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Have You Ever Been In A Bad Band- Why?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by The Golden Boy, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. A while back a guy posted a thread about intentionally skipping a show because his band sucked.

    Which led me to think about this:

    Have you ever lent your skills to a band that either didn't suit your style or was just plain bad?

    Around 5 years or so ago, I was playing with a bunch of guys who were friends, a bunch of young guys with a penchance for drinking and drawing a big crowd who liked to do the same! Problem is we sucked. The reasons I played with them to begin with is because they were great, fun guys and genuinely enjoyed playing music. No one in the band was an exceptional songwriter (including myself!). For some reason people loved that band. We were bad, and not in a Bruce Lee Bad sort of way. :D For some reason we got decent writeups in local press though... Maybe I just don't know bad. :confused:

    Between stints in that band I also played with a nu-metal band. We weren't exactly bad, but I'm not a 'nu-metal sort of guy' and I owed a favor to a friend, and most of the guys were really great and easy to get along with, but one of the guys had serious mental issues (Hence no incarnation of the band lasted anymore than a year). I kind of looked at it as having Tom Petersson in Drowning Pool.

    A few more years earlier I played in an 'old school' punk rock band. We were bad, but we drew really really well. I love the drummer, but he sucked. Bad, and not in a Jackie Chan sort of way. :p

    Anyone else?
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I wasted 3-4 weeks of my life playing with a couple of puds who were desperately trying to sound like a cross between Radiohead and Sigur Ros. They were awful and had no concept whatsoever of music theory.

    They actually bragged about having been kicked out of a cafe after volunteering to sit in with a small combo that was playing that night. Apparently, they ruined the music so badly that they were banished.

    Why did I waste time with these clowns? I was between bands and they lived in the 'hood across the street, thus it wasn't a terrible inconvenience.
  3. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    In one way or another, almost every band I have ever played is could be called "bad." I have no illusions that my meager skills will ever see me into the upper echelons of the music field. So, I take what I can get and be thankful that I can have FUN. I have played in some doozies, some that were worse than others. Hell, I have been through almost every audition for bass players posted on Craig's List in the East Bay! You would run screaming from some of the bands I have auditioned for. I think just about everyone has done a gig for friends (or relatives) that was what we could call a "sympathy performance." Sometimes those can be the most fun.
  4. Doc Slow

    Doc Slow

    Jul 21, 2004
    from all over..
    Many years ago I was in a jazz band - we couldn't decide on a name at first. But, after two gigs, we all agreed we would become, "The Disasters of Jazz".

    it was horrible
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The music school I attended used to divide its students into bands. We had some input by being able to state our preferred music style. That was pretty much it as far as what say we had in our fellow band mates.

    Well, I was in some doozies. Instructors were supoosed to help us, but they often didn't show up or stayed only a short while. I think it is because we were so bad, they couldn't stand it.

    The situation was worsened by the fact that many of the students had very poor quality instruments, cables, effects pedals, etc. and some were even were forced to use the school's terrible instruments, including the worst drum kit I have ever seen. The crash cymbol was even split!

    Outside the music school, one of the worst bands I was in was a band with really good intentions and high aspirations to be a heavy metal cover band. Trouble is at no time in any rehearsal did everyone show up! I was the only constant. We never had a full complement of players. We were very optimistic that we could put together a sucessful band, but I finally gave up. I lost hope that all five of us would ever have the discipline and desire to show up at the same time, so I exited. The band dissolved after that and we all ended up in separate (and better) bands.
  6. Many (about 4) years ago, I was in a band which only ever played the same six or seven songs. We used to rehearse at the lead guitarist's house, and for about a year we only ever played SRV covers. The lead guitarist worshipped SRV - period! As far as he was concerned, SRV could do nothing wrong, and how he (SRV) singlehandedly rescued the blues-form from certain extinction, and wasn't it a shame that he was taken from us so very young, and oh! if only he hadn't taken that fatal helicopter ride… weep… sob… etc. etc.

