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Got kicked out of the band... but why?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mrkreuzschlitz, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Bear with me, this is a long one. I could definitely use some insight though, I'd really appreciate it guys. I apologize for the long thread, but if you have any experience... please? :p

    So, I've been (more or less) a founding member of the band I was in until recently. We've been in and out of studios since last November and talking to labels since and we're even negotiating with some now. Thing is, because we're unsigned, we had to pay for the time ourselves. Not a big deal for us, but at the same time, my mother was hospitalized around the same time, leaving me with all the financial burden of paying the bills at the house and her medicine, etc. I was still in high school at the time (senior) and I sat down and explained to everyone that I couldn't afford that because I had $1,200 worth of bills a month to pay. I mean, I literally had to work my ass off just to keep the water running and pay the power bill, not to mention that we practiced at my house. Well, we went back into the studio in may and I had just gotten back on my feet and moved out (my mother had recovered by then). I got a text message from our vocalist saying "hey dude, it's not fair that you aren't throwing in with finance, etc etc" and I agreed and promised to start helping out a lot more, especially now that I could afford to. Well we just had to pay some money for a promotional deal (video, pictures etc) and I had my share of the money but they told me to hold onto it because of plans later that day and it'd just be safer to handle it when we could go to the bank and not worry about it getting lost or stolen.

    Well, here's the fun part. I was at a friend's house about 30 minutes away when I got a text, of all things, from the vocalist basically saying "Hey, sorry but for the past 5 months you haven't been contributing, etc etc it's not fair to the band to have a member who isn't helping out with money, etc etc, sorry but we're going to have to part ways."

    Of course, immediately I started calling everyone and one of the guitar players answered and we talked, he said he wasn't really wanting to kick me out, especially for that, and certainly not over text. I ended up talking to the other guitar player and he was saying "Hey man, you just need to try other things in life, etc". I gave my rebuttal and he said it was essentially the vocalist saying he couldn't be in the band with me, tour with me, all of that... even though I was the one that brought him in and we had been good friends, to the best of my knowledge, the whole time.

    Now I'm confused though. Apparently the vocalist was the only one that wanted to kick me out, then one guitar player jumped on board to keep him, and the other two (drummer and guitarist) weren't so sure. The guitar player that was sticking up for me is trying to organize a sit down and even talked to the vocalist, who said for lack of better words, that he felt like "poop" about it.

    My biggest question, though, is what the hell should I make of this? I'm not dead weight, I know for a fact. I help the drummer tune his kit (I've got a knack for it), I help the guitarists set their guitars up, help them with their amps, when it comes time for a retube or whatever, I'm usually the one doing it, I help write a HUGE majority of the music, and I can play my parts no problem. I just don't get it and I can't figure out if the vocalist is just really upset about something or what. The biggest thing for me is that, financially, I've never held the band back. We've never had to miss an opportunity and I even have money to contribute now. It's just... none of this makes sense and it's like I've been betrayed by 4 of my best friends. I mean if it was just a local gig, I'd move on, but this is something I could make a living off of that I've worked so hard and is just taken from me. Any advice guys? I really appreciate it.
  2. Sounds like a band you would not like to be in, me neither.
  3. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    If you are having to pay for all this stuff- in all honesty I question the viability of this band. Question how much have you made off of gigs with this band?
  4. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    It's called being in a band in your early 20's... It's the BS that comes along with it. You should remove yourself from the situation because it's obviously dysfunctional regardless of whether you stay or not.

    Problem is you're likely to never get a straight answer from any of them. Chances are they've all been talking about you behind your back and feel like losing you is in their best interest. Screw 'em... go find a band that wants you and rock the hell out!
  5. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Well we started, literally with nothing, and now we're actually making money. Most of our time has been studio based and even the last time we were in a studio was from a referral from a label. It hasn't been an extraordinary amount to pay, but I know without a doubt that next trip up there, we aren't paying... If you catch my drift.
  6. sackvegas


    Dec 1, 2006
    From my experience when the member that got kicked out starts calling the other members and they all say it was someone else's idea, they just feel bad and are trying to avoid the confrontation.

    Find a new band that's a better fit for you.
  7. My prediction is that this band will break up within six months -- move on.
  8. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    If you band is actually making money you start a band fund- and a percentage of what you make goes in there, then you use that to pay for things like your website, practice space, and recording time etc...

