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Should I stay or should I go?


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2 hours ago, FinnDave said:

I'd quit, non-driving drummers can be a real pain, means they aren't responsible for getting their own kit to a show, so they get sloppy, and not driving can mean they'll drink & smoke more than is good for the music. I'm slowly stepping away from a band I've been in for the last five years as this becomes more and more of an issue.

Do you include all non driving band members in this? If so what makes a drummer different from a non driving bass player as far as attitude goes?

I dont drive, yet i was the most professional member of the band. I got all the gigs, organised everything, ran the PA, was normally the only one that knew the songs off by heart, and never got drunk. I also made as much effort as i could to not get anyone to go out of their way for me, but of course i needed help transporting my rig (which was purchased, based on keeping it as small as possible so as not to be too much hassle to transport).

Oh, and contributed to the upkeep of the drummers car and paid my way as far as petrol goes.

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You're clinging onto the band because at least its a band and the' in no band' wilderness is a depressing place to be if you have no immediate  direction.

These two idiots serve only one purpose in your life right now and that's to make sure you don't get any better at playing bass  by restricting every possible positive bass playing experience you could be having elsewhere.

Bin them with immediate effect and get on with your life. Use this as a what not to do in bands learning experience. 

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Update: 

I have gone with my gut and the majority here and sent out a message on our whattsapp to say that I am not happy with our current situation and we need to meet up to talk rather than say nothing and walk away.  

I have had some responses from the singer who seems worried but nothing yet from the drummer yet.

 

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Maybe your action will clear the air. Good luck.

Here's what I was about to reply to your original post:

"Too laid back but in a potentially passive aggressive way" rings some bells here. It's usually due to elephants in the room, most likely an unresolved power struggle. At some point he's likely to vent by losing his temper with you over some trivial thing unrelated to the real beef.

What you've said suggests he views the band as his vehicle, and would be happier for everyone else to accept a role as supporting him in this rather than having to "share the glory".

Has it been established who gets songwriting credits?

I'd be interested in seeing some video of the band to get an idea of the dynamic and whether this bloke has any talent deserving of support. Feel free to send a link in a PM if you'd rather not make it public.

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8 minutes ago, pbasspecial said:

Update: 

I have gone with my gut and the majority here and sent out a message on our whattsapp to say that I am not happy with our current situation and we need to meet up to talk rather than say nothing and walk away.  

I have had some responses from the singer who seems worried but nothing yet from the drummer yet.

 

That's about as diplomatic as you can be. If they don't up shape after that,  have it away on your Nikes

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22 minutes ago, pbasspecial said:

Update: 

I have gone with my gut and the majority here and sent out a message on our whattsapp to say that I am not happy with our current situation and we need to meet up to talk rather than say nothing and walk away.  

I have had some responses from the singer who seems worried but nothing yet from the drummer yet.

 

 A prudent move IMO. You have given them a chance to put things right. If they have even a grain of professionalism between them, they will listen to your side of the situation and try to resolve the issue. If they don't....move on...and put it down to experience. 

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I do find it interesting that the word 'professional' keeps coming up. I should have heard the alarm bells when almost 20 years ago my solicitor said to me that I should go in to band management. I eventually did.  It was a compliment but should have seen the other side of the coin that most musicians aren't. 

That is what I find most frustrating. If I agree to do something, I will. I expect others to do the same.  However, for the majority of other people it's just lip service. 

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13 minutes ago, pbasspecial said:

I do find it interesting that the word 'professional' keeps coming up. I should have heard the alarm bells when almost 20 years ago my solicitor said to me that I should go in to band management. I eventually did.  It was a compliment but should have seen the other side of the coin that most musicians aren't. 

That is what I find most frustrating. If I agree to do something, I will. I expect others to do the same.  However, for the majority of other people it's just lip service. 

Couldn't agree more, especially in a band situation. I look on a band as a team. if someone is good at getting gigs etc then i see no reason to not let that person take charge of that area, ive foun din the past too many people doing it can get complicated. The issue comes when you have to keep wiping the rest of the bands a** for them and doing it all, with little support.

Edited by dave_bass5
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1 hour ago, pbasspecial said:

I do find it interesting that the word 'professional' keeps coming up. I should have heard the alarm bells when almost 20 years ago my solicitor said to me that I should go in to band management. I eventually did.  It was a compliment but should have seen the other side of the coin that most musicians aren't. 

That is what I find most frustrating. If I agree to do something, I will. I expect others to do the same.  However, for the majority of other people it's just lip service. 

