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  #1  
Old 04-09-2013, 01:37 AM
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Default Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

I tried out for my first band last week. They liked my playing and want me to be in their band. The thing is, I'm not sure if I really want to spend as much time with these people as I would have to if I joined. They seemed ok for the most part, but one of them said something a little off-putting. He casually dropped with all sincerity that he would enjoy working for border patrol and "popping those fuckers all day" referring to shooting Mexicans illegally crossing into the US. I don't want to start any kind of immigration debate on this forum; but the important part is that I found it very off-putting and potentially an indicator that this isn't someone I'd really like to spend a lot of time around. That was kind of an isolated incident though. He seemed alright otherwise.

If I decided to join, I would be committing to practicing at least 3 hours a week with them, and doing a gig about once a week.

Basically my question is (coming from someone who's never been in a band): how important is it that you're really friends with the people in your band? Is it really crucial that you like them and want to hang out with them outside of practices/gigs? Or is it enough to just get along with them and keep it focused on the music? Should I just walk away now or should I give it another chance and then make up my mind?

Also, should I tell them I'm not sure if I want to join yet? They basically just said "you're in" but I never really said whether I was fully on board or not. I figured if I decided not to join I would tell them within the next week. Otherwise, I would just show up and never mention anything.

Any advice is appreciated.

ps: musically they seemed pretty good, and they have experience playing.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

I've never been in a band before (sorry, I know you were looking for replies from players with more experience), but it's like being in a relationship. You're going to put in a lot of time with these other people. If they (or anybody, for that matter) are into stuff you're not sure about, it will put a strain on the relationship and make you uncomfortable.

Follow your gut. It's usually right.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

When I first started playing, it tended to always be with mates or people I at least knew. As I progressed and moved on, there were times I found myself working with guys I had nothing at all in common with. If it wasn't for the fact that we made music together they'd never have been on my radar and apart from rehearsals or gigs, I just had no contact with them. There were even one or two that I just couldn't stand at all. But at the end of the day, I was enjoying the overall experience plus had the added benefit of getting paid for what I did. To my way of thinking it was certainly worth my while to suck up any personal differences, enjoy the company of the other guys, enjoy the experience of playing and just get the job done. I work with people I don't like in my day job all the time. If it ever got to the point where I just couldn't deal with them, I'd bail......that goes for band, day job or life itself.

We all encounter those who really aren't "our kind of people" throughout life's journey. Whether or not you can (or even want to) deal with it is something only you can answer. For me, there were benefits and friendships that far outweighed the conflict. It was those that were the crux of making the experience largely pleasurable. Sure there was a few hiccups along the way, but the good outweighed the bad.

Life ain't perfect mate. No-one ever said it was gonna be easy and no-one ever said we were all gonna get along all the time. You need to determine if there is more good than bad in your situation too.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

I am currently in a band with guys that I only see once a week for practice. I don't really know them, and we don't hang out except the three or four hours a week. I have been in several bands that operate in much the same manner, and I think its actually better. There are no personal issues/drama to worry about. The band is a true democracy and I am not really worried about the other members feelings as much. Its all about the music.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

It was probably (or could have been) just a joke. You will have to spend a little more time around him to tell.

Or, you could ask him straight up, like a man would do.

In the future, if you have any issues with people, just clear the air right away. It makes things easier in the long run.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

I've been in bands with friends before. And they all seem to end up the same... You end up giving them a lot of slack (missing practice, gigs, etc.) because you're friends. Then you end up not playing at all. After all, If we are really friends, I'm not going to mess that up because they get busy or just aren't into it anymore.

I'm currently with a band and we play regularly every month and practice maybe once or twice a month, outside our gigs. Do we hang out with each other outside the band? No. Do we talk to each other outside the band? Not really, unless it's band related.

However, when we're together, we make music and have a great time and that's what it's really about. No drama, no complaining, because we are all there to play music, not BS about other things or get distracted. Of course we get along and chat about some stuff, but it's always about the music, first and foremost.

If you enjoy playing with them, and you guys gel, then I say go for it. Do you have to be best friends? Nope. Just play your music and have fun.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

I'm guessing you're not mexican...

