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How to tell a band that a member is a liability?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DagoMaino, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    So there is a new band that I have occasionally filled in for. The music is very hip and marketable, the singer is pretty solid and has some aesthetic appeal. Problem: they are pretty heavily invested in a member that sticks out drastically. This is not a band of early 20s players with teenage pop potential, but still the demographic for the music is probably centered around a reasonably hip, mid twenties - early thirties audience...

    The guy is a good player and has been around the block in the industry, but it almost surprises me that he hasn't taken himself out of the equation. It seems that he should know that he doesn't belong in a gig like this and that it may be more for his own ego than what is best for the band. He's a good player but there are a lot of younger, "hipper" players that would add to the live performance instead of leaving the audience wondering why that guy is doing on stage. Some of his ideas are lacking quite a bit in stylistic and time period relevance.

    It is an unfortunate reality when a band has serious goals that the entire package matters and when the success of the project is on the line (everyone's investment), I think it has to be considered.

    It would even be better if they were just marketing the singer (with a band), but they want to market it as a full band. I kinda doubt they could pull off a novelty play on the guy's appearance and anything else is probably going to make for a failed camouflage attempt.

  2. jaxom


    Aug 31, 2008
    New Castle, PA
    Are you talking about a band or a catwalk?
  3. As a part time player in the band, it's kind'a not really your call to make. Do your fill-in gigs, collect your pay and leave the band management to the actual band members.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    If the rest of the band doesn't have a problem I don't see one?
  5. Ageism anyone?
  6. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Just how old is he, OP? And I'm just guessing here, but he is he over weight? What's your beef, without all the passive aggressive coding?

    Also, I'm the older, balding overweight guy in my band (that has commercial potential). Should I quit my band so they have a better chance of making it without weighing them down, so to speak? Just trying to figure out my role as a potential liability is all.
  7. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Your description is a bit vague. How does this member not fit? What instrument does he play?

    Is it a case of an '80's metalhead trying to fit into a modern Death Cab type band?

    I can see the conflict in a situation like that.

    Remember when Cheap Trick became popular? The wacky Rick Neilson & Bun E. Carlos looked totally out of place with the Rockers Zander & Petersson but cuz it was their gimmick it worked.

    Need more info for better advice, man..
  8. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    So what is the problem with the player, he is not as pretty as the vocalist? Please elaborate, why he sticks out drastically.
  9. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Ageism... no, it has to be pretty bad for my to consider it a liability and some people can pull it off at any age, weight, whatever... and some people look like somebody's weird uncle among an otherwise image conscious band.

    I didn't create a market where image matters, but if they are going to put their hat in that ring it comes with some realities.

    I could ignore it, but they actually ask for input from me as well... and the biggest thing that I can see that will hold them back is this.
  10. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Unless they hire you as the manager, or at least as a full-time member, leave it alone.
  11. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    If there is a stylistic problem vis-a-vis the music (e.g.: trying to play 80s synth fills in a roots-oriented band) then they may have an issue, but a band doesn't need to be all homogenous to be successful.
  12. [​IMG]

    It's my socks, right?

    I'll wear sock garters next time, I promise.

  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    OP you still haven't told us what's wrong with the guy.
  14. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    Do they draw an audience?
    If they do then what's the problem
  15. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    If you want REAL feedback, post a REAL scenario.
  16. Huh? Liability?

    Since you're just an occasional sub and you don't like playing with an older player, just stop subbing with that band - problem solved!!!
  17. You ever heard of Spirit?
  18. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Very close! The guy would be just fine in a lot of different styles of bands but this is not one of them...

    Another parallel might be a modern hip hop band and an old bass player that shows up looking like he's just walked off of a construction site in 1994... In this instance I'm not sure a wardrobe change would help, it would likely just look forced.

    ZZ top type novelty is the best bet, but I don't think that would come without damaging his ego...

    Believe me, when I say that I am fortunate to still look youthful enough to play a lot of styles, but I am also very conscious to maintain that. When it naturally fades I hope I realize it and play music that it either doesn't matter or works with what I got...

    The other part is that his ideas about a lot of things are equally irrelevant... it's not just appearance.
  19. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Let's get a few answers so we understand what the problem is.

    First, what sort of music are we talking about?

    Second, what is wrong with the person's playing as you said his ideas were lacking relevance? In other words, what musical references is he making compared to the rest of the band?

    Third, what instrument does he play?

    The first one probably doesn't matter that much but I suppose if the band is snotty pop punk band and it looks like one of their dads is in the band then I guess that could be a problem.

    Second, it depends how out of sorts the guy's ideas are. I hear a lot of bands that are fairly popular that have some weird amalgamations of things going on.

    Third, depending on where the person is on stage will depend if any one cares. If the guy just stands in the back and plays his part no one is thinking "ugh what is that guy doing on stage." I understand that image matters when trying to sell a band but isn't that what lead singers are for? ;)
  20. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I am purposely leaving some details vague... but as I said, it has to be somewhat extreme for me not to simply just suggest a spin on it. It's not just a guy wearing a paisley shirt.

    It is just my opinion, but I am basing my opinion with a pretty decent background in the particular scene of music and the other band members have expressed that they want to pursue a level of success where this will be a factor... and it seems like the person in question has kind of asserted himself into the band rather than them seeking him out.