"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans" - Leaving music for a while

Juniper

Gold Member
.....To quote John Lennon in the title.

So last weekend I had to give my band my notice that I'm leaving and they had to start looking for a replacement after nearly five years together. Life's changed in the last few months and there are priorities to be taken into consideration and I no longer can afford the time away from home in/around London for musical adventures (for example for rehearsals it's sometimes over 2 hour trip for me - each way)

It was a tough decision but under good circumstances and one ultimately for the best that suits all parties and one that made 100% sense. It's a shame as we have been demoing for the last few months ready to start working towards an album or EP's. We have two more singles to release from recent studio sessions also so there was a lot on the horizon and momentum starting to build with videos nearing completion/discussions over artwork also....etc

Despite the timing and me leaving them somewhat in the lurch we part ways on very good terms, still very good friends and I know I'll occasionally attend their shows in the future to simply watch and have a catch up in person. The chat went very well and they were very supportive and understanding, which was great. I purposely had 'the chat' early on into a two day writing/demo weekend with the aim of getting that out the way and crack on with getting as many ideas down as possible for the next drummer to have demos to do their own thing with - which feels very weird typing.

One of things we recorded was a really good and catchy brand new song from scratch, which I'm gutted I won't get to record now!!!

We never set out to be mainstream or popular, we just made the music we enjoyed creating together and had some fun along the way so there's a feeling of satisfaction somewhat and I'm keen on seeing what a new drummer brings to the table for them, creative wise.

I've been playing with the guitarist in bands the last 14 years so it'll be weird not seeing him on stage in front of me anymore. I've also been playing with bands in London the last 15 years also, and a few years up in Manchester before that so it will be just as weird no longer playing in all the venues I've loved playing at these last two decades.

Going to miss that aspect a lot also as it's a big part of my life the last 20 years!. Have a lifetime worth of tales from it and I'll miss it, the places it took me and the people I met along the way. Feel a like a retirement of sorts!!

Talking to the band last night they thought it would be nice to have a final/farewell show together for me so just that to go once arranged and it's all done. Very bittersweet feeling but I'm very much looking forward to the future also.


So my questions to you all, has any of you left a band you really enjoyed? If you quit a band or music in general and just played for yourself how did you cope with the transition?

Has anyone left a band on very good terms? If so feel free to share your positive tales if you wish.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
As much as I love playing music, there's always a sense of relief whenever I move on. In my heart, I just know it's time, you know?

I usually spend the first weeks enjoying my free time, spending more time with my wife and kids, and pick up other hobbies (e.g. shooting guns, lifting weights, listening to records, etc.), but then I usually find myself getting into other musical adventures when the time is right. It's really cool to hear stories about either bands dissolving and/or members leaving on good terms. I've NEVER left a band under bad terms, and believe me when I say that it helps leaving when everyone is getting a long. Just because you aren't playing in that band anymore doesn't mean you won't play with any of those folks ever again. I work with people whom I've known for YEARS and we all seem to get in and out of bands with one another time after time. I really enjoy it.

Most of the bands that have dissolved were bands that had just run their course, and the feelings were always mutual. There is only one band that I feel didn't reach its full potential, and its a real shame because they were, and still are, great guys and terrific musicians. We could have done some amazing things, but it's not looking like we will.

With that said, I know that I could call any of them with a problem and they would be there for me and would do anything I needed them to do. As a matter of fact, many of the people with whom I've played music over the past 25 years or so would do the same thing for me as I would them. Although on paper we are still a band, we only have one more gig in the books in July, and I think that's going to be it for us.

When I play for myself, I usually switch instruments - usually to guitar or hammered dulcimer. I may throw in my in-ear monitors and play some drums from time to time, but I really don't concentrate on it a lot.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I think the fact that you have some legitmate reasons for needing - not wanting - to leave the band makes all the difference in the world, and it's why your bandmates were supportive and you will part on good terms.

I've been in a number of bands over the years, but only one with any kind of longevity. I'm still in that one, but the writing is on the wall that it's about done. It's an upscale wedding band, and although there are probably a multitude of reasons why, the phone has stopped ringing. It was a good run though - I've been associated with that band since 2001, and I think that's part of it. When I first got involved, the band was less than 2 years old. I was one of the older members of the band at 31 years old. The core members of the band are all still the same folks, so we just don't appear and appeal to the younger wedding crowd like we did back then, and I think that's a big part of it, in spite of the fact that musically we're probably better than we have ever been.

I left a big band one time after roughly 4 years - I thought I parted on good terms, but they never once called me to ask me to sub a gig, and it has nothing to do with my playing - I was always a very strong trumpet player in that section.

I left a church praise team after 5 years, and again on good terms - they still call me to sub here and there.

