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Is my lead singer that bad?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Manuel101, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    So we are an up and coming band from NJ people usually love our shows. We usually get compliments for our music but many people have told us that our singer is the weak link. Last Saturday a couple of people told me and the drummer that our lead singer is horrible and is keeping us down. The drummer and I were thinking about what we should do next. We just released our EP and we have had people contact us all the way from the UK telling us they love our songs and they will try to generate buzz for us over there. Here is the article they wrote about us: http://paradiddlesplectrumsandposers.com/#/showcase-usa/4558804625
    Here is a video of us playing live . Many of my friends told me he was horrible after watching this video. Now here is the problem we just released our EP and our momentum has been growing we are afraid that if we get rid of him it will set us back for a while until we can find a suitable replacement. Also I like the guy and he is capable of singing really well, he was in a band called Turmaline that was moderately successful he recorded a bunch of CDs and toured a lot. He stopped singing for about two years and began to sing again after we started this band although we quickly noticed his vocals had deteriorated.
    Like I said he can sing really well when he is on his game and at rehearsals but many times he messes up during shows. What should we do? we like the guy and he writes great lyrics but damn he needs to improve. Also being in this band makes him very happy because he has had some seriously messed up things happen to him. That's why he titled the EP remedy because he says the band has brought healing to his life.
  2. A prime example of vibrato overuse. He should focus less on it and more on pitch, then it wouldn't be so bad.
  3. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    Wow that's exactly what I think as well, he can get very pitchy because of it.
  4. Yes, pretty bad. Sorry.
  5. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    The video didn't even sound like the same band. The professional recordings sounded pretty good (even though it's not my thing) and the singer sounded fine. But oh, that video!
  6. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012

    Singing is really hit and miss. He can sing, but lead vocalists in the school of say Robert Plant or Stevie Wonder set the bar very high from where I am. Less is more when it comes to vibrato. To me it's like falsetto and other 'tricks' - tends to get in the way of the singer and song more than add to the performance.
  7. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    That's the thing in a controlled environment where he can take breaks (like rehearsal and at the studio) he does fine but during shows he strains his voice way too much and towards the end of the set he cant hold the pitch.
  8. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    like i said we are aware of his short comings what I and the drummer (we started the band) want to know is if we should give him a chance or get rid of him. Also this was our second show, now we have and extra guitarist and the musicianship has improved but the damn vocals are an issue.
  9. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    maybe in ear monitors would cause him to strain his voice less. Some singers just keep singing louder until they can hear themselves as well as they'd like instead of realizing there's a monitor problem.
  10. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    Wow a little harsh but you are right. Can't argue with your reasoning. Still the question stands give him a chance (an ultimatum) or replace him. How do we ensure that the setback is as short as possible so we can keep making music?
  11. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    i think he sounds fine lol...
  12. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Sub par vocals= sub par band, to most audiences.

    hmm...Drug issues, depression issues and sub par singing skills.
    The question kinda answers itself, don't you think?

    If he were a brilliant vocalist, the other issues might merit putting up with.

    OK the guy has had it rough and maybe friendly sympathy is in order...but how is that the role of the band?
    Everybody's gotta show up on time, rehearsed, pitch in, and bring their A game.
    He has an obligation to the band, not the other way around.

    Drug issues: counseling
    Depression issues: therapy
    Singing issues: lessons

    You can suggest these things, but you can't make him be the sort of person who steps up and deals.
    His issues are not your burden to bear. If he does 'something crazy' that's not on you.
  13. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I say let him know that people complain about his live sound, and that you don't want to replace him, but you DO want him to get lessons so that he can control his instrument. Until he's got it under control, he needs to simplify everything when doing it live.

    It would be hard to believe that he doesn't know he needs to do some work. The show is where you get your audience and he knows it too. He just needs to be pointed in the right direction.
  14. He sounded good on the recordings, rather bad on the live stuff. If you want to be a recording band, fine, if you want to be a live act, he needs work. A lot of work. Play him the live recordings and see what he is willing to do.

    The truth is, there are a ton of terrible live acts out there that make money - some of my favorite bands are mediocre or just plain bad live, Soundgarden and Coheed and Cambria to name a couple.
  15. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Play him the bad videos and make him tell you what he thinks of his performace. My singer is a cool dude and I never want to intentionally make him feel bad but if he's ever pitchy I make him own up to it. I'll make him listen to live recordings while we all critque eachother. They'd make you tune right? Why do singers get a pass?

    You wouldn't stand for bad guitar solos would you?

    Word to the wise. Whether or not its bad (I can't listen at work) don't tell him just to, "sound better". Tell him what you're looking for. It'll save a lot of headaches.
  16. He does have one issue - He can't sing!

    Way too much vibrato, but more importantly, he can't sing on pitch - kind of important for a singer.

    Yeah, he's terrible. He's got a long way to go to becoming a decent singer. Do you have a few years to spare while holding his hand?

    If not, look elsewhere.
  17. theretheyare


    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    And what's the purpose of this? It is always easy to find people with opinions, good or bad. What matters is what YOU stand for.

    How would you feel if the singer would put that video in some public forum and starts questioning you, implying there is something wrong with you (your playing, your weight, meds you take, your bass ...whatever)?

    If YOU don't like his singing, discuss with him to his face, ask him why he does that, and see what happens. (you never know-maybe doesnt like it himself either, but always thought you wanted it that way...)

    If you're in a band, its your duty to stand up for each other to the outside world, no matter what people say. Trying to elicit opinons form pure strangers for what seems to be a band-political purpose, does not reflect well on you, and will bite you in the behind later on. Trust me, I've been there.
  18. I agree with Morgansterne.
    Make sure his monitor situation is not the problem. In-ears would probably be best but might be a bit of an investment. At practice and at the gig ensure he is comfortable with the monitor level. If you have feedback at practice, maybe invest in a better microphone with good feedback rejection (Shure Beta 58, EV 767 or 967, Sennheiser 935) to ensure high vocal level but reduced feedback.
    Good luck.
  19. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    The purpose of this is that if we all said it was fine then the OP wouldn't have to make a tough call. But I totally agree with you. This is a private matter and stuff like this always bothers me a little (like the guy in the semi-pro band who wanted to kick out his guitarist who wouldn't take it well). If the singer googles his band he might find this thread.

    I spent far too much of my playing career being passive aggressive. It never solves anything. I'm becoming more difficult to work with because my expectations are higher and my requirements for quality performance are more exacting. My band thinks I'm crazy when I find fault in what they thought was a flawless set.
  20. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    Well the things is that I am trying to get a neutral opinion which i can only get from strangers or outsiders. If I ask my friends the fact that they are my friends might push them to take my side instead of giving me an objective opinion. Maybe you are right and it wasn't right for me to do that but right now I feel like the band has to make a very important decision that will greatly influence our future which is why i am looking for objective opinions. Also I assume that there might be people here who are more experienced than I and who have been through something similar so they can give me good advice.

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