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Hello goodbye, the stories on why you left your band how you moved on.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Blazer, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    the year was 1998, after my last band J.A.W. disbanded I found myself looking in vain for another band who were looking for a guitarist and so I decided to try my hand as a bassplayer, I called the first number of a band searching a bassplayer and that's how I became a member of the prog metal band Format Brain which to me was like graduating from a tricicle to a Harley Davidson.

    There I was playing in a band consisting of classically trained musicians, it really pushed my chops up several knots and I couldn't wait to get on the road with those guys.

    We went through a vigorous rehearsel schedule of a year and played our first gig at a birthday party we were more than ready to take off and make it big, we had the potential and the songs to get really far, but just after we played our second gig our drummer said that he was leaving, his wife was pregnant and she needed him around.

    So we took in another guy and played a gig with him but then our leadsinger vanished without a trace. so things went quiet for a while (We stopped rehearsing for over a year, the band was just no more).

    Then after joining a makeshift band on stage during a Jam session I met the guitarist who I thought could save Format brain, I brought him in contact with the others and they hit it off instantly, but as soon as we started rehearsing our drummer quit and we had to bring in yet another guy and our new guitarplayer brought along so much weird people along with him to the reheasal room that serious work on our songs was taking a backseat.

    But what really did it for me was when he brought a new lead singer, an arrogant piece of **** of a guy who corrected everybody on the smalles detail and making homosexual advances on everybody. That folowing week I refused to show up at rehearsals and after calling the guys it was official, I was out of Format brain.

    In that same week I joined a band called The Worst and in the six months that I have been with them we have done far more than I did in four years in a span over six years playing bass with Format Brain. But looking back I still miss the songs we did with Format brain during the first months that I had been with them.

    Okay feel free to post your experiences.
  2. I was in a band for around 2-3 years, all guys I'd know either since childhood or high school. We were doing really great, great draw, great songs, recieving a lot of interest.

    Then I got kicked out of the band. At the time I didn't understand it, it took a few years. First, I was a drunk. A happy drunk, but nonetheless a drunk. Second, I wanted the band to sound kind of like Fugazi, and they wanted to sound more like...a droney and dreamy Smashing Pumpkins or something. After I left they became a wussy Fugazi band.

    I've also had bands just collapse. One guy bought a bar...one guy owed me a sh*tload of rent for the studio and decided to fold the band instead of pay me, one guy moved to Colorado to be a porn star, one guy went Coo Coo for CocoaPuffs and sold everything he owned and was homeless for the better part of a year (and he was pretty well off), One guy was on the wagon for 6 years- then decided to belly flop off the wagon- at a showcase event with entertainment lawyers and label reps- nice impression.

    Every time you find there's more people to play with and so much more to know. (about music and about yourself) :D
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been in and left many many different bands. Always different reasons. Once or twice it was because I moved, once or twice, or maybe more, it was because of differences with other personalities in the band. Once or twice I felt like the band wouldn't go where I wanted it to go.

    All sorts of different reasons. Bands come and go.
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    This was in another thread of mine, but...

    I was with a band for over two years. We got along great, the band sounded great. Everything was going great and then...I got an e-mail saying they were bringing back their original bass player.

    For almost a year I felt like just hanging it up...but I kept my gear. Then I thought, what the heck, I'll trade my amp off on a nice acoustic guitar and just play for myself, maybe do some writing again.

    Then a week after I got my guitar, this awesome guitar player calls me and wants me to join his band. So I go for it and it's the greatest thing for me, in every way.

    Turns out I replaced the bass player that quit to go back his old band...the band that booted me out for him!

    Turned out also, that he didn't like the band anymore and quit them. Now I'm in a great band, he's not playing and my old band had to go looking for another bass player!

    But we are all still friends and we've had a good laugh over all this.

    Yeah bands come and go all the time. Stay in it long enough and you'll end up playing for a wide variety of them. :D
  5. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I've left several different bands, and all for different reasons.

