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Leaving my band.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by thlayli, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    So, I've been in this band for the last couple of years. I've played countless shows with them, and supplied all the bass work, a good portion of backup vocals, one song, and lead vocals for that song on the band's first full-length CD. I like hanging out with everybody, I like playing with everybody, and I like the music.

    But I don't have time for it. I have a family, and with regard to that family, I supplied the people who do our booking with a list of dates that I firmly couldn't be booked for. Ever since pretty much November, the dates I asked off have been disregarded. I've voiced my concerns several times, but my concerns, it seems, were disregarded. I 've also been concerned over how little money we've been making for the amount of times that we play, and how many opportunities for promotion and revenue have been completely disregarded, even though I've mentioned them to the bandleader AND the promoter non-stop. The band doesn't have an official Youtube channel, and didn't arrange for ANY online releases, even though I supplied everyone who should've done it with everything they needed to have an extensive, legitimate online presence.

    When I found out the band got booked for my wedding anniversary and my stepdaughter's birthday, I said I couldn't do either. The birthday also fell in the middle of a day on which I have to work my day job, from which I don't get the luxury of asking for days off. I asked if the bandleader could find someone to sit in, and he dismissed my question.

    In fact, not only did he dismiss this question, he dismissed my concerns. Today, I found out that he booked a SECOND show on the same night as the other show on my stepdaughter's birthday. That was it for me; that's the last time he's going to disregard me.

    Since February's all booked up, I'll give them until the end of February. But that's it. I asked him to find a replacement for me.

    Funny thing is, our drummer asked him the same thing. He has the same concerns I do, and has received basically the same treatment.

    We're keeping everything amicable, but this is it for me. I might... MIGHT... set up a project to record the rest of my music and get it released. But I've considered this band my last chance as a musician, so it hurts quite a bit to have to step off.

    But, like I told the drummer, I can't prioritize the band ahead of my family.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Good for you. I would never put music before family. But they are NOT mutually exclusive. You CAN do both. I do it quite well. I do exactly what you attempted to do with your current band. I insist on dates that I can't do. No ifs ands or buts. I might turn down a gig just because I want to take my family to the mountain house or the beach. But my phone still rings off the hook (not that phones are on a "hook" any more). But you get my point. Take some time off and get your head together. Then put together a project with the drummer. Gig when you can. Record when you get around to it. Have fun with it! Best of luck either way.
  3. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Sounds like you did the right thing by leaving. Don’t feel like this is necessarily the end, though, as other projects come up and you might find the right one with the right people.

    Best wishes. :)
  4. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    I feel yer pain, man! I just quit my band -- a cover band in my case -- for some of the same reasons. I still play in a poetry/music group with my father and do a few solo acoustic shows. But being in a busy bar band was really hard on my family and in order to do it, it better be the perfect band situation. It wasn't!
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    How the hell does one book dates without checking with everyone? Asinine! MY BL always sends a txt to everyone with a date and asks those with conflicts to reply.
  6. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    Yeah, our band has a calendar online for us all to use as a reference.
  7. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    +1 same here

    Edit: And we use it for all of us to enter our personal dates that cannot be used by the band so every body knows where we are at when comes time to book a gig so no one is surprised.
  8. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Gotta have a calendar where everyone can X out certain dates (within reason), and they need to be respected.

    Without that, I don’t see a band lasting.
  9. Good decision. Having clear priorities is key to a good life. You'll find a better musical situation somewhere down the road.
  10. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    I've been complaining for a while, because I kept finding out about bookings by being invited to the event on Facebook.

    I've given them to the end of February to find a replacement; there are too many bookings to leave them high and dry. Though I'll be damned if the lead guitar player didn't just try and goad me into leaving immediately. I'm really really trying to stay professional and not burn any bridges.

    But, yeah, it's been made clear to me that I've been a hired gun and not a collaborator.
    Edit: damn phone app added break tags. :-/
  11. I appreciate your desire to treat the band professionally but it doesn't seem like they care. Give them a couple weeks notice and wish them good luck. If you're a hired gun finding a replacement is their problem, not yours.
  12. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Well, surprisingly, the band leader does seem to care... now. Then again, he just had his whole rhythm section quit on him. The lead guitar player, on the other hand, sometimes takes it on himself to "tell it like it is"; he's especially good at doing this at the wrong times.

    At any rate, we have a nice long "travel together" trip on Saturday to talk about it all. the "end of February" part is just tentative.

    Last time a replacement drummer had to be found, there was one rehearsal and then we played a bunch of shows with the guy cold. When I was hired, there was an "audition" and then a bunch of shows done cold. I literally learned four hours of material in the space of three days, including a lot of original stuff that hadn't been recorded yet. I pulled it off, but I don't know if there are any other local bass players that could do that. The good news is that I wrote the bass parts as fairly easy "in the pocket" stuff and didn't try to do much fancy stuff.
  13. It sounds like you're doing everything right.

    I don't know how many times I've said "This is my last chance as a musician". Somehow I always find my way back into another project. Never say never. You'll most likely be back.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Is the name of the band The Dismissing Disregarders?
  15. Good, honest and respectful communication can solve a lot of problems. Hope it works out for you.
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    That could be a better arrangement. Doing the hired gun thing is how I manage the balance between music and my family life. Let the bandleader know that from now on, you will accept or decline gigs on a case by case basis.
  17. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I wouldn't do any gig between now and Feb that I had asked for off.
  18. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I left a band for the same reasons about 10 years ago. I had just joined and I told the BL that there was one weekend when I couldn't play because my brother was getting married and I was an usher. He went ahead and booked us anyway at a venue 2 1/2 hours away from the wedding. When I expressed my concerns he responded by telling me that we were under contract with the venue and would be sued if we didn't play. I ended up attending the wedding on a late Friday afternoon/early evening. I stayed for pictures then drove 2 1/2 hours to play the show. Then I drove back to the hotel where the wedding party was staying so we could have breakfast together Saturday morning. After breakfast I made the 2 1/2 trip back to the venue because we were playing that afternoon. I later found out that we did not have a written contract. The BL was just a control freak.

    You did the right thing by leaving.
  19. tucson_zac


    Sep 11, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Sounds like you and the drummer are of the same mindset. Perfect for forming a new band.
  20. Megazap63


    Apr 12, 2009
    London, UK