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Never been fired until now

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by KeithPas, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I just got fired for the first time. I'm not pissed or angry about the situation but I thought I would relay my story here.
    I joined a blues/rock band a year ago via an ad on craigslist which specified that the band was getting a setlist together and would soon be looking for gigs. I practiced with this band for a year and did a total of three gigs and the band actually sounds great. A couple of weeks ago the drummer and singer say they want to double up on rehearsals to 2x a week in order to work on original music. I flat out said "not interested" and pointed out that the original agreement was to one rehearsal a week. I also pointed out that the only thing worse than practicing 1x a week for a year and getting almost no gigs is practicing 2x a week for a year and getting almost no gigs. I got a phone call a couple of days ago saying they were trying out new bassplayers. There are no hard feelings and it is cool by me but it is too bad becasue the band really sounds good. I just can't practice up a setlist then never get the chance to play it.
    My philosophy has always been that:
    1.The band needs to initially be good enough to gig but it does not have to be perfect
    2. The setlist should have some consistancy so as to make the group definable.
    3. Once rehearsals start the expiration clock has started ticking and it can not go on too long before people like me get bored.
    4. Being a little picky about tunes is cool, we all have tunes we would rather not play but getting too picky makes putting a setlist together almost impossible. I pointed out that great players play the **** out of tunes they hate, it is actually alot more challenging to do that than only play tunes you love. Compromise is the key and that goes for everyone, not just the bass player.
    5. Agreements should be honored; I joined what was described as a kick butt blues/rock band. I did not join a group in order to help someone else realize their musical dreams. When I decide to do that it will be for me to realize my dreams not for other people. I already play in two other original music groups and that is enough for me.
    I would have been open to practicing more but in the last five years I have gone through this little excercise a few times and I'm tired of it.
    Even though I believe that I would have quit this band iminently had I not been fired, I always want to be the one that makes that call.
  2. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Their loss.
  3. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000

    Yes, I agree. :)
  4. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    Hmmm - read the thread "Mistakes Bands Make" - seems like waiting too long to get your setlist perfect before looking for gigs is a common theme! Sorry to hear about that dude, but I agree, their loss. While they're still trying to perfect things for another year with the new bass player, you should go and find a gigging band that needs a bass player! Now you know several songs to bring to their repertoire!
  5. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    Thanks for the excellent advice, I have already been contacted by a gigging band to fill in for some shows so it all ended up woriking out in the end. I would still rather quit than be fired :) .
  6. "Fired" assumes they were able to provide some revenue, i.e. gigs. Sounde like there were none. No loss but for your time.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Sorry about the firing! I do understand though! I didn't get fired but we lost one of the best keyboardists in the area due to being idle! 3 gigs since last September?? And yeah, we had setlist conflicts & band name drama (to settle on the name FIRE??...wth). I'm at the point of calling it a day and moving on! The sad thing is we coulda been the best thing to happen in the area in quite a long time! Sucks!
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    That's it in a nutshell for me.

    Sounds like you don't need comforting, but the band as you've described it was a creative dead end.
  9. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    hey, keef...
    i just found out yesterday that the alt.country band i was in was looking for a new bass player...by my stepson coming across the ad!
    i wasn't overly surprised, since we were having arguments over a proposed band contract...they wanted most the money (to pay off equipment they bought before i ever got in the band), and they couldn't understand why i didn't find that fair.
    it still sucked ass that they didn't have the 'nads to tell me directly.
    (of course, i did tell them i was investigating a cover band, and i was gonna be available for gigs on a first come, first serve basis...:D)
    they weren't gigging very much, either, and they were in hiatus, due to the drummer's foot getting operated on.

    it sucks to be fired. musicians are not the best people person types. musicians should not run bands...especially singer/songwriter/guitar players.
    you will find better people and players, though.
    and, your line about compromise is dead on. my ex-band was all about it...as long as i was the one doing it.

