Should I quit one of my bands?

blueshadow

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Man I hate the drama bs of band stuff, I try to avoid it. Music is supposed to be an escape for me from my day job and family obligations not an added stress. Once there's a stress involved I feel like it's not worth it. I'm not in it for money, fame or any self indulgence just want to play and have fun.

Background on the situation. Joined what I consider my main band about 3 years ago, they have a pretty good following here in Austin and the name of the band has been out there for 20 years. I'm their 3rd or 4th drummer and we are on a 2nd bassist but the original is still "in the band" officially on a "break" from the band. Comes hangs out at gigs now and then sits in or fills in when we need him...he's family.

Lead guitarist of this band is the manager/booker always has been. He's also a member of a Jazz vaudville Austin band that has also been very popular for the past 20 years. They are somewhat less busy since their lead female vocalist joined Squirrel Nut Zippers. They never used drums as they had upright bass and banjo. Fast forward to two years ago they wanted to do a one off Halloween show as a country band using a drummer. I was asked to do it and was extremely excited to do it. Then I had to have minor surgery on my leg to remove a benign tumor so didn't do the gig....instead they used another friend on drums. The story goes they all enjoyed it and wanted to continue it as a band fast forward a bit further the drummer wasn't as good of a fit to play country and they asked me to join. One by one the members of the jazz band have quit and have been replaced to the point that it is now the lead guitarist's band. (recap lead guitarist of what I consider my main band)

I assumed to much of this being a second or actually a third band that would fill in some calendar dates and be a fun band. It's not, the guitarist is in direct competition with our main band to the point that he is booking this new band more than the other. A case of "not dancing with the one who brung you" if you will.
Lot's of little things are building up that are annoying me. He'll tell me at gigs how the promoter likes this new band better than the other and he is booking private gigs for this new band and not the other.

Hard to put it all down in words but the past few months have been little things just adding up to bugging the heck out of me with him. I think it's at that point that I need out.
 

Polska

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Too often I've stayed too long. Now, when my gut tells me to make a change I act. Every time it's been because I wasn't enjoying it any more. If I find myself saying "oh god, practice tonight...." then that's a sign. If I dread an email from a band member, that's a sign. Sometimes I'm too optimistic and hang in there cause "It's not that bad" or "It'll get better once we book our first gig". Nope - can't ignore the spidey sense when it tingles.

Best of luck!
 

drummertom

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Maybe it is time to look for another band that will not have as much drama. If that means taking some time off, that might not be a bad thing either. When it stops being fun, that's when I usually move on.

Hope it works out.
 

Tmcfour

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If it's not working then it's not working out. If the only reason you are playing is to have a good time and you're not... I think that kinda answers your question.
 

Wheresmyroadie?

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Its tough, Chris, but sometimes you just have to move on. I just left a band I was in for 15 years. After watching a good friend turn into a control freak. It was painful, but out of loyalty, I stayed too long.
Then came the mortal sin...
He started to sneak onstage and change the settings on the other guys' equipment during the break. That is just WRONG.
AS a friend, I stood it as long as I could, then finally gave him a year's notice so as not to inconvenience him, or the other members. I also said I'd help him find my replacement. Since we worked all the time, I knew he wouldn't have trouble finding someone, but that wasn't good enough. He confronted me about why I was leaving, so, as a friend, I told him the truth:

" I want to walk away with my dignity."

Well, he went off and blew up a successful band. He cancelled the whole year of gigs and hasn't spoken to me since.

Be ready for the explosion, my friend, but follow your heart. I know you will be in demand, so screw it. You don't need that drama...

PS: Now, I'm pushing a 7 piece horn band and having a great time!
 

tommykat1

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I say walk! I stayed on too long in my three piece (the leader is abusive to all), and I'm still suffering for it.
 

TheElectricCompany

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Sounds like if you quit one you might be out of both. Do you think the guitar player would be able to handle you leaving on account of his conflicting obligations, or will he flip out and take it personally?

I know that would be the case with the guitar player/band leader in the two groups I play in. I've made my peace with it, however, and am quitting both as soon as I can. The only issue is I don't know the next time I'll see the groups in person to let them know. I really don't want to do it over the phone, but if it gets me out of any obligations past the month of October I just might have to.
 

