HOW TO LEAVE A BAND-THE WRONG WAY
-Last month I talked about leaving a band the right way. This is bound to come up if you’re in the game long enough.. Someone will either leave the band you’re in or you will leave a band yourself. As mentioned last month, the most important thing is not to burn any bridges if you can help it. Sometimes this can’t be avoided. Networking is very important in this game and the person you dis today could be the person you need in your corner tomorrow. You can’t get along w/ everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have be a jerk to anyone either. Treat others like you would like to be treated and it will help you in the long run.
-So what’s the wrong way? The most common is bad-mouthing. While it’s rare to have it done to your face, it’s very common to have it done behind your back. Sometimes it happens while that person is still in the band. While talking to your close friends about frustrations/problems is one thing, talking to the bands fan base and/or writing about it on public blogs/social network sites can lead to a lot of bad blood between people. There is a fine line between explaining a situation and bad-mouthing. Be selective in your language. The line is usually crossed when the words get personal. Saying someone is late all the time is one thing. Saying someone’s late and that they’re a total jack off lazy **** is another. Unfortunately, one very common skill among many musicians is the art of criticizing. If you haven’t experienced it, you will soon enough.
-One of the worst ways is to leave a band hanging-especially in regards to shows (but it could also mean other things-recording in a studio, filming a video, etc..) The band has a bunch of gigs lined up and suddenly the person bails-leaving not only the band in a bad position but also cheating fans of the band who are wanting to see those shows. I had this happen to me in CAROLINE BLUE. We had 3 shows lined up in 3 months. Right after we finish the 1st show (while we were still in the bar) this guy in CB hands me a resignation letter (while I’m with a bunch of our fans mind you) and walks off. We had an Ezboard forum at that time and the reactions from not only CB fans but fellow musicians was not too good on this guy. So we’re left with 2 shows that , if I hadn’t found guys to sub in a few days later, would have been canceled. I’d also heard thru several sources how I was being heavily ragged on by this guy. A few years later I ran into him and I was polite. As I was leaving he said if I ever needed his services again to contact him. Nice huh?
-Bottom line-the business is hard enough as is. If you’re leaving, be upfront about it, honor your commitments to them, and be helpful & respectful.. You can always trash talk later when you write your autobiography (HA!).