#1
Hey guys, been going nuts the last two weeks thinking about my predicament so I thought It'd be a good idea to ask some fellow musicians for advice.

Basically this is the situation. My band has nearly been together for 3 years (april time we will have been) we're a three piece experimental rock band ala Qotsa/Melvins/Foos/Led Zep/Soundgarden etc

We're FINALLY only now just about to record our debut EP after many attempts to do so going tits up in the past. We've taken this long to get everything how we want it and gel and plan how we're going to do it, but now we finally get to this point i'm really doubting wether I'm happy or not playing in this band.

My reasons for this are that I feel that I'm really not on the same page with my drummer anymore. I find him extremely boring, he never wants to socialise so i've given up asking him to come out anymore. All he does is go out with his one friend and get drunk on the weekends. So I feel we've grown apart as friends. Other than this I feel like he's moving away from the sound of the band and he doesn't play for the song as much as he used to eg trying to over complicate his parts.

On top of this I'm massively frustrated as I do EVERYTHING for my band, and I mean EVERYTHING, I record our stuff and mix it, we jam for free in my jam room which I cleaered out for use, I've gotten the gear to record with, learnt to use it, I book all our gigs, give my drummer and his kit lifts everywhere, do all the artwork, majority of the promotion etc etc, and then my drummer turns down all my ideas when I bring them into jams.

This is very frustrating as If i say something they'll probably give me the "controlling band leader" crap which I think is unfair seeing as I do most of the work. I can't even agree on song titles anymore! Bottom line is If I leave the band is very likely over as my drummer doesnt drive and my bassist wouldnt give lifts even if he could, besides the fact theyd having a hard time finding more members where we live.

Sorry for the massive post, really need some advice though, after all this time and finally getting to the point to finally get a CD done even though im very unhappy with the band currently, what do you think I should do, stay or end the band and start afresh?
1980 Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom
Gretsch G5445T Electromatic Double Jet
De Armond MT-75
1978 Aria Pro 2 Les Paul Standard (Lawsuit)

Orange Rockerverb 100 Head
Orange Rocker 30 Head
Orange 4x12 Cab
Vampower 4x12 Cab
Ampeg 2x10 Cab


Ain't telling you my pedals!
#2
Seems like the drummer's your big problem. If you're fine with everyone else, don't quit. Fire the drummer.
ESP/LTD F-50
1989 Kramer Showster
Rogue RADH Acoustic
Fender CD-60 Acoustic
Washburn XB-100 4 string
Peavey Millenium AC BXP
Fender Rumble 150
Crate BV60H Head
Crate BV412 Cab
Vox AD15VT
#4
I'd say stick with it, dude.
Just try to put some fun into practice. The key thing you gotta remember is that you can't control what the other person plays. Learn to play well around the drummer (or find a new one, but that doesn't seem to viable an option due to location) each member will most likely not do exactly what's in your head, and from experience I say you must accept that.
It's all up to you but it just sounds like you're kinda down in the dumps, it happens.
Guitars:
1997 Guild Bluesbird
Gibson Les Paul Bfg
Acoustics
Ibanez GSR200FM Bass
Amps:
Bugera V55HD w/avatar cab
Fender Champ 600 with 4 ohm cab
70s traynor 200w head with 2 9x8 cabs for bass
#5
Fire the drummer. Then get the bassist to pull his head out of his butt. If he doesn't, fire him too and just move on.
#6
It's hard though, i've always found it hard finding a drummer that's tight, can jam and play what I want, I think he's just gotten too comfortable now though. I haven't spoken to my bassist about the way I feel at the moment. I think my drummers moving away creatively from what I want to do, ive passed off on thinking about it too much before but it's bothering me now. Looking at our current batch of songs it's all going too underground for my liking. He's one of the best rock drummers in our town so it's gonna be hard getting someone else in =/
1980 Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom
Gretsch G5445T Electromatic Double Jet
De Armond MT-75
1978 Aria Pro 2 Les Paul Standard (Lawsuit)

