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What do you say when you leave a band in order to reduce friction?

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  • What do you say when you leave a band in order to reduce friction?

    Hi guys,

    it's not the band I was writing about a few days ago.
    It was a one-time ensemble for a party.
    It had all the warning signs in flickering red:
    people not really proficient enough to get through a set.
    No PA equipment whatsoever and no notion there should be any.
    Tiny repertoire, endless rehearsals, tiny improvement rate.
    People so inexperienced they actually stop to admire the scenario that "wow, this is like a band, almost!".
    People don't show up for rehearsals without my knowledge.
    I ask for an explanation why they knew people will not show up, but never told me- and I get the answer "you should be grateful to be even allowed in here in the first place".
    When I hear this "you should be grateful..." sentence - this is for me an immediate trigger to say to myself "okay, leave at the earliest opportunity!".

    After the one gig, which didn't crash as hard as I was worried about, the guys were like "wow, we're a band now- rehearsals start next week!".
    I immediately left.

    Their response: "It's a pity you have lost all interest in making good music!".
    I explain that without the courage to leave, Chick Corea would be still playing in his elementary school band.
    Response: "Oh, you're telling us we are a terrible band" (which is of course a preparation for "actually you sucked so badly, that we were considering to kick you out anyway)
    I explain that I am very busy with many bands and that for weeks now I didn't do any free time activity- I was only transcribing/rehearsing/gigging and no more.
    They kind of took this explanation, but also teased me that I'm explaining too hard and I'm a strange person.

    Is there a way to leave a band without burning bridges?
    I've seen many musicians leave such bands, and people speak about them in admiration after they've left ("well he's a pro, he has no time to play with guys like us- he's real busy").
    What the heck do one need to say to get out of this in one piece?

    Thanks :-)

    Last edited by OnKeyboards; 08-31-2018, 07:55 AM.
    Let me hear you
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  • #2
    Sounds like a horrible band I was in once... I was so relieved when it was over... We had super flaky folks in the band that nobody else wanted to boot... They'd ask, 'when are we going to do new tunes?' How about when you learn to play the few that are already in the set?


    • #3
      They are horrible. Better to cut your losses.
      "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


      • #4
        You did the easiest excuse...'I'm too busy with other projects...'
        That said, I always try to be honest and frank when I leave a project. The last one I left, the band leader was getting too into his duo with his new GF, and I basically told him that I couldn't continue if he, as the leader, was not 100% committed to the band [which had been going for almost two years]. He started trying to put a mini-set of him/her in the middle of our shows, and I was not amused [neither were the other members, but I was the one who called him on it]. I run into him periodically, and we are still amicable. I don't think he realized what a wedge he jammed into the band until we all walked away...kind of the Yoko/John thing.
        In your case, the lack of 'professionalism' would have kept me from ever committing to actually playing a gig with people who don't show up, don't do their homework and are not serious. Under those conditions, honesty is wasted because those types of people are delusional. They think they are a band because they get together and play music. Your quote: "wow, this is like a band, almost!". was very telling...are these all 16 year old kids?

        Some bridges are worth burning, btw...
        Last edited by daddymack; 09-12-2018, 05:02 PM.
        "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

        Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting ', what a ride!'

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        • #5
          Listen I am not sure what your experience is but situations like this happen all the time and all over. Those guys will never get out the basement most of the time and no one will care about them.
          "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"