“All things must pass, all things must pass away”, George Harrison once has said in one of his songs.
And while it may be true in every sense, it is also true for the conflicts in a band. Some conflicts can be avoided, while others result in short-term relationships. Also, some bands and members learn these lessons the hard way. Here are few tips to keep your band together.
Make Everyone Sign a Band Agreement
Decide and write down formally a band agreement on which everyone should sign. What is the role of each member? How will the profits, publishing rights, trademarks etc will be distributed? What are the short-term and long-term goals of a band? What happens when someone leaves the band? How will you eliminate someone from band? Discuss all these things upfront and move forward on the terms everyone has agreed upon. It is usually difficult to decide the terms, but the band will be happy once you have done it. Make sure you follow this even if you register yourself as a band on some online artist booking portals.
Spend Time With Each Other Outside The Band Obligations
Yes, we know after that amount of touring, recording and gigging together, you must be sick of each other already. But, meeting outside as friends will help you stay connected and will help you to discuss the constraints of the band such as time-crunch for practice, availability of gigs, and hanging over the conversation. You can also discuss the goals of the band, the kind of gigs you want to get in future, the attitude of the music producer you have taken up recently etc.
Conflicts can arise even in smallest of bands. That’s obvious; but you should try to minimize its effect. Don’t let power dynamics, aggression, or gossip eat away your band from inside. When you are touring, make sure to spend some time with any one of the band members in each city. Grab an instrument and try to pair with any of your band member, if you are keen on sectional rehearsals. Change your carpool arrangements and place the responsibility of arranging it alternately in hand of each member.
Everyone in a band needs to feel a sense of ownership in order to motivate himself for the betterment of band. The easiest way for this is encourage everyone to talk about live band’s performance, music, style of songs etc. Everyone doesn’t have to agree with each other, but at least everyone is heard. The final decision about any aspect of band should be based on majority in the band. In the end, mention the clause in the band.
Work on a Solo-Project Independently
Sometimes, you don’t want to compromise on various things. May be you want to record a song which you have written but the guitarist hates it or you have a magnificent idea about marketing of the band, but everyone is confused about it or maybe you want to replace per-recorded synth tracks with a bass player and everyone does not agree to it. Keep the ideas which everyone is not happy about for your solo project. Work on it in your leisure time and keep it for bad times. Hence, these ideas will help you to flourish as a successful band with happy members.