Strange Auditions, mutual splits early on, band personality conflicts, etc.

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by strat68, Dec 23, 2009.


  1. strat68

    strat68 Member

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    I loved the thread in this forum "stupidest reason for being fired from a band." This is a variant of that thread, not to be off-topic on the other one. I find reading Musicians Wanted/Avail ads frustrating, yet entertaining at the same time. Same with going on auditions, frustrating during the moment, but often a laugh later on. Please share any:
    • strange audition moments
    • odd phone conversations regarding Muso ads
    • wacky craigslist email conversations etc.
    • projects that just did gel because of personality differences (short while projects)
    Here's a couple of mine.

    First a phone call. This was from the Want Ad Press in NJ back in the early 90s before the internet was widely used. I respond to an ad from a bass player or drummer looking for a guitarist. Phone picks up, and all I say is...

    Me: Hi, I am responding to the guitarist ad in the Want Ad press.

    Other person: "Dude... I really don't have time for this right now." Click.

    Me into terminted phone connection: but it was your ad????

    Another: I was trying to start something with a drummer who I clicked pretty well with. But we had problems getting other people. So he tells me he's got a girl vocalist, and she knows a rehearsal place and it will cost us a few bucks each. So we get there, and all she wants to do is Alanis Morisette covers, the entire first album I believe... (no mention of a tribute band) and maybe one or two other songs. Melissa Etheridge possibly. Now this is about 7-8 years after Jagged Little Pill came out- I could have seen it when the album was hot. But nobody was listening to this in clubs by then. I politely mention this from a marketing angle, and she said "but wait until the audience hears my delivery" blah blah... Ok fine... so we start to play.

    First, she sings in the rehearsal room with her back facing all the musicians and toward a wall which is about 3 feet in front of her face. Posed like she is on stage. (Rest of us all face toward the center of room or the drummer, as comes natural in that setting).

    Next, she refers to the drummer as "my drummer" and the way it was said, nearly did it in for me. I finished out the hour or so of Alanis torture until we were finished. We talked about a follow-up next week, but when I got home I called the drummer and brought up the "my drummer" crap, and he agreed it was too bossy so we decided no-go. I agreed to give her a courtesy call so she didn't show up at the place without us, and left her a voice mail. She wasn't that bad, just a little young and very green, but the other issue was inflexibility when asked about other material.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2009
  2. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Earlier this year I joined, and after much hard work and 4 gigs, quit a band. You know, they were all good people (with a few non-terrible quirks) and good musicians, but it just wasn't any fun for me. Every time we had a rehearsal or a gig, I just felt I'd rather not do it. That was a strange feeling for me.

    Though one of the last straws was when the chick singer came into rehearsal with a list of new songs she wanted us to cover, and every one of them was a terrible song. My reaction was to say, "those are terrible songs," but the drummer was going along with her choices, so I shut up and visualized the last nail in the coffin going in.

    Now I back to playing with some former bandmates, and while we're doing some of the exact same material (minus those terrible songs), it's a lot of fun.
     
  3. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Then there was that time back when I was 29 years-old and I auditioned for an original band. Their songs were pretty good and I had learned 5 of them for the audition. At the end of the audition I asked what their goal was for the band, and they said "To go all the way to the top." Now these guys were my age or perhaps a year or two older. And I thought, "These guys are crazy, we're too old to make it."

    Now, at age 46, I can only laugh when I think about how I thought I was too old at 29. Oh well.

    I didn't get the gig.
     
  4. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    I still laugh thinking about the audition I had about 7-8 years ago where the drummer, bassist and singer stopped after every song to smoke pot for about 10-15 minutes (seriously) and talk about the music.

    They were on this kick about how they were gonna become the best band in Madison and then Wisconsin and then the world. I decided pretty quickly that it wasn't my scene

    As best as I can tell, they never got it together to even do one gig let alone achieve anything. Imagine that.
     
  5. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    Did they go all the way to the top? What "top" were they seeking?

    DS
     
  6. strat68

    strat68 Member

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    Great one... "to the top" reminds me of another one from an acquaintence, not a band sit. I was a working bar band player which he knew, and he says something like: "I have no interest in playing those crap places, I want to go straight to the top." And we were NOT 29 year olds more like 39. He had no band, and no recordings as far as I knew.

