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Got fired. Band politics. VENTING.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Munroe, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Munroe


    Apr 25, 2012
    What's worse: being fired due to bad musicianship/work ethic, or being fired because people/someone doesn't like you?

    This is a vent thread. I just got fired from a gig for the first time.

    It wasn't due to my musicianship. I do a good job. I played on the wrong side of band politics. Its a long story.

    Basically, a year ago I agreed to join an original rock band. It was quickly apparent that the level of commitment required wasn't one I wanted to give, so I had a sit-down meeting with the members and told them I want to quit. At the time, they seemed to understand, and I agreed that I would stay on-board for a few months until they could find a new bassist. I thought it was a very civil compromise, as I could have just left at that moment if I wanted.

    It turns out they weren't really cool with it.

    The thing is, I knew these musicians through doing gigs in my city. On the side, I did a Rock cover gig with the same lineup of the original band, and a separate R&B cover gig that happens to have the same drummer and the lead guitarist.

    Anyway, after six months, they finally found my replacement for the original band. However, it turns out the lead guitarist (with a history of vindictive behavior) had been secretly demanding for months that I be fired from ALL THE GIGS and replaced with whatever bassist they manage to find. The mantra is "all the gigs have to have the same personnel".

    See, the lead guitarist (shred guy) has a massive ego that is easily bruised and apparently is offended that anyone wouldn't want to be in his original project. He is also extremely demanding and often threatens to quit if minor requests aren't met. Him and I often feuded. He's even offended that I don't hang out after shows and get drunk, even though I told him multiple times I have f***ing Crohn's disease and am not supposed to drink or smoke.

    Everyone except me and the drummer automatically go along with whatever he says. Apparently the drummer, who I had a long history with, advocated for me for a few months, but he ultimately gave in to the demands of the guitarist in order to stay in the group.

    Anyway, I'm quite bitter about the whole thing, as I now have to make up for a lot of lost income on really short notice, and the reason for firing me was SO PETTY.

    God, I HATE MUSICIANS SOMETIMES. Had I had known I was going to get **** on in the end, I would have never offered to help them out!
  2. declassified

    declassified Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Owner Valkyrie PedalWorks
    so you quit, then got surprised when you got fired?

    I must be missing something here.
  3. Munroe


    Apr 25, 2012
    I'm pissed that I got fired from gigs that have no real connection to the original band, particularly the R&B gig, which I helped found and was a continuation of a project I was in before the original band even formed.

    I could understand being fired if I did a bad job musically, was unreliable, was hard to work with, showed up to gigs unprepared, looked funny, etc...

    I didn't do any of that. I was just on the receiving end of some douchebag's vindictive political agenda. Its ridiculous.
  4. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Hey buddy, I found myself nodding my head through your whole post. I've been through all that in the decades I've been doing this.



    Texas-sized insecurity manifesting itself as Texas-sized ego.

    Failure to put the music -- and the business of it -- first.

    Tolerance (and even encouragement) of questionable "off-clock" behavior.

    Individual members putting self-interest over what's right and honorable.

    Anyway, I've quit offering to help bands I leave. I think clean breaks are always best. You help a band you've already quit, and you're gonna be working in a septic environment, no matter how much the other members try to bury the stink.

    And final point: It's not "band politics." It's bad behavior.

    Hope you find another position fast. You sound like you've got your s__t together.
  5. When I'm not playing bass (or being a husband, dad, or working on our own business), I'm actually a professional Employment Specialist (mostly with the disabled) and here's the statistics: for everyone who loses gets fired because they can't do the job, 2 people will get fired because they don't get along with their boss or co-workers.
    So it's actually twice as as important to be liked as to be competent.
    Hope you get can get back on the horse ASAP.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I enjoy many things in life ... as per music it is a lot of fun getting into a new band. There are many hopes and expectations. Then the flip side When a band goes bad and the music sucks, the relationships become stale and unprofitable, it feels really good to exit that band ... no matter how it happens.

    Most bands don't last very long. Some last longer than they should.
  7. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    The OP appears to be upset as he has found he may be fired from three projects after trying to step down from just one in an honourable and helpful fashion (i.e. loads of flexibility and notice!).

