What would YOU do??

Post here anything about the world of drumming. Equipment, music, drum gear, artists, events, gigs, and anything else drum set related!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
christopherabruce
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:01 am

Post Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:36 pm

john_bonham73- I would have a conversation with these guys to see where everything's at. Thinking that you're screwed might just be a perception and not how things really are. I don't suggest being overly defensive in your approach, you just need to express your concerns; and maybe you could use this situation to make the group's dynamics more democratic, positive and productive. Others have left, but you're still there, so at least something is going your way. If things don't change for the better, that would be time to find a new group or start one.

Best, Christopher.
shavo
beginner
beginner
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:57 pm

Post Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:40 pm

i come from both ends of this story. i know what its like to be in a band where i just play what im taught and alot of my musical creativity is restricted and i know what its like to need 100% of the musical creativity in a band.

sometimes, if the guy is good at writing music, its best to give him his space.

if he wants your input, then give it to him.

if not, then start your own thing on the side and give it all the lovin you got.


me, i love being in multiple projects. i get bored real easy.
User avatar
skitch
session drummer
session drummer
Posts: 816
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: www.dominoretroplate.com

Post Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:06 pm

john_bonham73 wrote:I play in a band where the lead singer/rhythm guitarist writes all the music and basically treats everyone like a "hired hand." But there is free reign on the drums I write for the music.I really dig the material but there is NO commitment from him that..I AM the drummer.I constantly have to keep looking over my shoulder....because the bass players best friend was the former drummer who's seat I took. He might want back in the band or an old lead guitarist liked the band when so and so was the drummer.I mean I know this sounds high school...but WTF??? No matter the job I seem to do,Im screwed so it seems.I've never put on a bad show.The only blemish on my behalf was a couple bad spots on a live recording we did...and I wasn't allowed to correct....I was told it will be"alright." So I havent given them a reason to look elsewhere.In my almost one year with the band,we've gone through 3 bass players,2 lead guitarists.Is there something wrong here,LOL?? Should I move on to something else? Should I keep it low-key and if the hammer falls,it falls? What would YOU do??


Here is what I would do:

While I was playing this situation out, I would be networking and looking for a better gig. Better can be defined many ways, remember, so keep that in mind. Yes, it smacks of a bunch of 13 year-olds. If a situation comes up where you book something with a new (better) band, I would tell these guys, "Well, I have no commitment in writing from your group that I am the drummer so basically everything is a casual gig for me. This being the situation, I book my dates on a first come first serve basis, because, as we all know, this is a BUSINESS." And I would keep a humble attitude and tone of voice while I said this. This might wake them up especially if they have a big gig coming up and need you to be there. I would also start getting a figure in mind of what it would take for me to lock out any dates they might want me on and I would start to think as how to put it to them that I will have to be paid in advance for those dates to be locked out - maybe 50% of the pay as a deposit and 50% at the show, before the downbeat. Nothing extravagant, mind you. This is the way that all of the "Big Acts" do business.


A verbal commitment is no commitment at all, since they would more than likely just tell you what you want to hear, a common problem these days.

If they have gone thru that many musicians in one year, I can tell you that your drumming isn't the problem....somebody else's ego is!
SGarrett
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5166
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:59 am

Post Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:13 pm

skitch wrote:
Here is what I would do:

While I was playing this situation out, I would be networking and looking for a better gig. Better can be defined many ways, remember, so keep that in mind. Yes, it smacks of a bunch of 13 year-olds. If a situation comes up where you book something with a new (better) band, I would tell these guys, "Well, I have no commitment in writing from your group that I am the drummer so basically everything is a casual gig for me. This being the situation, I book my dates on a first come first serve basis, because, as we all know, this is a BUSINESS." And I would keep a humble attitude and tone of voice while I said this. THis might wake them up especially if they have a big gig coming up and need you to be there. A verbal commitment is no commitment at all, since they would more than likely just tell you what you want to hear, a common problem these days.

If they have gone thru that many musicians in one year, I can tell you that your drumming isn't the problem....somebody else's ego is!


Yep, I always tell bands that I'm on a first-come-first-served basis and keep all bands that I'm at any given time aware of when I'm booked.
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."
User avatar
skitch
session drummer
session drummer
Posts: 816
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: www.dominoretroplate.com

Post Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:22 pm

I had a situation where I was quite some distance from home on a road gig with it being my first week on the gig. After we sat up the promoter who also owned the bar informed me that we were to play a double set on Saturday night (9:00pm to 1:00 am then 1:00 am to 5:00). I turned around and said that this was news to me. But the guy who hired me said, "Oh yeah I knew that". Then, on the way back to the hotel, the guy who hired me started screaming at me about how he was the only person in the band who talks business.

What I should have done and which he clearly deserved was for me to call him on the way out of town in a rental car, and tell him that he was going to need a drummer for the entire week since I don't work for crybabies. What I did was play that week out in its entirety and got home. When he called for the next gig, I told him that I was booked solid. This guy is still probably looking for a solid drummer.

As Zoro once told me, "Some things will only happen one time."
john_bonham73
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:26 pm

Post Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:45 am

so what Im getting here is that my situation isnt too far fetched.In reading everybodys responses...I really dont have any nay-sayers. So what to do?? As Im writing this,I think I'll beef up my resume by sticking around...cuz we're playing some killer shows coming up,plus we get radio play off a demo that I wrote the drumlines and go from there.Just do the best job I can do,keep my nose clean...and thats it! I let him make up the promotions(his best interest is the band name) and follow his lead.All I really have to do is play good drums and bring some peeps out to a show...you know how the bizz is.
User avatar
drumur
session drummer
session drummer
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:41 pm
Location: New Jersey(Suburbs of Philadelphia)

Post Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:09 am

I've been in all different types of situations but what I hate most is a dictatorship. Unless the person is paying me well to put up with it. Even then, it's not fun to play for somebody like that. If it's originals and I'm doing their songs then I would be OK with letting the writer be in charge. The reality is that any of us can be replaced at any time so just live in the moment and cross that bridge if it ever comes.
The band I'm in now is a democracy.
That's the way i like it.
In the end, what ever you choose to do will have consequences so think it through.
only you know what you want. Good Luck
User avatar
Rob Crisp
groove master
groove master
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:19 am

Post Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:24 am

My opinion is that we are often viewed as "just the drummer". Amusingly we're also the hardest to replace! Go figure.... :P

So if you enjoy the music, just keep doing your thing and with a bit of luck and some tight grooves you will be seen and viewd as a mainstay of the band, regardless of whoever else comes and goes.

As has been said, if you're not enjoying it why hang around? Be true to your feelings and don't be afraid to jam with other guys. I like SGarrett's philosophy, first come first served.

I also think sometimes it's good to get out of the one band bubble and play something different with some other guys. Keeps you fresh.

Good luck, hope it all works out.