My band's dilemma. (Long)

Kamen_Kaiju

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Fus you thought about...

al6TrAN.jpg




:laugh2: J/K
 

FUS44

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If you declare yourself the leader ...then you have to take the good with the bad....

In my experience....the band should "gel" in the first few practices....even if there is a fraction of a bar that actually gels then you might have something....

YOU have to ask yourself a few Honest questions....do you lead well ?

Are you difficult and do you want to be pleased? If they are not following you then something is wrong with the way your doing something...

I was in a band where it was SOOoooo important to Just know the songs....there was no personal interaction, go to practice, play ...leave....as a result we came off that way....sterile.

a few personnel changes (for other reasons) and I suggested to the other guitar player...lets go and be social with these newer players....(we choose golf) :facepalm:

But it worked, we got to know the guys, things were looser, its was real good for about 3 years....that's a long time for some....

Point is....its Rock and roll and being a prick or being sterile produces the same prickish, sterile music...the audience isn't stupid....they get the jist right away if your "faking it" or trying to come off different than what you really are.

If your music isn't looser or swinging , then its the attitude in the room....one of the biggest killers is fear of making a mistake....destroys a mood instantaneously....

Music MUST Flow....OPen Jams work too, where everybody has a chance to contribute...relax the mood and don't overcorrect....

Another great post and thanks. The open jams are noise. The bass player is still not good enough to jam (doing lots of one on one trying to undo some of the theory; he's thinking not feeling and letting it go)with confidence and the drummer just bashes away. Not listening. I let them try to establish something. I want them to contribute and enjoy being in the band. Finally, when we discern that no one else has anything, I whip out a completed (guitar/vox) song. We discuss the dynamics and go at it. The songs are glued together in a fecked up way, not flowing. I'm always hearing the other parts but try not dictate.

From 2000-2010, I called all the shots. Since 2012, less control. But and I discussed this with my brother (singer since 2000) and asked if he thought anything was different.
He said he agreed that dynamics of songs had changed.

I asked him about "communicating" and its effect on the musical directon. He came up with a very interesting insight. He said "I don't think we listen to enough music together."
In the early days of the band, we would drink. A lot. And while we were drinking we'd all take turns being the DJ. My bro said "I think because of that we developed a common pool that we drew from. I think we all could all figure out who you were ripping off."(Ballbuster!)

These guys don't listen to any of the same bands. We bring in some odd or older influences, but our listening was mainly 50 bands 100-150 songs. For 3 years.

I asked him about whether I was too overbearing. He said "You took control when you had to".

One problem is, I want the band to have fun and give off the band of pirates vibe, but someone has to be in control and ready to drive, diffuse issues, negotiate etc. That person is invariably , moi. There's no party time for me after we play. That's fine, but we're not bonding.

Tomorrow needs to happen. I want it work. But the music must happen, most importantly. There have been some business decisions that recently were made that I don't agree with but I think this is the prime directive.
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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"One problem is, I want the band to have fun and give off the band of pirates vibe, but someone has to be in control and ready to drive, diffuse issues, negotiate etc. That person is invariably , moi."

good luck man. I know them feels
 

Sct13

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You hit on another thing....

(or your friend/brother did)....we listened together and had parts that each of us expected the other to know....not because they NEEDED to know ...they wanted to know....and they wanted to know with the band....

Very important....

Trying to train some one takes time and they will feel pressured and might not do well....you will have to give him very basic things...know what he is capable of and don't push till he has mastered the previous part...otherwise your banging your head against a cabinet.

I was suckered into a band (my fault I know) that wanted to do ALOT of country.....I though ok how hard can THAT be????? OOPS....

The guy running he whole thing cant play anyway ....and is a Karoke god at his local watering hole.....what a disaster....

Know limits...

As for a drummer who doesn't listen?? wire his stool with 10,000 volts and teach him to listen with a little red button....:run:
 

Tim Fezziwig

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FU, flex, screw your buddy/mates-they STINK. I fired myself from my band in '93 because I went "soft." Guys should not care, they should go straight ahead always. I'm 'sweet" on my wife, I lay off the heat on her. EVERYBODY else gets the lash-including my father. This whole bromance/wingman stuff is pure propaganda. I rest well every night,no knots in my belly. It is your band,don't be a clown. FEZZ band #3 is not bad,my bassist is the leader,he cares, I don't. I just write the songs and coast. I may get fired from my own band. BOO HOOOO!
 

ElCamino

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I can't even imagine. Must be like painting a picture with three or four other artists.

