Kicked out of new band, ranting and in need of advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jogobass, Jun 28, 2022.

  1. Jogobass


    Feb 5, 2013
    Trigger warning, mental illness talk. Let me know if this is in the right section. It's about band stuff, so I put it here.

    Background on me: didn't play bass for 10 years due to dealing with schizophrenia and borderline personality. On meds and went through therapy. Stable now. Ready for a new band.

    So I came across an add from a local singer songwriter which appealed to me. Pop music with Prog riffs and Jazz chords. Right up my ally. So I make contact, the guy sends me a few of his songs, I record some bass tracks and send them back. He is very enthusiastic about me and we start rehearsing at his home.

    We get along very well at first. We're both christian and this is reflected in the lyrics. He comes from a country where he experienced a war in his childhood and he says he has PTSD and autism. I'm like, nice, we have some things in common. He also mentions he has separation anxiety and is at risk of psychosis, he also has mood swings. So I'm thinking he also has borderline, just like me. On top of that we both suffer from a problem with our guts, requiring special care. All in all there's some stuff wrong with both of us and we quickly seem to become friends.

    Until the last rehearsal. It was raining and I got wet while getting to his place. When I arrived, I complained a bit about getting wet, but it was not a very big problem and we started playing the songs. In earlier rehearsals I noticed that he could get very upset when he made a mistake, stopped playing the song when he did. So I told him not to worry about the mistakes too much and try to keep playing and just get the feel of the song right. Mistakes will go away with more practice.

    But on this last rehearsal he was even more upset when he made a mistake, even becoming aggressive and cursing. Totally different character than I had seen so far. The music was great though, and I got the impression he's being too hard on himself. He really has potential as a singer songwriter and I expressed that to him. Had to express it multiple times, because he seemed very unsure of himself. The reason I want to ply with him is because his music has potential.

    So we had the rehearsal. And went home. Later, I send him the recordings through Whatsapp and tell him again that it wasn't bad at all, we played better every rehearsal and there was definite progression.

    I also say the following 2 things on whatsapp: I ask him if he was alright during the rehearsal because I noticed he was more upset than usual about the mistakes he made. And I tell him I had a good time during the last rehearsal (despite getting wet getting there, but I didn't say that.)

    The next message from him goes like this: He tells me he would rather continue with his songs on his own. Complete mood change and I'm left wondering what happened. The next day he calls me, again complete mood change, he's very friendly to me. And I ask him what the reason for breaking up is, is it me or is it him? He tells me I shouldn't lie to him on whatsapp. I am surprised and ask what he thinks I lied about. He says I told him during rehearsal I was upset from the rain and later in the app I say that I had a good time. I explain to him that I did indeed have a good time, despite getting wet. I was a bit upset during the first 10 minutes or so, but the rest of the rehearsal was going great. Then he calls me a manipulative person for asking how he was doing during rehearsal. He explains that it felt like I was accusing him of something.

    I'm stumped. How can asking someone how they were feeling be construed as a manipulative accusation? So while talking back and forth, in a friendly way, I explain that I was merely interested in how he was doing and had no ill intent with that, definitely not meaning to be manipulative. I'm thinking to myself, this guy is showing all the signs of borderline, which I have myself and know all too well. He is having a psychosis about me being some kind of manipulative liar, which I'm pretty sure I'm not. He asks me if I understand how he could think I was accusing him. And I said yes, because I understand he misinterpreted my intention. But in doing so I am blaming him again. He kept being friendly and I told him once again that it would be a shame to end this band, as I think he has great potential and he likes the bass parts that I composed for his music. We ended the conversation by making another plan for rehearsal a few days later.

    But then, then next morning. I get another whatsapp message. He tells me that he doesn't think it will work out because our personalities don't align. And he also made effort into mentioning that I can't use his music or he will be forced to go to court with me. Again this total mood switching going from friendly to threatening even. I'm now convinced he's paranoid about me. I tell him I'll delete the recordings of his music and I wish him all the best in his life. And I tell him I understand. Which I think I do.

    Did I just dodge a bullet here? It has been eating at me for a few weeks now. When he called me a liar and manipulator I felt attacked and i'm lost feeling like it's all my fault. The hardest part is that I really like the guy and thought I could be helping him with my own experience with mental illness. It looked like we started to become friends. Until his mood turned 180 degrees. He asked me not to contact him anymore and I haven't. I'm having a hard time with this because it was my first band experience after 10 years and I feel discouraged.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
    jwindham, el jeffe bass, JRA and 23 others like this.
  2. Yes, you dodged a bullet. Go to some local open mic or jam sessions and find some players you are interested in playing more with. Start the conversations there or place your own add for a band.
  3. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I'm no therapist, but it sounds like you did fine.
    I have encountered narcissistic personalities and in their world, everything is always your fault.
    Some situations just don't work out. Take what positives you can from the experience and move on.
    Fialka, 4-stringB, retslock and 24 others like this.
  4. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    I think you handled the encounters with honesty, empathy, and openness. No one can ask for more than that. I would move on to the next opportunity.
  5. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Finding the right people to play with is always about the proper mesh of personalities, even if nobody has any diagnosed mental health issues.

    I've been in plenty of situations where playing with others just "didn't click."

    Don't sweat it. Move on until you find the right match. Sometimes it takes a while.
  6. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Brother, I had my entire life upended by a neighbor with mental health issues recently. Now I am dealing with my own catastrophic mental health issues, through no fault of my own.

