Personnel Dilema!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Johnny BoomBoom, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Can't make up my mind if this is Off Topic or Miscellaneous - mods, if you reckon I've decided wrong, please move this to the appropriate place!

    Anyway, we had a gig arranged for Jan 12th as a showcase, with 2 support bands. The venue, somehow managed to double book us (I believe a more 'importan' touring band came along), and they have had to move the date from the 12th to the 14th. This means that we need to play on a Tuesday night. We all work, and while this is a fair inconvenience, we reckoned it was OK.

    However, we could not make contact with the drummer, and made the decision (with our manager who had booked the venue) to go ahead. Howeverm the drummer makes contact last night saying that she was on a business trip that week!

    Oh joy! Guess who's job it was to phone our manager! Any, he wasn't too impressed - I think he'd been pressuring the venue for a good deal as they'd messed up our original date.

    He mentioned that we could maybe get a drummer to step in.

    This is the dilema!

    Our band is an original material band! And this was intended to be our launch/showcase gig!

    Would you in your band go ahead with the gig with a dep drummer???

    Or would you insist on the original drummer and try to re-negotoate the date???

    I'm being audited today - so I may disapper for a while! I'll tell you the result of tonight's band discussion with our manager tomorrow!
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Cancel and get the venue to give you a another date at your convenience not theirs. If not find another venue.

    All IMHO of course
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Tough choice, I would not dare to choose for you. I'm personally leaning towards cancel.

    A word of caution though, if you decide to go with another drummer, make sure this is first discussed in the whole band and that your drummer is OK with that idea. Otherwise perhaps this could be the start of the breakup of your band.
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I agree, reschedule.

    BTW, I'd say Band Management & Performance is a better place for this, no? Certainly not off-topic, cuz OT is for non-music related stuff.
  5. I'd say reschedule too.

    Getting a replacement is a bit risky, not least because of the potential to upset your current drummer.

  6. I think you're right about the better place - I had actually forgotten about that forum!

    Would a kind mod like to maybe shuffle this thread on over please....??

    We'll find out tonight at rehearsal whether the rescheduling is a possibility - our manager wasn't a hapy bunny last night though, and he and the drummer don't see eye to eye!

    Watch this space......!
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I'd say it depends - is this the drummer's first offence? If not, I'd say a business trip is a pretty good reason to not be there.

    IMO the manager should not have booked the date without consulting the band first.
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    From what I understand the manager did consult the band, and they accepted without being able to check with the drummer first.
  9. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Thread duly shuffled.


    Tough call on the drummer situation. I'd say the majority seems to have the right idea. Could a sub get in and get the tunes down enough in time to do a proper job??? I mean, this isn't a blues/country/top 40 situation where it's all covers and the drummer will have at least heard the tunes and be somewhat comfortable with it. You don't want your "debut" gig to be marred by a poor performance due to a drummer that doesn't really know the tunes.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What does the drummer think about it? If she isn't willing to teach her parts to someone else it's going to be hard to sort out a replacement, regardless of the other problems of doing your debut gig without your standard line-up. On the other hand, she may be fully behind the idea and have a friend who can fill in.

    I can fully sympathise with the annoyance of being squeezed out of a gig - my band, Lovesjones has lost out twice this December due to Christmas parties (BTW, all things being equal we should be doing a small showcase at Bar Lorca in Brixton tomorrow night - details on the website... at last).

    One question - how comes it was so hard to get hold of the drummer? What time frame did you make the decision in? My group stays in contact with email and by phone but decisions are largely held back until our weekly rehearsals - if someone isn't going to be there, we'd expect them to call in to let us know, so that we know everyone has had a fair chance to be involved.

    Hope you get it sorted out - if the venue gets snotty, you've got to question whether you really want to give them the benefit of your music. Even it holds back your launch for another month or so, I would think it better for the members of the band to trust each other than to risk crashing, burning and never recovering from the first gig.


  11. Thanks for the shuffle;)

    I think our manager is thinking on the idea of a sub - one drummer that he has a long history with is pretty damned fantastic. However, we'll need to see how this pans out!
  12. Communication in our band can be a real pain - but only as regards the drummer! Everyone else is no problem!
  13. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If communicating with your drummer is excessively difficult, that could be a limiting factor on what you can achieve in the long term - there will be times when you need to respond to opportunities quite quickly.

    Unless your drummer is happy to miss the first gig, it's probably best to cancel it - but use this set of circumstances as a basis for talking about how you can keep in better touch. You can survive one or two problems like this, but if it becomes a regular thing that could limit the lifespan of the band even if you manage a storming first night.

    For example, I check my email so often that it might as well be on an intravenous drip feed, but I know that some of the people in the band only get access once or twice a week so if I had anything urgent I'd either rely on our weekly rehearsal or get the phone out.


  14. The communication thing I have to agree with. Our manager is also our promoter, is also our album's engineer and producer. He has basically recorded and is mixing everything for free. However, first money coming in goes to pay off the 'advance'.

    I think from the conversation I had with him last night that he's very nervous now about the band's long term future. But only with respect to our drummer. The two of them have never seen eye to eye. I think this has made the issue blow up more than it would have if they'd been more friendly!

    Oh well, rehearsal is at 6pm. I'll find out in about 2 hours what happens next - tune in tomorrow for the next thrilling instalment......

    I'm taking bets now on me staring a thread tomorrow entitled 'My band just split up........'
  15. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Band Manager and drummer don't see eye to eye??
    Why? This sounds like what the problem is. Who joined the band first? Who might be more dispenseable? If the drummer is not communicating on a timely basis this will be a continuing problem. They both need to be talked to to find out what their specific issues are with each other so a common ground can be found. Good Luck!

  16. The ironic thing is that our manager brought the drummer in!!!!. He wasn't our manager then, Our guitarist and drummer left. Myself and the singer then tried to sort out a band, with Brian's (studio owner, and now manager) help, we tried a few guitarists - went through 6 in 1 year. But he brought the drummer in. Things went OK. Then our original guitarist came back - he'd actually had personal problems, but had sorted them!

    Then he proposed working on an album etc etc. And the rest as they say is history!!
  17. I thought cancelling a gig was a cardinal sin for the working band? That said, they did double book you so one would think they can be a little more accomodating and move the date to a time when everyone is available.

    As for the drummer, I guess it depends on where everyone's priorities lie. If the band comes first to everyone else and she is not as committed, this could become a problem in the future.

    Have fun at practice :)
  18. Well, the band hasn't split up! Our manager managed to negotiate out of it with the venue, after all they effed up first!

    He's trying to negotiate another date with them!

    So the band hasn't split up.......yet!

    Thanks for all your responses - it's appreciated!

  19. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    Well Depending on the quality of the musicians in the area I'd just get a friend to step in on drums. Even if it is original material unless your music is orchestrated to the nth degree they'd probably be fine. It's just one gig. Play it and at the next one hook up with your old drummer again. Unless it was something like a showcase i would be ok With playing with a sub. As a bass player I sub all the time on original playing
  20. Take the gig, double-check with the drummer and if she will be there. If not, time for Plan B...Get a sub, have them learn the tunes, get a few rehearsals under your belts (song structure, tempos, specific parts, etc.), and blow the place away.

    As a bass player/hired gun, a lot of times the band that calls you is just looking for someone to get them by for the night without cancelling the gig and creating a bad name for themselves. Then, you go in there (with your homework DONE) and smoke their shoes off. They are happy, the crowd likes it, the bar doesn't have to find a new band, and you have money in the wallet along with possible future gigs.