Sounds like something you are going to need to feel your way through. Why not just try a few weeks and see how it goes? No need to commit, just try it for a while and preserve the option to gracefully bow out.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

I guess it depends on the situation. If it's a cover band that stands to get some paying gigs, you can put up with a certain amount of junk. I certainly have. If it's an original band and you're supposed to be doing it for the love of it, and are otherwise lukewarm about it, I'd find something else. No matter what you can consider them to be on probation, and feel free to walk anytime the BS gets too thick-- if they turn out to be more than just casual racists. These people aren't your friends, and you're under no obligation to confront them or "clear the air" or otherwise engage in any dramatics. If you think they're creeps, cut them loose.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

As for liking the people your playing with it is up to you. For example Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker during the Cream days pretty much hated each other. If I wanted to play I would play with them and when done leave. I play some with a Celtic group on Saturday mornings and for the most part that is the only time we see each other. It seems to work well enough.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on whether I should join this band (never been in one before). Many questions inside

Original band or cover band?

If you're going to dedicate yourself to an original band, it certainly helps to get along with everyone. No, you don't have to best friends, or have a ton in common, but it helps. As I say when I join a band, it's my life too, and I want to see the band work in a fashion that potentially benefits my life, in an artistic manner and/or potentially financial. These sorts of situations can really feel like a marriage, only minus the sex. Particularly since there is so much more to being in an original band, like promoting, designing websites, flyers, handling press. etc. No, you still don't have to be great friends, but you have to at least be mild friends.

A cover band is more of a working relationship. The prize is simply the money from gigs. Then it's like working in an office or any other job, you find what ever common ground you have to get along enough at work, but after work, you go home. As long as you get well enough together on stage, that's all the matters. When I was in my mid-20's, I spent a summer playing 3 nights a week at a local bar with guys who were twice my age. Outside of the bar itself, we never saw each or talked. Other gigs came and went like that. As long as it paid, the rest didn't matter in those situations.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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Originally Posted by ba dum tish View Post
I tried out for my first band last week. They liked my playing and want me to be in their band. The thing is, I'm not sure if I really want to spend as much time with these people as I would have to if I joined. They seemed ok for the most part, but one of them said something a little off-putting. He casually dropped with all sincerity that he would enjoy working for border patrol and "popping those fuckers all day" referring to shooting Mexicans illegally crossing into the US. I don't want to start any kind of immigration debate on this forum; but the important part is that I found it very off-putting and potentially an indicator that this isn't someone I'd really like to spend a lot of time around. That was kind of an isolated incident though. He seemed alright otherwise.

If I decided to join, I would be committing to practicing at least 3 hours a week with them, and doing a gig about once a week.

Basically my question is (coming from someone who's never been in a band): how important is it that you're really friends with the people in your band? Is it really crucial that you like them and want to hang out with them outside of practices/gigs? Or is it enough to just get along with them and keep it focused on the music? Should I just walk away now or should I give it another chance and then make up my mind?

Also, should I tell them I'm not sure if I want to join yet? They basically just said "you're in" but I never really said whether I was fully on board or not. I figured if I decided not to join I would tell them within the next week. Otherwise, I would just show up and never mention anything.

Any advice is appreciated.

ps: musically they seemed pretty good, and they have experience playing.
If you enjoy playing then join the band.

And if they offend you then tell them so and why.

And if that's that, then that's that. No-one's dead, no-one's even hurt.

What's the big deal?
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

Depends on your tolerance for idiocy. I would call them and tell them that I am not joining because one of the members is a racist ass.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:37 PM
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Depends on your tolerance for idiocy. I would call them and tell them that I am not joining because one of the members is a racist ass.
Pretty much what I would do, too. If it was said for shock value as nothing more than a wise-crack, then maybe, but you can usually tell if it's serious even if it's a deadpan delivery. If it was for real, or I sensed it was for real, that would be a deal-breaker, no question. You don't know how deep that stuff goes, and the logic is so faulty and extreme, and his judgment so poor, that it's highly likely to extend to other areas of his worldview too - one's that may eventually involve you. You don't want to be on stage with a guy who's gonna say something off the cuff like that to an audience. Guilt by association can be damaging to your reputation.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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Depends on your tolerance for idiocy. I would call them and tell them that I am not joining because one of the members is a racist ass.
There are some pretty intelligent people who have such views...

Dare I say there have probably been some pretty good musicians over the years with said views.

It is idiocy...but then it's up to the none-idiots amongst us to right it.