    buck up, keith-me-lad...the process of weeding out the weenies is laborious, but necessary.

    let us know how it goes, ey?
  10. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Yea - 'sudden slipping in of the originals' is a common problem if that was not the initial intention of the band. It is usually some crap about the guitarist losing his chick. It does, however, give the 'crowd' a 3-5 minute (x the number of originals) opportunity to use the head between beers.
  11. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    Good to know I'm not the only one :) experiencing this. Take care and let us know how your situation shakes down. Not telling you straight up is not cool, you should not have found out the way you did. I'll keep everyone up to date about my gig......or lack thereof.:)
  12. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000

    I never had a problem playing originals from the start, even though the gig was not advertised as such. I put an ad on craigslist for a working band with gigs and these guys responded and we seemed to hit it off from the start. As time went on I did had a problem with constantly dropping tunes from the setlist for no good reason and not getting gigs. I did not want to devote another night of the week to working on original material if we had no gigs. Keep in mind that the singer and drummer had not much more than ideas, they did'nt have tunes. In my mind that meant I would be writing songs for them (and of course would get no credit). I always felt that if we got out there and played then we would not have to practice the cover tunes as much and that rehearsal time could be devoted to original material. We always got along well and parted as friends which, to me, is always preferred. I really have no hard feelings at all and I wish them well.
  13. I hear you! Its better to play and make some mistakes than to exclusively over-practice, sacrificing all public performances. "bored" is exactly how I'd felt in those same circumstances. Good move.. too bad for them. :smug:
  14. They decided to go one way and you went another. You already stated that you would've quit anyway, so what's the difference? I don't see anything wrong with writing original (actually prefer it to playing strictly covers) music myself, but I'm not in your situation. Good luck with the new project.
  15. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000

    No difference except I like being the one who decides where I go and what I do. Like I said in my previous post, I did'nt mind doing original material. I did have a problem devoting another night of the week to working on material that did not exist while at the same time not gigging after practicing for a year. It has all worked out and I harbor no bad feeling for the guys in the band, they are good people that want to do something different than me.
  16. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I wouldn't necessarily say that they had all the say in it. They stated what they wanted to do, and you flat out said not interested. You can definitely claim a little bit of quitting right there. But even if you don't claim it, I do see it that way a little bit.

    Not that you should have done anythng differently, just at that point you are clearly saying 'not down with what you guys are thinking, sorry'. So, really you did have your say so.
  17. Definetly their loss. If you enter into a project and they tell you how it's going to be don't change the agreement to suit on ot two members of the crew. I hooked up with a crew who painted the ideal picture of 2 practices a week and 2 gigs per month. I can handle that but once up and running the drummer's wife booked us solid gigging every weekend without taking into account any of the members personal or work schedules. That spelled doom and diaster.
  18. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000

    Very true Lamar, they wanted one thing and I was not down with that. It just took them a year of my time to figure out what they wanted to do. No regrets here, I know we have all been through this type of situation in one form or another.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Sounds like classic basement band syndrome. Unless you're not easily bored and have time to kill, run, do no walk.

    My take is unless they're doing pop star choregraphy or magic, there just isn't a reason for me to spend time going over and over the same stuff. Take it out and see what it'll do. The obvious problem being that some people have issues with gigging. That would be an issue with me.

    Once I realized what a complete waste of time it was for me, I didn't do it any more. I sought out people who didn't have that issue and I'm much happier for it.
  20. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000

    My thoughts exactly Brad, I stuck it out for a year because the band was sounding pretty darned good and I had already put alot of time into it. I now see the error in doing that. We had a solid 4-5 sets of music and it sounded good. IME we were ready to seriously hit the club and casino circuit then all of a sudden these guys are getting all picky about the tunes they don't want to play and saying they want to do originals (which had not existed to that point). There are definitely tell tale signs of basement band syndrome that I will hopefully catch next time around.
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