Thinking about quitting my band, where would you draw the line? (context/wall of text)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by will_shred, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    I really like my band members, except for our other guitar player. We have written a couple good songs together, but the dude is generally really uncooperative, and difficult to work with/be around. He has a shit attitude in general, always talking shit, hardly has anything good to say about anything. Doesn't seem to be capable of having authentic conversations that aren't dripping with sarcasm and attitude. he claims he went to music school but flunked out his last semester, but there's no way that's true. He claims he went though the same program I am currently attending, and that our drummer and bassist attended, but he knows less music theory than our drummer. He doesn't even know what modes are, yet claims to have taken up to theory IV? Right. So that's my first problem. He is generally not easy to work with, but I get along great with my other band members.

    I've been playing with these guys for 3 years and at the start of the year we completely changed the direction of the band, changed our name, our image, and are working on our music. I don't really care how long it takes to get the album written, as long as the songs are quality. He, however, is being extremely impatient. He wants to record a demo when we only have 4 songs, and i'm only comfortable with two of them. The two that I don't like are as follows, the first song we wrote together, it was a good effort but just isn't something i'd be proud to show off. The other song our bassist wrote as a joke, the song itself was fun to play, but we can do better. So I really feel like he is jumping the gun, he wants to settle and put sub par songs on a demo all because he doesn't want to keep writing, or something. I don't know what his deal is, but I will put my foot down and say I will not put my name on a demo with anything but killer songs.

    His technique is sloppy as hell. His tone sucks, but it has nothing to do with his gear and everything to do with his technique. I'm not going to pull any punches on this, because its not like he is a new player, he has been playing about as long as me, he just doesn't practice. I've used his rig before when I was playing with another band and the tone was fine, but he always blames his gear. Even if we had the songs to record, his chops are simply not where they would need to be to record a tight guitar track. I've tried giving him pointers for picking, theory, ect, and he won't have it (I think its because he doesn't want to own up to the fact that I'm the better player despite being 5 years younger) And his technique has gotten worse, not better, since I started playing with him 3 years ago. Actually, his technique, and his attitude have both gotten worse. He seems to be in a real downward spiral, and doesn't care to do anything about it. I don't know if the dude is having a mental health crisis, or what, but I don't think I can help him. At this point I feel like I would be better off quitting the band because I don't want to be the only one attempting to bail out a sinking ship. I want to work with people who are as motivated as I am to make killer music, and i'm sick of feeling like i'm the only one putting in the effort. They even told me that nothing gets done at practice the few times I'm unable to make it. Because every 10 minutes I have to be like "okay guys, can we please get back on task? Yeah that's a dank meme, but seriously this is supposed to be practice".

    Edit: Looking back on everything I just wrote I don't think I need advice on whether or not to quit. I just really needed to vent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  2. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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    Discuss exactly what you've written above with your other band mates ( assuming that their talents, attitudes, dedication, etc are heading in the same direction as yours). Then decide after that, if you (or you and them) feel that confronting him about your concerns is warranted. You may need to split from them or maybe he just needs to be ousted. But I'd at least give him the chance to also communicate to you, his feelings about things. Maybe he has somethings that he'd like to get off his chest. I would also share some [but not all] of what you've said here, with him. Communication is the only thing that's going to make you guys stronger as a "team" and it sounds like it's definitely overdue. Good luck.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Good luck finding enough people who are serious about music and have a firm enough grasp on reality to actually make a career out of being a band. It happens, but I think it more or less happens one of two ways, from my limited experience and observations of other bands who have pushed ahead:

    #1 One guy is super serious and business-oriented enough to handle all of the not-as-fun stuff all by himself (or herself). Usually this person isn't even in the band, musically.
    #2 A perfect storm of crazy flukes all happen at once, and somehow a band that's half-serious gets elevated to the point of no return.

    I'm not a world-class musician myself, by any measure, but I've made some decent money before in bands. Usually things are short lived. Either it works, and it works right away, or it drags on forever and never goes anywhere. The determining factor is all in business savvy, I think. You can take a complete shit band and get them marketed to all the right people at the right times and they could be on MTv and make a million dollars. And, we all know that the most talented and driven band can easily make a few business missteps and fail to launch, and then hardly anyone ever hears of them.

    The other aspect of this is enjoyment. You need to make sure you are having fun doing music. If not, what's the point? It'd be one thing if you already made it big, but starting out this way sounds like a bad idea.

    If this guitar player is being a drag, though, and everybody else is cool, then why not take it up with the one guy who is the problem? Just keep things anti-confrontational and see if there is something he needs before he can get to where he needs to be. If not, then maybe you can half convince him to quit anyway. At least it's the guitar player - there are billions of us out there, so we are easily replaced. If your drummer quit, then you'd be in a world of hurt. :lol: I'm half-joking and half serious, but it sounds like you have a good band, maybe, with one boat anchor dragging everyone down and holding the band back.

    I know you said you are not in a hurry, but what kind of time frame would you hope to achieve? Since the beginning of the year, you got more serious and, so far, all you have is two songs? I would say that maybe inspiration just isn't really flowing there. If you go for a six song EP, you'll be working on writing until this time next year, then you'd still have to rehearse and play out a little before recording, right?

    No?

    If not, then, obviously, you know the right decision anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  4. Necris

    Necris Bonitis.

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    You've been playing together for 3 years and in a ~9 month span since changing directions musically you've only come up with 4 songs, one of which was a written as a joke and 2 of which are of a quality you might be comfortable putting your name on. I don't know how complex your music is, but that's a fairly abysmal portrait of the productivity of your band as a unit. "Practices" devolve into aimless nonsense when you're not around, and even when you are there you have to make an effort to keep things on track. You want to work with a focused, dedicated group of musicians and it's obvious that this band isn't it, even if 2/3 of the other members are nice guys.

    I'd leave without ruminating on it for too long.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  5. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    that pretty much sums it up. I like hanging out with the dudes, but I really take things a lot more seriously than they seem to. I'm looking to be a career musician, I plan on making most of my income from teaching, having a successful band is something I will continue to strive for though. As I think most of us do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Check with your schools if the other guitar player have in fact attended them, it's not hard, you know this name, he should be in the school's data files. This way you clear away all your fears. Confront with facts in your hands only, ask for solutions, share your thoughts with respect for everyone feelings.

    Being able to communicate is what separate us Humans from the rest of all other animals, we can communicate beyond our "clan", time and species... that's what art is all about communication beyond the immediate us...
     
  7. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    Lucky enough our drummer is phenomenal in terms of his technical ability and being a generally great guy.
     

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