Today I thought I'd share a short blog (more longly entitled), 'My top 6 signs that it may be time that you leave your band'. I won't be covering topics like financial changes or creative rights controversies, but rather focusing more on just trusting your intuition. This can obviously be a little bit tough, as what may work for one will obviously differ for another, so with that in mind - please take what I am saying here with a little leeway - and use only what may apply to you personally. Remember, this is not the gospel ! This is a tribute. Or more simply put - just my thoughts after playing in bands for the last two decades. Let's get into it.
1.You Don't Feel Valued -
If you're a regular reader of this blog or have never read our blogs before but listen to the podcast, then you will know that self worth is something I preach A-LOT about, and in addition to one's integrity, it's probably the most important asset you have as a creative. Be true to it and protect it at all costs.
2.Your Vision Doesn't Align With Your Band Members -
This can change literally overnight, and if you aren't conversing well as a unit anymore or find yourself questioning various things that you once thought were cool (or not cool), you may find your vision of success no longer matches your bandmates. Various factors can sometimes play parts here and set in, so you may find that it's not too bad, so talk about it and see where you stand. In my experience, if it's something that can't be solved with communication, then you may be out of sync with each other, and that can be quite hard to fix.
3.Someone's a Megalomaniac -
This has always been the worst one and usually a complete deal breaker for me personally, but once someone starts believing that the whole band is theirs (unless you're simply a sideman, it was made clear from the start, or you joined an existing superstar), then there is no positive end here. When megalomaniac type characteristics set in, greed usually follows and if history has taught us anything, it's that when you mix money with people in positions of power (even if that power exists only in their own mind), the outcomes are usually pretty dire. To describe what to do in this situation in one word, run...
4.A Love Of Burning Bridges (and for article purposes I'm assuming it's not you) -
To get straight to the point, some people love drama. Some people like to mix their drama with vices often easily accessible to us folks in the music industry and let's just say that loud, narcissistic drama loving (a little out of their mind people), don't really seem to phased by who they insult, hurt, step on, tear down and/or other. If you're in a band with one of these (and Lord, I hope for your sake it's only one), then you might find that the band will find itself getting a 'reputation' around town (and I don't mean a good one). Again, you may want to find yourself an exit strategy here. Sidenote - if you are the one causing the drama - get your shit together. Have a little consideration for those around you who are trying to help achieve the goal and maybe download the 'better help' app.
5. Things Start Changing Without Your Knowledge -
In most bands there is usually a 'band leader' who the general public often think is some type of artistic visionary, while this can (and is) sometimes the reality for some, the truth is that a lot of bands are in fact run more like business partnerships, especially in the beginning stages before management (and teams) come in and help the creatives take care of the business side of things. If you're in a band that works on the partnerships formula and things that at one point used to be discussed, but no longer are and/or you start to notice changes (no matter how small), question it immediately (in a respectful manner of course) ! If you find that somehow the megalomaniac personality mentioned in point three responds in a manner than makes you feel even slightly uncomfortable in any way, trust your gut and get outta dodgeville, your mental health is worth more than the future vibes coming your way. And lastly - at least for today's article...
6.You're Not Happy Anymore -
Put simply. Life is too short to stay in situations that make you unhappy, feel toxic to your mental health or make you question who you really are (unless you don't know yet - in which case a challenge can be good). If you're not happy, move on, your future self will thank you I promise. Plus, life has a strange way of working itself out, so trust your instincts...