Orange Rockerverb 100 Head
Orange Rocker 30 Head
Orange 4x12 Cab
Vampower 4x12 Cab
Ampeg 2x10 Cab


Ain't telling you my pedals!
#7
Good Lord = That thought did come to mind just for my own sake of finally getting a damn cd done, I owe it to myself to be fair, but at the same time I don't know If I can force my self to go into that type of environment for a weekend to get the songs done with the way I'm feeling right now =/

Kmaster = I've been very down in the dumps about it man, cant get to sleep til like 5/6am some nights, really digging away at me! I put so much effort into everything I do so It's really disheartening when people have taken my kindness for granted. It's a massive decision for me =(
1980 Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom
Gretsch G5445T Electromatic Double Jet
De Armond MT-75
1978 Aria Pro 2 Les Paul Standard (Lawsuit)

Orange Rockerverb 100 Head
Orange Rocker 30 Head
Orange 4x12 Cab
Vampower 4x12 Cab
Ampeg 2x10 Cab


Ain't telling you my pedals!
#8
I also hate the feeling of playing with unmotivated or lazy musicians.
My suggestion would be to somehow jam with another band to test if it's worth quitting at all, since it's possible to play in 2 bands at the same time.
It would be kind of lame to join a band that turns out to be even more lame then the first one after quitting it. If you don't have many available musicians in you area you could move to a city or something for the sake of finding a band you will enjoy playing in.
#9
JB95= It's annoying 'cos a situation similar to what you just described is what happened when my current band started haha, My drummers just changed as a person along the way, I like the Melvins but ALLLLL he listens to is them and a few other underground bands, he doesnt listen to the bands we started our band about anymore. Only ever have conversations with him if its do with something drum or melvins related. I'd LOOOVE to move away but I really cannot afford to =/
1980 Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom
Gretsch G5445T Electromatic Double Jet
De Armond MT-75
1978 Aria Pro 2 Les Paul Standard (Lawsuit)

Orange Rockerverb 100 Head
Orange Rocker 30 Head
Orange 4x12 Cab
Vampower 4x12 Cab
Ampeg 2x10 Cab


Ain't telling you my pedals!
#10
I would stay for the EP because that looks good on your resume. The experience of the whole process will help you for future projects. Make friends with the studio staff- they may know some other musicians who you can play with.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#11
Well ...

Ultimately, there are three separate issues here.

First, the issue of your friendship with the drummer. The simple truth is that you don't have to be friends with someone to enjoy playing with him. What your drummer does for fun is more-or-less irrelevant, although of course it's more fun to be in a band with people you really like.

The second is the musical issue. You need to be able to talk about this stuff with them, and if not you're just heading for trouble. You say you can't even "say anything" but I have to ask, have you TRIED discussing this stuff? A common mistake people make is not to bring anything up until it's too late, and there's too much water under the bridge.

Ultimately, at this point my question would be: do you think you can work with these people to create an EP that you're proud of, or are you just done. If it's the latter, move on. If it's the former, why not record the e.p., at least for the experience and to have something on tape.
#12
Not to excuse it, but it sounds like your drummer is bored with the project. Maybe he's just hanging on because he thinks he's doing you a favour.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
another perspective is.
You say you do everything. That means if you quit you are quitting yourself. You put so much in this project for a reason. You need to atleast finnish this project.
I know Lucifer so well I call him by his first name...I say, "Hey Lou!"
#14
A new perspective might push you into getting stuff done more efficiently. Look at SOAD, they just sat around for years until their bassist and drummer said "You guys aren't going anywhere". Shavo switched to bass, John came in on drums, and they were touring with Slayer and Sepultura within a year of their first album.
modes are a social construct
#15
Thanks for the replies guys, I wouldnt be surprised if my drummer is bored now, I don't feel like he puts much effort in anymore, saying that I also think he'd be surprised that I mentioned all of whats on my mind.

I haven't mentioned it all to my band mates, well I've hinted to my bassist but we get on fine and I think he may kind of understand what i'm feeling. I do need to talk it through with them but it's hard to get to that point when i'm confused on if I want to try sort things out or end the band. It's a big decision for myself.

