So...I made THIS comment on a blog a few weeks ago.
Was it childish? Yes.
Was it immature? YES.
Was it passive aggressive? Yes. YES. YESSSSS.
But that was the point. See, that blog is the home of DC band Tennis System (check them out if you like solid shoegaze). I left that comment due to some sheisty behavior on their part.
About 2 months ago my former band (Savages) booked a show with the Tennis System in DC. Due to some financial issues, one of the members could not afford to go on tour and hence play that show. Instead of being complete sell outs and canceling the show on the Tennis System and the venue, my new band (Plastic Plastic) requested that we take the place of Savages on this show. Now, I realize on the surface it seems like a dick thing to do--to switch bands on another band. Here is why it is not so in this case:
1.) Both bands have the exact same fan base in DC. My DC friends.
2.) Savages and Plastic Plastic play similar enough musical styles.
3.) It's essentially the same people! Half of Savages is Plastic Plastic.
4.) I was the person that set up the show for Savages. I personally asked Tennis System to play because I really enjoyed their music and I wanted to see them play live.
Upon requesting the switch, I received this message from Matty of Tennis System:
"Greg, I too have some bad news. My drummer and bass player have quit and we are not going to be able to play this show anymore. I apologize for the inconvenience."
This seemed like a fair enough claim, but further research revealed it's dubious nature. My only evidence was that on their MySpace show list they had deleted our date while all of their other dates remained. At any rate, even if they really couldn't play--for whatever reason--they were extremely unhelpful with finding another band to fill the slot. Not only was there an interband agreement to play, but we also had an agreement with the venue, the Velvet Lounge. Because of this, I left that comment on their blog.
The "douche bag" comment spawned a bit of a heated dialogue between parties. In that dialogue, Matty from the Tennis System said something pseudo-poignant:
"You can't control what happens in your own life, so don't even begin trying to control others."
He is right. I can't control many things that happen in my life. None of us can. That's the nature of the human experience. And while we have no ability to control life, we do all have the ability to influence it. My childish comment on the blog was intended as neither a device of influence or control, but merely a way of venting frustration. Frustration with bands that act childish and operate on a "Do What's Best for Me" philosophy. By being completely unhelpful and apparent liars, they whittled away at the cosmic magnanimity that should exist between bands.
When it comes down to it this band thing, this touring thing, should be about making new friends, having fun, and exchanging good vibes. I was looking forward to hanging out with the Tennis System guys. I wanted to see them live. It seemed like it would have been an awesomely loud, wall of sound blasting your face off experience. I wanted that.
Here is my attempt to influence anybody with a band:
1.) Be honest. Don't lie to other bands.
2.) Don't act like a child and then expect not to be treated as one.
3.) If you have to dip out of a show, do everything in your power to be helpful. Find a replacement band.
4.) Always help a touring band!
I will let the Tennis System guys know that I posted this so they may comment or refute any inaccurate statements. Unfortunately, we're states away so we are all forced to hide behind a computer.