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Lead singer dilemma

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Rusty Chainsaw, Nov 30, 2004.


  1. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    Right, it seems we have a problem. We are a four-piece (guitarist who sings, another guitarist, drummer and me), and our singer/guitarist told us this past weekend that he's getting a bit sick and tired of singing and wants to mainly concentrate on his guitar playing from now on.

    So this leaves us with a dilemma where the only solution seems to be to get a fifth member in the band as lead singer. Now, we've been together as a band for nearly 5 years, the line-up's stable and we're a little worried that introducing a new member after all this time could be a bad thing for the band's dynamic - we're all so close in the band now after all this time, and we thrive on that closeness, so there's the possibility that introducing a new element could undermine that.

    On the other hand, we can see the potential benefits - our singer was never 100% comfortable with the role as frontman, so getting someone else in to take over that role could be a wise move. We could also get some cool vocal harmony stuff going on, and the stage show would be that much more dynamic by having a frontman who wasn't tethered to an instrument. The problem would be finding someone with a good enough voice - our current guy may be a reluctant frontman, but he has an amazing singing voice. None of the rest of us are good enough singers to do it, either.

    So, basically I'm asking if anyone here has been in this kind of situation before? And if so, what did you do and how did it work out?

    Russ :bassist:
     
  2. bluemonk

    bluemonk

    Dec 17, 2002
    Michigan
    Well, are you in the band for the closeness or to make music? Part of respecting that closeness would be to listen to your guitarist/singer's request. Look for a singer. See how it goes. Even if you don't find one and he goes back to singing, at least you tried, rather than just blowing him off.
    IMHO
     
  3. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How's your singing? ;)

    I'd concur with bluemonk - at least have a look and see who you can find. In some ways you're in quite an enviable position; as long as the present vocalist doesn't get so frustrated that he refuses to sing, you can still do gigs and thus you can take your time in finding someone who fits like a glove both musically and as a person.

    Wulf
     
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yeah go have fun doing auditions. the cool thing about auditioning singers is as long as you guys already own the pa, you can have several come over a night (holy american idol batman!!!) Nothing worse than auditioning someone on your practice night, knowing two bars into the song that this is going to be horriffic, and being stuck with them for two or three hours. :p Don't be against looking at female vocalists as well. I have had more fun and enjoyment playing with women singers than just about anything else.
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Is your current singer going to keep doing lead vocals until you find a replacement?

    I wouldn't worry as much about the closeness of each other as I would how the music sounds.

    The auditioning phase is more than just trying to find someone competent enough to perform the music your band is playing. It is also about feeling out the persons attitude. You'll probibly know at the audition if this person is going to have the chemistry to fit in with you and the rest of your band-mates. If they do, then it is only a matter of time before all of you develop the closeness with the new member that you have with the existing ones.
     
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I don't think there's any dilemma. Just a slight and natural fear of change. Your singer doesn't want to sing. If you don't get a new singer eventually it's going to fall apart. You seem to have little actual choice. If I were in your situation I'd just start auditioning and know that someone will come along that will bring the band to a new level. I believe they will, so long as one believes they will. In the meantime your present singer can continue until he's replaced. At least he'll know you guys are trying, and the pressure will be off. Without the pressure he may also start to enjoy it and change his mind. :)


    That's my $.03.
     
  7. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    We are in a similar situation. Our Drummer is also our lead singer, asn we have been trying unsucessfully to recruit a lead vocalist to replace him for about 4 months. After auditioning several karoke legends, we have given up and instead are bringing in a drummer. American Idol, indeed :eek: :eek: Good lead vocalists are hard to come by.
     
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    We were faced with a vocalist situation about 6 months ago. Our lead singer (who we had been having prior problems with), called up 10 minutes before we were ready to hit the road for a gig and announced that he couldn't make it. SO, we were faced with the decision of cancelling, or making the show go on with the four of us (I had been doing lead vocals on several songs already, and the two guitarists had been doing a little as well). We decided to go and play, and it went great.

    So, we are now a four piece band, I have taken over the lead singer/frontman/bass player role, and things are going better than ever. No more singer forgetting his lyrics (this was a HUGE problem before). Granted, I have had to work much harder at singing as well as concentrating on bass lines, but the final reward, for me, has been pretty good. I can see, however, the point your guitar player is getting at with wanting to concentrate on his guitar playing. I have times when I am having trouble with a new song singing and playing it at the same time where I would just love to go back to being "the bass player who sings a few songs" rather than "the lead singer who plays bass". It just takes a lot more work at home to get both parts nailed.

    My story really had no relavent point to your problem, now that I go back and reread it. :rolleyes:

    I would say that you guys should start looking for a new vocalist. If your guitar player is willing to keep doing it until you find someone that fits the bill for you, go ahead and do it. You might just end up with a stronger band because of it. I know we did for the changes we made.
     
  9. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Ryan, you da man! :cool:
     
  10. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    You really are in a lucky position, if you think about it. My band has been without a solid drummer for months now (being away at different colleges hasn't helped). We're looking to do some auditions at the start of winter break in a couple weeks, but we're all really nervous about it. Mostly because our lead guitarist (the pecimist in the band to keep my dreamer-mode in check) is getting visually frustrated with our inability to get off the ground (we've got around ten songs ready to go, just no drummer).

    Be glad that you at least have a singer so you can keep playing gigs and doing your thing while you look for a replacement.