General venting - drummer audition today.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Axstar, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I'm in a side-project with a guitarist from my main band (which is sort of up on bricks at the moment) and a singer who I was at college with. We're working on more acoustic-y songs with a light, pastoral feel. A folky sort of music without all the ale and ships going down in storms at a guess.

    We've talked about getting a drummer in, so I took the initiative and scouted for one online. I found one guy who was interested, so we tried him out today. Take note here that nobody else bothered to contact any musicians online or offline to try and find a drummer; this was my work.

    This guy was great! He played a brilliant range of styles, kept a solid rhythm, had a light-handed and jazzy touch on the kit and was trying out all sorts of ideas at our suggestion.

    I liked him, but the others were a bit more reticent. Granted the guy spoke a lot, and mentioned a lot of famous players as a bit of a name-dropper, but he was a good drummer.

    Guitarist dude seems to be wanting to keep the band more open-ended, with a view to tacking on more musicians. However he is doing very little to recruit more musicians beyond asking his immediate friend circle. He seems like he does't want to ever be rushed to do something, yet he wants a degree of autonomy over this band (he can write songs, whereas I can write bass lines, so this does give him some authority I guess). If I can pin the issue down to one thing, the problem is that the guitarist wants control but is too meek and docile to actually force any sort of progress ahead. Musically big ego, but personality of a self-effacing shrinking violet.

    I suppose my pet peeves are:

    • I don't want to be sucked into making minimal-volume aloof finger-picky acoustic music without any balls.

    • Some of the acoustic-y stuff is self indulgent. I don't like having nothing to do while a symphony of interestingly voiced chords is reeled off by a guitarist staring at their shoes.

    • I don't want to let a good drummer slip through our fingers because the guitarist doesn't like his personality.

    • I don't want to wait months to find a mythical flutist or violinist, only to go through the same process as above.

    • I have a pile of bass gear I want to use!

    The weird thing is that the guitarist has apparently withheld starting a family because he wanted 'the music thing' to take off. Yet in our main band I had to bully the guys into releasing their first album (recording years prior to my joining) as they wanted to dribble out 3-song EPs at a glacial speed. Nothing moves especially quickly, and it annoys me.

    So yeah, I'm looking for other bands. I've messaged the drummer and said 'the others are looking to keep our options open, but I'm happy to play with you again', and I've kept fighting the drummer's corner.

    Anything else?
  2. jblock


    Mar 20, 2004
    This is all I need to read to know that the guitarist has unrealistic expectations all around and you will never convince him otherwise...

    “The weird thing is that the guitarist has apparently withheld starting a family because he wanted 'the music thing' to take off.”
  3. 4SG


    Mar 6, 2014
    It sucks to do all the heavy lifting, especially for someone else who's incapable of it.
    But you've got a drummer and singer you've known since college. Find another guitarist and you're well on your way.
    joebar, B-Lo, Bass Jones and 10 others like this.
  4. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Sounds like you are not really into the music, so why spend time in a project that won't progress quickly anyway. Guitarist needs to poop or get off the pot.

    Why is the main band on hiatus, BTW?
    redwingxix likes this.
  5. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Just for grins.......are you on board with the drummer's vision on "making it"?

    If not, cut him loose.

    If you are find some new personnel.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Sounds like different band members have different priorities and goals. Before you waste more time, sit down and talk and decide if this is a project for you, or if you and the drummer would be better off together doing something else.
  7. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Drummer moved pretty far away! He managed the bulk of our social media presence, did all the promo photography, had ten interesting hustles and projects in mind for us at once. Other guitarist in that band is beyond lazy so that band is slowly going nowhere thanks to his creative vampirism, as nobody is trying very hard to make it work knowing that he will veto most ideas. We have a complete 2nd album in the can, but nobody beyond me wants to release it this century (annoying as my bass is all over the album and I'm proud of what I contributed).

