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Strange expectations from bandmates

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MooseLumps, May 9, 2010.


  1. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Portland
    I'm pretty much just blowing off some steam here, but fee free to join in, perhaps I can learn something.

    So I've spent the last moth setting up, booking and promoting a showcase gig for my band and others who are good friends. things are going pretty good considering we have four bands on the bill and piles could be going wrong (ie, no cancellations, no hurt feelings, not drama, ect) except for yesterday at practice.

    I show up to the practice space, get all loaded up and ready to go, and we play a few tunes and write out the setlist. All is well and good until I bring up the last gig we did, where my drummer and guitarist packed up and hauled out their gear during the other band's set. It would not have been a big deal, but there is no backstage at this venue. They loaded everything off to the sides, packed it up,and hauled it out the back door, right by the stage. AS THE OTHER BAND WAS IN MID-SET!!! I don't know about you , but if someone did that to me, I'd be unwilling to play with them in the future. For the record, it was just so that they could go home. There were no pressing needs or anything that I've heard, Just that these guys had played and wanted to leave.

    We are a new band, and we asked the artists setting up the last show if we could play with them as a favor. This time, I don't want this sort of thing going on. I told the guys that they are welcome to load out during the break, but not during the set. AND THIS PISSED OFF MY GUITARIST!!!

    My guitar player has no desire to market the band, it turns out, and was even resentful that I expected him to wait till the end of the show to load out (I said ideally). "Why should I have to be there for 4 hours? I want to go to bed!" Is what he says.

    If you aren't willing to spend the time at the venue, what makes you think that our fans will be? I just feel that this guy wants his cake and wants to eat it too. He does not seem to think that we have to work to make this happen. He keeps telling me to get a recurring booking somewhere, but I can't convince him that we need fans to do so.

    Before our first gig together, I wanted to play for a few musician friends to get some feedback on our stuff before we make arses of ourselves in front of strangers.

    Excerpt:
    "I just want to have some dude's over, play our set and see if they have any good critiques for us."

    "Why?"

    "Cause it's our first show out and I'd like to iron out any bad habits or bad sound before the gig."

    "Well, I hear ya, but we sound fine. We don't need to."

    "To be honest, you cant be objective while you're playing"

    "No, i listen while we are playing, and my wife listens too" (Through the floor, with the t.v. on, watching the kids)

    "Look, I just want some qualified ears to check us out, give us some feedback. At worst, we get to hang out with our friends and drink beer."

    "Dude, we will get plenty of feedback at the show."

    ...

    Also, at the last show he brought his infant children. It was a family friendly affair, but he let them run wild in the audience and then lifted one up to sing into the mic on stage as people were taking their seats. it would have been cute if the kid had not have been shrieking "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" at full boar. It hurt. More than a few hands leaped to cover ears.

    And get this. I suggest that we get together the day of the gig to practice once before we go on stage and get filmed playing. He kiboshes the idea, saying "It's bad luck to practice the day of the gig". Of course, we re-wrote some harmonies at the last practice (I'm singing those) and it will be the last practice until the show. I guess we will both just have to have perfect pitch that night...

    GAH!!!

    I'm not ready to bail on him yet. It's a solid project and there's real chemistry between all the players, but this sort of thing is really irksome. I don't see how he can be so unreasonable about some of these simple things. When I do a show, I do the whole show. I stay late and sell merch and help tear down the stage (where applicable). This guy just wants to be a rockstar. I've had to draw harder and harder lines for him recently, and it's getting old. Like I said, I want to ride it out if it's a rough patch, because it's really not as bad as I make it sound all the time. But when he is (By my judgement) Flat out unreasonable, It gets under my skin.

    Am I being unreasonable?
     
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I think it was unreasonable for you to expect him to stay at a gig that he had already finished. Yeah, it`s kinda trashy to load up during another bands set and not have the courtesy to at least wait till a break, but I can`t blame him either. You guys aren`t "pros" so don`t think you have to act like them either.

    For the record I think you`re right to try and act as professional as possible in any given scene, but you can`t control how other people feel or want to act. Unfortunately you have to take stuff like that in stride.

    Now wanting feedback from outside sources I can go either way on. Personally, I HATE playing for other people when my band is rehearsing. It typically becomes a showoff contest between everyone and we end up sounding like crap. That said, I personally always ask people at shows who are fellow musicians about their thoughts on our set. What worked, what didn`t, who sounded the strongest, who sounded the weakest, etc... because honestly it doesn`t matter how good you sound at rehearsal. What matters is how good you sound at gigs.

