THOUGH IT WILL NO DOUBT HAVE WORKED its way down pop radio playlists by the time this issue hits mailboxes and newsstands, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” the winter blockbuster by Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye, is a song that’s going to stick with me for a while. No, not because I’m living the tune’s mournful tale of an ugly split between lovers—all is well on that front, fortunately. Rather, I’m now coming to grips with a breakup of a different sort.
Like so many bass players, I consider myself a “band guy,” a dude who digs nothing more than doing my part to make whatever group I’m playing with sound great. With the kind of personal investment I put in every playing situation, it’s rough when I have to say goodbye to any band. After months of agonizing cost-benefit analysis, I’ve had to bow out of a group I’ve really loved playing with this last year.
Anyone who reads this page regularly (more than just my mom, I hope) might recall I’ve scrawled previous columns about the woes of band life. Yes, being a working stiff can be frustrating at times. But after nearly 30 years of making music, playing out often feels like the sole thread keeping me from coming apart at the seams. Having to cut ties with this group is, frankly, kinda terrifying. But with family at home and a crazy-busy touring schedule, I know it’s best. I’ve been around enough to know the right way to treat this group of players, for whom I have ultimate respect, and I’ll be sticking it out until they find a replacement. Until then, I trust I’ll be able to figure out my next musical step.
Have a breakup story of your own? Post it on our wall at facebook.com/bassplayermag. Whether it’s a virtual hug or a digital smack upside the head, I trust our supportive BP community will show whatever kind of love you need to work through it. Good luck out there.