#1
Why do I always want to be in a band? It always ends up in the same place for me: clashes of egos. I'm pretty sure that this band will work its problems out, and that it's healthy and good that we're having issues at this point, (well, not in the way we're taking them out) but I'm not sure when, and I'm not sure how.

Band relations took a dive when we started recording an EP. We tracked it, and that went alright. Then, our lead guitarist mixed the first track, and it sounded really bad, with an emphasis on solos. That started relations between me and him on the decline. We worked that out, though.

This is the first band I've really been the bandleader of. I've been the frontman once or twice before, but those were really just messing around things, not actual bands with real songs. I've also just happened to write most of the songs. These two things have, in tandem, led to my constant fear that I'm crushing everyone's spirit and creativity, even though I suspect that I'm not really. I really don't want the majority of the band to feel like they're just there to support me, because I don't feel that way at all.

Anyhow, the issue came to a head the last time we all talked on Facebook. I've been fed-up (and I know our lead guitarist has been, too) with our drummer's work ethic, both in and out of practice. The band seems to be his lowest priority. Last practice, there was a palpable tension in the air; a product of friction at practice, and my weariness of the same old practice routine. We were talking about what song to cover, and he said that he felt ignored. That is healthy, and good to say. He then went on to say that the lead guitarist and I had made all of the cover choices up until now, and that it "was our [him and the bassist]'s turn to choose." Everyone quickly discounted this. Then, after we turned down a song he suggested and moved on to other suggestions, he asked what had happened to his song suggestion. I told him that I wasn't positive about the other guys, but judging from the haste with which we moved on, it was safe to assume that it was a general consensus that we'd moved one for good (it was a little rawer than that). He drew massive offense, and it spiraled out of control into petty jabs. Our lead guitarist began stonewalling us all, and when I said that I really wanted to work out any issues that anyone had right now, our drummer said he wasn't talking to me (which is strange, considering that he had just asked not to be treated like he was 12), and he tried to get people to support his choice. Our bassist tried to calm things down, but I think just made things worse. I asked if we could talk this out before a band practice (if we ever have another) but nobody responded, save for the bassist, who said he'd be okay with that. Our drummer has frozen all communications with me, our bassist has formed his own camp, and our lead guitarist has decided to opt for the path of ignoring everything until it goes away.

Anyhow, I would quit (as I've been thinking of for a little bit) if I wasn't essential staff, and things weren't just taking off, and the EP wasn't as good as it is, but all of those make me want to fix this. My question is this: How can I get everyone back on the same page (maybe a new page)? I feel like that's my role as frontman/bandleader. Ugh. I hate this so much. There's probably some part of the story that's really key that I left out, but I can't remember what it is...

Another thing: I've asked everyone to schedule in some time to come talk this out, but no one will commit. And I apologized, even though I feel like I was right, and said things that, if a little bit brisk and gruff, were factual and accurate. GAWDIHATEBANDS(butilovethematthesametime).
#2
First off, I'd say there is never a good reason to just bypass a song choice for a cover.
If you do decline the song, tell him why that happened, whats wrong with the song. obviously he didnt have a clue why his idea got shut down, which made him feel ignored yet again.

Secondly, I really hate the term bandleading. Every bandmember should have equal saying in a band. You have to work together and you'll have to be a democracy, rather then acting like you're running a business.

Now to fix this I would start by apologizing for the things you did wrong, because from this story it didn't seem like you did anything wrong, but if a bandmember would share his story here in the comments, it might give us a different perspective.
Even if you don't have anything to apologize for, you'll still have to do it.
Just say that you're sorry for the way things went, and that you would like to have a talk because you know the band has a great EP in the works.
It makes the rest of the band want to apologize as well, which opens the door for a good talk. Communication is the key

In this talk, let everyone have their turn, don't interupt anyone and try to come together and maybe even make some compensations to eachother. Play that song that YOU didn't want to play... it's 3-4 minutes of your life, whats the big deal?

If you get the band back together, you can finish the EP and then take off if you have to.
Thats my advice to you. Although I have to say for a "band leader" to be thinking of quitting is not a good motivation, which rubs off on the rest of the band. You have to make it fun for everyone to play and then the drummer will probably work harder for it too.
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#3
You need to separate all this stuff into separate issues dude:

Quote by slimjimmypage
Band relations took a dive when we started recording an EP. We tracked it, and that went alright. Then, our lead guitarist mixed the first track, and it sounded really bad, with an emphasis on solos. That started relations between me and him on the decline. We worked that out, though.


Recording is usually a testing time for a band. A lot of bands will break up upon completion of their first EP.

Drummer

Quote by slimjimmypage
Anyhow, the issue came to a head the last time we all talked on Facebook.


This immediately indicates a failure of communication in real life when your band interacts with eachother. Important issues should be brought up immediately when they occur at band practice, gigs, or just hanging out.

Quote by slimjimmypage
I've also just happened to write most of the songs.......We were talking about what song to cover


Next issue is that the band lacks an identity. Are you an originals band or a covers band? Can't be both. You'll either fail as an original artist for not having enough original songs or fail as a cover artist for not having enough cover songs.

Quote by slimjimmypage
I've been fed-up (and I know our lead guitarist has been, too) with our drummer's work ethic, both in and out of practice. The band seems to be his lowest priority.


