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How to fire someone from a band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GigDoggy, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. GigDoggy


    Jul 23, 2008
    I never really ahd to it could my bands just tended to dismantle all by themselves.

    Anybody got some good advice on how to lay down the bad news, or any funny anecdotes?
  2. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    Be upfront, honest, and respectful.
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Do it privately and as delicately as possible. Be as honest as you can without being insulting. Think about how you would feel if you were in the other person's position.
  4. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    introduce them to their replacement next time they show up for rehearsal.
    crguti likes this.

  5. move 25 seconds in, i think it's the best way to tell him
  6. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    It would help to know the circumstances. Why is this person being fired? ie: drunken behavior, always late, no talent, etc, etc. Is this a close personal friend or a band-mate? Honesty and truth, with a healthy dose of respect, politeness, consideration are always good ingredients. I usually try to keep in mind that this is a learning experience on both sides. If you care... give this person real information so perhaps some lesson or insight can be gained from this experience. You might get some information of value in return. Peace...
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Text the band member and let it go at that. '-)
  8. GigDoggy


    Jul 23, 2008
    no circumstances really,
    just checkin for cool anecdotes. I always love hearing about this stuff.

    Being polite can help, if really the guy is clueless about what hes doing wrong. Usually musicians have tough egos, so it often ends in a bloody mess.

    As is said, I haven't fired anybody yet, but have got in a lot of fights :) Not physically though, hopefully.

    I'll keep the text message idea in mind.
  9. motleystew


    Apr 29, 2006
    Lewisville, TX
    Not like this: In high school I was invited to jam with a heavy metal band that had been gigging around town and they knew I played bass. I went to their garage practice pad and we went through some of their songs. They said I was in if I wanted the job. Then the singer/guitarist turned to the other guitarist and the drummer and asked; "Who wants to tell him?" So the drummer turned to this guy sitting on the couch, whom I had kind of known for years who was watching my "audition" (who was also their bass player) and told him "You're out and he's in". I felt about an inch tall. I could tell that this guy was crushed and I had to turn them down. Please, if you have to fire someone, do it in the nicest way possible and you will never regret it.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  10. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    how do you do it? You do it the way you would want it done to you.

    No you don't text or email. That's for cowards. You don't even do it by phone. You sit down with the person, whether it be just the leader and the whole band and you tell them as respectfully as you can.

    Don't forget. Bad karma. What goes around...
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  11. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    If its a problem that can be solved (drinking, drugs, late to practice and gigs, preparedness) let them know the problem, let them know that the situation is currently unacceptable and if it continues they will be fired. Offer to help them.

    Most problems can be avoided by being proactive. How you fire someone and how you replace them and the reasons for this action really set the tone for the future of the group with the band members who are left. If you do a poor job firing someone you will not solve a problem, only replace it with another.
  12. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    The only time i could see not doing the face to face is when the distance is separating you enough. I know that there are bands that travel about 50 miles round trip just to play together. I myself would rather get a phone call than drive 50 miles to hear that i'm not playing with a band anymore. I could understand if they were trying to be nice and salvage a friendship, cool. But I'm in demand so it would not bug me to get a phone call and hear that a gig ended. That way i can make another call, get a new gig, and spend some time with my kids!

    Unfortunately, these two would be the hardest to solve. Addictions should not be handled by a band mate. Its counterproductive to the recovery atmosphere that an addict would need. Besides, most bands play in bars. Would you want an alcoholic continuing to be around an atmosphere like that? No. Same thing with drugs (which are fairly prevalent in bars and around other musicians.). If your gonna be trying to kick a habit, you need to rediscover yourself. Continuing old habits are something that most addiction medicine specialists would frown upon if the habits cause problems with relapse and sobriety or compromise recovery in any shape of fashion.

    Thats my $0.10 on the whole acting drunk/druggie.
  13. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    I replaced a bass player in one band who was due to be fired, but simply stopped turning up to rehearsals, didn't answer his phone, and no-one knew any other way of contacting him; I auditioned and took his place. Months later we found out he had been arrested on the way to rehearsal, convicted on quite serious assult charges, and put away for a few years.

    Now THAT is one guy I would hated to have to tell 'this band - you're no longer in it'.:D
  14. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    We fired our singer a few minutes ago. He didn't get pissed at all. We told him that we didn't feel our musical direction was fitting with his voice, and he pretty much accepted it. We respected him and said we would like to record some of the songs that we have done with him, with him :) So no hard feelings there, I recommend sitting down and just be honest and nice.
  15. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    "You suck and/or are unreliable, get out of here."

    In person of course, wouldn't want to be rude.
    crguti likes this.
  16. along with "your ****ing fired, BOB!! YOUR ****ING FIRED!!!! CLEAN OUT YOUR **** OUT OF THE SPACE BOB, YOUR **** FIRED!!"
  17. Guest043

    Guest043 Guest

    Apr 8, 2008
    "were going to look for a new ____________"

    that easy.
  18. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    Depends on the reason for the firing. If it is the drunk/late for practice/unreliable type thing, then there should have already been one or two band meetings where this had been discussed, the last of which included an ultimatum, such as "Bill, if this doesn't improve, we're going to have to get a new (_____).
    Then, if it doesn't improve, all you have to do is say, "Bill, remember at our last meeting, we gave you one more chance. You didn't hold up your end of the deal, so this is goodbye." That way, it's on Bill for not taking care of business.

    If you are making a change because you want to upgrade the position, then it is a different deal. I have no experience with that. The bands I have been in so far have not dumped anyone, although some guys have realized they were the weak links and dropped out voluntarily.
  19. gaunten


    May 27, 2008
    sweden skåne
    just book a gig, and when you're at the end of the last song just say something in the lines of: "well Bill, thanks for this time together, it has been great playing with you" on the PA... no seriously, We've only had to fire a person from a band once (twice actually, but the same person) first we kicked him out as a drummer/backup singer, because his drumming just didn't cut it live (to many fills he couldn't handle, resulting in bad timing, made us look bad, and often dropped his drumsticks, and couldn't keep up the beat but simply stopped playing to look for it) plus the fact that he was an arrogant, and at times very unpleasant person to be around.

    anyways, we realized that we needed his voice, and a few months later he seemed to have changed his personality a bit, so we got him back in as only backup singer.
    now the fight started about him thinking he was the lead singer, and he wanted to write himself into at least 50 % of every song, now since we at the time were an aggresive screaming Rap metal band (I know, I know) his wailing+growling just didn't fit in everywhere, plus, suddenly he got christian, and started to write subliminal christian messages into the lyrics, that's when we knew we'd have to let him go again.

    we kicked him out via msn messenger both times.... let's just say he is a ****ing scary person, one second he's the sweetest guy, the next he can kill you with a ****ing look.
    getting into an argument with him just freaked me the heck out.

    that being said, I really don't know the "proper" way to kick someone out... I myself suck at confrontations, and would probably prefer being kicked out via mail, that way I could read it through thorougly and then think about what I've done wrong.
    If they'd call a band meeting, and confront me with the news, I wouldn't know how to react...
  20. selfblessed


    Dec 29, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Other drummers do that? Ha. That is a crappy thing when its live. To top it off my last drummer would not got out and buy/make a stick bag to hold other sticks near him. He would chase the stick.

    Anyways fire someone the way that you would want to be fired. Since you made this thread I imagine that you will be nice. Oh yeah, don't beat around the bush and act normal the next time you see them out and about.

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