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hrnn1234

Venting- feedback appreciated

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I kind of left my band last week.

I moved to Vienna (AT) about four years ago and after a few hit and misses I started playing with this guys. The band is the drummer, guitar player, singer and me. I played it quiet for long as there was a culture shock in between (I'm from south america, so it's very different how people behave and whatnot). I adapted to the weird (for me) band dynamics: the singer very often left immediately after we played the songs we had to practice, the guitar player is the de facto benevolent dictator -luckily an excellent guy, so I had nothing against that-, and the not so good older drummer who thinks he knows best and only takes input from the guitar player only getting mildly upset.

Since the band had existed for almost ten years before I came, and they had been very active once in the Goth scene, all the gigs and aesthetics revolved around that. I didn't care really. I like the music they play, although it's nothing gothic (I've posted a video in the live video's thread), and I have a fake leather jacket I can wear to gigs. Also, the fact that they had been playing for so long seems to have made them feel as if they were entitled to something, but the fact is that the crowd at the shows was only friends and wives. Which is also fine by my.

It's all fine, until we start discussing the way forward. They wanted to play for more people, but there are only a few goths in Vienna. And although we played shows outside the goth scene with much "success", they didn't want to look much further and play for other people nor stop describing the music with the word "Goth" in it, when I proposed them to. Which again, would be fine by me. I'm in it for the music, I have no intention to be famous. But they seemed to feel unappreciated as band so they wanted more, but the zero crowd gigs kept hitting them hard, so we would sit and talk about it, and the discussions kept going in circles.

I've played two years with them and now a friend of the band, who says has contacts in the industry, has offered herself to be the manager. She said to drop the goth-handle and broaden their audience and they said "what an excellent idea".

On top of that I had the idea to express my views about playing a gig in a city about 350km from vienna, in an event organized by a guy that organizes industrial/electronic/goth parties with near zero attendance and wants us to mix it up a bit, because there will be only another band, besides the two DJs, and it's electronic. What I got was a huge speech from the singer about how I should weigh if I'm ready to comit to the band or not, because they are ready to travel how many km's are needed to play for five people, if that means playing for five people that haven heard us, and how he expects everyone in the band to bring motivation and effort.

This is was the last drop, really. We met in our practice room on saturday, and very diplomatically (really) I told him f*** this sh*t. I was shocked that they were so shocked. Clearly no one in the band had possibly imagined that I could be fed up with anything (which is a bit of a testament of how unheard my voice is). It was all this (with a few more episodes of being dismissed and later on taking up the idea on their own) and the lack of possibility of interacting musically with the drummer that got to me over the two years.

But again, it's their shock what got me the most now. The manager was present at the time and she talked us all into discussing this over a few beers in two weeks. I accepted only because no one saw it coming, but then it got me to think if I overreacted. Or maybe not?

Phew!

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Have I understood the issue correctly?

The band has a new manager. Previously the guitarist was the band leader. The band wants to do a gig 350km away for a crowd of about five? You don't want to do it. A discussion after everyone has had time to cool down and think has been suggested by your new manager. Did the band leader (guitarist) agree?

Unless I have missed something I'd agree with your new manager. The issue of commitment should be be discussed in less stressful circumstances after everyone has had time to give the proposal due consideration. You need to decide how strongly you feel about staying with the band if the band is to move forward.

I hope I have not misunderstood and that you can all move forward in a workman like way. If this is the first time that you have made your feelings known to the band - good. Hopefully discussion can continue with input from ALL members under the guidance of your new manager. I wish you all success.

Can you put a link here to your clip please? The band sounds interesting.

Nice to hear that there are Goths in Vienna still. Midge Ure must be held partly responsible (Joking)

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37w42Bfsv3E[/media]

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You sound like the most sensible and well balanced member of your band! Your band mates want to play,they get depressed about the low attendance, but are inflexible about actually doing something about it?

If you're going to stay in this band then your manager needs to take charge and come up with a plan. It sounds like she's more than capable of doing this. You can still be 'goth' without painting yourselves in to a corner.

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I'm not as in touch with the goth scene outside of the UK as I used to be, but it seems to me that there is something very wrong here, because IME niche genres like goth have a small but very loyal set of followers, and while playing that kind of music is unlikely to make you famous you should be able to attract a big enough following to make the band self-sustaining and not be playing to audiences costing of friends and family only.

