Bands: why I may be done with them

FutureProf88

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
2,536
Reaction score
2,399
Location
St. Louis metro area
So I’ve been in some kind of project off and on since about 2011 or so.

I learned pretty quickly that “being in a band” is one of the worst things I have ever had to deal with in my entire life and I will tell you why.

Egos: I’ve noticed that most people take themselves extremely seriously, it’s never about fun or the music it’s ALWAYS about them and criticizing someone or offering advice is basically a recipe for hurt feelings/egos even if it’s the truth or carefully constructive. I had to deal with a person that would actually get angry because I would do stuff like pay for an entire studio session myself basically ($1500+) and told him time and time again not to worry about it that I enjoyed it and was doing it for fun. However that guy was (recently) homeless and jobless and an alcoholic so he saw it as me trying to rub it in his face that I.... had a job and ...Was able to take care of it? I don’t know.

Band members prioritizing drinking over anything else, refusal to do things that benefit the song as a whole just due to extreme stubbornness, everyone thinks they’re a sound engineer.

Extreme narcissism is pretty much normal and seen as regular behavior among almost all musicians I have met.

Rock star dream: look, it’s nice that you have a rock star dream, it’s nice that you really think people care about your music, but honestly if you’re not doing it for the right reasons you’re going to fail and be miserable time and time again unless you have connections or get lucky. I just left a band that would make announcements and videos on Facebook and social media for every little thing we did, and out of the 200+ followers we had maybe get 5-20 likes. Extremely annoying, and How dare I if I say “maybe we should only post things that are important”.

Dealing with most guitar players is a nightmare. It’s ALWAYS some kind of weird competition right away, even though I have gone to great lengths to remind them that I am here as a part of the team, not some threat to their playing abilities. I’m also not a personal responsibility coach and I’m also tired of apologizing to people for any reason. “I’m sorry dude I didn’t mean to hurt your little feelings” because I told you I thought that riff you showed me was extremely generic or you need to tune your guitar or invest in more than a 100$ guitar or you need to string your instrument properly or whatever.....

Dealing with most vocalists is a nightmare. No you don’t need auto tune dude, you sound fine, try your best, have fun, stop worrying about it, if you were not good I wouldn’t have been here in the first place. This is dealing with very talented guys too or guys that have a lot of potential.


I always viewed it as something I wanted to do for fun, I love writing music and being creative and I don’t mind learning parts, playing to a click, practicing nearly once a week, playing shows now and then is a big pay off because it is so much fun— you know it’s a hobby and I’m not expecting to turn this into some kind of a job that is going to replace the job putting a roof over my head and I lay that out in the beginning and people wonder why I leave when I am asked to ‘push harder’ when literally nothing was done for years until I showed up and set goals and organized everything from the distribution to begging people to get on with ASCAP or BMI to setting up every social media account and managing the email and google drive and everything else under the sun. I’m always the first person and usually the last to treat things like a business in the last two projects I’ve been in.

I almost joined a more established band that had their stuff together but I honestly don’t see myself doing this anymore as I am 31 and was to start buying rental properties and focusing on other things. Thoughts?

Um, dude... I'm 31 lol. I had a couple of bands before my current one, which I've been with since 2013. We were a 5 piece for about two years before one of our members got deployed to Afghanistan. When he came back we had a meeting at a studio. I showed up - I was one of three guitarists we had as a 5 piece. Our bass player showed up, and our drummer (the one who got deployed) showed up. We decided to continue as a 3 piece. Early on we had "the talk." And it went like this.

None of us are in a position to be rock stars anymore. If someone were to want to give us a recording contract and an advance on a tour that would be amazing, but let's be realistic with this. It's for fun. It's so that we can get out on a Friday or Saturday and be heroes for a couple hours and have some fun with friends. If we make enough to pay for gas for the evening then we've won.

And that's what it's been. We've released an EP. We have a single out. We are working on our next EP while there aren't live gigs. The original bass player left and one of the other guitar players is now on board playing bass. And it's fun at practice because we work off of each other. Just last week the bass player was trying to explain something that he and the drummer were on the same page about and I wasn't, and I just handed him my guitar and I was like just show me what you want me to do. And he played it out and I was like that sounds awesome. We all have "professional" things that we do for work. We meet once a week and we are studious when we meet. It's a fantastic group to be in and I feel immensely blessed to be in a band with a couple of guys like that. But it's important to find people that are "like" you. So if you have a decent full-time job, then find other guys that do too. Make sure everybody is on the same page about the expectations for the group and for each of the members. Be open to something smaller. I've come to love the 3 piece arrangement. It may take longer to find a group but it will be a much better experience.
 