You should have addressed this last time he missed practice or whatever he is doing. Usually when people do this sort of stuff they're about to quit anyway.

Quote by slimjimmypage
We were talking about what song to cover, and he said that he felt ignored. That is healthy, and good to say. He then went on to say that the lead guitarist and I had made all of the cover choices up until now, and that it "was our [him and the bassist]'s turn to choose." Everyone quickly discounted this.


Why did you discount this?

Quote by slimjimmypage
Then, after we turned down a song he suggested and moved on to other suggestions, he asked what had happened to his song suggestion. I told him that I wasn't positive about the other guys, but judging from the haste with which we moved on, it was safe to assume that it was a general consensus that we'd moved one for good (it was a little rawer than that). He drew massive offense


So basically you told him that his opinion wasn't valued, and didn't tell him why. You are unhappy with the drummer's lack of commitment, but turn down his ideas when he tries to participate in band decisions.

Quote by slimjimmypage
our drummer said he wasn't talking to me (which is strange, considering that he had just asked not to be treated like he was 12)


Quote by slimjimmypage
Our drummer has frozen all communications with me


Well, yeah, from his angle you're acting like a bit of a tool, and you're proceeding to still have jabs at him here.


Lead Guitarist


Quote by slimjimmypage
Our lead guitarist began stonewalling us all....

our lead guitarist has decided to opt for the path of ignoring everything until it goes away


I have no further information than the above, will just guess he's being a tosser.


Band Status

Quote by slimjimmypage
Our drummer has frozen all communications with me


He's out mate. You need a new drummer.

Quote by slimjimmypage
our bassist has formed his own camp, and our lead guitarist has decided to opt for the path of ignoring everything until it goes away.


You could probably continue to play with these guys, though I wouldn't like to play with a guy like the lead guitarist, considering his antics here and in your other thread.

If you do continue on, figure out whether you're an originals band or a cover band, and start talking more amongst yourselves. These above issues were all caused through a lack of communication.
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#4
Yeah, there are some obvious huge communication problems here.

Being in a band - much less being the de facto leader of one - requires what will feel like, sometimes, an excessive amount communication.

You know the stereotype about how women always want to talk about how everyone is feeling? Be that stereotype. Talk everything out until people make it clear that they don't want to talk about it more.
#5
Förföcksakes....democracy in a band...no thanx!!!...you guys need an alpha. Someone who´ll make the decisions that you keep fumbling around with that make all these issues arrise.
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#6
Just to respond to some of the things I've read:
Firstly, my immediate reaction after I realized how much of an asshole I had been was to try to apologize. The drummer has rejected three apologies now, and I would feel worse about this if I thought he was actually upset. I apologized to everyone for crossing a line and losing my temper. I don't think that saying I completely discounted the drummer's song choice is fair. I told him I didn't really like the song, and nobody else even responded. He's angry at me because he feels like I shrugged him off, even though when he asked me why I didn't like the song (All These Things I've Done by The Killers) I explained it. Someone asked whether we're an originals or covers band. We used to be a covers band, but transitioned into playing our own stuff. I've definitely made some mistakes with leading this band, and I know what they've been, but only after the fact. The issue is that this is really the first band I've been the frontman for, and I don't really know what to do. We try to do management stuff in person as much as possible, but we don't practice as much as we want to because of work and school and sports, and when we do get together, people run off as soon as practice starts, or, in the case of our drummer, are 30 or 45 minutes late, sometimes hungover.
I asked everyone to come early to talk about what was going on, but our drummer showed up 20 minutes late and hungover. He talked to me and the lead guitarist after practice (our bassist had soccer), and refused to come to a middle ground anywhere. I tried to explain the process and rules I thought he had known about (I'm 99% he agreed to our rules when he entered the band), but he didn't care.

The newest issue is that I just found out that the lead guitarist is viewed as bandleader as well. This is fine and cool. I don't really care about being top dog, and I'd love it if everyone was truly equal. The problem comes in where he and I are on completely different pages. He thinks that the drummer is fine and can stay. He said he doesn't really want to press the issue and thinks that our drummer will get over this in a couple days. He also thinks that we should let him have his way this one time. While I would be okay with that any other time, we have a show coming up next Saturday and need to be really ready, and adding another song in this late (yeah, that's an issue) would spell disaster. When we had our 3/4 band meeting, the lead guitarist was completely silent and stared off into space, only pitching in one or two words the entire time.

The problem is that I'm so lost in this whole ordeal, and everyone's picking sides. Even if anyone else is trying to fix this shitstorm, I can't see it, and it feels like I'm the only one trying anything, but I don't want to say that to anyone just in case they take offense and this whole thing blows.

I've also told them all that if things don't get better, I might quit. The drummer called me a drama queen. It's really, really awful. Like supremely shitty, and I'm in the middle just because I'm the only one I can tell is trying to fix anything. And yes, I'm sure that in some way I caused all of this, and yes, I'm sure that there are many things I could do that would have prevented this, but I didn't, and as much as I wish I could, I can't just snap my fingers and make everyone forget everything and love each other again.

Ick. This isn't gonna help at all. I just need to vent.
#7
^^^ Clue up, drummer has quit. The only drama left is whatever you and the lead guitarist are making up.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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