When to call it quits?!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Masterbasser71, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Hey, just in general, when is it that you call it quits from your band? Let's hear some stories and also some, "if this were to happen, then I'd quit." scenarios Let's hear em!
  2. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    The very first R&B type band I joined was a dream come true. We were going to do acid jazz, funk, jazz, and soul type stuff. What Stu Zender fanatic wouldn't wanna do that? Plus, I'd just bought my first Warwick! Man, I was Stu!! :rolleyes: :bassist: It was an eight peice band, and 5 of them were in this church that was basically a cult, but they said that it had absolutlely nothing to do with the music, as long as we didn't do vulger material, it was cool. Great. So we rehearse, I wrote some tunes with the 'bone player, and got some gigs doing covers like Square Biz, High Times, Searching (Roy Ayer), and I'm floating on air. I'm the happiest bassist in the world! :hyper: Then it slowly began to happen. At first it was improvising Gospel type lyrics over our jazz covers, :eyebrow: then it was, "Hey let's do a Gospel song!" No prob. Then there were 4 Gospel songs, then the singer wanted to do a Gospel set. We non cult members (the trombonist, percussionist, & I) vetoed it. Besides, the clubs we were playing weren't gonna pay for that. Then the other shoe fell. Our next 10 - 12 gigs were at the church or church gatherings. The cherry in the pudding? The leader demanded that we hold hands in a circle and pray before each gig and rehearsal. :scowl: I took my songs and became past tense.
  3. irjason

    irjason Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I only have experience with one band. I could pretty much tell when the end was near. There wasn't as much interest in getting together to play from a few members. They always had "other plans". When we did, it would often devolve into watching TV or goofing off. I guess there was good reason for it since some members were going away to college. So I guess it just seemed kind of pointless to go on.
    It didn't help matters when I got into a car accident. Broke my left arm, leg, and hip. So I was out of the picture for a long time. I got lucky and am fine now.
    Once I healed up, we got together a few times, then some of the guys went off to college.
    So that's my band ending story...
  4. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    See my other posts on this subject.
  5. I've had band dissolve due to a number of reasons.

    I've quit a few bands. One situation was that I'm a pop/rock/punk rock kind of guy, but I took a job playing bass in a 'cookie monster vocals' metal band. The guys were great, the music was just killing me, and I did it for around 2 years, but I just couldn't keep going. The guys were totally understanding, and I kept playing until they found a steady replacement.

    Another situation was that I was in a band with a local "legend" in his own mind. He'd been in bands with guys that went on to be relatively famous, but we were a decent band that didn't draw very well. There were a bunch of things that he did that were nutty, but I forgave him for a lot of stuff. A friend's band had just gotten a new bass player and they had a show to break him in at, and asked if we would play the show. My friend in the other band asked me, as a friend, to please play a longer set because they didn't have the full set worked out with the new guy. Our singer/guitar player guy- even when knowing it would be a good thing to play a longer set, wrote out a 9 song set list, played really bored and then walked off after a couple songs. I was absolutely livid. He said he wasn't going to put out the effort if there's only 30 people in the room, and they didn't care... Screw that, those 30 people paid to see your band, you should give them their money's worth. It got to a hella big argument- he basically believed that he was OWED to be a rockstar. I quit, and told the drummer I quit, and he said "if you quit, I quit." So the singer guy was out a band. He hasn't done much of anything in the past 8 years or so...
  6. Well, at least you and the drummer made the right call and ditched him right away. You gotta play your best whether there's 30 people or 30,000.
  7. I think it's time to go when you're no longer having fun, when practice becomes a chore and not something you anticipate with at least a little eagerness.

    My first band started showing signs of dissolution a while before it actually happened. When I signed on, the drummer had "timing issues" and we finally decided to ask him to leave. We tried doing acoustic stuff while we searched for a new drummer in the meantime.

    Found a new drummer and he and I clicked immediately, but for some reason the front guy/band leader never warmed to him. For me it was like I had been blind and could suddenly see when I first started working with the new drummer. The new drummer could just do no right in the leader's eyes, even though the drummer was the best thing to happen to this band.

