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Need some advice on current band state

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Wolfenstein666, Feb 16, 2017.


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  1. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    I've been in my band for a little over 3 years now. When I first joined we were lacking direction. Nothing was getting done, practices were sporadic. I was super naggy and finally got the guys to focus and we started working and getting stuff done.

    We just recorded an album. We're editing it right now, and my drummer took on that responsibility. And this is where everything ground to a halt. It's taking way too long, much longer than it should. We started writing new music, but practices aren't happening. No one seems motivated to do much of anything.

    It's gotten to the point where I'm really starting to wonder if this is worth my time to try and get this back on track. I don't blame anyone in the band for things in their personal life or wanting to do other things, but no one will say that they don't want to be in the band. It's like the band is becoming more of an annoyance than something to look forward to.

    I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should stick this out and see if it gets better, or pack my bags, take a break from bands and focus on my playing. The former would result in more stress worrying about what direction the band will go and if we're going to start really working again, the latter would result in heartbreak because I really do love the band and the guys I play with. We work very well together. And I will absolutely miss gigging.

    Just looking for advice from you guys and gals. This is really a tough one for me.
     
  2. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin

    May 19, 2016
    First step- take a deep breath. If these guys have been sporadic in their efforts in the past, what you're dealing with now is probably just more of that and not indicative of anything bigger. To me, it sounds like you're working with decent people with short attention spans and there's too much on thier plate. It can be hard to be motivated about moving forward (practices/ new songs) if you feel like the last thing you were working on (album) isn't done yet. I always make sure to stagger and time suggestions of direction with my band because they get so caught up in things that having multiple goals on the table at once is usually counter productive.

    The amount of time the drummer is taking to edit the album should be treated as a separate issue. Why is it taking him so long? Does he lack he skills, time, motivation or are the tracks in need of so much help that it's a time suck? If it's your job to run the ship, then you should check in with him and see what's going on.

    Right now, you're dealing with some band stress. That's fine. If you have been happy with them in the past, you will probably be happy with them in the future, once you get past this. As for dealing with people less motivated than you - there's really nothing to be done about it. Either accept their level of commitment, leave, or find another band on the side to burn your extra energy with.
     
  3. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    If it's the recording, and you want to get this happening, then consider offering to pay someone to edit it for you. Get over that hump. I am not sure what your plans are with the recording through -- will it be used to book gigs? If so, it's important to get at least 3 songs off it, and on your website to start the bookings.

    Failing that, I would consider hitting the reset button and starting over with a bunch of other guys on a new concept. Be transparent about it with the existing group, letting them know you're still available (if you have time), but then get out there and put together a really good team of musicians.

    Same advice as always -- get a gig on the books, even before you have a band, preferably paid. Get the word out, usually through existing musicians you know, sometimes music teachers, craigslist as a last resort, and maybe by going to clubs and seeing who is already performing and available.

    But make sure you set the expectations before everyone joins about what you expect in terms of rehearsals, commitment. And make sure what you have to offer is a good fit with their own goals. And then be a strong leader to help everyone achieve their goals.
     
  4. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    The drummer is notoriously slow with everything. Not bashing the guy, but literally he moves like pond water in every aspect of his life. He's the "Oh man I'm running late, but I need to have a smoke and a cup of coffee first" guy. Again, not bashing him because he's a great dude and a fantastic drummer. But I knew when this was going to be handed off to him that this is what would happen. I knew it would take awhile, but I'm chomping at the bit.

    If it was my job to run the ship, it would be ran much more efficiently. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your view) it is not my job to run the ship. It's very democratic.

    As far as the commitment level, well as you said, it is what it is. I'm motivated, I have a lot of energy and like to work. This has been a point of contention in the past.

    Thanks for the advice, it is appreciated.
     
  5. Grumry

    Grumry

    Jul 6, 2016
    Nashville
    I'm bored, I'll mix a song for you.
     
    Spidey2112 and Wolfenstein666 like this.
  6. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    The recordings are for our first full length album. So once it's done, we will be gigging to back that album.

