When did you know it was over?

JamesFlames714

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Its come to the point where I can see the end of my most successful band to date coming over the horizon. A dozen or so bands have come and go so far in my life but this is the first that's gotten any traction. It feels like some people see the group exclusively as a vehicle to serve their own ego while some just want to rock with their friends. This split seems harder to ignore as time goes by. I'm open to taking advantage of whatever good offers we have coming(someone has offered to fly us to the east coast in June) but the joy of writing & rehearsing together is over and when the fun starts to wain then it's only a matter of time. The real issue is gonna be between the drummer(who's really 'over it' more than I am) and the singer who've been best friends since middle school. The singer doesn't play any instruments so the likelihood of him finding another project is slim while the rest of us all have other irons in the fire. Anyway thats where I'm at. I'd love to hear some stories from the rest of you. When was it obvious that a certain band's days were numbered.
 

Telekarster

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When was it obvious that a certain band's days were numbered.

Well.... from the sounds of it, it sounds like ya'll are well on your way IMO. Main thing is to break it clean and no hard feelings etc. It's not worth ruining friendships over etc. As I've gotten older, I don't really have the desire to play out anymore i.e. been there, done that, more times than I can remember. These days, we are all more focused on the recording studio and creating original music vs. playing other peoples stuff. So far, that's working out really well for us. Good luck man, and hope all works out for all involved!
 

boxocrap

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Its come to the point where I can see the end of my most successful band to date coming over the horizon. A dozen or so bands have come and go so far in my life but this is the first that's gotten any traction. It feels like some people see the group exclusively as a vehicle to serve their own ego while some just want to rock with their friends. This split seems harder to ignore as time goes by. I'm open to taking advantage of whatever good offers we have coming(someone has offered to fly us to the east coast in June) but the joy of writing & rehearsing together is over and when the fun starts to wain then it's only a matter of time. The real issue is gonna be between the drummer(who's really 'over it' more than I am) and the singer who've been best friends since middle school. The singer doesn't play any instruments so the likelihood of him finding another project is slim while the rest of us all have other irons in the fire. Anyway thats where I'm at. I'd love to hear some stories from the rest of you. When was it obvious that a certain band's days were numbered.
i see like this..when the respect for each other starts to decline..it's already over
 

johnny k

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When it becomes a hassle. That is what happens when i played in this psychobilly band, there was a lot of turnover, and when you have got to explain songs for the 3rd or 4th time to newbies, and the singer not taking good care of his members, think sleeping 5 people with various addictions in a car, and the car breaking down in the south of france, and playing a gig with no rehearsals with a new drummer, and playing gigs in a punk festival after getting there 5 hours late, it was fun, but i got too old.

now it seems the singer books hotel rooms for the the band members. Which is a good thing.
And this guy lives in a small castle with all kind of weird stuffs. Voodoo mask, stuffed aligators on the wall, it was like something out of a horror movie.
 

brookdalebill

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I’ve been in countless bands.
The good ones seem to have the shortest duration.
The things that make it good, skill, cooperation, creativity, and synergy are hard to maintain.
The more members, the bigger the problem.
I have learned not to hang on.
People have different needs, and agendas.
About 7 years ago, one of my bands started getting some press, and attention.
We made a CD (I know, no one does that anymore), did an electronic press kit, and formed an LLC.
Almost immediately after we did that, the singers/two focal points began bickering.
The band factionalized, legal actions were threatened, and we “blew up”, not in the good way.
We aren’t friends anymore, and we don’t speak.
It was a good band.
We were seasoned, professional, and entertaining.
The focal points had chemistry, local dance clubs followed us, we were versatile, and fun.
It doesn’t have to be this way, but it often is.
Oh well.
So, when it’s apparent that some people can no longer cooperate/communicate, game over.
Move on.
 
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Telekarster

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We made a CD (I know, no one does that anymore), did an electronic press kit, and formed an LLC.
Almost immediately after we did that, the singers/two focal points began bickering.
The band factionalized, legal actions were threatened, and we “blew up”, not in the good way.
We aren’t friends anymore, and we don’t speak.

