Bass player took a separate gig, said we shouldn't play without him.

The appropriate response from a drummer is...

  • Find additional projects yourself that are less constraining or as dependent on the other players.

    Votes: 9 12.7%
  • Just accept it.

    Votes: 5 7.0%
  • Request a draft of written agreements within the band.

    Votes: 2 2.8%
  • Punt.

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • Play without him.

    Votes: 64 90.1%

  • Total voters
    71
I'm still fuming as of this afternoon. This WILL ruin a casual friendship with him. You should hear how abrasive he is when he tries to make a point about a correction in a musical piece.

The setlist the leader sent today with her spur of the moment fill in player is 3 sets. Two and a half of new material.
By Friday.

I sent bass guy a text. We discussed and I feel better about it, but it's not alright. I'm just not fighting angry anymore.
The way y'all are hanging on to him leads me to believe he's another Leland Sklar. How good is this bassist?
 
The way y'all are hanging on to him leads me to believe he's another Leland Sklar. How good is this bassist?

If it were up to me.....

When we play a tuned down song the show stops. He can't play a 5. He brings a 2nd bass but doesn't use it. He retunes.

The guit player last week has a Switch Foot. Step on a pedal and you're tuned down. Nice. Not everybody has it, of course.
 
I totally don’t get that mentality. When I can’t make a gig I recommend the best drummers I know, preferably a drummer that is better than me. I want the gig to as smooth as possible, even if I’m can’t make it.
 
All this extra work having to learn new songs that we'll never play again has just about halted all my bass training, so there's been very little progress there.
I won't forget who caused last week's and this week's extra work. Plus the gig last week that we couldn't do. Ain't looking forward to the next gig.

It sucks dealing with unprofessional people.
 
  • Like
Reactions: A J
All this extra work having to learn new songs that we'll never play again has just about halted all my bass training, so there's been very little progress there.
I won't forget who caused last week's and this week's extra work. Plus the gig last week that we couldn't do. Ain't looking forward to the next gig.

It sucks dealing with unprofessional people.
If you play bass, too, why not get another drummer and you play bass?
 
If you play bass, too, why not get another drummer and you play bass?

She, the band leader didn't feel I had enough development at startup so I drummed in this band.

She set me up with another band to play bass at the same time. If this band will stabilize I could focus more on bass.
 
Last night was the greatest of all events so far. Epic, I say!
To reflect: the bass player couldn't practice on the week that a guitarist committed to join us (bass fill ins to play, ya know), so the guitar player backed out of a show with 4 days notice.

The leader hired a keyboard/singer for the show with 2+ sets of new music to learn in 2.5 days.
Twice during the show the bass player stormed off stage mid song swearing and stomping back and forth. Still we played on and he came back to get his cigs, stomped off, then coming back for beer or something to stomp back off stage.

Wait, there's more. Last month at our 2nd show he invited a drummer to play my drums with him still on bass. WTH?! So last night that drummer sat the leader down afterwards begging her to come jam with his band. Who's your band? His band is the stomping off bass player, the guitar player we just hired that backed out of the gig and himself. IOWs, let me cut your drummer's throat and be in your band? which is why the stomping bass player wanted the guy to sit in on my drums at a gig 3 shows ago.

I was listening but he didn't know. I popped up asking him to repeat it and of course he wouldn't.
 
Yikes 2 Hit,

At this point you have to ask yourself, and especially your bandleader, a few questions:

What is your professional relationship to this bandleader/band?
i.e. - What loyalty does she have in keeping you as the drummer VS. her loyalty to keeping/continuing to work with this bass player?
If the answer is that she's worked/played with him for a longer period of time, and is unwilling to see the trouble/strife he's bringing into this current lineup, then that's not work out so great for you. Bottom line, is she willing to get rid of this bass player to keep this current version with you in the band afloat?

Who brought in this new guitar player? Was it her, or the bass player?
If it was the bass player, forget it, he'll follow whatever the bassist wants him to do.
Kind of lousy for him to try to poach this brand new guitar player (along with his drummer buddy) if he didn't know him from long before.

Very unfortunate for the new keyboardist/singer. First performance with this new band with only two and a half days to prepare for it, and the bassist pulls this kind of unprofessional garbage. That should have sent the bandleader all of the red flags she needed in knowing that it's time to dismiss this bassist. At the very least she should have chewed him out after the gig for the stunt he pulled onstage.