    Now him not wanting to practice before a gig seems lame. I`ll give you that one. Anyways, my advice is to just relax a little and have fun with it as much as possible. I`m honestly like you and expect everyone to do what`s needed of them to make us sound and act as professional as possible, but it`s realistically unfeasible in 99% of cases. Just try to loosen up a bit. Take it from someone who`s had to deal with similar BS, just let it go.
     
  3. 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
    Maybe right when you're getting your gear off the stage, you carry it an extra 20 feet, so when you start loading out, it's not as obtrusive while the other band is playing. My band almost never plays gigs with other bands but, when we do, I don't expect them to hang around if they opened for us, and I don't necessarily hang around to hear other bands, unless I like their sound. There's no way I'm going to hang and listen to a sucky band or one who plays metal or something, just to be polite.
     
  4. I feel you. I thinks it's kind of f'd up to load out obtrusively in the middle of another band's set on a night that you set up ie on a night where everyone ostensibly are friends. If it was a night where a booker just threw together a hodge podge mix of bands with no connection to another either though friendship or similarity of genre, bailing midset really isn't such a big deal. But for the booker setting up the show you never would've played together and probably never will again...not such a big deal. Different scenario though when you set it up esp with bands who regardless of whether they suck or not have more of a name/more gigs under their belt than you.

    Your guitarist needs to recognize that if you guys are any good you'll get your due/your props later on. Till then a reasonable amount of humility is the order of the day.
     
  5. Yes, it's obtrusive; But that's something everyone should've planned beforehand.

    But it's not a huge deal this time around because you learn as you go. Just keep it on the table and don't take it too seriously. The less drama the better.
     
  6. EddiePlaysBass

    EddiePlaysBass

    Feb 26, 2009
    Belgium
    I'm in a band where everyone else seems to want less than I do. Except when it comes to gig pay: they expect me to book well-paid gigs despite us not having played out often enough to get a following, nor have sufficient material play multiple sets (and we're a cover band ...). And you know what ? I figured that, since this is supposed to be a hobby and not much else, I should treat it as one. I'm focussing more on the fun of performing, than on the stress of performing as a pro. Because in stressing, I had no fun and sounded anything but my best.

    I get where you are coming from and that you want the band to sound their best and be professional. But I think you are approaching it from the wrong angle. The idea of playing in front of musicians is already an indication: most likely your target audience will not consist of musicians. So why bother playing in front of musicians first ? They'll give technical feedback on your playing. Your average Joe won't give a rat's ass about that, as long as he had fun watching and hearing your band play.
     
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Whenever I played where there was another one or two bands in the show, no one ever mentioned anything about "why didn't the other band stick around?".

    IMO, even if they were friends, it's not expected. It's cool if they do but not required. We were concentrating on our own show and the other bands were never a concern. Some of our guys did hang out but IME, it never really got us more gigs or anything like that.

    Not withstanding the above, since there's only one door and it's next to the stage, I think loading out during the first break would be reasonable.

    I think recording your rehearsals would be more productive. You could have your friends listen to the recordings. And so could you and your bandmates.

    Amateur night. Apparently his family is his priority.
    Day of the gig is the wrong time to be video taping your band and reviewing the tape.

    Also, if you had wanted to rehearse the harmonies again, it should have been arranged at the last rehearsal, not trying to force it the day of the gig.

    This guy has a family and many demands on his time. Each time you bring something up that's unplanned, that cuts into his family time. That's also why he wants to leave the gig asap.

    Apparently you don't have someone waiting for you at home or other responsibilities.

    Seems like you need a band meeting to talk this out and figure out what page everyone is on. If his goals are different than yours, then you're probably coming off and irritating to him.

    You have certain ideas that you bring up at the last minute and various expectations and requests that may be coming off as demands. Maybe that's why he was pissed off at you. You seem to coming off different than you think you are. Since he's "unreasonable" to you, that means that you are the reasonable one. Maybe yes and maybe not. If you have an idea, whatever happened to "voting" on it by the whole band. Or are you the founder/leader and speaking as such? Sounds like the band is out voting you if they're reacting negatively towards your ideas.

    You have to ask yourself "how's that working for me?" Doesn't seem to be getting you where you want to go. Maybe it's time to take a look at yourself, your requests/demands and your vocal tone. Maybe you're the one that's unreasonable in this situation? How about having a band meeting once a week or however often it's needed to discuss and resolve problems. If you're out voted, then what? Possibly come up with Plan A and some alternatives instead of attempting to force just Plan A on the band.