Where can I find the video of your band?

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Depends where you're at so to speak. If you are in it for the music then your need is to enjoy making live music with fellow musicians. Otherwise, frustration sets in, and your precious time wasted. I would talk and listen. What are their needs? Is there any common ground?

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thanks everyone for the input!
[quote name='SpondonBassed' timestamp='1488267567' post='3247267']
Have I understood the issue correctly?

The band has a new manager. Previously the guitarist was the band leader. The band wants to do a gig 350km away for a crowd of about five? You don't want to do it. A discussion after everyone has had time to cool down and think has been suggested by your new manager. Did the band leader (guitarist) agree?

Unless I have missed something I'd agree with your new manager. The issue of commitment should be be discussed in less stressful circumstances after everyone has had time to give the proposal due consideration. You need to decide how strongly you feel about staying with the band if the band is to move forward.

I hope I have not misunderstood and that you can all move forward in a workman like way. If this is the first time that you have made your feelings known to the band - good. Hopefully discussion can continue with input from ALL members under the guidance of your new manager. I wish you all success.

Can you put a link here to your clip please? The band sounds interesting.
...
[/quote]

everyone agreed to the meeting (the drummer a bit reluctantly and with a few snarky remarks).

the 5 people crowd is potential. maybe more people, who knows? but the guy putting it together has a horrible record.

Here are a few links to our music- I'm VERY CURIOUS what would you consider the music genre to be in this case. For me it's NOTHING to do with Gothic, but I suppose you could find some common threads if you look enough.

this is a mix of our album presentation: [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PURFOZkPurw"]https://www.youtube....h?v=PURFOZkPurw[/url]

this is the video clip of our hit song (slightly NSFW because of boobs, you have to sign in, sorry): [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jGUTepSWgo"]https://www.youtube....h?v=9jGUTepSWgo[/url]

and another one: [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d6ABxm-jzs"]https://www.youtube....h?v=4d6ABxm-jzs[/url]

Edited by hrnn1234

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I'll not comment on the video of your band as its not my place to express an opinion good or bad but if you're getting terrible numbers coming to see you Im afraid that says more about the bands appeal than anything else. As Big RedX says theres a healthy Goth scene across Europe and you should be in a self sustaining band at the very least. The idea of driving 350km for a possible 5 people seems completely pointless. Also I would never allow myself to be the "outside" member of any band whose view counted for nothing, but thats just me. So, in my opinion you would be wise to move on to something more fulfilling and proactive, if, after 2 years the lead singer questions your commitment, thats time to split.

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Seems to me you need to be clear in your mind about what you want. You obviously enjoy the band but, more important, do you feel it has a future, or are you just playing in it to keep your hand in/until something better comes along? Given that you and the drummer obviously don't gel, seems you might not be finding it too rewarding. That isn't likely to change, if my experience is anything to go by. You say your point of view is ignored - another bad sign. It appears that you have been talked into reconsidering by the "manager". Do you think you "overreacted"? If you said what you honestly felt, that isn't overreaction. It's just the truth and no point in denying it to yourself. You obviously don't want to trek 350km to play to nobody (nor would a lot of us). Why not tell them you won't do that job, but that you are still interested in playing with them provided some things change (like your views being heard and proper discussion and action about the future) and see what the response is. You've nothing to lose if they say no.


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OK, pretty standard band stuff so far.

* Dodgy band dynamics, deluded fantasists, audience mostly friends and wives. Issues of direction, band going round in circles. Yes, been there, done that

* The unreasonable frontman who's all fired up about driving from one end of the country to the other to play for peanuts to a man and his dog and gets in one's face about commitment except he's always the first one out the door at rehearsals and seldom shifts his idle arse to help hump the backline and spends more time coiffing his (fast receding) hair than learning the words but [i]suddenly[/i] it's all about commitment and (possibly) the 'spirit of rock and roll'.

* You snapped. Ah, that moment when rage boils over and hate swells like a man's biceps. One beholds a half-circle of 'shocked' individuals, their lower lips trembling and their hands raised as if to stave off a physical blow. 'We never thought you felt like that' they mumble. Then there's a long silence. Yes, entirely familiar with that situation.

[quote name='hrnn1234' timestamp='1488265515' post='3247262']Phew!
[/quote]

Indeed. Well, no harm done. You either carry on with them or you don't.