Is this band really worth this kind of hassle/drama?
Only if you think this bandleader/band likes what you bring to the group, and is willing to eject this troublesome bassist. Ask yourself, is she such a good/great bandleader that you would do anything to continue to play with/for her? Or, are you better off finding something else? Especially, after seeing how she (as the leader) handles this kind of situation.


I don't have all the answers, but I sure hope that you are able to find a solution. One that affords you to opportunity to enjoy playing your drums without all this drama attached.
 
Last edited:
It's no longer worth it. Seems the bass player is trying to sabotage the band and has been since about the start. The band leader invited him to the startup. So it's up to her to accept her role or hand control to him.

The keys guy was a fill in and I warned him ahead of time what to expect from the bass player and asked him not to associate me with that guy. I didn't expect all those antics though.
Keys is why we had to learn all those new songs this week. It was his material. Poor guy got a real dose of attitude.

The guitarist is an old acquaintance of both myself and the bass player, but only the bass player had a band that gigged with him. We agreed to reach out to him since nobody else with capabilities for tribute style was asking to join.
This project won't continue thru the month with this lineup.

I've got 2 interesting offers to join other projects. One is an established originals band. Harder to pay the mortgage with that. The other is a startup with no bookings yet.
 
It's no longer worth it. Seems the bass player is trying to sabotage the band and has been since about the start. The band leader invited him to the startup. So it's up to her to accept her role or hand control to him.

The keys guy was a fill in and I warned him ahead of time what to expect from the bass player and asked him not to associate me with that guy. I didn't expect all those antics though.
Keys is why we had to learn all those new songs this week. It was his material. Poor guy got a real dose of attitude.

The guitarist is an old acquaintance of both myself and the bass player, but only the bass player had a band that gigged with him. We agreed to reach out to him since nobody else with capabilities for tribute style was asking to join.
This project won't continue thru the month with this lineup.

I've got 2 interesting offers to join other projects. One is an established originals band. Harder to pay the mortgage with that. The other is a startup with no bookings yet.
You've got more patience than I, brother. I hope you land in a good, working band.
 
If it's a pro band, with a following and a brand to maintain, then everyone is replaceable on a temporary basis to fulfill the band obligations. If the band is more as a hobby for everyone, AND a player gives advance notice, then the band shouldn't schedule gigs unless everyone can make it.
 
Last night was the greatest of all events so far. Epic, I say!
To reflect: the bass player couldn't practice on the week that a guitarist committed to join us (bass fill ins to play, ya know), so the guitar player backed out of a show with 4 days notice.

The leader hired a keyboard/singer for the show with 2+ sets of new music to learn in 2.5 days.
Twice during the show the bass player stormed off stage mid song swearing and stomping back and forth. Still we played on and he came back to get his cigs, stomped off, then coming back for beer or something to stomp back off stage.

Wait, there's more. Last month at our 2nd show he invited a drummer to play my drums with him still on bass. WTH?! So last night that drummer sat the leader down afterwards begging her to come jam with his band. Who's your band? His band is the stomping off bass player, the guitar player we just hired that backed out of the gig and himself. IOWs, let me cut your drummer's throat and be in your band? which is why the stomping bass player wanted the guy to sit in on my drums at a gig 3 shows ago.

I was listening but he didn't know. I popped up asking him to repeat it and of course he wouldn't.

I have to commend you on your patience. You have a professional demeanor unmatched by many.

Two things you mentioned are "lines in the sand" for me that can never be crossed: stomping off stage in the middle of a song and inviting someone else to sit on my kit. The arrogance of this guy is really breathtaking. He is a virtual case study in anti-social behavior. I suspect he might even have something wrong upstairs. This guy is SO bad, I might even be tempted to stay in the band just to see what he's gonna do next. :)

Letting other people play my drums never goes well. The few times I've allowed it, the "guest drummer" makes the band sound worse, not better.

As for "storming off stage", that's one behavioral issue I have no patience for; none whatsoever. No matter how bad it gets, we're supposed to entertain an audience, not air our dirty laundry for all to see. There's plenty of time to handle disagreements at other times and locations. The stage is "sacred ground".

I used to fill in for a really awful country band. I probably did it 5-6 times over the course of a year. On-stage behavior of some of the members was one of the reasons I stopped playing with them. The worst was an elderly woman who played accordion and sang (No. I'm not making this up.). Her on-stage demeanor was always unpleasant. During one gig, something upset her, so she walked up to the mixer and started yanking out cables causing loud pops through the mains, grabbed her stuff and stormed off stage.

