Band Politics

June 26, 2011 8:20 PM

Having just got back into a (one-off) band after many years, the main thing I had forgotten was Band Fucking Politics. Omigod. I feel like a social worker. I'm much better at it now that I used to be, but how do you deal? What are your horror stories? I'll share mine if you share yours.
posted by unSane (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The chemistry is so complex... don't know if there are any hard and fast rules that can apply across the board. Probably not. Now, unSane, is this *your* band? Are you the Dear Leader? I'm kinda thinking maybe you are, because of the "social worker" comment. And leading a band can be very much like that.

Anyway... horror stories? Fortunately, not too many of those. Most of the bands I've led have been in either NYC or Tokyo, and those are two places where a certain get-the-job-done ethic reigns supreme, without a whole lot of interpersonal angst and whatnot. Musicians in the big city are generally, well, very professional. The downside is that it can be pretty tough to keep a band together for any good stretch of time, due to the fact that the good musicians are constantly being pulled this way and that: better offers, more money, more career advancement, you know. All that. Unlike smaller towns, where you can often have a band. A bunch of guys (and/or gals) who might actually stick together, often because, well, hey, there ain't a whole lot else happening.

Anyway, all that is to say that I really don't have any horror stories, per se. I do have stories of guys kinda cutting out on me at the last minute, often going something like this: "Listen, Samm, I got this tour with Ribot, man, I'm really sorry, but I can't make those next two gigs. But here's X's number, he'll have all your shit down cold after one rehearsal, I swear"*

*and indeed, X almost always did.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:33 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

No, it's not 'my' band really, except in the sense that I feel like I've turned into band dad/arranger. A friend of mine had 'being in a band' in his bucket list and so learned the drums. Then he persuaded this local festival that he WAS in a band which played classic Canadiana and they booked the band to headline, sight unseen. Then he called me up, and he was like 'um, unSane, do you know anyone who plays guitar?'. This was about two months ago and we obviously had to pull people together instantly. The amount of drama since then has been insane. Our keyboard player, a fiftysomething welder who's into Nine Inch Nails, summed it up best when he said to me drily "yup, I'm in a fucking band again'.

So we have a drummer who has never actually played with other musicians before. On our first rehearsal, we started the first song and stopped after a couple of bars to sort something out. Only he didn't. Because it turned out he had been practicing for years in his garage with his eyes shut. He would have played through the whole song if I hadn't gone over and tapped him on the shoulder. So the first thing we had to teach him to play with his eyes open.

He's absolutely committed to doing note-for-note versions of the drum tracks on the songs we're covering, so every so often we have to wait while he goes and listens to the iPod to remind himself how many tom hits there are in that fill.

The biggest problem is the singer/bass player, who is a lovely and lavishly talented fellow, but 100% committed to Winging It. As far as he's concerned, the song is whatever we decide it to be in the moment. Is it a chorus next, or a bridge? Just feel it. How does this song end? We'll find out when we get there. What are the words for the second chorus? Don't worry about it!

I think you can imagine that approach #1 and approach #2 do not mesh very easily.

Anyway it has come together more or less but the STRESS LEVEL has been insane and far out of proportion to the importance of the gig. I guess I just needed to vent...
posted by unSane at 3:44 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh my. Sounds rough. But... it's bound to build character!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:24 AM on June 27, 2011

Lol about your drummer and singer/bassist unSane.

I haven't been in a band for about 15 years (a situation I intend to put right shortly), but the biggest problem I used to have was with keyboard players. Fucking primadonnas poncing around and moaning about everything from me being too loud to the state of the Russian economy or whatever. I actually had a fistfight with one once after a gig. He thought I was hitting on his girlfriend. But I only shagged her once*.

Songwriting credits is another flashpoint in my experience - "yeah, I know it's the bit that everyone remembers, but your riff isn't really integral to the song as such is it?". As is the "I started this band sonny, so shut the fuck up with your opinions" syndrome. I've been in bands like that where you're never quite one of the "inner circle" because you replaced the original guitarist and therefore tacity have limited voting rights and certainly no veto on decision making.

Oh and there's the "difficult" member. You know, the one where you're told to avoid picking, say, the drummer up on any mistakes when he's had 6 pints 'cos he gets a little bit lairy and is inclined to insert his sticks into the bodily orifices of those who offend him.....

