#1
Apologies in advance for a wall of text.

Ok guys, I need some advice. I'm in a band with a very good friend of mine, been together about 3 years now. He's the singer and rhythm guitar player, I play lead. I really like our band, we work well when it comes to writing songs together, and when we are separate we write good stuff too, he has a different style to me, so everything blends nicely and gives us some variety. And having played together so long, we have great chemistry.

Now here's the problem. About a month ago, him and his long term girlfriend split up, on pretty bad terms, and ever since he's acting very erratically. That's perfectly understandable, and as his friend, I'm obviously going to stand by him and support him through a tough time. But as a band mate, it's getting really tough to do the same.

For example, he texts me a few weeks ago saying "Just finished writing the best song I ever wrote". So next practice, he shows me, not the best imo, but really good nonetheless. So we work on it, add a few little parts to it, and when it's finished, we're both really happy. But come next practice, he doesn't like it anymore, and refuses to play it. That's just one example, the same thing happens with almost every song we write recently. I mean, everybody writes something and loves it, then hears it the next day and hates it, but this happens with EVERY song. We aren't getting anything done anymore.

Unfortunately, he's started drinking a lot since they broke up, which I'm worried about. He also quit collage yesterday to focus on the band, which came out of nowhere. I'm worried he's putting to much faith into our band, thinking we can actually get somewhere and make money. Personally, I'm happy to just enjoy writing songs, and see where it takes us, I'm not prepared to invest my future in a band that's only played a handful of open mic nights.

So I'm really in two minds. I'm not enjoying being in this band anymore, and if it carries on like this, I'm going to quit. On the other hand, I'm not sure how that will affect my friend, and don't want to be responsible for making him go off the edge any worse than he is. I'm hoping this is just a bad phase he'll get out of, but quiting collage is a big decision.

Anyone been in a similar situation? I could do with some advice on how to approach this, I love our band and don't want to quit, so I'm hoping I can just talk him and try to get him to settle down, but it's a really delicate situation, and I don't want to lose a friend here. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Quote by Moggan13
Can i please make sweet, sweet many love to you?
#2
Man, that's pretty messed up.
Unfortunately, I cannot provide advice. Haven't encountered anything of this sort yet.

But what I can do is wish you good luck, right?


Good luck!
#4
Communication. Talk to him. You're obviously worried and he's obviously upset. What about your other band members? Quitting now is a bad idea, I think, if everything was fine before. Bands tend to have to live through bad parts of member's lives at some stage or another. So do what I would hope you would do and support him as much as he will let you.
#5
Once again, communication.
If he wasn't like that before, then he is probably is just going through some rough times.
We all have that problem..
Maybe ask him if he wants to drop the band for a little while until he gets back on track?
Then, get right back on the ball when he comes back.
#6
It sounds like he has depression. Do NOT confront him alone. He will deny there is a problem, most likely. Call his other friends/family ask him if they've noticed the same behavior. If they have, you need to ask those closest to him to help you confront him. The guy needs to be getting professional help. It's one thing to be a bit sad, it's another to start abusing alcohol and dropping out of school. This is not about your band right now, it is about helping your friend get his life on track.
#7
Dear TS,

The friend you've described sounds dangerously like me! (I am bipolar).

I think that a lot of musicians are quite erratic (remember that rock and roll was not invented by blacks, or by whites, but by the crazy!), which tends to be the price you'll have to pay down that road.

Because there are days when I want to play chilled out lamenting songs, or progressive rock songs, or aggressive hardcore songs, what we sometimes do (this is with me and drummer, things may change once our bass player becomes 'official'), is be able to play the songs in different styles and at different tempos. The variance is subtle, but it should help things, without making the group be his mood's bitch.

This is not about your band right now, it is about helping your friend get his life on track.


This, to an extent, but make sure you keep up the music, because chances are, taking away his creative outlet will make things MUCH worse for him.
#8
Quote by Myshadow46_2
What about your other band members?


No other members, we're an acoustic duo. Which means if I leave, the band is effectively over. I realise now that "band" probably isn't the best word for 2 people lol.

Anyway, thanks guys for the advice, I'm going to either phone him or go down to visit him tomorrow and talk it all over.
Quote by Moggan13
Can i please make sweet, sweet many love to you?
#9
Quote by Voodoo Chile
No other members, we're an acoustic duo. Which means if I leave, the band is effectively over. I realise now that "band" probably isn't the best word for 2 people lol.

Anyway, thanks guys for the advice, I'm going to either phone him or go down to visit him tomorrow and talk it all over.


Visit him.
#10
lots of people "take a year off" from school... that alone is not that big of a deal. what is a big deal is how impulsive that decision was, or atleast how impulsive it seems on an internet forum.

i'm certain the drinking wasn't helping his studies much either (go ahead, ask how I figured that one out).

talk to him and get a no-bull-shit assessment of where his head is at. beyond that, your best advice is going to come from other friends/family, not internet forum strangers who've never met the guy. hell, for all I know, this is normal for him.
#11
i think its a bit extreme to say he is suffering from depression, hes just split up with his girlfriend so hes bound to be feeling down. Talk to him, explain how you feel and lsten to what he has to say. sounds to me like its just one of those things your just gonna have to ride out, let him get over his ex and get his head together.

Obviously, this is just my opinion. If your as close as you say im sure you'll figure out what to do.
RIP Turnip. RIP MCA.
RIP #58.
#12
Quote by GrisKy
talk to him and get a no-bull-shit assessment of where his head is at. beyond that, your best advice is going to come from other friends/family, not internet forum strangers who've never met the guy. hell, for all I know, this is normal for him.


I have talked with friends about this, the reason I've come to the internet is for advice from a band leading point of view. As a friend, I'm confident I can help him settle down, who hasn't had a friend go through a bad break-up? My only problem is from the band mate side of things.

Either way, I phoned him earlier, couldn't visit him, he's in work all day and it was the only chance I had to talk to him. We talked everything over, and it's all good again now. Thanks again for the advice guys, it helped a lot.
Quote by Moggan13
Can i please make sweet, sweet many love to you?
#13
Quote by Voodoo Chile
the reason I've come to the internet is for advice from a band leading point of view.


fair enough. in that case I'd say don't rush things. he'll come around. and all those songs that suck a week later, stockpile 'em... he might not think they suck so much in a month or two.