    All kinds of little things precipitated the falling out. The final straw was a gig for a relatively big deal music festival in our area (a big deal to us at least ;) ). It starts out bad. The leader is being a jerk to the sound guys (who are consumate professionals). Drummer and I are doing our level best to keep things moving smoothly, apologizing for the guy's attitude, etc. We get started and we sound pretty good. I start to relax and think the gig will go off well.

    We get to our last song. It's got an extended drum/bass intro and we're about 4 or 5 measures past the normal entry point for the two guitars when the leader makes a "cut" gesture. Drummer and I are wearing our "***?" looks, and the leader busts into his "rousing" rendition of Hendrix's "Hey Joe" and proceeds to wank off on the guitar for a good 10 minutes. The worst thing is he puts a vocal mic in front of the rhythm guitarist (who has been banned from singing because his voice makes dogs howl and small children cry) and encourages him to sing.

    It was horrible. Drummer and I try to be pros and go with it, but I see nothing but hate in Drummer's eyes and know this is probably the end of the band. I'm seriously worried violence is going to break out. I'm disgusted with Leader and I tell him he's a jerk and insult his lineage. I kinda position myself in case Drummer goes after him because bad blood has been brewing between 'em for a while.

    Drummer comes up to me and he's got this scary look in his eyes. "I'm done." I nod and tell him how sorry I am things worked out this way. He says "I'm done." I say "I know. I don't blame you." He says "I'm done. Are you coming with me?" I always knew you should cling to a good drummer if at all possible and I say "Of course. I'm done too." We both quit on the spot, and got another project going not long after.

    Wow, long post. Sorry. Sometimes you wind up staying in a bad situation longer than you should. Bad business.
  8. discoboo


    Dec 25, 2002
    charleston, sc
    i knew it was time to quit when i dreaded going to the gig, started showing up late, etc...it was my passive-aggressive way of telling the other guys i didn't want to be there. lesson learned...i should've quit long before i did and i no longer stay in unhealthy musical relationships.
  9. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Amen, bruddah.

    I haven't quit a band yet, but I've had two die out from underneath me.

    First non-school band I was in broke up over directions and personalities. Drummer, bassist, and I (on keys/harmonica/backup vocals at the time) wanted to start stirring in a little more jazz, funk, and blues. Leader (who owned the PA and the band's name) wanted to stay with the oldies/Top 40/lil disco/lil country/lil Elvis approach. We weren't against that, we just wanted to fold in some additional stuff (hey, they adopted disco, why not?)

    Not sure what happened but apparently there were some pretty intense words spoken by someone. The leader was very sullen the last time we practiced, and at our final gig it was like a dark cloud hanging over everything... evil looks, snapped comments, etc. As we were loading out the leader announced he wasn't going to play anymore, ever, and that the band was dead. Whoa.

    Second group I was in, everybody worked at the same place (which was how the band got started). When the company got bought out and they closed our division, finding new jobs became the top priority. All but two of the guys had to move out of state for work so that killed the band in short order.

    I'll let you know about the one I'm in now after we fold. :p

  10. I quit one band recently. I was being antagonized by the guitar player, a very pompous person. He and the drummer were as lazy as cows and would always come to practice to stoned that they couldn't even play with energy.

    We started off great--I jammed with these for almost 3 years. I bonded real well and then one day it just all fell apart and over time, it got real bad. Of course, it was my fault. But, I quit and joined a professional original rock band, despite my limited experience and talent, and I am working hard at making this work.

    These guys are cool. The only thing that is bugging me is they will make suggestions for the bass lines on their songs and it is them basically asking me to play it the exact same way their old bassist played the tunes--a guy with more than 10 years experience and a lot of skill and technique. It bugs me because I feel then I am just a session bassist, or a cover bassist for an all original band. They don't antagonize me about it though, they just make the suggestion. But they also said they liked a change in the bass line I did to one song. So, it seems to even out, I am just not sure how to handle their suggestions.

    I am not sure if I should ignore it or just try and figure it out but some of the stuff their old bassist did is just way beyond what I can do right now--for example slap and pop technique is something I have never even put much attempt at learning, mainly because I just don't dig the way it sounds. I like traditional, rock playing, without all the fancy stuff.

