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Long. But. I need a fellow musician's advice


Les_Izzmor

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I am posting this on many forums to get an opinion from as many different people as possible

 

Facts:

-4 piece band been together 6 years and we have a very busy May and June coming up

 

-Band member X sends an email and says he will need to cancel 4 shows over 3 weekends in May and June. When I asked why he told me because he

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I had a similar issue with my old band of '02-'06. We were three piece with a computer (sequencing) with me doing 90% of the vocals. I would book gigs that everyone agreed to, then my guitard would decide that he didnt want to play a particular gig........What I did was ask a few guitar guys I trusted as players in my area to (leisurely) learn some of our bands tunes. When Pete decided that he didnt want to gig for whatever lame reason, I had a couple of guys on stand-by. He got the message

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as suggested above a few "bench players" isn't a bad idea. A few bands I was in we've had other drummers sub and a friend sub'd for me when I got the opportunity to play a gig in Germany. It can be helpful, but also give the "we're serious" hint to the people in the band.

 

It seems like you're pretty fed up with Band Member X. I don't know either of you personally so that's something you guys need to work out. As an outsider I'd suggest asking if he could only cancel only half of the requested shows. If he can do that it would sort of show that the band is important to him.

 

Also I really hate band meetings!!! Best of luck. Sucks to leave an established band but sometimes it has to happen.

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Sounds like you've reached a certain position if your first response is "if X wants to cancel I will leave", rather than negotiate or discuss. (You will realise this is not meant as a criticism of your position.) You don't see a future for a band with you and X in it.

 

I think I'd use that as my starting-point and consider my options from thereon in.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

X is the band. Without him we're not even close to the same band. So. Replacing him isn't an option. Playing shows without him would be a disservice to the band name and the venue.

 

What bothers me about the cancellations are that now each other wife in the band will now feel justified in asking us to either cancel a show, or find a replacement for their husband. And. There are shows we've to booked where I have something more fun I'd like to do. Why should I go play if other members aren't equally committed?

 

If one band member cancels a show for no logical reason (his own words), why shouldn't the rest of us also have that option?

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I'd suggest asking if he could only cancel only half of the requested shows. If he can do that it would sort of show that the band is important to him.


 

 

Supposedly that's what he did. (Or was trying to do) Yet. He never told the other guys in the band that. I think as far as they knew we still had 4 shows canceled.

 

He told me he was going to discuss it all with the rest of the band before the show last night. That obviously didn't happen.

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I think it's pretty {censored}ty of him to be cancelling at this late of date - if I were booking you, I certainly wouldn't view it as a sign of future reliability... To me, when I give my word to take on a gig, I make it happen - in the past, when I've been fed up with a band situation, rather than bail - I've given notice... As a result, I don't have a hard time booking, and am known as being extremely reliable - to both venues, and other musicians... This also inspires a bit of confidence during the booking process, as venue owners know if I'm involved, the show will happen - one way or the other... I DO know a large pool of area musicians, and can get a quality stand-in for any member of my band, if needed... I also do stand-in work for other area bands - even though I'm "only" the bassist, I don't know of anyone in my area that can cover all the material my band plays - it involves both 4's, 5's, and vocals - although "I" haven't cancelled a show in many, many years... I firmly believe that a person is only as good as their word...

 

In your situation, I *think* I'd state that I found the cancellations to be unacceptable - and my reasons for it - and give my notice - but still fulfill the obligations I've already made...

 

 

 

- georgestrings

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Imho...Having been together six years...

 

I say just try to enjoy the nights off and see if the problem continues from there.

 

Keep an eye/ear open for another gig in the meantime, but ride it out instead of possibly regretting the breakup of an otherwise successful/enjoyable endeavor.

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Tell X to grow a freakin pair......
:rolleyes::facepalm:;)

 

I SORT of MAYBE agree with this. I can't imagine my wife telling me I couldn't.....I HAD to....And I'm no chauvinist. I don't mean it in that way.

My wife and I have a great mutual respect for one another and would and do both bend over backwards to accomidate one another's wants & needs.

That's why I can't imagine it.

 

BUT, and it's a big BUT. What are the events that are causing the problem?

If we're talking family weddings, graduations, First Communions, Confirmations that sort of thing? You've got to go with the family for those.

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Tell X to grow a freakin pair......
:rolleyes::facepalm:;)

 

Gotta agree with this. I play my summers at the summerstock theatre in town. For those not familiar, this is a theatre that has shows Tuesday - Sunday (with two on Saturday). Since it is an equity (like a union for actors?) house, it is dark on Mondays. However, since shows last two weeks there, I am at the theatre every other Monday. This runs from June to early September.

 

So, for about 95% of the summer, my wife doesn't see me at night. Is it ideal? Not really. Does it bring in money to supplement our incomes? Better believe it. My wife supports it (note that I didn't say likes it) because I try to have as open a communication about gigging as humanly possible with her, and spend as much time with her during the days on the weekends. She knew I was a musician from the beginning; I've made it clear that this is a business for me.

 

Exceptions do come up (my sister's wedding is in October, so I'm looking for a sub for that show), but for the most part, this is how it works.

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BUT, and it's a big BUT. What are the events that are causing the problem? If we're talking family weddings, graduations, First Communions, Confirmations that sort of thing? You've got to go with the family for those.

 

 

Some of those I agree with (weddings, for one), but some are "optional," based on the people involved and their expectations. I skipped my niece's baptism last year, due to it being the last weekend before four straight weeks of shows and I wanted to take my wife somewhere special.

 

I spoke to my sister directly (whose kid it was) and gave her the skinny; she was completely fine with it. My other sister threw a fit that I wasn't there; however, it wasn't her kid. It wasn't her call.

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BUT, and it's a big BUT. What are the events that are causing the problem?

If we're talking family weddings, graduations, First Communions, Confirmations that sort of thing? You've got to go with the family for those.

 

 

Two of the shows are graduation. But. The other two are just because we're 'too busy'.

 

That's exactly what he told me.

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Two of the shows are graduation. But. The other two are just because we're 'too busy'.


That's exactly what he told me.

 

 

 

 

I don't think I'd care much for that - since I do all of the booking for my band, I ask for blackout dates 4-6 months in advance, and book accordingly... Sure, extenuating circumstances DO come up from time to time, but it sounds like he should've asked for more open dates before booking those - and since he didn't he *should* honor them, and tell wifey to STFU... JMHO,

 

 

- georgestrings

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I have to think you need to do what's right for you. Personally, I think ditching gigs isn't right. Especially if it's just because your're angry someone else is being a douche. In the end the only opinion of me that matters is my own.

 

I'd try and get the band together on an off night for a *calm* talk and figure where everyone's heads are at. If it's not good, see what you can do to get the gigs done, either subbing or replacing player X, or at least finishing out the existing gigs before wrapping it up. Maybe the threat of band breakup or his replacement will make Player X and his wife more reasonable to compromise.

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I say cancel the other gigs and make a quick and easy split.

 

 

If you do go with Eve's advice, at least call around and try to find adequate replacement bands for your clients. It will go a long way as to prevent not burning any bridges with future gigs/same clients with a different act

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