Ever shown up to play with a new musician and realized it was a bad fit immediately?

philrudd

Senior Member
I absolutely love these war stories. Keep 'em coming, everyone! I can relate to so many of these tales...

Truth to tell, they entertain me a lot more than the technique and gear threads. (Probably because I'm sorely lacking in both of those departments...)

Fortunately, I haven't had too many auditions - most of the bands I've played with came about because they'd seen me play with someone else and asked me to join. I like it that way - they know what they're getting, and since they've asked for more, I know I can just be myself.

But one strange one was auditioning for some neo-hippie in his living room...the incense and patchouli were suffocating. He asked me to play something 'freaky'. I tried a groove; he shook his head and said, 'No, man - FREAKY.' I tried again - something I'd heard on a Grateful Dead tape somewhere. Again he shook his head: 'No, man - you know, like, FREAKY, you know?'

I admitted I had no f*cking idea what he was talking about. We stumbled through a few meandering jams and then happily parted company. To this day, I fear showing up at rehearsal and being asked to play something 'freaky', because I still don't know what that means...
 

Macarina

Silver Member
A story I told to my buddies a few months back for my first ever audition with my E-Kit...

I went to audition for a band this past Sunday. It was out in Union. That wasn’t really too bad of a long drive. So I’m coming up on the destination and I see very little. A huge concrete silo and at first I didn’t even notice the mobile home. So I drove on and nothing. So I drove back and past the mobile home. Nah, that can’t be the place. So I stopped and asked someone outside and sure enough, the mobile home was the place. Gahhhhhhh. It’s a Sh*thole. Crap laying everywhere. Couch and chair on the deck, old trucks and cars, sans wheels everywhere. Oh, this is gonna be good. Totally Redneck

As I pull up close I do hear music, but it’s coming from across the drive out of this little storage unit. Sure enough, the band was inside this 10 X 12 metal shack that he just put up. It did have insulation stuffed in the ceiling. If you recall, Sunday was the day it started off at 70 and dropped like a rock through the day. By the time the audition ended, I was froze. I ended the audition. I could only imagine what it would be like in the middle of winter. Ya NO!!!!

I’m relying on the band’s PA system. I was horrified to find they had only few very old speakers. None could handle my kit properly. They fiddled with the settings and best they could get was a thud on kick, a hallow snare and little else. No high end. Once the guitarist’s started… I couldn’t hear a damn thing out of my kit. They said they could and were happy. I think they were lying. I couldn’t hear dick. I played everything by memory or how I thought the song went.

They played some good old songs, but not much I wanted to pursue. They played decent. Needed work.

Then one of the guys broke out a cigarette. Oh crap. Thankfully the shack doors were wide open. Then the other guys started to smoke. It got to me. An hour later, they asked if I cared about them smoking. I said no. They asked if I smoked. I said no. They asked if smoking bothers me. I said yes. But told them to smoke away. The door is open and there is no way in hell, I’ll be playing with you guys any further. I didn’t say that out loud. They then proceeded to tell me how out in the county, there is not anti-smoking laws. Everywhere they play will be a smoke filled bar. That nailed that coffin shut. Shortly after I called it a day and left.

I was honest with the guy and told him I had to decline because the idea playing in a smoke filled bar was not going to happen.

So I learned lessons.
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
I absolutely love these war stories. Keep 'em coming, everyone! I can relate to so many of these tales...

Truth to tell, they entertain me a lot more than the technique and gear threads. (Probably because I'm sorely lacking in both of those departments...)

Fortunately, I haven't had too many auditions - most of the bands I've played with came about because they'd seen me play with someone else and asked me to join. I like it that way - they know what they're getting, and since they've asked for more, I know I can just be myself.

But one strange one was auditioning for some neo-hippie in his living room...the incense and patchouli were suffocating. He asked me to play something 'freaky'. I tried a groove; he shook his head and said, 'No, man - FREAKY.' I tried again - something I'd heard on a Grateful Dead tape somewhere. Again he shook his head: 'No, man - you know, like, FREAKY, you know?'

I admitted I had no f*cking idea what he was talking about. We stumbled through a few meandering jams and then happily parted company. To this day, I fear showing up at rehearsal and being asked to play something 'freaky', because I still don't know what that means...
haha I love this! No one's asked me to play a "freaky" groove before.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Fortunately, I haven't had too many auditions - most of the bands I've played with came about because they'd seen me play with someone else and asked me to join. I like it that way - they know what they're getting, and since they've asked for more, I know I can just be myself.

You hit on a pretty universally shared feeling there.

But one strange one was auditioning for some neo-hippie in his living room...the incense and patchouli were suffocating. He asked me to play something 'freaky'. I tried a groove; he shook his head and said, 'No, man - FREAKY.' I tried again - something I'd heard on a Grateful Dead tape somewhere. Again he shook his head: 'No, man - you know, like, FREAKY, you know?'
Incense and patchouli lol. Patchouli makes me want to hurl I swear. I don't mind incense though ;) That story has Craigslist written all over it lol.

