Signs You’re in a Toxic Band 



I’ve been in quite a few bands over the years.

Right after college, I gigged as a solo original act in a cafe I worked in. Over the following decades, I sang and/or played keys in cover bands of all different sizes and makeups – from duos to a ten-piece wedding band with a horn section.

The predominant lesson I’ve learned from these experiences is that your relationships with bandmates are no different than your romantic relationships.

There are honeymoon periods, good and bad communicators, personality and lifestyle challenges, and conflicts of interests. But don’t worry, there is also Mr./Ms. Right Musical Project out there. Even if you have to create it yourself.

It’s important to think of potential bandmates in terms of a romantic relationship. That’s not because you’re going to be married to them, but because personalities, lifestyles, and end-goals need to be in sync if you want your project to be successful.

I recently joined a project that was not a good match for me.

Granted, I was on the rebound. Another project that I had had high hopes for didn’t work out. As we humans sometimes do after a breakup, I moved too quickly into another relationship. Signs of dysfunction were everywhere, but I was slow to acknowledge and act on them.

In the video below, I share a little about the experience. But before I leave you to check it out, allow me to reinforce what I hope you get from this post:

Things to consider if you’re looking to join or create a musical project:

  • Before you look for fellow musicians, be clear about what you are and are not willing to compromise on.
  • At an audition, remember YOU are auditioning the BAND. Ask questions and don’t commit until you’ve had time to think about it.
  • Know your strengths and what you’re willing to improve upon. Don’t let others decide your contribution or your goals.
  • Let a project go if there are signs it’s not going where you hoped. Try amicably first, but do it either way.

Here’s my tale about the toxic project I just left. Enjoy!

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