My Band Staged A Coup

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jimmy Bones, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    Last year, I started my band, and we survived for about 4-5 months, until our lead guitarist had to leave the state.

    Earlier this year, I restarted the band with my old rhythm guitarist, and built the band based on the same songs and sound we had before, with little modifications here and there.

    The first new guy we pulled was a guitarist turned drummer. We found a new guy to play rhythm, and my old rhythm guy went lead. We found a vocalist, and everything seemed right with the world.

    Just before we started gigging, our vocalist brought in a buddy of his, a drummer, who thought that he was supposed to be replacing our original drummer, and as I, the band leader/founder, hadn't known about it, I couldn't tell our drummer about it, and when the new guy showed up, it pissed off the old one and he quit immediately and started his own band.

    Being stuck with the new drummer, we started gigging, and it became very evident that the drummer was bad news. Crass, hot-tempered, and forceful, he suddenly decided that it was his band to command, and anything he didn't like set off a tantrum (for example, he had a band he wanted to do a cover for which I didn't want to play because it was boring and repetitive, and didn't suit our style, and he had a temper tantrum and 'quit' for a week). Every single gig would invariably result in him throwing a tantrum about some facet of our performance or other, and it was just very unpleasant.

    Because of his tantrums, and the fact that our rhythm guy stated that he didn't want to start over with yet another drummer, I had to more or less capitulate to whatever this guy's whims were for fear of losing a good guitarist, or else I'd have just let him quit or straight up kick him out since he was rude, drunk and disorderly, and a a whiney jerk.

    Then one day after a show, he starts tantrumming about our vocalist's performance and decides that he wants to replace him. I ask him why and if he thought I ought to start looking for someone, when he tells me that he already was looking. Turns out that the first several people he asked were vocalists from other bands he was trying to steal, people who were friends of mine, and other people in my network. Through one of these guys, I hear that he was trying to replace me, too.

    We play about 15 shows in two and a half months or so, then hit a three week break in our schedule because he was 'going on vacation'. I start getting random calls from promoters and booking people I'd gotten us gigs with who'd heard we were breaking up or going through upheaval, and from vocalists who heard that we were replacing me and the vocalist. Several vocalists and promoters made it very clear that the drummer was talking behind everybody's backs, and that the guitarists were on his side.

    During the last couple of shows before his 'vacation,' I started seeing him hanging out with a guy I had never seen in the months we'd been gigging out together, a guy who wouldn't say hi to me or introduce himself, and just passed himself off as a prick in general. During the 'vacation,' I kept getting more and more calls from people asking or telling about the situation, and I finally got fed up and asked my rhythm guy what was going on.

    He tells me that he and the lead and the drummer were considering doing a side project together with another bassist because they wanted to do some more high energy hardcore as opposed to the slower, more melodic mood metal we did as a band, and the guy who they had been hanging out with was that bassist - but they were all interested in replacing the vocalist.

    Near the end of the 'vacation,' I called the drummer to see if he was in town and ready to practice again because we had a battle in three days, and because we needed to all sit down and discuss the direction of the band and the music and such, and we all agreed to meet the next day.

    Well, when he came the next day, he came with two extra guys. A vocalist and a bassist. He tells me that he wanted a new vocalist, and the bassist was my replacement. He didn't want me playing with them any more or in any way involved with the music, he just wanted me to do the management and booking like I had been doing before while still playing.

    I couldn't think of what to say, and I couldn't kick him out that day - the rhythm guy was still at work and I couldn't talk to him, and the lead guy was way too passive, being a stoner, so it just came down to me versus the drummer and new bassist.

    So I made them all leave my house (after I was able to convince the new vocalist to tell them to leave the old one in and he left), and proceeded to sulk and get good and pissed off.

    The next day, I told them they needed to drop my band name and stop playing my songs, since they were doing a genre swap anyhow, and it started a huge bout of drama, which has lasted for a couple weeks now. Most annoying bit is, I could probably eventually get over them stealing my songs and band name, but they have a bunch of my equipment, too.

    And the new bassist is a moron. (I hear the drummer actually already pissed him off good and made him quit in a tiff the other day).

