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Signs a person or band isn't for you...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by glocke1, May 22, 2018.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    Thinking of projects or people that just didn't work out for one reason or another and I've come up with some telltale signs that are indicators for things that won't work out.

    1) You ask for a list of a half dozen or so tunes to play at an audition (or a set list for a gig you are asked to sub for), and they send you a list of 100 songs which is more than likely every tune they ever played, even if they only played it once, with no explanation accompanying it with regards to what they know or want to hear you play.

    2) They find your FB page, and immediately start questioning/berating you about your political leanings.

    Number 2 happened recently...Number 1 has happened far more often than I can remember, and I've learned that if they can't give you a reasonable number of tunes to audition with, or give you a fixed set list in the event its a fill-in gig than you are more than likely wasting your time.
    MEKer, coilcbl_RT, soulman969 and 9 others like this.
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    For me, it's when,

    a) There is a group discussion and no one acknowledges your comments. You can't get a word in edgewise.
    b) You're doing all the hard work of sales, promotion, providing rehearsal space, website, and have no say in the fun aspects of the band (repertoire).
    c) You feel like dirt when you're around the people because they are insulting.
    d) You feel like you're on the back foot with the people all the time about who you are.

    I had all of those happen to me in one band, and finally left it. The band had some minor success about a year later, and then folded precisely due to the bad interpersonal skills that lead to the points above. Meanwhile, I went on to form four different bands that had me busier than they were, and it was WAY more fun. I learned to be a successful band leader, retaining all but one musician, setting repertoire (consultatively), direction of the band, establishing efficient ways of getting things done that people agreed to, etcetera.

    It's best to cut your losses and start something new than to hang on to dead band.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1) This irritates the crap out of me.... especially the "no explanation" part. Do you want ME to choose a few? Do you edpect ke to show up knowing ALL of them? What dipstick would not think a list off 100 songs needs no explanation?

    For fill in gigs, I always tell them I need a set list for THAT NIGHT. ...not every song they have ever played.

    2) I don't do social media for that very reason. We are no longer allowed to like people who don't think like us, so I don't put what I think all over the interwebs.... except here, of course. Even flats vs. rounds and how many strings did Jaco need don't blow up like the whiney babies (on all sides) who talk politics these days. It's not even worth trying to have a conversation any more. It's immediately us vs. them. "Yer wither with us er uhginn us." :rollno:
    Phud, coilcbl_RT, biguglyman and 19 others like this.
  4. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    1) bothers me if, and only if I ask for clarification and I get none. "Would you like me to pick five on my own, or would you rather choose them?" While it seems silly to have to ask this follow up question, I constantly have to remind myself that most musicians are horrible communicators.

    2) If someone were questioning me on my political leanings based on my FB posts, then I would surmise that I have used FB to project my political leanings.....and I've gotten exactly what I asked for. I've used SOCIAL media to create / foster political discourse and I've found someone willing to pick up the gauntlet that I've thrown down. This would immediately cause me to go edit my postings, focusing on kid pictures, band promotions and cat memes.

    I'm of the opinion that we've NEVER been allowed to like people that didn't think like us. Unfortunately, social media have given everyone a voice they didn't have (and bluntly, didn't need)....and they use that voice to foster the "us vs them" mentality that has existed in politics for generations.

    My wife's family are very extreme in their political leanings, and tend to use FB to project those leanings to anyone and everyone that dares friend them. I've had to take many of her family members out of my newsfeed, because I tire of their political rants and "calls to action". One family member in particular assumed that my political leanings were polar opposite of hers, and began "tagging" me in her political posts, actually daring me to debate her. When I ignored the first few, she started trying to post extremist political memes to my wall (of course I have my controls set in a way to avoid things like that.) Once that started, I unfriended her. A few weeks later, my wife was asking me why I wasn't friends with "Aunt Sally" on FB anymore. Apparently, she really likes me, and thought I unfriended her by accident.......
  5. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    if a band was questioning me about my politics, I simply would not join. period.

    that being said, FB can be a dangerous place. I started posting less and less non-band stuff there. and I started defriending douches.

    and to the guy above, even if they are family, you don't have to explain an unfriend. but you can"unfollow" so you don't see their nonsense in your newsfeed and of course, you can make sure that nothing can be added to your timeline with your consent as well. but yes, I think you might tell Aunt Sally that you simply don't want to be involved on FB in her extreme politics. Nothing to explain beyond that.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    1. They play too loud.
    2. They aren't prepared for rehearsal or gigs.
    3. They are drunk/high at gigs or rehearsals.
    4. They promise they are a "working band" but don't gig much.
    5. They are bad musicians.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I don't mind the song list. That way I can tell them what I know and what I don't know. I do not post religious or political things on my Facebook page. And I don't want to know theirs.
    rbuchholz likes this.
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I don't post about politics on FB. It's pointless to me, and irritating when others do it. Nobody is changing their political views. I believe it causes much more harm than good.

