Just told my band of 10+ years that I've had enough

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by MartinCliffe, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe Member

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    I've been playing in a classic rock band called The Timber Merchants for a little over 10 years. We put the band together when we were still at university (everyone except me went to Cambridge), and we've maintained a slow but steady run of gigs every year since, despite us being spread around the UK and having jobs, families, etc. There's been a fair share of friction between band members at different times (mostly between myself and the keyboard player) but we've done some great gigs and it's been a good excuse to get together and spend time with friends. The bass player and the singer are two of my closest friends, and I'm married to the drummer!

    This weekend we played a wedding gig, and it went well. But despite earning about 3 times what I'd often expect to earn with other bands, we barely broke even. We spent 5 hours unloading and setting up before we even got to line check (I'd unloaded and set up my guitar rig and the drum kit within the first 30 minutes), and it took 3 hours to de-rig after the show (again, I'd packed away my rig and the drum kit in less than half an hour). It's ridiculous, and seems to take longer every gig.

    So this morning I've contacted the guys and said that that I feel it's time to call it a day. Either our next gig (at the end of March - our only definite future booking) is our last gig, or it's my last gig. I hate having to make decisions like this, but I feel still playing in this band is actively hurting my playing career.
     
  2. partytrain

    partytrain Member

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    If you quit, will the drummer still be playing with them?
     
  3. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    Why in the world does it take you that long to set up and strike?
     
  4. buzzp

    buzzp Member

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    yeah what goes on there?
     
  5. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    It usually takes us several hours to set up, and a minimum of 1.5 hrs to break down. This is because of the amount of gear we use (9 piece band with full horn section). The band leader owns all the gear, and insists we use it.

    I quit this band about two years ago after being in it for 8 years as a founding member. Due to some strange circumstances, after 6 months I was reinvited and I accepted. During the time off, I realized the thing I hated most about being in the band was the set up/break down. Not only was it extremely exhausting, and made late night gigs even later, I just hated doing it in general. Needless to say I don't do it very much any more, one of the conditions of returning. When I get flak about it, I tell them I set up for every gig in the previous 8 years, so I've done my time.

    Maybe you can work out such an arrangement with your band if you want to stay in it. However, if you are married to the drummer, that might not work as the drummer has the most gear of anyone else perhaps.
     
  6. paddywhack

    paddywhack Silver Supporting Member

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    i say good for you...knowing when to bail out is an essential skill....a lifetime of opportunity lies ahead....good luck
     
  7. weshunter

    weshunter Supporting Member

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    yeah man, good for you -- you'd have to be getting paid alot of money to put up with that kind of a setup/strike time, and at that point, i'd be pushing for a road crew.
     
  8. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    That setup/teardown time seems incredible. The lead singer in my band and I do all of the PA gear, lights, our own guitar rigs and soundcheck. The drummer and bass player just basically show up with their stuff and play, and the two of us rarely take more than two hours for a full setup and sound check. Teardown is lightning fast (and remarkably organized, after many years).

    Why is your setup taking 5 hours?
     
  9. hoochiecoochie

    hoochiecoochie Member

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    Since the band leader owns all the equipment, let him make arrangements to transport it, set it up and take it down at HIS expense.
     
  10. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe Member

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    I've got no idea. Wrong gear? Too much gear? Everything is very "organised", but I much prefer "efficient" to "organised". Lights and sound gear all belong to the keyboard player. After years of battling, I've resorted to staying out of his way and just doing what I'm asked to do. I played with only my own voice in my monitor on Saturday (split from the mic, nothing from FOH) to speed things along. I've played gigs with other bands where we've been ready to go in under 1½ hrs, having soundchecked and set up lights. We could have done this show with a 8 channel desk (4 vocals, sax, keys and maybe kick drum), couple of powered speakers on sticks and a couple of T-bars with LED par cans... but we had a digital converter (WTF?) go wrong, DI box fail, and generally hours of faff.

    Time of setup / strip-down is not an issue for my wife and I. I can pack up my gear in under 10 minutes, then I help her with the kit (6 piece kit, 9 cymbals). Our gear is loaded up and ready to go in less than 30 mins.

    I'm 34, so I'm hardly "too old for this sh*t" yet, but something needs to give. There has to be (and is - I've done it before) a better way. Just need to find the right band to fill the "regular paid covers gigs" role... in the meantime I've got my originals band and a couple of solo acoustic things going on to keep things ticking over.
     