I guess that's the thing with life - seasons change, and sometimes we find ourselves doing things we never thought we'd be doing, but it's always for a legitimate reason. That's just the way it goes. Good luck to you in your future endeavors!
 

dmacc_2

New member
Seasons change and requirements dictate what must be done. That's all about being an adult. Good for you for knowing where the focus needs to be. Not all people can - or are willing - to do that.

Most of the bands I've been in all amicably disbanded (for the most part) at the same time. One was a situation that lasted about 18 years and we were all burned out from playing too many gigs and were sick of it. Enough already... The last one was after 16 years and that was the 'hardest' because it was with the best players, best people and my favorite kind of music. However, it came at a GREAT time for me personally with 'life' (work/family).

For the last 4+ years I've put most things drumming related on hold to pursue other (different) musical interests. Came close to selling my drum gear actually, though my wife talked me out of it. These days I 'dabble' on drums but there's actually little interest. I've turned down a couple different band opportunities and several one-off gigs. I began gigging in the early 1980's and having done this for so long.. My tank is empty.

Sounds like you handled it professionally and didn't burn a bridge. Do not be surprised at some point in the future (perhaps a handful of years from now) that you find yourself with a combination of those people again.

It happens and that's why it's important to handle it in the manner you did.
 

trickg

Silver Member
For the last 4+ years I've put most things drumming related on hold to pursue other (different) musical interests. Came close to selling my drum gear actually, though my wife talked me out of it. These days I 'dabble' on drums but there's actually little interest. I've turned down a couple different band opportunities and several one-off gigs. I began gigging in the early 1980's and having done this for so long.. My tank is empty.
I relate to much of what you've posted here. I'm pushing 50 at this point, and I wonder how much longer I can do it (on trumpet, anyway) before I look like the guy who stayed too long at the part and doesn't realize how old he is - this is specifically in regard to the high energy party band I mentioned above.

I figure that I'll always continue to pursue music to some degree, but I figure that I'll wind up being relegated to things like liturgical church music, drums for praise bands, and maybe a classically oriented chamber group, like a brass quintet. Or maybe I'll just hang it up completely at some point. Dunno - that day isn't here yet, and I'm not sure when it's going to be.
 

dmacc_2

New member
I relate to much of what you've posted here. I'm pushing 50 at this point, and I wonder how much longer I can do it (on trumpet, anyway) before I look like the guy who stayed too long at the part and doesn't realize how old he is - this is specifically in regard to the high energy party band I mentioned above.

I figure that I'll always continue to pursue music to some degree, but I figure that I'll wind up being relegated to things like liturgical church music, drums for praise bands, and maybe a classically oriented chamber group, like a brass quintet. Or maybe I'll just hang it up completely at some point. Dunno - that day isn't here yet, and I'm not sure when it's going to be.
I'm a little older than you but sounds like we have much in common. (y)
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I can relate to where you're at, we got rid of our lockup earlier in the year which we'd had for a decade. I'd had the same place in an originals band years before that. Sold a lot of gear that I'd been holding onto since 2003ish onwards. It was like saying ciao to my youth but the time had come.

We're all still good mates and still do the functions together but we haven't jammed properly for years.

It's about getting the priorities right in life and sadly certain situations force our hand i.e. mortgages, bills, keeping the wife happy. I guess it's nice to be able to say enough is enough on your terms. There's nothing more embarrassing than seeing folk who never let the dream die.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I'm in my mid-40's and loving what I'm doing at the moment, but I really feel that when the time comes, I'll just know.
I'm pretty sure that I'll never completely quit - I'll make music until I'm physically unable to do so. It's the type and frequency of the gigging that I'll do that will change.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
I've never become "attached" to any particular band I've been in. Yeah, sure I become part of the team, but even in bands where I've been the drummer for 5 + years.....I can very easily forget and move on. I never identify myself with the band I'm in. I give it all while I'm in a group.....but ultimately I'm still a drummer regardless of whether I'm playing at home, at a rehearsal room or a stadium. I know where I'm going with my drumming and my life. I've made some wonderful friends from previous bands......that's a great positive.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Thank you all for your input, it's highly valued and this has been quite catartic as I've not been in a situation since 1997 where I've not had a musical project to focus on/look forward to. It's very.....strange.

We'll see how long my 'retirement' lasts!!!

My partner and I are expecting, this will (fingers crossed all goes well) be our first child so I don't want to miss a single second, being in a band 80 odd miles away and all the extra hours isn't an option, plus we need to get things in order over the coming months and save as much money as possible.

Also and it's not fair on the band to be waiting around for me over the coming months.

Not something we've made known to anyone other than relatives, close friends and obviously bandmates - for the reasons stated above. Some on this forum know me in real life but I'm sure I can mention this in confidence on here. A few minutes after it was confirmed a while back I knew the decision I had to make despite my other half previously giving me her blessing to continue with the band, despite the cons far outweighing the pros.