It is frustrating, but not everyone is like that. I'm not dissimilar to you - own a high quality PA and am on the case when it comes to business issues and I've been in that position. There are some who view someone like us as a nurse/nanny/skivvy and try to take advantage. It's the same in most areas of work - there are people who take the lead and those who tag along and do the minimum. I don't think our advice will change anything (it isn't as if the band members are likely to say "The chaps on Basschat agree with you, so we'd better pull up our socks", after all), although I appreciate that you are probably looking for a bit of a confidence boost or confirmation that you are not being unreasonable (if what you say is true, you are being very reasonable). That's fair enough, but you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself in the end. I'd advise telling them exactly what the problems are for you and what you expect them to do to put it right. Don't take no, or even maybe, for an answer. If you go, they'll have no gigs and no equipment, so make that clear to them. Draw up a list of agreed goals/changes to the way things are and make them commit to them. If they won't do that, walk. As others say, with decent equipment and business sense, you will be an asset to plenty of bands (I'm assuming that you can play a bit, too, of course). It may be tough to be without something in the short term, but you'll be glad you did it later. Bon chance.

Edited by Dan Dare
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5 hours ago, pbasspecial said:

Update: 

I have gone with my gut and the majority here and sent out a message on our whattsapp to say that I am not happy with our current situation and we need to meet up to talk rather than say nothing and walk away.  

I have had some responses from the singer who seems worried but nothing yet from the drummer yet.

Don’t forget to chin them...

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6 hours ago, pbasspecial said:

Update: 

I have gone with my gut and the majority here and sent out a message on our whattsapp to say that I am not happy with our current situation and we need to meet up to talk rather than say nothing and walk away.  

I have had some responses from the singer who seems worried but nothing yet from the drummer yet.

 

Good luck. Please keep us posted.

Les

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Update:

I think we are going to meet up to discuss this on Thursday.  Interestingly, still acknowledgement from the drummer.  Think he's either letting the singer do the mediation or too scared/putting his head in the sand?

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9 minutes ago, pbasspecial said:

Update:

I think we are going to meet up to discuss this on Thursday.  Interestingly, still acknowledgement from the drummer.  Think he's either letting the singer do the mediation or too scared/putting his head in the sand?

Let us know how you get on. The fact that the drummer still hasn't got back to you doesn't do him any favours. In my opinion, you should walk as it sounds like you've got all the skills and you're doing all the work. It's bad enough when you have one passenger in a band - but if you've got two or three, there's something very wrong. And that's without mentioning their musical competence, or lack of it. Life's too short to pander to flakes and fantasists. But as I said, just my 2p. Play it your way for sure and good luck. :)

Edited by discreet
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10 hours ago, TheGreek said:

I really couldn't be in a band which is named after one member...stinks of narcissism and egotism. 

I could if that is the group I had joined, or the named band member is known, famous from some other group, it was their group in the first place.

I couldn't allow a group I set up to have its name changed to that.

It certainly doesn't seem like the group is working for you, whether it is working for anyone else or not.  From what you describe I probably wouldn't bother any more, but sometimes things seem worse when you are in the middle of them.

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... but all joking aside, one of the problems with our brains is that whilst every cell in our body says one thing, our brains deliberate and vacillate. I suspect you know there's only one way out of this, talking results in a ceasefire but rarely a permanent change

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8 minutes ago, Beedster said:

A drummer who can't drum is quite acceptable and not unusual, a drummer who can't drive is a liability

Not unusual for sure, but acceptable? :) Having said that, I know how hard it is to find (and keep) a decent drummer.

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2 minutes ago, pbasspecial said:

Latest update:

Finally got a text from the drummer - 'where and what time?'

Wow. Thanks for acknowledging the seriousness of the situation! 

I was about to say you can check if a what's app message has been delivered and they've read it. If he's replied by text maybe he hasn't read your message and has just been contacted by the other guy.

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Sorry, I meant he replied by whatsapp (text).  He always reads the messages but is always the last to respond hoping someone else will cancel the said thing so he doesn't get the blame.  Personally I think he probably feels it's all down to him but it's really 60/40 in the singers favour. He should have stepped up in the role of bandleader but has chosen the path of least resistance.

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I was once in a similar situation - I was playing with a drummer who I disliked both musically and personally, and no matter how hard I tried, we never seemed to gel, on or off stage. Meanwhile, the narcissistic control-freak singer/guitarist sang badly and his guitar playing was only average at best. However, I liked the material that we were playing, and rather than face the bandless void, I spent over a year trying to make things work, whilst steadily enjoying myself less and less and becoming more and more frustrated and depressed.

In the end, a particularly unpleasant racist story from the drummer prompted me to walk out, and it was the best thing that I ever did in that band. Unsurprisingly, I got a lot of abuse for leaving, but a couple of months later I found myself playing in two great bands with lovely, talented bandmates, and right now I'm loving my musical endeavours.

Life is too short. If you're not having fun, walk. Remember too that it's possible to improve your bandmate's musically, but completely impossible to fix their personalities.

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7 minutes ago, MrDaveTheBass said:

Remember too that it's possible to improve your bandmate's musically, but completely impossible to fix their personalities.

I know from bitter experience that people are lazy and will try to get away with minimum effort. A mediocre player who imagines they are doing a good job  will not improve regardless of how much you want them to. They are just wasting their time, and yours.

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