    Everyone is reluctant to book gigs because "we're waiting on the album." Goal setting is something I've always pushed to at least have a vague timeframe, but getting any commitment is tough.

    One thing I've learned from this is that my next group or band or whatever will be my ship to steer. I understand things happen, but I'm a goal oriented hard worker. I tend to lead from the front on that aspect. You can't expect people do things you personally won't do.

    Thank you for the advice.
     
    Bunk McNulty likes this.
  7. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    Oh yeah? Can you stand metal? :D
     
    byoung93888 likes this.
  8. Grumry

    Grumry

    Jul 6, 2016
    Nashville
    I prefer metal.
     
  9. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Then rather than expect the drummer to do a whole album, ask him to set an intermediate goal to get three songs, your best ones, edited. See if you can sell the band at the various places you want to tour on the basis of that. Take all the promotion by the bull horns and do it yourself. With a gig on the books, firecrackers start going off under band member's butts and they buy equipment, and start working again. That would be my approach, if you think like I do.
     
    Bunk McNulty, pcake and brbadg like this.
  10. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Forego and rehearsals until the album is done. Period. You want more focus on that goal? Set all other goals aside. That will tell you where the drummer is with this. The rest of you can pitch in to help if need be.

    If it is your conclusion that the band is stalled because if the delays in the album, then do nothing else other than finish the album. That album being released should be the shot in the arm the band needs collectively to get back in shape.

    Band isn't booking shows because the album isn't done (according to you).

    Band isn't motivated because the album isn't done (according to you).

    The album not being done is the bottleneck. Remove the perceived bottleneck and see how everyone reacts. If nothing changes, the album was never the bottleneck to begin with. You'll have an album to remember the band by when you leave. If the album is released and everyone grabs another gear and gets focused send me a t-shirt. :D
     
  11. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    He's down to the last song. Again, a source of immense frustration as to what's taking so long for this to be completed.

    Going forward, I will take your advice and take promotion by the horns. Since no one else seems to what to do it, I will.

    Thanks again, sincerely.
     
  12. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    Give this a spin, let me know what you think.

     
  13. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    This is really good advice, and I appreciate it.

    My only issue with removing the other stuff is that (and this is just what I think, could very easily be wrong) is that if they aren't exposed to any of it, no one will do anything. Like, anything. If I just cut practice and that, I don't know if they'd respond by saying "oh, well we'll get this done" and do it, or "oh well we'll get it done" and let it fall by the wayside.

    But that ties into you're line "if nothing changes, it wasn't the bottleneck." I will give this serious consideration.

    I'll send you a shirt now, we have about a zillion of the damn things laying around. Want a coozie too?! :D
     
    Jeff Elkins and two fingers like this.
  14. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The music is great. You guys are tight and you in particular are really good at not hanging on to the root for dear life (in other words, great harmonies on the bass line).

    The vocals aren't my thing but I get that is what this style is going for.
     
    Wolfenstein666 likes this.
  15. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    Hey thanks, I appreciate that. Vocals are treated as more of a necessary evil, but I can appreciate what he does. I could never do it.
     
  16. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Send your tracks to me and I'll edit and mix them. :)
     
    Wolfenstein666 likes this.
  17. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector-Dingwall-Aguilar-DR-Tech 21-Darkglass
    Editing, or mixing? Those are two entirely different things.

    I know someone else already offered, but I'm a professional mix engineer as well and would be happy to mix a track on spec as long as the editing is done.
     
  18. Wolfenstein666

    Wolfenstein666 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2014
    Editing. Little knitpicky stuff, such as moving bass drum hits around and stuff like that.

    I'm really appreciative of all the mixing offers guys. I'd love to take you guys up on that. I currently only have pro tools files.
     
  19. Grumry

    Grumry

    Jul 6, 2016
    Nashville
    That's pretty metal. I'm diggin' it.
     
    Wolfenstein666 likes this.
  20. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I would ask for the ones he's got done -- the best ones -- and then go and promote. Let him sit around on that last song as long as he wants -- your train has left the station and is already producing results with the songs he gave you. I always think about how I can get started "right now".