    I took it more as a dig toward me and what I was doing. Band had a good local following.
     
  7. strat68

    strat68 Member

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    Here's another of the "short while" variety. Three rehearsals maybe.

    About 4 years ago, I am trying to get with a modern rock band, but this project had some retro style material like the Foo Fighters and Lenny Kravitz, so I was able to fit in better being more old-school. This was a startup project. The bassist/singer was good but I couldn't quite pin if he was just laid back or maybe a tad arrogant. Didn't get to know him well enough, but my hunch was a little both. The drummer guy really puzzled me. Great guy on the first rehearsal, but couldn't figure him out after that.

    So next time, he's all over the place personality-wise. We're all gonna have such a great time, giving me advice to listen to our playlist in the shower (hopefully, just a metaphor of committment :) ). Then 10 minutes later he's bitching that we better get this crap down right away because "we all" hate rehearsing and being here etc etc. We're at the bass guy's house, and it was a decent setup, not a paid hole in the wall rehearsal space.

    We're doing a song, and they comment on my strumming pattern. (An issue I have because modern rock often has more strumming then music I grew up with). The drummer is behind his kit and actually recommending a motion. He's holding is sticks down low by his snare like a guitar neck and making a guitar strum (basically telling me more wrist action). But I can't see his hands behind the kit, and did not pick this up- so he kind of blows up with a personal remark (some thing like "are you deaf?" but I don't remember exactly). Not bad enough for me to walk out, but then I figure out what was going on and just say- dude, I couldn't see that. He doesn't acknowledge or laugh- meaning have enough courtesy to turn the misunderstanding into a joke.

    Next we're working a vocal harmony with myself and the bass player, and for this they are not playing, which is good. To this day, when working a harmony, I turn my guitar way down- no dirt pedals- and will comp (not strum :) the backing chords for reference. So now the bass player starts in with this lecture on dynamics on the verse vs. a big chorus. And that I have to change up my sound/intensity yada yada (the song was that Lenny Kravitz ballad a few years back- forget the name). This all regarding my reference sound for working out harmonies. That was just so 101, and I'm sure that when we were playing it full volume prior to stopping to decide who's singing what for the harmony, I did just that- kick in more dirt on the big chorus or whatever. In fact, I know I did so it was the last straw for me.

    So I politely back out of this gig by phone prior to the next get together. And another year or so later, I get an email from the bassist/singer asking me if I want to "audition" for his project. It appears they are still in the same state as when I left. The email message is forwarded, apperently the original is from this drummer. Scroll down, and he's going off again to the current members on how "we all" hate rehearsal, and to stay focused, cause it sucks to be here. Hopefully, he's a perfect fit for someone... (else).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  8. toneispower

    toneispower Member

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    HAHA! Great stories. Here is mine...

    Long ago when I was around 16 (I'm 22 now)..

    I signed up for a couple of forums and posted some ads for a bassist and drummer. A few weeks went by and I got a phone call from a enthusiastic bass player and drummer. Almost too nice..

    We talked a bit about our background and what music we we're into, seeing they were not into the same things, I kindly backed out of the conversation and said I had to go.

    A few weeks went by and never thought anything of it, until one day I was taking an afternoone nap, when I heard a knock at my door. I opened the door to a long haired guy in his mid 50s, who looked like he just walked out of Woodstock. I was confused because I had never seen him before and was almost intimidated by his looks. I quickly but secretly grabbed my baseball bat from behind he door. He looked at me with a huge smile and said.

    "HEY MAN YOU READY TO JAM?!?!?! IT'S ME '******' ..."

    I almost **** my pants.

    I told my buddy to come over asap, just incase they decided to rob the house. It was THE most awkward jam I've ever had.

    To this day I have no idea how he got my address... as my number wasn't listed. :facepalm -kyle
     
  9. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    Several years ago, I was going through one of those periods when I was just looking for a gig with a band that was already working regularly. I wanted to avoid the build-up, endless rehearsals, etc...

    So, I break one of my personal cardinal rules, and answer an ad for a "Popular, Working COUNTRY band". Now, I dearly love Country guitar playing, but my idea of that genre kinda ends at around 1980 or so, so you get the idea...

