Is this normal....

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Gave notice to my bandmates yesterday that I'm leaving the band. We've been together for roughly 10 years. And we've become really good friends. Over the past couple of years things have become more and more of a toil. I love gigging. A couple of the other lads love making videos and recording. The gigging was getting shoved more and more aside. In short drumming even in a 'weekend warrior' band is not easy work and the cons were beginning to outweigh the pros.

I got dicked around a couple of days back on a really good gig I'd sorted. Diary was free. I'd checked with the lads anyhow. Then, having firmed everything up, the dreaded "wedding I'd forgotten all about" came up. I calmly said "no problem, these things happen". Then decided what really wanky excuse I could come up with to save myself from looking like a real dick with the organiser. And at that point I decided "that's it".

Gave it a couple of days, to allow my anger to melt away. To decide in the cold light of day whether leaving was what I reall want. Still felt the same.

The lads are devastated. They never saw it coming. But the strings section are a bit like ostriches for sticking their heads in the sand. We had a 'band meeting' start of the year where, despite everything going in a little bit of a downward spiral we all reaffirmed that we'd commit to getting things going again. Nothing's changed since.

Here's the thing. The singer has now messaged everyone to say that he doesn't want to go on with it sans-me. I've tried to explain to them that whilst it's going to be hard to source a new drummer, that I'm happy to play remaining fixtures this year until they do so. I'm not even a good drummer. I think it's a case of we've all become so close, that the singer, and perhaps also the bass player, could not see the scenario where the band continues without the current format.

The bass player has now basically followed suit. He initially offered to walk (as he feels he's the main reason for most of the problems - he's actually right). But the issues we have run even deeper than that, as I explained.

Here's the rub. This has all made me fall into this really weirdly deep depression. I booked the day off work today because I don't want to go out and face the world. Is this normal? I've left bands before, but I think perhaps the difference is all previous bands were a) shite and b) had run their course. This band was different. Best I've ever been in. And almost certainly the last band I'll ever play in. We all got on. The music was great. But for all manner of reasons it had simply reached a natural expiry date for me personally.

Wife asked me how I felt last night. I stated that I feel like I'd probably feel if she and I separated right now, today.

I also feel that I, personally, with one fell swoop of my hand, have destroyed the band for everyone. Absolutely gutting.

In short, I feel bloody awful this morning.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Is it normal? Pretty much. It is rough, being in a band is like a marriage and actually in some bands people spend more time with the band than their partners.

As for things falling apart because you are leaving, it sounds like there were some issues that were there before you decided to leave. I suspect things were just in a bit of a precarious equilibrium and you deciding to leave just toppled that.

A similar situation happened with a friend of mine's band. They had been together for over a decade and they had a long time member decide to leave. In the process of replacing him another guy left and some under the surface disagreements came to light. Long story short, they ended up deciding to just move on.

Anyway as Bill Cobbs said as Del Paxton in That Thing You Do: "Ain't no way to keep a band together. Bands come and go. You got to keep on playin', no matter with who."
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Hi Squadleader.
Your feelings of depression shouldn’t be labelled as normal or not normal, it’s how you feel about this situation and how you deal with it. I’ve never felt that bad about a band breaking up but then again I’ve never been the one to leave a band first. However I have in the past taken a day off and felt miserable about other things so your feelings don’t strike me as being exceptional.
Observations. The other weekend our singer said he doesn’t want us to take bookings for next year because we started getting enquires. He was already in a position of wanting to just see the year out before calling it a day and this prompted him to verbalise it. It’s all absolutely fine, he’s said he’ll be happy to gig until we get another singer if we get someone up to speed earlier, but the prospect of starting from scratch with another singer isn’t something any of us want to do so effectively in December the band will end. That’s not his “fault” at all, if we wanted to continue we could, so he made the first move but none of us are so desperate to continue that we’re making contingency plans.

A few years ago I was in a band with the same 3 lads plus A N Other, I couldn’t put up with the way he went on, there was a flashpoint that caused an argument and as a result one of the other lads said he’d also had enough and wanted to leave. Again we gigged for a few months to not let venues down before calling it a day. I thought that was me done, 6 months later I was a founding member of a Classic Rock covers band and 4 years later we’re still going strong, despite one guitarist walking away from the band a year ago. Which is a roundabout way of me saying that your current band might not necessarily be your last.

The fact is things change, if no one else wants to continue then that is not “your” fault. If the band meant that much to them they’d find a replacement, in fact they might still do that after being inactive for a few months. So don’t beat yourself up about it. The bottom line is that you’re unhappy with the direction of the band, you’ve tried to change it and that hasn’t worked. The band I was in that broke up a few years back was loads of fun but whenever I regretted what had happened I’d remember what I had to put up with or read old message threads from A N Other and it quickly made me remember why I’d been happy to see the back of it. Give yourself a few weeks and things will get better. To paraphrase Joe Walsh in his interview on Brian Johnson’s A Life On The Road, no matter how bad things are, you get through it. It might seem like the end of the world at the time, but a few weeks later things are alright.
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
We have had so many different members in our band over the years, it's hard to keep up. In fact, last week I got the name wrong of one of our new saxophonists! We're on our fourth singer, second bass player, fourth lead guitarist, second trumpeter, third tenor saxophonist.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Totally normal.

We're letting our lockup go after about 10 years, end of an era. When we got it we were all footloose and fancy free, now 2 of us have got mortgages, kids, wives etc. We decided to let the place go, expensive storage plus we never practice there anymore. Gonna miss the place.

Our bassist who is still with mommy and daddy thinks we've conspired against him. Had to smooth it all out, so annoying having to deal with someone who doesn't get that everyone has more pressing priorities aka growing up!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would contend there is no normal. All people react in different ways. You can only control you. Not the strings, not the bass player, so if you gave this some thought, be good with it and drop the guilt feelings. 10 years is a long time but we all feel the need at times for change.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You are doing the right thing-of course you have some doubts/guilt but that is because you must be a decent human being that cares about your fellow man. You may even feel some slight regret later when you miss it-but remember why you are here and you will know it was a good ride while it lasted but it was time to move on. Be thankful for the great ride and don't let anything spoil that for you-it is difficult to find that perfect match of people you really like and can work with and making a great band. Count your blessings but you need the change if it is creating this much angst in your life. So what use to be fun and you loved is now creating all this angst in your life. Remember that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

philrudd

Senior Member
Ten years is a long time to do anything. You get used to it - no matter what it is - and then, when it's gone, the void is noticeable.

I once read that a lot of convict's first instincts upon release is to run back into the confines of prison, simply because it's the world they know. And that's PRISON - you noted yourself that this was a good band, with good guys, so how could you not miss it?

The girlfriend analogy is fitting.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Of course it is normal. 10 years is a long relationship to end.

The 5 stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance

You are almost there.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Sounds like breaking up with a girlfriend.. best thing.. get out and play around with some other people.. find a better band and move on :)
 
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