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Please help with singer/drummer battle

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dsbass09, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. dsbass09


    Jan 15, 2013
    Hey guys.

    I'm having band trouble, and figured some of you could offer advice. First, a little band history. I've known the two guitarists since 2000. We grew up in the same town and watched each other grow as musicians. In 2010, I moved to another town to go to college. The two guitarist, being younger than me, just happened to move here as well. I was living with the one guitarist's older brother, and in 2011 we ended up all renting a house. We jammed and had fun but nothing came out of it because of various reasons. Our lease was up in the summer of 2012 so we all went our separate ways. In December I got a call from them asking me to play bass in their new band. They picked up a phenomenal drummer and vocalist. Right as I joined there was an issue with the vocalist and one of the guitarists. Something about commitment/appreciation of the vocalist. Anyway, that got cleared up and we added a keyboard player. *

    They booked a show two weeks out and I was against playing because I didn't feel that I was ready. After fairly heated arguments, we played the show this past Saturday. They were right. I was ready and we all had a great time. The Facebook page gained 170ish likes and we have offers to play at several other venues. There's a huge buzz about us in town now. *

    However, the drummer (fairly arrogant) doesn't like the vocalist and wants him gone. He doesn't think he is consistent enough and says he doesn't fit with the genre. While the vocalist IS slightly inconsistent, it is a New genre of music for him and we haven't had a demo or anything yet, so nothing is set in stone. All of us are still tweaking our parts, but the vocals do seem to be more inconsistent than anything else. *

    The drummer is, as I said before, pretty arrogant. For instance, we were discussing a sound check and the vocalist who knows the owners of the place we played said we wouldn't get a sound check. Which we didnt. But the drummer just says "F them, we'll just count the sound check as one of our songs." So the singer threatens to leave from that rehearsal and things settle down. At the show, after our set, we were moving things out of the venue while the other band was setting up. There is no back door to this place because it is literally underground. So out through the crowd everything must go. The next band begins to play and I say to the drummer, let's wait until the band is done to move the rest of this stuff out. Now keep in mind all our stuff was in the "equipment holding area" and not in the way at all. "F them, " he says, "they suck" as he carries the rest of his equipment out while the other band is playing. * The drummer wants all of us (mainly the singer) to be able to hum or song all the parts of all the songs before we play another show. Our music is pretty technical and we're not exactly sure if the singer knows what time signatures are outside of 4/4. *

    But here's the kicker. The singer has financially backed this band. He bought both guitarists heads and one of them a cab because the other had a cab already, as well as supplying the keyboard for the keys player. The vocalist is getting ready to leave because of the drummer. If he leaves we lose all our stuff, but more importantly, a great vocalist. *
    Does anybody have advice for me on how to smooth this over? I feel like this band will be huge (locally, I'm pretty realistic in realizing we'll probably never get signed). I don't want anybody going anywhere because it's really a perfect lineup if it wasn't for he singer/drummer issue. * What would you guys do?
  2. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    Drummer should only be allowed decaf.
    Idk. A lot of violent communication going on from him.

    Honestly, life is short. The underlying truth is, the drummer wants out. Give him what he wants.
  3. Tell the drummer to shut the F up, and tell him why. If he can replace all that equipment you mentioned then he can spout off I suppose, but if he can't replace the equipment and can't shut up he is out of here...

  4. +1
  5. Pokerdweebz


    Oct 26, 2012
    Lancaster, PA
    The most obvious answer is kindly tell the drummer to pound sand.
  6. dsbass09


    Jan 15, 2013
    The issue with the drummer is that he doesn't view the equipment as important. He thinks we can play shows and just mic combo amps. I personally have my huge Hartke rig. But the other guys don't have anything gig worthy.
  7. drummer has no class. word will get around and it'll fall back on your band. ditch him.
  8. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    At least its not the singer or lead guitarist this time.
  9. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    1. drummer is causing all the issues
    2. you got a good buzz. it will be hard to replace the singer at this point. I'd replace the drummer before the singer.
  10. AaronMB


    Aug 17, 2012
    This sums it up for me, too.

    Good luck, bro!
  11. Just my P.O.V.-

    Seems like all of the hostility is coming from the drummer.

    Not sure why that is, but he must have a reason that makes sense to him.

    The drummer's conduct and attitude are tremendously unprofessional and his actions poorly represent the rest of you, which may come back to haunt you at some point.

    The singer has shown investment and dedication to the group by supplying equipment, obviously at some significant expense to himself. What has the drummer done?

