Anon,Last practice the guys talked and said they want to play more gigs. I am seriously thinking of leaving the band. Trouble is it could result in the group breaking up - our singer would almost certainly leave to focus on his other (serious) band rather than go through the process of finding and training up a new drummer who he's unlikely to find as much fun
This leaves me in a quandary because I truly detest public performance but these are good people who I'd prefer not to upset.
I dislike or am indifferent to everything about gigging unless the acoustics are great. Even then my loony tunes anxieties (hangover from a tortured youth) largely spoil it for me. I gigged heaps in the 80s and 90s and the nerves problem never eased, though I learned to at least pretend to have a good time by goofing around.
I admit that I'm a choker - when it's time to show what you're made of my playing falls to bits. For years I've persevered because I felt the struggle would be character building, but I'm over it.
I am heading towards a new phase of life with new interests, I guess, but I don't want the transition to cause harm ... advice and perspective appreciated!
You mention the stress of public performance and preferring recording to gigging. But I find the pressure of getting a perfect take while the clock is ticking on expensive studio time much more stressful.
I guess there's nothing I'm going to say here to cure the anxiety you've felt playing live for 30 years. But to me, unless you're playing a huge arena, there isn't much to be nervous about. Nobody in the crowd has any idea about what you're doing, ya know?
Anyway, you should do what you want to. If playing live has nothing to offer you anymore, then you shouldn't do it. Your bandmates and friends will just have to respect that. And I don't see why they wouldn't.