Not every band had a decades-long career; sometimes it can be more beneficial to just walk away.
It can be hard to abandon a project you’ve put so much of your life and time into, but sometimes, even the best bands break up. In the last few months I’ve watched many friends go through transitions like this, wrestling with such difficult decisions. But there are times when it’s just better to let sleeping dogs lie—here are some of them.
WHEN YOUR HEART JUST ISN’T IN IT ANYMORE. If you’re playing in a rock band but really want to be playing metal, you should do so. It’s not genuine if you’re not feeling it, and your fans and bandmates will definitely be able to tell. You need to be doing what feels best to you. You’re cheating yourself and others if you’re not.
WHEN IT BECOMES MORE ABOUT ONE PERSON’S EGO THAN THE ACTUAL BAND. So often and so sadly this becomes the case and it’s one of the most annoying things I have witnessed in my time running from garage to garage to basement to dive bar with friends and on tour(s). I call it Lead Singer Syndrome, but it’s applicable to any member. If talking about it and trying to soldier through it is ineffective, accept that this person would much rather be a solo project and move on. You’ll save yourself a lot of annoyances in the end.
WHEN YOU FEEL DRAINED CREATIVELY. Breaks and hiatuses are an important and necessary part of the creative process. Don’t burn yourself out. Do something else for a while. Gain new life experiences to write about. Take care of yourself. Seriously.
WHEN PRACTICES START TO FEEL LIKE STREET FIGHTS. If your personalities are clashing that fucking badly, end it. End it fast. You don’t need to be stressing about who’s gonna flip the switch at practice or worrying about who’s gonna be shitty first in the group text. Your writing and playing will suffer, and that won’t make anything better. It can literally only get worse from here.
WHEN LIFE HAPPENS. If you get an amazing job doing something that you love and actually make a living doing so, your friends/bandmates should be stoked for you, and you shouldn’t be risking that to go on months-long tours. It doesn’t mean you’re not rock & roll anymore. It means you’re making other things happen for yourself. It means you’re comfortable and content. That’s in no way a bad thing. In the event that your bandmates don’t understand this life transition of yours, don’t worry. It’ll blow over the first few times you lend them money for rent or groceries. Doing what you feel you should be doing goes well beyond the scope of just being in a band.
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