The story of my first band – and how it fell apart

Before I start discussing the events that caused the eventual splitting of my first steady lineup, I want to clarify that it ultimately happened in good terms between everyone involved. I’m not writing this in order to demonize anyone, nor do I hold grudges towards any of my former bandmates.

With that out of the way, I’ll get right to it.

Earlier this year – back in February – a bunch of my colleagues and I came to discuss the possibility of forming a band. It didn’t take long for it to actually happen – the band was in full swing as soon as the next month. We began rehearsing a selection of songs in hopes of being able to perform them somewhere in the coming months.

Things were good at first. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves in the freshly formed lineup of music students. Everyone was involved and full of energy. Everyone was friends with each other. Little did we know, however, that things would slowly but surely take a turn for the worse.

We played our first gig in a sports/performance hall at our school in April. Overall, it was a success, and we gained a healthy bit of confidence from it. That gig was shortly followed by another one, coincidentally in the same building but in a different part of it, which was also a rather successful one. It was perhaps shortly after those gigs that things started going sour.

The primary cause of our slow descent to oblivion was a grudge between our vocalist and one of the guitarists, the details whereof I’m not exactly knowledgeable on. Granted, there were minor fights between each of the band members, but they weren’t as prominent as the aforementioned. Amongst all of it, I was the diplomat, trying to be unbiased and support everyone equally – sometimes desperately. In some situations, however, it proved impossible. But still, I had hope. I believed that the band could still be saved.

Turned out I was wrong.

The band took a break over the summer, mostly due to some members of the band spending it elsewhere. We were meant to play a gig or two between June and July, but they were ultimately cancelled for similar reasons. When school began again in early August, the band got back to work almost immediately. And from there began the band’s ultimate downfall.

Around the same time, we got reinforcements in the form of a second vocalist. The addition did perhaps bring some new energy initially, but eventually, a grudge formed between the two vocalists that would destroy the band. Their relationship between each other was unstable, to say the least.

Anyway, things carried on as usual for the most part. We played in all three more gigs with the new vocalist in our lineup – one in August, two just last month, the last of which we played just yesterday. The August gig was a minor disaster – least of all because of interpersonal tensions, however – but the November gigs were mostly successful.  Mostly.

Earlier in the month, it’d been agreed upon that yesterday’s gig would be the band’s last. Initially, I felt a sense of sadness about it, but truthfully, the atmosphere within the band was irredeemably toxic at that point. There was no salvaging it anymore, even though I still wanted to believe otherwise.

After we had finished setting up and soundchecking for yesterday’s gig, the vocalists had a (rather heated) discussion about the situation of the band. That discussion, regrettably, ended in one of them having a panic attack that landed her in the hospital, thus she wasn’t able to make the gig. I witnessed the whole thing with my own eyes, and so did one of the guitarists. He stayed to take care of her while I walked home and contemplated the possibility of cancelling the gig. But realistically, it was too late at that point. Thankfully we were able to find two fill-in vocalists on less than an hour’s notice.

Either way, the situation was anything but pleasant. I was an inch away from a meltdown right before the gig. But I pulled through the rest of the day, and the gig itself went surprisingly well considering the circumstances.

The band’s primary vocalist emphasized that she holds no hard feelings towards anyone, and neither do I. However, following the pre-gig incident last night, I was increasingly happy that the band did split up.

I guess the moral of the story is that certain things come to an end for a good reason. And when they do, it’s no use feeling sad over it.

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