Edited by skankdelvar

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once again, thanks everybody for the answers!

clearly I'm not the first to go through this type of situation, and I'll certainly won't be the last. I had my share of bands (I'm 32, it's just normal) but probably because it's always been in my home country and with people with whom I had more in common, this is the first time I'm in such a dramatic situation for an activity I take as a serious hobby.

[quote name='Dan Dare' timestamp='1488307809' post='3247789']
Seems to me you need to be clear in your mind about what you want. You obviously enjoy the band but, more important, do you feel it has a future, or are you just playing in it to keep your hand in/until something better comes along? Given that you and the drummer obviously don't gel, seems you might not be finding it too rewarding. That isn't likely to change, if my experience is anything to go by. You say your point of view is ignored - another bad sign. It appears that you have been talked into reconsidering by the "manager". Do you think you "overreacted"? If you said what you honestly felt, that isn't overreaction. It's just the truth and no point in denying it to yourself. You obviously don't want to trek 350km to play to nobody (nor would a lot of us). Why not tell them you won't do that job, but that you are still interested in playing with them provided some things change (like your views being heard and proper discussion and action about the future) and see what the response is. You've nothing to lose if they say no.
[/quote]

the issues with the drummer are actually what I dislike the most about playing with these guys. I thought of going away twice already only because of this guy. I'm sure I could find common ground with the singer, but having to tip toe around two people out of three so I get no nasty reactions? I'm not looking forward to that.

And I'm so torn only because I really like the music we play. Although it's a country capital with great living standards, the city is very much like a village- nothing going on most of the time, not much of a true "Rock culture". This guys were like an oasis in the desert. if you listen to the music, many songs won't be out of the ordinary, but for the local scene, they kind of are.

I didn't even think about just saying no to this particular gig. might be interesting to try. nevertheless, I would be forcing them to give up the gig as well- this is not the place where you can find a spare bassist.

I feel what I'm having is mostly the "after breakup" feeling.


since I wrote this the whatsapp group has been very active, which is very unusual. talking about festivals where we could play, which hints me of trying the same things still. and on top of that the drummer mockingly saying "I'm out of the band", "I'm depressed, you hurt my feelings". so I suppose nothing's new there.

Edited by hrnn1234

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If you go back, the Drummer will constantly mock you for ever. It will come to a head again, and you will leave again. You have been a 'disruptive influence' to all their Big Ideas, and you will never be allowed to forget it. It may seem like a Cultural Desert as far as Music is concerned, but hings can change overnight. Stay away!

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[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]"if that means playing for five people that havent heard us"[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]that kind of line comes from a band who have been going a year, not a band having being going 10 years or more as you suggest. [/font][/color][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]sounds to me like you are the only with sensible head on. if they have been doing this for 10 years and the dynamic is fixed, and the dynamic is fixed then they are not going to change.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]even with a manager it will come full circle when the guitarist decides that the manager doesn't know what they are on about after playing gigs miles away that no one comes to and it will return to the same old sh*t.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]it sounds like you have reached your limit of said sh*t, the question is, are you willing to spend another year in the band for it to come back round again?[/font][/color]

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[quote name='hrnn1234' timestamp='1488352071' post='3248065']
...the issues with the drummer are actually what I dislike the most about playing with these guys. I thought of going away twice already only because of this guy. I'm sure I could find common ground with the singer, but having to tip toe around two people out of three so I get no nasty reactions? I'm not looking forward to that...
[/quote]

A bassist and a drummer who don't get along eh? It would not be the first time for that either. Do you lock in together while performing or does that interaction suffer? If, between you, you make a good rhythm section despite the friction (or maybe because of it) you might want to put up with the less desirable social aspects of your band for the sake of the music and the potential to do more.

That you call it a "serious hobby" makes that unlikely, in my view.

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I think the real question is...do the band want to stick to the genre and there musical principals, regardless, or do they want a bigger audience playing something different. If the Goth scene where you live is small then its a yes or no answer.

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And the elephant in the room is, are there really no other bands in Vienna?

Presumably after two years on the local scene you must know a fair selection of local musicians - have you considered starting a slightly more sensible band?

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1488368454' post='3248270']
And the elephant in the room is, are there really no other bands in Vienna?

