We started our current band in late November of 2007. We are now on our third lead guitarist and I just learned that we need to immediately begin a search for our fourth bass player. This despite the fact that we finally have four sets ready and gigs booked.
In the immortal words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, "It's always something."
All bands are creative endeavors, even if the members are "just" playing other bands' music. That means there are four or five creative temperaments struggling to get along, form a consensus, communicate effectively, and put in the necessary amount of work to make everything sound and look good.
The process can (and will) break down at any point. As I've mentioned before, band photos seem to hold a special power to curse a band into losing a member or breaking up. Recording can have the same effect; I've had band members freak out at the prospect of recording the demo in a studio. Oftentimes a band member will quit right as gigs are being booked or right after the band plays its first gig.
Let's not forget the expense. As the lead vocalist, I own the PA system (speakers, amps, mixing board, power conditioner, effects units, microphones, and all the cables necessary to hook everything up). As of last weekend, I am now the proud owner of stage lights as well. I sprang for professional photos a while back, not to mention printing and mailing supplies for our promo packets and some awesome Moo cards that now have outdated photos on them. At this point, I'd have to play at least a dozen $100 a night gigs just to recoup my investment from the past year, much less turn a profit.
Fortunately, that's not the point of the whole process. I love finding fun songs and finding out how they sound when I sing them. I enjoy performing in front of an audience backed by a loud, energetic band. Most of all, I value the friendships I've made with people I've played with, even when things haven't worked out musically or business-wise.
So, we'll find another bass player - probably a really good one who's been holding out for a band that already has gigs lined up. I'll edit our new Facebook fan page when the time comes and replace one guy's photo and bio with another. We'll continue sending our demo to local clubs and gathering new bookings.
It's frustrating, but it's always better to have band members who want to be there. See you at the clubs!