Fuckin’ guitarists, man… how do they work?

So at the moment I am not in any band, and that is sad. I haven’t been in a band that played shows since late 2014. The last band I was in ended in May of 2017. This was a band that myself, the drummer, and the guitarist had been working on since mid-to-late 2016, and it felt very promising. This was to be the first band where I would be the lead singer, along with being the bass player. I was getting the hang of singing and playing more and more songs, stuff that I thought was impossible for me in the past. And my voice was getting better all the time, though it was a rough start on some of the songs we chose. And it was a band that was a long time in the making, so to speak, with all three of us having a former band in common, and the guitarist and drummer were childhood friends.

Oh, and the songs… since all three of us had similar tastes in obscure songs, we were diving right into those to get them out of our system, with plans to add more common songs later on. The plan was to build up a huge pool of songs so that we would never play the same show twice, and also be able to switch gears and arrange our setlist according to the crowd we would be playing to at any given location. We were learning songs such as Not Fragile by BTO, Tomorrow’s Dream and Snowblind by Black Sabbath, Better By You Better Than Me by Judas Priest, and Too Hard To Handle, just to name a few.

Our practice space was an old unheated shed, so when the weather became colder, we had to take a hiatus over winter. Spring came a little early that year, and we were able to get back into the groove of things by March. We added a few more songs and worked on them, and finally had enough songs for at least one set, which would also be enough to at least open up for another band until we had more songs under our belts. It was going really well, or at least I thought. The ironic thing all along was the guitarist never choosing any songs. Yet, he is normally a very outspoken person, and we would always ask him if he had any songs in mind, and he was always declining to name any and acted as though he was satisfied with whatever the drummer and I chose.

Then came May. In the week leading up to our next practice, the guitarist, from here on out to be known as “Kunt”, started to become a bit non-responsive when I would message him about our next practice, giving short, terse answers when he would respond. A day before practice, I asked him if he wanted to practice the next day, and he just said “I don’t know.” And that was it. Practice came, and he didn’t show, and didn’t respond to phone calls. In the next few weeks, the drummer and I tried calling, texting, and messaging him, but he would never respond. After over a month of this, we gave up. It was crushing, and very confusing since there was no explanation, so all we could do was guess- Was it my singing? Was he angry because he never chose any songs? In hindsight, I do recall him mentioning a song once, but he never pressed the issue, and we flat out asked if he would like us to learn it, and he would just sort of shrug his shoulders. Was that the straw that broke the Kunt’s back, so to speak?

A few months later, we start seeing posts by a mutual guitarist friend, which were videos of practice sessions of a band he was working on. This was a mutual friend who was also a former bandmate of all of us, and also another childhood friend of both Kunt and the drummer who Kunt would relentlessly talk shit on at every opportunity. Before we had started on this band, he would also talk very resentfully of the drummer when he suspected that he was dropping everything to go and jam with this other guitarist instead of him. Yet, lo and behold, there was good old Kunt in these practice videos, now playing bass for this guitarist’s new project. Also, through word of mouth, we found out that he was saying that his reason for abandoning our band was due to the drummer’s attitude. This drummer, his childhood friend, is one of the nicest guys I know. The only attitude I ever recall was him bitching sometimes about his own inability to get some parts of songs right. But, this was always to himself, and very brief. It wasn’t like he was outright flipping his shit and taking it out on everyone. In fact, the only attitude I recall in the whole atmosphere of the band was when Kunt would talk shit on anyone and anything he disliked. Most recently I saw that this new band the other guitarist put together is starting to play shows, but Kunt isn’t with them. Apparently he abandoned them too.

So here I am, nearly a year later, without a band, and not much hope of putting another one together. We’ve been looking for another guitarist with no luck whatsoever, save for a wishy-washy one that I’ve played with in the past who raised our hopes a few times by saying he’d join us, only to go back on that at the last minute. And it’s such a damn shame too- I’m always changing up my singing technique to try and get the best out of myself, and in recent months I made another breakthrough and now more and more songs are more effortless for me to sing, not to mention I’ve also kept up with practicing playing and singing more songs.

I’m just fucking crushed. But it’s not all about me; I also feel for the drummer. Not only was he very enthusiastic about this band, Kunt was his friend since childhood, and they had been playing in bands together on and off since their early teens. The last we heard he was telling people that the drummer was a piece of shit and that he was glad that they no longer speak. Over absolutely nothing, literally. No arguments, disagreements, falling out, nothing. Just a silent “fuck you guys!” to us. Now that he’s abandoned us and the other band as well, I have to wonder if he’ll sit around and rock on with his miserable self, or turn a “New Leaf” and get back with another group of musicians that he also liked to complain to us and talk down about.