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New band making me think (long post)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassbully, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I need to get this off my chest and TBers have always helped and i like to help others as well..here it goes.

    After getting back to music 6 or so years ago i was in some pretty crappy bands. I kept improving the quality of bands as i quit and joined new ones. The current band i am in is Country,oldies both cover and originals.
    The band has a long time following over 30 years in a regional area of my state.The bandleader is a good guy a bit full of himself but treats me good and is an awsome performer and singer.The band thou is old, the group that follows it around is seniors (no offense to them) we play strickly animal clubs again to older folks which isnt too bad but we dont see normal bars , clubs etc. I have been in the band for a little over a year and have been a quaility addition. I show up to practice ,play and get the job done. I was pleased to be in a band with such great players and where people like what you are doing. The steel player is on his last leg (past 70) and in bad health. Drummer is moody and threatens to quit alot...never happy and has quit the band a few time in the 14 years he has played with the bandleader.
    The manager of the act has been with the bandleader for 30 years and is a pain to me. I dont like the guy and think he is useless for the money he makes. He doesnt even own a PC has no idea how to book in todays market. Bookings for 08 were less than half of what they used to be and down already this year. The money is also down. I used to get 100.00 a show now its more like 75.00. I could go on forever. The band is good the setlist and music never changes the gigs locations never change. Practice is on a weeknight right after i get off work a one way one hour drive just to get there to a always late drummer who is off work that day :(. We have gigs booked and I am thinking of leaving...heres why.

    Last fall i hooked up with a talented singer/songwritter kinda by accident 5 miles from my home. We hit it off right away and started working on his large list of original songs...very good songs at that. He is younger than me talented and a great guy. We got his old drummer friend back(younger) and it gelled quickly.We then added a fantasic multi string player (older) who plays mando,fiddle slide,guitar,banjo,violin etc to round out our americana,roots,alt country sound. Only after being together a few weeks we did two back to back gigs last weekend and we killed it. We were tight, few mistakes and people ate it up! The owners of the venues raved and want us back etc.Lots of good words and people want our CD which is not finished yet. Although this band has to take a month down time for the singer to get married we are progressing fast. I love the all original music ,playing interesting places and writing my own parts. We all get along great...not and ego in the bunch as i can see. This band will not gig as much as the country band or make alot of money but the potential is so much greater.

    Gee....in a nutshell i guess struggling to type all of this might be answering my own question. I am seeing i cant do both...i could but im tired have a full time job wife,kids. I hate to let the bandleader down i feel he will take it really hard but what to do? Maybe wait till i see what my new bands CD and bookings do in a month or just cut the cord and let them start looking and finish out the gigs till I am replaced. If you read all of this ...thanks!
  2. jellymax


    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    obviously its time to move forward, unless you really want to do both for a while. the old
    guy band should expect you to do what is right for you, not for them. give them some
    time to replace you, then move on bro...
  3. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    As an older musician myself all i can say is life is way too short to be in a situation you don't want to be in....

    I suspect you already know the answer....
  4. Grank


    Jan 30, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    You provide for you and yours via the full time job.

    Why be unhappy in your other life-time pursuits?
  5. Kuchar


    May 31, 2006
    Money can't buy happiness.

    (unless it comes in the form of gear)
  6. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Thanks for the quick replys! I just hate letting people down. The bandleader is pushing 60 , retired and said a couple of times he is on his last try if this band falls apart. He's tired of trying. I doubt me leaving will make him quit...at least i hope not. I have told others on here (TB) the same as you told me but its hard when your wearing the shoes. If the band sucked or i was getting dissed etc that would make it easy. I do have a lot of good reasons to move on. The only thing is it is a good gig even with some of the issues but I'm now thinking its not for me any longer.
    I am taking a chance the other band will make it and i feel it will the guys are committed. I guess all bands are a chance. At least with the new one i would'nt be as put out and focusing on music i love and am able to be more creative with and play better quality of venues. BTW my wife wont even come to the gigs with country band no more. She said some of the bands old groupies freak her out and the animal clubs are just not for her. I like to get her out and into my band life but she hasnt been to a show in months:( She came to a beatnick coffee house my new band did last friday night to see me and loved it. In fact since it was a coffee house my 4 year old daughter got to see her Daddy play in a band for the first time.:D
  7. Grank


    Jan 30, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    You fall for the guilt trip line ... and you call yourself a bully LOL :)))))))) (just kidding right).

    Sounds like your wife has voted. Some TBers have voted.

    More convincing required?
  8. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    Don't let the older bandleader's ideas mess with your happiness. From what you're saying, this man really is a good person, but no matter how he is you can't let him stop you from doing what you really want to do. If you're not loving your situation, you have to do whatever you can do to change it, even if it steps on someone's toes.
  9. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    looks that you already make up your mind if you don't need the money and has all this troubles with this decadent band move on, as said, life is too short , and this troubles don't seem that would be over, so get a good talk with the bandleader and tell him you side of the history, give them a month or so to find a replacement just to be fair, and be happy.
  10. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    Hmm! duno maybe take out add,audition
    bass players on yer own, til you find the right fit,
    give two week notice let new guy step in..win,win..
  11. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    +1. Unfortunately, you have to do it anyway. Your posts say loud and clear that you're much happier with the new band.