As I recall this stuff and write it, the pain-in-the-arseness of band politics comes flooding back. My stated intention to get back in a band is now subject to review.....

*I'm kidding. It was at least half-a dozen times...
posted by MajorDundee at 7:13 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm mostly hoping to train my 11 yr old son to be a drummer. He's pretty good already, certainly good enough to jam with, and he hits nice and hard. #2 son is nearly nine and not showing NEARLY enough interest in the bass yet though.
posted by unSane at 8:00 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's always That Guy in the band who isn't as good as everyone else and is sort of grudgingly tolerated because there's some reason he can't be kicked out (owns the PA, the van, founded the band, has money, whatever). But everyone is secretly aching to fire him or, what seems to happen more often, quit en masse and form another band without him.

We once did that to a drummer... told him the band was splitting up and then immediately put an ad in Melody Maker for another, under a new name.

He was the only person to respond to the ad.
posted by unSane at 8:04 AM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]

PS if you don't know who That Guy is, it's you.
posted by unSane at 8:05 AM on June 27, 2011

We had That Guy in the band for a while - he was was our bass player Steve's best friend, and they founded the band and recruited Steve's cousin Yvonne to sing. He was an OK guitar player but couldn't play leads, so they got me in the mix. He had a good voice, just never understood that backups need to blend with the lead vocal, not try to overpower her. He was also very unfocused, pretty much always came in late because he wasn't paying attention.

We had his wife as a second singer for a while - I hesitate to say backup singer because she didn't understand the concept either. She basically sung along with everything on the same note as Yvonne, which muddied things up pretty bad. We decided the best thing to do was have a band meeting to discuss how we all could improve, so it wouldn't come off as us ganging up on her. They were happy to criticize the rest of us, but wouldn't accept any criticisms of them as valid - everything was somebody else's problem. Then the next week they quit the band, giving us a long letter about how badly we'd treated them and how they were moving on to bigger and better things (that never got off the ground.)

After That Guy left we got another guitar player off craigslist who was really good, but was also terrible at accepting criticism. If any idea of his was rejected, or if anybody wanted to go in a direction he didn't agree with, he would pout and just go through the motions. It would take at least two practices before he would enagage again. Then he would complain that he wasn't playing as many leads as me - at that point I wanted him to do pretty much all of them, but if he's going to disenagage when we're in the middle of working on something new I'm going to pick up the slack. Try not being such a baby next time.

After he quit I went to the band and said if we could stay as a four piece I'd step up my playing and singing to make it work. They were skeptical at first, but four years on nobody has any regrets about it. We all understand each other's quirks, know how to work together, and genuinely like each other. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:25 PM on June 27, 2011

Both the bands I'm in are pretty much a dream right now.
The cover band everyone gets along well, actually learns what they say they will and the communication over txt\email is prompt. We've had great chemistry since my audition with them and call cold play songs almost perfect the first time playing them which is nice.

The originals band is great except for being a bit organized. I came in as the new bassist and have had to pick up a lot of the gig getting, promotional, website and social networking slack (like all of it :)

However, I was in two cover bands before I joined the originals group and the one not mentioned above, had some drama that just wouldn't resolve no matter how many times the subject was broached.

Only the lead guitarist and I learned the parts. The singer\rhythm would dink around with settings and pedals on his NASA setup all practice (I say practice because we never even got close to a rehearsal)
I wish they just would have said I really don't have time for this instead of it getting strung out for 6 months. I stuck around because the lead guitarist is amazing and a good friend of mine. Also, everyone was really cool so I thought if they would just practice it would come together nicely.
posted by zephyr_words at 3:25 PM on June 27, 2011

Seems like the best solution is that you lot all need to be in a band together. I'll drum and/or sing, gladly.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 3:32 PM on June 27, 2011

Totally agree, Loom. If the Major and I were on the same continent I can pretty much guarantee we'd be gigging right now. And I'd kill to be able to back up Flapjax sometime, not to mention get into some disharmonia with you guys.
posted by unSane at 3:46 PM on June 27, 2011

Good stories! They remind me of why I've retired to the garage.