Presumably after two years on the local scene you must know a fair selection of local musicians - have you considered starting a slightly more sensible band?
[/quote]

Oh dear. I think we're going to have to get a massive pooper scooper now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wzJbR-PuCM

Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk

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Your band mates are wasting their time and yours. Get out now and find something worth doing.

You'll wonder why you stuck with them for so long.

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[quote name='hrnn1234' timestamp='1488265515' post='3247262']
I kind of left my band last week.

I moved to Vienna (AT) about four years ago and after a few hit and misses I started playing with this guys. The band is the drummer, guitar player, singer and me. I played it quiet for long as there was a culture shock in between (I'm from south america, so it's very different how people behave and whatnot). I adapted to the weird (for me) band dynamics: the singer very often left immediately after we played the songs we had to practice, the guitar player is the de facto benevolent dictator -luckily an excellent guy, so I had nothing against that-, and the not so good older drummer who thinks he knows best and only takes input from the guitar player only getting mildly upset.

Since the band had existed for almost ten years before I came, and they had been very active once in the Goth scene, all the gigs and aesthetics revolved around that. I didn't care really. I like the music they play, although it's nothing gothic (I've posted a video in the live video's thread), and I have a fake leather jacket I can wear to gigs. Also, the fact that they had been playing for so long seems to have made them feel as if they were entitled to something, but the fact is that the crowd at the shows was only friends and wives. Which is also fine by my.

It's all fine, until we start discussing the way forward. They wanted to play for more people, but there are only a few goths in Vienna. And although we played shows outside the goth scene with much "success", they didn't want to look much further and play for other people nor stop describing the music with the word "Goth" in it, when I proposed them to. Which again, would be fine by me. I'm in it for the music, I have no intention to be famous. But they seemed to feel unappreciated as band so they wanted more, but the zero crowd gigs kept hitting them hard, so we would sit and talk about it, and the discussions kept going in circles.

I've played two years with them and now a friend of the band, who says has contacts in the industry, has offered herself to be the manager. She said to drop the goth-handle and broaden their audience and they said "what an excellent idea".

On top of that I had the idea to express my views about playing a gig in a city about 350km from vienna, in an event organized by a guy that organizes industrial/electronic/goth parties with near zero attendance and wants us to mix it up a bit, because there will be only another band, besides the two DJs, and it's electronic. What I got was a huge speech from the singer about how I should weigh if I'm ready to comit to the band or not, because they are ready to travel how many km's are needed to play for five people, if that means playing for five people that haven heard us, and how he expects everyone in the band to bring motivation and effort.

This is was the last drop, really. We met in our practice room on saturday, and very diplomatically (really) I told him f*** this sh*t. I was shocked that they were so shocked. Clearly no one in the band had possibly imagined that I could be fed up with anything (which is a bit of a testament of how unheard my voice is). It was all this (with a few more episodes of being dismissed and later on taking up the idea on their own) and the lack of possibility of interacting musically with the drummer that got to me over the two years.

But again, it's their shock what got me the most now. The manager was present at the time and she talked us all into discussing this over a few beers in two weeks. I accepted only because no one saw it coming, but then it got me to think if I overreacted. Or maybe not?

Phew!
[/quote]


I understand your frustration, but never quit in anger or reacting to something. That's something I learnt the hard way (in general, not just bands).
They do seem, however... 'a bit precious'. A lot of what you said would be huge red flags to me *if* I knew all that when joining. The band dynamics are not great, although you have an impeccable taste for dresses :P

I have to say I liked what I saw in that video. It's not my #1 kind of music, but I would be happy playing what you're playing... from a musical point of view. It can be great fun. But what you say about the personalities of the band members would frustrate me as well.
It's a tough one to choose to leave a band you enjoy musically. You have to decide whether you can be happy with the way the band operates, 'though.
It's probably a good idea to talk over beers once everybody is calm. If you have to go, you have to go and maybe you can go in good terms (even if you despise any of them... the world is small, so don't make enemies unless you really must, you never know when you'll come across each other again)... or maybe they get to understand your view and you can continue to enjoy the band.
The new 'manager' also sounds positive. It sounds like they listen to her and they are open to making small changes that can open up better possibilities for the band. Yeah, it stinks when you suggest something, get ignored, then somebody else comes with the same idea and it suddenly it's a wonderful thing! :lol: It happens. Sometimes we have to bite our lip and smile, and be pragmatic... But it may be a good sign. Now all you have to do is become her friend ;) and next... the band is yours and do what you say! :P (joking... a bit)

I can't tell you what's best. It depends on just how fed up you are, whether the music can compensate for other things, and a million other factors only you can judge. All I can say is... don't quit while angry. Don't make any permanent decisions while upset.

