Difficult band members

drummingman

Gold Member
Are you in a band with band members who you don't gel with as people but you play great music together? One member in particular in my band fits this bill with me. And too a degree another band member does as well (on a lesser level). It makes for a hard situation at times because of the difference in personalities. It also creates a feeling of me not being able to be myself as a person because they don't get my sense of humor and we just view so many things, band wise as well as other areas, so differently.

I have never really been in a band situation like this before. I don't feel I should leave this band, but the situation has been and continues to be a test of my patience and forgiveness of others.
 

deltdrum

Senior Member
I won't be in a band with someone I don't like. I commit to guys because we're like minded and jam well together.

Otherwise it's just an ensemble I guess.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Are you in a band with band members who you don't gel with?
If the displeasure you get from associating with them exceeds the pleasure you gain from playing with them, then the answer is pretty evident.

Bands are an uncanny marriage of diverse individuals that tend to have no other reason to be trapped in a van together other than the music they play.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Bands are an uncanny marriage of diverse individuals that tend to have no other reason to be trapped in a van together other than the music they play.
Haha, that's absolutely true!

I'm in two bands. I've been very good friends with the singer in one of them for a long time now, and although I've known the two guitarists for several years, we've never been close and I'd call them and the bassist acquaintances rather than real friends. I don't dislike any of them, but I wouldn't go out of my way to spend time with them either. But we all play well together and as a band, we're very consensual and easy-going.

My second band has only been together for about a month, but I really genuinely like this lot! I had a few reservations about the guitarist at first, but I'm starting to think that I should take him the way he intends to be taken, rather than the way he comes across, as I'm fairly sure he is actually a nice guy.

I look forward to rehearsals with the second band much more than with the first, but afterwards the feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction is the same. If I wasn't getting this feeling, I wouldn't be happy and I couldn't do it.
 

Dave A

Member
We had a similar problem a few years ago. The real difference was that we all got on well as a band except for the lead guitarist who had a colossal ego. We through him out in the end. We got another guy in and things went really well for about 18 months to 2 years. We had a discussion last night and we've pretty much called it a day. We all get on personality wise (although there are some over sensitive members), but musically the motivation is gone.
The plus is that me and the new lead guitarist started a band together about 4 months ago and that is a real pleasure to play in.
As has been mentioned, weigh up the differences. If the music is more fun than the people and you're enjoying it carry on. If the people start to get too much on your nerves then quit, because there will be problems later on.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It also creates a feeling of me not being able to be myself as a person because they don't get my sense of humor and we just view so many things, band wise as well as other areas, so differently.

I don't feel I should leave this band, but the situation has been and continues to be a test of my patience and forgiveness of others.
I wouldn't worry so much about the differences, unless someone is being way out of line. As long as you enjoy making music with them, just stick it out. And if you have to have a different dynamic with that group or just a few of the members, so be it. It's like life. People are different and not all relationships are going to be ideal, but everyone pulls together for a common goal whether it's in the workplace, sports team, or a band.

There are various levels of tolerance, indifference, and also genuine joy for the assorted bands and musicians I work with, but the music is always most important.

Bermuda
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I have been in more bands than I care to count throughout the years and I have found that invariably bands made up of friends tend to fail faster than ones made up of acquaintances. I think the psychology is that it is difficult to tell your friend that he is messing up. You care more about their feelings than the music, so everybody tends to just acquiesce and let things go that are less than perfect. In a band of guys who are only together for the music people tend to be harsher and more demanding of each other.

As for playing in bands with guys that I don't necessarily get along with, it definitely happens. As long as the music is good and we can work together on a professional level I will stick around. If the music starts to suffer or guys cant act professionally, that's when its time to go.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I will say that at times I really don't enjoy being around some of the band members. Sometimes there is a ton of tension in the air at practice. To be honest I have wanted to part with one of the members for months, but the other guys in the band disagree. They feel the pros out weigh the cons when it comes to playing with him. I disagee as I feel a lot of the times the way he behaves is a hugh source of the tension. I almost quit the band because of him about a month ago. But we were able to work it out.

The thing I worry about is that its very hard to find serious musicians who want to play full time. These guys do fit that bill but a lot of the times I really dont enjoy playing wi.ith them because of how they behave. The sad thing is that a few of the members really bring out the worst in me. Then I end up behaving in ways that makes me disappointed in myself.

Also, 9 times out of 10 it really feels like they dont take my ideas when it comes to the band seriously. I usually hear things like "nows not the right time to do that" or "we all feel this way about it and you feel differently then the rest of us". I feel that they have made some missteps in the development of the band a number of times but my opinion usually gets out voted. This has been rather discouraging. Then when I bring it up again to point out that we are moving in the wrong direction they say Im harping on the issue and they find that frustrating. This in turn gets me frustrated.On one of the vital points that we disagreed on they just saw I was right. But it took them months to see that and now we are having to play catch up. If they would have listened to me in the first place this would not be the case.