    This is one of those times when "it" is going to happen, you're just in that phase of getting used to the idea. Stick with it, it's the right thing.

    BTW, what's an animal club?
  12. You are proving a lot of excuses to quit your current band.
    There is no call for that.
    Just follow your heart and you wil be fine, you don't have to convince us, or anybody else.
    Also, when you tell the band you're leaving , do it with respect, there's no sense in downtalking anyone at that point.

    Thanks for sharing though, the new "project" seems to be whole lot of fun!

    Keep us posted!
  13. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Thanks for the replys again, it has been great help and has made me see what better what i already knew.

    To answer a question. Q:"What is an animal club" A: A term used in my parts at least for clubs like Eagles,Moose,Elks and throw in V.F.W's , Army-Navys clubs etc. Privite clubs where I can't have friends or family come see me play without a hassle alot of times or they have to buy a temp card to get in.
    The clubs have usally an older crowd and are nice in there own way but i feel disconnected from a say club, bar, coffee house, winery etc. They are pretty safe thou. I know some guys who refuse to play them calling them "old folks homes" :meh:

    I think i will call the drummer tonight and have a long talk with him first. He brought me in the band and in the past has expressed alot of his anger and problems on the band to me in person. He was quitting a month or two back but changed his mind or at least held off for now. I know in time he will quit.
    He wants to gig more and feels the manager and soundman make too much money and are dead weight which i agree.
    At our last gig he threw a fit mid set when the crowd wanted to dance to hotter tunes and the bandleader kept calling out old moldy songs slowing the mood.

    I was brought into this band to replace a longtime bassist who was old (sorry) and played like it. The drummer came back and wanted to push the bandleader into newer gigs and get him out of the animal clubs. He needed a better hotter younger bassist to help get the band into the areas country music clubs playing hotter country. Its been a year and 4 months and it hasnt happened and it is not going to. The band has a great old school country vibe and sound and the mindset and setlist will never work anywhere but "animal clubs". Again, Thanks for the replys...a big help ...trust me!
  14. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Being in a band that has enjoyed success and popularity for 30 years looks very good on your resume'. Update your resume' to reflect this, and move on.
  15. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    DOHHH! [smacks forehead with palm]

    Shouldda been able to figure that out. I'm surrounded by those clubs. Another "duh" moment haha and once again I'm reminded why I'm not a Detective. :D
  16. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    What the heck is a Kiwanis anyhow?? Sounds like a small flightless bird from NZ.
  17. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I'm guessing you didn't mean for it to come out that way, but if you read your original post you'll see that it reads very much like someone who wants to quit the first band and is looking for people to verify that sentiment.

    You've clearly already made your choice. The professional thing to do is to tell the other band and let them know that if they want you'll play gigs with them for a specified amount of time (a month or two) while they look for a replacement and then move on.

    Unless you are relying on music financially (which doesn't seem to be the case for you) music should always be about having fun and being creative.

    BTW I'm glad someone else asked because I was scratching my head over what an Animal Club was too. :p
  18. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    Yes it can.....:smug:
  19. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Oh yea i needed the old forum to air my feelings. I like the bandleader and call him a friend but Im just not feelin this band and where its at or going. We have two more gigs this month and i think none in May (so far) This is why i jumped at the idea to move now. It would give them a month to find some one and get them onboard. I think so far there is only one gig booked in June. Gigs are getting tuff in my part and getting paid decent is hard. My wife said she will miss the country bands income although its not much. We both work full time with good jobs and its just extra doe. I used to get $100 a show now $60 -75 since we are taking low end gigs just to get by due to the economy.
    The new band gets alot of coffee house gigs ,winerys etc that are much easier to book. Although they dont pay well they are cool,low key ,layback and we get good tips and can sell our CD when its out. We can book the coffee house type gigs almost anytime we want if there is an opening but dont want to wear out our welcome. The country band has a huge overhead and demands too much for todays market restricting it. Have any of you guy's ever played animal clubs? :D
  20. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    A gig is a gig, especially one with an established band with 30 years of popularity. But there's no reason such an act should gross 65 a head, even in today's market. I agree with you that the band has A LOT of overhead if that's all you guys can manage. I've never played private clubs, but the pay must be better than whatever small bars, clubs, bookstores and beatnick sandwicheries shell out for an all-original act starting out.

    You have made clear in your post that you want out due to three reasons:
    1) The band doesn't challenge you anymore
    2) You dislike the manager, very much so and the roster might change due to old-age/frustration (ie. the band could implode at any moment)
    3) You're getting payed less and you gig less

    But you want verification from peers because:
    1) Some of these guys are your friends
    2) You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or aspirations

    I'd try to talk to the bandleader, NOT THE DRUMMER*, first, to see if there's anyway a new manager or booking agent can be found to get you guys up to speed. The leader seems like he has been in a rut for 15 years, so maybe talking to him about that might shake him a bit. If not, just quit.

    The only reason I'd keep a gig wich made me unhappy would be for monetary reasons. 75$ a night is not enough, when you factor in transportation, gear costs, not enjoying yourself and the actual time you put playing in front of people to justify that.

    *If he is the kind of guy who always threatens to quit and throw fits mid-gigs, he is the kind of guy who will open his mouth about wanting you to leave to get more leverage during discussion/shouting matches. You don't want that. There's a band leader, any concerns with the band should be brought to him first.

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