Is two bands too many??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Crazy_Jake, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. So I'm interested to hear TB's feedback - first some background

    I started jamming this week with a local band that has been playing the clubs for a couple years now - classic rock stuff the band itself is alright but I have been warned about the singer and his drama - the singer has in fact already burned several bridges in the town. They have gigs on the calendar and I stepped in to help when their bass player quit.

    Last night I got a text from a better, more established band ( 80's band) in the area with more gigs/more money - better musicians and much less drama- they needed a bass player and I of course said yes - the issue I have is, do I keep both bands on the go? or tell the first band with the singer drama I'm not interested? I'm much more into the potential of the 80's band .

    I don't want to spread myself too thin and I don't want to string anyone along..

    thoughts? :meh:
  2. If both bands are fine with it then why not. As long as you can keep each one updated on availability then I wouldn't forsee a problem. I had 4 bands going at one time and it was pretty crazy at a point. Good thing only two were heavy gigging. The other two did an occasional dive bar gig and some practices.
  3. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    It really comes down to whether or not you can commit the time needed to both bands or just one band. You should be able to avoid the drama, if you just ignore it and not participate. But only you will know if you've spread yourself too thin on responsibilities to
    either band. personally, I would prefer classic rock music to 80's music, but personalities also carry big weight, in addition to skill, when it comes to musicians working well together.
    Only you can decide. But following your instinct could be the best path to musical nirvana.
  4. Keep and honor all the bookings you’ve agreed to. Also tell the BL you're taking another offer and will be leaving after such and such date (last gig).
  5. Forgot to mention that both bands have upcoming gigs in about 3 weeks - there is not much cross over between the two bands so I'll be busy learning different songs for each band at least 30+ per set list per band...
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Two bands is not too many if you have the time to do both. You'd have to coordinate schedules and whatnot, but its certainly doable.
  7. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    I've got 4 different things going on at the moment. Still got plenty of free time, where I'm not able to do much. 2 sounds like a walk in the park.
  8. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    I just joined a 4th band over the weekend. Only three are gigging at the moment, so it's manageable. Luckily I don't have a wife or kids so I have the time required to participate in all the bands.

    This is all on top of my 8 - 5 day job.
  9. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    I don't know why you would quit one of them unless you can't handle both. I would play both of them until it became a problem that you're in two.
  10. two darts is too much. two bands however I'd love to do if I could swing it. only real question is "do you have the time?"
  11. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    First, congrats on being recruited by a band (Band B) that appears to be a definite upgrade from your current situation (Band A). I am a firm believer that quality attracts quality so the fact that a better known, better paid and more professional band is "calling you up from the minors" (so to speak) should be appreciated for the compliment that it is -- and which I'm sure has been well earned.

    That being said, you still have made a commitment to Band A, AND you don't know how things are going to go with Band B (although the fact that they are asking you to join without so much as an audition is a very positive sign). So I would play this in two phases:

    Phase 1 - play in both bands, be up-front with each band about your involvement in the other and as much as possible, try not to get yourself double-booked. You do need to fulfill any gigs you already have on the books with Band A and if Band B is as "pro" as you say they will not only accept that, but appreciate it. Beyond those prior commitments to Band A, the rest of the calendar is free game.

    Phase 2 - assuming Band B is really working out, at some point you may need to cut the cord with Band A so that you are not compromising Band B's ability to book more/better gigs. Now, if Band A's singer is really the drama queen / d-bag you make him out to be, he may have problems with your involvement in Band B and force the issue -- making you bolt sooner than you would want. If that happens, you roll with it and make a graceful exit. But if Band A is willing to let you keep playing with them as your schedule allows (and using someone else whenever you're already booked with Band B), then there's no reason to cut things off permanently with Band A when they could potentially provide you some nice "fill-in" work if/when Band B hits a slow patch.

    I have been splitting time between two bands for the last 3 years under circumstances very similar to yours, and it has actually worked out very well. In fact I'm playing with both bands this weekend... one night each. And a lot of it is due to following the process I spelled out above.

