Bands can be plenty of drama all on their own – from flaring egos, to musical differences, to boiling resentment. Even if a band is mostly drama free, there are going to be issues from time to time. Some bands bring it on themselves, though, and one way they do this is by inter-band dating.
A surefire way to create epic amounts of drama (and possibly break up the band) is for members to start dating each other. This is doubly true if the people involved in the relationship are strong personalities. Here are just three ways it can really mess things up.
1. Personal problems become band problems
Let's say you've had a bad day that resulted in a blowout fight with your significant other. You might come to band rehearsal in a bad mood, vent about it to your bandmates, and move on.
What happens if the other party in the argument is also in the band? You're both walking into practice (or worse, a show) pissed off at each other and in terrible moods. Maybe you even bring your fight to the practice, derailing vital rehearsal time and making everyone else feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Most of the time, I strongly advise band members to leave personal problems at home – it cuts down on unnecessary drama and helps keep the band on track. When the drama is in the room, though, that's just a recipe for disaster.
2. You'll feel the need to defend them at all costs
What happens if your significant other isn't pulling their weight in the band? Maybe they don't promote shows, they're late to practice, or they just aren't a good fit musically. Your bandmates would understandably be concerned and be right to bring it up.
If you're dating the person in question, though, that's another story. It's often very easy to take statements about your significant other personally – even if they may be legitimate. The last thing you need is to have a grudge against another member of the band because they said something about your boyfriend or girlfriend.
This also further complicates the creative process. Many bands are collaborative, and you may find that you're favoring the ideas of your significant other – or at least feeling that you should. Your bandmates may accuse you of shooting their own ideas down in favor of your partner's – even if that's not necessarily true. It's a recipe for resentment all around.
3. A breakup may break up the band
In a lot of cases, the couple in question breaks up – or if they really want to increase the drama quotient, they're on-again-off-again. What happens to the band?
Does one member of the couple leave? Do both? Do some of the musicians split off and form different bands with their chosen member of the couple? Or what if both people in the relationship are amazing musicians and integral parts of the band, and both decide to stay? Can you imagine staying on and working with your ex after a bitter breakup? Worse, what if they start dating another band member?
This situation is rife with landmines, and very few bands can navigate it well.
In general, dating between band members is like handling live dynamite – but there are exceptions. I have heard of cases where there was no drama (or not much). The individuals in this case were exceptionally well balanced, mature, and thoughtful, but this is not always the case.
There are other cases where the band was going to break up anyway or they weren't terribly serious in the first place. In a case like that, any drama caused may ultimately not matter (unless you care about maintaining friendships). Aside from those somewhat rare exceptions, inter-band dating is best avoided at all costs.
Daniel Reifsnyder is a Nashville-based, Grammy-nominated songwriter, having started his musical journey at the age of three. In addition to being an accomplished commercial actor, his voice can be heard on The Magic School Bus theme song and in Home Alone 2. Throughout his career, he has had the honor of working with the likes of Michael Jackson and Little Richard among many others. He is a regular contributor to several music-related blogs, including his own.