"I like red. Green is ugly."
"I work only in oils. Water colors are for amateurs."
"Lets use rollers instead of brushes!"
"Leave it white, man. Not a dot of paint on the entire canvas. Now THAT would be cool."
"Oh, Jim's not gonna make it today. Yoko is bitching again."
 

freebyrd 69

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I have been in bands for the last 35 years, and there are many great suggestions here, but there is one thing you simply cannot overlook....

The band IS your drummer and your bass player. If they don't gel together, your band will never "swing"....PERIOD, EVER.

That being said, any and all decision(s) you make should be done with that in mind. Doing things "secretly" like the recording you were speaking of, will never end well either, IMO. Every band needs a leader, and sometimes that requires being seen as the douche....but always be an up front douche.

Again, any band begins with the drums and bass gelling. Everything else is just filling in around that. They are your "groove", your "mojo". IMO, you will not ever get what you are looking for out of the two guys you currently have. Good luck.
 

rxbandit

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I think communication is being missed, starting a new band right now and we've all met and discussed where we want to go with music/what style/who's responsible for what/and how to promote. So much easier when everyone is on the same page.
 

J-Dizzle

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FUS44 you need to set one thing straight: The reality is you are not in a band. You are a solo artist with sidemen.

However unlike most others in your position you are actually PAYING the other guys. So to me that dictates that they should play the songs exactly how you want them played.

The fact you have tried to make it a "band" has backfired on you and has confused issues with your bandmates. I feel that you either need to rebrand as a solo artist or make it clear in no uncertain terms to your bandmates that you are a dictator a-la Billy Corgan/ Dave Grohl, and that if you are paying them you want it done a certain way.

If it were a band where all members have artistic input then you'd just have to put up with it. And if you were not paying them I'd say to you "suck it up princess".

I've been in bands like yours where the founder tried to make it a "band", yet didn't pay anyone but then expected everything "his way". Unsuprisingly those bands went nowhere with constantly revolving lineups and bad blood.

I'd also like to warn against constantly changing lineups like you've done. It really undermines the band and damages the fanbase because they cannot get attached to any members. Bands like that tend to become seen as a bit of a joke after a while (spinal tap drummer etc). Thats why I'd suggest just bite the bullet and become a solo artist with sidemen. At least then if you change a bandmate its no big deal. You're already paying them anyway. Just call a spade a spade.
 

freebyrd 69

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I think communication is being missed, starting a new band right now and we've all met and discussed where we want to go with music/what style/who's responsible for what/and how to promote. So much easier when everyone is on the same page.

Sometimes communication can help straighten things out. But, a green pea and an overzealous drummer......only so much.

I have played with some very high caliber drummers and bass players. Even top guys like that sometimes have different styles, and though they may both be great in their own right, together, it just doesn't work.
 

Sct13

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I have been in bands for the last 35 years, and there are many great suggestions here, but there is one thing you simply cannot overlook....

The band IS your drummer and your bass player. If they don't gel together, your band will never "swing"....PERIOD, EVER.

That being said, any and all decision(s) you make should be done with that in mind. Doing things "secretly" like the recording you were speaking of, will never end well either, IMO. Every band needs a leader, and sometimes that requires being seen as the douche....but always be an up front douche.

Again, any band begins with the drums and bass gelling. Everything else is just filling in around that. They are your "groove", your "mojo". IMO, you will not ever get what you are looking for out of the two guys you currently have. Good luck.

Absolutely correct Jon...the core of a band is the drummer and the bass player...if they do not understand this synergistic relationship...then the whole ship cannot float ....it will be noise...

If you going to train your bass player he may not get that....you might need to "exercise" those two....if you can tolerate the time input....

I know how difficult it can be to find high quality players, and then hope you can convince them of your vision... so its up to you if you want to nurse this thing along....

bass and drums should be a marriage and your are the matchmaker.....

yea.... good luck
 

freebyrd 69

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We had a bass player that was the nicest guy EVER. He has played with Bootsy Collins, and some high level jazz gigs. Never missed a practice, never bitched about anything, always brought a good attitude, helped load in/out.....always.

The problem was, we are a classic rock cover band, and in his opinion, he felt like "copying" someone was not being a musician. We tried to put some songs in where he could do his thing. But let's face it, when you have a song like "Allright now", or Sweet Emotion, you have to stick to the signature bass line. He would try and go all jazz/fusion in the middle of "Stranglehold".

We talked to him nicely several times about this. It drove our drummer CRAZY. Sometimes, he would do some amazing stuff, but, generally speaking, he ruined a lot of songs....the "swing" if you will.

So.....we had to let him go. The guy we have now is the quintessential classic rock bass player. Very high energy, and he and our drummer gel great together. It was really amazing how much it improved our band.

Now.....his attitude sucks sometimes, he does anything he can to avoid the load in/out process, and has cancelled a few practices. Musically though, the rest is worth putting up with. Give and take......
 