I hope you can make it work *if* you can be happy in the band. I really liked what I saw. Nice work.

Edited by mcnach

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[quote name='hrnn1234' timestamp='1488352071' post='3248065']
the issues with the drummer are actually what I dislike the most about playing with these guys. I thought of going away twice already only because of this guy. I'm sure I could find common ground with the singer, but having to tip toe around two people out of three so I get no nasty reactions? I'm not looking forward to that.
[/quote]

If you guys still aim to gig regularly, it means you'll spend a hell of a lot of time with each other.
I'm not sure how situations come to this, but what you describe is not healthy... or fun. It sounds like the only happy moment is onstage while you play. Unfortunately that's the activity we generally spend the least amount of time doing.

It doesn't look good.

I'd still go for that meeting, because you're clearly enjoying the music enough to make you doubt, and few things are worse than wondering "what if..." afterwards. But I would not have big hopes for this to work. Your drummer sounds like an idiot.
It's a shame, I've been watching a few videos and I really enjoy what you guys are doing.

Hmmm... maybe you can... you know... make it look like an accident... :ph34r:

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1488567983' post='3250183']
Your drummer sounds like an idiot.
[/quote]

Christ, again? What is it about drummers that makes them so irritating, so tedious? :mellow:

Edited by discreet

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1488570552' post='3250226']
Christ, again? What is it about drummers that makes them so irritating, so tedious? :mellow:
[/quote]

mine are lovely... maybe I'm too selfish and I'm keeping all the nice ones?

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1488572947' post='3250247']
...mine are lovely... maybe I'm too selfish and I'm keeping all the nice ones?
[/quote]

If you could spare just one lovely drummer I'd be very grateful.

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1488566879' post='3250157']



I understand your frustration, but never quit in anger or reacting to something. That's something I learnt the hard way (in general, not just bands).
They do seem, however... 'a bit precious'. A lot of what you said would be huge red flags to me *if* I knew all that when joining. The band dynamics are not great, although you have an impeccable taste for dresses :P

I have to say I liked what I saw in that video. It's not my #1 kind of music, but I would be happy playing what you're playing... from a musical point of view. It can be great fun. But what you say about the personalities of the band members would frustrate me as well.
It's a tough one to choose to leave a band you enjoy musically. You have to decide whether you can be happy with the way the band operates, 'though.
It's probably a good idea to talk over beers once everybody is calm. If you have to go, you have to go and maybe you can go in good terms (even if you despise any of them... the world is small, so don't make enemies unless you really must, you never know when you'll come across each other again)... or maybe they get to understand your view and you can continue to enjoy the band.
The new 'manager' also sounds positive. It sounds like they listen to her and they are open to making small changes that can open up better possibilities for the band. Yeah, it stinks when you suggest something, get ignored, then somebody else comes with the same idea and it suddenly it's a wonderful thing! :lol: It happens. Sometimes we have to bite our lip and smile, and be pragmatic... But it may be a good sign. Now all you have to do is become her friend ;) and next... the band is yours and do what you say! :P (joking... a bit)

I can't tell you what's best. It depends on just how fed up you are, whether the music can compensate for other things, and a million other factors only you can judge. All I can say is... don't quit while angry. Don't make any permanent decisions while upset.

I hope you can make it work *if* you can be happy in the band. I really liked what I saw. Nice work.
[/quote]
Agree with mcnach here, maybe meet with bandmembers outside of the band individualy, work on personal friendships?
For the far away gig, is there any way you could help promote it? Send posters and flyers to all venues in that city for instance.

The music, what I hear is the Cult meets Marilyn Manson. Try to describe boundaries for the genre you are aiming for, and work within those lines when it comes to wardrobe, videos (last one was good, the hips one not so much, the goth scene relatively has a lot of female followers) etc etc.
Best of luck!

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1488578998' post='3250330']
If you could spare just one lovely drummer I'd be very grateful.
[/quote]

I'm surprised at you Discreet.

We have a lovely drummer. He goes by the name of Dad3353 and he has a luverly set of road worn clay bongos.

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