Greater Clarks Hill Regional Library


So You Wanna Start a Band? Part 5

John Welch
Sep 20, 2018

What about conflict in a band? I have never been lucky enough to play with a group that stayed conflict free for any real length of time. Members can lock horns over many things but behavior, social views and direction (musical and otherwise) are the real go-to problems in music groups. What happened to the Beatles or (insert the name of any broken-up group or exiled member)? Failure to effectively manage strife will lead to any group’s dissolution.

Generally, all of these situations can be diffused and they should not be allowed to fester. If the problem is behavioral, try setting limits. They can be internal (“one more time and I’m outta here”) or external (“do it again and you’re out”) but they have to have consequences or they have no meaning.  Similarly, social issues can be distracting but they do not have to be the end of a band. It is very naïve to assume that everyone who likes your music likes your politics, too. Sometimes, just like in the real world, you have to suck it up for the common good.

Really, the worst type of group conflict is differences of opinion about direction. I think that other types of conflict can be resolved one way or other; but not this. As we move forward, it is only natural that our tastes will evolve. Seldom are we lucky enough that we grow along the same path. Be prepared to face this in any group that manages to last for any real amount of time.

In the end, you have to decide what you can take; what is worth saving and what is not.