Need help turning down an offer to join my friend's band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. jmattbassplaya


    Jan 13, 2008
    Hey guys,

    So I need some advice on how to politely turn down an opportunity to join my friend's solo project that he's trying to get going. He wants me involved in it, but I see it as a waste of time for a few reasons:

    - I have no creative control of the material
    - I don't really enjoy the material that is already written
    - I have no managerial control or real say in the band
    - The pay is virtually non-existent because the band is so new
    - He's wanting me to sacrifice vacation days/weekends to tour (again, pay is non-existent)
    - I'll only be in the area for another 4-5 months, so after that I'll cease to make any gains from my time invested
    - I'd rather spend the time working on setting up the foundation for my future business career

    Now why do I need help telling him this when I clearly know my reasons for not wanting to join? Well, I honestly think there's an art to delivering less than stellar news to a person, and I've personally never been good at it :p I tend to get long-winded with my explanations, and I feel like if I tell him exactly what I've written here it might jeopardize my friendship and any future work relationship I could have with the guy (which would be a sincere loss). I'm just hoping a few of you guys might know a way or two I can tactfully get the same information across to him so that both our relationship and my sanity (from not joining the band) can be saved :)

  2. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    I've always found the following response to work well, provided it's true:

    "I've just got a lot on my plate right now and can't dedicate enough time to this project."
  3. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    I would just tell him that you are flattered but you won't be around long enough to make it worthwhile TO HIM. That way you look like a good guy that cares about his long term goals. Blame yourself, tell him you won't be able to put in enough time and you don't want to let him down. If he insists, tell him you just can't take the chance of disappointing him.
  4. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    tell him the truth, you arent interested in the project. you just dont feel it. you can still be friends after.
  5. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I always say, "I'm just not a good fit for this." No further explanation needed, no defensiveness.
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Oh, jeez! Not this again... :rolleyes:
  7. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Tell him you sold all your gear to buy dope.
  8. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    ^ this is great advice
  9. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    If you need to make an excuse because it's a friend, then the above is your excuse.
    But that aside, I too would see no point in starting something with that being the case.
  10. Unless you’re telling him yes, no matter what you tell him he isn’t going to like it. So just be honest and tell him the truth - or maybe just one or two of the truthful reasons why you’re saying no.
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    "Sorry, I just don't have enough time right now..."
  12. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay

    Just tell him this. Leave out your 'personal gains' part.

    Tell him you want to spare them the heartache of getting a replacement bass player when you leave.
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I'm a big fan of the naked truth. (condensed version)

    "You are asking me to join a band where I'll have no creative or managerial input and no real prospects for making money. Meanwhile I've got a career to think about in 5 months I'll be gone anyway. Sorry but I'm not the right guy for this project."

    This should also help him realize why his project won't be attractive to other bassists either.
  14. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    "No offense Broseph Jefferson, but this project and I just do not jive."

    Im sure he'll appreciate that response.
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
  16. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    No money? Case closed.

    Tell him you don't play for free.

  17. So far, I like the "naked truth" and the "don’t have the time" approach suggested above best.

    jmattbassplaya, afterwards - please lets us know what you told him. And his response if any. Thanks and I hope it goes well.
  18. najko


    Aug 7, 2012
    just show him your list.
  19. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You have a built-in excuse. You really do need to be getting ready for whatever business ventures you take on wherever it is you are moving to. That is not rationalizing. It's just a fact. So just tell him you can't lock down your limited time off for another gig at this time. It is a practical, thoughtful, sensible, logical reason for not taking on another gig right now. End of story. If he doesn't understand that and wants to end your friendship, he was never a true friend to begin with. (It ain't my job to tell you what you want to hear. I just cell 'em as I see 'em.)
  20. msaone


    May 13, 2012
    Thanks for the offer, but I don't think I'd be a good fit.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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