I know that no band is perfect. But sometimes I am really torn about continuing to play with these guys.
 
Last edited:

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I know that no band is perfect. But sometimes I am really torn about continuing to play with these guys.
Despite what I said earlier, there may be a point where being around certain people just eats you up. When that begins to rival the joy of making music, then it's time to part ways.

Bermuda
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I will say that at times I really don't enjoy being around some of the band members. Sometimes there is a ton of tension in the air at practice. To be honest I have wanted to part with one of the members for months, but the other guys in the band disagree. They feel the pros out weigh the cons when it comes to playing with him. I disagee as I feel a lot of the times the way he behaves is a hugh source of the tension. I almost quit the band because of him about a month ago. But we were able to work it out.

The thing I worry about is that its very hard to find serious musicians who want to play full time. These guys do fit that bill but a lot of the times I really dont enjoy playing wi.ith them because of how they behave. The sad thing is that a few of the members really bring out the worst in me. Then I end up behaving in ways that makes me disappointed in myself.

Also, 9 times out of 10 it really feels like they dont take my ideas when it comes to the band seriously. I usually hear things like "nows not the right time to do that" or "we all feel this way about it and you feel differently then the rest of us". I feel that they have made some missteps in the development of the band a number of times but my opinion usually gets out voted. This has been rather discouraging. Then when I bring it up again to point out that we are moving in the wrong direction they say Im harping on the issue and they find that frustrating. This in turn gets me frustrated.On one of the vital points that we disagreed on they just saw I was right. But it took them months to see that and now we are having to play catch up. If they would have listened to me in the first place this would not be the case.

I know that no band is perfect. But sometimes I am really torn about continuing to play with these guys.
This is just me putting the shoe on the other foot, but is it possible that you're a difficult person to deal with yourself?

I have been in bands with some real arseholes, the moment I see that things are going awry, I get out. I'm starting a little rock band at the moment and personality is weighing pretty heavily on the band members I/we choose.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
It's not necessary to see eye to eye on everything. Obviously, that's not even possible.

What is important is to have the others bring out the best in each other so some amount of good will on a personal level is required for that to happen. If you're tempted to crash a song half way through just to piss 'em off, then take that as a sign that it's probably time to split.

I just quit a band I was in last month after only 3 months because one of the guys was insufferable. I liked the music well enough but just couldn't fake nice with him anymore. What a jackass!

It happens.

If I'm going to spend the amount time it takes to become a good band, I need to like the people I'm playing with, so when I'm out auditioning or trying to put a band together, that criteria is always high on my list.
 

FritzDrummer

Senior Member
Experienced this for the first time recently! Our lead guitarist was just hard to deal with. He was awesome and we only put up with him cause of how good he was. Then he made it to 4 of our last 16 shows and two of them, he made it after the first two sets, just for the third. Then wondered why his cut was smaller? For the third show of those four, we were fortunate to get a big name venue in Philly and to headline the show. We went on at 11:30 but had to be there and ready for soundcheck at 7. He got there at 11:10. The sound guy wanted to murder him. Finally, the fourth show he made it to, a charity gig in Gettysburg, PA, he showed up 3 minutes before we went on with his new significant other. This just made things worst. I could not hear my kit over his amp, and he only plays with an Orange Micro Crush amp. The sound guy left his board to turn down his amp. As the sound guy turned to go back to his board, his amp went right back up. Guitar solos were never ending and we had to cut multiple verses and choruses because he would never cut off for the singer to go back into the next part. Within 5 minutes of playing, at least half of the packed bar left to go to another local bar because he was way too loud. Our lead singer changed the lyrics to a whole song about how he was tired of the guitarists crap and told him he was done through the song. The guitarist never realized it because he wasn't paying attention to anyone else and couldn't hear it either. After every song the drums, bass, and rhythm guitar would cut together, but he would keep shredding on and on, then turn back to me to cut off with him. I refused to, we already ended. Needless to say, we have not allowed him back since.

Worst bandmate ever.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
Despite what I said earlier, there may be a point where being around certain people just eats you up. When that begins to rival the joy of making music, then it's time to part ways.

Bermuda
My biggest worry about cutting free from this band is how hard it may be to find other players that are truly serious and want to do music full time through recording and touring. It took me 3 years to find these guys. But I am becoming less and less enthused playing with them. And sadly its becoming harder to be around them. The fact that we view so many things so differently when it comes to band things makes it that much harder.

Im no spring chicken when it comes to my age. Im not an old man either. But being that Im not super young makes starting over again a bummer. But I really do want to enjoy my times spent with the people Im in a band with. And I have to wonder if its like this now how will it be when were on the road?

I know that most of it is the bass player for me. And the guitar player to some extent. But the bass player and his crappy personality and general rudeness is what makes the situation the hardest. But the other guys just put up with him and say Im just being to sensitive. But when I talk to the guy, just in normal conversation, I never know how he's going to act. Hes prone to snapping at people for no good reason.