    To a lot of audiences, the singer IS the band. When you change vocalists, you change your sound tremendously (we recently did this, fortunately it was for the better). As long as you can find a competent drummer, most audiences won't know the difference, really. Same could be said for us bassists, or even guitar players (to a point).

    I know what I would do. And I think others would agree.


    Let's look at this like grown-ups. Is it possible to talk to this guy and find out exactly what his deal is? If he's a good drummer it might be worthwhile to spend some time, have an "intervention" of sorts, explain your concerns, and see if it's something the group can talk about and resolve. In many cases, personality conflicts can be addressed and resolved if the people involved are willing to talk about issues and are willing to see the point of view of another in an adult manner.

    If the drummer is not willing to budge and does not see any reason to change his conduct or attitude, then it may be time to move on.

    Just my opinion.
  12. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Life's too short to play with douches ...
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    First of all, start looking for a possible replacement for the drummer. Next, tell the drummer to STFU or he's gone. He obviously has no idea how to be professional and one thing is for sure, if you are not professional you will be the headliner at your practice space and that's it.
  14. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    What's the consensus among all the other members of the band besides the drummer and vocalist? Is there a consensus? I would recommend sitting down with them and having a serious talk about the state of the band vis a vis the vocalist and drummer.

    Ill be interested to hear how this turns out.
  15. Actually, you can mic guitar combos, and if he can play energetic at the combo volume levels he's probably a bloody good drummer. But he's arrogant.
  16. dawind99

    dawind99 Commercial User

    Mar 30, 2012
    Revsound.net and Revsound on Facebook
    Owner: Revsound
    +1 He's not a happy guy:)
  17. dsbass09


    Jan 15, 2013
    The consensus of the rest of the band is that the singer is the biggest issue. Everybody agrees that the drummer is being arrogant and he has agreed to let the singer stick around and see if the issue resolves itself. However, the singer doesn't know a lot of the music, or at least doesn't have consistent melody lines for everything. He searches for a pitch a lot. He's actually a great singer when he finds something that fits and is rarely off pitch even in live settings, as long as he has a good idea of what to do. The problem is that he keeps missing parts where he is supposed to come in because the riffs are in 6/8, 5/8, 7,9,...... You get the point. He just doesnt understand certain time signatures and also consistently improvises (poorly) certain parts of songs. Basically to sum it up, the drummer is being a douche, but his arguments are valid. The singer doesn't deserve to be treated that way, but he also doesn't know half the parts. Each one is equally wrong in the rest of the bands opinion.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Drummer is the bigger dink and the singer is harder to replace.

    No brainer.
  19. The problem goes beyond the singer not knowing his stuff and the drummer treating him like crap.

    Based on things you posted earlier, the drummer is very inconsiderate and disrespectful not only to the singer, but to other musicians when you are out in public.

    Not to make it all about money, but the singer has also invested money in helping others who either could not, or would not, improve their equipment.

    Singer sounds like he has the interest of the band at heart while the drummer seems like he only has his own interests at heart.

    My best recommendation;

    Have the whole group sit down and just lay it all out on the table. Be honest, but understanding. The truth is always bearable when told with compassion and understanding. Tell the singer he needs to up his game some, make him understand you appreciate his commitment but stress that you all would like him to work harder to learn the material. Help him if you can; singers in cover bands are often not very well trained musically (we deal with this with our singer, he's the ultimate "karaoke singer", but nevertheless a great talent). Tell the drummer that his actions and attitude are hurting the band as a whole, again explain that you guys really like his playing, and also be honest with the singer when you tell him that although he's acting like a d-bag, the drummer's points are valid. And tell the drummer to stop being a d-bag and man up and help rather than just constantly rip a bandmate apart.

    Unless you are a full-pro musical group, a certain portion of doing this is in the fun, the learning, and developing as a musician. Nobody can do that in an environment that is hostile and stressful.
  20. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    OK, fair enough. My next question is, what sort of music are you doing? Where are you playing? Is it vital to the music for the singer to come in after an odd time riff? Or can the music be accommodated a bit to help him out?

    How is the band's communication live on stage? Who gives cues? Would giving the singer a visual cue to come in at a certain point help him? Or is his internal clock just not able to comprehend it?

    If the singer doesn't know the music, that's on him. He needs to put in the time to know the songs. But it sounds like it could help things tremendously if someone were to spend some one-on-one practice time with him to help him get the timing down.

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