I have been That Guy, though, for ditching bands ala flapjax's tale. But that happens a lot here in San Diego. There are a lot of talented college kids who want to try out the band thing but peter out. Once was totally about me being a bitchy-pants. I was a replacement guitar for a guy that kicked off or something and the band had been together for at least a couple of years and they wanted me to play all of his work note-for-note. I get the branding thing, people expect to hear X but they didn't want me to embellish or add anything at all. Totally verboten. Sad times.

I was paid back in full, though, shortly after 9/11. I was playing in two bands. One was a super fast hard-rock cover band. Totally established, three gigs a week, $ and beer. They were a great fucking band and they taxed the fuck out my bass playing (made me work my ass off), which for me is like a dream gig.

The other band was based around a drummer from Louisiana who could play absolutely anything. We were gearing up to insert ourselves into the S.D. pop/punk/alt scene. Things were looking good.

Then, in the same week the awesome guitarist from band A kicked off doing meth and Awesome Drummer bailed to LA to start a ministry.

Speaking to you directly, unSane, here's what I'd do in your situ; "Hey guys, we've all just come together to do some shows. We all have different backgrounds different styles and methods of practice. We have X days to mesh together and become a band. A band That Rocks!

I know that sounds like a bit from a cheezy Jack Black movie, but it sounds like that's where you're at. Just getting some group focus. It's not like you are all contracted to do a Euro-Tour, you just need to get it together for a few hours of Glory. CANADIAN GLORY! And Fuck the Bruins, eh?!
posted by snsranch at 5:56 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that's basically what we've done, sns. Fortunately everyone has been working their ass off musically so that has made all the difference. I suspect the band will have a bit of a life afterwards partly because we sounding pretty good now but also because the Canadian content thing is a strong selling point and musically it's a very strong set of covers.

And, no, fuck Vancouver, they were an embarrassment from the moment they blindsided Horton in Game 3. They lost it right there.
posted by unSane at 6:24 PM on June 27, 2011

Ok, fuck Vancouver, then! It's good to hear that you guys are getting it on and may be sticking together for a while. It takes a lot of initial personal investment to get stuff like this happening, so it's great to hear that you may have some ongoing benefits and enjoyment.

Thinking about being That Guy and things that can cause a rift in a band; have you guys thought up a name yet? Now, THAT is always trouble!
posted by snsranch at 7:19 PM on June 27, 2011

Fortunately we had the name before we had the band. It was what got us the show. We are The Captain Canadas. Or Captain Canada, depending on the day.
posted by unSane at 7:26 PM on June 27, 2011

And, no, fuck Vancouver, they were an embarrassment from the moment they blindsided Horton in Game 3

That simply doesn't sound like cricket to me.

Actually "Fuck Vancouver" is a far better name for your band than Captain Canape. You could do a set of Canadian punk covers actually are there any Canadian punk covers....?

Totally agree, Loom. If the Major and I were on the same continent I can pretty much guarantee we'd be gigging right now. And I'd kill to be able to back up Flapjax sometime, not to mention get into some disharmonia with you guys.

Yup. You know, I sometimes think we all need a MASSIVE kick up the arse on this site. We have the chops and the technology to form an online band (or bands) and do a live gig over the web. A veritable online MeFiMu Festival. Fuck all the monthly challenges etc, let's do something really challenging for 2012 (it would take that long to organise probably). Yeah!!! yeah???
posted by MajorDundee at 1:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

The situation in one of the bands I was in was so toxic that I'm pretty sure several of the songs on our last album were about how much one of the band members hated the rest of us.

In my last band, I was probably "that guy" in some ways, but the band leader never confronted me about it. Instead, I once found a list he had of things I did wrong. He didn't discuss the list with me, but just kicked me out of the band a few months later.
posted by drezdn at 2:42 PM on June 28, 2011

drezdn, it sounds like getting the boot was probably a blessing. I don't think I could stay in a band when people couldn't look me in the eye to tell me something...depends on how much you're getting paid though, too!

MD, I'm giving up a YEAH! for that idea. It might be difficult to put together, though. When I think of each particular talent, and there's so much awesome talent here, everyone is incredibly unique and singular...the only relatively simple idea that comes to mind is something like a rock opera.
posted by snsranch at 5:44 PM on June 28, 2011

are there any Canadian punk covers....?

