Band being unreasonable?

rmac86

Member
Seems I have a habit of picking the wrong group...

Been playing with a group for about 6 months now and it was going largely well until recently. The last couple of gigs being punk gigs mainly meant the drummers didn’t tune their kits. So other than occasionally being allowed to use my own snare drum I’ve had to use whatever kit is supplied therefore I sound turd. I complained about this to the group and they just said I should bring my own kit next time, which I did but only to be told there’s a kit there and nothing is to be moved/changed, queue another appalling gig.

Lesson learned, next gig I got in touch with the other band and agreed that I would supply the kit, which they were more than happy about. In the background my bassist is having talks with the organisers of the event and basically tells them to ignore my request and that all other drummers are only to bring breakables.. cue further annoyance 😡

Thinking about leaving this group as I’m clearly not getting listened to, however I’m torn as I actually like the material and the other members are very likeable.

What would you do?

Thanks,

R
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
It just seems like they want to be extra agreeable (don't rock the boat stuff), and you want to sound like a quality musician.

And, let's be honest, it's easier for guitarists and vocalists (most of the time)--they grab their guitar in ONE case or mic in a bag and go. Drummers have to find some level of comfort on a kit they've never sat behind.

I don't know much punk, or much about it. Are the other drummers Purposely not tuning their kits? Or is it just something you have to deal with.

It's not easy to find a group of people that you actually like, and like jamming with.

If they're ignoring you, it's not really a band.
 

rmac86

Member
It just seems like they want to be extra agreeable (don't rock the boat stuff), and you want to sound like a quality musician.

And, let's be honest, it's easier for guitarists and vocalists (most of the time)--they grab their guitar in ONE case or mic in a bag and go. Drummers have to find some level of comfort on a kit they've never sat behind.

I don't know much punk, or much about it. Are the other drummers Purposely not tuning their kits? Or is it just something you have to deal with.

It's not easy to find a group of people that you actually like, and like jamming with.

If they're ignoring you, it's not really a band.
Yeah that’s it basically, they just want to agree with everyone but at the same time are coming off stage saying how great they sound, and every time they do I get more and more infuriated.

The punk (drumming) thing is all about I don’t care about anything so the sound generally reflects that. For example one of the last gigs the drummer put a hole in the batter head of the bass drum so every one else had to turn it round and play the reso head!

I suppose I could just ride it out and see where it goes although part of me is thinking if I do this then they might see me as a pushover or something..
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Agreed ^ Find another band.

If you're not having a great time being involved with a band, then leave. There's no shortage of other bands. Or start your own, so that the other players can't tell you how to handle your gear.

Bermuda
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Having grown up playing in punk bands the one thing that always bothered me was the "don't care" approach to one's gear. I'm no snob nor did I have an amazing kit myself in those days but I was proud of what I did have and took care of it the best I could. It was always annoying to find myself in a shared-gear situation like yours, having to make do on some abused kit with dented heads and shredded cymbals. And they always seemed to be Pearl Export... no wonder I'm biased against that brand...
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Nobody likes a high maintenance friend... Drummers by nature are high maintenance. I've learned to go with the flow on these types of things.
Everyone is playing the same kit so I have no excuse to not sound as good as any of the other drummers.
Sadly as drummers, we have to bend extra on this factor by the nature of our instrument being so large. The other bandmates will not often sympathize or understand since they get to bring their cute little instruments in a single tiny little case that holds their instrument that hangs easily over their shoulder... How nice it would be have your instrument set up exactly the same every time you used it the moment it came out of the case. Oh the life!

One can see this is a great opportunity where all you have to do is bring drum sticks and have some fun with other musicians or someone can make it this big deal where they think the tonal quality of some tom-toms is going to change the experience of those in the audience. It won't... It's good to let go.

I'm playing the devil's advocate here mostly because you said this is a thing that keep happening to you so just throwing out there that maybe there's some different way of looking at it. If you don't have that super laid back approach, it's not easy developing it, but it does help.
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Yeah that’s it basically, they just want to agree with everyone but at the same time are coming off stage saying how great they sound, and every time they do I get more and more infuriated.

The punk (drumming) thing is all about I don’t care about anything so the sound generally reflects that. For example one of the last gigs the drummer put a hole in the batter head of the bass drum so every one else had to turn it round and play the reso head!

I suppose I could just ride it out and see where it goes although part of me is thinking if I do this then they might see me as a pushover or something..
PUNK! APATHY! AHHHHH! Lol, I get it.

