Why do players lie and 'lead bands on' ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jonno, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Jonno

    Jonno Member

    In these times when it is getting increasingly difficult to get a 'full band' why do some people promise the earth and then change their mind at the last minute ?

    Recently the band I am currently involved with advertised a vacant position and were very pleased when a player of good quality showed interest. This player occupied the same position in another local band but declared that they wanted to make the move and switch to us.

    The necessary trial rehearsals and auditions occurred and the player was offered the position, which they said they wanted. Further rehearsals happened (along with many nice comments from the player) and everything seemed 'hunky dorey' that the player was going to join after the area contest.

    The area 'came and went;' and the player was still keen when suddenly, less than 24 hours after talking to the MD, the player sent a message saying they'd had a 're-think' and changed their mind.

    This whole process had been going on since Christmas and, as we thought it was all sorted, we declined the services of other applicants. These people are no longer interested and have found other playing positions leaving us with a prominent vacancy with two concerts and a further contest all happening within the next 6 weeks.

    Why do people do this ? I know we're not the first (and probably won't be the last) band to experience this sort of behaviour but it does leave a rather sour taste in the mouth. I don't know whether the player thought themselves 'too good' to join and is hoping for something better. It may be other extenuating circumstances but now we cannot get hold of them to ask. In a way they're lucky that the press release saying they were joining had not already been sent as they had given the okay for their name to be put in it, I'm guessing their present band doesn't even know what has been going on.

    I'll open this up for discussion. I'm sorry for the vagueness and my attempts to keep this 'a-sexual' but, despite how annoying the situation is, I don't think the person concerned deserves to be 'named and shamed'!
  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    It does become awfully annoying. You do all that hard work trying to attract someone to the position, to be led to believe that "yes they'd love to join and will do as soon as..." only to find that once that date has passed and you've turned away other applicants that the one you thought was yours turns away. We've suffered this too a time or two.

    It's just one of those unfortunate things that happens, and there's no point getting angry or upset about it (regardless of how annoying and upsetting it can be), unfortunately you just have to bite your lip and try again somewhere else.
  3. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    Maybe it's the opposite and they thought themselves not good enough.
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Having recently moved bands, I know from 1st hand experience how difficult it can be to move from a band for whom you have played for a long time.

    If someone feels under pressure from the band they are thinking of leaving, then I can perfectly understand why they might change their mind.

    I don't want to offend anyone, but if you approached the player, rather than the other way round, then you have no leg to stand on if they change their mind.
  5. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    No they didn't. :rolleyes: And neither do we. ;)
  6. huggie

    huggie Member

    I've experienced the opposite of this (not personally) where a band approached a player and offered them a position. The said player resigned and left their current band at which point the other band revoked their offer. Whether we like it or not this sort of thing happens in banding unfortunately
  7. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Nowt wrong with keeping your options open, try harder to make sure they come next time!
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I can fully understand your frustration, but maybe the player in question realised after some thought that the move just wasn't for them. Having said that, they should've also offered their services for the concerts and the contest if registration rules allowed it.

    Trouble is these days, we're all so stretched for players that these things can become really critical - I daresay 20 years ago this would've been an annoyance and not much more, now its a major issue. :frown:

    Best of luck in your search to fill the seat anyway.
  9. Mephi

    Mephi Member

    Seems like a simple case of a player who didn't have the guts to go through with something like this, possibly due to naevity (we don't know the age/experience of the player) or just lack of spine! The nice comments and assurances were clearly 'saying what people wanted to hear', the culprit was perhaps enjoying the attention that they weren't getting at their own band but didn't have the conviction to go through with it.

    Sorry to hear of your plight and you manage to fill the seat with a genuine player. If you need a dep for anything send me a pm and i'll see if i can help.
  10. Di B

    Di B Member

    There are two different sides of the fence here.

    I know a band very recently that had secured a player after the area contest. The player had verbally agreed to join and agreed this with the band. This player then decided to not contact the band and ignore all calls from the band while continuing to play for their old band. Not very good manners but in the long run that particular player will get a bad name by word of mouth and local bands will be distrtrusting.

    That said, last year I went for a blow with a number of bands and was very close to joining a great local band. I never commited to them and said I would make a decision by a certain date. By this time I had actually found another band that suited me a lot more. For this, I don't feel apologetic as I never agreed to join the band, but they might have (quite rightly at the time) thought that it was a very likely thing to happen.