Sort of. See also.
posted by unSane at 8:45 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've been in three-and-change bands and learned from the process that to some extent I'm That Guy about it not being My Band: I like playing with other people, and in all but the first band there wasn't really psychodrama so much as just things not keeping me engaged over the long haul, but the core of that lack of engagement was I never really felt like we were doing what I wanted to be doing.

Which is complicated, because I've never started a band myself; I've never tried to approach the whole band thing from the get-go with a "this is what I want out of this, and that's a dealbreaker" thesis. So it's a matter of a mismatch in tacit wants, not anything anybody else did wrong or any agreement broken. I just figured out from experience that I wasn't particularly happy over the long haul being a supporting musician in a band, and none of the bands I was in were looking for a figurehead or looking to abdicate creative direction.

I think seriously about trying to start a band maybe once or twice a year and I keep not doing it, and to some extent that's because there are parts of being in a band that I don't particularly miss (late nights, managing rock gigging as someone without a car, band drama) but to some extent it's just because I know it's a leap into territory I haven't been before and I'm scared of it turning into a clusterfuck, or turning into a situation where I end up just as unhappy with the situation as I've been when joining other people's bands. It's weird stuff.

I had this idea a while back for a sort of Band Simulator, basically trying to create a sort of lighthearted model of band dynamics—you put together a band from the available pool of random musicians in town and a big part of the whole thing would be trying to deal with interpersonal conflicts, both transient and fundamental, in a way that would allow the band to continue to operate. I had this idea of a sort of zodiac of personalities where some folks would naturally get along quite well and others would just naturally be predisposed, and part of the challenge would be figuring that out and knowing when to just cut your losses and e.g. find a new bass player.
posted by cortex at 10:33 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Band Simulator is a fantastic idea.
posted by unSane at 12:44 PM on June 29, 2011

drezdn, it sounds like getting the boot was probably a blessing.

snsranch, in retrospect, it was, but it was quite a blow to my ego when it happened.
posted by drezdn at 2:25 PM on June 29, 2011

and I keep not doing it

Yo, cortex, you stealin' my line, man?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:44 PM on June 29, 2011

Heck yea, drezdn. Blessing or not it always sucks/stings.

I don't know how interesting or informative this may be, but I got some "lessons" from a guy who was once Randy Rhoads guitar tech. Most of the time we'd smoke hash and I would play the same 4 guitar chords for hours on end while he shredded the fuck out of a sax. He gave me some great advice about pairing myself with other musicians and bands. 1. Play with someone who you're going to learn from. (Mentor) 2. Play with someone you're going to teach. (Mentoring) It's the circle of life in music.

That hash-smoke ridden advice, even though it probably comes from the Tao of Pooh, hasn't failed me yet. Still teaching, still learning...very satisfied with life.

(And this thread is giving me the itch! band.)
posted by snsranch at 6:56 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well, I will say this for it: there is nothing to get you out of your comfort zone than playing in a band with people who have different musical tastes to you.

One of the interesting things I discovered in the latest iteration was that a lot of songs I thought were complete shit are actually very well written. I might still hate them as songs but there is all sorts of clever stuff going on in there, and that I cannot deny.
posted by unSane at 7:19 PM on June 29, 2011

I know we've discussed this before but it is weird that there isn't a simple and effective way to rehearse over the internets. I know the reasons are partly technical and partly commercial but even so. I used to be able to play Unreal Tournament with a 70ms ping... you'd think I'd could figure out how to play guitar with that kind of latency.
posted by unSane at 5:47 AM on June 30, 2011

I miss the last band I was in. I miss it a lot.

Our issues were thus:

The self-proclaimed band leader, songwriter, and lead singer couldn't sing (or, really, he could, but he rarely felt like putting the effort in), never really did much songwriting, and would constantly forget his own lyrics. Outside of instruments, most of the equipment was his. Oh, yes, and we were supposed to be following his lead in the songs, else he was prone to tantrums and walkouts. While most of us were eventually able to fake that, it was especially difficult for the backup singer, as she was never told what the lyrics to the songs actually were or where they were supposed to go in the song.