    But, it would be nice to learn some of this stuff and at least be able to do it. I just cannot find a good teacher around here.
  11. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    My current band is really frustrating me - We just formed this band a little over a month ago and only 3 of the 5 members give a $hit. I am on the edge of quitting if things don't pick up soon..I have already had 2 offers from other bands looking for bassists. Gotta love being in the position where you are always in demand :D
  12. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I knew the chick band was going to tank, eventually. Leader would criticize mistakes, even tiny ones...on stage, into the mic. She re-wrote other people's original songs, or added unwanted instruments in the studio, without asking. Sometimes, she rewrote songs *while* the composer was teaching the song to the band. We did a lot of soft classic rock and old pop, and that was ok, but when I would try to bring in punk or hard rock, Leader said that those genres were inappropriate for women our age, who were mothers. ***??? She felt that Blondie covers should be enough punk for me. Blondie is punk? Since when? People who could not play and could not sing were allowed to be in the band, even though fans complained, because they were Leader's best friend. A couple of the girls' husbands had a problem with us playing in Austin, and so we were only allowed to play in three little local venue. Leader had personal problems with the owners of all the other local places, and Austin was out of the question. Another person expected to make at least $300/show, just because she and her brother had a country duo in the 70's, during the oil boom, and they made more than that. Um...'scuse me, but this ain't 1978, and there ain't no oil boom no more, honey. I had gotten us lined up for an all-female showcase at Trophys, which would have been HUGE for us, but they complained because they had to go "all the way downtown for only $200", so we didn't play it. Its been a burr under my saddle for a long time, even now. I *hate* missing an opportunity because of ignorance and apathy.

    When it became a huge gossip fest, with everyone talking behind everyone else's back, and contant e-mail bitch sessions, I'd had enough. Then, one of the girls' husband died, and she quit. She was the only other rocker in the group, so I quit with her. Drummer quit, too. Lead guitar was stuck with Leader, who couldn't keep a tempo if you held a gun to her head, so she quit, also.

    We're still friends, pretty much, but we don't play as a group anymore. Lead guitar is in my current band.

  13. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    My metal band broke up in November. I couldn't afford the rehearsal space anymore, so we started clearing stuff out of the studio, hunted down a less convenient but cheaper place to rehearse, and I made arrangements to meet with the studio owner and pay our final rent.

    When I meet with the guy, he's just changed the locks on the door, while all my guitar amp and bass cabs are still inside. He wanted $1000. $1000!!!! We were leaving because I couldn't afford $200/month. Turns out our singer, who hadn't been writing lyrics for our originals, and wouldn't accept anyone else's attempts, also had been hiding the fact that he hadn't payed his portion of the rent several times in the last 2 years, and my stuff was the only thing left the owner could confiscate as insurance that he'd get his money (I don't blame the owner, BTW, and we still talk now that it's all over.)

    So I end up paying $800 I don't owe, which darn near crippled my family financially, for gear I already own. Turns out the singer had discovered his love of heroin over the summer, and had done a good job of hiding it from us. He's been my best friend for years, so this was quite a stab for me. I told him that I couldn't trust him enough to play in a band with him anymore, although I joined my drummer's band as baritone guitarist (you never let go of a good drummer--I still find time to play bass with him, too). He says he'll pay me back, but I don't expect to see it, and I don't feel like hanging around, watching him struggle with addiction, since there's nothing I can do about it. Another perfectly good (and reasonably successful) band down the tubes.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    My reasons:

    1. No gigs
    2. Tired of playing the music
    3. Schedule conflicts
    4. Other members quit and you don't feel like finding replacements
  15. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    <<<So I end up paying $800 I don't owe, which darn near crippled my family financially, for gear I already own. Turns out the singer had discovered his love of heroin over the summer, and had done a good job of hiding it from us. He's been my best friend for years, so this was quite a stab for me. I told him that I couldn't trust him enough to play in a band with him anymore, although I joined my drummer's band as baritone guitarist (you never let go of a good drummer--I still find time to play bass with him, too). He says he'll pay me back, but I don't expect to see it, and I don't feel like hanging around, watching him struggle with addiction, since there's nothing I can do about it. Another perfectly good (and reasonably successful) band down the tubes.

    That is so very sad, and wrong. But you're right...you can't help him with an addiction like that. He needs professional help. Just stinks that you had to pay all that money out.

