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What do you when your band mates don't seem to trust you?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jean Rodriguez, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. The title itself is pretty self-explanatory. 5 months ago, I was called up by a bass player friend of mine asking me to play with him and his band because they were fed up with their previous guitar player and decided to fire him. Five months, 3 gigs later and I've established a nice relationship with everyone in the band and there's even talk about recording an EP and working on an idea of mine for a song. Despite all of this, I'm still not an official member of the band. I can't appear on any pictures on the band page, I haven't been given a contract to sign. Hell, I'm not even mentioned in the band's line up. This upsets me quite a bit, so I went to the bassist of the band and I brought up the issue. He says that the manager isn't convinced by me yet because of past experiences with the other two guitar players that came before me (One left abruptly and then trashed the band's name and the other stopped caring about the band altogether and that's why he was fired). I quickly guaranteed that I will remain loyal to the band because I love the music, I like playing with them and I'm not that type of person. After that, I asked the band themselves if there was something about me that they didn't like. They all agreed that my style of clothing wasn't what was being worn on the punk/hardcore scene (that was quickly fixed with a short shopping spree at the mall), the other thing that worried them were comments that I made about music being a hobby for me (I told them that I say that because music is not something that I would study as a career. But, if by some stroke of luck we become famous, then everything is alright). After that, they agreed that we were on the same page in terms of opinion. The final thing was the music that I like and how I compose. They are all big pop punk/ hardcore fans and it shows in the compositions (I'm more of an alternative guy). That showed in my compositions which led to a lot of them being turned down. Being the musician that I am, I studied the genres that they like and am adjusting my style accordingly.

    Honestly, I don't know what else to do. We have two shows coming up and I was thinking about saying that if I don't become an official member after those shows, I'm leaving. I want to be a full member of this group, not just a musician for hire. What do you guys think?
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    If they had to tell you to change the way you dress, it's not a good fit IMHO.

    Johnny Ramone scolded Marky Ramone for showing up for a flight looking like a rapper.
    His opinion was that you live the part.
    If the other guys in the band have dropped their daytime jobs to go pro, that might be how they feel about it, too.
  3. What day jobs? Cron's balls, we're all college students (Except for the bass player. He has a bachelor's degree, but not job, nonetheless) living with our parents. We are all studying something that's not music related. Yes, we all take this band seriously and are legitimately trying to make it, but it's not as if we depend solely on it. The other thing which I feel is logical is talking to the manager himself
  4. BossOnBass

    BossOnBass Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2012
    Houston, TX
    find out how long they need to formally accept you. If it drags on much past that without the acceptance then have another talk with them. Threatening to walk away will probably just raise their concerns more so try to be patient and don't lose your cool over it.

    And it's not punk rock of them to tell you what to wear....
  5. According to the bass player, there's a scene in which we have to fit into and includes the clothing. Honestly, all I've seen the other bands wear are t-shirts,flannel shirts, jeans and beanies. Not exactly something that stands out amongst most of what today's youth is wearing. Whenever he brings that up, I refer to youtube guitar weirdo, Steve Terreberry. He makes a parody video where he explains how to be "Hardcore"
    Kragnorak likes this.
  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    You're a guitarist on TB? Well....anyway, don't bother taking this too seriously. The manager sounds like his feelings were hurt and as the biz brain of the outfit he shouldn't be thinking with his heart. It's a biz, more or less from what I gather.

    It's all experience. These guys may not go any further than the next couple of gigs. Keep your options open too. You're the player!

    Agree, it's not punk to tell you what to wear.
    joenoone and Sixpack324 like this.
  7. I'm mainly a guitar player but I'm beginning to take more of an interest in the bass. I was asked to play with them as a guitar player, but the bass player and I switch instruments every few songs. I'm interested in what you said about how the manager shouldn't take this to heart. Can you elaborate more?
  8. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Claro que si! The manager should be concerned with biz end, making sure the gigs are there, lining up publicity, handling your social media, getting the band paid. You know, the sort of things that most guys in bands don't want to do (except for the front men/women). If he is a creative type and is directing the band's musical development, then that's a whole different thing.

    Sounds like this manager is reading what the band wants, or what he thinks they want. There are very few litmus tests for dedication and even fewer for talent that have been proven to be indicative of someone's life span in a band. There are so many dynamics at play when it comes to making a choice. Generally, the band begins to develop its own criteria and it is generally not "show me some hot licks" but closer to show me how well you understand our music, get into our heads, our musical space and add to the mix. Manager's aren't there. They can advise but shouldn't take the lead unless your lining up Spice Girls or other really commercial bands.

    The manager is acting like a bouncer at his favorite club. He will let you in the door but not yet for free. Keep playing, be polite and friendly. It's not the last band you will play in, I'm sure.
    LiquidMidnight and One Drop like this.
  9. DaDrew2112


    Apr 7, 2011

    Yeah well this isn't very punk rock either. The way I see it is if you want to play the game, play the darn game. No half-ass bologna. I don't know if you're a dude but committing yourself more to the punk look will help you attract more women no doubts in my mind at all. You'll look more interesting and less like a piece of toast.