    One of my "best" reasons for leaving was because of a drastic change of direction. I had co-founded a band with a drummer and a guitar player. Our original intent was to do fusion type jam music along the lines of Jeff Beck, Weather Report, Jazz is Dead, etc. Everything went fine until a second guitar player came along. "Chuck" didn't like jazz or fusion. He never even heard of Weather Report or any other band from that genre. There came a time when I had to go away with my regular band for some gigs and recording. When I finally got back with the side project, they had completely changed formats---to Top 40---under the evil influence of " Chuck ".
    Not that there's anything wrong with that music, but it's not for me.
    So I packed up my toys and went home---to start another project where I and I alone call the shots!!
  6. Having gone through many bands....It's sometimes very discouraging. In fact I guess I am discouraged :( since I'm in between bands right now. Perhaps I'm asking a lot, but I want people roughly my age (early 40's) who are reasonably serious, have a day job, aren't dopers or drunks or thieves, and share roughly the same musical interests and goals.......gee that's asking a lot out of a musician....
  7. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Onr band I left after the guitarist forced the singer out, and tried to take control of the band and change the direction we were going. This was many years ago and I still have a bitter taste in my mouth over it.

    Another band I left after the new singer decided to take control of the band's direction, and boldly go where most of us didnt want to go. Nice guy, decent voice, but little "real world" band experience. When I tried to offer some constructive comments (on behalf of the others, since no one else would say anything to him but me), I was told that I was out of line and insulting him and blah, blah, blah........ Whatever.

    Last band I left because I couldnt give 100% (recently married, buying/selling houses etc...), and it wasnt fair to them.
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I left one ot go to college, one when college was over, one due to apathy and politics, and that last one due to a crazy person.
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I've never left a band cause I didnt get on with people in the band, in fact that's always the hardest thing for me. I dont like to let people down and I always seem to get on with people (or maybe they just humour me?!)

    I left my last band because in a year of reherasing and a handful of gigs they didnt get any better.
  10. snapple


    Nov 25, 2003
    Victoria-Vancouver Canada
    Endorsing Artist: PCL Vintage Amps
    Let's see, I've left bands / had bands break up because of drugged up members, lack of commitment, singer getting prego, too far of a distance to go for jamming often, the band just outright sucking and having too much already on the go.
  11. It's the Crazy ones that git ya every time! :p
  12. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    Yep, I got sick of the random flakiness. Nice guy in many ways, but not terribly loyal or coherent.
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    The "left one to go to college and left one when college was over" must be a common pattern. The one when college was over was due to coursework challenges(EE) and my brother(gxxxxxist in same band) departing for GIT in Los Angeles.
  14. I have not played with a band or accepted any band offers since the fall/winter of 1996, and the following horror story is why.

    In 1995 I was deejaying at a local club, which gave me a chance to see several different groups (some many times), network with old friends in the area, and try to make new ones. During this year, one of the regular bands was a group called Teezer. Yeah, the name sucked. The music was OK for the time period, although their set list could have done with much less of the hair metal for my tastes. To give you an idea of the music scene around that time and place, the two albums that had more than one or two cuts played from it every time I did a DJ set before and between band sets were TLC's CrazySexyCool and Mike Watt's Ball-Hog and Tugboat, and I was also getting away with slipping classic punk tracks by Black Flag, The Meat Puppets, The Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, and Flipper in with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day, and The Offspring.

    Anyway, Teezer's personnel shifted quite a bit during their year-plus of existence. They went through three bassists (one of whom also doubled on keys) and several guitar players during 1995. The two singers (male and female, and yes, they were f*cking each other) and the drummer (who also did their booking) were the only constants. I knew some of the members and sometimes sat in with them (my favorite song to do with them was The Meat Puppets' "Backwater", still one of my all time favorite songs and always one of my favorite bands anyway)