    So.... my view is if the player and band have agreed the signing then the player changes their mind it isn't fair on the band - particularly if they don't even inform the band, but if the band has assumed the player will join due to their actions but hasn't confirmed it with the player, then that is the bands problem.

    It would be nice if we could all at least be considerate to other bands - at the end of the day banding is a small world and you may need those people you upset down the line!
  11. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    I have had my fingers burnt so often in the past I've taken to wearing asbestos gloves.

    My new maxim is never to believe anything you are told until that transfer is signed sealed and delivered. Keep your options open and have a contingency in place in case it falls through.
  12. eanto

    eanto Member

    I remember a time when our best bands never needed to advertise a vacancy. The faintest hint would be enough to fill the postition. Lower bands usually had a junior/training contingent waiting in the wings.

    A sign of the times nowadays that these replacements are no longer available but I agree it doesn't make fickle bandsfolk any easier to stomach.
  13. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Precisely, a deal is never a deal until the cheque clears;)
  14. Personal Life/Work may have something to do with it, circumstances change and unfortunately we all make wrong decisions. The person involved probably feels gutted that he can't fulfill what he'd like to do - I think players that do this should be given a little sympathy depending on the circumstances. After all, they were only trying to help - and surely you want their continued support for the band from another form such as helping out etc
  15. Robin Norman

    Robin Norman Member

    Similar things have happened to bands I have been involved with both as player and conductor, including some of the 'higher level' ones. I agree, it's frustrating, especially if you turned other applicants away, but I would suggest you see it as 'their loss' and find yourself someone who may, in the long-term, be a better option for you anyway.
  16. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    This thread ties in with the one about approaching players. Moving from a band can be a difficult decision to make as there are usually some sort of emotional ties however small and you can feel that you are letting down friends. On the other hand you only have one musical life and may be far more fulfilled in another band that perhaps is more competitive or of a higher standard.

    To be approached by another band is flattering and people may say yes before they have really had time to consider or they get so much pressure from the original band that they feel obliged to stay where they are.

    All bands want the best players they can attract (and am talking about levels of commitment and attendance as well as talent) so "poaching" and switching to competitors is always going to happen, we just have to deal with it in as fair and mature manner as possible?
  17. ballyhorn

    ballyhorn Member

    If the you knew the player was good enough why did you make him audition?....from personal experience I have been asked by bands to join..then told I'd have to do an audition at which point I turned round and said you know what I can do if you want me I'll come but I'm not auditioning for nobody...Maybe you should have just told him the seat is yours if you want it....then it doesnt put you through the rigmarole of auditions....you get a yes or no answer and a lot less messing about....Maybe my answer just applies to top section bands who generally know the players and their abilities anyway. As for the contest I'm sure you would be able to borrow someone.
  18. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Months after the thread started there's enough time for the dust to have settled now...

    So Jonno, has the band struggled without this player, or did you get a suitable replacement and move on? Who missed out on the bigger opportunity, the band or the player? Perhaps most important - will you consider asking that player again?
  19. woolly

    woolly Member

    Bad manners

    I ve been conducting for just over a year and have learned some hard lessons in that time.

    When initially recruiting players I advertised and we had lots of success. However the one thing that did anoy me was the complete lack of manners displayed by some players who answered the advert and expressed interest. Three players rang me on the night they were due to come for the first time to confirm they would be there. Like a fool I then arrived early to meet them only for them not to turn up. No apology or excuse was forthcoming. I have no issue with them changing their mind, is a free country and this is a hobby not a job, but manners cost nothing.

    Oddly enough I recognised one of those very same players advertising on this site recently looking for a band, what goes around.........
  20. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    From where I'm sitting, it looks like a case of 'eggs in on basket' which is a very short-sighted plan - especially in these days of bands struggling to get players. Alright, you might keep a couple of players waiting for a few weeks, but at the end of day isn't it better to say 'sorry, the vacancy has been filled' rather than telling them they're not wanted only for an unforseen circumstance to scotch any plans the band may have?

    If it was me running the band I would try as far as possible to always have a back-up, just in case. And I wouldn't mind a player turning round and leaving as long as there was some kind of reason behind it rather than 'thanks for the memories, chaps'.

    but then what do I know.....

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