    Now, I've got nothing against SRV, but I think the lead guitarist was a bit "over-the-top", and I made what turned out to be a fatal mistake - I sent him a link to a very funny item in "The Onion" which described (from what I remember) a blues fan travelling in Texas, and stopping for a drink in a bar, and being accosted by the local "blues-expert-SRV-fan" drunk, who proceeded to beat on this guy, telling him what a shame it was that SRV was taken from us all, just as he was getting his life back together etc.… (very funny - even to those who like SRV) -

    Well, needless to say, within a week or so I was unceremoniously booted out of that band (good riddance, from both their and my points of view - although I often wonder if they ever got past the "Pride and Joy" phase? not that I really care…

    Well, that's about the only bad band I've been in - bad because they never evolved - they were too stagnant, and eventually they started to stink…

    - Wil

    (oh, yes - and the lead guitarist didn't have a sense of humour…)
  7. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    The first band I played in was TERRIBLE. The guitarist thought he was the next Clapton but couldn't play much outside of 'power chords', while the drummer had been playing for only a couple months. I basically jammed with them because they lived close and we had become friends in some high school classes. I would wager to say that we had three of four of the worst songs ever 'written', if you can call it that.

    The worst of our songs was so aptly named "Disturbing the Peace" by the guitarist, who would go nuts on his guitar while the drummer did the same. I always refused to play when they got going on it. I guess it was their attempt to have the cops called on us for....disturbing the peace. :rollno:
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Never been in a "bad" band...mostly because I'm only in my first. It's everyone else's first band too, c'ept for the lead guitarist. I can see the signs of a breakup in September when the lead goes to school in Toronto, but it's all good -- if it happens, the drummer and I will form a band (we're both very tight musically -- both performance-wise, and taste-wise) more to our tastes. As it is now, we're doing classic rock covers and fairly neat, if cluttered originals (it's a five piece). Unfortunately, the rhythm guitarist has all the makings of a lead -- poor timing, loves to play loud, huge ego, and doesn't listen to anyone when they try to give musical direction to him. Even when we were just playing around during a break, he was playing through the lead's amp and didn't even turn it down from when we were all practicing. I told him to turn down at least six times :eek: , and nada. The only person I was actually worried about was the drummer, because he's pretty ADD in regular life (and during practice for the improv team), but he's the second most focused person in the group! I've only practiced once with 'em, but from what the bassist that played in the band before me told me about their practices, this is how it goes every time.

    To top off the rock star effect? He didn't even wear ear plugs at practice. *sigh*
  9. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I guess I've been pretty lucky. I was only in one band that was bad. Some young guys (all 16-18yo, I was 32) I met where starting a emo-metal band and needed a bassist. They asked if I would join them. I wasn't doing anything so I said yea. Big mistake! They had a hard time showing up for practice, couldn't communicate well with each other, and didn't really try to improve their skills. After trying to help guide them to cohesion, I started getting grief from them. It seems I didn't have the "commitment" and my wife and kids were some how a problem :confused: That one still makes wonder. The W&Kd's never were at our practices. I finally gave up and walked out and told them why. I guess I didn't have the commitment after all :smug: They fell apart a month or so after I quit.
  10. I wasted a two years of my life , strictly for the money. I was hired by this aspiring rapper, me and a drummer. He hired me to write and perform all of his "beats" with the drummer , while he rapped . Well I hate rap, and to top it off the guy was a jerk, he didnt even give me credit on his album , on which i wrote all of the background music.He really pissed me off one day and i quit ,and not too suprisingly he lost alot of sales at his shows and his album failed to break through.
  11. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Lots! Oh Lord, a whole lots! Most actually! You don't know how bad it feels to have to augment the guitar solo because he can't play it all. And the crowd loved it!
  12. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Awesome avatar Ibanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Yeah, a few years back I was in that "woah is me, I'm the lowly bass player" funk, so I joined a band where I knew I'd be the star because I was so much better than the other players. It was cool because I got to show off alot and got many bass solos. I'm glad I got that over with. I understand my role in a band much better now.
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    After high school, I started dinking around with some guys in my cousin's garage. I grew up in a musical family, and had been playing bass for years. I was awaiting my 18th birthday, because then I could join a professional band and play in bar rooms. These guys were obvious ametuers and I thought they realized that. To me, it was just something to do during the summer before I started college. Then one day, out of the blue, they bought a PA. I thought to myself, "Who are they kidding, don't they realize they are ametuers?" Then they started talking about playing clubs!!! After the summer was over, they all left for college, while I went to school here. I started concentrating on joining a pro band. They would come back on breaks, looking for me. I would always make sure I "wasn't around". In hindsight, I should have handled it better, but I couldn't come out and say, "You're not accomplished musicians".