    Cherie :-(
  16. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Prior to 1983, I played in five bands over a 12-year period... not bad for longevity. Four of those bands simply dissolved due to members going in different directions for one reason or another. However, I do recall that the separations were amicable enough... no hard feelings. In one instance, I actually left one of the bands to join another... a better band with more gigs = more $$$... :D Three of these five bands were during my life growing up and living in the Great State of Texas... the land of my birth, and a place I will always call 'home.'

    Please allow me to share with you the ending of the fifth and final band during that period. This was here in Hawaii back in 1983, and we were together for only six months! We were a 4-piece: two guitars, bass and drums. One of the gp's, Tom, at some point, took it upon himself to be the frontman, which seemed okay with the rest of us at the time, because he was handsome, he sang much better than the other gp, and Tom's chops were a little flashier, too. As far as me singing back then... fugitaboutit! :scowl:

    Our drummer... ahh, yes! The sweet and lovely, not to mention very talented, Joni. Joni was/is one of Hawaii's many 'Local Japanese' girls ('Japanese-American' might be the descriptive term you folks on the mainland would use)... she's as American as you and I... but she can trace her lineage back to the Japanese who came to Hawaii to work the pineapple and/or sugar cane fields. This is one of the great treasures of Hawaii... there are lot's of 'Jonis' running around here! ;)... Hawaii and Texas have two things in common. Both, at one point in their history, were independent, sovereign nations. Also... both states have the most beautiful women on the planet... period!

    ...anyway, I digress. Joni was a fantastic drummer. It was quite obvious she had formal training on her instrument. She had no metering problems, and she had technique aplenty... one of the best damn drummers I ever played with. Not only did she master her instrument, but the girl could sing... and she was damn good at that. Joni had it all... personality, talent, and looks! You guessed it... we covered the Go-Gos, Joan Jett, Blondie... and some other rock babes from back in the day that aren't coming to mind at the moment... so we could feature Joni's singing talent. She killed every song, and just looked so fine back there doing it!

    Enter Tom! I have a feeling the lady from Leander is seeing this coming all the way from central Texas... but here goes anyway. Tom, the gp who took the lead as our frontman, was a good-looking guy; however, it was quite obvious that Tom considered himself as the only gift to all the females on the face of the entire Earth. All women would succumb to Tom's alluring charm... just ask him! Well... 'ol Cassanova Tom figured he had to conquer our drummer, Joni, too. However, Joni would have nothing to do with this Lothario. The problem: Cassanova Tom just couldn't take the rejection coming from this woman, who proudly considered herself as the professional she certainly was. The sorry s.o.b. just wouldn't leave her alone! Hell, I tried to intervene and set him straight, but this guy was so full of himself, that nothing anyone of us could say got through to him. Our other gp was no help at all... he pretty much stayed drunk all of the time, but the boy could play, which was amazing to me. I honestly don't think he ever knew any conflict was going on between Joni and Tom.

    Poor Joni just couldn't take it anymore. She called me one night and said she was quitting. She asked me if I would go along with her, and maybe the two of us could put something together with some other players. We talked for a long time, but I told her that I was going to put rock 'n roll behind me for awhile, as I needed to make some money. I did, indeed, stop playing for 22 years, made some money... but that's another story.

    While I've never seen Joni around town again, which is quite surprising as Honolulu is not all that big of a town, 'ol Cassanova Tom is still around. He's still playing every now and then, but too much alcohol and drug abuse have certainly taken their toll on his looks. He isn't aging very well... :rollno:
  17. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Wiser words would be hard to find.

    This is always why I've left any band I have ever been in. You could apply it to anything anyone's posted, IMHO.

    'When the fun is gone, you must move on.'
  18. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Ah yes, one of the classic ways to kill a band. Rarely ever fails.
    I was in a rock band in the 80s, where the drummer and keyboard player insisted that I stand between the girl singer and the guitar player, whose relationship was rocky. Every time she would lean back to waggle a finger at him, I'd lean back to block her view. Every time she'd lean forward to catch his eye to sing a "F* you" type lyric, I'd lean forward to interrupt her message. They called me "The Great Wall". Talk about making it work any way you can!