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I hate musicians!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lowfreq33, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I'm at my wit's end here.

    Long story short, our regular drummer had a family crisis and had to bail on a 3 week tour we had booked. For the clubs we're playing on this run it's all covers, MAYBE sneak in 1 or 2 originals a night. The money is not bad at all.

    So we had to find a sub, and unfortunately it's CMA week in Nashville, and all the usual guys I would call are booked up. So we end up getting this guy from out of town, big talker, says he already knows 90% of the tunes, been playing since he was 3, etc. He is actually a talented player, but...

    1. His work ethic sucks. Showed up not knowing the tunes at all, and the first night played so badly that he almost cost us the week long gig to the tune of $3500. The only reason we got a second chance was our 2 year history with the club.

    2. He's a huge pothead. I have no problem with what people choose to do on their own time, and I'll have a toke on occasion, but when it's time to work I expect people to be on top of their game. Especially when I'm paying them good money to do a job.

    We've dumbed down our song list significantly just so this kid can get through the night. We've added back into the sets Joker, Keep Your Hands To Yourself, Honky Tonk Women, all the easiest songs we can think of just so he doesn't blow it for us. He STILL misses about 20 cues a night, and he's crazy inconsistent. A song he nails on Tuesday is a disaster on Wednesday. Tonight he was so high I thought he was going to fall off the stool. On top if that he has zero recall for tempos. Our guitarist is counting him in on every song, and he still comes in way off the mark.

    The problem is we're 800 miles from home, and while I wouldn't have a problem firing him and letting him find his own way home (the way he's treating the job I wouldn't feel bad at all) it's just not feasible to get someone else up here to finish the tour. To do that would cost me every cent of my own pay for the run, plus a few hundred out of pocket. I got bills to pay too.

    I'm not really looking for advice, just need to vent. I accept that I have to finish the next 6 shows with him and try to deal with it, it's just incredibly frustrating. I'm just used to people taking things a little more seriously that this.
  2. Waster


    Nov 24, 2011
    Why do you hate musicians? He's a drummer! :bag:
  3. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Fair enough :) Actually I should say I've absolutely had it with potheads. I've worked with hardcore junkies that could at least get it together for a couple hours a night to earn the money to score their next fix.
  4. FenderBassist

    FenderBassist In the land of drummers, the bass player is king.

    Oct 28, 2005
    Gilbert, AZ
    I know exactly what you mean.

    I took some gigs with a up and coming cover band so that they would not lose them after their bass player bailed.

    The people are great human beings, I like them a lot.

    But the drummer is almost as bad. He's a little closer to the mark but can only play very basic straight time beats over all music. Can't hold a tempo too well, doesn't remember songs as well as he should.

    He hustles up tons of work, insists on doing the PA himself, and is a lot of fun to be around. But it's painfully obvious he's not interested in studying drums. He only wants to do "good enough" (in his mind) to get/keep the work.

    Is driving me nuts and I gave my notice. I think it's going to hurt them over the long term and I have little tolerance for that type of playing. I am not looking forward to the upcoming gigs even though the money helps.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Let's face it, most artists are egoistic self-centered lazy slackers. Musicians are no exception to this rule.
  6. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    See, the thing that bugs me is this guy is actually a really good drummer WHEN HE WANTS TO BE. the bartender tonight is a big Rush fan, so we pulled out Spirit Of Radio and Tom Sawyer, never rehearsed or planned on doing either of those for these gigs. He absolutely nailed both of those off the cuff, yet he can't remember the three punches on a Lady Antebellum tune. It just burns me up that I'm paying this kid good money out of my pocket, he's actually going to make more than me this week because we guarantee a minimum per show for hired guns, and he has such a carefree attitude about embarrassing himself and the band with his sloppiness. This kind of attitude is just foreign to me. Even if I don't care about anyone else onstage I've always at least wanted to do a good job myself.
  7. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    wish i was in Nashville, I would help ya out for free. I am pretty sure I could make it through all the songs because I would be familiar with them, it is not rocket surgery lol
  8. fenderphil


    Sep 1, 2006
    Houston, TX
    its not the pot causing those problems..

    the dude doesent have the skills to hold up his end of the bargain. basically unfamiliar with your setlist and winging it.

    I'd dock his pay and see if he shapes up any quicker.
  9. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Ah, musicians. Only willing to learn songs that require memorizing any structure if those songs are unpopular and will make women stop dancing.
  10. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    What is he doing during daytime? He should practise the tunes right now.
  11. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I'm on my third drummer in about as many months due to laziness. All indications are this one is going to kick ass.
  12. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I'm about to replace a drummer myself. He just won't bother to learn our songs. He learns the basic beat and tempo, then ignores them completely. Last gig was like he had just started playing, and I've played with him on and off for over 20 years. Just lost his "fire" to play, and these days won't be ANY work into it.

    Yes, he's a pothead. Yes, it effects his playing. Badly. But he doesn't care. He's only playing for himself, not the band.

    He's happy with playing a local VFW every couple months. I'm not.
  13. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Yeah, just ask my wife, lol.:smug:

    I feel for ya, pal. Sometimes it's just a rocky road. Hang tight, and talk to the guy about it all. That's about all you can do, I guess.
  14. Man! Bad drummer + good musicians = bad band. Good drummer + mediocre musicians = good band. A bad drummer is the worst!
  15. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    Drummers are my pet peeve.
  16. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Does not learn the tunes, does not get the clues, he's crazy inconsistent, has zero recall for tempos .. I dont see any talent here.
  17. davec

    davec Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    bartlett illinois
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses
    I'm sorry to ask a stinging question, but how did you find him? and what input did you receive from your regular drummer or other drummers that you work with?
    Did anyone recommend this guy?
  18. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    We hooked up with him through craigslist, it was very much a last resort kind of thing. We had to cover these dates, and I talked to about 30 different guys that all had conflicting dates in the middle of the tour. CMA week in Nashville is a big deal, I had about a dozen offers to play down there myself, but we've had this Minnesota/Wisconsin tour booked for months.

    And believe me, we've talked to him about it. Everything's all "Oh yeah man, I'm gonna work on these tunes dude". And he does work on them, I hear him in the other room hashing the stuff out with a practice pad. He's just so high he forgets everything at the shows.

    I'm resigned to the fact we have to soldier through the next 6 shows with this guy, it's just very frustrating. I've worked with a lot of top notch musicians, and I hate having to deal with this kind of thing.
  19. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Sounds like you need (short term of course) someone to babysit him before shows and during even. My drummer is the same way. Once he gets high, he can't keep time. Speeds up and slows down. Very annoying. I've started riding with him so I can monitor his weed intake before we play. Kinda immature, but sometimes you do what you gotta do.

    It's only six shows.
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member


    Don't blame the drugs, your as bad as he is blaming his problems on a substance. The problem lies with the drummer, not the drugs. Just like when you play with drinkers who get too drunk, alcohol is not the problem, people are.

    My guitarist and I (plus our old drummer but we are currently just hiring guys) get high as a kite before we play and jam, we are productive as hell and play some serious technical prog, lots of counting. Drugs have nothing to do with productivity, they are nothing more than an excuse for lazy people who use drugs.

    I realize you didn't come here for advice, but here is my 2 cents anyways, tell him to ship up or you're cutting his pay, you're not paying for somebody to screw up and your on tour, tell him to listen to songs all day and chart some out. Like a professional should.