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  #1  
Old 02-19-2018, 10:32 PM
LeftySlammer92 LeftySlammer92 is offline
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Default Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

I'm probably using this forum improperly to vent my frustrations with one of my bands, and our obnoxious, super controlling, singer. But I honestly don't know anyone else who would understand the predicament as well as...well you guys.

So here goes:

So about 3 years ago, a guy approaches me through a mutual friend and tells me he got this gig for us at a local club, and his band had just quit on him, and he needed a backing band for the show. So, me being the hungry musician right out of college, I jumped right on board. I figured we'd practice for the show, play the show, get paid, and that would be that until he needed us again.

Well, needless to say, he ended up taking us on as his backing band, which ended up lasting a few months, before he wanted to start writing songs, and since he can't write songs very well (being probably the least common denominator between us all, in terms of musicianship), we all started writing, so we stopped being his backing band, and more of a collaborative, cohesive group.

Our guitarist became kind of the de facto #2 guy, and as a result, he and the singer ended up butting heads A LOT. So much so that it drove our original guitarist to quit after a few more months. Basically, we were wanting to write music that was actually interesting, while our singer still thinks it's 2006 and worships the ground that Billie Joe Armstrong and Brendon Urie walk on. I feel the need to say that I absolutely despise pop punk and emo bands, as does the rest of the band.

So here we are sitting there thinking that the band would be done, because this guy was a Berkeley educated musician who had degrees in both song-writing and recording, had great gear, an excellent practice space, and could make us sound great. Replacing him wasn't going to exactly be easy, but after a few months we found a suitable replacement.

Now due to our shortage of gigs after losing a huge asset in our old guitarist, we decided to hit the studio to record some demos for a press kit, so we could line more stuff up. Well, just as playing a one-off show turned into rock band, making a simple 5 song demo turned into 3 part concept record, that has been financed entirely by us. We've put probably $3000-$5000 into this, and have averaged about 1 gig every other month. I don't think he understands that this is just as much a business as it is an art, and we need to be in the green at some point. But yeah, go ahead and spend our money for us.

Now he's on this kick where he wants to do tribute shows as Green Day, Panic at the Disco (I'm not putting that stupid "!" in there), and My Chemical Romance, where we'd have to practice 4 nights a week for shows that we're not getting paid for. All the while he's the only one of us who doesn't have a degree, a real job, and a significant other, and doesn't really understand how his ridiculous demands strain everyone's daily lives.

And on top of that, he's enlisted this new keyboardist that is never available and blows off practice all the time, and our singer demands that everyone drop whatever we're doing at the drop of a hat to practice whenever our keyboardist decides he wants to play. But if one of us can't make it due to whatever else, he'll call you and chew you out for an hour and question "just how committed to the band" you are.

For a collaborative project that he's the weakest link on, we sure don't get much of a voice. The only reason I'm still there is because we're signed to a minor label and I don't want to ruin it for the bassist and guitarist who are genuinely great guys that I love playing and writing with.

Does anyone know how to deal with a drama queen singer like this?
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:19 PM
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2018, 12:12 AM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Tell the minor record label that you, the bassist, and the guitar player are ditching the drama queen singer to strike out on your own... then tell the drama queen and duck for cover!
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2018, 01:01 AM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftySlammer92 View Post
The only reason I'm still there is because we're signed to a minor label and I don't want to ruin it for the bassist and guitarist who are genuinely great guys that I love playing and writing with.
So you're in it for the two other people? Never a good reason. To boot, you're being treated like crap, with somebody berating you when you can't make a practice or whatever for a gig that pays nil. C'mon....Take control, stand up for yourself. Dump this situation, join up with the 'great guy' guitarist and bassist and do something else that is fun and enjoyable.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Walk away. Music should be fun!!!
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2018, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Life is way too short to be putting up with this.

For the VAST majority of musicians out there, there is no money to be made selling music. If you aren't getting paid for live shows, you aren't going to get paid. Period. It doesn't really sound like the label is doing you ANY good.

I'd cut my losses and leave. I would quit and see if the other two guys you actually like want to do a side project together, or even just get together and play stuff you want to.

Consider it a lesson learned and move on.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:01 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

I'm struggling to see why you wouldn't just replace him.

He's brought nothing to the table. He's no real strength on the songwriting front. He's already cost you one valuable musician and band mate. He's costing you gigs. He's costing you time. And he's costing you money. Surely this doesn't take a bunch of forum replies to tell you what to do?

You might be signed now, but if you can't get off your arses and provide some product, you're unlikely to remain signed for long.

