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  #1  
Old 03-27-2011, 07:06 PM
clicker clicker is offline
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Default When To Leave The Band

Hi Guys

I don't post on this forum much only when my perspective slips - it's a helpful place.
I guess like most of us on here we've been through the mill a fair few times with different bands and musical situations that don't often workout the way we would've hoped.

I started playing drums to be a serious dedicated musician - to work hard and eventually have a career, I wanted to try to do this in/as a band, not necessarily as a session player.

My current situation is a tricky one, I joined a band that had 'fair' success back in 2005.
A top 100 UK album and 3 Top 30 singles, I joined them two albums in after them being dropped, when their curve was going down, the 'hey-day' had sort of ended, I guess you can say they sort of missed the boat.

On the surface everything looked solid and I thought it was just a case of building the whole thing back up and making good music. Through time it became clear that drinking and drugs may have been what contributed to things failing first time around. Gigs seem to be more of a 'party time' than actually doing the job, the same wrong stupid decisions kept being made - there's nothing wrong with making mistakes, there is if you don't learn from them.

I'd like to add I don't touch drugs at all, I don't drink and drum, the first and foremost for me is to do my job the best I can. The contradiction in all this is that in the rehearsal room 'it's all about the music' and doing everything right ...... but come show time or touring it all goes 'up the nose' and 'in the pint glass', I have put two years into this and every show has been the same - I have voiced my concerns about it and just get a load of hollow promises thrown back at me.

I really have had enough of it now, the fire in my belly for the band has gone out because I feel I am dealing with a bunch of time wasting idiots that don't learn from their mistakes.

What I would be leaving is:
A cult band with a pretty big following (even though slightly dated)
Playing to an average of 150 - 300 people a gig in the UK.
A band that's a level or so above the average band situation.

I feel in life everyone gets a certain amount of opportunities - if you keep f**king them up, eventually you stop getting them - that's the story of this band.

Would you stay with this or cut your ties and move on ?

Any views would be a great help.

All the Best.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2011, 07:44 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

I've worked out the band, but I won't post it out of decorum.

If you're sick of the band, then you're going to have to do some mathematics. Could you afford to leave the band? If you're still signed, I'd imagine you're not making much money from gigging - if you're independent then you might be making more money. If you are not dependent on the income from the band then you can cut them lose. If you're dependent then it's worth looking for alternative employment.

I don't think you're going to be very happy if you stay in the band too much longer by the sounds of it.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2011, 07:55 PM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

This all depends on your options. Do you have anything else lined up? How would you support yourself? Would you get blackballed locally for leaving them? Have you talked to the band manager about how to get the other memebers to right the ship?

I'm not a pro drummer, but playing in front of 150-300 people doesn't seem to me like they are that successful and/or popular right now.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:10 PM
clicker clicker is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

Hi

Thanks for your comments - the band is not signed anymore, all money made from shows goes back into the band for rehearsals, splitter hire, merch etc.
I don't have anything else in place but I do work within the industry with a lot of connections. I practice everyday regardless.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:13 PM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

I agree with the others, do you have something else lined up?

Leaving just to leave may make you feel better, but it doesn't accomplish anything.

In the meantime, this gig gives you some exposure, even if their hey day is done, it's a "name band" for your resume.

Use this opportunity to network like crazy. Talk to the other bands on the bill, management, anyone at their label. Put yourself out there so the next "name band" who needs a drummer will already be familiar with you.

Rather than look at it as a "stay or go" situation, look at it as "stepping stone" to the next thing, and milk it for all it's worth.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:56 PM
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mikeg mikeg is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I agree with the others, do you have something else lined up?

Leaving just to leave may make you feel better, but it doesn't accomplish anything.

In the meantime, this gig gives you some exposure, even if their hey day is done, it's a "name band" for your resume.

Use this opportunity to network like crazy. Talk to the other bands on the bill, management, anyone at their label. Put yourself out there so the next "name band" who needs a drummer will already be familiar with you.

Rather than look at it as a "stay or go" situation, look at it as "stepping stone" to the next thing, and milk it for all it's worth.
This is good advice. I would also add: play every gig as if the band was in its hey day, you never know who will be in the audience. There are always musicians from other bands in the venues we play at.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:58 PM
TNA TNA is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

Sounds like this band has reached it's potential. Unless you truly believe they can make it further in the music world than they are now. That being the case, I would definitely leave. If you are trying to make it big with a band this doesn't seem to be the right one. They have other priorities obviously and it doesn't sound like they care if the band gets any better. I'd probably start looking for another band now. You already know your skills are capable of reaching this level, but if you want to take it any further you need another band.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2011, 10:02 PM
ddrumman2004 ddrumman2004 is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

The main thing in playing in a band is to enjoy yourself. If you aren't happy with the situation, then leave, if you are able to with no strings attached.

I did just that back in 2006. I got tired of a couple of members in the band that larger than life egos and drank booze like it was their last night alive. It was more of a "job" then as opposed to a "fun" time of making music for people to enjoy. Once the fun was gone, I was also!