    One night, they were playing with the lineup that included bassist number two and guitarists number three and four (with a guest appearance by guitarist number two whose departure at the time was due to job-induced time contstraints). After their second set, their bassist went to another club a half-block down the street to have a drink... and proceeded to get toasted. Either he got so toasted that he couldn't play, or he refused to leave the bar and only wanted to get even more toasted - I forget what the deal was. It was getting down to the wire for the third set, which was supposed to have guitarist number two take number four's spot for a couple of guest numbers (they'd worked out a harmonized duet version of the Crazy Train solo) and panic would have probably insued if they had gotten a "No" or "I can't" answer to the following question:

    :help: "Ceej, can you cover for [name of now-toasted bassist deleted] for the next set? We can't get him out of the Roads End " (the other bar) :help:

    I said yes and ended up playing with them for most of the last set, somehow faking it on a couple of numbers that I didn't completely know the changes to. That apparently made an impression on them.

    The next time they played at the bar, they replaced the bass player with someone else, but despite his experience he turned out to be an egotistical disaster. He would half-ass his way through songs by barely learning the chord changes, and frequently throw in bass fills that either weren't in the original piece or didn't fit the song at all ... especially if he disliked the song, wherein you'd hear maybe two root notes of the song followed by close to two measures of the ignorant son-of-a-bitch trying to some cross between Billy Sheehan and Jaco Pastorious. Apparently, this got on the rest of the band's nerves to the point where both of the guitar players quit in a huff, effectively killing the band.

    The horror story starts here. The club I was deejaying at was preparing to close at the end of the year for remodeling and revamping, and the leader of the band asked me if I wanted to take the bass spot in a "new" band with the singers and drummer of Teezer. I asked what the set list was going to be like and was told that everybody was going to have an equal say in what went into the set list, and that there was going to be little or no reliance on the same material all of the other bands at the time were playing (and unfortunately still are). I liked the guys and considered them friends, so I said yes.

    1996 began and we put together a set list, using bits of the old Teezer set list to start out with but leaning about two-thirds new material. We had one guitarist who also sang, the male lead singer also played keys, and that was it. We were called Foxfire (not my idea, but I didn't have one for a band name!) At the time, the plan was to keep changing and adding material in the set list, but after a couple of months, things started getting really complacent.

    At the places we were playing, our sets were going over very well, in spite of the usual small minority of rednecks who would take umbrage if they did not hear at least one (or an entire set of) Lynyrd Skynyrd song in the course of an evening. Now, no one in the band liked any Southern rock, feeling that we didn't want to cheat the audiences by playing an "obligatory" song that no one enjoyed playing. But, as the weeks and months wore on, our male lead singer came into practice one day and suggested that we put a Skynyrd song into the set list. The suggestion was turned down by a vote of 3-2. End of story... I thought.

    One night a couple of weeks later, I had gotten the idea to add Cyndi Lauper's "Money Changes Everything" to the set list. I always liked Ms. Lauper (saw her on her first headlining tour in 1984) and figured that "Money Changes Everything" would be a perfect song for the band to cover because of its arrangement and because our female singer had the pipes for it. I called the drummer, who was the most open-minded member of the band other than myself, and he agreed. The song was proposed at the next prac session... and the male lead singer - who would have had the easiest job for the song by playing the synth part - initially turned it down... and tried to get his girlfriend, the female singer, to do the same. She didn't. But first he intimidated the guitar player into voting the song down, then he brought up the Skynyrd song again, saying over and over again that we "had to" do the song despite the fact that the amount of requests for the song was being extremely exaggerated by the male singer. Again, we turned the song down, this time by a 4-1 vote.

    For the next couple of shows, the male singer made it a "point" to keep telling me, the most vocal anti-Skynyrd proponent in the band, that he'd gotten "more requests" for their material. I would just blow him off. It was getting to be a pathetic joke.

    For the next few practices, more songs would be proposed for the set list. I racked my brains and my CD collection trying to think of new songs to introduce into the set. All were turned down... most dissapointingly to me and the guitar player, was when the two of us had jammed before practice on "Suffragette City" only to have the male singer blow off any further idea of doing the song. I offered to sing it (I was looking to add another lead vocal - only had one in the set list - to my duties because everyone else other than the two singers were singing at least two or three songs.

