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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SmokinJoe992, May 21, 2019.
You seem to be comfortable with this group of guys and comfort counts for a lot in the greater scheme of life. Yes, I know, you want to progress and that is completely understandable.
You have stated that several of the band members you are currently with are playing in 3-4 bands. How about yourself. Would the world fall apart if you started up a band that is more to your liking? If you threw your present band mates under the bus (what you have essentially described) and got all new members it is what you would be doing anyway.
You might want to think about keeping the comfort and starting another project on the side. The second project may very well turn into the main project and take off. That is what you want isn't it? You may find that being that much more busier will be quite fulfilling and make you happier in the long run. You won't have any guilt either.
Okay. I have not read all the replies after the OP and a few responses. I think the first question you have to ask yourself, and it might be very difficult to unearth the true answer, is why are you motivated to play in a band and do the things you are doing. Self awareness is elusive.
Once you know the motivation and can see the goals you desire, the next question might be, are those goals reasonable. I guess my point is, I do not see your band members doing anything that is 'wrong' per se. Where there appears to be a problem is in your expectations. And expectations can be a bitch. Another angle is, "I am not happy with the status quo, why?" And then, "am I being reasonable."
I am second call in a band for which I was first call for a decade. I learned a helluva lot from the band leader who has his quirks, and with whom I do not always agree. However, he'd have me back in a heart beat. Also, that band has been together for 37 years. We joke. We've played more venues that have failed and been not-asked-back to venues then we play gigs in an entire current year. We have some good friendships.
You're in a service business, the other guys, not so much.
This is definitely something to consider. I agree the other members in the band are not really doing anything wrong, and I am the one that is pushing for change. They may just be happy with the way things are.
Can you quit your own band?
I once quit my own band, some covers, a lot of my songs, playing great rooms, the best booking agency in the Indianapolis area, mostly because of what I perceived as lethargy on the part of some members. The girl singer and I didn't get close again for a couple of years (I had recruited her, it was her first band, and she has gone on to be pretty big in the area. We have started working together quite a bit again). The bass player has never called me since, but at least says thanks if I send him birthday wishes. The drummer cried. He's a big, macho guy, and he cried! He and I are really close friends, and I underestimated how much he cared about me and the band. I left the band, which had hit a lull in bookings, to take a 6 night a week guitar gig with a country singer with a couple of Top 10 national hits, who owned a club. Security (I was playing for a living) was a big factor, plus I was tired of being a BL. Turned out the guy took the band to Vegas ( I saw warning signs and bailed) and screwed everyone out of some money and it fell apart.
Looking back, I should have had a good meeting and kept it together. I've learned a lot since then...
did the forum start skipping?
From your description in your first post it sounds like you’ve got two experienced musicians with some degree of talent who are semi-coasting and putting in no more effort than what’s required to play a show.
When a band isn’t firing on all cylinders an audience picks up on that pretty fast. Paint by numbers performances don’t build excitement or create demand to hear more.
There’s a business adage that says: Your shop’s reputation is determined by the most careless piece of work you allow to go out your door.
Something to think about. And something you apparently get. Unfortunately, some of your bandmates either don’t get it, or have simply chosen not to.
Hire a 2nd guitarist. One who is more interested in learning the songs you want to do.
Then see how your old guitarist responds to this competition. It might light a fire under his butt or it might piss him off and make him quit.
Either way you still have at least one guitarist and you changed the current chemistry.
Dude you can quit anything.
Go join a better band.
I play in some bands that I lead.
I play in some bands that I sing and play bass.
I play in some bands that I simply play bass.
Become as busy as your other band members.
If this band is not fulfilling your needs then you already know what you must do.
Start with the drummer.
This accurately describes what I feel the main problem with our band is.
Trying to impose changes rarely works and in your situation with guys who are good enough to be playing in multiple bands, it's even less likely to work.
The idea of a band meeting to lay your cards on the table and outline the changes you need makes some sense. Something like 'Look guys, this is the direction I need to take. Could you guys make these changes'? Sounds like you have the right drummer.
Bottom line: you've said a few times in this thread that you believe you can lead a band to better results with the right personnel. That means you have a vision and it sounds to me like you know what you're doing. You have to try and execute on your vision as leader or else you'll regret it.
The problem with this is that I believe that the better cover bands in our area are made up of members that play in one band and focus on making that one band better. I have played in multiple bands before, and it is a great way to fill up your calendar with gigs. However, I am at a point where I would rather be in one really good band and focus on that.
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia where the way to go was to form a band and knuckle down to make that band a working concern. There wasn’t really a club scene at all. We played in pubs all over the city and suburbs with a few out of town pub gigs too.
Then I moved to Sydney where the scene was totally different. Sydney has a huge club scene but not like you’d imagine. The clubs are returned services clubs and football clubs financed largely by poker machines. They are fairly big concerns and have very good auditoriums that used to (not much these days) provide weekly entertainment such as floor shows and cabaret as well as dance music.
Musicians worked at various venues as hired guns and the idea of making a band successful was just not a thing. This was a revelation to me but not in a good way. I was forever looking to find musicians who would commit but it was never going to happen.
Since coming to Talkbass I am astounded at the number of players who work in multiple bands rather than work hard to make one band with an identity of it’s own, successful.
You will never get total commitment from the hired gun type of musician. They will always think in a mercenary way about what is best for them.
Blow it up, start again and vet the type of players you decide to go with. Work ethic is as important, perhaps even more so than virtuosity.
Sorry to hear that.
This isn’t the sort if thing I wanted to be right about when I commented earlier.
Had enough now? Move on. Find pro players and rock on.