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Rules for Replacing a Lead Singer

Let’s face it, you’ve had it with your singer. For years they’ve been on thin ice, drinking or snorting or sleeping with your significant other. It’s time to find a replacement. But tread carefully: Replacing a singer is a tender thing. Best to stick with the rules.

1. Confirm that they don’t have any legal rights to the band’s intellectual property

Turns out inviting that old lawyer to one of your sex-and-cocaine afterparties isn’t such a bad idea after all.

2. Make sure they’re actually bad for the band

If your current singer is a hard-working team player who can sing really well, you could save yourself a lot of time by just letting them continue in their current role.

3. Get their address

Whether mailing the news, sending a singing telegram (via your new singer), or breaking up in person, you’re going to want to know where they’re holing up these days.

4. Remind them of Steve Perry’s illustrious solo career

Sure, you’re a grind band with only guttural vocals, but we recommend having “Oh Sherrie” twinkling somewhere in the background anyway.

5. Check to see if they’re not already dead

This could also be step #1. A simple internet search will indicate if you have to go through the stress of a breakup or if you can just save face by calling them a hero in the media before finding a replacement. (See: AC/DC.)

6. Ask whoever thinks they’re still in the band to raise their hand

Is it possible your frontman already knows, and you don’t have to tell them? That would be so great!

7. Pack up all their stuff in the practice space beforehand

And be thorough. You don’t want them wandering back to your next rehearsal claiming they forgot their Nirvana poster.

8. Offer a reference letter and benefits package

Soften the blow by easing them into obscurity. Maybe see them off with a gift basket and a card signed by the band.

9. See what Sammy Hagar’s up to these days

It worked for Van Halen in 1985.

10. Let your drummer try out

We know it’s a one-in-a-million shot.