The guitar player is a bummer to be around a lot of the times as well. He's really young and he thinks he knows everything a lot of the times. He has a degree in psychology so he thinks he is able to accurately phychoanalyze everyone. But a lot of the times his analysis is off. But because he has a sense of knowledge in this area he is self assured that he is right. This gives him an arrogance in his attitude when he feels he's right on something.

I formed this band with the guitar player (we met through the craigslist musician ad"s). But me and him just dont gel well on how we think things should be run in a band and on a personal level. Me and the bass player are like oil and water on every level. He is one of the most moody and jerky type of people I have ever met. The singer is a really nice guy but tends to agree with the bass player and guitar player almost all the time on band decisions.

This is truly a hard situation for me. knowing the right thing to do here is not easy.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
This is just me putting the shoe on the other foot, but is it possible that you're a difficult person to deal with yourself?

I have been in bands with some real arseholes, the moment I see that things are going awry, I get out. I'm starting a little rock band at the moment and personality is weighing pretty heavily on the band members I/we choose.
I admit that Im far from perfect. Im obsessive and can be very headstrong at times. But I really do try to treat others with kindness and I really do try to be easy going. I let things go all the time in the band because I hate arguing. But when 2 members of the band and I butt heads the most when one of them says something to me or does something that really gets under my skin its a real challenge to not snap back at them in anger because of our past experiences with each other (they tend to agree with each other 95 percent of the time).Then when I give in to my anger and snap back or say something insulting to one of them I feel like a jerk cause thats not who I am as a person. But the guitar player (at times) and the bass player (all the time) just bring out the worst in me.

I dont want to cut and run from the situation just because its hard. But I don't want to be miserable all the time when Im with them either. Thats one of the reasons why Im having such a hard time knowing if I should leave this band and look for another or if I should stay and hope things get better.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I've noticed in situations where three people all agree, and I disagree, there's a strong chance that I might possibly be the one who is incorrect, or difficult, as you will.

Bottom line though, the reasons don't matter all that much, the product will suffer if the production team is un-happy and hates each other. Try a different set of guys.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
I've left three bands because there was at least one person I couldn't stand to spend time with any more.

The band I have recently joined is the first one that's wanted to meet me socially, and talk about music, before hearing me play. We've played together a few times now and although it's still early days, they do seem to be a genuinely nice bunch. Sorting out structures, changes and "what do you want to do in this bit" has been so easy - everyone respects the others' roles in the band, there are no put downs, tutting and eye rolling, and blame games whenever anything doesn't go right, and all the general crap I've had to put up with in previous bands. If the guitarist is talking about "turn arounds" or key changes, and I need to know about bars (measures) or counts, we just take the time needed until we understand each other. And it doesn't really take that long to sort this stuff out when everyone is courteous and the main aim is to get the song right, and not just show off and strut around being a musical god. I am consequently finding it much easier (and quicker) to learn the material than with previous bands.

Surely this is the right way to do it? You (or I anyway) can't possibly judge if you're going to get on with everyone just from one audition.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I talked with the guitar player and singer extensively last night about how Im feeling in the band. They both went out of their way to let me know that they consider me an intrical part of the band. The guitar player was visibly troubled, in a good way, by how Im feeling. He asked what all could be done to improve the situation for me.

They do seem to genuinely care about how I feel. But Im still not sure I should stay in the band. I just dont know if things will ever be really happy and joyful for me in this band. Im honestly agonizing over the right thing to do. Im trying not to make a rash decision and just quit. But I dont want to drag it out if thats really what I should do.
 

drummingman

Gold Member
I had another rehearsal tonight with the singer and guitar player. The guitar player told me that he was going to try to be more open to my ideas and opinions in the band. He acknowledged the fact that the bass player usually tends to side with him, and he said that if he's more open to my ideas maybe the bass player will be as well. The singer also said that he was starting to feel negative vibes that made him not want to come to practice like I felt as well. It seems that both the guitar player and the singer really want to work on these things to make the situation better for me and for the whole band. To be honest the bass player has been trying really hard to be a lot better towards me as well for about a month. I really do have to give him credit for that. But being around him still gives me a lot of anxiety because of our history and interactions in the past.

The reality is I don't want to have to leave this band. I really do want it to work out. Being that all the members seem to want to really try to make things better for me that does seem like somewhat of a sign from God that I should stay in the band at least for now.

This is probably been the most mentally and emotionally taxing band I've ever been in. But maybe that means that it has the most potential of any band I've ever been in to truly be great.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Man.. It's always the bass player isn't it?

I think the way you've described the situation says it all.. You're almost giving him credit for treating you almost human. Get out of it, get into a new band and if you've made any mistakes in your interactions with these guys, try not to make the same with the new clan.
 
Top