Personally, I think walking away surrenders the ground...it's cowardly
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:58 PM
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Pretty much what I would do, too. If it was said for shock value as nothing more than a wise-crack, then maybe, but you can usually tell if it's serious even if it's a deadpan delivery. If it was for real, or I sensed it was for real, that would be a deal-breaker, no question. You don't know how deep that stuff goes, and the logic is so faulty and extreme, and his judgment so poor, that it's highly likely to extend to other areas of his worldview too - one's that may eventually involve you. You don't want to be on stage with a guy who's gonna say something off the cuff like that to an audience. Guilt by association can be damaging to your reputation.
Bigot's probably gone through life never being challenged on his views.

Though I do agree with a lot of what you, and previous poster, say
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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There are some pretty intelligent people who have such views...

Dare I say there have probably been some pretty good musicians over the years with said views.

It is idiocy...but then it's up to the none-idiots amongst us to right it.

Personally, I think walking away surrenders the ground...it's cowardly
Cowardly, eh? Hardly. There's only so much one can do to change another's mind on such things. What would you propose, beating them into submission? While that may be tempting, boycotting people like that is as far out of my way as I'll go for them.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

I've always taken the attitude that I don't have to like them, just so long as we can work together on a business like basis, all be polite and respectful, etc. etc. I thought it would be like in the office - I've had years of experience of working with people that I'd never have as friends, and that was fine.

But for me anyway, a band situation is different. For me, it's not work it's a hobby, it's my free time and I need to enjoy it. Spending a lot of time with a small group of people in close quarters - their characters are bound to come out. Just casual remarks they make, or their attempts at humour, or their attitude to other people or situations. I like to think I'm pretty easy going, but I can only do so much to ignore people displaying unpleasant character traits - there comes a point where the stress levels go up and I just don't want to be around them any more.

So - I don't need to like my band mates, I don't need them to be friends as such - but I need to have a certain level of respect and I need to not actively dislike them.

That said, I think you should give it another go - tell them you'd like to have a practice with them to see how it goes.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:23 PM
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Depends on your tolerance for idiocy. I would call them and tell them that I am not joining because one of the members is a racist ass.
Over react much? You weren't there. The guy may be a total douche but there isn't nearly enough info here to prove that. I'm an optimist and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I have no tolerance for racism but I have a broad sense of humor and I find dark humor extremely funny no matter who it is directed toward.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:44 PM
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Pretty much what I would do, too. If it was said for shock value as nothing more than a wise-crack, then maybe, but you can usually tell if it's serious even if it's a deadpan delivery. If it was for real, or I sensed it was for real, that would be a deal-breaker, no question. You don't know how deep that stuff goes, and the logic is so faulty and extreme, and his judgment so poor, that it's highly likely to extend to other areas of his worldview too - one's that may eventually involve you. You don't want to be on stage with a guy who's gonna say something off the cuff like that to an audience. Guilt by association can be damaging to your reputation.
Absolutely. I quit a band when the lead guitarist turned out to make rape jokes a lot. I would rather eat my own vomit than associate with people like this (and I have a very dry & dark sense of humor).
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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how important is it that you're really friends with the people in your band?
Not important per say, but you must get along with them on a human and musical basis, generally friendship (if it's happening) develop at a later stage once you know your band mates better.

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Originally Posted by ba dum tish View Post
Is it really crucial that you like them and want to hang out with them outside of practices/gigs?
Not crucial, but desirable, most of the band I played on, I hanged out with the band, for a drink, a party or to discuss various topics about the band that doesn't include the playing side of it, it's a way to get fully involved too.

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Or is it enough to just get along with them and keep it focused on the music?
You certainly can, and to be honest, the way to do it in the beginning, you can warm up at later stage if there's some affinity with the rest of the band or a specific band member.

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Should I just walk away now or should I give it another chance and then make up my mind?
You only can answer that, as you only have met these guys and felt the first impression they gave you, if you're not 100% sure of you feelings, give it another go and taste the water.

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Originally Posted by ba dum tish View Post
Also, should I tell them I'm not sure if I want to join yet? They basically just said "you're in" but I never really said whether I was fully on board or not. I figured if I decided not to join I would tell them within the next week. Otherwise, I would just show up and never mention anything.
No, no need to tell them, you don't have to justify your choices, it's a yes or no situation as far as they're concern while you're thinking should I or should I not, they hired you right? You either go to the next practice or you call them and say 'Thanks, but no thanks".

