Should I throw in the towel at this point?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SlapPopBass, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. So for the past few days I have been having issues with a newly formed college band of mine. More specifically, this "band" is part of my college's "Band Club", and as a requirement to help promote and advertise the club, some select members were chosen to form a band, and perform a song or two to the student body. Prior to this, I have never been in a proper band before, so I myself am not too sure about how one should react in this situation.

    So far the main issues I have been having is with the drummer of the band. He is also the "president" of the Band Club, though I won't be the first to say his time management skills, planning and organization skills are bollocks. So,the drummer is a self proclaimed metal head/rocker. His taste in music therefore reside in that region mostly. He's a huge fan of all the double bass pedal super fast drumming style of guys like Mike Portnoy. Here's the problem, what the drummer WANTS to play ONLY resides in that region, in his specific taste in music. Anything else, he deems "too simple and boring as ****" or "pop mainstream trash". He also seemingly never takes suggestions or follow advice from others when it comes to drums, such as when the guy whose studio we were renting out suggested incorporating a hi hat fill at the end of a bar, to which later on he deemed "sounds weird, **** it*

    Another problem is this guy is bossy and stubborn. Despite the fact that he is the self proclaimed "band leader" because he's had "experience" forming a band(which I've heard died and failed spectacularly), this guy behaves and acts like he knows everything there is to know about music. He constantly tells the guitarist what to do with his instrument, "dude turn up the treble" "dude play <disco song> with overdrive, it'll be fine" "dude those knobs on your guitar are pointless just use your amp". He bosses the vocalist around on what to do, and he's constantly asking me to "turn down the ****king volume on your bass" to the point where I can't even hear my own bass amp that is 1 feet away from me once we he starts bashing his drums. To add to that, he constantly asks both me and the guitarist to "shut up and don't play" because he's "resting" and wants "quiet", even when we are both unplugged, and playing nothing more than scales.

    Song choices are also another nightmare. We can never agree to a song, namely because all the song he suggests are impossible to do, and any others doesn't suit us because "it'll sound like sh*t".

    I haven't said much to this guy yet; so far I've just been showing up to gigs, playing my parts and keeping mum. I'm in a good mind to tell him off, but have yet to, instead I plan to just wait it out and see how it rolls. Am I just wasting my time here, or should I just go back to woodshedding and wait for some other opportunities in the next few years? Or do I stick around for the experience?
  2. Bluzeman90


    Jan 24, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If you like the singer and guitar player, find a drummer who is more open minded and start your own group. Easier to find one person than two or three.

    Anybody that is that controlling isn't a musician in my opinion, a musician should work toward the whole project, not just personal satisfaction
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Life is way to short to spend your "free" time doing things that you do not enjoy... Take that as you will... I know what I would do in this situation :D

  4. doom_house


    Mar 27, 2014
    That's tough man. If it gets to the point where you're not having fun playing bass in the band, I suggest finding/forming a different band where you will. I hope things work out!
  5. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Get away from this guy. I'd tell him why. He thinks he's the sh&$ but this is all he'll ever be. Don't give up on music tho. Find like minded guys. You'll always have small little taste issues with people, this sounds major. Be happy, don't follow this guy, play what you want.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You haven't left yet? I don't mind a bandleader but he shouldn't have his head up his ass ;)
  7. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Tell him that while he may love to play (insert djent/speed/death/power metal band here) the average chick walking through the commons might like the foo fighters a bit more. Then have a coup and find a new drummer/"band leader".
  8. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    Sure ... Fly like an eagle :)
  9. Walk away.

    The good thing is you have connections to other musicians to form a new band. All you really need to do is find a new drummer.

    Basically he just wants to show off his "skills" and have a backing band to prove it. The only people that might care are other drummers, and perhaps audience members that notice the drummer can't keep tempo
  10. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Dump the drummer. Sounds like the rest of the band is pretty good.

    If there's anyway the rest of the band can stay together, without the drummer, I'd do that. He's a drummer, for God's sake. Trust me, he's expendable.
  11. Yeah bummer - unfortunately there are a lot of bossy know-it-all boneheads in the world. Just be thankful he's not your daytime boss and use this time to learn to cope with it, because it may not be the last time you'll encounter it.

    Stay put - and ride it out "until" you can replace it with something better... then drop it like a hot potato. Oh, and start looking for something better now.
  12. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY

    No point in telling him off, IMO. You might think now that it will make you feel better, but it probably won't and it almost certainly will not change his behavior.

    Being in bands is hard work sometimes. Finding people who have similar musical interests, similar skill levels and compatible personalities is a tall order. It sounds like the rest of your band is just fine. Seek out another drummer and forge ahead. Life is too short to play with people you don't like. Unless there's a ton of money at stake, it's supposed to be fun. People lose sight of that way too easily.
  13. WashburnAB95


    Nov 18, 2013
    If you can politely explain your issues with him go for it... but don't tell him off.

    Myself... I would have probably quit after 1st or 2nd practice.
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I would have already told him that metal drummers are over rated and are hamstringed without a double kick pedal. Also if a loud drummer ever told me to turn down or how to EQ like he did the guitar player I would laugh in his face. Dude sounds like a joke, either quit now, or convince the rest of the band to fire his ass.
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    If he wants to tell the singer how to sing or the drummer how to play guitar, the answer is simple - allow him to demonstrate for them. If he doesn't know how to sing better than the singer or how to play guitar better than the guitarist, he can sit down and play his drums and keep his fat mouth shut.

    Probably won't do any good. I would walk. Or rather, form a new band with the people who know what they're doing.
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I see no point in not telling him off, he doesn't give any respect and doesn't deserve any in return. When/if you do tell him how you feel, I bet your band mates will have your back.
  17. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Drummer dude sounds like a real douche. Leave this band, and take whomever you can with you. Don't even feel bad about it.
  18. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    definitely leave, form a new and better band, and then "put it in his face" by getting gigs, and a following. No need to actually say anything as you go, other than "good luck in getting a gig" to him.

    by being in this situation, you have already learned a huge lesson: how NOT to run/be in/organize a band. It is not hard to find drummers usually.
  19. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Doesn't the college club have a staff or faculty advisor? I am a staff advisor for a club on the college campus where I work. Talk to this advisor and let this person know that this club is dysfunctional and why. Be polite to everyone. Record the rehearsals. Do you best to play your part. Even in this "less-than-desirable" situation you can learn and gain experience. If this is the only musical avenue you have then you may just have to stick it out until something better comes along.

    Find a way to point your amp back at yourself, away from the drummer. That way you can hear yourself better and the drummer won't have to hear you.

    You can certainly be learning on your own away from this "club". Play along to the recordings you like and steal all the licks off the record. Take lessons on your own to learn how to read real music and become a real musician. You will be much more valuable and employ-able once you are out on your own. Use this time to hone your skills.

    I wish you all the best.

    Thank you for your indulgence,