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Have you ever been stabbed in the back by your bandmates?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by tomnomnom91, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    And if so, how did you deal with it?

    Before I start I'd just like to say that I'm not starting this thread out of the need to publicly complain, I'm well over the incident in question :p I'm just wondering what your experiences are and how you dealt with them - maybe some of us could learn from the way others handle things.

    So, my story: The first 'serious' band I was in was a four-piece, consisting of myself on bass, my best friend of 8 years on drums (who I'd previously taught to play guitar, but he'd switched to drums out of necessity), a guitarist I'd sort of been friends with for about 12 years, and a singer who we all met at school. We had quite a wide variety of influences, but ultimately we were all really into Muse, and as our set grew we gradually evolved into a Muse tribute band.

    It was great fun, but after a few months we started writing originals. Oddly, this is where the problems started. From the early stages it seemed like the other three guys were ganging up on me in terms of creative control - everything I suggested was shot down, yet if I didn't like one of their ideas I was totally ignored. Eventually I just decided to go along with it, because it was fun playing with them, and the songs we were writing weren't bad, just not to my taste.

    Despite my misgivings I was utterly committed - I'd drag my huge 4x10 cab to every rehearsal, even though we were only playing in the drummer's garage (because I didn't have a smaller setup at the time), turn up early to help set the guitarist and singer's gear up before they arrived so we'd have more time to play, arranged all the rehearsals, got us gig contacts, everything. We got an offer to play a sort of mini-festival that was quite local to us, it was a small gig but we'd played it the previous year and it was a lot of fun. The offer came 6 months before the gig, and given the date I immediately knew that I wouldn't be able to make it. I told them this, and they said it was fine. Then, come the day of the gig, I had dozens of messages and missed calls from them asking where the hell I was, I was going to be late, that kind of thing. Despite the fact I'd told them months in advance I couldn't do it, and was 250 miles away, they'd decided to go ahead without me, and got it into their heads that I'd be able to make it. So… Muse tribute band without a bassist. Apparently that was all my fault and I'd make them look like idiots… Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled. Anyway, nothing was said after that, and I kept attending rehearsals and writing sessions, all while acquiring more gear to improve the quality of our recordings, live sound and stage show.

    Then one day, I was invited to like a Facebook page for the band. I thought, "Great, one of them has gone and set this thing up finally, I'd better check it out." Clicked the link, and it was full of photos of the band playing live in venues I'd never heard of, with a different bassist. That was their way of telling me I was out of the band. I mean, seriously? Who is friends with a dedicated musician for years on end and then kicks them out of a band without telling them, and lets them find out by seeing someone else listed as 'bassist' on the band's Facebook page? I had a massive rant at them, took my PA home from the drummer's garage, and haven't spoken to any of them since. I do wonder if I could have handled the situation better, but looking back I think I did the right thing. The band I'm in now is far more advanced than theirs, and they barely ever gig because their bassist isn't committed enough to make rehearsals regularly :p
  2. From a personal perspective, I think you handled it perfectly. Bastards.

    Professionally, it would have been good to find out why.

    On the other hand, yes, the third one... if you have gotten over it and are happy with where you're at then I don't think there's a need to re-hash that. Keep on improving.

    Back to the personal side, the best way to get revenge is to get better, find (or found) a band and surpass them.
  3. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009

    but on the topic....yes.
    by a bunch of kids that were younger than me and sounded worse than I did. I tried "fixing" their sound. they wouldnt have it.

    on the plus side, I don't have to drive half and hour to practice anymore, and I'm in a perfectly good band now doing what I want to do. I actually got to play at a show with the band recently, and they still sound horrible. :D
  4. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Which festival was it? :)
  5. Not a difficult solution to me, talk to them.
  6. Noosh


    May 1, 2006
    North Carolina
    Had a similar issue as the OP. Was in a band with some high school friends for a while. It was the usual 'hang out all weekend and play music for a few hours of the time' kinda thing. We never did any shows or anything, mostly because we never could find a drummer.
    At first it was totally a for fun thing but the more I got into playing music, the more I wanted to get serious about it. I wanted to get serious about finding a drummer and get out and start playing some shows.
    One day I go to log into our band myspace page and get an error. I go to look at the page and it dosent exist anymore. I try talking to the other 2 members and get no answer from either of them. No contact whatsoever for over a week. Then I find out from some mutual friends that they have a new bassist. I was pretty hurt at first, but then I went on to meet a local band that was already established and looking for a bassist. Auditioned and got the spot and played shows regularly for over a year.
    Due to the distance to rehearsal each week I eventually had to quit the band, but im still good friends with them. They broke up soon after that.
    As of now im currently in a band ranked #2 in our area on reverbnation and were starting to get booked for fairly regular shows.
    Where are the 2 otjer guys from that first band? Oh, they're still without a drummer and the bassist they replaced me with quit not long after the incident.I've since aired out my differences with them but still dont really talk to them much. They still write and record music, but dont do much else. None of which is too great and makes me glad things ended up how they did. Ive even offered to get them on some shows, if they were to get a whole band together. Just to be nice, but they seem to have no interest.
  7. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    A guitar player in and old rock covers band had a melt down at a show which I later found out was in part from his pill addiction. We had words at a gig and the next thing I knew he ran a CL ad looking for a bass player in the band. The problem was I never said I was leaving...but did after that.
  8. I've certainly felt betrayed by them, and stabbed in the back by members of a band we were very close to. In fact the band leader of the other band was brother in law to my lead guitarist.

    Outside of the troubles we were already having,which I detailed a little in the 420 thread, the final breakup came when the other band fell apart, losing both a guitarist and their drummer.