Thats true Hail/Jrakus, I DO owe it to myself to at least get the EP finished, my only problems with that is that I don't know if I could force myself to be in that type of environment with my drummer at this time, I don't think the studio is a good place to be when you're harbouring unwell feelings. I think that would hinder music overall, it's a risk anyway.

I think I may have a meeting with my bassist, let him know my thoughts and go from there with the matter, it's inevitable that I'll need to speak with my drummer on the issues anyway. Thanks to everyone who's posted, you've all been very helpful! Much appreciated
1980 Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom
Gretsch G5445T Electromatic Double Jet
De Armond MT-75
1978 Aria Pro 2 Les Paul Standard (Lawsuit)

Orange Rockerverb 100 Head
Orange Rocker 30 Head
Orange 4x12 Cab
Vampower 4x12 Cab
Ampeg 2x10 Cab


Ain't telling you my pedals!
#16
Have you tried accepting some of the drummers changes to your sound? If you can find a compromise you might sort yourselves out, a band is a team effort.
OUT OF ORDER
#17
The thought had crossed my mind definately but I just don't think i'd be happy playing that style, it's not what I really want to play myself.
1980 Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Custom
Gretsch G5445T Electromatic Double Jet
De Armond MT-75
1978 Aria Pro 2 Les Paul Standard (Lawsuit)

Orange Rockerverb 100 Head
Orange Rocker 30 Head
Orange 4x12 Cab
Vampower 4x12 Cab
Ampeg 2x10 Cab


Ain't telling you my pedals!
#19
This sounds ignorant, but drummers for the type of music you play aren't hard to find. Hell, look at Kurt Cobain. He went through like six drummers? Don't let him feel has the right to change the sound. Sure, he can contribute, hell he can write his own guitar parts if he wants, just don't let him change the sound.
There's room for all of God's creatures; Right next to the mashed potatoes.
#20
Your problems are:

1. Drummer doesn't hang with you anymore.

This is fine, it has no bearing on the band, with the exception of your personal feelings. Regard a band environment as a working environment. Do you hang out with all your co-workers? Do you care if you don't? Does it affect the business by not doing it?

2. Drummer is "moving away from the sound of the band"

Err....he is in the band. Either you like the way he drums or you don't.

3. Drummer is overplaying parts

I'm with axeman here, playing around on songs you've played many many times is often a sign the person is bored, I can recall many "final" practices with certain band members where they have not been focussed at all, and will just play around with their parts until the practice is done.

4. You take the workload for booking gigs etc.

Unfortunately there's always someone in this position. It's the difference between a pro-active and a passive person. Some wait for opportunities to come, some make opportunities. A great situation would be where everybody does equal work. If anybody has done any form of group work here, you'll know this is rarely the case.

5. No agreements on small issues

I don't have specific knowledge of your situation, but a good rule with any relationship is "a lot of little problems hint at one big underlying problem". This means that the name of the song is probably irrelevant, but he may be disillusioned with the band to the extent that everything that happens in the band is "stupid" or "useless".

Think of it like a girlfriend. Say you cheat on your girlfriend and tell her. She then proceeds to scream at you because you didn't put the washing machine on cold for the full cycle. Do you think it's the fact you cheated on her that made her scream? Or is it the fact she needs the cold cycle for all sock maintenance?


As for what you should do, you mentioned you're going to talk about this with the bassist. I've got a better idea, talk about it with the drummer

Just ask if he's happy being in the band, because you've noticed a change in his behaviour recently and you're not sure if he's into it or not. If he says he still is, ask him to explain his behaviour. If he says there's no change, point out specific examples and ask about those, keep pressing, there has to be a reason. At the very worst, you guys will have a fight, keep calm and things will proceed.

If he says he's not interested anymore, tell him that's cool and ask if he could just stay to record the CD before he leaves. Tell him you need him because "those great drumlines really enhance our songs, I want to capture them forever" and also for reference for any future drummers.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
I'd say fire the drummer, because breaking everything up at this point seems kind of silly.
Fender American Standard Telecaster
Vox Night Train 15W
An ever-morphing BOSS and MXR loaded pedalboard

"I eats more chicken any man ever seen!"
-Howlin' Wolf
#22
Quote by qotsakyuss
The thought had crossed my mind definately but I just don't think i'd be happy playing that style, it's not what I really want to play myself.


