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over-controlling frontman

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by srz_79, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    Just wondering if anyone else has ever had this kind of situation:

    I recently joined a band which is fronted by a friend of mine, and so far we only play originals songs which he wrote. The thing is he keeps telling me i should put more effects on my bass like distortion, fuzz etc. Personally, i'm not a huge fan of those effects on bass since i feel it drowns out the overall 'quality' of the bass...

    Anyways, i've tried to tell him the bass sounds good as it is, but he keeps insisting. :meh:

    Oh well, probably this isn't such a big problem, but it still kinda bugs me...:)
  2. Since he wrote the songs he probably has a vision of how he wants the songs to sound. It probably bugs him that you don't use the effects because when he hears the song it doesn't sound exactly like what hes hearing in his head. Think of it that way.
  3. if you have the effects what harm could come of trying it out?
    if not maybe you can tell him you dont have the effects and suggest he could buy them haha
  4. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    The way I see it if they are his songs then you should probably be willing to follow his direction. If you aren't then you should probably consider leaving the band for one where you have more say.
  5. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    I would consider the point not to be that he has ideas for how his songs should sound (which is fair enough - to a point...), but that you're only playing songs he wrote.

    You haven't joined a band - you've volenteered to be unpaid backing.

    A friend o mine is exactly the same: she insist that her band only play her stuff, and do it as she demands. I play in a cover band, and she tells me she would never do that, but if I joined her band I'd be doing exactly the same - playing someone else's songs. I just wouldn't be getting paid...

    If someone wants me to play exactly what they tell me (that being all their material or not), thats fine - give me $100 for the evening (including rehersals!), and I'll do it. If they expect me to work for the "art", then it'll be MY art.

  6. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I don't know. I kept my response fairly short but I don't think that is really the case at all.

    Basically it comes down to why you are playing with a certain person and their music. Ideally all things being equal money is the defining factor on what role a person plays in a band. If a certain person pays you, then you do what they want, pretty much, no questions asked. On the other hand things are not always that straight forward.

    If it is the case that the OP is playing in this situation because they like the music and believe in what they are doing by being part of this band, I personally think it is a measure of good faith to try and see it from the person who wrote the music's perspective. That doesn't necessarily mean not to question certain things or try to have some input, but to keep an open mind to the vision of the person that created the music with the understanding that that person did invest their time and creativity into the vision of what the music is.

    Ultimately I think that someone in the OP's position should hopefully be free to express their opinion but should be humble enough to understand and accept the veto of the creator, given that they are doing that project based the vision of the music. I also think that if someone in the OP's position isn't happy with the situation they should say so and move on if their conditions aren't met. It is important in these situations that everyone knows what the intentions are from everyone else. Acting professionally even in the absence of immediate monetary reward is an important thing in the success of any musical project, I believe.

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