    To the OP: That sucks a lot. I'd try to keep in touch with the drummer, see if you can get the band (the two non original projects) to fire the guitarists' egotistical ass!:mad:. If he isn't the vocalist (only guitars) he can be replaced a lot easier than you and the drummer (who I gather has found a compromise with him but has a history of not taking his bullying . . . which means he may follow you out the door soon enough).

    In short I agree with the guitarist. Except I say all three bands have to have the same type of line up to work well: reasonable musicians who leave their ego's at the door.:cool: People like that need to keep picking to constantly assure themselves of their dominance - a bad choice of band member and a disastrous choice of leader.
  8. TremmelBass

    TremmelBass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2008
    Best quote I've heard in a long time!
  9. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    You told them that you didn't want to be in the project. Agreed to stay on until they found a replacement and now claim that you were fired. Regardless of the guitar player's behavior, it seems to me more like you quit.
  10. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    They'll more than likely come crawling back to you. Good Bassist are hard to find.
  11. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Sorry, but I would have done the same thing. It sounds like all three projects were closely related. It's a hell of a lot easier to schedule gigs and rehearsals when you have the same people.

    Your story sounds like sour grapes. You wanted to stay in the rock band and R&B band with the guitar player, but now that you've been fired from both you are trash-talking him. Just my opinion.
  12. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    It's over and it seems that situation was not a good one from the beginning and now you have time to find a band that you feel good about and can make some money and if the guitarist had been "secretly" planing to dump you what does that say about the other band members that didn't give you the heads up?
  13. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    You were screwed either way. If you had known, and had not offered to help them out, you would still have lost all three gigs. The egotistical guitarist would've seen to that no matter what.

    Your drummer has demonstrated the way to stay in those bands; bow to whatever the egohead wants. Too bad it cost you the income, hope you get back on your feet soon......

    P.S., I also agree that the guitarist has a point (to a degree) about keeping the lineups the same. He may have been a d-bag in how he dealt with you, but your decision to leave the original group is what led to his decision so..... What'cha gonna do?? Good luck....
  14. This.

    And, unfortunately, this. If he was an asshat to your face, you know he ripped you a new one behind your back. I've been in this situation, and yes, I did hold my former bandmates accountable for sandbagging me.

    Dysfunctional situation all around. Lick your wounds, count your blessings, and move on wiser for the experience.

    I know we're supposed to be professionals, but in that list of criteria for choosing bandmates, make sure compatability is somewhere in there closer to the top than the bottom.
  15. 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
    Even in ordinary employment, the most common reason people get fired is because the boss doesn't like you. I don't know if Mr. Shredder is the official boss of the band, but he is at least the de facto boss. You may need to learn how to play politics a little better.

    Frankly, if you said you were going to quit one band, I'd've replaced you at the very earliest convenience. If I didn't like you, I'd've replaced you in the other bands, too. While Mr. Shredder may be a douchenozzle, I see his point. He'd rather have someone who will bow to him in all bands. The drummer acquiesced to his position and is still in the band. You didn't and you're not.
  16. burnunit

    burnunit obsolete Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Condolences. It's amazing how quickly and forcefully some people will turn on you.

    Better luck with your next band. You might consider leading one if that's a possibility.
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I have to put the blame and point the finger back at the OP.

    This situation and band was not a match for him from day 1. The OP should have never joined the band.

    Many of you know it's no secret how I feel about guys joining bands that are not a match for them either personally, politically, philosophically or musically. Usually it happens when you haven't asked the right questions, didn't do your homework on the band or didn't go with your gut feeling.

    I find bands and musicians to be pretty transparent, there pretty easy to see through early on.

  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I see it as an inevitable happening. If you piss off a guy in one band, it's unrealistic to assume that for the other bands he's going to be cool with you.
  19. I would fine it hard to work with someone that may not like my
    contribution in one band, in another.

    There would always be ego issues.
    Sorry but, cut your losses and run :meh:
  20. I've been fired from a band.

    Told I was not funky enough (after I was told that I was the funkiest bass player "they" had ever played with :meh:)
    and couldn't keep time at our last gig together.

    Afterward, as the rest of the band had reviewed a video of the questionable gig.

    "They" found it was the drummer (the leader of the group that fired me) was out of step from the rest of the band.

    Tried to get me to come back later, I respectfully declined :eyebrow:

    At least my timing and funk were fine :smug: