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Sometimes It's Just TIme...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JoZac21, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Last night one of my bands broke-up.

    I was the only one in the band that wasn't directly involved in the aforementioned break-up - I found out everything went down via email- but here's how I understand it all went down:

    The guitar player was proving himself to be a flake with a bad attitude to match... so it was apparent that he was going to get the boot sooner rather than later. What was unexpected, for me at least, was that our drummer decided to part ways with the group a few days ago. He is one of those cats that is in 5 or 6 bands all at once, and 2 of those bands were starting to take off, so he didn't have as much time anymore. Ultimately it was an amicable departure.

    The band leader has had this project running in some form or another for 17 years... and it was becoming apparent that it just wasn't going anywhere. Our last gig was to a dozen people - par for the course - and it was obvious that this band wasn't "going anywhere". So rather than find a new drummer and lead guitar player and start all over again again, the BL decided to just call it quits.

    Truth be told, I didn't really think that this band was going to be successful - but that wasn't the reason I stayed w. the group so long - I just liked playing with them. I liked the music (even though, apparently, not many other people did, based on audience turn-outs), I had fun playing the music (there was a lot of freedom concerning bass parts, and I was able to showboat a tiny bit - when tasteful, obviously ;)), and, most importantly, I liked the people - they are friends, especially the band leader.

    But it was just time.

    The good thing in all of this, I suppose, is that I am still in another band that is gaining some serious footing - one that has a lot of potential for success, more so than any other band I've ever been in, honestly. Our bandleader in that group (we're really more of a backing-band than a band-band) has a record deal and is really starting to make a name for himself (he just spent last week in the recording studio with a multi-platinum recording artist/producer whose name I wont drop here... but he's huge). So that's good. I'm definitely psyched to see where that all goes.

    If anything, this saves me from the uncomfortable situation of having to quit if/when the band w. potential takes off... so that's good, I suppose.

    Thanks for reading my rant.

    Anyone else ever experience something like this - when a band just fizzles - when it's time to just call it?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
  2. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    This sounds like some of the problems might have something to do with what I call "Multiple band syndrome" ;

    I still have a hard time understanding why guys get involved with multiple bands, like 4-5 bands.

    There are several posts from tbers revealing that maybe one of the bands will be active in some form or another.

    What is the reasoning behind being in multiple bands? Is it mainly younger guys that have a lot if time on their hands?

  3. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    For me, two active (i.e. gigging) bands has been the perfect number, unless, of course, one band becomes so active it takes up all of your time and energy. If you're actually trying to make some sort of a career as a musician, it's best not to put all of your eggs in one basket, IMO... but too many bands does seem to cause a lot of problems...

    Yeah, I don't know how or why someone would be in 4 or 5 bands... who has the time or energy for that? Plus you are bound to have overlapping rehearsals, or worse, even gig dates. I can't see that working for anyone really... but that's what this drummer does.

    I just feel bad for the band leader, who was the singer/songwriter/"rhythm" guitar player. This was not only his only band, but it was his baby... he started this project 17 years ago, and, at the age of, I believe, 37, has decided to pretty much give up on it, aside from recording tunes under the band name in his home.

    He's a great guy, and very talented... it just sucks to see him give up on something he's worked so hard on.
  4. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    17 years is 17 years longer than most projects last.

    Even 2 gigging bands could potentially be problematic, most gigs are on Friday or Saturday night. There's bound to be schedule conflicts.

    Now that I think about it, if a guys in 4-5 bands none of them actively gigging, there's probably no conflicts.

  5. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I haven't run into many problems with being in two bands yet... but I'm going to focus on this one band for now, since it seems to have potential.

    And, I should mention, yeah, of the 4-5 bands the drummer is in, all of them actively gig (some more than others, but he seems to gig at least twice a week)... I don't know how someone can do that - there are bound to be problems, and often. Apparently he wasn't able to juggle it well enough to not quit our band... so meh.
  6. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    The reason they join five bands is because they want to gig without having to do any of the business work. They don't want to get gigs, they don't want to follow up on leads or exert themselves that way. They just want to fill up their schedule with performances. So, they join five bands and leave it to the band leaders to slave away at the sales and marketing, creating headaches because when the band leader comes up with a gig, they have a schedule conflict.

    I have an unofficial rule that anyone who plays in my band can't be involved in more than two projects at a time, not counting Sunday church work. Any more bands than that they just waste my time getting subs for their work, and they can't make rehearsals either half the time..

    I also require each member to do sales and marketing. In fact, I'm willing to take a lesser quality musician who is a gig-getter.

    I'm on this plan now and between my two bands I've been gigging about twice a month in corporate, festival, and club venues and it's just right.
  7. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Never understood this either, was in a "Jam" Band situation with a guitar player/singer who was REALLY good, but this issue was he was in at least 2 other bands, and one of them he was more serious about. So as suspected we played a couple of sets out here and there, did some open mic nights, but it just never went anywhere. Than I get a call out of the blue, hey so and so wants us to play a full gig night with him this weeekend, and I am like, we haven't practiced even once int he last two months, our setlist is at most 15 songs we have played togheter, no thanks.
  8. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Truth. I can't see anyone being able to be in that many bands and still be able to put ample work/be dedicated to each and every one. I believe the phrase, "spreading yourself thin" applies here...

