#1
My bandmates are my best friends. I don't want to break up, so help?


About five months ago, we were offered a really good gig in our town, and in order to take it, we spent three months writing and finishing songs and practicing to ensure we'd do well. We were not a band really until the offer came up. I'm the only guitarist in the group.

I had been writing songs for a couple of years at that point, and I drew from what I considered to be my best recent music and brought it to them. We did a seven song set, with one cover in it and absolutely nailed the gig that we got. Afterwards, we took a couple week break then planned to go back to rehearsing, record a demo and capitalize on the momentum we had. When we came back though, everybody said that they had some issue or other with one of the songs, and they said they wanted to scrap four of our six songs and then write more as a group.

This is where many issues came up.

1. I write spur of the moment, often really late at night or in the early afternoon on the weekends. Sit me down at a practice and tell me to come up with parts I like and all I can play is garbage.

2. While they liked the music we played before, it wasn't exacty their forte. The songs I brought to them were indie rock in the vein of the Strokes. The drummer is a rush obsessive and the bassist loves progressive jazz and Chevelle. The only common links are that the bassist loves the strokes (who the drummer hates) and we all love the black keys/raconteurs/greenhornes kind of stuff, but don't exactly want to play it. The singer loves indie rock but doesn't involve himself in anything but "hey, that sounds good" and writing his vocals.

3. I read immense amounts of music criticism. I've stopped actually, as of today, but I've developed a problem where I feel the need for the music I create to be good. Simply, I have my standards at a ridiculously high level where it takes me ages to write, which might result in not progressing artistically because I stick to one thing for so long.

4. Before I was the sole songwriter. Now, write as a group means everybody else voice ideas and my ideas get cut down to a minimum. I churn out so much music but I hate 98% of it, yet everybody else will here a riff and tell me it's awesome, and that we should use it. Where I was just seeing if something would work and I hate it.

5. They're not mature musically. All of the songs the bassist writes are either overdone cliches that he thinks sound cool (I don't want that to sound hostile, but it's the truth) or are not at all the music that we're trying to play (the bassist and drummer will right a funk song in 6/8 for example). When I suggest we try and focus on a certain sound (so they don't write songs in 6/8 for instance), they say we should just write whatever comes. But that results in them writing songs that they know I would probably never touch, but still proposing them. And then I get to feel like the bad guy when I say I wouldn't want to play that.

6. They don't understand that simple parts can sometimes benefit the songs. They want to solo, and show off and be technical. I want to write a song I'd like to hear, and I don't want to hear technical all the time (and when I do, I don't want it to be blatant). The drummer will refuse to play less dense parts a lot of the time and the drummer and bassist are insistent that the bassist use lots of wah all the time although it sounds terrible with our music.

We are capable of playing really, really really good music that we all like. We had a blast at our show and two of the songs we have, we love to death. We just can't seem to expand on anything.

These guys are my best friends, and were before we even picked up instruments. Our town is dried up as far as non-blues playing musicians and I know our best bet is to stick together, I just have no clue what to do here. Any help would be great, thanks to everybody who replies
"We're not really interested in the individual instruments sounds. We just like the way they dance together in the air." - Fabrizio Moretti

http://www.baconorbeercan.com/
#2
As much as you like being in a band with them, you shouldn't. They obviously have different musical tastes than you and there doesn't seem to be a common ground. Being in a band where there is tension and disagreement is going to have a worse effect on your friendship than not being in a band.
My best advice is to find people who want to make the same style of music as you. Make sure you get along with them too
Ted: [Whispering to Bill] Your stepmom is cute.
Bill: Shut up, Ted.
Ted: Remember when she was a senior and we were freshmen?
Bill: Shut up, Ted!
#3
it sounds like you guys haven't even agreed on a vague ideal that the band will go for. you seem to want an honest, pure rock band of the indie variety or whatever, and this clearly doesn't sound like the setup that will give you that. things will be much smoother if you guys officially agreed on anything at all - will you be experimental, and to what degree? will you be mixing genres? which general ones?
Quote by archerygenious
Jesus Christ since when is the Pit a ****ing courtroom...

Like melodic, black, death, symphonic, and/or avant-garde metal? Want to collaborate? Message me!
#4
All in all it just sounds like all the cliches which plague beginner musicians. You lack confidence so scrap a lot of your ideas. They're jealous that you're writing songs. You regard yourself as better and think all their stuff is cliche. Nobody can work with each other.

If you really want to make it work, don't start by scrapping your set - that'll just put you back at square one. They can write stuff, you can appreciate it for what it is as they have done for you. All the original songs are kept and now you have a longer set. Everybody wins.

Otherwise just scrap the whole thing, look for other musos. I've never been in a position where there's literally no other musos out there, I doubt you would be in this position either.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
honestly cliches arent always bad, and trust me you will almost never like half the stuff you write. that being said, if the rest of the band likes a riff you write, keep with it, maybe they can write parts that really beef it up and make it sound better to you.

anyway the biggest problem I see (and I'll be honest, I'm reading between the lines on this one) is that you all seem to be looking for the perfect song (this is probably one of the biggest amature mistakes, because as we learn how to use an instrument we feel that we need to show off how talented we are and how complicated we can write). perfect songs never come (because in all honesty they don't really exist), and when they do they never end up being as good (to anyone that isn't you or the band) as the not-so-perfect songs. by this I mean that a not-so-perfect lick or riff can blow up to the most popular song in your set, or even the most fun. you can't listen to a song like war pigs by sabbath and think that tony iommi thaught that the verse was an awesome riff when he first played it, however we can all listen to it and think "damn that sounds powerful".

there are hundreds and hundreds of songs that are insanely popular that were not crafted as the perfect songs. I like to think as every riff that I play, especially if someone in the band likes it, as a possible song, whether I like it or not. also you can't asume that every member of every band is going to like to play every part of every song you write. for the most part you will always find parts to a song that you don't like, and a year from that point you'll hate a different part. unfortunately thats how it is. so stop trying to be perfect and start trying to be musicians.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#6
Quote by AlanHB
All in all it just sounds like all the cliches which plague beginner musicians. You lack confidence so scrap a lot of your ideas. They're jealous that you're writing songs. You regard yourself as better and think all their stuff is cliche. Nobody can work with each other.

If you really want to make it work, don't start by scrapping your set - that'll just put you back at square one. They can write stuff, you can appreciate it for what it is as they have done for you. All the original songs are kept and now you have a longer set. Everybody wins.

Otherwise just scrap the whole thing, look for other musos. I've never been in a position where there's literally no other musos out there, I doubt you would be in this position either.



This +1

I've been in band situations on both ends of the OP's argument (as the writer and as just the musician). Remarkably similar.

Grow up, at least try to be humble, and listen to your band.