    Get to the audition, and it's just the drummer in the garage (his house - very nice upscale neighborhood, which I took as a good sign). So we chat, and seem to have alot in common musically, so I'm hopeful. He says "the other guitarist and the bass player are in the house having coffee... they'll be out in a minute"

    Lo & Behold, here they come... the guitarist is around 60 (no biggie, BUT...) is extremely large with scraggly long white beard, dirty & smelly. Then it turns out the "bassist" is actually this guy's WIFE - which would be fine, except she looks like she just stepped outta the Jerry Springer Show!! Only around mid-30s (I'm guessing), but at least 300lbs, and missing several teeth. Neither of them sing anything but weak backups and they're the most basic of players. The drummer, thankfully, was quite solid.

    So I take a deep breath and play a few tunes - trying to bring out my best (somewhat lamely executed) James Burton & Danny Gatton stuff. And it turns out they want me to do "most of" the singing too (!!).

    After about 10 tunes, they offer me the gig on the spot. Well, I can imagine how my face musta looked as I tap-danced around the issue... explaining how I had "2 other auditions" to check out (a lie, of course).

    The drummer called me a couple days later, and actually apologized. We agreed to keep in touch and possibly work together elsewhere, but I never saw him again.
     
  10. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    OK, here's another one along the same lines... :messedup

    I answer a newspaper ad for a guy looking to put together a "60s British Invasion" band. This is something I've always wanted to do - as long as I've been playing, it's always eluded me cuz I couldn't find guys that were willing to do something that specific (which is understandable, i suppose...)

    He plays bass, but wants to also switch off guitar - fine by me, I love playing bass now & then. Only catch is we need a drummer. Well, we jam a couple times, and definitely have a good vibe going... harmonize well, very similar ideas about a songlist, etc...

    Then the drummer auditions begin, and the real "fun" starts :facepalm

    We bring down 3 guys. ALL of them are into the music (surprisingly), but two of `em dont really sing, which was a must. Then the third guy comes down... very enthusiastic, has a Beatles shirt & hat on, knows the tunes, and (best of all) can sing and harmonize VERY well. SO, I'm thinking "Yeah man, this could be good!"

    The drummer leaves, and the bassist immediately turns to me and says... "Thank GOD he's gone... just something about him I didn't like... don't think I could possibly work in a band with him". Needles to say, my jaw was on the floor. A week or so later, we get another drummer down that was definitely workable, but again this guy had a million problems with him.

    Well, as you can imagine, it wasn't much later that I stopped returning his call. Over the next couple years, I kept seeing him running the same ads in the paper and then online...

    Like an idiot, I actually emailed him a couple years later, and he remembered me and said "OK, THIS time we've got the perfect drummer - i really hope you'll come on down". So we give it a shot, except his new guy looks like Sol Rosenburg from the Jerky Boys come to life (!!), and is a shaky drummer and vocalist at best. Plus, he keeps talking about about how we can work some heavier tunes into the 60s songlist... like GODSMACK (!!!!!).

    We mercifully parted ways after just a couple jams. To my knowledge, this guy is still in his basement (approx. 10 years since I first met him).
     
  11. V-Type

    V-Type Member

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    The cover band Im in now started off with 2 of us on guitar.
    Our other guitarist was good and really nailed a lot of the songs playing wise.
    But my goodness the guy could not use any dynamics of tone for the life of me.
    He wouldnt use a clean channel when called for or would use the same distortion sound going from Crazy Train too Runnin Down A Dream.
    It was really embarrassing when he listened too recordings of practices.
    He also tripped out if you even talked about gigging out.
    I dont know if it was stage fright or sights set too high or what but it really debilitated him as well as us.
    Honestly things are much easier with just myself on guitar after all that.
     
  12. strat68

    strat68 Member

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    THAT is creepy!
     
  13. strat68

    strat68 Member

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    Oh, forgot a few more things about the Alanis Morrisette chick in post #7... I bring my friend from my old band who's both an excellent bass player and keyboardist. He was relocating out of state in about a month, but was just helping me out with the rehearsal.

    Well it turns out, unbeknowst to me, that he was either a closet Alanis fan, or maybe knew those songs from a previous gig. So he starts egging her on playing all this Alanis stuff on his boards, and this girl is elated. I'm thinking to myself, WTF are you doing? But knowing him he was just messing with her. So it was like one week the girl is struggling with just a drummer, then all the sudden she has "her very own" full band in like 2 seconds. Of course, we pull the rug out from under her.

