Re: Decisions Decisions
I work with a few people that I don't want to spend time with outside of the band. I wouldn't necessarily agree with or condone some of the choices they make, either. But, in the bands that we're in, they have the dedication, drive, and talent needed to pull their weight in the group. I have no qualms about them, and we get along fine. Sometimes heads butt and sometimes egos come into play, but I've got to step back and realize that I'm not perfect, either.
On the flip side of this, I just quit working with another singer/songwriter who was making some very bad choices, and they impacted a couple of my friends. He has a bad reputation, and if you merely mention his name to some people, they go off on the guy. Now, he's really talented and writes really good songs, but when it comes to my own reputation and being affiliated with that guy, I'd rather not.
It depends on your goals with the group(s). If your current line up that you're buddy-buddy with is working, then GREAT! Stick with it, 'cause it sounds like a good time and worthwhile. If the new group seems to have direction and drive and knowledge about how to be successful, then I'd probably give them a test drive to see if they really can be successful. If there's going to be any friction amongst your current group with you working with "Tom", then I'd give it some serious consideration, and if you think that you really want to pursue it, you'll need to have a talk with them about it so it doesn't pop up at a later time that you've been working with that "such and such an expletive" for the past 5 months, which would bite you and your relationships in the butt.
Also, you should figure out if any success with the new group would be negated by your association with "Tom". Not just in music circles, but does this guy have a bad rap with females? Bartenders? Other musicians/promoters/booking agents? Anyone? If so, you don't want that negative association attached to YOUR reputation.
In the end, I'd prioritize your current relationships over the chance at some success with the new group, but it might be possible to have both.