Time to ask - how to go about quitting

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by hrodbert696, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    OK, over in gig stories I just posted my disappointment with a private party my cover band played. Now I'm thinking about leaving. Yesterday, we played the smaller stage at a county fair. We've been planning this for quite a while because it would definitely be a gig for the exposure, to show off what we could do. Instead, without going into all the details, the whole thing was sloppy, WAY too much chitchat between songs, during it the guitarist made all sorts of comments that were completely inappropriate in front of a family audience, completely forgot the intro to one tune (I had to play it to bring the song in), and dropped his backing vocals on a song where they're actually important. After about his third comment over the mic my own kids left because they didn't want to stick around for whatever would happen next. I confronted him about it afterward and his response was that I needed to relax more, this is how it is in rock and roll and I shouldn't be so "snooty."

    This at the end of gradually accumulating disappointment with the band. So I'm weighing the possibility of leaving. The question is how to go about it? In the past I've announced departures by email, but those were projects that hadn't gigged, hadn't gotten off the ground, and hadn't been together too long. This group has been together for a year and a half, has gigged and had some good times, so I think I owe them more than an email.

    The thing is, I also moved recently so it's now an hour's drive to get to practice. If things were good, I'd be willing to do it, but it's not now. It also means that I can't just stop in to talk to the others in person, and it seems excessive to haul all the way over to a scheduled rehearsal just to drop on them that I'm out. I'm thinking phone, but that's going to mean having the conversation four times over.

  2. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable

    Apr 15, 2013
    Is just sacking the guitar player an option?
  3. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Personally, I would make the trip to rehearsal, letting everyone know before hand that there was an issue you need to discuss with the band.

    Once getting everyone together, I would air my grievances to all of them as a group and in person, to be respectful of the time you've all put in together.

    More importantly, if gives you a chance to try and work it all out as a band/group of people. It seems you are upset with only the guitarist. Perhaps you are not the only one. There's a good chance that others in the band feel the same way . Without talking about it first as a group, you'll never know, never have a chance to fix it rather than just walking away as being your first step.

    The most important part of any relationship is communication. If you don't communicate, nothing gets resolved, nothing can move forward.

    Talk it out, and, for all you know, everyone else (except the Rock N Roll lifestyle gui****) might agree with you.
    And, as mentioned above, maybe it's time for the guitarist to go, not you.

    Best of luck. Let us know what happens.
  4. GlennW

    GlennW Inactive

    Sep 6, 2006
    I wouldn't deal with the time and expense of driving.

    Phone is fine, and you could make four calls in 10-15 minutes.
  5. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    I was all in with the suggestions to maybe just get rid of the gui**** , until reading your post in gig stories I remembered that there are other issues with this band beyond the guitar player.

    I would suck it up and attempt to talk to them all in person by trying to arrange a meeting, as long as they know in advance the general point of the meeting (they may decide a meeting is a waste of thier time, in which case you are off the hook, having made the offer).

    While I understand that being open and honest is probably the best way to go, I personally wouldn't go into a meeting where I intended to quit and start airing grievances. I just don't think a bass player quiting a band is going to make the other parties involved suddenly see the light. I prefer the old "it's not you, it's me" BS and you don't have to worry about burning bridges or getting bad mouthed around town.
  6. +1, phoning is fine. 2 hrs driving or 15 minutes phoning, no contest.
  7. Spiffmeister

    Spiffmeister Meister of the Spiffs

    Apr 26, 2012
    I'd also notify in advance that you're not coming to rehearse but to talk about some things, either your grievances or your departure. Maybe the reactions to that email might shed some light on your actually driving over there being worth it or not.

    But, if it's important to you that you tell them in person, then you should do it. You shouldn't put aside your values because of some gui**** messing up the band with his "rock n roll".
  8. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
    If you are planning to stick around until they find a replacement (to honour booked gigs) I'd do it face to face at the end of a rehearsal.

