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Old 12-04-2017, 06:26 PM   #1
SGMusic
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Default Band Member Confusion... Need impartial opinions

Okay, first of all, hope everyone's been doing well!

I'll give a brief recap of my band line-up history and then propose my current dilemma.

- I started playing as a duo with Bob (not his name lol) in Summer of 2016. We put up some videos on YouTube, gigged a bit locally, developed a decent following online. We also started dating. We always wanted it to be a full band but never found permanent members.

- Fall 2016, we break up, but we decide to keep doing the music because we thought we had a good thing going.

- Winter 2016, he starts dating someone new, and ditches the band out of the blue because he thought that girl wouldn't like it / would think it was weird. So I'm left on my own to try to find new people to play with and keep the band going because I don't want to lose the following we have.

- Summer 2017, I've finally solidified a lineup and not only kept it going, but found a bass player, drummer, and a new guitarist (his former role). We start a kickstarter, get it funded..

- Fall 2017, we are back in the studio to record our EP. Bob breaks up with that girl, moves back to this town. Messages me asking how I've been and if I would be interested in playing with him again.

Now, things to note:

- Bob is an AMAZING guitarist. Very good. He's just a fantastic musician all around, and he has a lot of experience gigging. Our new guitarist is good, too, but not quite as good or as adaptable in terms of being able to improvise, etc.

- I've already been thinking it would be good to have a second guitarist anyway because we currently have no one playing rhythm consistently (I switch back and forth from keys and acoustic and electric constantly).

- My drummer also knows Bob and has played with Bob, and thinks he would be a good addition to the band (but has obviously left the decision up to me).

Hopefully you can sort of see my dilemma.

I'm conflicted because a) it might be weird because of the past relationship [ I've been with someone else now for over a year and don't give a shit about this dude romantically, but still, it could be awkward]... b) he completely flaked before, and part of me thinks he doesn't deserve to just be let back in like nothing happened, c) I don't want to step on new guitarists toes since they would both probably want to have a lead guitarist role, but then c) he's such a freaking good musician that I don't want to miss out on making my band better and maybe he's grown up and all of the stuff I'm worrying about is null and void?

Of course all of my friends are telling me no just because they never liked him after we broke up (my friends are great, but not impartial lol)..... I just need an unbiased look at this situation to give me some insight. What would you do?
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:59 PM   #2
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IMO, I would rather have a reliable bandmate who is sufficient in skills than a bandmate that is an incredible musician but has proven to be unreliable (flakey) and doesn't necessarily fit in the band.

You are right to take your current guitarist's feeling into account. If you take Bob back in, you may lose this other guy...and if Bob flakes out again...you have no guitar player.

Unless you seriously think the new guitar player is holding you back from success, I'd tell Bob no thanks.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:32 PM   #3
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I'd give Bob another chance. It's all about the music, well for me it would be if I was in this situation. If he's sincerely wanting to make things work, and he's that great of a musician, then let him back in but have a few stipulations. Lay down some firm ground rules, and tell him it will be strictly professional. Hey, people make mistakes, that's how we learn. But, let him know very clearly that if he flakes again, he's gone for good.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:36 PM   #4
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Forget about Bob. Some future GF will object and he'll be gone again.

If you add Bob back, there will be the potential for conflict with your now current guitarist as well. Let the new guitar player grow into the role.

Adopt a new rule for the band - No internal romantic relationships.

Good luck and good to see you.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:44 PM   #5
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I'm with Squid on this one.

Is this literally "your" band? Did you incorporate?

Maybe have a meeting with the existing band members for their take.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BallisticSquid View Post
IMO, I would rather have a reliable bandmate who is sufficient in skills than a bandmate that is an incredible musician but has proven to be unreliable (flakey) and doesn't necessarily fit in the band.

You are right to take your current guitarist's feeling into account. If you take Bob back in, you may lose this other guy...and if Bob flakes out again...you have no guitar player.

Unless you seriously think the new guitar player is holding you back from success, I'd tell Bob no thanks.
I agree completely.

No, I don’t think our current guitarist is holding us back. But I do think having second guitarist would elevate us (especially for live performances), if that makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plankton View Post
I'd give Bob another chance. It's all about the music, well for me it would be if I was in this situation. If he's sincerely wanting to make things work, and he's that great of a musician, then let him back in but have a few stipulations. Lay down some firm ground rules, and tell him it will be strictly professional. Hey, people make mistakes, that's how we learn. But, let him know very clearly that if he flakes again, he's gone for good.
I also agree with this (hence my dilemma).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobF View Post
Forget about Bob. Some future GF will object and he'll be gone again.

If you add Bob back, there will be the potential for conflict with your now current guitarist as well. Let the new guitar player grow into the role.

Adopt a new rule for the band - No internal romantic relationships.

Good luck and good to see you.
This is my fear as we’ll - what’s to stop history from repeating itself?

And I don’t want to cause tension with my current guitarist, since he has been taking a lead guitar approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
I'm with Squid on this one.

Is this literally "your" band? Did you incorporate?

Maybe have a meeting with the existing band members for their take.
It’s my band in the sense that I started it, I write all the songs (currently), I got everyone together, I’ve paid for everything, scheduled everything, booked everything.... we do make group decisions and I include them in as much as possible, but I kind of have power of veto if that makes sense.

If I decide it’s something I would potentially be comfortable with, I will at that point bring up the possibility to the other members (bass and guitar - drummer already knows). But I don’t want to start discussions if I’m not sure how I feel.

Mostly I feel like I don’t want to have anything to do with this guy. But then I get worried that I am missing out on an opportunity for the band from a musical standpoint (especially since the drummer thinks he would be a good addition).
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:58 PM   #7
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The fact that you even have to "think about it" tells you all that you need to know. The potential liabilities outweigh the potential benefits.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:02 PM   #8
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Kick Bob to the curb. Like others have said as soon as he has another girlfriend the same thing will happen and you deserve better.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGMusic View Post
Mostly I feel like I don’t want to have anything to do with this guy. But then I get worried that I am missing out on an opportunity for the band from a musical standpoint (especially since the drummer thinks he would be a good addition).
I think that tells you what you need to know.

You can always get another guitar player, unless there is something very unique about him and his playing and his chemistry with the band that elevates the music you guys make.

Generally speaking, one band member doesn't "make the band", unless the band is formed around one member. In that case, it's more really a solo act with hired musicians, or it's the "<insert name here> Project".

That's my take based on my experience and from what you've said here.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:26 PM   #10
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My thoughts, a firm straight forward conversation needs to be had with "Bob". He's weak in the emotional way of life. If he flakes again your 2nd guitar player may have learned a few things from Bob by then.

Also if your the true leader you make the call as asking the bands input might show weakness. If you have a 2nd that you rely on ask your 2nd his/her opinion about bring Bob back.

You may also want to address how members will be getting paid when you gig out. If your the true leader you might want to take charge of bookings and pay your band a flat fee for their services. The boss takes the hits when things go south, the boss should get the gravy when things work out. Remember, it was you that put this act together.
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