If you give them a go, nothing stopping you to leave the band in a few weeks if it's not working out for you.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:35 AM
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I'm with gmerino and Mike on this. If someone has enough hostility to talk about shooting Mexicans, who's to say they won't be bad news with anyone they deem inconvenient?

Not saying he's doing more than shooting his mouth off, but he sounds like someone who'd get nasty if things didn't go his way. After all, that's a first meeting and presumably him putting his best foot forward to give a good impression, which begs the question of what he's like when he's not on "best behaviour" ...
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

Seems to me that this bothered you a lot and I know if it were me, I would be sitting around waiting for the next incident and not really being in the proper mood to either play or practice . My vote is don't do it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

The "shooting Mexicans" comment could have simply be a bad taste joke? No?

Ba Dum mentioned that the guy was OK except from that comment, are we not over-reacting a little here...

... sorry, maybe I'm too nice or too positive, but I can't make my mind without further insides on the guy, we all put our foot in the middle of the plate sometimes.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:57 AM
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But for me anyway, a band situation is different. For me, it's not work it's a hobby, it's my free time and I need to enjoy it. Spending a lot of time with a small group of people in close quarters - their characters are bound to come out. Just casual remarks they make, or their attempts at humour, or their attitude to other people or situations. I like to think I'm pretty easy going, but I can only do so much to ignore people displaying unpleasant character traits - there comes a point where the stress levels go up and I just don't want to be around them any more.

So - I don't need to like my band mates, I don't need them to be friends as such - but I need to have a certain level of respect and I need to not actively dislike them.
I'm with Daisy on this one. I'm very good friends with the guy I'm playing with now and there have been times when we've shot the breeze and joked around through an entire practice without ever playing a note - and it's happened more than once, I might add. It is fun but not always productive, obviously.

On the flip side, I've played with people who's writing and playing styles I greatly admired but otherwise thought they were slimeballs. We made some pretty great music (for what I like), but of course it couldn't last. Nothing approaching wanting to shoot strangers in a racist rage, though. People like that should be shot! :P
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:11 AM
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Cowardly, eh? Hardly. There's only so much one can do to change another's mind on such things. What would you propose, beating them into submission? While that may be tempting, boycotting people like that is as far out of my way as I'll go for them.
It doesn't help the problem....blokes reached adult life as a bigot largely because he's probably rarely been challenged on his views.

And, frankly, if the OP fancies playing in this band....why should the OP have to walk away because one particular guy is a jerkoff..

Tell the guy his views are unpalatable...if he doesn't respond, walk away.

Just my humble opinion...I'm not calling YOU a coward as such, just the societal attitude ' leave it...no point getting involved...."
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:49 AM
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It doesn't help the problem....blokes reached adult life as a bigot largely because he's probably rarely been challenged on his views.

And, frankly, if the OP fancies playing in this band....why should the OP have to walk away because one particular guy is a jerkoff..

Tell the guy his views are unpalatable...if he doesn't respond, walk away.

Just my humble opinion...I'm not calling YOU a coward as such, just the societal attitude ' leave it...no point getting involved...."
I would hazard to guess that as much as he's had his views challenged, he's had even more reinforcement of them from friends and family over the years. Hate like that doesn't usually come from nowhere and the occasional prodding from strangers or light acquaintances isn't likely to change much.

Anyway, the OP is just looking for a band to play with, not to counsel twisted minds.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:16 AM
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Hate like that doesn't usually come from nowhere and the occasional prodding from strangers or light acquaintances isn't likely to change much.
I agree 100%.

.......
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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Tell the guy his views are unpalatable...if he doesn't respond, walk away.

Just my humble opinion...I'm not calling YOU a coward as such, just the societal attitude ' leave it...no point getting involved...."
It's a fine line because nothing strengthens and reinforces irrational views more than debate. And it's extremely rare that people will rescind strongly held views in the face of logic and rationality so sometimes leaving it is the best thing.

If anything is said it should be short and sharp and ideally no debate should be entered into. Something like what you said would be good - "I find that distasteful" - and leave it at that.

The caretaker of a block of flats I lived in was a Nazi in WWII. One day he told me a joke - what's the difference between a pie and Jew? A pie doesn't scream when you put it in the oven. I gave him a disgusted look and said, "That's not funny". Bear in mind that some of my cousins were gassed by the Nazis.

