Author Topic: How I handle a band crisis  (Read 1100 times)

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Offline LievenDV

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How I handle a band crisis
« on: July 26, 2018, 10:58:37 am »
Hi guys,

We had a crisis at some point.
every band does. Often more than one.
Thought I'd share a recent experience as story on this forum.
I believe that every crisis has some hidden opportunities you need to seek out.
It still sucks but setting new goals ASAP helps.
Perhaps this story becomes useful when you face a similar situation with your band.
Besides that, I'd like to share it because sharing is what we do here ;)

It made me think about the fact that stepping out of a comfort zone is always a fresh experience but you always have to remember that it is a means to a goal.
Sometimes  it's only a fine line between "being forced to do it" and "wanting to do it while it".

We worked on an album. Most of us were pleased by the result. Except for our lead guitarist.
He wasn't fan of my vocals because it wasn't "metal" enough.
He left the band in a classic "different ambitions and taste" story.
He's still a good friend; he was before and after the band.
He's a lot better than me on guitar and perhaps we was just "too good" to be playing with our little project. He's good because he's a perfectionist. that has perks but traits also.

Even though, the rest likes the album and we continued with the band.
Point Fifty should go on and we would find a way.

The feedback of our lead guitarist kind of struck me of course. I didn't deliver lyrics fast enough, he dind't like my guitar sound. (He did all the guitars on the album but that was my idea, he's a better player).
The feedback was also royally late. Couldn't he have discussed this with me sooner? I'm a flexible guy and I even proposed to find a different singer so i would just play second guitar. Or another guitarist so he could sing. But he already lost his motivation to go own and now he's taking his own metal vocal lessons.

So I was out skilled lead guitarist but I still had a bunch of feedback on my plate.
This was feedback from just one guy but he said to have received feedback that "the vocals didn't match the music" from people in the audience. I believe that because it is a valid point. It is a matter of taste but I'm no grunter and never will be although I'm still quite a bit rougher around the edges than Elvis or Cash when we play with the band.

So what to do? Up my guitar game? Find a singer?
With a little help from my friend euh social network and than some sheer luck, I actually found 2 guitarists.
finding bandmembers isn't easy, never will be but irony wants that our drummer made a website a couple of years ago that is a meetingplace for musicians seeking a band and vice versa.
result; I gave up my guitar spot and I'm on vocals only.
vocals in the band. The thing I was critized for.

So, we did a couple of rehearsals together. One guitarist has a good ear and seems to pick up the stuff nicely, even the harder stuff our previous guitarist came up with.
The other one has less experience in the genre but he's very motivated and lives on a 3 minute drive.
Looking for a good sound and adjusting technique will take some time but we're going forward.
I used to play guitar to keep the structure of the song going but yesterday was my first rehearsal without guitar.

Just a microphone. I've never done that.

How do I hold it? do I keep it on a stand and than take it of, wat do I do with the cable and the mic when solo's are playing?
I started to imagine a crowd and how I would interact to come across as an entertaining act.
Don't literally act out the lyrics but don't go swing your arms like Fred durst of Limp bizkit either.
Man it felt strange but also strangely liberating in a way. The opportunity is that I can can get closer to the audiece, look into the white of their eyes while singing.
conveying more energy than having to mind microphone AND guitar. I used to play easy stuff but it wasn't simple open chords on auto pilot as well.

I startedto look for ways to use the cable and microphone as an extension of myself.
At the same time, should I buy a good wireless mic?

Ok; this will get better. Guess I'll go look some video's online of other singers :)
Even though I also freed some "processing power" to focus on vocals more, I'm still very concious about this being that was receiving critique. So, I have to work on this. even though it was criticism from a limited angle, there is a certain layer of truth that I have aknowledged.

in the meantime I'm trying to find a style that doesn't damage my voice, that I can maintain, that perhaps showcases that I can reach some high and low notes...
when I play solo, it's mostly singer songwriting songs and I reach some high stuff and get feedback that people like the full , lower pieces. I know have at least -some- qualities and I'm trying to apply them on the heavier genre.

I want our band to become a good act.
I'll have to set up some interactions between bandmembers as well.
I'm a fleutn and resourceful public speaker, even when it comes to improvising and yet in band context it gets akward some times.

So, another challenge is to channel this quality and turn this all in a fun act with some limited but clever bindtexts. Meanwhile, The band must come across as a solid act and not just me with some musicians.
I always feel like if it feels like a tiny bit of overacting, it's just about right for on stage.

Let's see how this develops.
We set some goals to work toward. That's important.
I preach it here and I sure practice this :)
A small open podium is the first thing we want to fix as gig and now that we've got the album songs down, I can finally begin the marketing part of our album.

