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Thread: Think we have a problem...

  1. #1

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    Default Think we have a problem...

    So my new band just did its third gig Saturday, a backyard wedding party attended by 120 people. We went over well, the people kept us playing well past our 8PM original end time, and we played some requests, even a song we had never even practiced before. The groom tipped us an extra $100 and said he especially liked the song we learned specifically for their first dance, Harvest Moon by Neil Young(which I also sang).
    Here's the problem. We have a great female singer, and this was her 2nd gig with us because she was out of town unavoidably for our first gig. The first gig went pretty well after some initial sound issues, but she had a couple of flubs and hit some bad notes.
    We got this latest gig because our singer is a very good friend of the groom. She knew virtually every one of the guests as well. In the practices leading up to the gig, she kept reiterating how this had to go well because it was very important to her. When she arrived at the gig, I noticed she seemed a little overwhelmed at the number of people there that she knew. Maybe that made her nervous, but she is a seasoned performer, having played for many years for many large crowds in some impressive venues. She proceeded to have a glass of wine, the first of many apparently. She did a lot of extraneous talking over the mic, calling out people by name and being a bit obnoxious even. Through the night I did notice her missing some cues and even forgetting a part altogether, where one of us had to jump in and sing her line until she realized it and came in.
    I recorded the second set with my Zoom, hoping to get some good footage for promotion. When I listened to it, it didn't sound as good as it did while we were playing. Everyone had a few mistakes, (including myself), but her performance was pretty awful. As I said before, she is a great singer and generally is a pro, but seeing this makes me wonder if I even want to share the stage with her.
    I had some brief discussions with some of the other guys and we're kind of hoping that, with this being her friends wedding and her knowing all of the guests, maybe this was an anomaly and won't be a recurring theme, but she tends to drink a lot in general and I'm afraid what we have on our hands is an alcoholic. This band has great potential, and although I really like her as a person and consider her a friend, I can't get on a stage wondering if I'm going to be embarrassed by someone else's behavior. I left my last band partly for that reason and I have plenty of other opportunities to play without this unnecessary drama.


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  2. #2

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    Default Re: Think we have a problem...

    My thought is to talk to her about it first and lay out your concerns. If she responds positively, then maybe you won't have that problem again. I like to try and give people the benefit of the doubt. But of course, if it goes in the other direction, then you know you've done all you can and the decision will be made for you.

    Good luck!
    - Tom

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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Think we have a problem...

    I definitely want to give her another chance. She plays with 3 other bands as well, so I figure if this really is a problem it would come up in those situations as well. I sent her and the rest of the band links to the recordings from the gig, without any comments, hoping that she and the rest of the band will see their mistakes and correct them on their own. I am the one who is closest to her as a friend and I may take her aside and talk to her about it. She is extremely self critical though and I'm hoping just hearing her own performance will set her straight.


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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Think we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by nubdrummer View Post
    I sent her and the rest of the band links to the recordings from the gig, without any comments, hoping that she and the rest of the band will see their mistakes and correct them on their own.
    This should work.................and when it is brought up, then you can say this................"I like a nice beer or wine as much as the next guy, but maybe we should commit to waiting until our last song is complete...............the band will be in good form.................and the treat will taste great."

    For me personally, I drink a lot of water when I'm in a gig...................then a beer or two after.
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  5. #5

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    My first band my bass player was an alcoholic and was smashed all the time. His primary job was a worker at a oil refinery and went to work drunk. His brain cells were shot he could not remember none of the songs and at that time we only had 6. The straw that broke the camel's back was when we had a labor day gig and he was so drunk and frustrated he threw his bass down and stormed out of the venue. Good bye and don't come back! My brother calmed him down and he eventually came back and got his stuff. After that gig we made a pact : Not to drink until after the gig and rehearsals. That was 30 years ago and I still honor that pact to this day.

  6. #6

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    Great pact as you know especially if you play clubs where booze is sometimes given by fans who appreciate your music but at the same time turning you into a drunk.

