I am a guitarist in a band here in Philly and we’ve got many things going well for us, but our bass player is holding us back. He’s only been in the band for a year, but I’ve known him since I was 11. The rest of the band and I are young, driven, and willing to move to a new city to take advantage of our rising fame, but Chris isn’t. He just wants to stay in Philly, smoke weed, play our smaller shows, and spend time diddling his girlfriend in the room next to mine. He refuses to change. We want to kick him out of the band, but don’t want to ruin our friendship with him. How do you suggest we do this?
You can’t. There is no easy way to do something like this. Chris will more than likely end up feeling like an outcast and will be bitter, but it won’t last. If you have some good things going for you and he is holding you back, then I can totally understand why you’d want to make your opportunities more profitable by removing him. What Chris needs to realize though, is that you are removing him on a professional level and that you still want to be friends. Sometimes people have a problem separating the personal and professional level. Make sure you and your bandmates give him the same courtesy. Keep the professional gripes and personal gripes apart and deal with the professional reasons when removing him from the band. Show him respect and be patient. He’ll get over the breakup.
In the wake, play some Rush for me with your new bassist.