    Long story short: cut this guy out of your life immediately and forever. Protect yourself at all costs. Another musical outlet will come along, but you cannot risk your own stability in the meantime.
  7. Discount Bassy

    Discount Bassy Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2020
    Right Here.
    Bullet dodged. Your continued good health is paramount. Why fight a pointless battle?
  8. Jogobass


    Feb 5, 2013
    Thanks so much for the responses. Good thing I vented this instead of letting it eat me. It seems my assessment was right and I should just move on and find other people.
    tubatodd, retslock, djaxup and 34 others like this.
  9. To me it appears that your ability to share this story as objectively as you've tried to do demonstrates how far you've come in your journey.

    My experience is that once you've made a big decision, life seems to manifest situations that test your resolve and force you to prioritise what matters most.

    I still have songs in my head from a very short lived band decades ago written by a similarly troubled soul. I occasionally still find myself trawling the web to see if he ever did anything with those fantastic songs...
    But that's the Muse, isn't it? Only speaking to those who are "tuned in" to her ... which often means they're somewhat "tuned out" to the rest of us.

    Some really good advice given already. My suggestion is that you keep the faith and embrace this experience as just another stop on your unique musical journey.
  10. Hummergeist

    Hummergeist Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2020
    Tutorials, reviews, and interviews for Future Publishing.
    First, good on you for dealing with your own issues. You shouldn't be expected to deal with other peoples' - you need to protect yourself first. Let this guy look after himself; it might sound harsh but he's got his own journey and you can't get drawn into it. Find yourself some other people to play with. It's great that you're playing music after your break, I wish you luck.
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    You can't spell TEAM without ME.
    If this person (or anyone) wants to be in a band they need to give and take in a group dynamic. Some people struggle with this for various reasons. Does not make them "bad" but it's OK to recognize that there is a lower likelihood of success.
    My own best guess is that this singer could really use a friend and sounding board. And maybe that is you. And maybe you could still collaborate periodically. But I'd take the message that you are inviting conflict if you push too hard right now. Just breathe and know you took a chance and it didn't work out and you didn't burn a bridge.
    Jogobass and Spidey2112 like this.
  12. Jogobass


    Feb 5, 2013
    I'm not ready to say he's a narcissist, It looks more like borderline to me. But knowing what I know about these things, there are similarities. But also differences, albeit hard to spot for the untrained eye.

    Speaking of the Muse, during that last rehearsal he mentioned that he very much wanted to do something to help me with being upset about the rain. But I didn't need help with that at all. Playing music is what makes me happy. I said to him, that yeah, sometimes I can be like this. But he was talking about losing his Muse at that moment. Which might come from being overly worried about my state of being. Being tuned in to my emotion made him tune out with is Muse, I suspect.

    I feel like had we continued, I would have to walk on egg shells because everything I say and do seemed to affect him directly. He mentioned he had a bad experience with a narcissist and I mentioned I had the same thing happen to me. Now I suspect he thinks I'm the narcissist, which lead him to break contact with me, as they say on the internet you have to do with narcissists.
    George Dennis likes this.
  13. Career psychiatric professional here. I'm sorry it didn't work out but that's just the nature of bands sometimes. You did a great job writing it up. Other people have their own stuff to deal with. Don't take this experience personally. That's really important. It's not personal. And keep the faith. You'll find folks to play with.
  14. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Man, this is tough. I get you like the guy and musically you are a good match, but bass on your story it doesn't seem like it's going to work out. I'm not a doctor and can't provide medical advice, but I do know this, you don't need this relationship. Time to move on.
    Jogobass and 31HZ like this.
  15. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Something the two of you have in common is that you're both battling similar demons -- but you're currently doing better at it than he is.
  16. smurfco

    smurfco Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Norwalk, CT
    Being discouraged is understandable, but don't let the experience stop you from getting out there. Once you find the right musical situation you'll be glad you didn't give up!
    jwindham and Jogobass like this.
  17. As you have recognized, this person is not stable. And he is not your responsibility. You have tried to help him, but it’s time to move on.
    Most of us go through many bands/players before we find the right ones. Some are very disappointing because we see their potential.All you can do is pick yourself up and carry on.
    Jogobass, Fialka and bolophonic like this.
  18. BillyRay


    Jan 20, 2008
    Caveat : I'm not a therapist, but I work in a field (law) where we often deal with people with serious personal or mental issues.

    Musical compatibility is only a part of the puzzle : the guy clearly has issues of his own he has to work out and if he is saying hurtful things to you and having mood swings now, just think when there are gigs and money involved in the future. He might be diagnosed as being on the spectrum or he might not, but the fact is that he was acting in an inappropriate and abusive manner toward you for something so trivial. You dodged a bullet and you should continue to dodge it further.

    Cut all ties with the guy, delete all his music and move on.
    Fialka, BlueTalon, Dust2Dust and 3 others like this.
  19. I agree. I think the big difference in how he seems to be dealing with things and you is that you show a lot of self-awareness. He seems to be 'projecting' things on you that don't have anything to do with that you did or said.
    George Dennis and Jogobass like this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I don't know the why - I don't care, either. The dude flops back and forth like the tide, and then tells you he will sue you of you use his music, although there is no evidence that it will ever even make enough money to pay the court filing fee.

    Stop over-analyzing it. It didn't work out, move on. Good luck.
    Jogobass likes this.

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