    At the next practice, the male singer suggests Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up" and a unanimous vote happens. I am offered the lead vocal part. I turn it down on a technicality - I could have sung it, and I could have played the bass line... but not both at once. I suggest that the guitarist take the lead vocal. No problem there.

    Somehow, "Money Changes Everything" gets brought up again and this time, a 4-1 vote prevails. Guess who voted against the song? The idea of a Skynyrd song is then brought up again and is turned down. The male singer protests, "Then we shouldn't do that Lauper song because CJ won't sing the Elvis Costello one." "***?!?" was the immediate expression on everyone else's face. An argument insues, all of a sudden the guitarist, who had voted against the Skynyrd song along with me, abstains from voting this time around. The female singer again gets Muppeted into voting yes. I then tell the band that "either you'll have to come up with a bass-less arrangement for that song, or have the girl singer learn the bass line, because I refuse to learn it." "Then we're not doing the Lauper song either," the male singer replied. Disgusted by what I saw as a 180-degree reversal of what the band had set out to do, I just unplugged my bass, threw it into its case and left for the evening. The guitarist yelled after me, "Nice drama, Mr. Marsicano" but I'd already thrown my bass into the car and left.

    A little while later that night. the drummer called. As fate would have it, he happened to have had to drive the singers home because their car was in the shop. He took that opportunity to blast them both for what had happened at practice, and told them that it would be the Lauper song and not the Skynyrd song that would be going into the set list. Essentially, since he was the defacto "manager/booker" of the band, he found himself having to pull rank to keep the band together.

    One of the male singer's jobs was assembling the song tapes that everyone would learn the new material from. When the new round of song tapes was passed out, the sneaky **** had slipped Skynyrd's "Call Me The Breeze" ( :spit: ) onto the tapes. I listened to the song and thought it was crap. I could not see myself playing it with the same enthusiasm as the rest of the set list. I wasn't too amused. (To give you an idea of my professionalism, I had fun playing the two Journey songs in the set list even though I loathed Journey because I always felt that their songs sounded better with a female vocalist doing them.)

    At the next practice, we rehearse "Money Changes Everything". We end up nailing it. Even the male singer begrudingly agrees. Then the Skynyrd song was called up. I didn't play and didn't take the song too seriously. The male singer goes, "C'mon, man, I know you can play this." They start the song. I delibrately put minimum effort into the song. The female singer sat there looking bored. The song falls apart. Point made. The Skynyrd song is dropped. I'm happy. :hyper:

    A couple of months of shows pass but no further new material ends up in the set list despite several suggestions being made - none of them Skynyrd. At the next prac session, I bring up the fact that we hadn't been learning new songs. The male singer gives a ****load of lame excuses. Another stalemate insues. Next practice, the "Skynyrd" problem rears its head again. The male singer demands that we do some of their material irregardless of the consequences. I say no. Everyone else abstains because this has became a very patheric joke.

    A week later, I get a phone call from the male singer. Our drummer has had a heart attack and had to go to the hospital. I am told that he had to have surgery. A month's worth of dates are cancelled. A week later, I see the drummer coming out of the detective agency that he owns. He tells me that it was just a heart scare and no surgery had to be done. I smell a rat.

    I come home from work and there's an envelope with a tape in it in my mailbox. It's from the male lead singer. The tape has six Skynyrd songs on it and a note that says practice will resume the next Monday (we usually practiced Mondays and some Fridays) and the next gig will go as scheduled. I am beyond unamused at this point. I throw the tape in the garbage where it belongs. The night of our first practice, I call in sick. Asked if I'll be able to make the next practice, I say I'm not sure. We hold practice on a Wednesday and since it's been a month we just go through the old set. The male singer then pulls me over and tells me that we'll practice a couple of the Skynyrd songs at soundcheck the day of the gig. I say whatever and go home.