    Not out of your pocket.
  9. I know that their are two sides to every story but it sounds like you did the "Stand Up Thing" and helped keep your mom's household operating while she was ill and in need. I am not sure their are that many guys your age who could have pulled that off. It sounds like you may be more mature than your singer and other bandmates. Step back and look at the big picture. What you did was the right thing to do. If your bandmates do not understand and are going to punish you, then move on. There will be other bands in your life.
  10. jgroh


    Sep 14, 2007
    Having a sit down to mend this back together is kind of like if you break up with your girl/boyfriend... chances are whatever the reason you broke up with to begin with will rear its ugly head again. They are saying its because you havent been contributing financially but there is likely more to it than that. So you stayed together through your "down" times and NOW that you can contribute financially, they drop you doesnt sound like its a financial thing.
  11. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I guess, if anything, that sit down deal is going to be more for closure than anything. Worst case, well, they'll be paying a LOT more for equipment (they seriously relied on me for doing luthier and amp work) and whatnot, but I'm probably going to end up enlisting in the Marines and going to school.

    Still, this has always been a dream of mine and it really just sucks to lose it, especially like this,
  12. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Don't let them use your bass parts for their studio tracks. Get a lawyer with the money you saved when they kicked you out and insist that they re-record all the bass parts at their expense. It won't save the band, but they won't be making money off your contribution.

    Or, go the other way and insist (with a lawyer) that they pay you royalties for your contribution.
  13. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I know it's a frustrating situation...especially since you brought the singer in, help write tunes, and had to take care of your mother (good for you on that)!

    That thing about the "early 20s band syndrome" is true. Everybody thinks they're gonna make it, it goes to their head, and they start doing weird things to their "friends."

    As others have noted, if it's strange at this point, it'll only get worse as things move along. That said, be sure you get credit for your musical contributions in case the material gets released.
  14. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Honestly, as far as money goes and all that, I couldn't give a crap. For me, playing music isn't about the money (I mean, it's nice and all though!! lol) but more about doing what you love for a living.

    I just talked to one of the guitarists, the one that's really sticking up for me, and he said him and the drummer are on the same page that it's going to be tougher without me. The one thing that's frustrating is the vocalist has been brought up in money, to put it one way, so I don't really think he gets how much of a burden I was in. I even had to sell my bass rig! I have a new one now, but still. It's just... frustrating.
  15. MickyZ


    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    You might think about what you can do to protect your songs - if you have any that were written solely by you, then you own the copyright, but need to register it so you don't get circumvented. Not sure how you'd independently protect songs you wrote collaborating with the others - probably have to get the other co-writers to agree to register the copyright jointly, with percentages.

    And I sadly agree with several of the other posters here - this is typical BS from self-important twenty-somethings with more ego than talent. Remember the "band fund" idea, it will simplify things in future situations. And this will reinforce the common lesson that working with workable people is always more important/rewarding than coping with talented backstabbers.
  16. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I agree with Stewie's post. You have accomplished a great deal for a young person, and should feel very good about that. The band is not functioning well, and while it's upsetting right now, in the future you'll be glad to move on to find a better fit for yourself. Keep playing and stay positive; good things will come with new opportunities.

    Best wishes & stay confident,
  17. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Sounds to Me like these Guys aren't what I would call "friends". My thoughts are, that if they were Your friends, they would've stepped back "the fast track to success" a bit and allow You time to get Your family business in order.
    I can agree with the fact that every member in a band must pull their weight but, in this case I'd say they were looking for some reason to give You the boot.
    IMO- You'd do better by packing up kit and finding another band, regardless of the fact that everyone wants to "play nice and patch things up". You are a Young person, and there will be plenty of other bands looking for bass players in Your future.

    IMO/FWIW- You were doing a whole heck of a lot by hosting rehearsals at Your home, which is a very important part of "the band thing". Rent on most rehearsal spaces is not cheap.
    Just curious:
    Did they ever offer You any money to help cover the utility costs involved with running a Your home rehearsal space?
    Are they offering You any of the money back that You had previously invested in "the band"?

    Oh yea, Kudos for doing what is right by Your family and going the extra mile. It say's a lot about Your character.
  18. vinny


    Apr 3, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Someone's buddy probably wants in now that they're getting some traction.
  19. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Not to mention one guitarist has a couple pedals of mine and the tuners from my guitar (one of his snapped, I put a set of grovers from an unused acoustic I have on).

    But to answer your question, no and no. I mean it's starting to sound more like the vocalist is being a diva, which they're going to have to fix or the band is going to be miserable for them. It honestly feels like one person got pissed off for something and held it in instead of doing the healthy thing and talking it out.
  20. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    This actually might be true, I know of the guy too, but what baffles me is I know for the fact I'm a better player, better with equipment, better with writing, etc.

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