Band Drama: How to Deal With and Possibly Avoid It

When I was a kid, I used to watch Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Nirvana on MTV, and was amazed how these group of guys had so much chemistry together that they could create music they way they did. They must have had some strong brotherly love that they even coordinated their wardrobe! Did they go home after a show, and wrote a new song about how good the previous show was? I wanted to be in a band because it just seemed so fun!

And it is! I’ve been in several bands since I was 16 or 17, and there’s no greater feeling than being on stage with your buddies. Basking under colorful spotlights while singing a song I wrote for that girl who’s now watching me front and center. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamt of – fame and glory! Being young and naive, I thought to myself, “Wow, I’ve finally made it!”

Fast forward to today, I’m still rocking… in fact, I’m in two Orange County Dramacool¬†¬† rock bands! Only this time, I’ve experienced more band drama, and I have yet to raise my arms and say “I’ve finally made it!” While part of the fun is rocking out with your buddies, it could also be the downfall. I’m not saying that it’s difficult to be in a band with your friends. I’m just saying, it’s challenging to be with a group of people with different views and goals. Imagine trying to keep Axl Rose and Slash on the same page! At least GN’R have already made names for themselves before somebody finally said enough is enough. Unfortunately for a lot of us, the drama starts early.

What could possibly cause band drama?

Personally, the most common reason I’ve seen is when not everyone is contributing to the band’s success. When one guy is the songwriter and the gig booker at the same time, you would expect the other guys to help with other tasks like promoting shows, graphic design, online presence, etc. Slackers are no fun to be with in a band. They will not contribute to anything… not even practice on their own time to perfect their parts.

How do you deal with it?

Well, first, be honest and open the communication lines. Let the problems and expectations be known without hurting each others’ feelings. Discuss what you want to accomplish with the band. Then observe and see if these expectations are being met. If not, is it time for another band chat? Maybe… but you can only chat so much about these things, and the more you talk about it, the more band drama builds up. You may now be considering replacing a member or quitting yourself.