Personal relationships affecting Professional career

matthew

Senior Member
I have a story which I could use some opinions on. Maybe you could also use this thread to talk about similar situations you have found yourself in.

I joined a band years ago (it was fronted by a singer; essentially it's her band and the musicians are whoever she gets to play for her on the night). I became really good friends with her partner and am still good friends to this day.

The singer and her partner had a very messy break up a little while back. The singer caused my friend to lose her house and was the only option left for her is to move to the country. This is a serious break up!

I have spoken to my friend about her thoughts on me still playing in her band and she has said that I should just be a professional and do the gigs and leave it at that. However other friends of mine who play bass and other instruments literally hang up the phone when the singer calls. They are not what I consider serious musicians - in that they have a day job and play once every so often. I want to make music my life and so far that's on track.

This singer has got recording coming up which I said on the phone I'd love to do. I would. Its a great opportunity to get my playing out to the world, but I do feel conflicted about it.

I think I will be left behind if I let myself be caught up with personal issues when I am trying to advance outside of this little town. On the other hand I don't want to lose the respect of my friends by choosing my path.

My bassist friend who hung up the phone on the singer even said "do what you want man, you're a musician that's what you do". So he knows where he stands on this issue, and keep that resolution for himself (which I think is a very mature thing to do), however at some level if he thinks that way about it, he surely would not respect my choice to work with the singer.

If I pass this opportunity, so other drummer will get the job and I will be exactly where I am today.

So there are pro's and con's with both choices I make: do I work with her or not.

I'm leaning towards yes.
 

theindian

Senior Member
Every situation is different. You have to ask yourself how important playing on a professional level is to you. Completely forget about your friends or anyone else's opinion that does not directly involve the situation. If this wasn't music, and and say you were working at an office job. Would you walk out because the boss fired one of your friends? That is a tough decision but most people would want to keep their jobs and livelyhood. ...Go for it.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Not easy, Matthew.

Your friend suggested you just be a professional so she understands. Your bassist said it's your choice. My guess is that if you pass up recording the album you'll regret it later on after the dust settles. Opportunities in the music business don't come around all the time.

However, if your singer has been unethical in her relationship / breakup I'd be careful of her since character flows through everything we do.

I'd also be inclined to find another band once you've achieved what you want to achieve with this one because that's a lot of baggage to carry around.

Good luck, whichever way you go.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You have to do what's best for your career.

Look at many of the top pros, they play in a variety of bands, in a variety of situations. I'm sure there is conflict with in those situations over who's friend with whom, and "why did you play with that person on your days off from me?" but they do it to drive their careers forward. Look at someone like Josh Freese or Ray Luzier or Kenny Arnoff, who play so may big shows, and big records, but also fill in their schedule with tons of small shows in-between, and some of those small shows lead to their next big gig. Do you think they would think twice about turning down an offer just because it might upset someone else's feeling? Probably not.

If you're scared of of what your friends think, you'll never move on in your career.

And honestly, good friends will still be your friends despite all this. And those that won't stay friends with you over this, well, they would probably move on anyway over something else later.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Not easy, Matthew.

Your friend suggested you just be a professional so she understands. Your bassist said it's your choice. My guess is that if you pass up recording the album you'll regret it later on after the dust settles. Opportunities in the music business don't come around all the time.

However, if your singer has been unethical in her relationship / breakup I'd be careful of her since character flows through everything we do.

I'd also be inclined to find another band once you've achieved what you want to achieve with this one because that's a lot of baggage to carry around.

Good luck, whichever way you go.
This is true too. You want to take steps to protect yourself along the way.
I.E. what your pay is, and any connections or rights to the recording you might or might not have down the line.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Your true friends will let "you" decide what's best for you. If being on the album will possibly further your career/open another door for you, I say "go for it". After that, who knows what will happen. No one has that crystal ball. Your friends are only a phone call/e-mail away.​
Whatever happened between your singer and her partner, is between them. You may have witnessed the accident, but it doesn't sound like you caused it. They, and only they, are responsible.​
I don't see any con to your "dilemma", you need to identify your "friends" from your "acquaintences". If the other players in the band all have "day jobs", well, they've made their choice. Their "personal" decision. They're already looking out for #1, and they have their strategy how they're gonna survive. Are they helping/paying you? Putting food on your plate? Putting a roof over your head? If not, then "you" are responsible only for "you".​
You're hardly ever "stuck" anywhere. One of my lead singers (of 7 years) came from some little town north of West Cupcake, Wisconsin. One day he threw all is "stuff" in his car, had $500 in his pocket, a full tank of gas, and he drove to California. And made his life "out here". No one was responsible for it but himself.​
 

Moldy

Silver Member
Go ahead and do it. just watch your butt. As others have said here, she sounds like "one of those" and probably wouldn't have any compunctions about cutting up anyone who gets in her way or holds her back, including her band.
 

matthew

Senior Member
You've all expressed valuable view points but I'll just quote Pollyanna.

My guess is that if you pass up recording the album you'll regret it later on after the dust settles. Opportunities in the music business don't come around all the time.
This is a good point. Time heals all wounds even if it's many years. At that point I will regret it because every one is over it and my career suffered however little.

I already have good working bands, this opportunity is to do one recording stint over a couple of days. If we make some good songs, I will be able to say I played on them... Thats about all. My current bands will continue as they do.

What's the best way to explain to my friends that I choose to work with her?

I'm thinking the notion that I am responsible for paying my rent/food etc and as a musician I have to be professional and leave personal issues aside. Is this the best line to use? Can you add any others?
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
Hope you don't forget about he most simple thing:

Her former partner (you say, he is still friend with you...): speak with him and ask about his opinion. This is probably the smartest way to get out of this. I feel he will support you to take the gig and you both have a good laugh....

...or am i probably wrong?? If you have his OK, you also have a good position with everybody else.

Bernhard
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
I think that in life sometimes you've just got to work for some people you might not nesecerally like. I reckon you might as well give it a go, see where it takes you. It could be the break you're looking for. Then again, it could not. Also i agree with the fact that you don't have to work with this singer all your life. Taylor Hawkins used to drum for alanis morisette (or whatever she's called) before joining the foos so y'know you could just think of it as something to put on your "CV" before finding the amazing band that's right for you.
 
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