Similarly, the guitar player (who started the band in the first place) was incapable of playing anything the same way twice and generally preferred wanking. Also, he refused to use a tuner.

The bass player was married to the lead singer, and they fought constantly. She and I would do most of the song construction, usually at the last minute (like, the last practice before a show). She and the lead singer took the band very seriously and blamed all of the band's issues on the guitarist. The lead singer used to have other guitar players join our practices in an attempt to intimidate ours into not wanking so much.

I drank far too much at every practice, which eventually led to a band-ending emotional breakdown on my part. Beyond that, I tried to maintain the mindset that I was just there to hit things with sticks. Most of our songs were goofy and offensive, so I didn't really take the band too seriously, a boon to me but a bane to the lead singer, who spent a lot of money on equipment.

We did a good job covering Cherry Bomb, though we only played it live once, as the lead singer was convinced we played it terribly (he's wrong about that).
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:21 AM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

What was terribly amusing was the time we were playing a show with a bunch of other bands and found out we couldn't use profanity five minutes before we were supposed to go on. With song titles such as "Jesus Loves Cock" and "(Jesus Fucking Christ) He's Born Again", this posed a serious last minute challenge. Naturally, they became "Jesus Loves Rock" and "(Funky, Funky Chris) He's Born Again" which led some members of the audience to believe that we were some kind of Christian rock band.

The surprising bit was that we were one of only two bands (out of six or so) that wasn't kicked off stage for swearing.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:06 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jeez, TGBM, I can see why a fella might have needed a drink or two or...
posted by snsranch at 2:20 PM on July 2, 2011

I have the good fortune of being in a pretty ego-free band. As the guitarist/singer, I've become the frontman, but I was definitely not the founder--I was invited in by the bassist who started the group with his cousin, our original drummer.

Our sole problem was our second guitarist. For the two years he was in the band, he was unemployed and living with his girlfriend. Eventually, he stopped looking for a job and decided that he'd make a go at making the band his career. Which would have been fine if he'd put his energy into making relationships with clubs and bookers, other bands, setting up shows, marketing or any of that stuff. Instead he started making his dissatisfaction with the drummer quite clear. Almost resulted in a fistfight during practice once. Not cool. But we kept on.

Then our drummer had to quit for medical reasons. It was a perfectly amicable split and I invited my brother to drum for us. My brother is awesome and really put his own stamp on the old material and became instrumental (no pun) in the writing process. So 2nd Guitarist was sated for a while. Then he started picking on the bassist. He wanted him gone.

I sympathized with dude's predicament, but the other three of us were all employed full time with wives and in the case of our bassist, a kid. 2nd Guitarist was Not Happy about taking a month off after dude's child was born. Said some repugnant stuff and basically became an albatross around the band's neck. He'd come to practice, play too quietly for us to hear and would leave without saying a word all night. Rightfully so, the other guys came to me saying if he doesn't go, they were gonna leave. Easiest decision I ever had to make, but as a non-confrontational guy, it was still a hard phone call for me to make.

We've stuck together as a trio for two years+ since then. Couldn't be happier.
posted by Maaik at 12:13 PM on July 3, 2011

Chemistry can not be overstated, but a lot of a band's success at functioning is the environment the band exists in. There needs to be equal parts nurture and challenge.
posted by bonefish at 3:03 PM on July 5, 2011

I'm currently in a not entirely dysfunctional band, and I think this is attributable to the fact that there is a strong, but fair personality with a clear vision leading the band - our guitarist/singer. A few months ago, during practice he "sat us down" and told us his vision for the band - and that he would not hesitate to ask a member to leave the band if he didn't think they were contributing to that vision, and that if a band member didn't agree with where the band was heading, they could leave, no hard feelings. He laid out his terms for the band clearly, and not in a dickish manner, and we have had an awesome time since. Our input is still welcome, but it's HIS band, and HIS vision, and he puts most of the work in towards getting gigs, etc. Works out very well.

The other half of the equation is that we all like each other.

I've been in bands where everybody liked each other, but nobody had a clear vision or drive for the band, we ended up playing in a garage weekly for 3 years, and never had a gig. It was fun, but we never emerged beyond the garage. And, I've been in bands that were all sorts of dysfunctional in terms of members hating each other.

