Bands: why I may be done with them

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by DerekLicon, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. DerekLicon

    DerekLicon Member

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    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?
     
  2. Travis398

    Travis398 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much everything you said caused me to throw the towel in decades ago. I got tired of being the glue trying to hold together all the broken pieces. I could add to your list but I think you did a great job covering it.


    Totally agree
     
    Shawn Kawvey, dptone5 and DaDoc like this.
  3. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    i quit being in a gigging band in the mid-90’s... We were just not making any money to justify continuing on, and all of us had full time jobs....
     
  4. Drinkingdeath01

    Drinkingdeath01 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I feel you Bud. I retired years ago from the band life. Now I just play for the squirrels in my yard.

    Nice thing is with all new technology out there you can pretty much write and record a whole album by yourself.
     
  5. BftGibson

    BftGibson Well-Known Member

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    I love making music so much..just caved after 30+ years of bass..learned the guitar & drums & sing when necessary. Built a home studio & basically can full function & carry on & not miss a song. It's my escape & therapy
     
  6. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. VIP Member

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    Four or five guys with rock n roll values was never a recipe for success.

    My cue that it wasn't going to work was always when you'd all sit around trying to come up with a legitimate name. It's like a bad forum thread: it always turns to penises, vaginas and poop. Or death.
     
  7. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    You’ll be back
     
  8. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    The official date is 94 years old. Then you can give up.
    :agreed:
     
  9. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    I come from the exact opposite viewpoint...

    I MISS being in a band. A real band, that is. I'm in a band right now, but, ½ the members live out of state, so it's a long distance relationship. That doesn't really equate to a real band situation. (to me)

    I've played w/ people in sessions over the years, but that is just schlepping your way through tunes not even knowing if you'll ever play w/ those same musicians/singers again, or if you'll ever play those songs again. Meh...

    There are challenges to working w/ people in a band. The more talented, the more challenging, but, if some people are pretentious, & think they are the shit, & are really a peer, or less, then you need to find someone else.

    I find that, just as any other relationship in life, being in a band takes work. You have to work hard & break through all the hurdles & make the things that you bring to the table work (together). You need to be serious (at 1st), or you'll never get past a certain point.

    but... Once you get past that certain point, you should be able to have fun & just enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    If you're in a band & trying to go somewhere, you have to realize that you are a team. When you see a weakness in someone else, you have to step up to the plate & help overcome that weakness...

    together...

    As a team.
     
  10. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Its a tuff and trying situation. I have a great group of guys I play with JUST FOR FUN, we all are considerate and have real jobs...and thats the way it will stay. IMO, just one egotistical, loud mouth with no social skills will ruin the whole experience which is what happened in the last band I was playing with. What can you do, move on and dont look back but use your learnings from that situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  11. netlocal

    netlocal Well-Known Member

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    All the ego's, drugs, and craziness is certainly challenging. What about the part where you have five guys with varying ideas of what constitutes good hygiene crammed in a van or hotel room for days on end.

    I'll never quit, I love this shit:rofl:
     
  12. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    You just have to keep telling the bads to hit the road, eventually you'll hook up with goods.

    This is the biggest issue with music and musicians.

    So many think its actually really all about drugs, sex, and perfection. It's a party, its a "whatever delusional image" they've concluded from social media brainwashing.

    Been through so many player's over the years, so many addicts... so many selfish entitled competitive Jerks...

    Its why this covers project im atm, while we only rehearse every other week, just doing covers and a few gigs a year in small bars, everyone is real... to ourselves, but most importantly you don't put expectations on others. The minute one member starts with that you have to cut em loose.

    I actually got a digital audition for this other band not long ago, as I always keep my profile up on band mix. The "band leader" starts listing off duties, and all the work he wants, and demands... about 5 min into it, I couldn't even get a compromise on anything... his way or the high way....

    Their loss lol... you always have a choice!
     
  13. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. VIP Member

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    It's a business, and nothing else. Once you get that through your head you just might have a chance at going beyond the garage and the bars. The rest is about whether your music speaks to people, and one hell of a lot of luck.
     
  14. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely get what the OP is saying! :agreed:

    The last band I was in was in the mid-90's..Bad, sad situation. The band was actually pretty darn good, but all they wanted to do was spend every weekend playing cover songs in the local roadhouses..The other guitarist was a total self-centered egomaniac, the drummer was more into his Harley than playing the drums, and the bassist/bandleader had some serious substance abuse problems..They didn't want to learn any new songs, much less work on originals, didn't want to practice even one day a week, and had just fallen into a rut of spending the weekends in the bars and getting trashed..When I would point out issues that needed addressing the bassist would always say "Hey man, quit bringing all these bad vibes around!" The pay kept going down from what I had been promised when I first came on board too, so I finally had enough and split.

    I found out after I left the band that the reason the $$ was going down was because the bassist had been skimming the pay to feed his coke habit.

    I miss playing out and love being in a band, but I don't miss the B.S..Life's too short.
     
  15. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    yep... :agreed:

    there's also a place for stuff like this. But, it better pay well. This is the stuff you have to get paid for, to be someone's musical grunt. Then, it's up to you, whether the pay is worth the demand of being a grunt...
     
  16. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    They had this problem before the internet, big time.
     
  17. jchrisf

    jchrisf Well-Known Member

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    Let's make a band!
     
  18. dptone5

    dptone5 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting post Derek. You covered a lot and articulated it extremely well. I miss being in a band, but I don't miss the egos and disagreements. It takes a lot of energy to keep a band together.

    For the last 3 decades, with the exception of being in a band for a short time, I've played on church worship teams. That has been a lot of fun and meaningful. Relationships are not strained and for the most part, people keep their personal agendas and egos well in check. The music is very easy, but I try to get creative and add interesting layers of guitar, swells and on occasion, some lead work where it's appropriate. Our church has 1,300 members, so playing several weekends a month has satisfied my desire to play live.

    And as others have said, with technology, I can now create my music, record it in my basement and the only person I need to argue with is myself!!

    Good luck with your real estate venture. That is one thing I always wanted to do. You're starting at the right age.

    DP
     
  19. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    "...buying rental properties..." sounds like fun.
    BP
     
  20. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    What has worked best for me is being in a band with friends and playimg out for fun. 15 years and counting for that band. We can talk about stuff, we are friends!
    The current originals band started as strangers and I can see some issues occuring at some poi t as the singer takes things very seriously, I jsut wanna have fun.

    Sounds like the OP got hooked up with some frankly awful people to be in a band with. Don't give it up, find some likeminded people or friends who llay amd see what shakes out.
     

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