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Managing bands with siblings

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Spectorphile, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Spectorphile


    Mar 8, 2005
    Currently I'm in several bands, a couple of which have a funny coincidence of having two members that are siblings (one of them being my band). Naturally the older of the sibling leads. :p

    I've found this a real double edged sword. On one hand, we both have so much in common it's hard not to have great inter-band dynamics. On the other hand we're simply too close NOT to speak our minds to each other. You can probably imagine music making is heaps of fun, but organization and rehearsals are often fraught with frustration. :scowl:

    Any tips on working with siblings or trying to get other siblings to work better with each other?
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Never run into this one. Perhaps you could threaten to pull the band over if they act up?

    I'd try to just ignore the sibling aspect as much as possible. Chances are they worked out how to deal with each other long ago and nothing you do at this point is going to change that. At least that's how things stand with my siblings.
  3. I have worked in a few bands with my younger sister, who is a very talented singer/songwriter (not that I would say that in front of her!). The first band we were in together (playing covers), she filled in for our regular vocalist for a weekend while he was away, and that was cool, albeit weird because she wasnt quite old enough to enter the venues we played in. When she became our regular lead vocalist about three months later, thats when the sibling rivalry between us started to boil!(the lead vocalist little sister versus band leading older bass player). :spit:

    My sister is about four years younger than me, but she has studied music and been performing live as a solo act for as long as I have been playing bass (about ten years now), so she knows her stuff. It was sometimes hard to take her directing me at first, and we had the most conflict when we were in the covers band. But since we have been doing originals (which she writes), there is a much clearer definition of our roles, as she has the creative reins of the group and I direct the band when required.

    Although we have some pretty fiery confrontations over the years (we are both redheads who aren't afraid to speak our minds), we have found there are a few unspoken rules that we follow when playing together.

    1. Dont talk about family matters in front of the band.
    2. Treat each other with the same respect we would another musician.
    3. Think before you speak against a decision your sibling has made.
    4. Know your role in the group and the role and expectations of your sibling.

    I have played in front of 6000 people in arenas and packed rooms and clubs with various bands, but when all is said and done, some of the best gigs I have played have been small acoustic sets of originals, with just my sister on vocals/guitar and me on bass. We lock in so tight, we know what progression the other one is thinking by a look or a fill on our instruments. Its great fun having that bond a brother and sister have, and being able to somehow use that further through playing music.