    As for signs that a band isn't good for me, I like to stay as open minded as possible. If the pay is good, I'm willing to be a lot more accepting of things. I decided several years ago also that the pay HAS to be good, or I have to be playing my own music (or a collaborative effort). I'm otherwise not playing. That makes things pretty simple.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I agree with you to a point. The thing that changed with the advent of social media is that, for the most part, nobody knew each other's political leanings..... and didn't really care.... unless the subject somehow came up in conversation. Even then, it's much harder to throw down a gauntlet in person than it is under the cover of distance and anonymity. In other words, a cyber fist fight is a lot easier than the real thing. :D

    Politics is THE reason I avoid social media. If it were all kid pics and cat memes I would be down like four flat tires. I like kids and abusing cats. So it would be a perfect match. ;)

    (Calm down. The abusing cats part is an inside joke from the other thread with the guy and the thing.... and the kicking of cats.)
  10. wont-somebody-please-think-of-the-kittens.
    catcauphonic, pwhalen, Mpike and 3 others like this.
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Uh oh. You went there. Cat kicker!!!!!
  12. For me it is religion. As soon as I start hearing discussions on this topic, I pack off. Not just from musicians, from any group of people I (used to) enjoy.
    In this regard social media actually helped me. People I play with currently know my attitude and disposition, I know theirs, so we all know to avoid the topic. Small backgrounds check and we share a non-confrontational and working experience.
    Deak likes this.
  13. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    The list is different for auditions vs already in.

    For auditions:
    Yeah the whole "how should I prepare" thing is always an indicator of a groups preparedness. I do like to see a complete set list to get a feel for the span of taste. But be specific about what I should have ready 5 songs? Specific ones? I was in one band that identified a couple of their songs that spotlighted weaknesses in auditionees. We'd send out our set list, tell them to prepare a specified couple, plus a few others of their choosing off the list. I always thought this was a good approach.

    If there are a lot of hassles just getting an audition scheduled or the contact is hard to deal with, I'm likely to pass - this is another indication of how they conduct business.

    Once in a band:
    #1 Peeve is people who don't come to rehearsal prepared. The only group I walked from was because the guitarist would constantly struggle on simple stuff that he just wouldn't burn in. We'd work it over for 30 minutes one week and the next week it was ground zero. And we just let a guitarist go in my current group, partly because of the same behavior.

    Failure to make the band any sort of priority is another issue for me. I get that there are more important things in life, but is it really so hard to block out "Xday" every week for rehearsal? I get that things pop up and we occasionally need to reschedule. Yes you're entitled to go on vacation and yes family and work things come up. But why would you sign up for a soccer team that plays every "Xday" after we've all locked it down for rehearsal.

    Uncommon goals is another thing that can be an issue. Always try to spot this before getting into a band, but everyone is on "first date" behavior for auditions and it can take some time before all the truths are exposed. "Yeah we plan to gig a couple times a month - but we didn't say what year."
  14. twinjet

    twinjet CFM-equipped Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I haven't shared a personal/political picture, post, video or otherwise in about three years on FB, so I can't attest to that anymore. I use it strictly to promote musical goings-on. No one else cares how my day goes anyway, and if they did, they'd probably ask.

    My no-no list is topped with unreliability. If I cannot count on you guys to be communicative and on time, we're done.
  15. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    If you are posting political views on FB, then you are defining yourself as “that guy” and, more importantly, are guaranteed to turn people off, regardless of what your view is. Bad idea when you are in the business of entertainment. You will reap what you sow, and for what benefit? To feel good about yourself for a few minutes when similar minded folks “like” your post? I stopped using Facebook for just this reason
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  16. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Posting politics on FB is like slapping a political/religious/social activism bumper sticker on your car. It can only serve to piss off others. Nobody is changing their mind on anything just because you throw your opinion out there.

    The other things that turn me off a band no matter how good the players are have been stated - lack of commitment, poor communication and ill-defined goals being the worst offenses.
    IamGroot, ELynx, Spidey2112 and 3 others like this.
  17. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    when this is how they communicate
    I posted that on FB yesterday and just got heart emo-gees.
  18. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I love to play. I love to work at playing. When the rehearsal room goes into "Lust For Life" mode ("Here comes Johnny Yen, again, he's got the liquor and drugs") I'm out the door. I enjoy abusing substances now and then, but rehearsal is supposed to be work, not party time. Similarly, getting high/drunk at the gig? No, thank you! I spent a year in North Carolina playing bass for a blues band. The BL used to go out in the parking lot between sets and smoke a spliff and drink a half pint of cognac, then come back in so wasted he couldn't remember lyrics. So he'd tell me to sing. And the conversation was the same every time: "Hey, look, those people out there did not pay money to hear me sing!" And he'd insist. The hilarious part was that if he saw that I was actually going over with the audience, he'd run back up to the stage and grab a mic. The audience was there to love him, not me.:roflmao:
  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I went to an audition once where, when I got there, we all waited around for a while. During that time it became obvious that the female guitarist was stoned. She was tuning up her guitar, and didn't realize the note she trying to tune the string to was an octave higher than normal. Snapped a string. OK, we have a pothead...eventually, the other guitarist (who looked kinda shaky, and was wearing long sleeves in the middle of summer) has a friend show up, when went somewhere else in the house, and when they came back, he was no longer shaky - he was VERY calm.

    After we played a while, they told me that their gigs were typically at 4 AM - an all night bar, they had the graveyard shift, and were looking for someone who could commit to playing their gigs, no matter the time or place.

    I made sure I got all my gear when I left, and didn't return their calls.
    ELynx, Ductapeman and Stumbo like this.
  20. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I was in a band where I was the extreme political opposite of two members, and the extreme religious opposite of two of them (there was an overlap). No problems. I liked them as people, and as musicians. We didn't have to agree on everything.
    We even played some songs with a religious bent to them, but they were simply great songs so I played them.

    One member took it upon himself to start booking low/non paying gigs at dive bars on Monday nights, accepting every offer to play charity events, trying to change the direction of the band, and ignoring any pushback. Also ignoring the plan we had agreed on at a meeting where we would concentrate on writing, play the higher paying/higher visibility gigs, and not gig every Monday night at a dive bar...
    It stopped being fun.
    ELynx likes this.

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