    There's edge to this. It's visually interesting. If you don't feel comfortable rocking stuff like this then your heart isn't in this thing.

    Is it over the top? Yes.
    Are you trying to be normal? God I hope not.

    Take the plunge man, costume up. Life's short.
    lamarjones and grinx like this.
  10. Murdoc_420


    Jan 20, 2016
    Only reading the title my first thought is:

    Steal all their stuff when they aren't looking and disappear.
  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    You say you don't want to be a hired hand, but I gather this is an originals group of college guys, so my question is - are you even that? Are they paying you for your time? In my opinion, you need to make sure you're not falling between two stools. Either you're a member with creative input and co-ownership over the music, or you're a hired gun who gets paid but has no creative weight. My first reaction was, "Eh, no big deal, just give them time," but when I think about it, I think you do need to clarify your standing and require them to make you one or the other, or else find a different guitarist. As is, I'm getting the suspicion they're just taking advantage of you until someone else shows up.
  12. Laklandfan

    Laklandfan Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    To me, if you ever have to ask yourself "should I stay or go?". The answer is go. If it's not your livelihood, what's with all of the handwringing?
  13. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Too much drama for a punk band, if I was you i will give them two options:

    a) I am officially a member of the band with all rights.

    b) They hire me and pay for my time, including rehearsal time.

    if they dont agree to any or fail to give me another reasonable offer then separate ways we should go.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    skwee, Munjibunga, KingTaco77 and 9 others like this.
  14. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Neil Peart wasnt the first drummer for Rush. They still refer to him as the new guy. Jokingly of course but still... after that long?
  15. JLY

    JLY Supporting Member Supporting Member

    After 5 months... You are either in or out
  16. Haha I did chuckle quietly at the image of "going to a mall" to "dress more punk".

    One comment I'd make is this. If you're enjoying the band, and it sounds like they're just being cautious, and you're all at college, then just keep at it, enjoy the times, and work on earning your place in the band.

    But until that time don't do too much by way of adding to things, just do your bit. If you're giving them songs etc then you need a more secure part in things.

    I've been in my band for just shy of three months. For two weeks I've had the guitarists shortscale bass that he dropped round unexpected to let me see how one feels. I yesterday gave the drummer my old (recently replaced) Wacom drawing tablet for his artistically-inclined daughter. Drummer recently gave guitarist a DVD player and surround speakers. Without that kind of trust, I wouldn't be comfortable. It takes time, but as shown here not much of it - three months and you need to feel like brothers (or at least friends, or I would be seeking a better fit.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    All depends on which is more important to you: (a) staying in at any cost -or- (b) stop being jerked around.

    If (a) then just roll with it.

    If (b) then politely suggest that five months is long enough for an audition, and the time has come for them to make a decision.

    I personally don't think their image consciousness, them telling you to change how you dress, not really liking your alt musical interests, and their thought police behavior bodes well. From that, I get the impression you're dealing with some self-proclaimed "cool kids" who are only hanging onto you until the first "something better" comes along - and then you're out. Because the message I'm hearing is: "This guy is ok on guitar - but he's not really one of 'us'."

    If it were me, I'd already be walking. Because all I would have wanted was to become a member of a band - not join some friggin' street church. And these guys definitely seem "cult" (and more than a little naive and childish) to me.

    But that's me.

    YMMV. Luck!

    Note: I find the whole notion of claiming to be so heavily into the punk ethos - and also being a college students still living at home at the same time - rather funny. Almost the ultimate form of hypocrisy. A "real punk" weekend warrior? Can there be such a thing?

    Sorry. I was there when punk was invented. These guys are not punk. They're hipsters who are out slumming and mostly playing "dress-up" in my book. Poseur all the way.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    mj_, Tbone76, Odonian and 13 others like this.
  18. J Gold

    J Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    it sounds like they're trying to play rockstar. I think at this point unless you're Mick and Keith, you don't get to act that way.

    I've been in some bands where I enjoyed just being T.B. Player, getting my pay and being in the car 10 minutes after the last song. In other bands I like being part of a team where we all sweat it out together. It just depends on how you get along with the other people. But only age and experience will teach you that.

    Short version, they sound like douches at best, bullies at worst.
  19. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Too much drama. They will continue to attract drama with their next guitarist after you have walked away disappointed.
  20. DaDrew2112


    Apr 7, 2011
    Who the frick needs a manager these days? It's goofy as hell.

    Tell you what man, you sound smart. You really do. You sound like a good guy that any band would be lucky to have around. Personally, I agree with some of the other posters, these guys aren't musicians they're posers. Jeans, flannels and beanies? Sounds pretty safe IMO.

    Are you interested in the identity? I think that you have more leverage than you think. But worst comes to worst they fire you. I would demand to be made part of the band. In a reasonable way. It doesn't sound like you're doing a whole lot to get them to respect you. Being respected is better than being liked.

    Go demand what you want, be prepared for a no and hold your chin up no matter what happens. You're a great guy with serious value. Worst comes to worst you walk and find a better band.

    Good luck man.
    Matthew_84 and DwaynieAD like this.
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