If I can't enjoy myself playing drums live......I'll quit.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2011, 11:27 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

Funny how you come looking for some advice and end up with enough advice for confusion. I won't add to that. I'll just say "it's up to you". You know what you'd be missing, and you know how you'll be able to get along without them more than any of us do. Could any of us say this band would suddenly take off again once you left? Definitely not. Just as we couldn't predict if they'd totally die without you. So I've always taken the road that if it's something I could do without, as soon as I was unhappy, I'm out. If you're strong enough to not have any regrets about what you do, it's probably time.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2011, 11:34 PM
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ineedaclutch ineedaclutch is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

As everyone else said; it is up to you. If it were me I would walk. I have done it before because of these same circumstances. These situations are like bad relationships. Better to leave now than let it drag out and be unhappy. Also, it might be harder to land a gig down the road if you are lumped in with them and their problems.
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2011, 08:25 PM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

I was in a very similar situation in the mid '90s with a band that had 4+ records out (2 on Sub Pop, 2 on majors) and a respectable following, but a string of "bad luck" caused them to get dropped from one major, then the next in fairly quick succession. After that, their management dropped them, then their 3th drummer quit.

And then I got a phone call. They were like, "Here's an opportunity for you to get in on the 7th floor of something good." It was clear to me which way that elevator was going (down in a hurry), but I took it anyway. The first show was to something like 4,000 people, which was a gas, but by the end of it almost 4 years later, the crowds were way down and they could no longer ask for guarantees at clubs.

I rode that sinking ship all the way to the bottom of the ocean but I got a couple European tours out of it first and some unreleased recordings to ride with me in my coffin. Looks good on the 'drumming resume' even if it dates me a little bit. Having it on there has not hurt when out looking for other bands for sure.

I would advise not waiting to get something else going on the side, and quit when you can stand it no longer. As long as they're playing to respectable audiences, you never know what kind of contacts you'll make.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:15 AM
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Skitch Skitch is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by clicker View Post
Hi Guys

I don't post on this forum much only when my perspective slips - it's a helpful place.
I guess like most of us on here we've been through the mill a fair few times with different bands and musical situations that don't often workout the way we would've hoped.

I started playing drums to be a serious dedicated musician - to work hard and eventually have a career, I wanted to try to do this in/as a band, not necessarily as a session player.

My current situation is a tricky one, I joined a band that had 'fair' success back in 2005.
A top 100 UK album and 3 Top 30 singles, I joined them two albums in after them being dropped, when their curve was going down, the 'hey-day' had sort of ended, I guess you can say they sort of missed the boat.

On the surface everything looked solid and I thought it was just a case of building the whole thing back up and making good music. Through time it became clear that drinking and drugs may have been what contributed to things failing first time around. Gigs seem to be more of a 'party time' than actually doing the job, the same wrong stupid decisions kept being made - there's nothing wrong with making mistakes, there is if you don't learn from them.

I'd like to add I don't touch drugs at all, I don't drink and drum, the first and foremost for me is to do my job the best I can. The contradiction in all this is that in the rehearsal room 'it's all about the music' and doing everything right ...... but come show time or touring it all goes 'up the nose' and 'in the pint glass', I have put two years into this and every show has been the same - I have voiced my concerns about it and just get a load of hollow promises thrown back at me.

I really have had enough of it now, the fire in my belly for the band has gone out because I feel I am dealing with a bunch of time wasting idiots that don't learn from their mistakes.

What I would be leaving is:
A cult band with a pretty big following (even though slightly dated)
Playing to an average of 150 - 300 people a gig in the UK.
A band that's a level or so above the average band situation.

I feel in life everyone gets a certain amount of opportunities - if you keep f**king them up, eventually you stop getting them - that's the story of this band.

Would you stay with this or cut your ties and move on ?

Any views would be a great help.

All the Best.
I can't tell you what to do but I can tell you what I would do:


I would stick with the band as long as I could but I would start some side project (maybe a band maybe not) for an outlet that doesn't involve this frustration. Think of all the possibilites you can think of and start pursuing them.

It is unfortunate that we, as drummers, are dependent on everyone else being as serious and dedicated as we are and you're absolutley right about screwing up every opportunity which comes down the pike. You gotta make your own luck.

The most important thing for you right now is to ask yourself what would you want to be doing or have in front of you if this whole thing fell apart tomorrow (which it probably won't)!
Have something outside of this band to go to when things go south!

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:20 AM
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Skitch Skitch is offline
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Default Re: When To Leave The Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I agree with the others, do you have something else lined up?

Leaving just to leave may make you feel better, but it doesn't accomplish anything.

In the meantime, this gig gives you some exposure, even if their hey day is done, it's a "name band" for your resume.

Use this opportunity to network like crazy. Talk to the other bands on the bill, management, anyone at their label. Put yourself out there so the next "name band" who needs a drummer will already be familiar with you.

Rather than look at it as a "stay or go" situation, look at it as "stepping stone" to the next thing, and milk it for all it's worth.
Excellent advice here and get a business card and start networking and exchanging cards with everyone connected wirth this act - drummers, bass players, guitarists, managers, merch managers, road managers - you never know who will dig your playing or attitude or both enough to mention you for another band! Try to look at the situation as a half full situation and network like crazy.

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
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