    Two more things came back after I wrote the above. I had just started my current day job position this was in '03, and she just started at the same place, but I was an employee and she a contractor. We chatted about the company briefly after the rehearsal, she was at the same building where I would be spending a month being mentored. So the weeks following the cancellation I mentioned before, I see her a few times in the work cafeteria and was thinking *$*##, I hope she doesn't recognize me.

    Fast forward to '09 and this summer my current band was looking for a female singer. My band mate finds an ad on Craigslist and brings it up at practice "hmmm, seems ok, but what's up with this Alanis stuff?" I was like uh-oh, he then tells me of a phone conversation with her, and says that she can't gig on weekends because she likes to go to concerts and doesn't wanna give that up. I knew it was her.. I look on CL when I got home- same first name. Whew... like a black fly in your Chardonnay :barf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  14. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Wife and I had a touring acoustic duo. We were looking to add a piano player, so we put an ad in the local paper.

    Guy calling himself simply "Soldier" responds and insists he is IT for us, perfect fit, he will rock our world, etc. Just to get him off the phone, I tell him to send a demo tape......to our PO BOX.

    Well, 2 days later, it shows up, and it's a ratty old tape that he had stuck in one of those el-cheapo recorders and let run as he hit various pre-sets on a Casio and recited VERY ANGRY "poetry" over it all. It went on and on and on and on.......scary stuff!!

    Of course, he called that day.....then the next and next and next......finally, I took his call, because his messages were getting more unhinged, and explained that while we loved what he did, we had decided not to add a piano player after all.

    There was a stunned silence, then he spit out at me, with as much venom as I'd ever heard....

    "David Letterman, Eric Clapton, You.......you're ALL the same!!!!!" :eek:

    You can be damned sure that I watched my back for a year or so after that one. I tried to call Dave and Eric to warn them, too, but they wouldn't take my calls. They ARE all the same! :bitch
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  15. strat68

    strat68 Member

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    Both very funny GenoVox!
     
  16. germs

    germs Member

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    Earlier this year, I was looking to try something different, so I found a Christian singer/songwriter looking to put together a full band to promote his album and play some shows.

    Everything was very legit. He had big-league contacts, was doing fly-in solo dates for concerts around the country...so I come into the picture.

    Now, I consider myself professional. The first few times we meet, he hands me a CD and says, "Learn the CD." So I listen to it. I call him back and tell him that I need chord charts and probably need to sit down with him to learn a few of the parts that are buried in the mix. The CD ain't the best quality and the guitar tracks are somewhat muddy and layered to the point of being indistinct.

    That's when the hostility starts. First, he runs through the songs at lightning speed. Like he can't be bothered to show me parts on the album. I thought that was strange. Then he admits he doesn't know them note for note b/c they were recorded by a friend of his (who turns out to be a clinician for PRS - yes the guitars). And yes, they're tough to play w/o some sort of reference point. Oh, and all the songs are capo'd differently, OR open tuned for the album. But I can just play those in standard and transpose, right?

    Things just go downhill from there.

    He wants to be a "pro" and "take it to the next level". But he doesn't know how. That's fine, I can help him. Let's get a drummer and bassist in here. The next week I show up we have a drummer and bassist. The drummer has never played in a band before, and the bassist is barely 21 and only played in a heavy-metal band, but only did a handfull of gigs...great. BUT the guy's a Christian artist and he's pulling musos from the only pool he knows which is his church.

    So I take a quick assesment. Maybe they can be good. We practice the songs once a week for 12 weeks. At the end of each session, the "leader" produces NEW songs he wants to start us learning. And by teaching us, he just plays them through once and is done with it. BUT we're expected to learn the new songs in a few weeks' time...sheesh.

    On top of that is the ever-present passive-aggressiveness of the leader. Every little thing has to be a struggle. Things HAVE to be his way, nevermind that he asked for my help to get him where he wants to go, his way is the only way that will work. For those of you keeping score at home, they haven't worked out yet...

