The best way to judge the maturity level of people is to see them when they are fired. Some take it in stride and realize, “If I hadn’t spent so many late nights at the strip club I probably wouldn’t have been late so often.” Some people beg for their jobs or another chance. Some cry. Some swear and threaten. Some return in a few days with firearms.
We’re wondering how Matt Vance is going to take the news that he’s being ‘let go’ from Ockym’s Razyr, a band that he co-founded 11 years ago.
“He’ll probably be OK with it,” drummer Josh Randall tells me. “It’s not like he hasn’t quit or been fired before.”
“Yeah,” Paul Ode adds. “He’s always back and forth. He’s not reliable at all.”
The descision was made a little over a few days ago. Most of the guys in the band have been ready to give Matt his walking papers, but Adam Gillis was reluctant to see him go.
“Everyone else was saying things like: ‘his timing sucks, he’s a worthless drunk, we can do better’ and all sorts of other stuff, but he’s always been my best friend in the band and I never had the heart to fire him.”
It was at a show they did last week where Vance took exception to some of the joke Gillis made at his expence over the microphone that sealed his fate. While Vance usually takes the punches lying down, this night he straddled up to his own mic and repeated “shut up” until Gillis quieted.
“I guess I just feel the his attitude has gotten unbearable and I can’t work with him anymore,” Gillis says.
Firings in local bands are a common thing. Most guys quit before it happens. It just comes down to how some people can’t get along well with others coupled with a need for drama in our lives. It’s very similar to the way one child may be ostracized in the sandbox for a day or two simply to create a bit more excitement for everyone. The sad thing is that most people never mature further than that.
People are fired for all sorts of things: sleeping with eachothers girlfriends, showing up late, not wearing the right shoes, because they said the wrong thing on facebook. Or sometimes no reason at all. Such is the sandbox politics local music. Occasionally bands will decline shows to avoid other bands they don’t want to play with because they are “doody heads.”
I knew a band where the drummer declared that the next show would be his final one with the group. Then the singer and he got into an argument via text message so the drummer said fuck it and quit right there. It’s just the way it is. People come and go. Some play in several bands, some play in one and never again. It’s just too bad that we don’t have any adults now to tell us to play nice.
When Vance finally shows up for practice Gillis doesn’t have the balls to do the firing. He sits in the garage with his back turned while Hal Levatine breaks the news to him. Vance seems to take it well. There are no tears from him. He clenches his jaw, waves goodbye and drives off.
“Well boys, who do we get to play bass now?”