Got fired from my band last night.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by butchblack, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts
    Hi All

    The title says it all. I got a message on my voice mail to call the band leader. As soon as he started a low tone mumbling story I knew what was coming. This did not come as a complete surprise. The band is shifting format. I'm basically a blues bassist. When I joined the band was doing eclectic blues, well within my comfort zone. Just before the new guitarist joined a decision was made to go more into a classic rock/ old school R&B mode to see if we could get into more rooms. As this happened I found myself more at odds with the drummer, I play by ear, he likes to copy the recording exactly, and would disagree on what were minor rhythmic differences. The new guitarist added a lot of fuel to the let's change the band's format. We went into the studio to record 3 of the band leader's originals with only a few weeks to rehearse them. As they were definitely not blues, and I was in my busy period at work, I struggled to get bass lines that were acceptable and learn them. I made it for the recording, but just by the skin of my teeth. From then on, I was detecting some frustration/ animosity from them. 2 months later I'm fired.

    I handled it as amicably as possible. I try not to burn bridges unless necessary. What I need to do is decide what I want to do next. I'm basically a weekend warrior, with a goal of it being a self supporting hobby. My thoughts are to find another blues band, as that's what I like to play, and play well. I need to not rush this and wait for a good fit.

    Any thoughts or insights welcome. Think I'll hit a jam session tonight. Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    you seem to have your head on straight, and your plan for the future sounds like a good path--i wish you well, i'm sure you'll find a blues band or 2 to play with
  3. After reading your story, it seems like this breakup is for best. I don't know how many contacts you have out there, or what your ability to commit is, but have you thought about forming and leading an electric blues band?

    Don't know your experience level with that end of things. But I'm in the middle of forming and co-leading a band right now. The start up energy will surely be a bit painful [finding compatible personal, scheduling rehearsal times (and perhaps space), writing/selecting/rehearsing tunes, getting your first few gigs, etc], but the fruits of your labor will be tangible. You'll get a bit more in your pocket for your efforts whenever you do a paying gig, your leadership abilities will (hopefully) improve, and you might even develop some newer/nastier chops!
  4. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    That it is cool that you can even "hit a jam session". I do not know where or how I would do that. Surely you can use that (those) as a place to make some contacts and find what you are looking for. You sound like you are quite "together". Good luck.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I have a friend in Boston who plays blues guitar. I think he does the Jam Spot jams and some other ones pretty regularly. PM me if you want to check him out.

    Best of luck!
  6. Bluesbreaker5


    Mar 24, 2006
    After my blues band called it quits I took a position with a band that did more female country and pop/rock. Nice folks, lotsa gigs and a challenge to learn 40 tunes I did not know in 3 practices. I got 'er done.

    I hated it, hated it, hated it. So I told them I would play until they found another bassist. It took them only one week to find someone as they are a good band.

    I'll wait for the right fit now.
  7. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    unlucky its always a horrid experience when a band changes direction especially if it means moving out of your comfort zone

    i once played in a band where the leader would change the format depending on the last album he'd listened to one month we'd be oldschool heavy metal the next month he'd be hinting towards going more classic rock then after 6 months he decided emo/accoustic would get us a number one hit..... i promtly left

    but now my current band is starting to come at odds with a direction now we've taken on a new singer him and the guitarist want to go down the nu metal path while me and the 2nd guitarist wanna stick with oldschool power metal and blues and i forsee a breakup in the next 2 or 3 months

    its a sad thing but it happens the best you can do is keep a level head and keep looking for the right band
    you've left in a good manner and there's no hatred behind what happened which is a good thing
    i'd offer advice but the truth is the way your doing things is already the best way forward anyway

    good luck finding the next band keep us up to date:bassist:
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I will say i think its for the best and you should stay true to your style...blues. I wouldnt let the fact that you got fired let you down. It was not you it was the music style changed and it wasnt a fit. It sounds also that some of the band members had a "lil tude".