The one CL audition I tried....it was just a "jam". The 2 other guys were so in their own worlds, that I thought I just stepped back into my own past about 40 years ago. The only thing I could think to do was to keep a straight beat. They were like trying to follow a fly with your eyes...all over the place with no general plan it seemed. I couldn't do it. No playing together as a team. Not downing them, I used to be just like that. But it was like a few 15 minute wankfests, and I just wanted to gnaw off my arms so I didn't have to suffer anymore.

We all lied and said it went good. I could tell they totally didn't like what I did lol.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
I was invited to a jam set up by a guy I met online. The idea was to put together a jam band that would play a few parties and gigs, mostly for fun. We were to meet up at the singer's house. When I pulled into the driveway, there were a couple of guys standing there talking. They looked at me like I was selling Amway or handing out religious tracts. Once they finally realized I had a car load of drums, they pointed to the next door neighbor's workshop, a big concrete block building.

Finally everyone got there and got set up. One of the rhythm guitarists set his amp right next to my hi-hat and cranked that sucker to 11. He didn't know the songs, so was trying to fake his way through. I couldn't hear anything else that was going on, no vocals, no lead, so I was all over the place, finally just trying to keep a steady beat going. It was awful! I didn't figure I'd ever hear from these guys again and wasn't sure I wanted to...

Well, the guy that originally invited me asked me to another jam at a different guys house. The first question from me was "Who will be there?" When the lineup was different, I hesitantly agreed. Turns out that the new guys were a great fit. We're now working out set lists and trying to get ready to book some gigs.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I joined an indie band in 2008 off the recommendation of a friend which was signed to the same label as Deep Purple. It was nice to have something in common with Ian Paice but that's where it ended.

The band had just released their debut album and was a million miles away from what I listen to. It sounded like a cross between Coldplay/Smiths and various other bedwetting music.

I learnt the album in about two listens as the drums were programmed and hey it's indie so we're hardly talking Zappa!

I played the album launch which nobody came to and then got called into a 'band meeting' where I was given a bit of a dressing down by indie players I refuse to use the word musician when indie is involved. I was told they wanted a drummer who was also a musician. Seeing I was the only musician in the band as I have a degree in it I sort of humoured them and left the band.

The best one I have is a guy who I answered an ad to when I was 17 who asked if I'd mind putting some guitar parts on some songs he'd written as well as drums. I got home and put the tape on and it was him with a dictaphone making guitar noises and singing at the same time. It's that bad it's good. I've transferred it to my hard drive. The guy tried to call me back but I strategically ignored him!
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Only once. I showed up to the audition and the players felt it necessary to play under the influence of drugs before they began. I let them know that if they decided they were going to do it while I was there that I was packing back up and leaving. They held off until I was done.

Needless to say my audition of them went bad. Don't waste my time.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I auditioned for a 'roots music' band, supposedly playing stuff like the Allman Bros. They said they had a 'kit' no need to bring one. Gave me no homework, or songs to learn or listen to, "just come along" they say.

I drop by, its a dirt-floored shack, leaking rain, out back of some guys house. Amazingly dude had a Hammond organ in there. Microphones stands nailed to the ceiling, upside down, to save space, lol. They are all there but the bass player. Drums have bumper stickers allover the heads, every damn one, and all 6 cymbals... ride, crashes were on ONE stand ...like a Xmas tree. The hihat cymbals would not open...no adjustment possible at all.

Ok lets get started! No jam, etc....They launch right into their obscure original songs, like I am supposed to know them. All smug, they say "Just follow along". No basic strong structures, or brides, middle 8's etc. one was in 5/4. It was hopeless, I wanted to leave after one song but put my head down and stuck it out for 20 mins... then made up an excuse to go.
I can honestly say I hated those guys afterward, such a negative musical experience.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Only once. I showed up to the audition and the players felt it necessary to play under the influence of drugs before they began. I let them know that if they decided they were going to do it while I was there that I was packing back up and leaving. They held off until I was done.

Needless to say my audition of them went bad. Don't waste my time.
Musicians doing drugs?



Everyone knows that no good music has ever been played on drugs. Drugs and music are basically like oil and water!
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Not on my time.........
All I'm saying is that maybe you should mention something like that ahead of time if it's something you're that sensitive about. I've met far more musicians who like to have a drink or toke as they play than I've met who don't. It makes sense to give a heads up that you don't like anyone to imbibe while playing with you.
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
What I don't like is walking into a closed clique when I go for a jam with some new people. When everybody is talking about you behind your back before even meeting you, you know the odds are in favour of either leaving yourself or leaving against your will.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
The band I'm in now....love it. We've a great vibe. Good sound. Getting some good gigs. And we're all old friends (except new singer...whose now 'one of the gang).

