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to stay or quit a band that you've worked very hard at?

Discussion in 'Bar' started by bryan_kilco, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    This has been going through my head for probably a few years now.

    I've played guitar since I was about 12 years old and I'm now 31. I've been in 4 bands throughout this time. The current band I'm in has done more so far than probably all other 3 combined. Though we still are unsigned, play a lot of shithole bars, have 0 guarantee and most of the time get paid nothing for gigs and have to drive 2, 3, sometimes 4 vehicles hours away for shows because we have no van/trailer.

    Of course every band will have disagreements on certain things, but I find myself clashing with usually 2 of the other (founding) members. We will discuss what our plans are and shoot for the goal, then, randomly, one or 2 guys get a wild hair up their asses and bring up some off-the-wall idea that I just don't jive with. It seems I'm the black sheep of the group and I'm always the "negative one" when I speak my mind on how maybe some of these ideas are possibly worse for us than they are beneficial.

    We're currently tracking for our first full length release. I spent quite a lot of time tracking the bulk of rhythm guitars. Today I get a message from another member about possibly having a friend who does DJ type stuff add a "filler" track in between songs for the album. Then more talk of possibly adding extra tracks (instrumental, no drums, etc) to fill more space. We already got a quote for a 9 song album and it will be mixed by a fellow forum member. We still have a lot of work on our plate and I think worrying about adding filler crap to something I and the drummer (so far) have worked so goddamn hard on is just a dumb idea. Maybe I'm totally alone in thinking this and need to see what could possibly come of it and open my eyes a bit?

    Can't all agree on an album title yet.....and a few members are just DYING to have a name set so we can start promoting....and the "I don't care what the name is, I just want to get it out there so people know about it" attitude absolutely fucking KILLS me. It's like "rush rush rush! Let's just get it done so we can promote!" vs "take our time, do it right, let's not possibly hurt our name by rushing".

    I love music. I really don't want to have to leave my band because of these disagreements. But I'm not exactly truly happy and I'm not sure I ever will be with any band. And around here, it's very hard to find dedicated musicians who aren't going to flake out in a few months.

    We basically pay to play almost every single show. We rarely get paid, and our bulk of $ comes from t-shirt sales. The amount we spend in gas $ to drive 2-4 vehicles on a 4 hour round trip SUCKS. I keep bringing up the fact that we need at least some kind of guarantee, but most of these clubs require at least 10 presold tickets to even get paid anything. We're all in our late twenties/early thirties. It's not as easy to bring friends out as it was 10 years ago.

    I don't even really know why I'm posting this. I guess I'm looking for some sort of advice. I'm trying to look out for our bands name and not make any stupid or "wrong" decisions, and when I voice this to the other members, they get mad at me and basically call me the "negative one" and that we will never get ahead in this game if we don't take chances.

    Sorry, rant over. Any thoughts or advice would be great. This just makes me depressed even though it's the best band I've had in my life.
     
  2. Fredrik-Ablaze

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    Life is all in all to short to do things you're not happy with out if old habits.
    I was in that position with one of my old bands and actually leaving was one of the best choices I ever made, I'm 100% positive that I wouldn't be playing still if I had continued with them.
     
  3. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I mean, it's not like I'm extremely miserable. Just don't agree with a few certain things with the other members.

    What really gets me is - it's like being in a relationship that you aren't 100% happy with. No relationship will ever be 100% exactly perfect.

    I've said it before and I will stick by it: this is my last push at making a band "work". Getting too old to keep beating the dead horse. I almost get more satisfaction sitting home, recording my own shit how I want to hear it, and being happy with the end result, rather than work for hours on something to have others sort of degrade it with their (musical) input (IMO).

    I feel like I'm just afraid to let it go because I don't want to "be alone", just like a relationship that isn't going exactly great. I do have a lot of fun and my band mates are some of my best friends.

    I guess, for now, I can hold out until we release our album and see where things go from there.
     
  4. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    Was going to post exactly this.

    Not making you happy?
    Ditch it.

    especially if it's something like a band, which you are completely free to do or not do.
     
  5. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    ^ bingo

    You started playing guitar cause it was fun

    You joined / started bands cause they were fun ... or supposed to be

    If you're not enjoying it, bail. Otherwise you may find yourself not even liking playing guitar anymore
     
  6. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I guess what I am trying to say is: I am happy, but I also have times of total disagreement. The scale is unbalanced; it makes me happy more often than not.
     
  7. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    Like the late philosopher mick jagger once said: "you can't always get what you want."
    at least in that band.

    start a band/project where everyone has to do what YOU want, if you just like to be 100% in charge.
    Go pull off a schaffer if you need to.
     
  8. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    See, I never really wanted to be 100% in charge, though a lot of successful bands seem to have 1 guy holding the wheel of the ship. I guess I just want for everyone to be on the same page and sometimes that's just not possible.
     
  9. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

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    Fixed.
     
