View Full Version : Band Leader OR all members are equaly entitled

04-09-2005, 08:43 AM
Hi guys
My drummer said last night "in this band Everyone is the boss":confused:
Vs---Control Freak /LEADER/ clichqee

O.K. No one want's to be a boss and I'm wanting your experience and banter about the following.......Themes

DOES A BAND NEED A BOSS????? Is it Idealistic to say all band members are the Boss in the writing procces, and everthing ever?

Do the best bands come from the Lead-Alpha type of guy writer - Muso-finds- reciter/performer follower contributor kind of way of -writing.....

Are all songs all an exception and should be treat in a Loose way getting strickter where needed to make the song good??....I like this way of looking at it....Everyone is a kind of baby and needs it's own solution almost everytime Different??

Does the best music come from a band who write every single phrase/ riff
Bar/ all together...????:(

Does it, as in Good music, come from a band where the members listen and respect the writer and his judgement???

Can anyone think of any good examples of both extreems which still had in the end success and made the big time.....or just stick to your own band story

for example the diffference between the Fantomas and Mr Bungle.....He believes that Mr Bungle is one of those band which every member put in to and wrote the songs together. which in a way is more of an interesting band than the Fantomas.......He also has heard that the Fantomas
have had a reputation of the control freak way of writing where the other band members did not have much say???

In my experience I find it sad to see bands fight to get the music out which should be a kind of mutual procces.....

I would risk saying that now and again you doo need to let someone in the band Lead a bit and make songs clear.....Other wise nothings really going to happen RIGHT? ...the stuff would probably not get finnished?
Please...Comments on your bands

writing successes-and disasters-Nightmares-Escapades conflicts --Functioning HAPPY BAND perfect harmony;)??? Idealistic-or possible??
CONTROL FREAK MONSTERS:eek:slave band??? Sad reality..in the end???

Both ends of the scale are interesting

04-09-2005, 09:21 AM
I am of the opinion that a single person should have a sort of a "greater plan" behind each tune/song. This is sort of a "watered down composer" ideal if you will.

A lot of great music has been made by people together, but very often, a single mind had a greater intention with the music. This "will" to make something more or better, can be a very driving and creative force. This force is neccessary in a band, whether you get it from a single person or more.

Miles Davis was such a "master planner", especially on the famously beautiful album Kind of Blue. He wrote out simple melodies along with chord, but generally left much space for the other soloists. The musicians on that album were top notch though.

The pros of having a "Single Composer":
- A strong idea or sense of direction in music is a creative force
- Ideas end up as fully coherent, (hopefully) in the way he/she wanted

The cons of having a Single Composer:
- Music can suffer from little variety
- Band members may disagree with the music, this can lead to conflict
- Band members may feel the have little to say

I think there's a difference between a band leader and a Single Composer. While the band leader is more of a organizational figure (arranging pracice, booking gigs and so on), the Single composer is a character in charge of the musical direction of the band. They might be the same person (and this seems to be most frequently the case) but I don't that is neccessary.

I think that a bandleader is a must. Someone must inevitably do the dirty work of calling up all the bandmembers and finding places to practise. This doesn't happen by itself. As with the single composer, I don't know.

04-09-2005, 09:39 AM
Hi FACTOR and not the Krypton
Cool!.... So you also kind of agree it's a bit to Idealistic to qoute

("everyone is the boss in this band")

Toung in cheek and childish as it might sadly sound
Funny I listend only last night to another kind of BLUE.
I feel It's too vauge and nonsense to take the Everyone, everytime, bus in the future.

I just wish the others would now and again bring a few rough versions in AT LEAST....but when that's not happening what choice does one have but to keep writing alone or at least the 1st couple of Ideas......

What annoys me is ....I bring stuff to a practice and see long faces.....and am often told not to bring ..so called fix and finnished ideas to a practice.
Waving Fingers...Looks of anguish....:confused:...I have to still them,pascify, and say."Hey It's just an idea and I kind of heard it like this".....?

They gett tossed around and experimented with and I see them trying to change it...but in the end it anyhow ends up Exacly as I heard it in my head and wrote it.........It's like people feel intimdated when you know what you want???....and they find it hard to accept that it generally does work with that first impression.....

04-09-2005, 11:34 AM
I think it also depends on what kind of style of music you are playing.

