Trying to collaborate with uninspired people
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:19 PM   #1
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Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

This is a really frustrating thing for me... Not being on the same wavelength as someone you're trying to collaborate with..
I'm supposed to be in a band with two of my siblings, my sister is a great vocalist, and she's growing as a producer and musician in my opinion because she tries to keep up with me and learn new things.. She needs to stop wasting so much time and start just writing in her own free time more often though, but I'm not really as frustrated with her as I am with my brother..
I have been trying to put together an album with him for over 4 years. Yeah, four fucking years... He has maybe contributed to 5 songs total within that time, which all have been scrapped because of change in direction of music we've taken, and I've tried to be honest without being rude about how lacking some of those contributions have been... He doesn't take any criticism lightly, like he can't separate himself from his work and takes it way too personally most of the time..

He has a decent synth, a King Korg, and plenty of software... he never writes on his own though.. He just goes to his friends to 'produce' all the time, who isn't really that productive. All that happens when he goes there to 'produce' is he gets drunk/stoned, watches youtube videos and listens to the same 5 songs his buddy has been working on without making progress for months.. Nothing actually gets done there, and if it does, it's literally them fucking around, not taking anything seriously.. Which is fine, unless you act like you're super serious about music and make that your identity to everyone, but don't have anything to back it up with aside from a buncha 'joke songs'. I'm seriously considering kicking my brother out of our band. My sister and I have been the only ones making contributions to our current project.

I'm tired of hearing my brother complain about not having enough time to himself, and how hanging out with people all the time is a waste of time, and how he never has time for himself.. yet all he does is hang out with friends constantly, waste money going out all the time and play video games. He has no productive yearnings outside of working out and going to work at a job that he constantly complains about.

Unplug, do what you need to survive at a bare minimum and have your lowest requirements of happiness met, don't try to strive for more. Fuck I hate that I see so many people fall into that mentality..

I asked him to just write on his own with his laptop once in a while earlier today, and he got pissed at me... I haven't even told him how fucking frustrated I am with him lately, and am considering stopping creative pursuits with him all together...

Sorry, I'm really frustrated and am worried that if I bring this up, he'll just get really mad at me and will be in complete denial... But what the fuck is the point in him being in our band if he doesn't do anything.

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Old 07-11-2018, 08:42 PM   #2
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

I really feel like my brother has been wasting creative potential for years... he needs to isolate and better himself, because socializing around here isn't going to bring any productivity, they're all in the same cycle. Most of my friends from high school are.

Delayed gratification is worth it.
Being around productive people, and being ok with being productive while around those people helps so much. Nobody around here is like that though, I only know people like that back in Minneapolis.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:02 PM   #3
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

I know he's your brother and you don't want to upset him but if he's not contributing to the project and it's causing you this much stress then just cut him loose. Maybe he's not really all that into music after all and just does it as a novelty from time to time, whereas you want to take it more serious. Just be straight up with him, it's the best way. You're not there to babysit the guy, he has to make his own decisions, so just let him do that. If he really wants to knuckle down and make serious music he will, and if he doesn't then he doesn't what about it. Letting it get to you is clearly stressing you out over it, and there's no point in letting yourself get stressed cause all that's gonna happen is that then you get nothing done yourself
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:59 PM   #4
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

Rule one of business (and if you're taking music seriously, it's your business) is don't do business with friends and family. If I do work with people that I'm also close to personally, I treat them as my co-worker/bandmate first and my buddy/sibling second and separately from work. I've never had problems this way, because everybody knows what to expect and what standards they're being held to (ie no free rides, if you can't keep up I'm going to drop you). I'd recommend making a policy like this clear to everyone you work with, it usually doesn't have to be said, just act that way. None of this is to say you have to be a dick about it, hopefully you get to call some really motivated, talented people your friends and you can do fantastic work with them. Or maybe you have friends that really want to work their ass off to get as good as you, but they're not there yet (more like your sister). But when you have an unmotivated buddy dragging everything you do down, this makes it a lot easier to drop them from your pursuits and have a decent chance of them taking it well. Continue to be brothers, just don't continue to be bandmates.

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Old 07-11-2018, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

Im not trying to be reductive and I understand some of these folks are siblings...but why are you wasting your time w people that clearly dont have the drive?

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Old 07-11-2018, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

I'm going to chime in with more of the same. I've been playing music for over 30 years and I've run into this plenty. I've recruited people I thought would be good that wouldn't even show up, gotten friends or other musicians excited about projects only to have them just sort of hang around and drink my beer, started projects strong that petered out, and certainly had my fair share of folks that could be great but just weren't for whatever reason, usually of their own doing.

There's a fundamental difference in playing with people and playing with people that are of the same ability level, the same drive and the same mindset. It's like moving from pee-wee league to Shea Stadium. When it clicks, it's god damn magic and the gestalt is greater than the sum of its parts.

Let me put it this way - every group of musicians you've ever seen in a professional setting haven't been carrying dead weight, regardless of the dead weight's potential. If you want to make the best music you can, either hold out for the right set of collaborators or go it alone.

