Like any relationship, success is a reflection of the level of honesty at the outset and the frequency of check-ins against that narrative. Being afraid to have "hard" conversations early and just going with the flow will create communication breakdowns.
I'm coming from a place of experience here. I've screwed up my share of relationships—all sorts. But here is the thing about bands that makes them unique; it's a plural relationship where the members are not always equal. If anything they're closer to professional teams without an HR department or management structure already in place to dictate structure and process.
It's pretty prehistoric. First, you have to figure out your influence (which will change over time). Then, you have to establish creative alignment, schedules, and goals. But here is the thing, to a certain degree it doesn't matter what instrument you play or how well you play it; there are only two types of band members: those who are good at being in a band and those who suck at it. It requires everyone be relentlessly generative.
This recent breakup was a group of people who are all good at being in bands. That's how hard it is to keep these things together. At issue, in this case, was misaligned expectations. It's that simple. Not verbalizing that shit clearly at the beginning eventually created upset and a couple of the guys feel exactly that. Just like every relationship you've ever had that went south.
Photo credit: Sloan Photo