#1
I want to start this off by saying that two of the 3 other members of my band visit UG regularly, and one is a regular poster. That said, I don't give a flying **** if you see this at this point, maybe it'll clear some things up anyway.

I'm the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of a rock group with guys I've known for years.

My relationship with the members

I've been in a band with my bass player for 3 years now. He actually played guitar in the other groups, but has moved over to bass for this group. He's my best friend, and is essentially a brother to me.

This is the third time our drummer is in our group, he's quit two times before. After quitting the second time, he went on a national tour with a semiknown band (their guitarist was in Framing Hanley), and he is the best drummer I've ever played with.

Our guitarist had worked with our drummer before, and him and I had a little immature dislike for each other in the past. In July, upon starting this group up, we came to a realization that we did like each other, so much that we were comfortable playing together. It's essentially a situation of two athletes on different teams having a rivalry, but then realizing how good they work together. Him and our drummer are essentially best friends.


Pros

My drummer is the best drummer I've ever played with, one of the smartest guys I've ever met, and very very down to earth and fun. One on one, him and I have had most of this conversation already, and he's very understanding. I told him I almost hung it up and left for a solo endeavor (explained later on) and he told me he would have totally understood, and wouldn't be bitter. The dude played with professional musicians, and is just really good at what he does.

Our guitarist writes alot of great songs, and our songs are very musically mature. He's one of the nicest guys I have ever been with one on one. Him and I are on a very similar page musically, and I think we've progressed in a similar manner, also. I was ecstatic at the thought of playing with him.

Our bassist is essentially my brother, and is originally a guitarist, so he has a VERY broad grasp on the instrument. There's no one I would rather be performing with, and I think he already knows that.

We honestly sound really, really, really good. Seriously, every group I've been in has sucked. This group is a million times better than anything I've been involved in, and is better than most of the stuff I hear, especially from smaller bands. It's not that I'm conceited, it's just that I'm really really confident in giong up on a stage with our music.

Cons

Rule number 1 when you start a group - never do it with friends.

We broke this rule, and there is an obvious rift within the band. The bassist and I seem to always be on one side, while the guitarist and the drummer seem to be on another side. This causes a level of tension that makes it very hard to work, as it seems to be more politics when songwriting, than what actually sounds good.

Practicing

You see, when we practice, the process usually goes like this... A half hour of setup, talking, normal crap. Everyone plays their ****ing instruments at the same time, what is always four different songs. Finally we play one song to warm up, and begin to work on songwriting. The songwriting process is frustrating, because normally we come up with a good idea (most of the time our guitar player), but then things just go bad. When writing, it seems everyone just gets frustrated, and can't deal with it properly. It feels that I'm the only one actually SAYING anything, trying to get an idea beyond just a guitar riff, and normally it either ends with nobody listening, or our guitarist or drummer saying something totally idiotic to me, attempting to insult me or some ****. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's how things work.

What makes this ridiculous is because, as I said earlier, they're two of the coolest guys I've ever met one on one... But when they get together, they try to show off and act badder than they really are, and it's just really really childish.

This goes on for about 2 hours, then we realize we havee about an hour until we have to pack up, and we get semi-serious, and finish up the song. It never does seem half assed, but instead it comes out sounding very, very good. The problem being, if we did this in an hour, what could we do in four hours?

Sometimes, though, we literally get nothing done, and this is attributed to no one actually playing their instruments, but just doing random **** that, albeit funny sometimes, hinders all progress.

Normally I wouldn't care, because I enjoy having fun, like any other human being, but the problem with this is that I just recently moved for college, and I live an hour and a half from our practice space. How pissed would you be if you drove an hour and a half for nothing, and then half to drive an hour and a half back... Especially when you haven't had a job for a month, and aren't starting your new one until next week?

Let's put it in perspective. We've been playing together since mid-july, and have really only 2 original songs at least PARTIALLY ready to perform, only one of which I think is really unique. I like the other, alot, but I've heard it before. Sure, we've had alot of IDEAS, but they just got scrapped along the way for wanting better things. We have a show booked for November 21st.

I'm indecisive and borderline insane

Recently, I've come to a realization that I'm not as much of a fan of alt rock as they are, and as I used to be. I listen to everything now. I'm a rock fan, I'm a folk fan, I'm a fricken hip hop fan. TI and John mayer cd's spin just as much as Sigur Ros and Damien Rice Cds, and it seems a band like Chevelle is only occasional for me.

The point I'm trying to make is that this might just boil down to musical differences, but I think this is just an extension of my own ego. It sounds sort of pathetic, but I think I have some sort of complex with allowing other people to write the songs, and playing THEIR songs, as I feel detached from them (even though they're 10x better than what I used to write on my own).