BUT

When we originally formed, we had a singer called Pete. Now, Pete was a fking loon. And unfortunately his wife was an even bigger fruitcake. So, we met for the first time. My best mate wanted to do a 'last hurrah'. I had no drums. "we can sort that". "What about a singer?" said I. "Got one, said he".

So, Pete arrives. We're all punk rockers. Not hardcore punk you understand but real 1970s mainstream punk rock. Think Sham69. Think Undertones. Think Buzzcocks. Proper melodic PUNK ROCK.

In walks Pete with his fking Parka on with the big furry hood, his bloody stupid wanky 'indie' hat. He clasps his hands behind his back in the manner of a slightly half cut, bit backward, offspring of Liam Gallagher, and starts singing punk classics in a crappy, whiny, Mancunian, crappy voice.

At THAT point I thought "THIS..... IS..........DOOMED..........TO.....FAILURE".

But....I persevered.

Second rehearsal. We're playing a couple of originals. His wife, ever present up to that point, starts applauding one of the songs. Sat in the corner, with her bottle of beer, she starts clapping, noisily. Then she starts fist pumping like she's at a gig. Errr....okkkkayyy.....

Then she gets up and starts dancing....WHOA. THIS IS A REHEARSAL....WHAT'S THIS??

She dances around the rehearsal studio...does some provocative sexy dancing around Pete's mic stand...and around Pete. I'd have a major hard on if she didn't look like some kind of cross between Angela Merkel, and John Prescott.

Post rehearsal we went along to The Witchwood around the corner. It's quite a respected live music venue near Manchester. It's 'disco night'. And 'student night'. A young lad, no older than 20, is dancing with Pete's wife, the nutcase as we branded her by now. Pete walked over to his wife. Pulled her to one side......

And headbutted her. You read that right. He butted her. In the face.

We persevered for around 6 months with this guy...his voice was shit. His image was shit. He was a prize bellend. But we're soft. Ultimately the guys asked me to sack him. And I did.

We laugh about it now. It wasn't funny at the time
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
No funny stories but I've jammed with a fair few ppl, few of which were fun to play with.

I persist with the jam, grin and bear it, be friendly (no need to be an arse) and avoid committing to any further meets. Or if I feel like I'm being put on the spot (which I think is a bit rude), lie through my teeth then wait till I can retreat back behind my keyboard and tell them "second thought it's not going to work".

It's cruel but I think I'd probably be a bit passive agressive if I continued playing with that person out of politeness.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
He sat down and handed me a pair of headphones while explaining to me that he had been back and forth a few times over the Internet with some Grammy award winning producer I had never heard of who said he wanted to mix some of his tracks.
Classic. I love the grandiose claims some musicians make about themselves, particularly in ads. "Major label interest" is a common one. Anytime I see that sort of thing, I move on.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
No horror stories, but I've played with plenty of guys who clearly aren't into playing music. They own an instrument and know a song or two, but there's no energy or life in their playing, which sucks cuz they were all awesome people to hang out with.
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
Nothing too bad, but yeah. I once showed up at this guitarist's house, to audition for a blues band. Turns out the singer was also the singer for a prog band I auditioned for, but I turned them down due to personality differences. Strike 1.

Then we start jamming, and things are going very well, right up until the guitarist tells me he's more interested in doing top 40 style music. And here I was led to believe this was to be a blues band...
Strike 2.

Finally, and the part that really annoyed me, was that the guitarist only lived 10 minutes from my house! But he refused to make that trip, and insisted I bring my drum kit to him every time we practised.

I declined the invitation to join them...
 

geezer

Senior Member
Have had plenty of folks show up who were not a great fit when the shoe was on the other foot - one band I was in spent ages looking for a singer. We were a post punk band, into Husker Du, The Replacements, that type of stuff. A sample of some of the people who responded to our advert:

- fella with a shaved head, wore a lot of orange clothing, talked a lot about wanting to join the Hare Krishnas, had just got out of Mountjoy Prison for going after his landlord with a carving knife.

- a vegan guy who lasted for 20 minutes and then said he could never be in a band with us because our bass player was wearing leather shoes.

- a guy with a serious perspiration problem who asked to borrow the guitar player's guitar, decided to serenade us by screeching out "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" (not half as miserable as we were that night mate...) and then handed the guitar back literally dripping with sweat.

- a guy from Portugal who had hair like Robert Smith from the Cure and who sang so quietly that even with the amps turned down to almost nothing we still couldn't hear him.

- a metalhead in a fringed leather jacket who wanted to know if we were in concert pitch because he could only sing in concert pitch.

We eventually gave up the singer search - our bass player could sing, but not play bass at the same time, so he switched to guitar and we found another bass player instead.
 
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