    Good luck!
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008

    Is it too many? Depends on the situation and the individual. I've juggled upwards of 5 different bands before, but wouldn't want to do that again if I didn't have to.
  13. I think it's fine, but are you concerned about getting gigs on the same night?

    What is the likelihood this would happen? Often or not much. If it could be often I would maybe have to think about it more seriously. I may be a good idea to tell band A that you are in another band, and need a lot of notice for gigs and may not be available for all gigs. Being up front is best, and you already know band B will always come first for you. If band A agrees this is ok, they can't get shi*ty later on down the track if it happens.
    If it wouldn't likely happen often, just go for it. And leave band A if things start not to work out.

    I'm in 3 bands, 1 originals & 2 covers. Originals is easy because you tend to play less gigs. It's just managing your time and being upfront. People respect you more, and that can mean a lot for your professionalism and name in the industry. Just think, what would a professional bass player do, and be one of them. ;)
  14. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Hmm.. there is some good advice here..BUT.. some bands want your undyeing comminment to them. The thought of potential conflicts could possibly make one (or even both) of the bands get nervous, and this may cause them to question your devotion to their band (over the other)..and maybe they'll continue looking for a completely dedicated (to them) bassist.

    I only suggest this as a possibility, as I've seen people like that in the past.[people that require 100% commitment to only them]

    I would re assure them (whichever you really prefer anyway) that you are all in, and if a conflict shld arise (booked gigs on same day) that you will be there for them. wether or not they believe it ..well that's up to them.

    Good luck..
    I'd pick the 80's band..cuz..well 80's rocks..:bassist:
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Based on the OP's descriptions there's really no dispute on which is the better situation. It's just a matter of if, how and/or how long he would be able to milk both projects.

    Personally I would be very reluctant to cut ties too soon with Band A... and then have Band B not work out and be left with nothing. On the other hand, if Band B was going to demand an immediate departure from Band A as a condition of joining, that makes things a lot stickier. But I would bet that Band B has at least one or two members with other things going on the side as well, so in that case any expecatation of exclusivity on the part of the OP really wouldn't wash.

    The OP has a lot of leverage in this situation so as long as he plays it right it could turn out pretty well.
  16. Aw, I see how that could be misunderstood.

    I meant, if OP doesn’t want to continue doing it, the OP should tell the BL they’re leaving - but keep (honor) all ready agreed commitments.

  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Do both if both are agreeable so don't try to do it on the sly. Tell both what you intend to do and see what happens. From your description though I'm betting singer in band A will use it as an excuse to manufacture some drama, but better up front than 5 minutes before you take the stage some place.

    first thing you should do after you insure both bands are OK with it is find another bass player who can handle at least one (preferably either) job against the day when both bands have shows booked on the same date(s).

    It's not like either job would be too involved for a decent player to handle with a set list and a little time to prepare so why not have it set up ahead of time? If both bands get busy on a regular basis, flip a coin of something.

    It also nips any potential conflict of interest drama in the bud and also gives you a simple out if an outside commitment pops up that conflicts with playing.

    Just be careful about letting your friends and family know you've become a band whore. :D
  18. This all depends on your bandmates, how much of a roll you have in the band and if you have enough time to keep both bands happy.

    It didn't work well for me. Everyone wants their band to come first i didn't have enough time to juggle both and because I was writing most of the music in my main band and barely got any input in the other the choice was easy. I am one of the few that actually is encouraging of a bandmate playing in another project. For one I have a career and a family, a mortgage and so on now, so i cant play as many gigs as I used to. My singer is in two bands and I don't have an issue with it. The styles don't clash. He gets to write a lot of the music in the other band so he's cool with me writing most of it in our band. Plus he has a lot more time on his hands than I do so he's able to juggle it.
  19. I was able to talk to Band A last night and let them know about me playing in Band B at the same time - they where fine with it and as the guitar player said - " Band B is playing more anyway" So I'll juggle both bands for the time being - Band A does not have too many upcoming gigs - see my earlier comment about singer burning bridges - but in the event there ever is a conflict they also have a back up bass player as well so it looks like it all will work out.

    Thanks for the input TB :)