    If you are just stopping immediately I'd do it by phone.
  9. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    I would not be totally adverse to the phone thing either, but IMHO if you only intend to dedicate <5 minutes to each person, why not just send an email?

    If the OP is going to talk to them on the phone individually, some of the calls may be very brief, other wil surely be much longer. Unless the OP cuts the calls short unilaterally, I think you would see a substantially larger time investment than 15 minutes.
  10. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    1. Phone is perfectly fine.
    2. Keep your reason for quitting simple, unpersonal and tell everyone the exact same thing.
    3. Be very polite and respectful. Remember you may be in a band with one of these guys again in the distant future. Sometimes people change for the better. Not often, but sometimes.
  11. GlennW

    GlennW Inactive

    Sep 6, 2006
    Email is lame in this instance, imo. He's been with them a good while.

    If he calls, they have more time to find someone else.

    If he was like the BL in another thread he could multi-text them, but the OP has more class than that.
  12. I'd say email. That way the message is the same across the board. If someone cares enough, they could always call you and you have that discussion off-line.
    I'm not sure how you could go to a practice, air grievances and everyone not know where (or whom) the issue really lies. The guitarist could get his back up and the whole thing could get way uglier. If the guitarist had his full wits about him for the outdoor gig (eg. he wasn't drinking), these lapses in memory and arrogance in front of a family audience just makes him sound like a jerk. Time to bolt!
    Good luck in your choice.
  13. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    Agreed. My point is, if sending an email is lame, so is doing it by phone but only spending 5 minutes or less with each person he talks to.

    If he does it by phone, he might well end up spending over an hour in total time. At which point, at least in my mind,you might as well go whole hog and spend the time to do it in person.
  14. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    Time to ask - how to go about quitting

    You Just slip out the back, Jack
    Make a new plan, Stan
    You don't need to be coy, Roy
    Just listen to me
    Hop on the bus, Gus
    You don't need to discuss much
    Just drop off the key, Lee
    And get yourself free
  15. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    IMO, if you are flat out planning on quitting, phone is fine.


    If you want to talk and maybe work things out, I think 4 phone calls, without having the others present to include their input, just creates more confusion and repetition. If everyone is in the room, it can be said once, and you can all figure it out as a group.
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I had weighed that possibility, but decided against it, or at least against suggesting it. Yes, the problems are with him and not the others, but the thing is that he's the one who put the band together in the first place; it started with him and the singer at open mics together, the drummer is his son, and he brought the rhythm guitarist in after she subbed in another band he's in. I'm the only one in the group who is there because I answered a CL ad and auditioned.

    So it may be the case that the others are feeling the same way, but I don't think I'm in a position to say we need to kick him out. Even if somebody else replies that they think he should go, then it's a prospect of starting over with a major piece missing (problems aside, he's a heck of a player once he gets going), and driving an hour to practice to reinvent the band. Not sure that's a scenario I would prefer over just leaving and finding a new group closer by (I moved to a more populated part of the state that's relatively thick with bands and venues).
  17. Hmm, bummer.

    Call everyone (all 4) in the band on the phone (no email/texting) and tell them that you&#8217;re leaving the band on such and such date - and be fair in giving them enough advance notice, in other words - DON&#8217;T BURN THEM!!!
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I agree. I'm thinking of calling the singer first to tell her how I'm feeling about it. If she wants to have a band meeting to talk it over or can give me good reasons for staying, I'll go with that. If she agrees with my decision, though, I'd go on to call the others.

    There are no future gigs booked right now, btw, so it wouldn't be leaving anyone high and dry.
  19. noiseguy


    Apr 1, 2013

    When going, it is best to go.

    Don't let yourself be drug back into the band.
  20. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    I would suggest in person. Address issues not attack people. If you quit give them ample time to find a replacement - honor gigs for the next 30 days. I see you have no gigs on the book - if you did however... You will most like come in contact with your current band mates at some point in the future. If you leave, leave under the best possible circumstances.