  10. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    The best is to have a band for playing live and to have fun and a solo project the fulfill the musical vision that it´s quite hard to achieve working with other people.
     
  11. ATLA

    ATLA Member

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    i completely agree with you on not adding extra tracks after already being quoted. tell them to save that stuff for a bside or extra downloads later when you need something to keep your fans busy while working on your next effort.tell them unnecessary instrumental tracks might unbalance the songs on the album and make it less appealing. If the tracks where specifically designed to enhance the other songs i see no problem with it. in the long run the money you guys are spending on gas alone to drive that far in 2-4 vehicles you could probably save up and buy a van trailer. or if not a van at least a trailer if one of you has a truck with a hitch. you will also be able to travel farther and expand your audience. if your band is serious they will understand that a the very least a trailer is going to be necessary to tour. but lets face it.. truck tours suck and are very uncomfortable. tell them your not being negative your being realistic the extra money you guys spend on extra songs you might not even need could go toward more merch or better yet the trailer.
     
  12. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

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    i had a similar situation a few years back (i am also 31 and have been playing since about 13) and i ended up quitting and taking a couple years off and focusing on other things in my life. i still played guitar and wrote and recorded but i just didnt do the band thing for a while. then i recruited a drummer from craigslist with similar influences and built a new band, playing exactly the kind of music i have always wanted to play. looking back now it was definitely the right decision and having creative freedom is priceless.

    i know what you mean though, it is not always easy to find talented musicians who play the style you are interested in (especially when its metal). so it is a tough choice to abandon something when you are not sure if there is another opportunity out there. my advice would be to decide if the direction of the band is a direction you are interested following. and whether you are seriously trying to become a full time musician or just in it for fun, and whether your bandmates share your motivations. just my $.02
     
  13. Brent Holder

    Brent Holder Separating Body From Head

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    I agree with everyone saying if you aren't happy then you should leave. I know it probably sucks to think about because when you put that much work into something you don't want to let it go but it seems like its your best choice.

    Think of it like you would a relationship. If you put a lot of work in it but you both aren't on the same page and it constantly causes problems, you may be happy every now and then and that may make you not want to break up, but are you ultimately happy overall? If not then you are just plotting a course for disaster and the end will be inevitable.

    Now apply that to your band, if you guys aren't seeing eye to eye often enough and it causes a lot of problems, you aren't constantly happy then it seems like its not the band you should be in. And if you feel like the black sheep that seems like a sign that they aren't the kind of musicians you should be working with.

    The whole point of music is to love what you are doing and have fun. That should come first. (Its a shame the Post-Hardcore side of the metal industry forgets that way too often always having little spats with other bands all the drama just gets old :bah:)

    That's just my two cents though :D
     
  14. CubanDude

    CubanDude not really cuban

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    I think you already made up your mind as you were typing the OP (if not before).
     
  15. Volcane

    Volcane Power Quest

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    IMHO It's totally impossible for all band members to totally share 1 vision of how things should be and should be done. One or two in the band have to lead, and the rest have to tow the line. Same as in any other walk of life. Sounds simple, but you can't have five people pulling in different directions. If you're in a band you either have to lead and call the important shots, or be strong enough to recognize that you're a team player and support the people making the decisions. The 'team players' need to make sure that what they're bringing to the table the best it can be - songwriting/drum parts/solos/live performance/promotion etc.

    Bands aren't democracies, and you can't write songs by committee.

    If you can't be either, get out while you still have friends and money!

    Here endeth the lesson...
     
  16. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    Just because you were quoted for a 9 track album doesn't mean it has to have 9 tracks. Take the best tracks and only use those. If that happens to be only 3 tracks then so be it. There is no reason to release something you are not happy about or is half assed.

    Don't rush making an album and get it done BEFORE any and all promotion. You need to have it already uploaded, with physical copies and related merch IN HAND before saying a word about it.

    Take time off shows to finish the album. When it's done and you have your shit together - rehearse the fuck out of your set and promote the living fuck out of the album with shows and everything else.


    #1 rule of communication is open your mouth. Don't just stand there afraid to hurt feelings. Tell the dudes exactly how you feel. Make sure not to make it personal or it will get shitty.

    Since you are already balls deep into an album, finish it and see how you feel. Let them know that you are on the edge of getting the hell out and this album will determine if you will stick around.

    Being in a band is not easy, it's a bunch of bullshit really, but the reward and personal satisfaction can be unmatched. You just have to get through the shit.
     
  17. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Guys, thanks for the input.

    I was just depressed the other day and it was the band stuff getting to me. It does seem like we have 2-3 members in the band that are actually more of the "leaders" so-to-say, but when it comes time to things like songwriting, and we're all in the jam space working on a new tune, everyone starts giving input and everyone has different ideas and it gets hard to deal with everyone having different visions.

    I'm going to stick it out for a while longer, I think. It's a love/hate thing but I have more fun than not so I guess that's what really matters.
     

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