Alright, this may get long, but here it is. I've been playing the bass for a little over 4 years, and have been playing in only one band during that time. The frontman plays rhythm guitar and sings lead, as well as writes 99.9% of the material we perform. I love his writing and can't imagine separating from the music he writes. When we started the band it was he and I, and a drummer friend of ours from high school. Over the course of a few years we worked up around 25 to 30 performable original songs, and probably 5 to 10 good covers that we like (we usually only do 1 or 2 per show). We ended up hiring a lead guitar player, and over 2 years the position has changed people 3 times, and the current guy has been with us the longest, at a year and 3 months. Well, our drummer recently moved away to another city which is 2 hours away, and our lead guitar player is in rehab right now (long story, he's not even a substance abuser, just a little crazy). The frontman and I didn't like either of these things, because we've been playing with these guys for so long, that we perform and write music like clockwork. We all know exactly what we all want to hear on each part, and for the most part things have been moving seamlessly and beautifully. I always heard stories about people having trouble working with band members and practices and gigs always being a chore, but that was rarely ever the case with us, but now things have suddenly changed after 4 years of greatness. Our drummer has no vehicle and is too busy with school, partying, and his girlfriend to make any effort to come practice or even play shows. He's already turned town 4 or 5 gigs since he's been gone at the beginning of this month! We decided that since he's becoming increasingly difficult to work with that we would start trying out other drummers. He's still got 3 years of school left to go (music major, took 2 years off after his sophomore year), and it's only going to get rougher for his schedule, so it looks like it isnt going to work. It's also difficult to find a drummer who can click with us like he did, after extensive training and years of playing in the band. The new guy shows promise but it just won't be the same. Now today we get a call from our lead guitar player in rehab and he tells us he isnt coming back (decided to stay in the city he's in, 4 hours away), but will see if he can get rides here for shows (he has no car). We agree on how ridiculous this idea is, and while he said he doesnt want to be out of the band, if he doesnt come back it obviously won't work. So now in the course of one month, we've gone from a well oiled machine, pumping out new music pretty quickly, getting better and better, and on the right track for what we believe to be success, to now back where we started 4 years ago without a drummer and a guitar player. How do we recover from something like that, especially in a town with limited resources as far as good funk/progressive musicians go? We realize it may be a blessing in disguise, but we just took a huge leap backward, and that is so discouraging. We realize also that the music that we're used to hearing is going to have to change. You can't have half the band change and expect it to sound the same. Do any of you have any advice on how to make this kind of difficult transition work? We're pretty bummed about it, but have no plans of quitting, but what are we to do! The worst part is that these guys are our best friends, so it's not like firing just anybody. This isnt just going to result in us severing a musical relationship, but personal relationships, becuase they don't think they should be out of the band. They both think that we should just wait for them while they do their thing, and only gig once or twice a year or something (not willing to put any effort into what we're doing, just waiting for success to be handed to them). They're going to see it as us betraying them. Any advice on how to do that painlessly? This post sounds mostly like venting, but if any of you have been in a similar situation, please offer some advice or something. Sorry for the length, thanks to those of you who actually read it. If anybody's interested, here's our band's myspace page to see what we sound like: www.myspace.com/bulletproofbrown. Cheers guys!