Man... I had the same experience. In fact, it was 30 years ago and to this day, none of us have hardly spoke. A few years ago I looked em all up and gave em a call, which was good, but the magic was long gone of course. They're more strangers now than friends today... and we were thick as theives back then. Pretty sad, really. Recording contract and the whole 9 yards, and it all went kaput in very similar fashion to your exp. It was my learning lesson - don't take show biz too seriously. I've been happier ever since ;)
 

haggardfan1

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I'm going through this, at church but I'm going to keep my post strictly music related.


Our piano player has been there and faithful for years. She is a great musician, but not an ensemble player. Not in the least lol. I don't know if it's lack of experience, or diva behavior--and I've been trying to find a way to work with her for years now.

She has no concept of leaving space. Everything she knows goes into everything she plays. Over vocals, over my leads. It's exhausting. She puts every fill and run and flourish she knows into every second of every song. It is an assault to my ears.

Moreover, she refuses to play in the keys in which I sing. A and E are not an option. She doesn't like to play in D. She will often leave the stage when I sing, while I am expected to play any song in any key she prefers. She is a very good singer, in the style of Connie Smith.

I have wanted to quit for so long...but I made a commitment.
The band will never, ever, be more than the sum of the parts. It grieves me, but there's not a thing I can change.
 

fenderchamp

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It's hard to understand what it is when you actually have chemistry that works in a band which fans respond to. I would argue that a band can be more than the sum of it's parts. Don't throw it away lightly over pettiness and ego. You might not get it back as easily as you might think.
 

dlew919

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Ego should project to the audience, by which I mean the ego of performance. When it goes in and people think they’re better than what they have…
 

srblue5

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Its come to the point where I can see the end of my most successful band to date coming over the horizon. A dozen or so bands have come and go so far in my life but this is the first that's gotten any traction. It feels like some people see the group exclusively as a vehicle to serve their own ego while some just want to rock with their friends. This split seems harder to ignore as time goes by. I'm open to taking advantage of whatever good offers we have coming(someone has offered to fly us to the east coast in June) but the joy of writing & rehearsing together is over and when the fun starts to wain then it's only a matter of time. The real issue is gonna be between the drummer(who's really 'over it' more than I am) and the singer who've been best friends since middle school. The singer doesn't play any instruments so the likelihood of him finding another project is slim while the rest of us all have other irons in the fire. Anyway thats where I'm at. I'd love to hear some stories from the rest of you. When was it obvious that a certain band's days were numbered.

Man, I feel your pain. I'm going through a similar process with my main band currently. Been with them for 6 years (they were together for about 10 years before that) and never thought it would come to this. I'm hoping that it's only a temporary bump in the road but part of me thinks/knows it's over.

From my experiences, I'd say that I realize that it's over when ego and personal gain/interest starts to triumph over a group/band mentality (all-for-one and one-for-all). Granted, bands cannot (easily) be true democracies but it goes downhill for me when one person's interests or ego dominates at the expense of everyone else's or the overall band quality. When one person insists on doing their crummy cover/original simply because they say so or because they think they're more gifted than everybody else. When one person insists on showboating, playing all over everybody else, and showcasing their chops when they really don't fit into the song/arrangement. When the song just becomes a vehicle for showing off instead of communicating a message and/or spreading joy to the audience. When a person wants a piece of the songwriting pie despite not really being able to write decent songs. When people start slagging each other off just to knock each other down a peg rather than as constructive criticism. When everybody wants to play the other person's instruments or dictate what they should play without it being an open discussion or collaboration.

It really sucks. But as the saying goes, one door never shuts without another opening. Here's hoping it works out for you. Hang in there!

She has no concept of leaving space. Everything she knows goes into everything she plays. Over vocals, over my leads. It's exhausting. She puts every fill and run and flourish she knows into every second of every song. It is an assault to my ears.