I wouldn't think of writing out a tune for my jazzband note for note, because I want that vital element of improvisation, and I'm not good enough to be writing jazzarrangements anyhow. :p

Now, as for metal, if I were to present a tune for the metal band, I definately would want to have a clear idea of the riffs, the structure and so on. I wouldn't be too specific about how the drums should be, because I'm not hearing the drums in my head. I leave that to the drummers creativity. I also write out the bassparts (beeing the bassist of course), and guitars. Metal is hard to improvise, as the style isn't really that well suited to that. Besides, my bandmates have little to no theory knowledge, so we can't really communicate abstractly about the music.

Blues/Rock/pop would be sort of a mixture of these. Perhaps you want to write out the rhythm guitar, give hints to the bassist/drummer about the timefeel you are looking for, or just let them pick up something. Sologuitar I would leave for the soloist. Perhaps you could write out the basic melody or something.

Are you familiar with Opeth? They play metal, and their music almost exclusively the result of the musical mind of Mikael Åkerfeldt. They are the typical example of a Super Composer, and their songs gain epic proportions because of that (Check out the excellent album titled "Morningrise").

04-10-2005, 01:26 AM
wow thats a ton of questsions to wade through!

my opinion is that, while nobody likes to admit it, most any successful band (at least of the metal/hard rock genre, if you follow your behind the musics) seems to have a very clear band leader. This is usually why they break up 8 years down the road, he becomes a tyrant and they stop selling records.

Anyways it keeps them on track, keeps the music vision the same, enforces the rules etc. You can look at Axl Rose, Hetfield/Lars, Dave Mustaine, Nikki Sixx bla bla bla.

It sucks and nobody likes to admit it - after all its no longer a band, just a guy with some backingm usicians, but if you make it far that would seem to be the case. Even in Dream Theater, although you'd think all the band members have huge roles, really Portnoy controls the band, and sometimes petrucci adds his input; Myung and the rest (from what I've read) have very little input. Whoever writes most of the songs, or a majority of them and wants to deal with the financial aspects seems to come up with this role, and since they're doing most of the work, shouldn't they have a greater say?

I'm not really sure, but you have to admit it makes some sense...

04-10-2005, 10:29 AM
Yes, the Tyrant syndrom is a real laughable rut to be in.....Looking on the lighter side...think of bands like Spinal Tapp and probably only English folks may remember BAD NEWS....:D....Which was a bassic Take the michael/Mickey
Make funn of Take the P_ss out of the heavy metal scene in the 80s.....

And the macho chest beating type of Band leader and the constant arguments in a band which can happen........It's pathetic when people can't communicate without shouting or subtily boycotting material with out having the guts to say they Don't like it.

I hade a great jam with my drummer yesterday and was a very productive day, but am tired of certain ugly manipulative methods and ways which despite all, rear their ugly head.......

((This is a Forum and therefore hopefully full of
Truth junkies also..so I'll mention a few things happening to me personally and maybe someone has had simmilar experiences......)))

ie; For example when I want a part a certain way as when I write it and ask the drummer to play to it....somtimes am told...." If you want it like that the get a band on your own and be a BOB JOVI on your own......

I'm quite a placid person and often willing to compromise quite often but still labelled a control freak........When I ask for something a certain way it tends to get overlooked........and I find my self time after time
doing it ...In the end how the others imagine it /Twist it in to Bieng/ending up/Tottally different timing etc etc
......It's such a dilema because my Drummer is an extreemly talented fella and technically knows his stuff and counting to an astonishing level considering he's only played 3 years......Therefore would be a big loss to lose him BUT????

With that you kinda say O.K. I'll compromise and keep the peace but in all honesty it ends up with almost every arrangment how he want's it which now and again is Prety cool but I'm starting to fear It's going the slippery slope to a one way Autocracy.......and find It getting quite inverse and the
am wondering how to balance that out again???:( get sick of bing accused of when writing something of bieng a control freak or a Bon jovi.....and all these kind of Subtile put downs you can do without.............

In the end It gets suspicious as to who really is the Little budding tyrant?