Call together the guys who gel well as a cohesive unit.....including the former guitarist if necessary.......and replace him. Before you have nothing left to replace.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:39 AM
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w3r1_drums w3r1_drums is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

I honestly would have asked the guitarist to stay and kicked out the lead singer. I agree with what someone said above, he's not worth staying with if he's bringing nothing to the table and only dragging the band down!
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2018, 03:44 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

I loved the bit about omitting the '!'

I think that says it all really. If you hate the guys passion so much... it is never going to work.

Moving separate ways seems the answer, but the best way to do that I am unsure (but I think it goes along the lines of you sticking with the two musicians you enjoy being around)
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:48 AM
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rustyfingers rustyfingers is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Many years ago when I was a piano player, myself and a guitar player were asked to do a 'Free' deal fundraiser type thing with a local girl singer.

First rehearsal we were going over the charts when she walked in, clapped her hands and yelled: "LET'S GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE". I packed up my gear and walked out. The guitar player and drummer weren't to far behind me.

Life's too short to put with assholes and it's WAY too short to put up with them for free.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2018, 05:43 AM
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Lee-Bro Lee-Bro is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

So my original reply was deleted with the duplicate post being deleted. So I'll just post the part of it that hasn't already been brought up.

Have you had a sit down w/ the whole group and had a come-to-Jesus type meeting covering responsibilities, expectations, accountability, etc? If not, get it done. It could be some crossed wires and simple to clear up.

Considering all the responses you've rec'd, if you're in the Cincinnati area and in the band I'm thinking of, I'd bail and take the guys with me that I'd want to keep working with.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2018, 05:54 AM
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Angus Macinnes Angus Macinnes is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Cut your losses lad. Like many here have said life is to short for that kind of drama. Send your money on a cause you are really into. Leave and stay active the right thing will come along for you. Good luck with all your endeavors.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2018, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Unless a band member is designated as band leader (by virtue of managing the band / writing all the material, etc) & is paying you, then all band members should expect equal input. If he can't cope with that, then remove him or bail.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2018, 08:31 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

I think you know what to do and just wanted others to confirm what you already know.

I remember being younger and out of college and dealing with dilemmas like this. And here I am at 52 looking back on it and thinking, "none of that BS meant anything - what was I thinking?"

So I'd say in the last ten years of my life, I've just struck out on my own with whoever would have me, play and have fun, and my "music career" isn't any worse for wear, and nobody from my early days is around to make me regret not leaving them in the dust when I did. Music is a selfish endeavor, do what you want and if you're lucky, others will go along with you. Don't take crap from anybody.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:26 AM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I think you know what to do and just wanted others to confirm what you already know.

I remember being younger and out of college and dealing with dilemmas like this. And here I am at 52 looking back on it and thinking, "none of that BS meant anything - what was I thinking?"

So I'd say in the last ten years of my life, I've just struck out on my own with whoever would have me, play and have fun, and my "music career" isn't any worse for wear, and nobody from my early days is around to make me regret not leaving them in the dust when I did. Music is a selfish endeavor, do what you want and if you're lucky, others will go along with you. Don't take crap from anybody.
Very sound advice.

We've all been wet behind the ears once. Your skin is thickening and your becoming aware of the crappy situation you find yourself in. It's a school of hard knocks.

Draw the line under it and walk away, just make sure you've learnt your lessons and it doesn't happen again. Get a nice little paid gig and you'll see that you don't put anywhere near the amount of money into it as you have massaging your singers ego. (Well any money you put in goes into upgrading YOUR stuff)

Most importantly enjoy playing again!
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:01 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Overbearing and negligent where I come from there is a term for that, it's called abusive.

There are people out there like that, all they have it seems are emotional barbs.

I'm thinking of one in particular, I don't think I've ever had a straight conversation with, with out some sort of silly emotional trick.

Gosh, emo is annoying, give me a dj and a turn table anyday.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

Well we all know why the original band walked out on him now don't we?

Agree with Andy and others, run, don't walk grab the largest boot you own and kick him in the ass with it.... metaphorically speaking of course
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

All good points here. Musicians come and go in bands, and like in the corporate world, more employees leave because of bad management than a bad job.
Seems this is the case here.

One question I do have is as you're signed with a minor label, what are they doing to help resole the situation?
They're in it for the money too and if one of their money makers is not producing, usually a rep will show up and try & resolve the issues. The "Come to Jesus talk" mentioned above.

One way or the other, you need to lookout for #1. If the situation is causing you personal issues and no one above you is going to help, break north with no delay from that situation.
You'll be thankful later on I assure you.
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:21 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a controlling bandmate.

You and the other guy should walk. Music is a love, and life is too short to spend it with di**s. Try to contact the ex guitarist again and see if you can get something going. Worth a try? Lots of musicians out there, hook up with others who may not be the absolute best but share your tastes, have some creativity, and dont have a big ego, it's always a winner in band situations.
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