Moreover, she refuses to play in the keys in which I sing. A and E are not an option. She doesn't like to play in D. She will often leave the stage when I sing, while I am expected to play any song in any key she prefers. She is a very good singer, in the style of Connie Smith.
Sounds a lot like my current drummer (see my other threads for more sordid details). No space for the music to breathe, just his chops, chops, chops. Loud fills and time signature changes that end up throwing everybody else and the entire song off but make him look "clever". Every time I play with him, I tell myself, "I won't kick over his drums like Dave Davies of The Kinks did, I won't kick over his drums, I won't, I won't, I won't..."

Maybe my drummer and your piano player should form a band together and create a wall of sound in the process. Perhaps they could be the next Attila (i.e. Billy Joel's first band).
 

teletail

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I'm going through this, at church but I'm going to keep my post strictly music related.


Our piano player has been there and faithful for years. She is a great musician

She has no concept of leaving space. Everything she knows goes into everything she plays. Over vocals, over my leads. It's exhausting. She puts every fill and run and flourish she knows into every second of every song. It is an assault to my ears.
Doesn’t sound like a great musician, sounds like a hack. Technical ability does NOT make you a musician.
I have wanted to quit for so long...but I made a commitment.
Commitments go BOTH ways. Unless you committed to letting her walk all over you, she has some obligations too. Bullies only get away with being bullies because other people let them.
 

TwoBear

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Its come to the point where I can see the end of my most successful band to date coming over the horizon. A dozen or so bands have come and go so far in my life but this is the first that's gotten any traction. It feels like some people see the group exclusively as a vehicle to serve their own ego while some just want to rock with their friends. This split seems harder to ignore as time goes by. I'm open to taking advantage of whatever good offers we have coming(someone has offered to fly us to the east coast in June) but the joy of writing & rehearsing together is over and when the fun starts to wain then it's only a matter of time. The real issue is gonna be between the drummer(who's really 'over it' more than I am) and the singer who've been best friends since middle school. The singer doesn't play any instruments so the likelihood of him finding another project is slim while the rest of us all have other irons in the fire. Anyway thats where I'm at. I'd love to hear some stories from the rest of you. When was it obvious that a certain band's days were numbered.
Right before that seven year itch it’s pretty certain that at least a member is gonna change, haha
 

getbent

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I'm going through this, at church but I'm going to keep my post strictly music related.


Our piano player has been there and faithful for years. She is a great musician, but not an ensemble player. Not in the least lol. I don't know if it's lack of experience, or diva behavior--and I've been trying to find a way to work with her for years now.

She has no concept of leaving space. Everything she knows goes into everything she plays. Over vocals, over my leads. It's exhausting. She puts every fill and run and flourish she knows into every second of every song. It is an assault to my ears.

Moreover, she refuses to play in the keys in which I sing. A and E are not an option. She doesn't like to play in D. She will often leave the stage when I sing, while I am expected to play any song in any key she prefers. She is a very good singer, in the style of Connie Smith.

I have wanted to quit for so long...but I made a commitment.
The band will never, ever, be more than the sum of the parts. It grieves me, but there's not a thing I can change.


This is a dumb post by me, so apologies, but I'm posting it anyway.

Sometimes when people insist on things that are counterproductive, they are actually just in their own way, if there is a way to have a conversation with them, calm and reasonable to offer solutions to things, maybe they can get better. I want to hit on two of the things she does that you can help her fix.

First, playing in various keys and her lack of interest in the 'harder' keyboard keys. If she is using a modern synth, they ALL have transpose buttons, it takes maybe 3 seconds for the synth to switch keys. She can play what she plays on the keys she currently plays, all she has to do is hit the transpose button and she is good to go. Try it. It will open up lots of avenues for her.

on the overplay. This is done out of being dutiful. we had a keyboard player who we tamed about 10 years ago. We recorded a gig and he was plinking away through everything... when we listened together, he understood what we were saying. We told him to be great, he needed to play half of what he was playing... to start, we said, 'during ANY singing' his volume pedal should be off. During other people's solos, he could only play chord figures.

We did that for about 3 months and it worked.
 