P.S I know all this sounds petty, but not to mention it Would be weeker than not to........Kind of a negative theme but here many other folks in Bands I know Split up for simmilar reasons mentioned

P.S. FACTOR mr_ I'll try and check that band out you mentioned.......
Right now I'm in to a whole skitzzo bunch of vibes_Incubus=
(fantastic Crossovers in the arrangments)
-Melvins with Jello biaffra - Manual Iman - Mr Bungle -Apoccoliyptica -Lauden Wainright
the 3RD - 4WALLS &&& hundreds of other music directions which don't really go together.:p

04-10-2005, 02:01 PM
I think bands need direction, so it is good to have one (or two) people that really drive issues. If one guy is late to rehearsal every week by 30 minutes, or gets drunk at gigs, or whatever, you need somebody to step up and take charge and get resolution to the issue(s).

Creativity is a different issue entirely. Most great bands have one great main songwriter: Hetfield, Sixx, Van Halen, Sting, that Nickelback guy (Chad Kroeger?), and so on. It is very rare to have multiple great songwriters in one band.

The Eagles are a rare exception and they had about 5!

04-10-2005, 02:03 PM
In the past, I have had the same experiences. I don't think I have a solution, but I will tell you the approach that worked for me once. I told my friends that I hear things in my head and I want to try them out. It doesn't mean that if we continue to perform this piece, that we would continue to perform it the way I hear it in my head. But indulge me your time and your chops long enough to let me hear it in the open air and to share that experience with all of you. Maybe my drum part, bass part, etc, isn't to die for, but allow me the opportunity to learn and experience why, and I will indulge you the same. Those changes, mods can always come later, and usually do.

04-10-2005, 04:03 PM
Hey Bob, Thats exacly what I try to explain...as in Try the Idea as I heard the thing in my head, because usually if it sounds right and you learn to trust your subconcious......and afterwards put it down /Lay it down Groov on what you sang in the Bath It usually is Real music once you learn to let the FLow and translate what your hearing.........in to the theory and notes you need

My Lorddiee I'm getting of the point....all i think is important in a band is that they at least try the idea even if they don't like it at first and learn to get along with it....as you say ...and I try and explain my Yongsters I'm with now
not to boycott stuff so early (BECAUSE IT WILL DIVERSIFY LATER ) but when no one gives it a chance....It's a pretty Boring Narrow minded way of going about breaking open the Creative Chain/Proccess.........

This is another reason Why I believe many bands have Quite alot of conflict
is the Chaos theory.....For example ...in the 60s/70s there was not an astonishinyly Vast array of styles and Bands as now in 2005/

(Please imagine a Time travell to Pre 1960-70 bieng in a band):eek:

For example lets say P-Floyd or so had not that many ROck or musical icons to look up to as we have now there fore whilst jamming writing happend with out so much animosity and Hopes / preconcieved ideas about what YOU/they want from the music, from the band/ Style so on and so forth..It must of been a bit more free because they were not really botherd about trying to copy anyone or a STYLE and just did their own thing and enjoyed the Feeling a bit more.

(2005 and present)
My god the standard is astonishing......the .....Millions of musos out there also---THe standard has somehow gone up, in some ways so to write stuff in the present day is quite a nightmare to keep everyone happy.....

I go on like a wasching machine:( Maybe People should stop worring about how the end sound is going to come out and simply let go a bit.....Without constant boycotts and try and support the others ideas if they bring any....? and patiently give them a while before judging the final verdict. and support them as a person and Musician.....Tastes have naturaly changed....therefore the Musos with it........Now and again Not only to recite and let it bite, but instaed .....Do the procces without so much High hopes would be nice to see not such a battle ground

04-10-2005, 04:41 PM
Working in a band (non-paid to rehearsals) is like a marriage. Difficult to co-exist without respect, civility and sharing. That's why they break up so quickly. Paid rehearsal means you do what the payer says - no problem there, do it or walk. So like I said, I really don't have a solution for you. I've encountered the same problems and only once has it ever worked out. They were all good musicians and writers and we had one rule we agreed upon: We did what the writer of the piece wanted first. Whoever was the writer was the leader. We had 4 writers! Some collabs too. Not that this would work if everyone was pulling in different directions. And eventually, we did pull in different directions. But no animosity between us.

04-10-2005, 04:51 PM
Thanks Mr BOB
You said it- ..." pulling in different directions all the time"

Thanks for your comments......I liked your Keyboard chord sets:) Wierd chords or what:D Astonishing all thease triky Chord names and and definitions.
I'll shut up as that was in the other section.