    My last band wasn't really bad, persay, but it was a huge pain in the ass. I auditioned for the band, it was a singer (who was awesome), a guitarist (who was mediocre, but could play well enough), and a drummer. (who was also excellent) I really wasn't into things during the audition, and I wasn't planning on joining. But they started talking about booking shows as soon as possible. I should have went with my intuition because this became 5 of the most frustrating months of my musical life. We began practicing the next week. Things go well. We show up for practice the following week and the drummer doesn't show. There was a cancelled practice along the way, so we just think that maybe he got his schedule messed up. Next practice is the same thing. No one knows where the drummer has gone. Our guitarist has already booked shows that begin in two months, so we need a drummer. Our singer knows a drummer, but he is "he's no whiz kid". By, "he's no whiz kid", I assume that he's no John Bonham, but he's a steady and solid drummer. Well, we were practicing twice a week because this drummer was terrible. He would run songs long, mess up breaks, couldn't count, even play the wrong beats to songs. On top of that, it's hit and miss on whether our singer will show up. Going to practice was like going to a job you hate. Before our first show, we decide to use another guitarist. (our guitarist isn't a very strong player, and we could use the extra vocal harmony) He walks in and I immediatley like him on personal level. He starts playing and it's obvious that this guy is fantastic; he can play Blues based stuff, he can shred, and on top of that, his tone is beautiful. He practices with us twice, and we play our first show. As you can imagine, the drummer fudges up the whole night. Oddly enough, we get paid a pretty decent amount of money. We play another show the next week; it's the same thing. We play another 4 shows, and it's obvious that this band is a lost cause. The drummer sucks, our singer is unreliable, and our guitarist has a very abrasive personality. When things fall apart, our guitarist wants to form another band with a singer he knows; we still have no idea on a drummer. It didn't sound like a situation I wanted to be a part of.

    The band of the guitarist who filled in with us needed a bass player. I'm now playing with that guitarist in one of the best bands I've ever been in. :smug:
  15. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Never had what anyone would call a band I guess, but, I originally got my bass a couple weeks after this guy at work got a guitar and another close friend from work got a drum kit. So we decided to play together since we were all just starting out. The guitarist had had a little training when he was very young and remembered a lot more than I thought he would. He sounded really good on the few licks he did remember. He is also a die hard LZ fan.

    Well anyhow, we started up just practicing together, and eventually picking a few covers to try together. We decided to each pick a cover we wanted to try since we had slightly different tastes in music. Of course the guitarist picked How Many More Times. I picked I Shot the Sheriff, and I think the drummer picked Make Yourself from Incubus. Next week we show up for practice, having supposed to have learned at least somewhat the 3 songs. Drummer and I had all 3 down, guitarist had the LZ song down, but didnt practice the others at all, dont think he even listened to them. We walked him through our songs slowly, but everytime he got bored he'd just start playing licks he already knew over us telling him what he needed to play. He then would say "that sounds easy" for every new thing we brought to him from then on that we had learned. Would totally make a point to downplay our accomplishements. Even went so far as to say that we only got better than him because the bass and drums were much easier instruments to learn than guitar. This of course really pissed us off hehe. Bunch of tension mounted and he said ok, maybe 3 songs a week is too much to work on. Lets all pick ONE song together and work on that. So we pick some Jack Johnson song, I forget which.

    Next week we get together, he hadnt learned any of it, hadnt even listened to it, again. Drummer and I could play it from start to finish. Mind you we had only been playing about 4 weeks total at this point so we were pretty impressed with ourselves and very dissapointed that the guitarist hadnt bothered to even try.

    At this point we sat him down, told him if he didnt wanna work on songs with us, then that was cool, but we were gonna play stuff, and if he wont learn, then he shouldnt bother to come back. Since then he quit playing alltogether, after buying $2000 worth of gear. It now collects dust in his room. Drummer and I are still playing together and improving every day. It was a learning experience to say the least hehe.

    Anyhow, thats my long winded example of my experiences with it hehe.
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I'm currently in one Classic/Southern/Country Rock cover band... so... so not my style.
  17. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    ...what's classic southern country rock? I have a glorious image of you all kitted out on stage, but just can't find the music to fit the image.
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Err... we just do a bunch of covers. Lynyrd Skynyrd, SRV, CCR, Led Zeppelin... then a few country songs sprinkled here and there. :rollno:
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've been in some pretty horrid bands. But only because they managed to keep me working.

    "Mercenary Bass Player for hire."
    "Will play for Food"
    "I Thump for Mortgage Payments."

    I'll play with a crappy band again if the paycheck's right. It developes tolerance, patience, and a G.A.S fund>

    I'll play in bands where I love the music and the people for nothing, just to enjoy really awesome moments in music. That's what it's really about:)
  20. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    ...damn it. I overlooked the word rock in your description. I had this glorious image in my head of you doing Dolly Parton covers... :D