HOW TO LEAVE A BAND-THE RIGHT WAY
It’s happens to the best of bands. Things seem to be going great when suddenly, someone is out of the band. Sometimes it’s voluntary, sometimes it’s not. There are many reasons why this can happen-although it seems that “musical differences” is the reason that pops up the most. While that may be the case, it can also be used as a cover up for a more intense reason. Certainly-saying that you’re leaving because of “musical differences” is a lot easier for everyone than saying you can’t stand someone in the band & if you’re in it any longer you’re going to kick their head in! 🙂
-This month’s article is about the right way to leave a band. One thing to keep in mind is that, if at all possible, you should conduct yourself in a professional matter. What does that mean? If you’re leaving, get the band together and tell them. The last thing you want is to have them hear it 2nd hand. State your reasons & be prepared to have people try to talk you out of it. If you wish to try again-great. If not, do the right thing and tell them. If the band has shows/promos/videos/interviews lined up, you should be willing to fulfill your obligation to them. You do not, however, have to agree to any new ones. A variation of this is to say that you’ll stay until they find someone to replace you, but if doing that, put a time limit on it. Otherwise, 6 months later they’ll be like “well, we can’t find anyone, but here’s another 10 shows….”
-In addition, offering to help out the person who replaced you not only makes you look good-but it’s a really nice thing to do.
-Be as helpful as you can. You want to make sure that you leave on good terms. Do your best not to burn bridges. Sometimes you have to, but if it’s not necessary-don’t. A major part of the music business is networking and you don’t want to be on the bad side of someone very influential (potentially or otherwise) if you can help it.
-If you’re still doing shows or appearances, don’t go blabbing to everyone in ear shot on how you’re leaving-especially if the band hasn’t officially announced the news. No one wants to hear it (well, maybe the people who don’t like the band…). You & the band will be cast in a much better light when the news does come out cause it’s like you guys were still solid through out all of this. It’s much better than being seen as drama queens.
-The times when you do get together after the announcement will be hard. I’ve had to go thru this many times w/ my band CAROLINE BLUE. Sometimes it’s OK, but sometimes its like a fog of tension has entered the room & you can’t wait till the time is up & everyone goes home. Being a pro and being helpful makes this less uncomfortable.
-On top of that, people will view you as being more pro which can lead to more opportunities for you. In addition, if you’re known for bad mouthing, complaining, making scenes and/or being a jerk when you leave…let’s put this way-would you want someone like that to join your band?
-Looks like I ran out of space-right when I was getting into the wrong way to leave a band. Next month for that one!