    I do like the music of the band in my OP but the bloat and aloofness needs blown away. The lazy guitarist keeps the guitarist in this band in check. Remove lazy guitarist and punchy 3-minute songs become pocket symphonies. The cores of them are good songs, they just need to be put on a diet. The guitarist is receptive to most suggestions.
  8. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    It seems like you are the one with the stones to lead here. So lead. When there is pushback be open to ideas, but make it clear that you are not going to stagnate, and gigs for dreamy song setlists simply aren't out there. Make it clear that you're willing to work on the fancy stuff, but set a limit or proportion on it. You're encouraging the creativity that way, while still making practical progress.

    It may go off the wheels eventually for one of the members, but by then you'll have a more functional project that a replacement member will be interested in.
    Troy Eggen likes this.
  9. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I'm not entirely sure what his metric for 'making it' is. From experience he sends an email to a record company (small indie labels, in fairness). The email is usually overly long and not especially forcefully worded. Lots of 'if you would like to hear a track then please get in touch'. He doesn't want to bother them unduly by, ya know, sending them something to listen to. Invariably he hears nothing back, but doesn't want to send another email to them in case it comes across like he is hassling them.

    He then wouldn't want to contact another record company in case the first one gets back in touch in the next two weeks... rinse repeat. Everything moves very slowly and very cautiously.
  10. Nevada Pete

    Nevada Pete Guest

    Nov 22, 2016
    For what it's worth: I know / knew plenty of people (some of whom are still alive) from the San Francisco Bay Area who made it big as recording artists. Worked for many of them. I know of no one who ever got anywhere in the entertainment industry doing anything by being shy.

    There's a famous story in the world of country music about a guy who landed a helicopter on Johnny Cash's estate to get his attention so he could play him a demo tape. It worked! BassCliff can no doubt tell you who that was. I can tell you that nothing about the entertainment business is for the meek, or the faint of heart. For my money, your band mate will go to his grave waiting for a music business career to take off. Because to take off, you must accelerate at break neck speed down the runway first!

    Check out, "Takin' Care Of Business", by Bachman–Turner Overdrive:

    "...Chances are you'll go far,
    If you get in with the right bunch of fellows..."

    Do you think your in with the right bunch of fellows? Or not? Your call. Nobody can go there for you.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  11. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    With few exceptions if you are not the guitar player, singer or writer you are at other's mercy. Go along for the ride but do not get too invested.
    BassGuyFL and Nevada Pete like this.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Rather than trying to make this wrong situation right, I would suggest trying to find the right situation.
  13. Sounds like they need to be looking for a bassist now too ;)
    cosmicevan likes this.
  14. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Good solid diverse drummers are like Unicorns; mythical... now YOU really have one.
    Stick with him!
    +1 if he has his own drum key ;)
    IMO, the "guitarist" like that is a dime a dozen. Quit stroking their ego, they'll only get more covertly narcissistic.
    IMO, the OP has the beginnings, if all is true, of a smashing trio...solid rhythm sections MAKE the trio, guitarists for the most part are the icing and sprinkles.
    Saddle-up the Unicorn, and fly away to happy land man!
    zGood luck
  15. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I would just start working directly with the drummer to make the music I wanted to make and stop worrying about what the folk guitarist wants or doesn’t want.
  16. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Not the way anyone ever got anywhere. The odds of one person somewhere deciding on the basis of a long letter that they want to hear your music are between zero and zero point zero. You need to be getting that stuff heard at every level, as much as possible, by as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

    Stay in touch with that drummer. I know name dropping is annoying and I've worked with guys who do it too, but if the chops are good some of it just might be true. And it's the people who know other people that have the best chance of getting you in with people who can help you out the most.
  17. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Central FL
    Finding a good drummer, especially one that has the touch to play lightly is rare. Stick with the drummer and form your own thing. Invite the guitar player to come along or replace him. This can be done in a nice way where he understands that you don’t want to stagnate and that finding good players is rare.
  18. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Wait, he holds off on contacting other companies because he waits to see if the first one responds? And he's not even sending tracks in the initial email? I wouldn't waste one more minute with someone like that, regardless of how much I liked the music.
  19. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Grab the drummer, find a different guitar player and start up a different project?

    Let passive guitar player in folky-band take the reins of that project.
    Nevada Pete and getbent like this.
  20. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Grab this new drummer you found, go find a guitarist, heck the new drummer might even know a few, start a new band.