#1
I've come to a crossroads lately in my young life with what I want to pursue musically and it's impact on my identity. Right now in my life (I'm 19) I want to play jazz, get a combo together, and gig. The keyboard player in this combo is one from my previous funk/fusion/rock band and he wants to have our previous bass player involved out of empathy for his addictions and unfortunate home life. I don't want to associate myself with this bass player anymore, because all he does is take the rest of the guys in the band (Keys and I) for granted, because of how comfortable he is from playing in our previous band with us for the past 3 years.

Examples of his ungrateful and disrespectful behaviors include not paying back money he had borrowed, showing up late to rehearsals and gigs, getting stoned or drunk in the middle of rehearsal hence compromising the rehearsal, and neglecting his own gear and leaving me to haul my bass and bass amp around for him.

I'm ready to move on with my life, personally and musically, where a lot of this resentment comes from. Yet, they credit me to being a key component in our projects, because i'm the guy that keeps everything together. The relationships are very unbalanced. I tried telling the keyboard player last night that I didn't want to play with the bass player anymore in any project (jazz combo and alternative/punk project) because i'm done taking care of him. The keyboardist responded by asking me if I empathize with the bass player's situation at all.

How do I tell both these guys, who are my closest friends, and the only guys I ever collaborated with musically (All throughout high school) that I want to move on with my life and my musical aspirations?
#3
Do you still want Keys? Tell him exactly how you feel, and say that you don't sympathize. with Bass. Or you could let Bass back in with a strict set of rules, if he breaks the rules then he's out.

If you don't want Keys or Bass, tell them that you just want to move on and try some new things to get "reinspired."

Good Luck bud.
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#4
Be blunt with the keyboard player:

"Look, I have issues with the guy. He owes me money and won't pay his share in a band situation. He doesn't take rehearsal seriously. And he expects me to cart my gear around for him. If we fix those problems, I'll play with him, but I'm tired of banging my head against that wall."

And then just, you know - don't bring your gear around for him to use. (Some of this is your fault. If you having to bring your gear for someone else bothers you, stop bringing your gear ... and then it's his problem.

When keyboard player says "Do you empathize with the bass player's situation?" you can say, "Yes, I do. I'll be his friend and help him out when I can, but I'm not willing to put up with a band situation that sucks. I feel taken advantage of and I'm not willing to do it any more."
#5
Quote by messiah01
The keyboardist responded by asking me if I empathize with the bass player's situation at all.


Asks you to emphasise with a guy who shows up late and couldn't be bothered bringing his own stuff to gigs? You obviously don't. I think the keyboardist is just trying to stay out of the line of fire here.

Quote by messiah01
How do I tell both these guys, who are my closest friends, and the only guys I ever collaborated with musically (All throughout high school) that I want to move on with my life and my musical aspirations?


It's unclear whether you want to fire the bass player, or whether you want to quit. Either way I think it's clear that the band is going nowhere, and after 3 years of work, that's enough reason to break up.

I'm starting to get the feeling that certain bands will just reach a stop of some sort, by virtue of the people in them, and the music scene in general. Sometimes it's the right time for x band and x genre, and the people in it are the right sort of people to make the band bigger and better. However, this doesn't happen most of the time, but it takes about 2-4 years to realise it. Once this is realised though, there's not too much point continuing, otherwise you'll just slowly hate it and the enjoyment will be gone.

So I'd basically tell them the above. You've had lots of fun but you feel this band has gone as far as it can, and you're also after a bit of a change after 3 years. So bye.
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#6
It can be tough being in a band with friends because it can put a lot of strain on your friendship. Just be honest with them and say something like you wanna try playing with some other musicians. You already did the stuff in high school with them and now its time to try something new. That should be easy enough for them to grasp and not have you sound like you just dont want to play with them anymore.
#7
Quote by messiah01
The keyboardist responded by asking me if I empathize with the bass player's situation at all.


The hardest part about having an addict for a friend is realizing that empathizing != enabling. Sure, you feel bad that he's neglecting his gear/life and you'd like to help him sort it out... but rewarding him by letting him use your gear forever just makes you a crutch, not part of a solution.