  11. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

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    yeah, it sounds like you are unhappy and should leave.

    I'm unhappy in my main band, also, but havent had the balls to quit yet.
     
  12. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    If I had to deal with that and knew it only took me 30 minutes to set up, I'd tell them that I'll be set up and ready to sound check @ the appointed time and then show up 30 minutes prior to have MY gear ready. That is beyond a ridiculous amount of set up time!! I've never even heard of such a thing.
     
  13. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

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    Whoa! De Ja Vu!

    Our singer insists that we run everything into a digital interface into protools. We each have our own in-ear monitor mix in protools....all the sweet Eq's and compressors we want AND a click track.....then into an analog converter out to front of house( I have to admit having a studio quality custom monitor mix on in ears has really spoiled me.....it's great). The problem is it craps out on us all the time at practice and gigs. We spend at least an hour each rehearsal trying to get it to run solid.

    We had a gig last week where we took 2 hours to mic everything, run it into protools, back out to FOH....then we boot up the computer. NOTHING. All that work wasted. We played with the floor wedges provided by the house PA, which we could have done with 10 minutes of set up time instead of 2 hours. We got to the venue at 4:30 for set up. Out set was at 9:30. Plus the rack that houses all this gear is HEAVY.

    That's WAY too much work for a simple gig at a bar. If we could just bring our amps/drums set up, quick monitor check and play I'd be much happier.

    It's gotten to be so much gear that we now rent a trailer for each show. WASTE!

     
  14. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    The more you reveal about the situation, the more it seems like a good move for you. I think probably many of us (I know I did) immidiatley think "uh-oh...quit, and not play out anymore?" but that you have an originals band, and solo acoustic, seems to indicate maybe it isn't just the load-in load-out and not enough money...I'm guessing maybe the song list is getting old, or the playing with the same people? That if you guys all live so far apart, it is hard to get together, hard to progress or change, so even if you add exciting new songs, they will be played the same way the old list has?

    I'm just guessing. Bands that live closer, and love the music, find ways to grow, change things up, but a lot of bands get kinda stuck after things become routine, and lose the spark..and it gets to be a rut?
     
  15. Brooks

    Brooks Member

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    some guys are just gearheads and insist on overdoing it, even at bar gigs.
    i've quit bands like that in the past, and got asked back when my replacement quit;
    my only condition was that i show up w/ my gear 1 hour befor the 1st set,
    set up & play, then leave when i'm done playing. yes i got a few snide comments,
    but i'd smile and remind them that they agreed to these terms when i came back. good luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  16. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe Member

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    Hehe, I used to be that guy! 2 stacks, 12U rack, huge pedalboard, 5 guitars (plus keyboards). But back then I played in a metal band full of "that guy", and I was still in my 20s. OK, so I've still got two (half) stacks, but they're 1x12 not 4x12, and 15w not 120w heads, and an 8U rack with a small MIDI controller.

    It's not that I don't still want to be a part of the band. I do - they're still my friends, after all. And when we're actually up there playing, we sound great and it feels good. But when being in the band is interfering with, rather than building up, that friendship, then it starts to suck.

    Thanks everyone for the advice and encouragement. It is very tempting to say to them "just leave me a 5'wx7'd space on the stage and call me an hour before you're ready to play". I'll see where things go once everyone's had time to process and respond.
     
  17. uitar99

    uitar99 Member

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    You like playing with them? give them the "leave me my space...." show up an hour early, and leave, once you help the wife load out. I work, the rest of the band have lots of free time so I show up after work, they leave me a space. I help break down and load out. We are a five piece and are out of a gig in 30 45 minutes.
     
  18. Marc Roy

    Marc Roy Member

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    Completely agree with this. If it's the band leader's gear, let him bear the responsibility of setting it up and tearing down.
     
  19. roverdog

    roverdog Member

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    Does the band leader take an extra cut for owning the PA? Will he be paid extra for being the roady too? If so, just show up for your own setup.

    In any band I played in, however, if you were not around for setup or tear down you were docked pay so the players who did the setup, teardown got paid extra, which only seems fair. And as for the band leader, we borrowed his equipment, we didn't rent it. Saved us money from renting the PA and the pain of having the band own the PA and the resulting hassle when someone leaves the band.
     
  20. imastratoholic

    imastratoholic Supporting Member

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    Your a young man still and you already have a drummer, time for a change.
     

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