Sct13

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LOL

Doesn't want to sweat...I know the type...

I would hire a stage hand. and have...he should smarten up.....:):laugh2:
 

BSeneca

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Drummers are a different breed. I have been blessed to have been in my current band for 19 years. I have been in three serious bands in the last 28 years or so. My original drummer was my best friend and incredible. He would think certain songs were beneath him if there was not a Neal Peart quality of playing. As the years passed and the music changed he got it and always played to the record. He left after many years of substance abuse and we replaced him with another guy we both knew for years. He is great as well. More John Bonham and a great pocket drummer. BUT!! He will throw what I call mystery fills into songs that don't have them. Drives me freakin nuts! We will be playing Alright Now and suddenly I hear double bass??!! What are you doing? I am bored! Well I am not exactly lighting it up playing four chords either. But its about the integrity of the song. Don't get me wrong, we are tight and no one other than musicians would probably notice it, but it just kills me. Just how drummers are. Good Luck, Brian
 

Gin&Pentatonic

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Well, I don't think you're imagining things when it comes to the drummers you've been working with. I've been fired from a few bands because I didn't have that...certain feel for the songs...that they were looking for. I understood. Some drummers play in front of the beat, some play right on top of it, and some play behind it. It's not deliberate, it's just how you respond to what you're hearing and how your emotions affect how you play.

If it's a bad fit, it's a bad fit. It happens, and that's totally fine. Be honest and let the guy know you feel and move on with who you think is the better fit.
 

Sct13

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There three "Kinds" of bands....Cover bands that need to be Johnny on the spot to the recording, a creative song writing band, and a dictatorship band...like Blackmoore's Rainbow, or other front man "do what I say or your out bands"

I have done all three....the creative song writing bands bring out the best in the musical ability of it members...
 

FUS44

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Well, thanks guys for a tsunami of good advice. I've been here a long time and seen a lot of "advice threads". Most of them blow out a pig's ass.

Oddly, I did not check the responses since last night and I basically went the truth today. 100% all the way around.

Everything discussed in this thread was discussed today. It was pretty painless.
I had exhibits for many of my issues and we A/B'd versions of songs.

We had a long, long jam (met up 12 and got done around 4pm) and went through the obvious stumbling issues. And then did about 2 hours of new stuff. Stopping to discuss expectations, visions, arrangements. We also videoed the entire thing (sans pre jam confessionals).
If it is listenable, I will post some of it.
Lots of good suggestions and enlightening truths came to light.

But overall, we will continue as a "creative band" but any old songs will be done the way they were recorded. Period.
The prime directive is to get the 10-12 songs for the new project done right. The demo will be the prototype for the 3 songs on it.

I probably haven't communicated one thing enough which makes me want to work harder with the team I have: we get along well.
And that doesn't mean "they agree with me". We had some heated bits, but I let the music do the talking and kept it 100% about the music.
So we will all "suck it up buttercup" ;) and drive on. I will work with the bass player. I will communicate my expectations better. I want their input as well. It's just better that way, IMO. And if a deciding vote must be cast(there are 4 of us), I will call the shot.
 

mdubya

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That is good news, FUS. :applause:

As you can tell, many of us have had similar experiences.

I had a good friend/bass player that kind of complained I was too busy for him to stretch out. So I gave have a very late 60's Who type of song I had written. and said " throw some Entwistle at this." He just looked at me and replied, "I can't."

We had a classic line up where the singer was the right singer (even though not everyone liked him, audience-wise, his delivery was right for the band). The bass player was the cornerstone. He was the drummer for all intents; kept the time, kept the drummer in check, kept it simple, which allowed me to shine as the songwriter and guitar player. It was as perfect as we could get.

But the singer wanted to make it his band and began making things impossible for the rest of us. We did talk to him, and he would look at us like we were speaking in a different language.

He left. Everyone hated the new singer, including us. The bass player lost interest. The new bass player always played against me, not with me. Always tried to speed up all the songs and dragged the drummer along with him. It was awful. We never recovered and no one wanted to see that version of the band, where as the earlier version had people keenly interested in when, where, and what we were going to play next. <smh>
 

Shred Astaire

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It's ALWAYS communication. There is never another single reason...ego sometimes makes an appearance of course but if you ain't talking, you ain't got a band.

Good luck FUS!! Sounds like you had a good jam and chat. Cheers!
 

Tim Fezziwig

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FU, you make too much sense. I just enjoy blowing things up. Good luck. FEZZ #3 is going on 11 months! Longest FEZZ band has ever lasted is 18 months. What will next 7 months hold?
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=921CsfhKzqw[/ame]
 

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