VintageUSA

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I played in a band for 12 years because the gigs were good and MOST of the band members were good people.
The original keyboard player, bass player, and lead vocalist departed during the first few years -- they were all replaced with better players.
This made the band much more enjoyable..............until I discovered the other players all left because of the lead guitarist.
The lead guitarist was a very negative person and a know-it-all.
Most of the time I am able to blow it off and not worry about it..................but after 12 years I had also had enough.
I guess I stayed too long because the lead guitarist also owned the rehearsal room and it would have been a pain to work through all that.
Too bad because I really liked the other guys and they would have kept on gigging if I stayed.
 

blueshadow

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I'll still be plenty busy with the other two bands (one of which the guitarist plays in and books...at least for now) and I've been turning down fill in work because I'm booked. I subbed a gig last week and for this week due to vacation two with that band I think I'll see how the sub went and suggest maybe he become permanent.
 

dtk

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The only thing I can think to add is...maybe try talking to him about why you're unhappy...maybe...he can fix it...
 

blueshadow

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The only thing I can think to add is...maybe try talking to him about why you're unhappy...maybe...he can fix it...
I've thought about that but if he hasn't gotten the message from the other 4 people quitting, don't think he's going to change but yes I plan on giving him the reason with hopes that he'll realize how he's been. I have talked to the leader of the other band that he books for and he's kind of upset with him to...basically we are getting scraps for gigs
 

blueshadow

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Sounds like if you quit one you might be out of both. Do you think the guitar player would be able to handle you leaving on account of his conflicting obligations, or will he flip out and take it personally?

I know that would be the case with the guitar player/band leader in the two groups I play in. I've made my peace with it, however, and am quitting both as soon as I can. The only issue is I don't know the next time I'll see the groups in person to let them know. I really don't want to do it over the phone, but if it gets me out of any obligations past the month of October I just might have to.
I'll still be in that band, he books but he's not the leader. The fiddle player is in the jazz band with him and quit the band I want to quit....the bass player was also in the band and was fired because he had ideas on how to play the songs.... I know all confusing...bands are very intertwined here in Austin, we joke it's one band with 5,000 members using 1,000 different band names...pretty close to the truth
 

Vistalite Black

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What Would Mike Portnoy Do (MWMPD)?

Start a new "all-star" band and just pretend your current bands never existed! Solved!
 

blueshadow

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What Would Mike Portnoy Do (MWMPD)?

Start a new "all-star" band and just pretend your current bands never existed! Solved!
Ha that's basically what the guitarist is doing now. Keeps replacing members looking for better players... eventually will have to replace himself
 

bkny110

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I left both of my bands last December. One was run by the Rhythm Guitar player, least best player in the band. He wanted most of the vocals, but he's not the best singer, and the front man... disaster. I quit, they got mad and we haven't spoken again. The other band, I had a falling out with the bass player. He wanted to find another band in addition to this band. We found a great situation with a stellar guitar player. We had to learn a bunch of songs, which I worked really hard on. The night before the 1st rehearsal, he pulls out. I never spoke to him since. Bottom line, if you're not happy, QUIT
 

xsabers

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Well, quitting has its time and place, but if I quit every situation as soon as there was an issue, I would be sitting home an awful lot! What I'm saying is, be sure what you are considering quitting for is really worth quitting for. A chronic condition is different than a temporary situation.
 

yyzt4e

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Similar situation, Left a band 4 years ago for lack of direction. Just jam and play to hope things would fall into place. Was asked a year and a half ago to come back to playing with two of the old members and two new ones.
I checked them out and did a few fill ins with them. Seemed fine. Decided to join the band. A few months pass and some of the old things started happening, lack of personal practice, trying to use band time to learn songs, disgruntled attitudes, one way discussions, song choices and similar type of issues. Even so that these squabbles and complaining happened at gigs on stage. Did I mention 14 drummers and bassists in the band 3 years since forming? Most of this I didn't know upfront, well now I do. Anyway, one member just recently quit and I'm pretty sure I'm next. Just too much drama and stress to deal with. Like a few others have said that it is suppose to be a fun relaxing time playing music.
 

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