Stepping down as a member, moving into a management role - and finding my replacement

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Porksicle, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. Porksicle


    May 16, 2008
    Taylor, MI
    (Kind of a story post, so thanks in advance for listening!)

    I've recently run into a "perfect storm" of circumstances that have led to a decision to step down as the bass player in my band, and move into a management-type role.

    First, the good news - our band has busted ass the last year and, through hard work and a little luck, we've found ourselves in a very good position. Our 3-song demo was co-produced by a top-notch engineer, and coupled with the success we've had performing live, led us into a partnership with an incredible fledgling management firm. Those folks were fans first, and have worked around the clock to open up some really incredible opportunities for us, including planning a full length release, prime slots at various festivals and strong support slots for some heavy-hitting major acts, as well as touring opportunities with a few bands that have very good national exposure. It's got everyone completely geared down and ready to go, chomping at the bit to take things to the next level.

    Unfortunately, I've run into some sudden health problems lately that have been having an adverse affect not only on my playing, but my lifestyle as well. And while all the reports are that it's not a condition that continually deteriorates, it's also not something that they know how to fix, either. The prognosis is basically just to learn to live with it, and find adjustments in your life for the things you are unable to do.

    For me, the biggest issue is simply exhaustion. Everything takes about 4-times the effort as it did before. I just can't handle 45-60 minutes of going apepoopie on stage anymore. Every show I play leaves me feeling like complete **** the next day. Even our usual 4-hour rehearsals twice a week leave me drained the next day. It's taken it's toll on my ability to perform at my day job, and I often find myself having to nap and rest in the afternoon, trying to split my "feel good" time between my family resposibility and keeping my chops and playing up. While the rest of my bandmates are working harder and harder to hone their skills and improve, I'm struggling just to keep up anymore. And the medical attention that I've needed the past few months have eaten up the day-job vacation time and most of the savings that I planned to use when the "next level" came into play with the band.

    So I've decided to step down. First and foremost, I need to be able to support my family and be there as a husband and dad. But I also realize that, in order for this band to progress to the level that we've worked so hard to collectively achieve, I have to put whatever selfish feelings I have aside and make the move that's best for everyone. Being a heavy original metal band, the time is coming for that inevitable "sleeping bag in the back of a van" stage, and I know that I can't physically or mentally handle that now. Moreso, I know that it's something that they have to do, and I won't be the obstacle in the path to progress.

    Fortunately for me, both the band and the management company have asked me to stay on-board and remain a member of the family in whatever role I feel comfortable with. So I'm going to work with both in the day-to-day business operations, including accounting, handling merch, performance schedules, equipment upkeep and repair, and all the odds and ends that tie the whole effort together. And of course, my first task is to help find my replacement.

    I'm not sure exactly what I'm feeling right now about the whole situation - giving up your spot for the greater good is very difficult - but I know that it's the right move, and I am very grateful that I've been given the opportunity to remain part of the growth and success of our band. It's been a very humbling experience, but I realize now that the brotherhood I have with my bandmates, and our trust and belief in each other have been the driving factor all along. Playing bass, collaborating and writing and performing - sure, I'll miss it and still hunger for it, but the success of what we've built and helping to see it through as far as it can go means so much more to me.

    To close, I just want to remind everyone that, when you're out there playing for folks and doing your thing, be aware of the gifts you've been given - not just your talent and personal accomplishments, but also the friendships and relationships you've built with your bandmates, fans, partners, and everyone around you. Work hard, play hard, and soak it all in. Keep your extra-curricular activites and partying in moderation, and never lose sight of the greater goal. It truely can be swept away in a heartbeat, and sometimes there's nothing you can do except be strong, be honest with yourself, and try and make the right decisions for the benefit of everyone.

    Thanks for listening!

    (and if any of you folks knows a strong, solid young metal bass player looking for a dynamite opportunity to "live the dream" in the Detroit area, shoot me a PM - all the groundwork for a great success story has been laid for the right person!)
  2. mdiddium


    Jun 21, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks for sharing your story, man. You seem to really have a good grasp on where you are and what you need to do. I'm sure your bandmates are very grateful to have such a level-headed person. Take care of yourself and good luck with everything.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    You might get a second and third opinion on your health matters. Maybe go to a teaching hospital and find out if there's anything new that might help you. Also, check out forums for your condition and sites like WebMD.

    Based on my experience with various family members, there may be help available for you somewhere on the planet.

    Good luck.
  4. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    +1. Kudos to you and your responsible decisions. You've got a good head on your shoulders.