    I think about it for a few days and oh the day of the gig, I make other plans and skip out on the show. I take my cell phone with me but don't leave it on. I got home later that night, checked voice mail, and find one message of concern from the drummer and several angry ones from the male singer.

    The next day I call the drummer. "Tell Dave (the male singer) I quit." "Why?" "Musical differences."

    No moral to the story here... except for maybe stick to your principles. Mine include not giving in to white trash.
  15. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I was in a band called "Clown" in late 94. I was with this female, let's call her the DEVIL, & I missed a few rehearlsals & the band ended up breaking up.

    A few months later, a freind of mine comes into the Deli where I was working & said the strangest thing....

    "Hey Nino, I went to see your band & you weren't there!!!!!!"


    About a half hour later the guitarist walks into the deli & I said...

    "Hey Rich, Lori was here & she said you guys were really good!!!!"


    Funny thing, after "Clown"broke up a few months later,we got back together (Me, Guitarist Rich & Drummer Chris) & we formed Theorem with a new singer Carlos in later 95. We're still playing hard with new(er) singer Darren since about 97ish.
  16. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    I'm practically brand new at playing bass. I got my first one not a year ago. I've always hung around my brother in law who plays guitar his whole life. So I had a guitar that I traded in for my bass when hisol bass player couldn't make it topractice getting him ousted...so I enter the picture. We at one time started from scratch and had up to 14 15 songs of our own nailed...but we were just not happy with singer..then one day I find he and my sister are getting divorce...I decide to take my toys home for a while till the smoke clears...it did and we got back together he and I...our drummer comes back...but can't keep time as usual..( he like to come in with the big arena intro and screw up the rythym I allready have laid down). Kinda sad I'm new and he's been playing for years and I'm the one with better timing...so anyways...we have no singer now either...can't seem to find one...I'm thinking of trying myself but not sure if I can play at the same time. Also I'm the only one with a family...2 boys 10 and 7...2 girls 16 months and 3 weeks!!! Work 50 to 55 hours a week and am the only one out of the three who can show up on time or early for practice...if we even hold it at all cuz they usually come up with some excuse to cancel!!! I know I'm new...so should I give it another go with them or what. i tell them my thoughts and they just tell me Hey man it's not like it's a 9 to 5 job. But this is something I'm taking very seriously...this is the first thing that I've ever found that I have a true talent for...and I don't want to let it pass. Anyways...I'm about to hang it up...witht these guys at least....
  17. back in september 2003 I joined a band in need of a drummer + bassist. after a few rehearsals getting to know their (original) material we auditioned the first drummer - turns out the lead singer and guitarist are very satisfied with him. I thought he sucked, and isn't it kind of lame to pick the very first drummer who shows up at an audition? Since I was new in the band I was not going to be a 'smartass' and ask the lead singer and guitarist to please audition more than just one drummer...

    After 3 months in that band I quit due to that drummers lack of skill, but I actually knew the very first day i rehearsed with that drummer that I was going to quit sooner or later. the hardest thing was quitting, and i knew after a while that the longer you wait, the harder it gets - and still it was only 3 months. any opinions?
  18. quit a singer-guitarist's band just over a month ago in the middle of recording as i couldn't take any more of his teeth-grinding naivety and the ever-growing catalogue of blunders since I joined in autumn 2002-

    mainly having to practically babysit a drummer with dodgy timing who despite having played most of the songs since the start of 2003 was still forgetting arrangements and making terrible mistakes.
    the guitarist expected me to play 6-7 plus takes of a song in recording (without guide vocals) until the drummer was playing the parts to his satisfaction-
    I was nailing the bass parts in 2 takes max, but these were wasted with mistakes in the drums-
    the guitarist was listening to the bass and drums soloed and nitpicking over minor drum errors while failing to spot the major blunders in the bass drum timing.