    These are some good policies... personally, I don't work well as a band leader - I've learned this the hard way several times - but I am a dedicated band member, and I can't see myself being able to do that if I'm in more than two groups...

    But ultimately, losing the drummer (and the guitar player) I don't think were really the reasons the band leader decided to call it quits...

    In the 17 years of the bands existence, there have been at least 15 musicians to come and go. I think it really was mostly that the BL was tired of not having the project go anywhere after all this time - he lost his faith in it - and, perhaps, sadly, rightfully so. I truly believe that if he felt it was really worth it, he would have just replaced them and carried on...

    For me it's scary. I've been playing music for 20 years - not a very long time, but not anything to sneeze at, I don't think. I know I'm still young, sort of, but over 80% of my life has been me trying to "make it" as a musician... seeing someone else reach their tipping point, where it's just not worth it anymore is scary to me... when does it stop being it "worth it" to myself?

    Ultimately, I feel really bad for him - he's a great guy, and very talented - and seeing someone else that I think highly of fail to whatever extent worries me.

    Does that make any sense?
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Again most gigs are on Friday or Saturday night.

    I contend you can't be in 4-5 bands that are gigging every weekend.

  10. AuntieBeeb


    Dec 12, 2010
    Ever heard the phrase, "if you throw enough mud at the wall, some will eventually stick"?

    If you're (relatively) and have the time and energy to do so, there's no harm in playing with 4 or 5 bands. The trouble comes, as I have found, when certain bands start becoming more of a hindrance than a help and you have to find a nice way to say that you haven't got time to play with them any more. (Definitely something I need to work on.)

    Of course, after a while, you become more selective and start to whittle it down to the bands that are actually worth your while - nowadays I've whittled it down to one band which is my main focus, two others I keep up for the fun of it (well, and the occasional paid gig) and two more that I just occasionally turn up and do short gigs with. (Can't remember the last time I actually rehearsed with those guys.)
  11. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    The answer to that question will be different for all if us.

    I'm 59 and still going strong as a weekend warrior.

    It will always be " worth it " for me. However, I know at some point health issues will prevent me from doing shows.

  12. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Guys do it so I guess it works for some.

    Me, I like to be branded with 1 good working band.

    I only want to hear;

    "Yeah, I've heard of him, blue he's the bass player for the Crossfire Blues band"

    Not, " yeah I know blue, he plays bass in bunch of different bands right? "

  13. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Being a musician is a large part of who I am, it's part of my identity... even if I never "make it", what ever that means, I can easily see my self playing until I'm aged and simply can't anymore...

    With this band broken up, here are my music projects:

    - The one band that really has momentum/potential (leaving to go audition some heavy cats right now - wish me luck!) At the moment most of my time/energy is focused here. The band leader already has a record deal, with a major label... touring is likely - a world tour isn't even out of the picture.

    - My noise band - it's strictly a recording project, and we have fun with it - really it's just two of my friends that come over from time to time, we drink some whiskey and record ourselves being silly, musically.

    - I've been jamming with a drummer friend occasionally (maybe once a month) messing around with the idea of combining funk and prog-rock... not a serious commitment at all, but fun.

    - My own songwriting... I've been writing an album very very very slowly... not time consuming at all.

    I'm currently training to be an EMT, so that eats up a lot of time, but my ultimate goal really is to be a touring/studio musician... we'll see how that all goes.

    A lot of people are telling me that that band breaking up is a good thing, since it frees up some time... I honestly can't say I fully disagree.
  14. I've never been able to get two to work. I don't know how anyone does four or five.
  15. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Yep. I can usually tell after a couple of months. Sometimes after only a few weeks. But the symptoms aren't always the same from band to band. I'd say in over 90% of the cases I've been through, one band member is his own worst enemy, and that's what eventually takes things down. I've been trying to develop a better sense of this so I can sniff this junk out earlier, even before the audition. And "sense" is the word, too, 'cause lots of times this stuff won't show up on a pre-audition checklist -- it's just this sort of unease you have about a person or a situation.
  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Stick with the BL; he gets gigs...17 years worth. Find out his plans and see if you can be a part of them, even if it's just keeping you in consideration of his next project somewhere down the road.

    Good luck.
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I hope the producer likes the rest of you.
  18. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I remember talking to a guy who placed an ad for a bass player.

    From a pre audition phone conversation I found that;

    They had no gigs booked and had no plans for playing out for at least 4 months.

    The band did not have the same personel that was shown on their web site. They were missing a singer and guitarist. So, it was probably a sinking ship.

    They did not own their own sound which I think is important for a cover band.

    They only wanted to gig 1-2 a month.

    I never auditioned for them.

  19. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I'd like maybe one other band that does something other than the classic rock band I'm in now. I know a fellow that has 4 or 5 trib bands and is constantly working, wouldn't mind that either.
  20. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    One of my bandmates is in two bands, and while I'm not against people with multiple projects, I have found that commitment from him tends to vary. It seems hard for people to show equal commitment to two or more bands, which is fine if one of them is a side project for everyone concerned but not good if both bands are actually serious. So, personally I'm starting to think I prefer people who can commit to one band.