My band just fell apart (long)

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by matt326, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. I've been playing with a group of local guys since August of 2004 along with my brother who is/was the drummer. We were doing OK, but, you guessed it, a battle of egos turned the whole mess on its ear. The most experienced musicians in the group were our guitarist, the drummer, and me. I say that because, while we were assembling the group, the three of us wrote and arranged our music together and got along great. To make a long story short, we located a vocalist and keyboardist, spent a lot of time rehearsing, came up with a very good sound, and then it all fell to pieces after 2 shows. The guitarist stopped listening to ideas from my brother and me, and took on a "that's the way it is, deal with it" attitude. The group dynamic changed as well, with the vocalist and keys player backing the guitar player on every point even when the sound suffered. The inevitable happened last Friday; an argument broke out between my brother and the other three guys and he was kicked out. I've been trying to play mediator for this group because I'm the oldest, most professional, and (dare I say it) smartest member. I think I have had enough of this; high school was a LONG time ago and I can't stand the duelling attitudes any longer. Anyone looking for a relatively good bassist who hates drama? Thanks for listening and I apologize for the length; just had to get it off my chest.
  2. Sorry to hear of your situation, but as many others would agree, what you described is more likely to happen than good chemistry amongst band members.

    I've been playing for over three decades and have seen more than a few similar situations...and it often seems that the bass player, due to the nature of being "the foundation," ends up being a mediator.

    One of the best ways I've heard a band described is that it's a four or five-way marriage...except you're adding the creative aspect into the mix, along with the personality quirks that often accompany that kind of person. And to further add pressure, it is, after all, a business. The combination of art and money makes for a difficult proposition.

    There's a real irony at work with music: to be a decent musician you pretty much have a certain amount of "loner" in your personality. Then, after you woodshed long enough to get some decent chops, you seek others who have a similar attitude (and talent) so that you can all become a small community. And it's a community that only succeeds when all work generously and unselfishlessly for the good of the group. All have been working "selfishly" (independently) to improve as a musical they have to contend with thinking of others.

    What often happens is you find out why some people were loners in the first place...and not just so they could delve deeply into music.

    Sometimes it takes years to find players that have remained true to their art, and have shed whatever issues they have in regard to their egos. You know them when you find them... and it's always worth the wait.

    Like everything else, it's a good learning experience... Hang in there, and keep playing!

    That's my $.02!

  3. I've also played the "mediator" role. I had a guitarist and Keyboard player that had ideas on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as how to do cover songs.
    The guitarist was of the "let's sound like the record, or not do it" school, and the keyboard player was of the "let's do it our own way" school.
    The drummer pretty much went from one to the other, and I was left in the middle. They were all much older than me, but I found myself playing the "he said, he said" game and trying to get everybody to get along.
    The band soon broke up after this all came to a head, we'd been together for several years, and there were other factors, but being the guy in the middle was a tough spot.

    Thankfully, now I'm in a situation where everyone pretty much knows their place, and works together. It was a learning experience. Every band I've been in has lead me to a better one, and I've made sure to take some lessons from each along the way. There's always something you can learn from any situation.
  4. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Relax. EVERY band needs a bass player. As long as you have the attitude you have you'll find plenty of gigs. Also playing with your brother might not be the best thing for you. A brother has the comfort level to be disrespectful and get away with it. Remember Van Halen?
  5. Thanks for the input. I understand the statement about my brother; thanks for the warning. I'll start looking for a new situation. I'm feeling much better now.
  6. i'm thinking on leaving my band which I STARTED because of the egos and drama between my singer and drummer. and we just put out a cd which cost us over 20 grand to record. we are also the most popular band in the area. am i crazy ????
  7. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Abluesbassist: Well if you started the band prune out who is causing the trouble. Especially if you dropped 20k on recording!

    It's true though that every band needs a bassist and drummer. I say just leave them to die and start something new. You were only 2 shows in so if drama starts that early the band isn't going to make it anyhow.
  8. and you need depression for inspiration
  9. Yeah, it sure seems that way...

    Out of pain and suffering comes great art...or some such philosophical thing.

    I'm sure somewhere out there somebody's made a list of musicians (specifically singer/songwriters) who made it really big, and who each had a major trauma early in their lives.
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Very interesting point of view. Maybe that's why U2 has stayed with the original members so long. The band was formed when none of them really knew how to play an instrument.
  11. Let them get on with it. A good bassist and drummer is pretty rare. Form a different band.
  12. Update. I quit the other band the day after my last post. My brother and I are starting over from scratch. We've started writing again; it's amazing how much that helps. They will most likely finish falling apart now; the only really talented person left is the guitar player. I'm glad to be out of that mixed up, drama-laden mess. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the woodshed.