This Summer, I decided to leave a band for many reasons, one of which was the on-stage antics. One member loudly cussed out another on stage while we were setting up. Very embarrassing. For me, that was the tipping point. I gave notice the next day, fulfilled all scheduled gigs and left 2 months later. Since then, the band the only gigs they've been able to land are unpaid ones playing to empty chairs.
 
If it's a pro band, with a following and a brand to maintain, then everyone is replaceable on a temporary basis to fulfill the band obligations. If the band is more as a hobby for everyone, AND a player gives advance notice, then the band shouldn't schedule gigs unless everyone can make it.

Well the symphony doesn't work like that. Taylor Swift doesn't either. That's the pro approach.

I personally wouldn't join a band that wouldn't play unless each member was present. Unless the salary didn't change or if there was something really attractive about working with them to keep me interested.
The only reason I'm still interested, is the leader. There are people in town who don't understand why but I see it as a good career move. I dig her talent. Not for her choice of bass players, though.

This is the scenario: My old band's bass player went on vacation so they called 'our' player to fill in.
So obviously that bar band doesn't have issue with a sub. Our player didn't ask our approval beforehand so we don't owe him anything in consideration. A keyboard or bass player could replace him.

A bonus here is that playing without him would mean that he couldn't stomp off stage mid song or turn his amp way up to try to force us to play Sweet Emotion when the fill in keyboard player already said last set that he didn't know it. We didn't have a guitar player that night so it wouldn't sound right without distorted humbucker pickups.

For me, either hobby or pro at this level, neither situation is acceptable to put the rest of the band out of work just because 1 person wants to and didn't ask for the ok.

We aren't a Corey Feldman level band yet. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: A J
At rehearsal yesterday the bass player and guitar player said the drummer was lying that they don't have plans to jam with that drummer at all. Guitar player doesn't have time for our band already, so the only options were the drummer was lying or they planned a drummer coup. Good to clear the air.

The behavior of Mr Bass was addressed but he asked to just move past it instead of acknowledging that he was a problem and that it was not at all ok behavior. He appears incapable of coping with self reflection or introspective. I mean to say that he might be close to a breakdown of some kind if he has to. He'll have trouble with any band he ends up playing in. I wish him better mental health in his future.
 
  • Like
Reactions: A J
I've been giving this some thought. I know you really like the lead lady's talent and personality, but much of the troubles with your current bass player really rest on HER shoulders, not his. She calls the shots. She chooses to keep him. It's really on her.

Since you'll never change the bassist's behavior, perhaps it would be more effective to work through the lead lady? At the right time and place, offer alternate solutions to your current bassist.
 
I've been giving this some thought. I know you really like the lead lady's talent and personality, but much of the troubles with your current bass player really rest on HER shoulders, not his. She calls the shots. She chooses to keep him. It's really on her.

Since you'll never change the bassist's behavior, perhaps it would be more effective to work through the lead lady? At the right time and place, offer alternate solutions to your current bassist.
Weak leadership facilitates this nonsense. If it were MY band, I would have tossed his arrogant ass the SECOND he tried telling me that my band can't play without him!
 
  • Like!!
Reactions: A J
I know. You guys aren't wrong. Been hanging in with hope that some iteration of the many musicians that she works with will gel into something stable and beneficial.

She's too nice and accommodating. It's damaging in this case. Friday's gig was a turning point. This weekend 1 of the bass player's friends started trolling her on fb after watching his buddy stomping off stage, adding another layer. He's also a friend of the wannabe drummer sitting her down begging to poach her bass player and new guitarist to cut me out. Our new Guitar player said the guy announced to them that he was gonna try to steal my spot. I heard he might be clumsy with beer next time I see him.

Acting in haste is a mistake I've made many times though and start ups can bump along. But usually not at our experience levels. This one started as, "Hey, I've been given gigs and need a band right now. You've been interested for a long time so come give it a try."

Two years ago this month I approached her for collaboration but she was already talking with an established band, which she went to and this year suffered an ugly break with them. I stayed in front of her and in contact.
Gotta believe it'll settle in soon. We've talked alternative approaches that sound promising. In the meantime, there's the monthly mortgage to pay. There was a 3rd offer last month to return to my previous band, but I left them with the hope of working with this chick or 1 other band. Neither worked out so I went to a tribute style band for 4-5 months. It forced me to concentrate more. The old band does 100 shows a year, but for cheap money.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: A J
Back
Top