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How to leave my band...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rllefebv, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Counting tomorrow night, my band has 22 gigs scheduled throughout the remainder of the year... For various reasons, I've decided to leave the band at year's end and have communicated this to the lead singer/guitarist... I've told him that I would absolutely not leave them hanging and would play out the rest of the schedule, or until they could find another bassist.

    After communicating my reasons for leaving, the only one that he will accept, without dissolving the band, is that we are gigging too much and it is beginning to interfere with my family. Yeah, this is a small part of it, but certainly not all. His suggestion is to break back our schedule to three or four nights a month... Bleh...

    My main goal is to remain friends with these guys, as we're like brothers, yet remove myself from the situation. Dissolving the band will cause some pretty hard feelings among the other guys. I feel that they could find a bassist who would better fit them in a reasonably short amount of time and everyone would be happier all around, but so far, this line of reasoning has fallen on deaf ears... what to do, what to do...

    Thanks for listening...

  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey, Robert.

    Are your bandmates saying that they won't carry on without you?

    Sounds like they're blackmailing you into staying with them.

    You've explained that their gig schedule is interfering with your personal life, yet they insist in keeping their gig schedule. Doesn't sound like they're extending the same kind of courtesy you're giving them.

    I'd point out to them that they shouldn't make you choose between them and your family because there's no way they can win. If they want to keep you, the schedule's gotta get lighter or they'd better get serious about finding a replacement. Better yet, you should get active looking for someone, because it seems like they're not showing much initiative.

    I hope this helps.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Well, if it were me, I'd reiterate the fact that you need to devote all of your time to the family. Even if there are other reasons, they are in denial when you say the words. They think they can compromise by giving you more time, but you indicate that you want all of the time. Be sincere, and apologize, but definitely let them know that you NEED to spend all of your time away from the band. You're in a rough spot, and there's no guarantee that there won't be some bad feelings, but they may go away quickly if you guys are as close as you say. Good luck.
  4. You can try to neutralize some of the negative feelings by working to find a replacement for yourself. This is what I did for my situation (leaving the state etc, wanted these guys to go on).

    I think that if you stick to your guns re: family commitments and reinforce your desire for them to succeed by finding / screening potential replacements, this will be something that is easier for all to accept.

    I tried posting here in Misc but got no bites and instead found someone on Musician.com.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I have to agree with everything Big Wheel said.

    As a musician, I've learned to respect what the other guys in the band have to to do. Espcially if you're just a weekend band. There are certain things that have to come before music. My last band, our lead guitarist had to move up to Maine to get a job. I wasn't the least bit angry with him. I knew his situation. He was married, had a kid on the way, and he was trained to be a linguainst (and the only thing he could find around here were crap jobs). That was more important than our cover band that played on Friday and Saturday nights.

    In your situation, I've also learned, as a musician, sometimes you have to be shelfish. I don't say that to be conceited, but to accomplish what you want in music (and life in generally really) you have to make choices, and sometimes those choices are who you DON'T play with.

    Well, hope some of this info helps, and I hope you aren't quiting music for good. Catch you later.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    you COULD however, go down to kinkos and get a big life sized picture of yourself printed on cardboard...then while at rehearsal get them all distracted, grab the cardboard cutout....put it where you were standing, and run like hell.

    of course, this would probably get alot of negative vibes, and thats not very nice :) but its always option....let say....R
    I agree that you should look for a replacement yourself, that sounds like the most effective way.
  7. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    With what you have said so far, cutting back the shows seems like a reasonable solution. So what other problems are there?


    Nov 22, 2001
    Columbus ohio
    sometimes its us who are getting in our own way,you have four fingers pointing outward with one finger still at yourself,its your life,and we have to make decisions, it seems that you are concerned for your friends feelings, you can't do any more than you have already done, the real question to me is who owns the band ?
  9. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Listen, you told them you'd cover all the scheduled gigs. You explained what the problem is, but they don't want to accept that.
    Sounds to me like you're doing everything right here. You are treating them with the respect due them.
    So, if they want to go into "well, we'll have to dissolve the band then" thats just tough s***
    If they aren't willing to get off their rear ends, and go find a replacement, then thats their problem, not yours!!
    Doesn't show much dedication on their part in my opinion-you should probably be glad you're leaving them.
    Life is just like that sometimes. If they can't understand that, tell them to get back on the planet.
  10. Seems to me you've done the honourable, gentlemanly and proper thing: you're prepared to honour the work committments for the next 4 months.

    There'll naturally be some upset when you leave. There always is. But your bandmates can't complain. Everyone is entitled to some notice on such changes and you've given them 4 months. Not 4 days or even 4 weeks. But 4 months.

    There are clearly other factors over and above the schedule. I guess, therefore, you'd not be happy staying with them however many nights you didn't play!

    At the end of all this, I feel, you are entitled to make your decisions about your life. They have no such right.

    Threatening to disolve the band is blackmail. (Actually, it's also rather stupid and says volumes about the others' attitude towards what they are about). IMHO, their attitude should strengthen your resolve to do what's right by yourself, rather than let it influence you.

    I think you may have to stand by what you feel is right. I think you may have to walk away and call thier bluffs. I'd not be surprised to see the band happily up and running with a short time of your departure.

    Ain't gonna be easy, though, I agree.

    All the best.

  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I left a band that had really started to do well, I got the chance to work abroad for a year and just had to take advantage of that offer. I knew about it for quite some time and fretted about it endlessly because I really liked the band and the people in it. It came to a head when the band started discussing printing posters, recording a demo album and investing in gear. I could not let that happen knowing what I did, so I simply came clean at one rehearsal and explained that I was going to leave by the end of the year, and that I didn't want the band's plans to go ahead without this being known. This was some time in the autumn so they had a few months warning. Obviously everyone was unhappy about it, but I did express immediately that it was final and that I had already accepted the job offer.

    OK, it's not exactly the same thing, but what I'm trying to say is: make up your mind first, be absolutely sure of what you yourself want to do. Present your decision as a final one, if you start negotiating it will get problematic. You could also use the argument that it's best for all as you would not be able to put in enough time and effort on a part-time basis to please anyone, not the band and especially not yourself. I think you have already done an honorable thing by giving enough warning.

    Also realize that after you have left the band you should not worry about what happens, you're no longer part of their decisions.

    Luckily I managed to part with my friends in a civil way, I did my stint abroad, and one year after I came back I got to replace the replacement, so to speak, so I'm back in the band again.

    It was painful though, and I *really* missed playing.

    Good luck!
  12. You've got to do what's right for you and your family!!!!

    And the way in which you have done it seems right to me!!! You've given them 'notice' - however, I believe that they are showing you a fair amount of disrespect!

    You are not throwing the toys out of the pram just to get the gig schedule reduced. Be firm but fair with them - it's your life! Don't let them 'blackmail' you with the old "well we'll just have to split up then" routine. Were you all that was keeping them together??

    Well done for making a tough decision - and good luck!

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