    I left a band that was quickly going nowhere once that changed the basic pop/rock covers that made them once decent to doing metal.. ex: Slayer etc. I told them i was not that mold of bass player and left. Good luck.
  9. Wow Butch.. that was a bit of bad fortune for sure... Sounds like you, the 'format' and former band members have been all going in seperate directions for a little while. I'm thinking the split is for the best IMHO. If it didn't happen now, probably not too much longer before it fell apart in one form or another. I'll bet you can hook up with yet-unknown, yet like-minded 'blues guys' in your area after a short time.
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I think there's a lesson in this. Maybe that one should step up and ask some questions or point out the problems to resolve the issues. Possibly the OP would have left on his own but at least be able to call the other members out on their change in attitude/behavior towards him.
  11. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    You'll find something for you. You seem optimistic and well ahead of others I've seen.
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Hey Butch, it sounds like you know your strengths, which is always a great advantage. Another good gig will come around.:)
  13. That's the mature way of handling it, great job. I think now that you know what you like and don't like it will help you to meet your musical goals in your next band. Now you just have to ask yourself if this is what you want to be stuck with, playing the blues that is, or if you would be willing to expand your musical vocabulary and learn some different styles. As long as your happy, that's all that matters. Good luck finding your gig.
  14. bass'n it

    bass'n it

    Oct 3, 2008
    New Hampshire
    :meh:........well good luck to you,dude!!!.been there done that once or twice in my 30 odd years of bass'n it!!:eyebrow:

    Spector club member # 109
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  15. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    I second this, I don't even know if this is possible where I live. Unfortunate, really...
  16. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Bummer. Good thing you aren't on tour in Canada, eh? Touring tends to make any simmering problems come to a full boil.
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Yo, Butch I'm also in the Boston area. PM me and maybe I can give you some leads.

    Blues scene in Boston right now is oversaturated (probably why your band was considering a format change).
  18. lowdownwalt


    Mar 23, 2008
    BC Canada
    Every problem creates an opportunity!

    From what your saying I think what happened was for the best and will open new doors for you.
    I can relate as I'm also an ear player and was also involved with a very regimental group one time and it was hell. I don't know what it is with some musicians but they feel that when you do another bands song that it has to be exactly the same... some kind of insecurity I think. Better to move on to greener pastures and play blues that you enjoy.

    Keep playin the blues with like minded!

    All the best,
  19. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Go look on craigslist and see how many bands are looking for bass players - you'll feel MUCH better! We're a coveted gem!
  20. I'm in a similar boat - not with getting fired, but with my musical perspective and feel not necessarily being in line with the band recently joined.

    I am a reasonably skilled player with a strong classic rock and alt-rock/pop comfort zone surrounded by OK chops in blues, reggae, ska, funk, etc... In cover band situations, I've always been in with players who had a similar take on how they approach things - until now.

    This band has a very different 'overall perspective' on groove, attack, "lay back" vs. "push", "like the album" vs. "as you feel it"... in other words, we speak the same language, but with different dialects - and since I'm in their neck of the woods, it's on me to learn the dialect...

    So - I guess that's my point. In my case, we recognized early on that there was something 'off-sounding' when we did certain tunes. I knew I was playing my part 'properly', and I couldn't really tell why, but for some reason the 'groove' was ambiguous... We brought it up - talked about it - put on the recordings - talked about our own angle on what we were hearing and how we approached our part when we played them and found where the rubs were and fixed 'em.

    I'd say for you to not limit yourself in your perception of your strengths and weaknesses. Classic Rock, Motown, R&B, Funk, Gospel, etc... all VERY similar in many ways and all basically derivatives of the Blues. So if you're a strong Blues player, you're also probably equally capable of being a strong "other" player. I'd say give those other styles a good listen for the next few months and listen for how similar they are to the style your comfy with while looking for that little perspective switch that makes a typical blues progression become more rock or soul or funk...

    Good luck!

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