But if you want to make money, you have to make hard decisions about whether friendship or money is more important. I can't say which one is more important, but I can say that every single decision I've ever made out of friendship has resulted in less money.
     
  14. ebladeboi123

    ebladeboi123

    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Well, there are a few things that can be bad here.
    If you and your drummer are mad/feuding. Its hard to stay as tight. It's hard to be "one" with your drummer. The hole band suffers. And you become a "looser" band. The band doesn't sound as good. I've always been taught basically no matter what, to the audience it sounds like the drummer is right, and we're wrong. So you better be watching your drummer for changes, or for just a flat out groove.

    Next, if you feel its worth staying in the band. You'll have to talk to everyone, whether you want to do it or not. You'll have to get over it. You'll have to tell them what their doing wrong, and if they feel you're a valued musician in the group, they'll understand and work to make you feel welcomed.

    Or... you can ditch it, and find a new act. Your call.
     
  15. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    All excellent points!!!

    It's been in my experience that pro-level musicians are the most level-headed about these matters. Bailling on a band because they suck or because the money just isn't there is a very good incentive for leaving a band.
     
  16. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    For me it isn't about the money, i really love playing, but band practice isn't something i look forward to anymore... it's more of a personality thing. i think maybe i just don't mesh as well as i thought, and coming home from school and then stressing about performances just exhaserbated the problem. shrug. i'm moving back out on sunday and then i have a while to cool down. thanks for all the points guys.
     
  17. LennyPenny

    LennyPenny

    Mar 14, 2011
    Belgium
    Sorry to dig this one up, but I have some experience I'd like to share:
    I used to be in a band with my girlfriend's ex, but it didn't work out because she would talk smack about him, which distorted my image of him. He wasn't a very likeable character to begin with. When we were playing together, it'd be alright, but apart from that, I was too uncomfortable being around him, partly because there were still tensions between him and her (she thought there were, he thought there weren't) and I didn't want to be stuck in the middle.
    FYI #1 that wasn't the only reason I quit. We could only practice at his place because of his drumkit and he lived pretty far away. He had an amp of a friend of his which I could use, but that was sold, and while I'm willing to schlepp my bass with me, bass+amp+dirty laundry+school stuff is just too much to take with me on the train. Although my girlfriend's brother said I could use his practice amp, I don't like being dependent on someone else's gear all the time.

    FYI #2 I suspect there will be some flaming about the girlfriend factor, so I'll just say up front: she had no influence on me whatsoever regarding my desicion to quit.
     
  18. deshi00

    deshi00

    Mar 26, 2010
    columbus ohio
    I knew everyone in my band way before we started playing music. Our drummer is my older brother, one guitarist Ive been good friends with since 5th grade or so (we are now 25) and the other I've know since freshman year of highshool, still about 10 yrs ago. We have been a band since early 2007. I hang out with all of them in and out of band settings and they are all going to be a part of my wedding next year. Wouldnt trade it for anything
     
  19. DBCrocky

    DBCrocky

    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    How are your other relationships going? Parents? GF? Friends? Teachers?