    We have this INSANE arguement about the quality of the players. I tell him that these guys are essentially worthless. Do I have someone else I can get? Yes, I do. But it ain't gonna be free. I can get some guys over here to play for a few weeks maybe to see if they're into the songs (which ARE good) and then you'll need to start booking gigs and paying them if you want to keep them around. His response is, it's not about the money first blah blah blah, it's about the ministry. Look dude, I see your point, but you want to make it, it won't be with Bob and Jim, the amateur players you picked up at the punch social, understand?

    I won't even go into detail about how every email I send him comes back like a freaking FAQ where every sentence I typed is in bold and he responds to me piece by piece - manipulating what I'm saying into a way to prove to me that he's right and I'm wrong about how having a 400lb drummer and a kid on stage in front of 5,000+ people could maybe not be the best decision...

    So a few weeks ago I call him and leave a voice message. Things aren't working out. There's an obvious clash of personalities, and I hope things work out for him in the future. Best of luck, dude...you're definitely the strangest cat I've found so far.
     
  17. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    The funniest thing to me about this story is you still invited the guy in to jam. :aok
     
  18. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    War stories lol. Cool. :banana

    I place an ad for a drummer in the Chicago area, about a week later I get, guy is cool, we chat for a while. So I ask when he can jam, he says "Oh dude, I can't, I'm in Iowa, but I really liked what your tryin to do and just wanted to talk. :thud

    Couple years later, I place an ad for a singer (always interesting experiences THERE). Get a call from a guy, seems alright, so I ask him his experience, turns out his only experience is Karaoke. But I roll the dice and extend him an invite. Now I have to preface the next bit by saying we are a Christian rock band. Anyway, he gets there (with his little Karaoke machine, ummm, ok) and the first thing he says is "I don't do the poor". I ask him what he means and he says "I don't do free gigs". Remember, we are a Christian rock band and this is a guy with zero band experience :messedup. So we are stuck at that point and we go on with the practice. I have the pa so I hand him a mic, he looks at it like I handed him a lizard, he wants to use his little Karaoke machine. I explain to him that it just will not even keep up with the drums, let alone a full band. So he does one song, and he sucks really bad, just awful. He explains he has a slight cold and excuses himself for a few minutes. 15 minutes come and go until he finally comes back. Turns out he says he has a cold so he was in the bathroom snorting warm water to clear his sinuses :eek::messedup. We do another tune and he's still plain awful. So now he insists on using his little machine, so we figure, what the heck, let's just get this over with and get him out of here! So on the next song, he sits in the corner of the room sitting in front of his machine so he can hear himself (we can't thankfully). We then call the end of the practice and he wants to Karaoke one song (he's desperate at this stage), does a U2 song, and he's awful, plain awful.

    About all I could do is say, "thnks for coming dude, but at this point your a raw talent (what could I say) and you need to get some experience for a while first". Just kills me, but for some singers I have found that the less the talent, the more the ego. :crazy
     
  19. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    Hilarious :). I had something very similar happen to me...I call the guy up, a woman answers, I say 'I'll responding to the guitarist wanted ad.' His the woman puts the phone down, comes back a minute later and says, 'Derrick is sunning himself, can you call back?' I said 'No' and hung up.

    People rule!
     
  20. ggwwbb

    ggwwbb Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking....


    I auditioned for these guys about 12 years ago that had been gigging and needed a new 2nd guitar player. They were all about 10 years or so older than me, but it didn't matter to them or me, so I meet the singer/leader one day and we talk about what they are wanting, etc.... he asks what I play thru and I told him a Strat (which I still have) and a Peavey Classic 30. He then tells me that he prefers humbuckers and that if I have something with 'buckers, then I should bring it when the rest of the band is there and we play. Ok, whatever, I can take care of that. So, the next week I show up ready to go, I even put some 'buckers in my Strat-- even tho I had a 'bucker guitar, I really liked that Strat. So we start playing some ZZ Top or something like that and he stops midsong and comes over to me and starts twisting my amp knobs and says "lets see if we can make this thing sound good"!!! I was somewhat shocked. I mean, the PV may not be the best thing out there, but I had it dialed in to get a good classic rock sound going and I thought it fit right in with the song. He made it sound like muddy ****, but after he was done, he stepped back and, acting like he's just done me a major favor, says something like, OK now that the amp sounds good we can play. :eek: We ended up playing about 4 or 5 songs and I never heard from them again....or never saw that they were playing anywhere again either.
     

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