    You might want to take a look at the following TB thread and see if anything applies to your situation:http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=429034

    Improving your communication, negotiating and leadership skills might be something you could look into and learn to apply them with your bandmates, now and in the future. There's no downside to more knowledge.

    Good luck.
     
  8. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    I refuse any practice a day or two before a gig ... that is, if we have practiced before (ie, not a fill-in gig). If it isn't together on Thursday, it won't be on Saturday, either. Rehearsals are always closed ... no family, no friends, and most of all, no significant others. They are simply distractions, and their criticisms are neither useful nor objective.
     
  9. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    There are some of us who get it, and others that don't. You get it. He doesn't. I've given up on trying to enlighten the dim. As long as you hold yourself up to your standards people will recognize it and will respect you for it. And maybe they will catch on sooner then later. Best of Luck.

    Unless you can afford and are skilled enough to have your own proper band, you must roll with the punches. My gui****s stand next to the stage with there guitars on playing as the band before us performs. Once they plugged in backstage and jammed as the other band was on. Why? because they are Guitarted!!
     
  10. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    London
    There are some of us who get it, and others that don't. You get it. He doesn't. I've given up on trying to enlighten the dim. As long as you hold yourself up to your standards people will recognize it and will respect you for it. And maybe they will catch on sooner then later. Best of Luck.
    +1000000
     
  11. The loading out while another band is onstage is b.s. We all learned the Golden Rule by the time were 5, right? That being said, did the second band leap up onto the stage just as the last notes of the last song you were playing were finished? There should have been 5 or 10 minutes (at least) to get your stuff off the stage. With a concerted effort by everyone, that should be enough to get all your stuff at least off to the side and away from the stage. It seems like we usually have about 20 minutes while someones Ipod is playing filler music.

    Practicing the day of the gig? We do it almost all the time and with the exception of the last show, it's been helpful. You can iron out a couple of little things, i.e., solidify an ending to a song, work out a small timing kink, and make some final decisions about sound or whatever that have been lingering. However, it's certainly not the time to begin throwing in stuff like "I want the guitar players to harmonize on X part while you play X riff from a different song". :rolleyes: In short, it's not the time to be making major changes, just little things; so that even if they do go wrong it won't be that big of a deal.
     
  12. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Perhaps my old band was an exception to the rule, but we worked as a team, both on and off the stage. That meant we unloaded and loded the trailer, TOGETHER, not this "My stuff is loaded so I'm gonna stand around" crap. We also rode to most every show together, and even hung out at the merch table most of the time together. Because we went to shows in one vehicle, no one left early, especially bacause they "wanted to go to bed". If they aren't motivated enough to stick around even a few minutes after they play, they aren't worth having in a band, IMO. It could become a real hassle for out of town shows.

    Don't even get me started on striking the stage while another band is playing.... completely unacceptable! If you can't get your gear off stage during the break, it stays put until the next band is finished. To me, that is a slap in the face to the other band. I don't care if the band is horrible, you just don't do crap like that. The exception would be some sort of emergency, but in that instance, someone else in the band could grab the gear and transport it for the person.

    Honestly, I've heard of guys who want to play rockstar, but not put in the work. I read somewhere, and it's the awful truth, that musicians get paid to travel, set up and tear down... the actual performance is just icing on the cake. if he's not willing to put forth any effort, he either doesn't believe in the project, or has different priorities than everyone else. Either case is bad, IMO. Sounds like you need another guitar player.
     
  13. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Why would they just load their stuff to the side of the stage? Sounds rather lazy to me.

    In my band, we always unloaded all of our stuff out of the venue.
     
  14. I don't get this mentality. Some of us have other responsibilities that mean we need to get to bed or otherwise leave after playing. I have to be at work 5 am most days after a gig. we're done at midnight or later, I am loaded and out of there before ther drummer even has his set broken down. I'd call that motivated, wouldn't you?? On the rare occasion I don't have to work, I stick around, talk to the crowd, have a drink or two with the guys...etc.

    At any rate, it sounds like the OP has some unrealistic expectations. Only a couple of things mentioned are red flags....i.e. bringing his kid up to sing into the mic. Make sure that doesn't happen again. If he plays well, has good tone, and has his crap together, gets along with everyone I think he's fine. Sounds like a band meeting to iron out some of the less than professional behaviors is warranted.
     
  15. slaps76

    slaps76

    Jul 10, 2008
    Medford, MA
    Guess I'd have to see the stage and where the gear was to determine whether getting your gear out during their set was "obstrusive," but I've played plenty of multi-band nights, and never thought twice about leaving while another band was playing, nor did I care if other bands stuck around for mine.
     

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