Like others said above, start your own band. Keep playing with these cats so you have something to do and get more experience. But they're not going to change for you.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Seems like if you are playing "punk gigs" you should have likely known what that entailed. Regardless, you have a simple choice. Is getting the gig and getting paid the priority, or is maintaining a certain level / perception of yourself the priority? There is no wrong choice here.

As for the guitarist getting off easy, I would would say that is not as true as you think. The instrument may be smaller, but plugging into a POS Peavey is no more fun for them than it is you. I know this as I have done it many times
 

danondrums

Well-known member
As for the guitarist getting off easy, I would would say that is not as true as you think. The instrument may be smaller, but plugging into a POS Peavey is no more fun for them than it is you. I know this as I have done it many times
And my point about bandmates never understanding the struggle of drummers shows itself immediately!!!
A guitarist gets his/her own strings, body, neck, pickup and everything their hands and pick touch is their very own instrument that they practice on all of the time. The drummer gets sticks and literally every single thing we strike is different than anything we've ever played before. Spring pedal tension, different, throne height, different, head type and tuning different cause different rebound characteristics. Every. Single. Thing. Different. : A throne sitting at a different height would be like simply taking 1/2" out of a guitarists torso. The hands line up differently on the instrument and they will be uncomfortable.

Of course, this is really only the case in the original music scene. This is why I think most drummers should aim to play in cover bands playing 3-4 hours/night on your own gear instead of the original music scene which mostly consists of singer/songwriters putting out pretty boring songs with even less thoughtful rhythms than the ones on the radio.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
And my point about bandmates never understanding the struggle of drummers shows itself immediately!!!
A guitarist gets his/her own strings, body, neck, pickup and everything their hands and pick touch is their very own instrument that they practice on all of the time. The drummer gets sticks and literally every single thing we strike is different than anything we've ever played before. Spring pedal tension, different, throne height, different, head type and tuning different cause different rebound characteristics. Every. Single. Thing. Different. : A throne sitting at a different height would be like simply taking 1/2" out of a guitarists torso. The hands line up differently on the instrument and they will be uncomfortable.

Of course, this is really only the case in the original music scene. This is why I think most drummers should aim to play in cover bands playing 3-4 hours/night on your own gear instead of the original music scene which mostly consists of singer/songwriters putting out pretty boring songs with even less thoughtful rhythms than the ones on the radio.
I have gigged on guitar for 30 years in addition to my drumming endeavors. I know of what I speak... Its not the same, but it sucks all the same
 
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gdmoore28

Gold Member
Sounds like your bass player was actually trying to save you some grief by specifying that the other drummers bring their own "breakables" to play on your kit. Am I missing something?

And I cannot imagine offering up my own kit as backline for the kind of drummers that you describe as being prevalent in punk music. I'm not even sure what punk music is, honestly. But I'd much rather put up with the aggravations you describe than to subject my kit to that kind of abuse. I just don't get the "don't care" attitude.

GeeDeeEmm
 

TMe

Senior Member
What would you do?
When I played Hardcore, I learned to play all the songs with nothing but bass, snare, and cymbals. I used a fairly good steel snare drum.

I have to say... my playing improved when I did that.

Whenever I could, I'd take all the toms off the kit and play my guts out on a two-piece kit. Visually, it really made an impression, especially in small venues.

Keep in mind that if you use your own toms, the sound may still be crap because the person doing sound doesn't have enough mic's and/or doesn't know what they're doing. The two-piece makes life easier, and I found that I always got a much better sound coming through the PA when I gave the geek less to work with.
 
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Captain Bash

Silver Member
The issue here is that you clearly have a different idea / expectation about the importance of the drum sound relative to the other members in your band and the groups you are giging with. This isn’t unusual, but it always boils down to the lowest sound/equipment threshold. My recommendation is get good on crap gear or more commonly ok gear tuned so they sound like cardboard boxes and abused so that they only just function. I use to play with all manner of trash punk bands but my band required high precision. In the end I always brought and used my own snare, cymbals, hi hat stand, snare stand and kick pedal. And don’t ask permission to switchout becuase the stage manager will say no. However no one will stop you ...that’s punk.
 
Seems I have a habit of picking the wrong group...

Been playing with a group for about 6 months now and it was going largely well until recently. The last couple of gigs being punk gigs mainly meant the drummers didn’t tune their kits. So other than occasionally being allowed to use my own snare drum I’ve had to use whatever kit is supplied therefore I sound turd. I complained about this to the group and they just said I should bring my own kit next time, which I did but only to be told there’s a kit there and nothing is to be moved/changed, queue another appalling gig.

