Singer's off the deep end?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jammadave, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Hi guys.

    So, I've been in this band about a year now. Here is the backstory as quick as possible, names have been abbreviated:

    - Original band formation was simply LL and DZ: LL on vocals, DZ on guitars, about 3 years ago.
    - Added RF on drums (whenever) to make it a "band". DZ and a couple random other dudes played bass on demo recordings.
    - Eventually added JR on guitar; DZ switched to bass until...
    - *I* came along and joined on bass, like I said about a year ago. JR and DZ now on guitars, band becomes a five-piece.

    This past summer, DZ moves a thousand miles away. Now we're a 4 piece.

    We record an entire album as a 4-piece, which is currently in post-production.


    LL (singer) then just decides we *have to* have a 2nd guitar again. I personally think we sounded great as a 4-piece because everyone could be heard, with 2 guitars everything was always muddy. JR on current guitar is kind of apathetic because this fall he's moving away himself and we'd eventually need to replace him anyway, but he at least agrees we sound fine.

    - I bring this up to LL: I am told, verbatim, "suggestion noted, and ignored." That stings.

    - Not only that, but LL just flat out hires the 2nd guy to audition, after (rather, AT) his 2nd audition. I think the guy's alright and he knows how to play, but I don't think he writes/plays in really our style. Doesn't matter, not up for debate. I could have hated his guts cause he banged my girlfriend in high school, I get the sense it wouldn't have mattered.

    So, this is the first time that our singer has done anything like that, he's usually very democratic and "what do you guys think would work here?". But between this thing, and one detail on one of the songs we recorded in the studio (that I think sounds so bad I don't want my name associated with it) that we've argued about, this is a side I never thought I'd see. I added the backstory above to illustrate that LL is the only "founding member" still in the band, really, and thus I admit he has a right to flex his own creative direction ideas *a little bit*...

    I guess I'm curious as to what to say to somebody who's doing that. I stuck with this band after easily a dozen other disappointments because I liked the guys and the energy - the music isn't groundbreaking but it's fun and rocks a fair bit. I have tried diplomacy, I have tried vehemence. I don't want to lose a friend (LL and I knew each other many moons ago through mutual friends but hadnt worked together) but I dont want to end up in a band that departs heavily from what I've put into it, just on someone else's whim.

    Any idears?
  2. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    If someone ever said, "Suggestion noted, and ignored" to me, my response would have been "Attitude noted, face punched."

    Sounds like your singer needs to be taken down a step, or two.
  3. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Man, I know. Thing was, that I didn't react that way because, for what it's worth, it didn't appear malicious, he was very smiley and laughy about it - I don't think he realized it would cut somebody to hear that. He's never EVER gone prima donna on us before, I have no idea what's gotten into him now.
  4. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I say that you have Gard sit on your lead singer until he gets his head screwed on straight.
  5. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Time to sit him down and assess....

    Ask him: Does she/he value your opinions?
    Ask yourself: Do you need to be in this band?

    In other words, do you wish to be in a place where you aren't wanted and/or your opinions matter.

    Something to think about,

  6. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Nip it in the bud, make sure you have input now or you will just be going along for the ride. Do not wait..the time is now or it will only get worse. Who elected LL the "bandleader" anyway? How does your bandmates feel about it?
  7. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    It's rough. When the original members leave and "new" members come in to replace them, how much say do they new guys get versus the old guys?

    I always try to roll with my band members, even if I write all the music, and I've been the only consistent piece of the puzzle. Of course, when it comes down to it, I still make sure that I'm happy with the final project. My drummer is so deferential, it's almost silly. And my bassist and I usually jive really well musically, so it's not usually an issue. But yeah, if somebody HAS to have their way, it's usually me.

    So what can do you as one of the "new guys" that's been there for a year? I suspect that your singer is slipping into the attitude that it's less of a "band" and more of a featured singer and a backup band. It's pretty common when personnel changes a lot (and it sounds like yours has).

    I think you need to first decide what role you are willing to take. Do you want to be a partner or an employee? Then, if a confrontation is inevitable, rally your band of "new guys" behind you. Whatever is important is worth fighting for.
  8. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Well, he's the singer and the sole founding member (unless you count the drummer, who is the first drummer they had but wasn't there at inception), so I guess he defaults to "leader".

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that he claims it's a business decision - *he* thinks we sound better as a 5-piece and thus is acting "in the best interest of the business". Note: in TOTAL, of some half-dozen gigs in 2005, we made a collective $300, as a whole band. I thought as a 5 piece we sounded like crap due to the 2 guitars squishing each other (I hate 2-guitar bands for that reason), although the GUYS we had in that 5 piece got along well and played together well, which was cool by me. If the 5th guy was our old rhythm guitarist I'd probably welcome it. Maybe it's pissing me off so bad because he's throwing the importance of the "everybody gets along really well" bit out the window.

    My bandmates don't seem to feel strongly one way or the other - the guitarist is leaving in 6 months anyway, and the drummer, if it doesn't pertain directly to him or his drumming he is 100% apathetic.

    I totally understand the importance of having your opinions valued, and in every other scenario I feel I am (hell, he says he needs me in studio even when I'm not tracking, because i'm the only one who knows what the hell the engineer is doing or talking about.)

    I'm going to wait until this album is finished, and see if this new feeling is still there. Thanks for telling me exactly what I expected you'd tell me =0) Sometimes just need to bounce it off others.