Last edited:

DerekLicon

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
45
Reaction score
97
It’s a really tough decision to let this go but honestly I am a lot happier now, it’s been 2 weeks and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have been able to focus on other things and my general living situation has gotten a lot nicer, the house is cleaner, I have found time to do other things and it’s pretty great. The downside is I have about 10k in gear sitting in storage now. I am considering selling my PA, and maybe a few of my guitar amps.
 

dro

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
1,585
Reaction score
2,979
Location
Blue Springs Mo
Wow, hate to hear all the drama but glad I'm not alone

I tried over and over to form a band that could go the distance. I've always had an endless stream of original music pouring outta my head. I'd approach each project the same way.... I've got this vision, let's roll. Follow me.

To make what could be a long story refreshingly short, the better the band was that I put together the more quickly it would disintegrate. It would usually start with the drummer, and the cause could be anything from drugs to alcohol to egos to actual artistic differences. The last serious band I was in could have gone the distance. We sounded amazing and were clicking like we could read each other's minds. It lasted a few weeks. Never mind what happened, it's been covered by everyone above in previous posts.

Years ago I realized that if I applied myself I could produce whatever music I wanted on my own. My ambition is much more about the art itself than about being famous and rich. I began building a studio, slowly at first, then as things snowballed it became my sole purpose and has remained so to this day.

I do all my own writing, arranging, vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion, even some cello when called for. It works out great as long as I'm getting along with me. I've amassed a huge amount of recordings on tape, CDs and hard drives. All kinds of rock, pop, folk, bluegrass, jazz, classical, every kind of noise I can imagine. I feel like I'm succeeding.

A few years back I took a position as a radio talk show host for awhile. It was very fulfilling to be able to use my own compositions for my show's theme songs and bumper music. Other than that, friends and family have been my only audience since I quit playing in bands. The only thing I miss sometimes is the inspiration one can derive from creative jamming with an accomplished live drummer.


Yes I agree I have done the studio. Took all my savings 2-1/2 years and a heart attack.
Finished all my outstanding projects. That had been sitting the whole time I was building. Last album we did. Was just myself ant the drummer. He ( the drummer ) was doing session work at Marvin Gaye's in the early 70's. The grooves he learned there Don't come in a box. Recording gear still all packed up from the move to KC. Starting to wonder if it ever get used again. Dealing with all i am dealing with at this point in my life. Writing ambition has faded somewhat. Still play every day. Life has put my creative juices on hold.
 

Buzzard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
1,922
Reaction score
2,743
There’s ALWAYS the power struggle over someone trying to take control. Or like an episode of survivor who sucks up to who and forms an alliance. Lol. Don’t need that shit anymore. Plus I’m getting tired of moving gear to play for drunks. Just not fun anymore. The best part was the practice and relieving stress. But ultimately guys would drink too much and blow it.
 

lespaul339

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
3,888
Location
Iowa
Amen to the playing for drunks part. One time I had some dumb drunk guy spill his beer all over my pedal board at a show. I tore into him like no other. I said I'm not even making enough money to replace one pedal at this gig you dumb fuck. I quickly unplugged my board and let everything dry for days before I plugged it back in. Thankfully nothing got ruined.

But just an example of how one gig can wipe out thousands in gear over someone else not respecting my stuff. And for what? To play for a bunch of unappreciative drunks. I hate playing shows anymore. All the more reason that I quit doing it. It just became a drag. When you're not having fun anymore it's time to dip out.

I like the fact that my gear is safe at home and I don't have to worry about anything happening to it anymore.
 
Last edited:

DaDoc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
5,218
Reaction score
7,880
Location
Rancho Deluxe, Montana..3rd stone from the sun
:lol:

Sorry, couldn't help myself. I do really miss being in a band, but feel like I have some sort of post-bandmate-drama PTSD, so this is the best I can do. :lol:

"Bandmate PTSD"..Good way of putting it!

That's EXACTLY how I've felt on a few occasions! :lol:

I've never really wanted to totally quit though..More a case of just wishing I could find the right like-minded bandmates, and we could all have fun playing together. :erk:
 

DaDoc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
5,218
Reaction score
7,880
Location
Rancho Deluxe, Montana..3rd stone from the sun
Democracy doesn't work in a band, someone has to be Hitler............

It's not a matter of being a "Hitler", it's about being a bandleader. Which means being firm but diplomatic, and also means being the person who has to keep things running, set up gigs (unless one wants to pay a manager), provide moral support when needed, keep everyone happy, ect.

Not an easy job, and an impossible one if one don't have the support and respect of the rest of the band.
 

Goatroper

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
114
Reaction score
128
Im glad the OP posted this. I feel better about not playing in a band anymore. I did for over 30 years and just couldn't take the drama anymore. I could go on with stories but they are pretty much the same as everyone else's. Hung it up around 3 years ago. I see a lot of people here went through the same crap I did. I thought maybe I was just getting old and grouchy...... well maybe a little. LOL! Im much more calm and content not being in a band.
 


Top