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I want to quit the band - but I'm finding it hard to break the news

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  • I want to quit the band - but I'm finding it hard to break the news

    I play Keys in an original Indie 5 piece. They have three EP's, I'm only on the just completed recent one. Between tracking and mixing over the holidays I had some time to think about it and I really want to leave. I'm stressing about breaking the news to them, not because they'd be lost without me. They'd just be set back a year or two. 

    Here's a brief rundown of what's going on: The bass player and drummer have over 25 years experience under their belt each - are monster tasteful players (when they need to be) . The bassist was in a seminal local punk band that were legends in the late 70's (I bought their albums when I was 16). The drummer comes from more of FM Modem Rock background - his previous bands albums have that 'Nickelback' thing - but in a good way - production and ability. The singer is a dance instructor in her thirties - this is her first band. She's doesn't know ANY of the musical references we talk about. She has a great voice but occasionally uses affections like Gwen Stefani or (at worse) Axl Rose - I believe this is done out of insecurity. For the recent recording our engineer coaxed out her true voice, got her to drop all the affectations and she delivered a wonderful performance.

    The guitar player is an old friend, with a borderline Asberger's personality. He's also been in recording bands since the 80's. He's got his chops and he's talented, but he's incredibly had to deal with. He tries to control every rehearsal, including the conversations we have on break. He's somehow assumed the role of band leader, often sending lengthy emails and text's with detailed instructions for the band business. He tries to run rehearsal like a joyless Military drill. It doesn't seem to bother the others, they just brush it off and ignore his demands. On a recent recording he did fabulous 'scratch' guitar tracks, soulful, great amp tone and playing....and has since replaced them all with layers of over processed mechanical tracks he did at home on his computer with a Pod. He also recorded layers of backup vocals that sound more like a band with two lead singers(like Stars or Monsters of Men. His pitch and timing is fine but the sound of his voice leaves much to be desired

    He's also delusional about what this recording will bring us - (it's intended to be submitted for licensing - a crap shoot at best)... We're definitely not a live act, our singer reverts to her vocal histrionics and is wrought with nerves, our bass player - although fabulous in the studio forgets parts. I do fine, both live, writing and recording. I've done extensive touring and studio work since the late 80's as well. We all have day jobs, three of us are over 50.

    I don't know what to do. I have a hard time biting my tongue when I'm in the same room as the guitarist and he's waxing on about his experience with projects like this. Sure I'm ODD, but perhaps I just can't respect  leadership when I feel it's not deserved. The actual recording, if mixed properly will be incredible. I had the luxury of doing all my overdubs at home using Logic and dumped on Google Drive for the Engineer to pick up.

    This situation is frustrating the hell out of me - my girlfriend and family is really tired of hearing about it.

    I'm wondering if anyone out there has experienced something similar to this at what the actions were that they took.


  • #2

    Sometimes just writing it all out like that and getting it out there brings clarity  .


    "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

    Comment


    • seratone1
      seratone1 commented
      Editing a comment

      Very true - HC Therapy - Although what I said was pretty brutal, it was honest (perhaps the Asbergers thing was a little much - but I heard that from many other musicians who played with him).

      This is a band that backstabs each other a lot - and look at me  - laying it out to hundredds of strangers.

       


  • #3

    Set them back a year or two?! I guess you're a pretty important part of the process.  

    I think you need to figure out what you want to get out of this situation; why are you with them and where do you want it to go from here.

    If you still believe in the product then maybe try to adopt the attitude of the others that just seem to blow off the guitarist and tough it out. 

    But, if you're set on leaving, I think talk with the band about it. . . if they think you might bail then they'll probably get busy trying to replace you.

    Check my band: SoulPlay - > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH9-e4FmaE
    Key Rig: Alesis Fusion 8HD; Alesis Vortex Keytar; Toshiba i7 laptop running Cantabile VST host with IK Multimedia Total Workstation Bundle, NI Vintage Organs, Tyrell N6, Sylenth1, Imperfect Samples Walnut Concert Grand, NI FM8; Tascam US-1641 USB MIDI/Audio Interface; 2 x RCF Art 310-A MK III series monitors.

    Comment


    • Lee Knight
      Lee Knight commented
      Editing a comment

      First off, I gotta say, that was an interesting read. Nice post. All the detail about each member and their abilities and experience. Really well done.  Until... you started trying to describe why you want to leave. All of the issues you mention are fixable. 


       


      ...not that you should.


       


      But the point is, why do you play with them in the first place? Have they stopped meeting those reasons and needs for you? Enough to leave? Without trying to fix? Then leave. Or...


       


      ...is the reason you're torn because you do enjoy playing with them and most of what that entails. The writing, the tracking, etc. but there are things you didn't expect. Like a douchey player? Either it's so bad you need to leave. Or it's fixable through diplomacy or even a power play. Or you leave. Or... ... ...you stay, don't ask yourself fairly simple questions about what you want and what you'll accept and you end up going crazy but not as crazy as your friends hearing you bitch about it.


       


      Really, these are the kinds of questions only you know. Ask. Answer. Assess. Then either:


      Accept.


      Make adjustments if need be


      Make your move or...


      Don't accept, don't leave, don't fix, go crazy.


       


      It's not easy but it is simple. 


  • #4
    Get together and tell him how it is. Tell him all his bs is killing the band and you're tired of his ****. Tell him to get over himself.

    I would give him a chance to loosen up a bit before I walked.
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment


    • #5
      Not sure what you'd be giving up. You state it will never be a good live act and that the recordings potential is limited. What else is there? Sort of weird that experienced talented pros would want to work with a green singer who is not totally on it. I found myself in that exact situation once. I couldn't understand why the other guys wanted her in the band despite her good looks. I quit and never looked back. They never got out of rehearsal as far as I know. If I'm you I'm out.

      Comment


      • BlueStrat
        BlueStrat commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't know how close to 50 you are, but as one well past it, I can tell you that playing in a band that is not fun is a waste of your life. You don't have to play with these guys. An original band in their 50s has not a Popsicles chance in hell of going anywhere, even without all the reasons you mentioned. If playing music is something you do for your soul (it doesn't sound like money is a factor) and it's crushing your soul, well, there's your answer. The only way I'd play in a band that wasn't a ton of fun is if it paid me a ton of cash, and even then it would be a short term proposition.

        And just as an aside, it's Aspergher's, with a p.
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