    by the second day of recording it became unbearable-
    and I just knew my bass would be nitpicked over in the same way- which is pointless given that the studio wasn't great and it was only a demo-
    record company A+R would hardly put a track under the microscope to check how tight it was-
    they'd be listening to the style of music, the quality of the songs, the vocals and whether the act was marketable-
    and given that this music was 80's-style Yngwie-meets-latin rock they'd decide in seconds of the first track whether the demo would go in the bin or not.

    he was telling me I should have doubled a guitar line in one section rather than play what I had, and wanted me to do it again- I said he should have told me this in any of the month's worth of rehearsals we'd done of that song, not now.

    he wanted me to play fretless on one track and I just knew he'd be nitpicking over the intonation.

    the most pointless thing was he wanted me to vocally count in a section of one song (which would be recorded) rather than the drummer who'd been doing this previously, as he wanted an English or American accent (they both being Colombian) for some reason.

    I decided that too much was being asked of me for free and I walked.
    a lesson learned there-
    in future if anyone's going to tell me what notes to play and solo the bass and drums and tell me when my bass track is good enough, I'll be getting paid for the session- especially if I didn't really care for the music as here.

    I've since learned that the alcoholic bassist I originally replaced who went AWOL just before the first demo I played on has rejoined. I think they're made for each other.

    on a positive side, playing some quite complicated riffs and arrangements both in the studio and live has given me more confidence.
  19. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Welcome to my world! Right now, I'm finding myself in a somewhat similar situation with my country band... I have been dissatisfied off and on since May '03, (shortly after joining)... Clues actually started showing up during the audition. After a few songs, the two guitar players told me "You're in" despite the drummer stating several times that there were still several bass players to audition... I chimed in totally agreeing with the drummer. Even though I wanted the gig, I felt that they should try everybody and go with the best fit, (kinda like buying a bass!!)... At the very least, respect the drummer's opinion enough to at least discuss the situation further after I had left... I should have listened to my gut that night, rather than go with wanting to play and hoping the scene thing was a fluke...

    Cut forward to May '03 and a very dead bar gig... Despite comments made into the microphone about the lack of patrons, feeling like we're doing a paid rehearsal or only playing for ourselves, there are still a few folks hanging out, buying drinks, and dancing. I am urging the guys that this is the time when we need to be at our most professional and entertain the folks who are here, but still, there is the sense that it doesn't matter, and our performance definitely refelcts that... If I am one of the few patrons at a show like this and the band is acting like that, I become very vocal to both the band and the bar owner... Lack of audience is no excuse for lack of professionalism...

    The final straw came in August... Same bar, Friday night of a two nighter, slow night, though not as slow as in May... During a break, the guitar player gets a call from a friend who wants the band for a large party the next night... The guys are actually discussing getting 'sick' the next day and bailing on our gig, (which totally goes against everything in my being, seriously)... I'm thinking that they're kidding, and once I see that they're serious, I say absolutely not... Things get heated to the point where I say that they'd be playing with another bass player from here on out... The drummer starts to side with me and things cool out... That is the night that I decide that I would be leaving...

    So why haven't I to this point?? It's been said over and over that this band will break at the next personnel change... no one has the energy to bring another member up to speed... I know that it's guilt, and BS and shouldn't hold me, but it does... These are not 'bad' guys, I'm just not finding the fit that I am searching for...

    That being said, things are at a head. I auditioned Thursday night for a Blues band, (my background is blues/classic rock)... Great vibe, my type of music, great hang, sound, etc.
    Bottom line is that I'm in a new band! Now I've just got to break the news to the country band... Tonight's the second night of a two nighter, so I'll either do it then or Tuesday night before practice... Wish me luck...

  20. fatbassjazzer


    Feb 27, 2004
    I left my old band stereobomb because the guitarist was all cracked out. I've known him for a while and he was always pretty cool. Then he got into really heavy drugs and his motivation to do anything just went straight out the window. he tought he sounded good when he was on a trip but it was awful. Then our drummer was a complete moron. He really didn't do much of anything but watch tv and drink. So i've moved on into a band called Rock Bottom and its going great.

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