She's great like that as she knows how much drumming and music means to me, it's been a massive part of me and an influence on making me who I am, from aged 13 to now 35 but I am sure this love for music will all soon pale in comparison though. It already has.

Hopefully in time I'll find a local band and will return to the 'saddle' with a band just for fun but for now drumming in this capacity takes a back seat to bigger and very exciting priorities. Time to be responsible, get things in order and focus on paying the Mortgage/bills even more.

Found myself on eBay the other night looking at gear out of habit and nearly had to slap myself!! All the drum shops I use have seemed to email me about crazy sales also. Ha!

Thanks again for all your input and kind words, it's very much appreciated.

P.s it probably means my posting frequency on here will increase, so apologies in advance to you all ; )
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Congrats on the newest addition to your family! I have three kids myself, and for a season, it's going to seem impossible to do anything else but concentrate on those kids. With that said, it's just a season, and it will move way too quickly. The days will be long, but the years will be short. Music will always be there for you, but the kids won't, so enjoy that time with your family. There's nothing like it in the world, man. I thought I was going to be "different," and keep pursuing music with a newborn. I made it a year or so, and it was freakin' miserable. I should have quit and did what you are doing.

Now that you've explained a little more, I can sense that you may be going through some sort of identity crisis. Just remember this - you are more than a guy behind drums, and you have a ton more to offer than just music. I've never met a guy whom I would classify as a good dad and a good husband who said he regretted having his family as his top priority. Ever. Go in grace my friend! Enjoy every moment.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Congrats on the newest addition to your family! I have three kids myself, and for a season, it's going to seem impossible to do anything else but concentrate on those kids. With that said, it's just a season, and it will move way too quickly. The days will be long, but the years will be short. Music will always be there for you, but the kids won't, so enjoy that time with your family. There's nothing like it in the world, man. I thought I was going to be "different," and keep pursuing music with a newborn. I made it a year or so, and it was freakin' miserable. I should have quit and did what you are doing.

Now that you've explained a little more, I can sense that you may be going through some sort of identity crisis. Just remember this - you are more than a guy behind drums, and you have a ton more to offer than just music. I've never met a guy whom I would classify as a good dad and a good husband who said he regretted having his family as his top priority. Ever. Go in grace my friend! Enjoy every moment.
Thanks mate, for years I've put so much of myself into music it's a little strange now not focussing on it, or finding myself thinking of things in the quiet moments and then realising it's not a train of thought that's now even relevant.

Wouldn't say it's a crisis as such as there are no negative thoughts as we/I can't wait to (fingers crossed) welcome the new arrival but it's also weird drawing a line in the sand after so many years and putting it to one side.

It's just all new and I'm sure before long it'll just seem like a distant, happy period of my life.

It's all good and thank you for your input from your own experiences, it's very helpful.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Give it a year. Nothing else compares. A kid makes all the nonsensical things we take for granted worth it. You WILL enjoy paying your mortgage. You WILL enjoy grocery shopping. You WILL enjoy everything that never even crossed your mind before. Times will be good, times will be frustrating, but times will never be bad. Dig in and enjoy it, it's a wild ride.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
My partner and I are expecting, this will (fingers crossed all goes well) be our first child so I don't want to miss a single second…
Just wait until you make music with your kids! You’ll be so happy you’ll cry.

It’s one of the funnest things I’ve ever done.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Juniper...... CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Let me tell you something, from one Dad to another......

Nothing in this world even comes close to watching your own child being born.

It takes you to an emotional high that makes everything else in this world seem insignificant.

It is an absolute privilege to be a Dad, not a right.

I thank the powers that be for my 2 beautiful children and their amazing manners, wonderful behaviour, intelligence and wisdom that far exceeds mine.

Oh, it's amazing how you have shared your personal news with us.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Jon you will still bring your artistic touch to everything you do. I stopped for 20 years, it seems to be a recurring theme.

I really enjoyed speaking with you at the drum show in 2017. You're gonna be a terrific dad.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Thanks again all, much appreciated and all great help/advice. Thank you all.

Would have normally been demoing/rehearsing this weekend but have been sorting the garden/house.
Jon you will still bring your artistic touch to everything you do. I stopped for 20 years, it seems to be a recurring theme.

I really enjoyed speaking with you at the drum show in 2017. You're gonna be a terrific dad.
Thanks Larry, I enjoyed speaking with you too and thank you.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Yeah, I bailed out for 20 years after having put everything I could into it. I never sold my kit though. I do two gigs a year now with some people I played with 30-40 years ago. We used to talk about the upcoming gigs. Now it's more about hip replacements and heart issues! My point is, never give music up completely. :)
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
First, congratulations, you have a mahoosive adventure ahead of you.

Second, you don't need to give up music, just tweak your relationship with it.

When mini me arrived I was doing heaps of cycling, road and mountain. Mountain biking required a drive to and from the trail, but road cycling I could do from the front door.

Find your analogy for music.
 
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