Well a band is a group, it can't always come down to what one person feels like playing. Of course you should be happy and content in a band but so should the other members.

Have you ever shot down one of his ideas because it meant playing something different?
Maybe he doesn't want to hang out anymore because he feels you're being unreasonable or controlling.

Obviously I don't know all the details but this might be one explanation.
OUT OF ORDER
#23
It seems to me you are missing something here. Most bands are a mixture of social and musical pleasure. As you develop the music becomes more important but it still has to be fun. I get fun from playing in front of an audience and I'd pretty much play any style of music with any musician I didn't actively dislike to get my fix. Playing stuff which I wouldn't usually listen to is all part of the fun. Maybe I'm a bit of a tart but any new music forces you to learn new things.

The point is you don't have to love your fellow band members, just get on with them.

In the meantime if you want to play different stuff there is nothing to stop you, and you don't have to give up on the current band. it sounds like you are more committed than the rest of the band anyway. So long as you have time start looking for other people to play with and just meet up with them on different days. you'll learn loads from playing with other bands and the worse that can happen is that you realise your current band is more fun than you appreciated.

You are not married to these guys so you are not being unfaithful. So long as you turn up when you say and give your best when you are together then you aren't letting anyone down. In this instance you can have your cake and eat it.
#24
I've had similar feelings and thoughts in my band. I've been with them over 5 years now. Me and my drummer rarely see eye to eye when we have a 'musical' issue. We have a bit of common ground but overall he thinks my musical taste is too heavy and I think his is too sh*t (or soft). However, when we make songs for our band the blend of both our styles fit and we both think it sounds good. We both work to try and compliment the song. I'll play softer guitar and he'll play heavier drums if called for. I've played songs that I've not liked and grown to love them. I've reluctantly accepted letting certain song ideas die after band consensus says it doesn't work. That's part of being in a band. Having 5 members, it's never a good feeling being out-voted 4 to 1 but you get over it and on with it. There'll be another time when I'm ones of the 4 doing the out-voting.

Also, we all have our Axl Rose megalomania moments but you need to temper them with reality and logic, not just emotion. A band is a sum of all its parts. You have to accept some eccentricities and differences of opinion. Stating your band will pull the 'controlling band leader' card means there must be some foundation for it, however slight. If we got your bassist's and drummer's viewpoints how much would they resemble yours? Compromise is key, not making ultimatums and rash statements and decisions. Most issues are a mixture of miscommunication, having bad days and more lack of communication. My band use e-mail to discuss points and then finalise the issue at the next band session. Sometimes e-mails can be misread, misinterpreted or just be plain silly but all issues are cleared up or simmered down once we're all together in a room talking about it.

To sum up, my basic point is: Try to chill out and communicate your issues with the band. Don't get angry, don't be petty, don't make any ultimatums. Try to compromise. For example, song ideas: Every member gets to bring a song idea forward. Each one will get equal amounts of attention. If one naturally takes of, go with it. Don't try and force your song through first just because it's your song. Turn them all into fully fledged songs (unless all members decide it's a lost cause). Each one will be gigged at least once to gauge crowd reaction. Use crowd feedback/how you felt gigging it to ascertain if the songs are strong enough to be kept or consigned to the B-side back catalogue.

Lastly, I disagree with Phil_Starr. Being in a band is like a relationship/marriage. With the same niggling annoyances/habits/arguments/differences/bottled up emotions. Like you saying you and your drummer have 'grown apart', are 'different people'. That's discounting any beef you have with your bassist. Not to mention issues between bassist and drummer. So, just like a relationship, you either all make it work or split up.

tl;dr: I've had the same issues and thoughts. I've been in my band over 5 years. You either compromise and get over it or move on. Don't go all Axl Rose and make ultimatums and fire band members. You'll come off as petty, controlling and bandless.