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Old 08-11-2018, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

Having a friend over this weekend with whom I've tried to collab a bunch of times but we just end up partying. This time we are just doing DJ shit and just hitting record and saying fuck it, see what we can come up with we can edit together. Hoping the free spirit of it goes better than our usual "music making weekends".

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Old 08-11-2018, 09:17 AM   #8
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

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Originally Posted by Red-man View Post
I know he's your brother and you don't want to upset him but if he's not contributing to the project and it's causing you this much stress then just cut him loose. Maybe he's not really all that into music after all and just does it as a novelty from time to time, whereas you want to take it more serious. Just be straight up with him, it's the best way. You're not there to babysit the guy, he has to make his own decisions, so just let him do that. If he really wants to knuckle down and make serious music he will, and if he doesn't then he doesn't what about it. Letting it get to you is clearly stressing you out over it, and there's no point in letting yourself get stressed cause all that's gonna happen is that then you get nothing done yourself
I'm going to give it a little bit of time.. I talked with my sister about it and we're both going to start stepping our shit up and try to encourage him to do so as well without being too critical of him. I think that if he sees us taking stuff even more seriously than we have been it might open his eyes a little...
He's honestly an amazing pianist, he was a great writer too and actually started out very serious about neo-classical music
and composition, but stopped writing original piano stuff... I feel like he hasn't been the same person since getting into a car accident and suffering a sever concussion years ago..
If setting an example and offering our encouragement doesn't work, then I'll have to be honest and tell him I can't make music with him anymore..

It's just hard, because he isn't just my brother, but also my best friend..

Last edited by stray medicine; 08-11-2018 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

Dude...you've looked no further for inspired individuals than your own family?
in 4 years?
Are you mormons or something?
TL;DR

How you plan to escape the family dynamic/hierarchy in the band circumstance I have no idea.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

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Im not trying to be reductive and I understand some of these folks are siblings...but why are you wasting your time w people that clearly dont have the drive?
It's difficult... he used to... and about a year ago convinced me he was going to step things up, but hasn't followed through yet...

My sister is following through though, I'm proud of how quickly she has learned, how serious she is about it, and how focused and objective she has been so far
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

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Dude...you've looked no further for inspired individuals than your own family?
in 4 years?
Are you mormons or something?
TL;DR

How you plan to escape the family dynamic/hierarchy in the band circumstance I have no idea.
Haha.. my family is really close and I have looked outside of that plenty, but my brother, sister and I have really similar interests musically, conceptually, visually

My brother just needs to brush up on his stuff.. he used to be a lot better... also I'm the younger brother but am basically the lead of this project because they know I have more experience

Also... not mormon... but grew up mostly homeschooled lol... but that doesn't change the fact that I'd be in a band with them if we were just friends

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Old 08-11-2018, 06:39 PM   #12
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

Making music is like sex; if you do it with family it's going to come out totally retarded

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Old 08-11-2018, 06:55 PM   #13
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

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It's difficult... he used to... and about a year ago convinced me he was going to step things up, but hasn't followed through yet...

My sister is following through though, I'm proud of how quickly she has learned, how serious she is about it, and how focused and objective she has been so far

I understand. I get forced into working with family members creatively through our various family businesses and side hustles. I love them dearly, but it can be a PITA.



I'm also a really poor collaboration partner myself. Big on ideas, but lack follow through. It seems like there is always an issue. The disconnect of working long distance. Or I'm visiting a friend for 72 hours and we try to fit in entertainment, catching up, fun, sleeping, meals.



I'd love to try a long term collab with someone I could actually meet up with for a few hours once a week and ONLY work on the project.

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Old 09-11-2018, 08:02 AM   #14
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

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Haha.. my family is really close and I have looked outside of that plenty, but my brother, sister and I have really similar interests musically, conceptually, visually

My brother just needs to brush up on his stuff.. he used to be a lot better... also I'm the younger brother but am basically the lead of this project because they know I have more experience

Also... not mormon... but grew up mostly homeschooled lol... but that doesn't change the fact that I'd be in a band with them if we were just friends

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But yeah, I see you're from MN so any extra bodies you can huddle up to I guess.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:17 AM   #15
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

Honestly I'm from a highly musical / homeschooled / fucked up family as well and the furthest I've got with any of my 3 siblings (insert it here, you sick fuck) is like a song or two apiece over the course of many potential years.

Honestly I've been trying to make a single song with my brother (who is just as creative / passionate as me) for the past 15 years, but at this point I'm convinced that you can't have a sibling dynamic and make good music. I know some bands do it, but I'm willing to bet most of the time they either didn't grow up together or weren't fucking homeschooled.

TL;DR: Don't get homeschooled

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Old 10-11-2018, 10:25 PM   #16
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Re: Trying to collaborate with uninspired people

I buy my brother drumsticks every christmas to make sure i know somebody else is going to music hell with me. half of my old bandmates are dead/prison literally. fucking 2008 was a good year for fucked up heavy music but, in the end where the hell are we

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