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Reluctant Drummer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by FriscoBassAce, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    Our classic rock cover band is at a crossroads right now. We have been doing very well getting started and putting the pieces together. We played a battle of the bands last weekend and had the best crowd response there, although the judges dinked us for not being an originals band so we only won second place. So in short, everything is going well and we know that we're as good or better than the best cover bands out there.

    Now, here's the problem.

    Our drummer has slowly over time become demanding about when we practice, about how often we practice and has generally put his foot down over issues he doesn't agree with. We want to practice on Saturday until we have all 50 tunes for our gigs down pat. When we hired him, he said he had no problems practicing twice a week, with one of the days being Sat. Now he's saying that Monday nights are no good, Friday nights are no good (because he wants to go out and have dinner with his family), and Saturday's no good unless it's in the morning, like from 9-12. He says it breaks up the time he gets to spend with his family. I don't know about you, but I'm not even awake at 9:00 am on Sat. mornings. We're all willing to sacrifice a few hours away from the family if it means we are gig-ready that much faster. Saturdays just feel better because it's the weekend and no one has to work. We used to get a lot accomplished on Saturdays.

    He's cried and moaned about this whenever we bring it up. It's gotten to the point where we can't hardly talk about a Sat. practice without him getting upset. The other four of us want to do Saturdays.

    Here's the big problem. The guy is REALLY good. We are 85% gig ready and have been working for several months to fill all the positions, pick the songs, build websites...yada, yada, yada. We don't want to start over with a new drummer. However, he's alluded to the fact that if things don't go his way, he might not be able to be a part of the band. He feels like he's compromising by giving up two Sat. mornings out of the month. We feel like he's not really compromising at all, but is instead trying to lay down a smoke-screen (he knows we won't practice on a Sat. morning).

    We don't want to pull the old "you're out-voted 4 to 1 so you lose" game, but we don't know how to resolve this problem without causing WWIII. I'm open to any suggestions. Lastly, this is not a permanent thing. We all agree that once we're gigging regularly, Sat. practices won't happen because we'll be on the stage on the weekends.

  2. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    You're gonna hafta decide if his talent makes up for his unwillingness to work.

    Personally?? I don't care if the guys Brian Tichy, or Bonzo reincarnated...if he can't stand by the deal that was originally set...find another guy who will. But...sounds like you guys are in a paying cover band and that's a little bit different I would suspect. (Read.... I'm assuming you're making money!)

    I do know that with me, there's no worse feeling musically and emotionally, to want to play/rehearse and not be able to. That just sucks.
  3. jwl


    Jan 25, 2005
    this does not include emergencies like sick children, family emergencies ect. this may be hard to take or understand, but ultimately band members are employees of the band. employees are hired to solve problems. if they create problems, they need to be replaced. period. for me the right players are professional acting people with no issues. peace, jeff
  4. Family is important, and it sounds like he has his priorities straight in that he's not putting his hobby ahead of his family...but...at the same time, it sounds like he's not being straight with you guys. He originally promised a certain amount of availability, and now he's changed it on you.

    I think you're right about the "smoke screen" of him offering Saturday morning practice. I take it you guys are all relatively young...so he knows you won't want to be up that early playing music.

    I'd also like to point out that it's going to be hard to get good paying gigs with this guy in your band if he's not willing to play on Friday or Saturdays nights. Not a lot of bars are looking for Thursday evening or Saturday morning bands, you know?

    I would sit down with this guy and explain that he's changed his availability from what he originally promised. See if he's willing to compromise at all. If not, tell him you've enjoyed playing with him but that his goals don't seem to match the band's, and you'll have to find a new drummer.