Lesson learned, next gig I got in touch with the other band and agreed that I would supply the kit, which they were more than happy about. In the background my bassist is having talks with the organisers of the event and basically tells them to ignore my request and that all other drummers are only to bring breakables.. cue further annoyance 😡

Thinking about leaving this group as I’m clearly not getting listened to, however I’m torn as I actually like the material and the other members are very likeable.

What would you do?

Thanks,

R

I came up playing in mostly punk/garage clubs and this was mostly the case, milti-band bills that didn't have but 15 minute changovers. Many of the kits that were supplied had 20 year old heads, single heads, junk hardware and mostly sounded like garbage. Unfortunately the only thing to do was bring my own snare, cymbals seat and pedal. That way I knew I would be at least comfortable in the backbeat but knowing that if I did play fill it would probably sound like crap. In my case, the band had little say in what was supplied at gigs so I went with it because I love the guys and the music. Only other option is to use your kit backline [which sucks too].
 

Nictarine

Silver Member
From my experience playing "punk" shows there's normally 3-4 bands (sometimes more) playing 30 minute sets with 15 minute change over in between, the idea of a shared kit is always the best idea because 15 minutes for a full change over and sound check can be rough if you run into issues. It's a common situation to bring your own snare and cymbals and maybe your own pedal.
I think you're being too high maintenance here or that your expectations are too high. If you're playing punk music unless the drums just sound REALLY bad nobody is going to notice, even then it might add to the aesthetic!

If it's really that bad then you have four options:
1. Quit the band.
2. Be the guy that provides the kit and have everyone bash on your drums.
3. Sneak a drum key and some Moon Gel in and tune the drums to your liking while everyone is out chain smoking cigarettes between bands.
4. Suck it up
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Lesson learned, next gig I got in touch with the other band and agreed that I would supply the kit, which they were more than happy about. In the background my bassist is having talks with the organisers of the event and basically tells them to ignore my request and that all other drummers are only to bring breakables..

Actually, i think you are the one being unreasonable and that you should say "thank you very much" to your bass player for taking care of you in this case..

What are you expecting when you bring your own, better quality, drum set to a punk show with 3 other bands..?

The sound will still be crap, those other 3 drummers will for sure start "tuning" your set a little "better", smash your cymbal stands around, and with a little luck you leave the place with only 1 little scratch on your drums somewhere..

Really, you should praise the lord for having a bass player like that..

And besides that, whats the problem with bringing your own snare drum, cymbals and stands, bassdrum pedal and a throne..?

Playing on another bassdrum and toms should not be a problem at all for anyone who can play a little..
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I have never played a punk show where the sound really mattered out front. Played drums in a speedcore band back in the late 80's, and always just played whatever was there, even though I am a massive drum sound snob, in that kind of music the sound quality was not as important as the sound intensity...

play bass in a crossover/thrash group now, and it is even worse for a bass player...show up to the gig, and there is the 60 year old Peavy TNT 50 sitting in the corner; torn 18" speaker, no grill, the bass and volume knobs are the only ones left on the amp...the cord jack is partially ripped out...what do you do? plug in and go...turn that bass knob and volume knob all the way up and hit it!!

At our own shows, I bring my own gear, and let everyone else uses it because I know just about everyone we play with. My rig is definitely close to high end, and is super rugged. But I never balk if we are at another show and the rig is not "what I want"

I thonk it changes if you are playing a legit tour show, where the stage sound is pro and the pay is bigger...but club shows and house shows? Supposed to be rough....

...up the punx!!!!!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
IMO, your cymbals and your snare is about 90% of your sound anyways. As long as the kick goes "thump" when you hit it, who cares? Take your own drum key, adjust the tom batters as best as you can, then run with it. It's punk music! Enjoy the crummy-ness of it all! That's part of the vibe.

Also, in my book, it's a win-win if other punk drummers aren't playing your gear.

If you keep playing, this won't be your last show. You'll have PLENTY of opportunities to play your own kit, believe me. Some nights you'll wish you were playing a crummy back line kit that you don't have to tear down at zero-dark-thirty in the morning. This past weekend, I was coughing my head off on Saturday night and drinking cough medicine like it's water. I had to tear down my drum kit and PA at 12:30am. Didn't get home until 2:00am. I would have LOVED to been able to just leave the kit there for someone else to tear down.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well a lot of time the drums may sound like crap behind the kit but sound great in front. Do you have a recording or did sound guy comment. I agree with PorkPie and I'd just tune the snare to taste, listen to toms pick one or two that sound musical and play your heart out. I was watching a dude play on a kit at a music store that was tuned for chips but he still sounded great -so even on poorly tuned drums you can sound great is something to consider.
 
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