  7. #7

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    my old singer was an alcoholic for sure and it didn't end well for us.
    I couldn't stand it after awhile and I choose to leave.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nubdrummer View Post
    I definitely want to give her another chance. She plays with 3 other bands as well, so I figure if this really is a problem it would come up in those situations as well. I sent her and the rest of the band links to the recordings from the gig, without any comments, hoping that she and the rest of the band will see their mistakes and correct them on their own. I am the one who is closest to her as a friend and I may take her aside and talk to her about it. She is extremely self critical though and I'm hoping just hearing her own performance will set her straight.
    In my opinion, the best thing you can do for someone is tell them the truth no matter what the outcome. Be gentle but firm. Professionalism has to come first. Maybe issue a '3 strikes out, you're out' policy.

    Good luck!
    - Tom

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  9. #9

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    We had a practice last night and there was no mention of the recordings of the Saturday gig , although the guitarist did suggest that we practice one song she did particularly poorly. She seemed a little confused as to why he picked that song specifically to do since we were working on new songs last night and not going through the existing set. But we did the song and she did it perfectly.
    Now this Saturday we are playing at the guitarist's girlfriend's house for a party, which is going to be more of a casual jam. I'm curious to see how she will behave. She will be coming straight from a gig with another band and driving a bit of a distance, so I don't expect her to be drinking. Once she arrives at the party that may change. Next week we are the "featured band" at a jam at a popular club in a town full of good music venues. It will be a good opportunity to showcase the band. Our singer is a good friend of the host band and again, will know a lot of people(mostly musicians) in the audience. This will be a test. I really hope she behaves herself these next 2 gigs.


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  10. #10

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    If she has a drinking problem and is with 3 other bands, it would have really shown up by now. The fact that she plays in 3 other bands would bother me more.

  11. #11

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    No drinking before or during the show. I don't drink anyways, but I prefer to play with band members who follow this policy.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    If she has a drinking problem and is with 3 other bands, it would have really shown up by now. The fact that she plays in 3 other bands would bother me more.
    I can't complain about her being in 3 other bands - I'm involved in 2 other projects myself. Most players around here are in several bands. One of her bands is a temporary fill in situation and another doesn't gig very often, so it's not really a problem.


    2017 DW Design 5 piece Tobacco Burst
    Evans, Remo

    2010 Tama Superstars 5 piece Birch BPG
    Evans, Aquarian

    200? Gretsch Catalina Ash 4 piece Black and Silver Sparkle
    Evans

    1980 Slingerland 7 piece Poplar/Maple White
    Evans

    Tama SLP Black Brass

    Yamaha DTX532k

    Alessis Sample Pad

    Tama RoadPro hardware
    Speed Cobra 310 bass pedal
    Camco/Tama bass pedal
    DW5000 double bass pedal

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    18" China
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    19" A Rock Crash
    20" A Ride
    20" A Custom Ride

    Miktek, Audix and Shure Mics

  13. #13

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    Personally if she's in several other bands and she's a bit partial to a drink or several during a gig....i would be looking for a replacement pretty pronto...that's just my personal opinion mind. If you play in several Bands you are not putting full commitment in....one band 100% commitment

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by nubdrummer View Post
    I can't complain about her being in 3 other bands - I'm involved in 2 other projects myself. Most players around here are in several bands. One of her bands is a temporary fill in situation and another doesn't gig very often, so it's not really a problem.
    I'm a 1 band at a time guy. The thing with being in more than 1 band (the way I see it, you're in 3 bands, she's in 4) is that it's inevitable that 2 of those bands will be booked for the same night at some point in time.

  15. #15

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    I quit my last cover band because the bass player was a raging alcoholic and my last gig sounded like your wedding gig. I don't think she'll last too long in any band. It sounds like she has a self-destructive personality. I'd be looking for a replacement soon. Good luck nub!

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