I took a leap out of my comfort zone.
Part of it because I might had to; to face it and to work on it.
Part of it because this was, of all times, perhaps the best time to try it.
It feels akward but fun and I have no idea how it translates but the guys in the bands said they
had to do more work to focus on their guitar instead because they started looking at me.
that means i'm at least moving around :p

(for those who want to check that album: )

« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 11:47:45 am by LievenDV »
my band: fb: Point Fifty | Instagram: Point Fifty

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 12:43:36 pm »
That's something worth considering, if you ask me. Stepping out of your comfortzone, (something i need to work on) and going from guitar to vocals seems challenging. Then again, can there be growth without change? But what's this "not metal enough"? I didn't know there was such a thing. I i listen to metal, and i consider a lot to be metal, i hear a lot of different voices. So who knows what 'metal" really is, or should sound like.
It's like Justin says, if it sounds good, it is good.

Kudos to you and the band for going further in your collective yourney. I sure hope you guys come up with more good work and ofcourse, some festivals later on.

Keep us posted and keep up the good work!
I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Joerfe

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 02:46:06 pm »
It sucks to have band menbers leaving, but a band is a living creature. Members meet and hit it off, but after a couple of years or so, some members will need to go in a different direction. That is normal and expected. Finding replament members is a positive process as they will approach the band and music with new, unspoiled energy.

You got some critique from the guy leaving, great! But remember that it comes from a guy who was NOT satisfied with your performance.
The valid critique I think you should find among your remaining band members.
Sit them down and look them in the eyes while talking about the direction of your voice and maybe your guitar playing.

If you would like to make changes to your vocal sound, get a teacher to help you sound “more heavy” without damaging your voice.

All the best Lieven.

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Offline Drubbing

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 02:55:35 pm »
I think criticism from people who want to stay and play with you is probably more valid. I've never been in a band, but I can understand some of the dynamics that go on. Some people want different things and others want to stay and control direction. It's just as well your lead decide the former.

But look at where you've come from. Are you a guitar playing singer, or an crowd-entertaining frontman singer? There's comfort zone testing and stepping away from who you are and what you do.

Offline LievenDV

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 03:16:23 pm »
yes, you're pointing out what matters; the feedback of the rest that stays :)

I forgot to mention that they "slightly" agree but that it is no showstopper; they are happy with how it sounds now. Heavier would be even better though.
I would like to find some style that is a tad more powerful but not too grunty.
The main reason is not the feedback from the guy who left but also something I want for myself.
I've been scouting for lessons already.

Indeed, it's a living thing. The line-up is the same since 2014 or something so a sudden change has a certain impact. "Change" and the inevitable change should be an integral part of your strategy anyway.

Goal #1: having fun doing it and that's the case for everybody on the project right now.
although singing aint new to me, being the guitar-less-frontman is very new but also a lot of fun :)
I will be co-writing guitar parts though, that way I stay 'connected'

my band: fb: Point Fifty | Instagram: Point Fifty

Offline DarrellW

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 04:12:09 pm »
I think you’re pretty brave going down that route but it’s a great challenge and should be fun. If you’re writing material perhaps listening to a few bands who mix the ‘grunting’ with normal singing - like A7x for example, one of the few Metal bands I really like. Maybe that would be too much of a change in direction but something to think about.
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline Joerfe

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 04:47:09 pm »
Also something to consider:
Playing in a band is very much about how you can contribute the most in the benfit of the band.
If your band members would like you to sound more metal in your singing, you should act on that and perhaps seek tuition from someone within that genre. Not to copy, but to explore your voice to see if you can sing that way.
Otherwise you really need to consider if your voice is up for the task or if you should move to a rhythm guitar position including backing vocals.
It’s all about serving the band and the songs over serving your personal ambitions.

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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: How I handle a band crisis
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 08:38:21 pm »
I remember having a conversation about artists and bands, with two people who know and saw many bands and were in bands themselves. One of them stated that bands are like a relationship. You have a professional, business-oriented side and a private, emotionally-oriented side.

When you're in a band with friends it can be very difficult to say what you really want/need to say and criticize. Like in relationships, when xx--xx's going down, stress goes up and you'll eventually say these things even if it's too late.

I think it's very brave to have given up your guitar spot. You invested a lot of time and money into dialing it in and learning your stuff. However, don't fret. Keep playing.

I'm in a bit of a band crisis myself. Everybody agreed to throw out an album with songs that were about ready to be released but not everybody seems to want to make time to sit down and record their parts. I offered to sit down with the guitar player twice but he declined and said he'd record the parts on his own and back-and-forth it with me until it's right. Yeah, sure. I find it unfair not only towards me but also towards others who have made time to sit down and record their parts with me.
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