Anonymous asked: Brian, being of an experienced ilk when it comes to being in a band, what advice would you give to someone dealing with a wayward band member? Not answering texts, showing up drunk, not showing up, very defensive, not much creative input, yet gets a pass for being an awesome player and general lack of any replacement. I ask because I realize this type of behavior does not simply stop once success or bigger things come a long and having heart to hearts seem to render fruitless. Thank you kind sir
That’s a tough one. I’ve never asked a bandmate to leave.
I will say this—no band is a utopia. We all know about famous rivalries between band members (Fleetwood Mac, Husker Du, Spinal Tap, etc.) but there’s a tendency to assume that if there isn’t any public friction between band members, then their relations are idyllic. That’s not the case. Bands are like marriages or workplaces: even the most functional arrangements have some issues.
Except for Russian Circles, of course. We’re like Ozzie & Harriet.
But you’re absolutely right: success does not cure behavior problems. A musician friend of mine once noted that the bigger bands he toured with always seemed more miserable around each other, while the opening bands always seemed to enjoy each other’s company. If you’re having issues with someone now, those issues are sure to get worse as you spend more time around each other and as your art/careers/lives become further entwined.
Honestly, if the guy isn’t showing up, not responding to texts, and not offering input, it sounds like he’s not interested in the band anyway. That’s not the kind of person you want to make big commitments with.