    So they approached our bass player and drummer and sweet talked them away with big, but ultimately very empty promises.

    Our bass player was always better than theirs, so they always wanted him anyway. They moved their bass player to rhythm guitar and put our drummer in place of their absent one.

    After getting over the initial anger, I decided to take up bass and keep the two of us going. But I had no bass. They now had a guitarist with no guitar. So I went to him and made a deal. We swapped gear.

    Of course, because that band was now a band full of drug abusers(most of their members had issues before this), it never accomplished anything, other than gutting ours.

    On the other hand, it lead me to bass, which I love, so you gotta look for the bright spots.
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    What is the best method or way of handling letting someone go after they have been in the band for a few years ?

  10. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Tell them face to face. Please wait to put an ad out or get a replacement until you do.
  11. Honestly, candidly, and with some warning. Pretend to be an adult. I quit a band after the "leader" fired the drummer out of the blue, with an email. I'm 51 and a no BS SOB. SO I fired myself. Teach the passive/aggressive ones not to eff with folks that way. I dont play with immature kids, even if they look like adults.

    as most of these stories seem to arise from adolescent selfishness.

    The Golden Rule still works.
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Yep. Posted a story about it here a couple years ago! Nasty separation. Wasn't too happy about some of the opinions posted here though.
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    After reading that I have to ask how was your attitude? because to me it seems like you had one because "finally" the Facebook page was up? if it bothered you why didn't you do it? I see these posts a lot and I don't understand how "friends" would conspire to get rid of a almost perfect band mate over one incident? we are only getting your side of the story here and did you remind everyone about not being at the special gig? tell them in advance and then remind them as it gets closer to the gig.
  14. 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
    You were stabbed with a Linkin Park pen, for sure.
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    And here we go! The main reason I asked a mod to close my thread! I'd advise the OP to do the same! By the end of this thread, it'll all be YOUR fault!!

  16. In the 1980's a stage mom began bringing her son to our gigs.. cute.. his voice was in middle of changing. He did bit parts in movies and such. Next she began passing the hat our gigs..and attending our rehearsals as well as at every gig.

    I thought it odd to bring a boy to sing at bars. I began to resent the stage mom as she[ my opinion] began taking over our band.

    During one rehearsal, while stareing at me, she announced that she was aware that one band member was jealous of her son and was holding the rest of the band back. I relented as she informed us that she and the boy were leaving for Nashville and we would be his back up band. $$$ HEADED FOR STARDOM $$$

    Next week, during rehearsal, she calls from Nashville. I knew what she was up to and couldn't stop BL from spoon feeding her chord charts . Weeks went by.. finally I asked BL when we were leaving for Nashville, when she called to tell us the recording was finished..studio required their staff musicians only. Didn't hear from them for months...

    I thought we were rid of them, when they appeared at a charity gig. SHE PASSED THE HAT..again and again.. then complained to us about low $$, when she was told it was a charity and not for her son..THEY LEFT IN A HUFF..NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN, HERE.
  17. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    It does seem that the OP had seen multiple red flags arise long before his ultimate firing came to pass - yet failed to respond to any of them. :meh:

    For example, I would think that the snubbing of his creative input by the other bandmates, i.e. their "ganging up" on him, would be a big issue. It certainly would prompt me to sit them all down for an honest heart-to-heart, had I been in his shoes.

    But the big snafu over the apparent miscommunication with the mini-festival really takes the cake. Based solely upon the OP's account, it's hard to fathom how his bandmates could have gotten their signals so completely crossed. It's such an obvious, blatant screw-up that one can't wondering whether the bandmates had actually engineered this little crisis, as a pretext for firing the OP. And yet, inexplicably, even after all of that, he states that "nothing was said after that". Nothing was said. Just incredible! :rollno:

    If there was ever was an urgent need for dialogue amongst these people, wouldn't that have been it? Was it not obvious to the OP by then that the axe was due to fall?

    To me, it seems so obvious that once there's the first hint of disrespect, or any kind of marginalization taking place, that is the time to call it out to the offender(s), and ask him/them to explain himself/themselves. Not to just ignore it and hope it doesn't happen again. Not to put it off to another day. Not to just silently hope it gets better - because it seldom ever does. :eyebrow:

    Either nip this kind of thing in the bud, resolve it, and move on - or expect things to continue to degenerate. That's the way it works.

    Live and learn. Or maybe not... :rolleyes:

  18. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    I only phrased it that way because we'd been talking about doing it for a while but needed to get some stuff together to actually put on it. There was no conflict or anything in terms of getting the Facebook set up, it's as simple as we'd been discussing it for a while but none of us had got around to actually setting it up for that reason. It didn't actually 'bother' me at all.

    I hate to sound like an arrogant jerk, but I must say I was 'almost perfect', in terms of commitment, reliability and desire to be as good as possible. The only 'attitude' I had was that I was determined to make the band as good as possible. And yeah, I reminded them a few weeks before. The thing I don't understand is that I'd told the organisers of the gig months in advance that we couldn't play it, so the only conclusion I can come to is that they went behind my back and told the organiser they could do it. Otherwise they wouldn't have played it at all.
  19. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    BAck to the OP's story, I would suspect that the band got the fill in bass player the day you said you couldn't make the gig.
    I suspect the fill in didn't turn up for gig so they tried you while they were waiting to start.
  20. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    The silly thing is I know you're right. But these people were my friends (or so I thought), and at the time I thought their rejection of my creative input was as simple as the other guys didn't like them because my ideas weren't good enough - I've always had pretty low self esteem musically :p

    And yeah, I should have seen the warning signs and I should have discussed things with them. BUT, they kicked me out without telling me - it's hardly my fault that they decided to not even talk to me about that.