    Anyhow, this is only a gist, I haven't added all the details, I just needed to say what happened and vent a little because I am pretty damn upset about it.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    File a police report over your "stolen" gear. That would add a nice twist to your story that ends it quickly.
  3. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    That would be amusing, at least for a little while. :)
  4. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Dude, you had your band stolen from you by a bully of a drummer. Shame on you for not standing up for yourself and putting the guy in his place. You get what you got.

    Chalk it up to a hard lesson learned, and don't let it happen next time.
  5. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
  6. BrennP90


    Jun 26, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think that drummer is satan.
    I am speechless.
  7. Joe.shaffer


    Nov 25, 2008
    Cabot, AR
    I don't understand where you guys find these people. I've never worked with anybody this bad.. well there was a guitarist once for about 20 minutes, a right hook straightened him out though.

    Oh and yes, you may want to file a report about your seemingly stolen gear.
  8. Knifedge


    Jan 24, 2009
    Don't worry, people like that have a way of losing friends and bandmates.. eventually, nobody will play with him. Personally, I would probably thrown him out of my house, and maybe a few love taps to the mouth as a goodbye gesture. Yea, I know, violence is never the answer, but it sure would feel damn good, especially to someone as rude and ignorant as he was to you.
  9. PluckyThump


    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    Clearly you were too nice and everyone else in the band either walked all over you or hung you out to dry. You should have canned the jerk drummer right away and then canned the vocalist for bringing in the drummer without asking you, the band-leader.

    It's water under the bridge now. Make sure you get your equipment back and don't let them steal your songs or band name.
  10. Invite them to go Opihi picking on the Big Island! :smug:
  11. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    Actually, I have taken them out of every show I have organized throughout the islands. They still have the gigs I booked solely for the band.
  12. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    time to put a new band together call the promoters and say "I had to put a new band together because the old players were impregnating all the bartenders at the clubs we were playing and owners were getting mad but my new band is ready to go." then take your new band in blow them away and later....set fire to their band van.

    I'm so glad I don't run into this I play with a new guitar player and drummer almost every night.
  13. Jimmy,

    I was actually making an attempt at some local humor. The attempt failed :atoz: :p

    I agree with others that say let them go their own way, file a police report for gear stolen or not returned, and do what is needed to protect your band Name and song rights!

    Good Luck and keep us posted.

    Shakas to ya! ;)
  14. Yeah, you should have stood up for yourself and nipped this in the bud right away. Having said that, just make a clean break as soon as possible. Make sure they don't have access to your website (if you have one) or any other resources. Without you doing the booking they'll probably quickly fall on their faces anyway.
  15. My favorite part is the guy coming to your house with two other guys and telling you that you aren't in your band anymore...

    You've got to take control of these situations early on. That doesn't mean that you have to be a dictator, but you've gotta be able put someone in their place when the band needs it. But what's done is done right?

    I'd make sure that you get ALL of your equipment back, file a police report if they are unresponsive. Take control of the website, name, songs etc.

    But be careful not to bash them on your myspace/website too much, because you might come off as a drama queen that would discourage other musicians from working with you in the future. Karma Asada is what I like to call what they've got coming to them.
  16. JulienJeff


    Mar 1, 2009
    That sucks !
    that drummer just deserves to play alone (and that's what will happen if he continues to treat everybody like he does).
    You'll find better band mates
  17. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    Umm...this just doesn't make sense. Either everyone you work with is Satan or there is something your not telling. What's "the rest of the story"? I suggest you focus on that.
  18. stylonpilson


    Jun 30, 2008
    Reading, UK
    For future reference, this is the point at which you fire the vocalist and politely tell his buddy to leave. When it's your band, people shouldn't be making these decisions behind your back.

  19. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yeah I am a little unclear about that this drummer shows up and you cant tell the existing drummer ahead of time, and the existing drummer is just immediately out? Did you all get together and talk about it? Or he just saw the new drummer and quit? Seems like a lot of stuff happening without communication.
  20. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Had this all been stopped ahead of time by not allowing the new drummer to come in and take control, you'd still have the band. I mean listening to how things went afterwards, they weren't the most loyal to you anyway, but I mean if you had taken a stand in the first place and not let the old drummer quit by explaining what just happened and that you had no part in it, then this could all have been avoided. For a time, anyway...