My favorite band chemistry story was when I answered an ad from a drummer who wanted to create a band entirely composed of the INFP Meyers-Briggs personality type. I answered the ad, and we talked about why he wanted to start an INFP band - it was because he felt overwhelmed in bands with more dominant personality types, that they didn't necessarily value his input, or it ended up with more hotheaded band members clashing. If he could start a band of people with a similar personality type to his, it would work out very well, he felt.

I thought that was a great idea, and since we were both overly sensitive and caring INFP types, we would take each others' feelings into account before we made any decisions. We ended up having one practice, and since neither of wanted to step on the other's toes, nothing happened in terms of song writing or decision making. It ended there.
posted by baniak at 2:48 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I was in a band for a year. I was working in a bar after college and answered an ad for a singer in the window of a music shop. I wrote lyrics and melodies and the other three did things with instruments. We hired a room in a old builders yard for £20 quid a month, painted it blue and lived on teacakes and potted meat. We drank a lot. The influences were eclectic - I'd just left art school with a head full of autechre, aphex twin and Kurt Weill, the bassist was a die hard hair metal fan, the lead guitarist was all about Metallica and the drummer was into house music - the harder the better. Bizarrelly we ended up with ridiculously catchy pop songs.

It was loads of fun for me, I got to sing and write and play with equipment and learn (incredibly basic) rhythm guitar and how to use a microphone and what faders did and all that jazz. However the two blokes who'd started the band had been best friends since nursery school and were actually starting to head in wildly different directions - musically, philosophically - but neither of them realised and just wound each other up, sometimes violently, with their individual frustrations. The drama was mad. Eventually it imploded when a girl got unwittingly between them, ah that old chestnut!

I have been in a couple of bands since, but my heart wasn't in it. I'm not really cut out for incubating other people's art and was neverr that bothered about performing. baniak - I'm INFP too, I can totally see how a whole band load of us wouldn't work, I was happy to give way but it wasn't much fun for me creatively. Still, good times!
posted by freya_lamb at 2:24 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

But everyone is secretly aching to fire him or [...] quit en masse and form another band without him.
Ah, so it wasn't just my college band who did that... we broke up the band and immediately started practicing with a new drummer who was a friend of a friend. Unfortunately, we went from one extreme to the other, as our new drummer was a prog rock guy who had to be brow-beaten into a plain old 4/4 rock beat; he would get pouty about not being able to do any roto-tom fills. This was only a couple of months before the band would have disintegrated anyway due to people graduating and moving away, but if the we had stayed together we would have been looking for yet another drummer.
posted by usonian at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2011

Never really had any nightmare stories but I will say that the first band I was in immediately dissolved after I left it (I was the keys player). I told them I was leaving the band because I was getting married, but really, the real reason I left was because I had discovered that my musical ego was just too big for these people. Turns out I'm kind of a Secret Musical Asshole, and I want to be in charge and have veto power over every musical decision. I say secret because I never really voiced my thoughts on the suckiness of Shep's guitar noodling (always the exact same pattern on every song) or Brick's (the bassist) inane lyrics. In the end the only guys I liked were the drummer (mellowest dude ever but also one of the most technically gifted players I've ever met) and the other guitarist, Young.*

Later on Young and I regrouped without the rest of them and did our own duo for awhile that was immensely satisfying. I'm sure this had a lot to do with the fact that Young's personality was not as strong as my own and he often followed my lead, which I apparently really like.

Word of warning: don't start a band with me, I'll probably flake/flame out.

*Names changed to protect the innocent. Which is me.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:51 PM on August 22, 2011

But everyone is secretly aching to fire him or [...] quit en masse and form another band without him.

I'm a week late to the thread, but oh, dear lord yes. Somehow he's managed to hang on for 2+years, though other band members have come and gone. He brings nothing to the table - no natural talent, no real musical interest or ambition, no on-stage energy or charisma. The only plus side is that we like him as a friend and he has contributed money toward our last two albums, the second of which we only just finished.

So when is the right time to cut a band member loose? While recording the album? After it's out and now you need to tour and support it? Somehow it seems we've missed that firing sweet spot!
posted by platinum at 6:49 PM on August 27, 2011

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