I've tried talking to the members. I told our bassist my thought of quitting, he said it was just a phase. I told my guitarist, he asked me to really think about it, and said that he liked being in a group with me. I talked to my drummer about it, and I've mentioned earlier what his response was. It seems that when it comes down to it, we want to be in a group together, and are really respectable of each other... But that doesn't seem to matter when you're constantly stressed over having to deal with the people you're in a group with, does it?

Look, I understand this is just my perspective, and I'm probably a massive tool myself... But I need some sort of nonbiased, nonemotional opinion. I feel that any decision that I make will be based more on personal emotion than logic. I mean, every band fights, right? Look at the Beatles ffs.

TL;DR - Thinking of quitting my band, worried I'm making illogical decision because I'm with great musicians and friends, but feel really stressed by lack of respect for each other at times.
"If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don't even start..."
Charles Bukowski
Last edited by BreakingBnj at Oct 7, 2009,
#3
All i can think is;
1. If you guys are jamming out one good song per 4 hour session, thats pretty good going, irregardless of how the creative process of the band goes.
2.The other guys in the band do sound like they appreciate where you're coming from, so at least you dont have to deal with mega a-hole bandmates.
3. Just because you play alt-rock in the band, it doesn't mean you can't play it outside of the band.
4. BUT all said and done, as TEMPEST said, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
But, if the other guys know how you feel, give it some time to see if it gets better.
#4
I think the problem is you are trying to do writing during rehersal. Rehersal is the part where everyone just makes sure they are together. you should start having writing OUSTIDE of sections...
#5
Quote by Highwaytohell
I think the problem is you are trying to do writing during rehersal. Rehersal is the part where everyone just makes sure they are together. you should start having writing OUSTIDE of sections...


Why shouldn't they write at rehearsal, one on one with each other? If it is a working method it's perfectly fine. There's no wrong way to write a song; I remember reading some interview from Steve Vai how he is writing a song, and every few bars he changes keys. To decide what the next key will be, he looks in his backyard at some plants he's growing, and depending on the number of leaves he will put it into an equation he made to discover what the next key will be.

Another person will sit at Guitar Pro for 3 hours and, from top to bottom, construct a complete song and just hand out the MIDI and TAB to each musician. Another person will jam out the fundamentals of the song with the band, playing it for as long as they need until they feel they all are doing the right things for each part. I could time how long my bowel movements are, and depending on the last second will write a song in 1 of 12 keys based on the time put into some equation.

That last example was a joke but it's possible, definitely, there's no wrong way to write a song.
#6
well, our band is the same..

i think you take it to serious..come on it's not like they are waiting to stab you in the back why wound you stay with them and make a little "side-project"..it will help you trust me
Last edited by hitl at Oct 7, 2009,
#7
TELL THEM and not us. Talk to them about the cons and see if you guys can work it out, remind them that they are great guys then tell them about the little ticks they can work on, and ask them about their opinions about you and the other bandmates.
Oct. 20th, 2009: New guitar AND front row for Mars Volta.

Quote by denizenz
Is that a ukulele in your pants, or did you just rip ass to the tune of "Aloha Oi"?


I met Sonic Youth on June 30th, and Mars Volta on Oct 20th.
#8
Quote by itstheman
Why shouldn't they write at rehearsal, one on one with each other? If it is a working method it's perfectly fine. There's no wrong way to write a song; I remember reading some interview from Steve Vai how he is writing a song, and every few bars he changes keys. To decide what the next key will be, he looks in his backyard at some plants he's growing, and depending on the number of leaves he will put it into an equation he made to discover what the next key will be.

Another person will sit at Guitar Pro for 3 hours and, from top to bottom, construct a complete song and just hand out the MIDI and TAB to each musician. Another person will jam out the fundamentals of the song with the band, playing it for as long as they need until they feel they all are doing the right things for each part. I could time how long my bowel movements are, and depending on the last second will write a song in 1 of 12 keys based on the time put into some equation.

That last example was a joke but it's possible, definitely, there's no wrong way to write a song.



Because rehersals aren't really for writing. It can get very frustrating when you're trying to simultaneously write and play something at the same time- its time consuming. I agree there is no right or wrong way- it just sounds like the TS is having time -song construction points. If all the guys are competant musicians have them write or co-write outside of practice than PRESENT completed songs at practice (Said songs will be edited or changed depending on like/dislike)
#9
The real question is;

- How many gigs have you had?
- Are you gigging regularly?

All you're talking about is your relationship with the members. Those relationships can stay after the band breaks up. If you're not going anywhere after 3 years, you're not going anywhere in ten.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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