how to quit a band?

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blane
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Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:14 pm Reply with quote

Hi. I have been the songwriter, singer and guitarist in a band for a few years. It has become so unpleasant that I need to get out and regain some positivity. We have no record deal and have no contractual agreements on paper. We simply pay for a rehearsal space and that's it. We recorded a demo a while ago, but that's it.

The thing is - I know my decision to leave will be surprising and I'm expecting them to say I'm not allowed to leave, especially because we had talked about recording more material soon.

a. How would you handle this?
b. do i have anything legal to worry about given the above info?
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lodato
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Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:49 pm Reply with quote

Hi Blane,
I assume you still want do make music but on your own maybe? Even if you don't, you need to be honest with your band mates. At the same time your being real with yourself. You have no legal worries as no documents were signed contracting you to a certain time frame that you'll be with the band. If your heart isn't in it then you shouldn't be either. It might be a bit rough doing this, for them and for you but, in the long run, you'll feel better and they'll get by. If you do nothing and say nothing, that wouldn't be right at all and you'll just grow resentment. As a musician working with other people on such an intense level, you're going to run into situations where you'll need to speak your mind. It gets easier and your skin grows thicker. You need that in this business and in all you do with everything else in life.
I hope this helps you. -r.l
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blane
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Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:27 am Reply with quote

wow - thanks for the really thoughtful response. you're right - i definitely want to keep making music - more than ever actually. like a lot of us here, music is my religion and it breaks my heart to be writing songs and playing in a situation that should be about spreading art and the magic of music to a larger audience. instead, the people i play with make no effort to book shows while i spend time every day emailing venues; i handle the finances. i've done all this because i was so excited to be doing something that sounded like it had a future, but there's no future. like johnny rotten said, you make your own future. i am so forgiving that i've thought it was a problem with me, but it's not. i thought about making a failsafe lie to get out of this (because I know they are going to try all these tactics to stop me), but i think you're right - i need to face the music (haha) and tell the truth. it will be ugly, but i can't wait to be on my own, writing songs my way, and working towards the dream. thanks so much r.l.
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gorgatron
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Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:42 pm Reply with quote

i've been in the exact same situation as you, blane, and it's super frustrating for sure. i can think of few things that have bummed me out more than being in a band that is all talk. add to that all the time you've spent trying to make your dream (and theirs) a reality, and you've got more than enough justification just to quit and never look back. in my situation there was the added difficulty of having a very close friend in the band. the situation was just difficult because i wanted to leave the band, but i also knew that i could possibly lose that friend if they couldn't see my point. in the end, though, i moved out of that town and just told the other members that i was pretty much done putting loads of effort into something that was supposed to be a group effort. the band is still around but basically inactive unless i take a notion to get the others together to practice.

anyhow, leaving will be good for you, since staying with them seems to just add a lot of extra unneeded stress to your life...and being in a band is at least to be SOME fun. if your bandmates understand your point, they'll be cool with it and you might find that maybe one or two of them wasn't "getting it" before and you saying "i quit" might jar them into action. but if they just don't get it, then you just have to move on to save your own sanity. and, remember, you really don't owe them any courtesy...and get your stuff out of the practice space before anyone decides to lay claim to any of your gear. you never know how people are going to react!

my wife has mentioned to me several times how she thinks that my bands are like my "other wives," but it's true to an extent. i've seen some really bad breakups with both women and bands, both of which can get seriously ugly, depending on the caliber of person you've been with all that time.

i agree with RL's advice, but also support the very drastic "f@#k you guys, i'm outta here" approach as well...and i support the approach where you take your gear home and just never show up again. i had that one happen with a band i had joined at the beginning of last year who never kept me in the loop on practices and then ask where i was...and they could never keep to the pratice times they set. so, i just stopped calling or showing up. i finally heard from one of them last month for the first time in about 9 months...they were asking where i had been! Laughing ah, some people!

good luck! Cool
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blane
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Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:17 pm Reply with quote

thanks yo. it's so funny because i don't have any other musicians to talk to about this, so nobody i know can totally understand why this is so stressful. we are one of those indie rock 2-pieces, so that's part of why i resorted to this forum. because by walking away after years of very regular rehearsals and *talk* of recording 'something' that has yet to become a reality, i am breaking up the entire unit. i will definitely be losing a friend out of this. but is someone who disrespects you, never chips in, and leaves all the administrative stuff to you really a friend? i think i was kidding myself. i called them today and said i was quitting. they said they were driving and would call back later. that was over 8 hours ago. no return.

luckily, none of my stuff is at the practice space and the only loose end is rehearsal space money, which i am offering to pay in full, as well as write a check for a handful of rehearsals i missed earlier.

i just want to be done with this because it's so negative.
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smili
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Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 11:41 pm Reply with quote

I don't know jack about the legal side of things, but I'm one of these people who kindof likes songwriting and the creative side of things, but for the life of me I can't envision regular gigging. I get so sick of the same songs and burn out -- but the performance is what some people love. Different people derive energy from different parts of the process.

I recommend finding people with similar goals. Some folks want to do it just for fun, and others like yourself sound like you want to make a serious go of it as a professional musician. Alot of folks just want a hobby and you need to seperate yourself from them and find like-minded pros.
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FiveStarMerch
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Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:18 pm Reply with quote

Don't be afraid to leave. If they say that there is some sort of legal problem, tell them to have their lawyer call you. You didn't sign anything - He won't call because they don't have anything to charge you with.

Good luck,

Owner of FiveStarMerch,
Ethan M.
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foxd05
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Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:03 pm Reply with quote

There is nothing worse than having the eerie feeling of telling your bandmates that you want to quit, but after you get it over with and actually do what you want to do then there is no better feeling. I would not worry about anything legal, you are just jamming out man. I hope everything goes well for you. Keep writing man.
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bandplays
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Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:57 am Reply with quote

You have to do what you feel is best for you and your creativity. Don't hesitate to get out if you really can't stay with them anymore.
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