Despite others in the flats urging me not to, I refused to hide my Jewish heritage from him (not that I identify - I dislike religious superstition). Still, he was always friendly to me and maybe respected my lack of fear, but that was as good as it got - he was in his 80s and he was never going to change. Not sure I've ever known a bigot to wake up - bigotry is like an incurable mental illness.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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I would hazard to guess that as much as he's had his views challenged, he's had even more reinforcement of them from friends and family over the years. Hate like that doesn't usually come from nowhere and the occasional prodding from strangers or light acquaintances isn't likely to change much.

Anyway, the OP is just looking for a band to play with, not to counsel twisted minds.
Is it hate, or is it just casual racism?

I think the latter. I don't believe for a minute that the guy would actually shoot Mexicans up...it's just verbiage.

It's quite common over here..."I'm going down to the Paki shop"...especially amongst the older generation. It's not hate. These same people would never call an Asian gentleman a Paki to their face for fear of upsetting them.

It's far more complicated than just 'hate'

And no, it's not right, but it just 'is'.

Just my humble opinion...and I fully respect what your saying.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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It's a fine line because nothing strengthens and reinforces irrational views more than debate. And it's extremely rare that people will rescind strongly held views in the face of logic and rationality so sometimes leaving it is the best thing.

If anything is said it should be short and sharp and ideally no debate should be entered into. Something like what you said would be good - "I find that distasteful" - and leave it at that.

The caretaker of a block of flats I lived in was a Nazi in WWII. One day he told me a joke - what's the difference between a pie and Jew? A pie doesn't scream when you put it in the oven. I gave him a disgusted look and said, "That's not funny". Bear in mind that some of my cousins were gassed by the Nazis.

Despite others in the flats urging me not to, I refused to hide my Jewish heritage from him (not that I identify - I dislike religious superstition). Still, he was always friendly to me and maybe respected my lack of fear, but that was as good as it got - he was in his 80s and he was never going to change. Not sure I've ever known a bigot to wake up - bigotry is like an incurable mental illness.
Not sure I agree with much of this...but maybe it's just my stubborn human nature to try and see the good side of most people.

My son used to use phrases such as "paki". He doesn't anymore because I told him not to (and introduced him to some Pakistani clients of mine when he was young who, much of a surprise to him, were really pleasant guys).

He also went through a period over here whereby the insult of the day was to call some a 'Jew'. Seriously, in 2000s, UK!! I explained to him the implication...and explained to him where our family name 'Mayers' comes from. He would have been about 12-13 at the time. He stopped doing it and he confronts bigotry whenever he comes across it these days.

I see no difference between confronting him and confronting anyone else that I was in an invested relationship with.

I'm completely at odds with your comment about bigotry being incurable. Can't agree with that at all.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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My son used to use phrases such as "paki". He doesn't anymore because I told him not to (and introduced him to some Pakistani clients of mine when he was young who, much of a surprise to him, were really pleasant guys).
I don't think you can compare influencing a child who's picked up a few dumb things at school with an adult with ingrained bigotry. After all, it's not as though you child has been raised in prejudice as many others are.

I found long ago that any attempt by me to temper a person's bigotry usually resulted in defensive aggression, accusations of being PC and an even more entrenched position. If you think you can change bigoted adults, you're a better human than I!
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

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I don't think you can compare influencing a child who's picked up a few dumb things at school with an adult with ingrained bigotry. After all, it's not as though you child has been raised in prejudice as many others are.

I found long ago that any attempt by me to temper a person's bigotry usually resulted in defensive aggression, accusations of being PC and an even more entrenched position. If you think you can change bigoted adults, you're a better human than I!
Yeah point taken.

I'd like to think I might be heard, but you're probably right.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

I'm firmly in the camp that would have nothing to do with anyone spouting those views (and that quote reads like a viewpoint rather than a joke). Also, I wouldn't be able to get away from the idea that someone who thinks it's okay to say that kind of thing in front of a stranger might be equally comfortable saying it through a PA if circumstances aligned that way.

In short, run a mile (whether you want to say why is up to you).
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Should I join this band? (never been in one before). Many questions inside.

As for the OP's dilemma,(for what it's worth) If it were me I wouldn't want to work with the dude and I would tell them why. If for some far flung reason I were offered lucrative position with Ted Nugent I can honestly say I would turn down the "opportunity" of working with that imbecile for the same reasons.
The dude might even start spewing racist crap on stage. I wouldn't want to be associated with that in any way.
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