Burlington Dave

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2020 saw the practical end of a 9 piece cover band (with 3 horns) that I started in 2007 - Groove Hammer. Although Covid 19 was the death knell for many bands the world over, I saw the end coming well over a year before. We'd always managed to deal with band members coming and going over the years, and most of us always had other projects on the go, but Groove Hammer kept chugging along. For many years we were playing 40+ shows a year, all paying gigs. However, by about 2018 I was seeing signs not of the band imploding, but of venues and clients wanting more and more for less and less. It was always a challenge to get a large band into a pub or club, but we had long ago reconciled ourselves to the fact that with that many members and a sound man on top, that we were not getting rich. But, we did get private and corporate shows every now and then, and loved playing summer festivals. By 2018 venues were offering a pittance and I just couldn't ask the band to play for less than the babysitter would make while we were out gigging. Groove Hammer isn't officially dead, but we all know that it's unlikely to rise from its death bed.

At the same time I was seeing the rise of the tribute band. I've always been amazed at the popularity of tribute bands - why would an audience want to hear the music of one band all night long when a great cover band will do the music of 30 or 40 artists in a single night? Then I realized that tribute bands are about nostalgia, about the audience suspending their disbelief - as we do when we watch television, films, or read a story - and relive the feelings and memories that those songs and that artist bring back for them.

So, after much thought, I decided to start a tribute band. I researched the tribute bands that were in the Southern Ontario area and made note of their levels of success, while at the same time searching for a band that has a high level of success, great drawing power, a strong catalogue of songs, a long career, and are well loved throughout Canada, and I had to be a fan too. So, I started a tribute band called
True Rodeo (www.truerodeo.com) that is a tribute to Canada's most successful band in the past 35 years,
Blue Rodeo (www.bluerodeo.com).

True Rodeo started a month before the pandemic hit. We've been together for 2 years and still haven't played our first gig! We made isolation videos, printed business cards, started a Facebook page, an Instagram page, a Twitter account, most recently a website, and rehearsed whenever the lockdown restrictions would allow.

The good news is that True Rodeo will hit the stage for the first time on Friday, May 20th at 9:30PM at the Linsmore Tavern on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you happen to be in the Toronto area we would love to see you there! Tickets will be available shortly at www.linsmoretavern.com. Please have a look at True Rodeo's website if you have a few minutes.

All the best,

Burlington Dave
www.truerodeo.com
 

loopfinding

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Dunno, every band I’ve been in has been broken up either by a crucial member moving or just by falling apart - everyone stops making an effort and eventually the gigs start petering out. Nobody on bad terms, just natural circumstances of moving on (funny enough I can think of one or two people I’m not on the greatest terms with, but for life stuff after stuff petered out musically).

I don’t think it’s necessary to terminate anything, it’s not like breaking up with a significant other or something. I may have no desire to actively continue some projects, but I’d be glad to play some one-off gigs with the majority.
 
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chris m.

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I feel the OP's pain. Sometimes you can just replace a band member and the band is able to continue almost without a hitch. The sound changes and there is a different vibe, but if anything that sometimes freshens things up. But certain band members are so critical that if they go then you've kind of cut the heart right out of the band. If I'm being honest the guy in my band that is indispensable is our drummer. If he were to quit for whatever reason I think we would be quite challenged to come out the other side with anything close to what we have right now. Our singer is the other person that would be extremely hard to lose and still be a going concern. The rest of us hacks are dime-a-dozen.
 

GeneB

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The first band I was in that was semi successful (house band opening for some NY based ones like Vanilla Fudge, Mountain, The Vagrants) . We were working, we were young, and then she appeared. No, her name wasn't Yoko but we lost a key member (lead guitarist/singer) to her. As we were post-college but pre-careers we hung it up. I went on to discover the joys of COBOL.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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99% of them have been toast before they even got started. That's why I work so hard on my solo act.
Yep. Pretty much.

In my case the one I was devoted to the longest (10 years) ended when the self appointed musical director said if I wanted to play live to find other musicians. I was kind of pissed since I'd passed up other opportunities in pursuit of this. But hey, I learned a lot.

Aside from that one, everything else imploded at a certain point fairly quickly.
 




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